Lost almost 100 pounds, holy crap!
I came into the 2010s, not liking what I saw in the mirror. I struggled with my weight since puberty and hit my lowest point around 2011 at an incredibly out of shape 335 pounds.
The turn-around was prompted by a new friend from work, who would become one of my closest pals. After he went through a rough breakup, he used the situation as fuel to improve his life and inspired me to do the same. We started lifting together, and I started dieting. Magical what strictly counting calories can do for you!
Went from falling over trying to squat a 45-pound bar to being able to squat 465 😱
Once I lost so much weight, a new friend from the gym who would also become one of my closest pals invited me to lift with him and some of his friends. These were all seasoned powerlifting competitors, and training with them gave me the confidence to compete in my first powerlifting meet.
Once I got a taste for it, powerlifting became a core part of my life. Some people meditate by sitting and quietly breathing, while I center myself trying to move hundreds of pounds.
I learned that spending more than you make is less than ideal, and how crushing credit card debt can be. As part of my general “be better” plan, I worked hard to undo the mistakes of the previous decade, and thankfully haven’t carried a credit card balance since.
Once the worst financial offense was out of the way, I took steps to automate my finances and plan ahead. I saved up an emergency fund for the first time ever, and enough money to buy myself some freedom.
I lived my entire life in the same suburbs I was born and raised, I even went to a college that was a fifteen-minute drive from my childhood home. I had significantly improved my quality of life in the previous few years, but I was still in a funk.
To fix that, I knew I had to push myself out of my comfort zone. With the help of some great friends and the money I saved up, I made the move to New York City and got a great new job at Vimeo.
It took a frustratingly long time for me to learn how to solve problems with code, a fact made all the more frustrating by going to college for Computer Science. I blame it on the problems being too abstract, but nothing ever clicked. Thankfully, that changed when I started my internship that eventually morphed into my first programming job.
Then it took most of the decade for me to become adequate at solving problems with code. Mostly thanks to the massive amount of patience and guidance from so many people across three different companies. I’ll also give myself a bit of credit for finally investing in myself through technical books and online courses, and to Ramit Sethi for inspiring me to do it!
We started off the decade as long-time best friends, neither having intentions for anything more than that!
Somehow the stars aligned, and we ended up both single, going to a mutual friend’s wedding together as friends, then leaving that weekend as a couple.
Though our timing could have been better since we started dating shortly after she moved back to Albany and I had moved to NYC.
Same girl! I knew I was going to marry her as soon as we started dating, the benefit of a decade of friendship prior. I just needed time to save up for a ring. 💸
Becoming a remote engineer wasn’t the original plan. When I made the decision to move back upstate, I had only been at Blue Apron a little over a year, and they had no remote application engineers.
I talked to my manager about moving and asked if they would be willing to let me continue working for Blue Apron as their first fully remote application engineer. Thankfully, he was very supportive, and after some logistical discussions, we made it happen.
It’s been almost four years at this point, and the arrangement has worked out very well for everyone involved. Who knows what the years will bring, but I can’t imagine working in an office full time ever again.
Putting financial planning, and some luck, to work, I was able to pay off all of my student loans and my car.
I didn’t expect how freeing it would feel, but getting rid of all of my debt was a massive weight off my shoulders.
I wouldn’t recommend it.
This, I highly recommend.
I would rate having a child as the best thing I’ve done, second only to dating and marrying my best friend.
But the real decade was the friends (and babies?) we made along the way.