How finance saved and gave me a life

Mod note (Andy): ThrowbackThursday, this was originally posted on 5/18/12

A week or two ago there was an article written about how your weight might inversely effect you during the hiring process. During the conversation I dropped some personal information about me losing 130 (now 135 pounds). I was PM'd by somebody asking me to tell my story. Well I have some free time and this story actually ties in to finance. So here we go!

I have always been large. I am 6'3 and hovered around 300 pounds. I was very active in football and weightlifting but I'd love to eat. My entire family is large so healthy living was unknown to me it was living. I wasn't the best football player but I was getting attention from so mid-tier schools in Texas. I was popular and had no serious problems with my body image but no girlfriends.

Well one day in fall 2002 I went to a Best Buy to buy a new device called a DVD player. They were closing but let me in anyway. What happened after that changed my entire future.

When I left the store I was involved in an "incident". All of the soft tissue in my left knee was shredded and I was in the hospital for a week. I was out for the rest of the football season and unable to play ever again. I sank into a deep depression and just became just a big negative Nelly. Well I trained to become a Marine (even with one bad knee I could get approval). The Marines fell through also and I went into a deep dark hole and gained 150 lbs through college.

I cannot explain the self hatred I had for myself. It was a viscous cycle. I ate because I was depressed and was depressed because I lost control of my life and body. I would actually skip classes because I could not fit comfortable in the seats. Well this were finance helped changed my life back.

My finance professor called me to his desk and said he could tell I loved investments. After a little conversation about my goals he handed me a book called "The Intelligent Investor". When I read it I knew exactly what I wanted to do. My life had purpose a direction. I could see myself in a nice suit making big investment decisions in some corner office. I wanted to be a PM. That coupled with a crush I had on a very special smart/ smart-ass girl was all the motivation I needed.

I adopted a rule that I called the "Nutritious and Delicious Rule". I could eat anything I wanted if it was nutritious and delicious. I stuck to that rule no matter how much I craved Pizza (Delicious but not nutritious). I also watched my portions by using smaller plates. It was still a struggle but I wanted to be healthy and fit.

On the exercise front I researched High Intensity Interval Workouts (HIIW). So every morning I would do HIIW and a small circuit of free weights at my home gym. I could see myself getting fit as my intervals got longer and I could go harder. I felt great!!!

My overall goal was to get healthy to live a healthy life. When people asked me, "How is the diet?" I answered that it's not a diet just eating right. As a side effect of my healthy living I began to lose weight. It just melted off I couldn't buy clothes fast enough!!! Also, with the time a dedication EVERYTHING became easier. I didn't want unhealthy foods their smell would ruin my appetite. I needed to work out my body would demand it. It was just so damn easy after 4 months of hell.

Losing this weight has been the greatest thing ever and I am still not done. Still I feel absolutely amazing and wear great suits and casual clothes every day. Also the ladies began to flirt which was something I never really exp. When I was losing all the weight girls began noticing me and I became very popular and a ladies' man. However, one girl noticed me and took a strange interest in me. I had a crush on here since I met her. She was a PHD (PSY) student at Texas. We met through friends and after seeing me struggle not to eat a burger she used me in one of her research papers about obesity. We ended up dating and now we have been married for 3 months!

So choosing finance saved my life and gave me a life. I lost my old man to a heart attack and I don't want history to repeat itself. I won't stop till I'm 215. I plan on being Captain America for Halloween so that's my goal.
Peace out WSO and thanks

Comments (56)

Best Response
May 18, 2012

Great post man, congrats I really hope you land a good gig soon. Someone like you def deserves it. If i were in the position to help I would and give SB if I had but i don't.

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May 18, 2012
TheKid1:

Great post man, congrats I really hope you land a good gig soon. Someone like you def deserves it. If i were in the position to help I would and give SB if I had but i don't.

Thanks man that means a lot. I'll give ya one. We are a group here and we get stronger the more we share our own exp in life and finance (sometimes they mix).

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May 18, 2012

I love when people redeem themselves. I had a knee injury as well, and people don't understand how fucked up your brain becomes without exercise and a goal. I read "Trading for Dummies" while on disability, and that's what got me going. I also read that John Mack had an injury that took him out of sports/military as well, so maybe it's for the best. You're a bit ahead of me with regaining your health (I took up drinking and smoking, still recovering) so this is an inspiration.

Good luck man, I really wish you the best and if you're in NYC, hit me up and we'll get drinks....lite beer works for me.

May 18, 2012
UFOinsider:

I love when people redeem themselves. I had a knee injury as well, and people don't understand how fucked up your brain becomes without exercise and a goal. I read "Trading for Dummies" while on disability, and that's what got me going. I also read that John Mack had an injury that took him out of sports/military as well, so maybe it's for the best. You're a bit ahead of me with regaining your health (I took up drinking and smoking, still recovering) so this is an inspiration.

Good luck man, I really wish you the best and if you're in NYC, hit me up and we'll get drinks....lite beer works for me.

UFO its a date btw I might need a place to crash :) Yeah knee injuries are hard to over come physically and mentally. I tore my meniscus (same knee) last September and I still walk with a limp if I sit longer than an hour. Also, havent golfed since July as I am worried the torgue might re-tear it. When I saw the doctor he looked at me and said , "Hey big guy (I HATE THAT) you need to drop some weight" I laughed because he had no idea.

May 18, 2012
paulydreamer:
UFOinsider:

I love when people redeem themselves. I had a knee injury as well, and people don't understand how fucked up your brain becomes without exercise and a goal. I read "Trading for Dummies" while on disability, and that's what got me going. I also read that John Mack had an injury that took him out of sports/military as well, so maybe it's for the best. You're a bit ahead of me with regaining your health (I took up drinking and smoking, still recovering) so this is an inspiration.

Good luck man, I really wish you the best and if you're in NYC, hit me up and we'll get drinks....lite beer works for me.

UFO its a date btw I might need a place to crash :) Yeah knee injuries are hard to over come physically and mentally. I tore my meniscus (same knee) last September and I still walk with a limp if I sit longer than an hour. Also, havent golfed since July as I am worried the torgue might re-tear it. When I saw the doctor he looked at me and said , "Hey big guy (I HATE THAT) you need to drop some weight" I laughed because he had no idea.

Man, avoid anything that's going to set you back: IMO, sitting through more PE will do more damage to your career than skipping golf. Let me know ahead of time if you're out this way so I can line up a buddy's couch for you to crash on, I only work in NYC and commute, but yeah it's a date....no homo.

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May 18, 2012

Injuries suck. I was sort of like you (not weight wise), but I played soccer all my life and skied. Tore my MCL senior year of soccer (out for the season).I recovered with hopes of college soccer which highly dictated which school I ended up going to. Turns out, blew out my entire knee again skiing (same one) and had surgery. As a result, fired from my job and was very depressed. Recovered again, preseason in college I tore my meniscus in the same knee again. Had a surgery (go to school 1500 miles away from home) which was really tough with school. Couldn't walk on my own for nearly a month and earned terrible marks (2.6). Got better; following summer, tore my meniscus again in summer league while preparing for fall college soccer.

Sounds terrible, but as a result, I said fuck soccer. Since that year when my cum. GPA was 2.9 and had my scholarship revoked and then cut after appeal, have been getting 3.8s and hopefully on my way to finding an IB job next summer after I graduate.

Sometimes the worst things in life are really a blessing in disguise. Great story man. +1

Regards.

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May 18, 2012

@Streetwannabe

I really do think it was a gift now. At the time I hated my life. I loved football and would of had a full ride at some semi-target (no idea what that was at the time) now I was working 60 hours a week to pay tution at a non-target and raise my bros. Still, everyday I get to see my wife I know I came out on top (I hope she reads that lol)

May 18, 2012
paulydreamer:

@Streetwannabe

I really do think it was a gift now. At the time I hated my life. I loved football and would of had a full ride at some semi-target (no idea what that was at the time) now I was working 60 hours a week to pay tution at a non-target and raise my bros. Still, everyday I get to see my wife I know I came out on top (I hope she reads that lol)

I agree, if you're motivated by one thing that is taken away, you'll usually find something else to fill the void. In my case, I think it was a better thing since anyone could see that playing soccer in college is not really a long term life plan.

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May 18, 2012
streetwannabe:
paulydreamer:

@Streetwannabe

I really do think it was a gift now. At the time I hated my life. I loved football and would of had a full ride at some semi-target (no idea what that was at the time) now I was working 60 hours a week to pay tution at a non-target and raise my bros. Still, everyday I get to see my wife I know I came out on top (I hope she reads that lol)

I agree, if you're motivated by one thing that is taken away, you'll usually find something else to fill the void. In my case, I think it was a better thing since anyone could see that playing soccer in college is not really a long term life plan.

Yes, I had a big hole in me when I lost football. In Texas HS football is religion and I actually was a big part of it. I filled the hole up with food but when I found finance it filled the void and had some serious postiive side effects on my life.

May 18, 2012

Wow, absolutely awesome! Mad props to you. +1

May 18, 2012
Anacott_CEO:

Wow, absolutely awesome! Mad props to you. +1

It is awesome how easy it is after you get over the hump. It really helps your confindence aswell, I was shy now I don't shy away from being a leader.

May 18, 2012

Congratulations! being fit is definitely one of the best confidence/self-esteem boosters.

May 18, 2012

OP post your workout with your meal plan

May 18, 2012
go.with.the.flow:

OP post your workout with your meal plan

Well when it came to my diet I really did follow the "Nutritious and delicious" rule. I also knew some basic facts. I would eat more protein and veggies and less carbs. I would also try to eat small meals every 3-5 hours. So I would have a chicken sandwhich minus the mayo but would have mustard. It meet the N&D requirments. I would eat black bean burgers if out at chili's. I just stuck to that rule. If I felt like Taco Bell I would go there and get whatever meet the guide lines.
When I was at work I ate Smart Ones (low calorie tv dinners) and I drank tons of water. I never felt empty because I was filled up on water. The basic thing is it wasnt a diet it was a lifestlye change. I wasnt trying to veggies and shaved ice I would eat what healthy people eat. I just trusted my body would get the idea an turn into a healthy person. I also had the picture in my head that my metobolism was an actual fire buring up fat. You dont want to put to much wood on the fire it chokes it out and it wont burn as much if at all. If your just steady feed the fire with some damn good wood it will burn big and hot.

I did morning cardio. It woke me up (got me away from my Monster engery drinks) and kick started my metobolism so I had it buring all day long. I did HIIW. So, I would hop on my spin bike and do a 2 min warm up the 1min as hard as I could (I mean holding nothing back) then 1 min at a brisk pace then go right back at balls to the wall speed. I would do that for 20 mins (10 if rushed). I would do a quick circuit for each major muscle group. Nothing crazy but high reps (2x30) I just wanted to wake up the groups for a great day. I would do quick transitions into each excersise. My goal wasnt to get strong it was to burn calories. I would then eat something like an egg white scabble. When I had free afternoons I would hit my gym to add mass.

Just ask yourself what would a healthy person do in the situation would he/she eat a cheeseburger or a chicken sandwhich? Would they play COD or be outrunning?

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May 18, 2012

I gained 15 kg this year and your post inspired me a little.
thanks

May 18, 2012
YE777:

I gained 15 kg this year and your post inspired me a little.
thanks

Good to hear buddy. It is to easy to gain weight these days. We have access to quick and tasty but unhealthy food.When I have to go somewhere to get food fast I just get the healthest thing on the menu and tell myself if I still want that double bacon cheesburger after i eat this chicken sandwhich I will order it. After I eat the sandwhich I feel more in control and can say no.

May 18, 2012

Good to hear OP. Had a similar catastrophic event while in college that really sent me into a spiral. But after deep reflection and a refocused mindset, it very much became a blessing in disguise. Besides the daily pain in my knee, I am still very thankful for what happened even though it seemed horrific at the time

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May 18, 2012

I totally feel this story, it relates directly to my life. In high school, I played football as well and tore my ligament in my left elbow and never have been able to fully extend it like I use to. Considering I played LT. But on the issue of weight, after my injury and not playing football my senior year, I put on 60 pounds (now a Senior in College). I'm 5'10 and I weigh 315 pounds. I'm a fat piece of shit who thinks he's still in shape. I smoked cigarettes since I was a sophomore in college and recently quit and haven't had a puff for a month. Finance is changing my life for the better as well. My habits, my outlook, my focus have all sharpened since I found what I'm passionate about.

Congrats on your accomplishments man, I hope to join you in the same category soon

May 18, 2012
madmoney15:

I totally feel this story, it relates directly to my life. In high school, I played football as well and tore my ligament in my left elbow and never have been able to fully extend it like I use to. Considering I played LT. But on the issue of weight, after my injury and not playing football my senior year, I put on 60 pounds (now a Senior in College). I'm 5'10 and I weigh 315 pounds. I'm a fat piece of shit who thinks he's still in shape. I smoked cigarettes since I was a sophomore in college and recently quit and haven't had a puff for a month. Finance is changing my life for the better as well. My habits, my outlook, my focus have all sharpened since I found what I'm passionate about.

Congrats on your accomplishments man, I hope to join you in the same category soon

You will man you got the drive. I was a DT and DE so we should we should arch-enemies lol. Just live healthy if you lose weight great but just strive to have a healthy lifestyle. The people on WSO are great people who have drive. Thats why we are on here because we are winners looking to play the game (some already playing and coaching us up). I was poli sci before I found finance.

May 18, 2012

Good stuff, Pauly. With that attitude and determination you'll have that corner office and hot secretary soon enough. Keep it up.

May 19, 2012

Great post, congrats on finding your way. It's hard for me to understand your perspective as I am under my ideal weight, and am furiously eating + lifting to gain it, but good job to you! I am currently reading Intelligent Investor as well.

May 19, 2012
jgx101:

Great post, congrats on finding your way. It's hard for me to understand your perspective as I am under my ideal weight, and am furiously eating + lifting to gain it, but good job to you! I am currently reading Intelligent Investor as well.

Haha, went through that faze as well. It sucks! I ate so much, lifted a ton, and took supplements but to no results. I actually gained weight when I stopped lifting (and not the bad kind of weight).

May 19, 2012

tl;dr

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May 19, 2012

amen brother. finance is the be all end all. I wouldn't have it any other way.

May 22, 2012
twobitpirate:

amen brother. finance is the be all end all. I wouldn't have it any other way.

If you truly believe that.....you're a lost cause.

Eventus stultorum magister.

May 19, 2012

Don't take this the wrong way, because your story is very inspirational, but isn't 135 lbs way too skinny fo 6'3''?

I'm a couple inches shorter than you and I was as skinny as a rail at 175 lbs.

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

May 19, 2012
Hooked on LEAPS:

Don't take this the wrong way, because your story is very inspirational, but isn't 135 lbs way too skinny fo 6'3''?

I'm a couple inches shorter than you and I was as skinny as a rail at 175 lbs.

He lost 135 lbs

May 19, 2012
YE777:
Hooked on LEAPS:

Don't take this the wrong way, because your story is very inspirational, but isn't 135 lbs way too skinny fo 6'3''?

I'm a couple inches shorter than you and I was as skinny as a rail at 175 lbs.

He lost 135 lbs

Ahh, excuse me I've had a few drinks tonight. I interpreted it as he lost 130 lbs and is now 135 lbs. But that is completely illogical and numerically inaccurate.

Sorry.

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

May 19, 2012

Amazing story OP! SB'd

May 19, 2012

Wait, so... What do you weigh now? 315 pounds?

Keep at it, man. You're already more than halfway to your goal.

May 19, 2012

Wow I made it to main WSO! Yeah I am a lil under 315 but I have the frame for it. I would say I have a body like Mike Golic (ESPN) right now. So I am back at my high school football weight at the age of 28. I am actually wearing my old school Tommy Hillfiger shirts :) I am still not done 215 will happen its not even in question I feel no urges to cheat if anything my urges are to be healthier and better. Thanks for all the kind words. I like knowing I inspired some people. I use to be a 457 pound poli sci major with shoulder length hair and a 4 inch long gotee (I did play guitar for a few rock bands). The same day I decided I wanted to be a PM I went and got my flow cut. I wanted to dress and act the way a future PM would.

On the secretary front: I already have one and she is great. Its funny because I am in PWM and not a fan of my job but I do have a personal assistant (who is making a me latte for me as I write). I have all these perks but I would give them all up for AM.

May 19, 2012

This is the kind os story I like to hear. I love people who screw up and change themselves instead of complaining about life being unfair and crying all day. You are a fighter, which is no1 quality in a person if you ask me. You are the kind of guy I'd love to work with.
Keep at it and keep setting goals for yourself, don't forget about that. For myself it was running, first 5k, then 10k, then a half marathon, then a marathon. My goal is to run an ultramarathon (100km) by the time I'm 35. I've been in this shit for 5 years and like you said, after 6 months it actually becomes easy and the part of the day I look forward too.

May 19, 2012
Maximus Decimus Meridius:

This is the kind os story I like to hear. I love people who screw up and change themselves instead of complaining about life being unfair and crying all day. You are a fighter, which is no1 quality in a person if you ask me. You are the kind of guy I'd love to work with.
Keep at it and keep setting goals for yourself, don't forget about that. For myself it was running, first 5k, then 10k, then a half marathon, then a marathon. My goal is to run an ultramarathon (100km) by the time I'm 35. I've been in this shit for 5 years and like you said, after 6 months it actually becomes easy and the part of the day I look forward too.

Thanks man. An ultramarathon sounds intense! I love pushing myself

May 20, 2012

SB'd, awesome post...just as unhealthy living can become an addiction, so can healthy living! Congrats on your transformation brotha, I know you will get 215.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

May 21, 2012

I'd like to echo what everyone else said. Congratulations on turning your life around and thank you for having the courage to share your story.

Howard Schwartz

See my WSO blog

May 21, 2012

I wasnt expecting this kind of response. Thank you all. It feels great knowing my life can be used as an example. I am going to look into starting a club (or somthing) to help overweight teens in the area.

May 22, 2012

the kids that post on this site are so damned dramatic

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May 23, 2012
mdk6c:

the kids that post on this site are so damned dramatic

Sometimes, yes

May 23, 2012

Great story, thanks for posting!

May 25, 2012

Great post, and congrats on the marriage!

May 25, 2012

Great story! That's awesome, way to do a total 180, congrats on the girl too!

May 25, 2012
xc48cross:

Great story! That's awesome, way to do a total 180, congrats on the girl too!

Thanks alot. She is this best part and the reason it was worth it

May 25, 2012

Congratulations man!

May 25, 2012

I too was fat as a child and then when i went to college i was depressed and lost all my weight + i swam/workout a lot.

YAY DEPRESSION IT RLY WORKS LOLZZZ!!!!

Nov 21, 2012

Thanks for sharing this. We need more stories about 'this is how I got out of my slump' instead of 'woe is me my life sucks for reasons completely under my control'.

Nov 21, 2012

Nice story! Kind of funny how finance usually takes life (social aspect) away from majority of the people

Nov 26, 2012

Very nice work PaulyDreamer! I'm curious as to which part of the book exactly sparked your weight loss?

~~ Fortune favours the brave ~~

My WSO Blog

Nov 26, 2012

Great story!

Aug 5, 2013

Good one - (AA meetings anyone)

Oct 9, 2014

How can your really be happy if you can't even look at yourself in the mirror? Way to be disciplined!

Nov 20, 2014

good luck and congrats Im sure it will all be better

Aug 6, 2015

Excellent post. I lost a lot of weight too once (not as much as you did), and man, it does feel great! Good for you.

Aug 6, 2015

"it's not a diet just eating right" is good

Don't listen to anyone, everybody is scared.

Aug 6, 2015
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