I was approaching my birthday in 2014 and I was unhappy. I weighed over 255 pounds. I was at my lowest point professionally and had taken to sadness eating. Sitting at a desk in the office upwards of twelve hours a day I was putting on pounds. I had a young son I wasn't seeing much, and while Lydia was supportive it was clear that things weren't going well.
So I quit my job. Planned a family vacation to Australia and New Zealand and just left. It was scary. I thought I was walking away from my career in the games industry, and wasn't sure what I was going to do next. It felt, for the first time in my life, like I had no control over what was coming next.
But that's a story for another time. More to the point I was heavy, having been putting on weight tied to my desk and sadness eating to make it through the day. As I say I was at least 255 pounds, but had stopped weighing myself, as that was just another things that felt out of my control alongside my career.
There's not a lot of photographs of me from that time, at my heaviest. Even before the weight gain I avoided being in photos as I was embarrassed about how I looked. When I got fatter I only was in photos when they were taken with Oliver my son and only because I wanted him to remember me after the impending massive heart attack that I was working (or eating) towards.
Even while in Australia and New Zealand, a trip that we won't be repeating for awhile, I collected mostly pictures of Lydia, Oliver and the magnificent countryside and few if any of myself. Older photos exist, like from our trip to Disneyworld and on the Jonathan Coulton cruise, but I was lighter then. Still not skinny (or even healthy) but not at my peak.
As I documented one of the last times I blogged I bought an Apple Watch when it were first released. You can see it in the picture above, back when I was just starting. Then I was taking university courses at UBC, working on a history degree (again). But the Activity features in the watch started encouraging me to get out and start walking. To close the three rings. Lydia and I started walking daily forty-five minutes to and from a Starbucks nearby.
I've lost weight before. On Atkins. Via Herbalife. Systems work for awhile, but unless you're going to stick to them the weight comes back. The weight always came back for me.
In addition to walking I started tracking everything I was eating via MyFitnessPal. I've worked with metrics professionally my whole game development career. This was just metrics. Calories in versus calories out. More than that it was control, at a time when I still felt like I didn't have any.
It wasn't fast. It wasn't easy. It's not over. Today though I woke up 100 pounds lighter than I was when I was sitting at a desk for eleven hours a day, feeling out of control. 100 pounds lighter than I was when I was sadness eating.
Not planning on losing this weight, at least not in any formal sense, I don't have great before and after photos. Everything above this sentence is me before. Photos that I haven't shared, mostly from Lydia save the one from Gamescom which I had to share because it was work related.
Today I weight 155 pounds, down 100 pounds from October 2014.
I've gone from buying 46" waist pants to 32" waist jeans. I am healthier. The weight has stayed off. The Apple Watch has been invaluable, making sure I get up from my desk and move around. Helping me track the calories out, so I can run the numbers. This isn't a system, it's a change in how I have to live.
I have a new job. One I love. It wasn't the end of me in the games industry, it anything it was a fork in the road to something better. It was a reminder that however much I love a job, or feel that I owe a company for giving me a shot, I need to look after myself first. A reminder that work-life balance is something more than a catch phrase in a recruitment video.
Lydia, Oliver and now Thea are reasons to keep off this weight. To make sure that life doesn't get out of hand again. To make sure that I don't feel out of control and worthless. But over this period I've regained my self-worth and now my weight isn't another thing out of my control it's one of the many things well within my control.
Now, if I could just find the time to blog more.