I share my story with you here, but really, this story is about you. Something brought you here today for a reason. You’re looking to lose weight and you may have tried dieting and exercise in the past, but it didn’t last. Or, you’re not in optimal health and you know something needs to change. Or, you may be making progress on your weight loss journey and are looking for some further inspiration. Regardless of why you are here today, this story is for you.
My story is one of transformation, and my life was changed for the better so much that I was compelled to help others do the same. I solved my weight loss challenge and believe you can too. Your story can be a story of transformation as well.
The Health Scare
“You need to get a chest x-ray right now,” my doctor said.
It was my first physical in years. I always avoided it; at 250 lbs (and not a good 250 lbs) I knew deep inside I wasn’t healthy, but preferred to live in denial. However, with my wife pregnant with our first child, something compelled me to finally set up an appointment.
The doctor confirmed my suspicions of poor health. My blood pressure was 175/120. When the numbers get that high, it might be a hypertensive emergency, and my doctor took immediate concern. He directed me to get an x-ray of my chest, a blood test, and start taking blood pressure medication immediately. An eye exam was booked because blood pressure this high can cause permanent nerve damage to the eyes. He mentioned that obesity can cause hypertension. Heading out of the doctor’s office and driving to the x-ray clinic, I was nervous. Was I too late? Did the neglect of my health cause me irreparable damage?
I walked into the x-ray clinic and looked at my requisition form. Written as the reason for my x-ray was “potential aortic dissection.” Checking out Wikipedia in the waiting room, I learned that “aortic dissection can quickly lead to death from not enough blood flow to the heart or complete rupture of the aorta.” Gulp. I took my x-ray, started taking my medication, and prepared myself for my medical follow-up.
Luckily, the tests showed no permanent damage. In the following weeks, I was put on a combination of three hypertension medications that shifted my blood pressure back to still high but no longer life-threatening levels. With that health scare behind me, I knew my lifestyle had to change.
But I did nothing.
Drugs have a double-edged effect. They keep you alive so you can fight another day, but also enable you to stay comfortable enough to not do more. I felt healthy (enough) for now. Life went on. A lot of things to do after all, like continue the progress in my career and prepare to be a new father.
The Photo That Triggered Andrew’s Weight Loss Journey
This photo was taken soon after my first son was born. Something in this photo triggered me. A combination of the chin fat, the belly roll, the exhaustion. How big I was compared to how small my newborn son was.
I remember looking at this photo, getting depressed. This was not a picture of someone healthy. Furthermore, given the family history of stroke and hypertension in my family, odds were that I’d die early.
Would I be around to support my son as he grew up? Be around for my son’s wedding or graduation? Would I even be able to live long enough to teach him how to ride a bike?
Now that I was a father with barely any time to spare, odds were even lower now that I would be able to exercise in order to lose weight. The picture confirmed my fate. I would be obese forever. And forever wouldn’t be long. My son would grow up without me.
This was absolutely unacceptable.
Something had to change.
But what? And how? I was overweight my entire life.
Throughout my life, I tried to lose weight but it always came back. In the past, I was able to lose weight through exercise but it came back when I stopped. Furthermore, since I never really exercised much before I was a new dad, with my new responsibilities I knew an exercise program would eventually go to the wayside. I wasn’t about to invest a ton of time into learning how to cook or asking my already busy wife to cook differently to support some fad diet.
I knew that as a brand new dad, adding even more to my plate was a setup for failure. With the kid waking us up every night, the only thing I wanted to do with any spare time was sleep! How could I find the time to lose weight? But even with all these roadblocks, I needed to find an answer: my life depended on it. My newborn son and my loved ones depended on me.
Through research and reflection, I realized that at its core, obesity is caused by a damaged weight management feedback loop. Simply said, for a multitude of reasons, I ate more calories than my body needed. If I could find a way to eat fewer calories than my body needed, I’d lose weight. Of course, easier said than done.
With this newfound perspective shift, I had an epiphany. Although exercise and diet changes can support weight loss, I didn’t need them. Instead of doing more, I could do less! I just needed to eat less. And to eat less, I needed to fix my feedback loop, or replace it with one that worked.
Solving the Weight Loss Problem
With my experience as an engineer and project manager, I knew how successful feedback loops worked.
Feedback loops need to measure the right thing and they need to be honest. You then have to actually reflect on the feedback. Finally, it’s important for feedback to be positive because you’ll get beat down if the feedback is always negative. These are the foundations of an effective feedback loop.
I knew the scale can lie due to natural weight variation, so I used math to calculate a more accurate measurement, measuring the right thing. I made sure to weigh myself daily and reflected on the result on a daily basis. Finally, I set up a very reasonable goal with daily targets that I could hit, giving me a dopamine hit every time I weighed myself and went under my number.
The Luuze app implements the feedback loop process so you don’t need an engineering or project management background to fix yours.
With this new feedback loop in place, I set off to lose weight. Eventually, by continuous daily weighing and regular reflection, I fixed my feedback loop, losing 100 pounds in 3 years, and keeping it off because I fixed the root cause of the problem.
My Life Has Been Transformed
Over the three years, my kids started growing up and I slowly but surely brought my weight down. With less weight burdening me, I gained more energy. It’s funny: when I had one kid, I had no time or energy to exercise. When my second was born, I had even more responsibilities in life, but the increased energy created by my weight loss enabled me to start an exercise routine that I continue to this day.
I fixed my feedback loop, and my life has been transformed.
When I first started my journey, I asked myself, would I be around to support my son as he grew up? Be around for my son’s wedding or graduation? Would I even be able to live long enough to teach him how to ride a bike?
The answer is YES. I’ve taken back control of my health.
Watching my children grow up has been the most amazing thing and I’m so glad that I can be there for all of this.
My weight loss transformed my life so much that I felt compelled to help others who were like me do the same thing. True and permanent weight loss isn’t about bursts of exercise or fad diets. It’s about permanently repairing our feedback loops. And that’s why I created Luuze: so anyone can do what I did, transforming their lives and the lives of their loved ones like I did.
If you’re looking for a different take on weight loss and to fix your feedback loop, you can get started today, and it’s simple. Sign up for the newsletter to get insights on how to repair the feedback loop, download the app for free to take the first step, and don’t hesitate to contact me throughout your weight loss journey!