Category Archives: diet

Fat Tuesday: Legacy of a Mis-Spent Youth

As I’m only a week into this new health style choice (my coach Jeff still won’t let me call it a diet) there’s not a lot of change to report. But any good upgrade has to at least acknowledge the choices and conditions that led to the business case for the project, so here goes.

When I was younger I had, in the word of one dietition, “the metabolism of a hyperactive ferret on speed”. At my heaviest, I was about 130lbs but I said I was 150 (which would only have been true if I was soaking wet, wearing army boots, with rocks in my pockets). In college when I lived in the dorms and meal plans meant 3 all-you-can-eat sessions a day, I would still sometimes wake up famished at 2am. My solution was to walk up the street to McDonalds, eat a big mac, and go back to bed. (I went to school in NYC and they don’t call it the city that doesn’t sleep for nothing.)

What this meant that not only did I NOT learn good eating habits, I actively cultivated POOR eating habits. Carbs were my best friend, as was anything chocolate covered. Eating after 10pm was encouraged. And so on.

It turns out age was the kryptonite to my powers of super digestion. I hit 30 and everything slowed down. Of course, it wasn’t quite overnight, but in the course of about 2 years I was developing a paunch that was cute at first, but didn’t go away. At the same time, my career in IT (and the business itself) had transitioned from a largely active one running around a classroom all day or going cube to cube and floor to floor doing desktop support; to a desk based one (and even work-from-home. Now I didn’t even have the walk across the parking lot to keeping me moving).

By 40 the extra pounds were visibly adding up, and I added acid reflux to the mix. At this point, I realized I needed to take my eating habits seriously. Weight Watchers was already a thing in my house, so it was easy to fall in line. SOME of the pounds fell off, and that was good enough.

But, as 50 approached, the weight started creeping up again DESPITE the fact that I’d developed some relatively healthy habits. I was exercising fairly regularly, I was eating reasonably, but the pounds seemed to stick around no matter what I did.

And that’s what brought me to this point. There’s more to the story, but that’s a tale for another day.

And now to run the numbers. Here in week 1, I’m clocking in at:

  • 5′ 8″ tall (YAY, I’m not shrinking!)
  • 51 yrs old (it beats the alternative)
  • 180 lbs
  • 41″ belly
  • 39″ waist



Fat Tuesday: GOTO 0

As a true IT pro and geek at heart, I like data. As a true middle aged white dude working in a job that keeps me sedentary for most of the day, I struggle with my weight. And as someone who’s work puts them in front of large crowds in both live settings and on videos, I’m more than a little self-conscious about how I look.

Which brings me to the current state. For the last couple of years, I’ve lost and regained the same 5 pounds every week or so, never being able to crack that lower boundary. So, like an application programmer who is looking obtain the best database performance possible, I’ve engaged the help of a pro. In this case it’s not a DBA, but a coach to help me focus on healthy habits and lifestyles. His name is Jeff. He’s pretty cool, and you can find his info here.

He also coached me not to say “weight loss” which is probably some “eye of the tiger” mumbo jumbo so I don’t focus on how much baklavah I won’t be eating for a little while.  You can see it’s working.

While coaching is a piece of the puzzle, we all know that you can’t determine if the situation has improved unless you start monitoring it. That means collecting baselines prior to beginning the project, regular monitoring during, and reporting so that you know when you’ve achieved optimal performance.

So that’s what this ongoing Tuesday column will be. I’m going to try to give the unvarnished data along with anecdotal information about how or why we’re seeing whatever trends come to light.

So here goes. Here in week 0 :

  • 5′ 8″ tall (I don’t expect that to change)
  • 51 yrs old (I predict very slow progress on this number)
  • 188.5 lbs
  • 44″ belly
  • 43″ waist

I’ll have more details, both about the program, my perceptions of it, and my health history, as things progress. I hope you’ll stick with me on this adventure!