Introduction – The Man Who Had No Hobbies

Sunday 09.25.22 – Revised 2:45 pm CST

This book is about an ordinary man whose sole extraordinary life’s achievement was losing 200 pounds and living long enough to tell his story. I am a writer at heart but have supported myself and my family toiling away in the insurance business since 1976. Over the course of my life I’ve suffered from decades long writer’s block. But today heralded a new beginning. My Future Best Seller now has a title. The title came about as an act of providence.

While tending to the yard a friend and neighbor stopped by to chat. We’ll call this friend “Joe” to protect his privacy. Well, the conversation turned to my lack of plans for retirement when The Boss overheard us and said,

“He has to keep working. He has no hobbies”.

Joe happens to be the Edith Kinney Gaylord Endowed Chair of Journalism Ethics in the Department of Mass Communication at the University of Central Oklahoma and Director of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. As he turned away to continue his stroll in the neighborhood, Joe turned and said to me,

“That’s the title of your Future Best Seller. The Man Who Had No Hobbies”.

An act of providence.

For the record, I used to weigh 370 pounds. I’ve lost 200 pounds. More importantly I’ve kept the weight off for over 45 years. Yeah, I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment.

I am not a credentialed expert in diet, weight loss or nutrition. I am a life insurance guy. My area of expertise is mortality risk assessment. I make a living by understanding what kills people. As a result of my work I’ve learned how to live well, stay healthy, and keep the weight off. This Future Best Seller is my way of sharing the knowledge I’ve gained over the course of my journey.

The journey has not been easy. Even to this day everyday is a struggle. There are many times in my life when I’ve stared at the number on the bathroom scale and asked myself what the hell did I do to myself yesterday? If you’ve done the same then this book is for you.

This not a diet book nor a weight loss book per se. This is the book I began writing while growing up as The Fat Boy. I learned a long time ago is that there are no secrets to making the transition from fat to fit. Just take the time and effort to find your answers. What worked for me may not work for you. Yet I’m confident I know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to losing weight. The habits I’ve developed for eating and exercise now are vastly different from what I did years ago to gain weight. When I first lost a ton of weight I was down to 163. But slowly as the years passed I started putting the weight back on. For years I was happy cruising along at 195-200 pounds. It was a far cry from 370 so I really got lazy about weight control. Then Covid-19 hit the U.S. and over the course of the first pandemic year my weight changed again. In a recent survey 42% of those surveyed reported gaining weight during the pandemic. The average weight gain was 29 pounds (see Random Thoughts (of beer) – March 2021). Fortunately I went in the opposite direction. During Pandemic Year One I lost 25 pounds. As of this writing I’m (back) down to 169.

There is an old saying that inside every one of us is a book. Here is my book, my gift to all of you out there searching for answers on how to lose weight and keep the weight off for a lifetime. I hope this helps you in your journey.

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