Day 1

I was always a skinny kid growing up and never had to worry about my weight. High school ended and I was 145 pounds. Even after I graduated from college I would down half a dozen Double Dave’s Peproni Rolls on a regular basis without thinking twice about it. Mmmm….Double Dave’s. I could eat whatever I wanted and wouldn’t gain weight. Then something interesting happened to me.

I turned 30.

My job required frequent travel and included an expense account. Not a good combination – especially when you’ve never had to worry about anything that you eat before. I continued to eat whatever I wanted and did not exercise as regularly as I should. About two years ago one day I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “man, my face is starting to look fat”.

Wha-Wha-What?

I had never looked fat before in my life and never had to worry about it. Before then I hardly ever weighed myself on a scale. I didn’t even understand what was high in calories or low in calories and didn’t even know how many calories a day you were supposed to eat. Someone told me once that a Whopper had 40g of fat! My response was, “is that a lot?”

I wasn’t super fat, but I was starting to get some rolls on my sides, which I’ve never had before. I decided to weigh myself and weighed in at 185 pounds – the heaviest I’ve ever been. For a guy who’s 5’9″ that actually pushed me into the overweight category of the height weight charts. Huh?!? Me?!? Overweight?!? I had a little standoff with reality and reality won.

Once I finally admitted to myself that I was overweight I decided to do something about it. Years ago my wife read a book called Body For Life. She told me all about it while she was reading the book. I had never been on a diet before and considered myself too young to go on a diet. This book, though, did not come across to me as a crash diet, hollywood fad diet, or anything like that. It was really all about making healthy changes to your life permanently. I did the 3 month program from April to June in 2010 and lost 25 pounds in 90 days. My final weight after I finished Body For Life was 160 pounds. I continued my lifestyle of eating healthy and working out and by August weighed in at 152 – my lowest weigh-in since I actually started weighing myself. I was still traveling most every week for my job and had learned how to eat healthy and exercise even when you’re on the road.

After 4.5 years as a traveling consultant, I decided it was time to settle down and stop traveling every week. I wanted to spend more time with my family and see my kids more as they grow up. We moved back to Austin, where both of our families live, and I got a job with a startup company. It was great initially. I was home more, continued to exercise, and eat healthy. The longer I was with the software startup company, though, the more involved I became. My time at the gym slowly started dwindling until it had practically disappeared. My family time suffered. I still tried to eat healthy, but the long hours and lack of exercise coupled with my increasing age contributed to the weight slowly creeping back on. In the last year and a half I’ve put back on 18 pounds. My gut is slowly starting to peek over my jeans again. The jeans I bought when I was in the 150s don’t fit anymore.

I quit my job at the startup company the end of last year. The new year brought along with it a new job for me doing contract work in an effort to get the balance back in my life that has been missing. I started Body For Life again to get back in shape and will be blogging about my Body For Life experience here. In addition, I am excited to share the tips I’ve learned over the last few years about eating healthy, exercising, and finding balance in my life. I’m taking control of my life and will be blogging about the way I run my life. Ben.Runs.Life.

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