A year ago, the title of this blog would have been “Big Bob’s Adventure.” That’s how I saw myself, and that’s how others often referred to me. But last June, I decided I had finally had it with being Big Bob. I had blossomed to a robust 353 pounds and was genuinely unhappy. I decided to join Weight Watchers with the encouragement and commitment of a caring friend—and Bob’s Big Adventure began. Shortly after, I joined Sharecare as a senior product designer. Both decisions have changed my life.
Soon after I started my new job I was asked to work on a project for Dr. Oz, Weight Watchers and Sharecare called Transformation Nation: Million Dollar You. About the same time, I began working out every day at lunch at the gym in our office building. I even enlisted the help of a friend who’s a trainer.
As Transformation Nation launched and the program began to take shape, I found myself reading every Transformation Nation tip I got via email. I used them to get me through the day and through my lunchtime workouts. Over time, friends and coworkers began to take an interest in my efforts. They provided a great deal of support and encouragement—much of which I glossed over.
Fast forward almost 12 months. As a thank-you for the effort put into the Transformation Nation website, I was able to fly to New York City for the taping of the Million Dollar You finale. When we arrived at the studio, we stayed behind the scenes for a bit. I watched the Transformation Nation finalists, nervously applying makeup and greeting one another. I already knew their stories and their individual journeys from working on the project, but it was different seeing them in person. Each finalist looked amazing. I noticed how real they were and how much energy they each had.
As the show was taped, each contestant spent some time with Dr. Oz and shared their story. With each one, I was more moved and encouraged. I was seeing, through the finalists, what I had been struggling through over the last 12 months: ups, downs, challenges, soreness. But changes, too: new habits, new foods, smiles.
The giveaway was truly amazing to watch. A million dollars! But it was really seeing all the contestants—each on his or her own journey—that was a gift of new inspiration to me. It was amazing to hear tips and advice from each contestant; they were so passionate to share what they had learned and experienced. But one point really hit home. As Mike Lamb (the eventual winner) described his journey to help his wife’s battle with kidney disease, he told how his journey went from an outward act of love for his wife to reaching inside and finding himself. He was amazed and moved that he wanted to be healthy for himself. I thought about how I have struggled with that. Allowing myself to believe. Believe in my effort and believe the results it was generating. I definitely have a bit more work to do on that front, but what a fantastic inspiration.
After the show, I spoke with Dr. Oz. He was very encouraging as we talked about my efforts. I was so appreciative of that time with him and the genuine interest he showed for all the Transformation Nation finalists and their stories.
I left the studio that day charged with energy and the possibilities of where my adventure is heading. I am more aware that I am indeed on an adventure. So far, I’ve lost 63 pounds and my BMI is on a steady decline. I recently ran a 5K and I feel stronger than I ever have in my life. I have an abundance of energy and am looking forward to an active summer with my kids. Now, instead of letting the kind and encouraging comments of friends bounce off me, I am letting each one soak in. I am so grateful. To borrow a phrase from Dr. Oz, this is my lifetime marathon of health and happiness. I call it Bob’s Big Adventure.
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File under: Success Stories