my journey

03Jan09

long-road Ok, I’m going to get a little bit personal and vulnerable here. If you’re still reading, then I feel like we can trust each other at this point. Ok… here goes. I’ve always been a little heavy. There I said it. I know what you are going to say, “but Caleb, I’ve seen you speak and you looked great!”, I know, but I just carry my weight well (and I keep buying bigger clothes). That second part is true and has always been my answer when people ask me if I’ve lost weight “no, I just keep buying bigger clothes” It’s a funny come back, unfortunately it’s also almost always been true.

What can I say. I’m a developer. I sit at a desk in the office or on a couch at home and write computer software for a living. Not only that, but like a lot of developers I know and work with, writing software is also my hobby and something that I really enjoy doing… so then even when I’m not “working” I’m usually still sitting somewhere with my laptop. When I’m not working I’m usually on the road speaking at or attending a conference (with conference food)… what I’m saying is that my lifestyle doesn’t really lend itself to being that healthy of a guy.

Especially since I turned 30. It seems that every time I buy bigger pants, I draw the line in the sand and say “that’s it… I’m not getting any bigger!”… then I re-draw that same line. I was inspired last year when I friend of mine declared “Don’t just code better, live better!” I was inspired, just not inspired enough to actually DO anything different, but that thought stuck with me.

At the end of 2008 I was one of the speakers at a developer conference in Dallas. These conferences are a great opportunity to learn from others in the industry and also to catch up with friends that you only see at conferences. It’s an interesting phenomena about people that you don’t see every day – change is much more obvious to them. At this particular event I picked up a friend from the hotel and what’s the first thing he says to me? “long time no see”? “how have you been”? nope none of those. “Man, have you gained weight?” Yeah, he’s from New Jersey – he can get a way with being blunt, and yes.. and that moment in my life, I weighed more than I had at any previous time… thanks for pointing that out.

By pure happenstance, and unbeknownst to me, that same week my wife purchased a new health plan for us to try. You can imagine that when I got home on Thursday and she explained that we would be starting on Friday… I was more than ready.

me? I’m a snacker.. I like to keep my physical and mental energy up through out the day. Hunger isn’t so much of a reason to eat for me as is blood sugar and every levels. So I like to sort of graze through out the day. The problem is that when I go foraging for food, I usually come across Cheetos or chips or cookies… not necessarily the best sources of sustainable energy on the planet. I also like to drink Monster, the blue low-carb version. If you know me, then you’ve probably seen me carrying one of those large bad-boys. I even have a blue Monster energy drink on my intro slides that talk about who I am when I give a presentation. When my wife explained that the first step of our new eating plan was to start the day of with a low-carb, high vitamin – non-carbonated energy drink that we mixed ourselves … I was sold.

Caleb Jenkins | less of me

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