Monday, April 1, 2013

Email from Jeff : Nothing is Impossible. My Personal Reboot

And here is the original one.

I have a story to share. And it is because of this story I have decided to refocus the 2013 State of NOW / #140conf to focus on: HealthWellnessFitness and Food while also looking at fitness gadgets, mobile apps and related technologies. And of course we will be looking at the effects of the real time social web in these fields.
I am looking for speakers. I hope to bring out some doctors, book authors, people from the fitness, tech and wellness industry, some foodies and healthcare professionals as well as people who have also been on a similar journey. This is going to be a great couple of days, which I hope will touch the lives of many people.
The conference is taking place June 18-19, 2013 in New York City at the 92nd St Y. The link to submit your speaking proposal is: http://nyc2013.stateofnow.com/call-for-speakers.  If you have already submitted a speaking proposal, it will be considered. I am hoping with your help you can help spread the word about this event. The new deadline for speaking proposals is: March 1, 2013.
 This is my story:
I've been aware of my weight issue for a long time.
Over the years, when friends suggested I exercise, I would likely suggest the only exercise I did was "exercise judgment." And I used to think I was managing things well, until February, 2012. The fact that I spent years feeling pain daily was something I kept to myself.
By late April 2012, it felt like my weight was starting to spiral out of control. One thing lead to another and by early June as I was doing the last minute work on the 2012 State of NOW Conference, I convinced myself the only way to fight this was to opt for gastric bypass surgery. I went so far to get sign-off from my primary care doctor for the surgery. The reality is that gastric bypass surgery is a surgery of last resort. It was explained to me the surgery should be considered by someone with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or more (which was me), and only after failing with diet and exercise. The kicker was I never engaged in exercise in my adult life. So I started doing some soul searching from mid-June thru mid-July 2012 and I eventually decided to by-pass the by-pass. In doing so, I knew I had to engage in something dramatic. I had to find a way to reboot myself and become someone who enjoys exercising in the gym, watching their weight and cared about their diet.
I decided to set a life goal of losing at least 100 pounds (45 Kilos) and admitted to myself a desire to be able to do a one-armed pushup on the stage of the 92nd Street Y at the 2013 #140conf. Crazy, I know. Or so I thought. 
One of my immediate goals was to start building muscle. By building muscle, I would be able to burn more calories during the day without having to do much. And I choose July 24, 2012 as the day I would start to engage in what can be best described as an intense exercise regimen. So…with the help of a few close friends, something special and amazing has been happening to me ever since.
The First Move
When I first started exercising, my workouts did not last more than 10 to 15 minutes. I think the first day of exercise lasted maybe 7 minutes. I had no stamina and no strength. Back then, I was exercising in a local park and what I thought would be simple and easy exercises were quite difficult for me. The early exercise days were hard and frustrating. But over time I started to see and feel results. Weight started to disappear. Along the same time, I started teaching myself Tai Chi and I have been using the warm-up Tai Chi exercises as a way to give balance to the start of my days.
I first starting working out in a gym at the end of August, 2012. It was at the gym that I started to focus on both cardio and weight training. My first couple of weeks on the treadmill I had trouble lasting more than 10 minutes.
When I finally felt comfortable, I started sharing short videos on a sometimes daily basis with my friends on Facebook which I took before, during or after my visits to the gym. I also posted photos and reading lists filled with healthy lifestyle and diet books. Much to my surprise I received a lot of feedback and friends started to share their stories with me. My facebook feed is starting to become a hub for people talking about their own journeys and sharing health tips. I still have a long way to go but I wanted to share what I am doing at this moment in my life in case someone else may also be thinking about making a change. Everyone wants to be healthy and when someone is making an effort, more often than not the feedback is usually positive. Tapping into this community is part of the reason I am so excited about this conference.
Today is January 14, 2013. I'm happy to report that so far I have lost 50 pounds (22.8 kilos) and I now have something I never had in my adult life: strength, stamina and the beginnings of body tone. That daily pain I used to feel is totally gone. I have started to gain significant muscle mass. My recent workouts have been lasting between 75 to 130 minutes. I continue to work out almost every day with as much intensity I can give. This past weekend I did a 77 minute cardio focused workout, and while I not ready to run in a 5k anytime soon, overall I am feeling a lot better, and sleeping better at night.
It has taken everything I can give to get to where I am and I only hope to continue to have the strength to get to achieve my goals. I have no regrets for pushing myself into this personal reboot, except for not having the courage for giving this a try sooner. Each morning when I wake up and get ready to go to the gym I keep on reminding myself that every journey starts with a first step. It is because of this journey that I have decided to refocus the 2013 #140Conf / State of NOW Conference to focus on: Health, Fitness, Wellness and Food while also looking at technology, social and spirituality.
Whether you are on a similar journey or if you feel connected with the topics we are covering, I would love to hear from you. And I would appreciate your help in spreading the word about our new direction this year. If you know someone who should be heard from at this conference, please forward this email to them and please let me know who they are. I invite you to be part of something very special on June 18 and 19, 2013 at the 92nd St Y / NYC.
Hugs & Health, Jeff

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