That picture you see of me in my profile, the one I use as my brand image, is from 2011--4 years and 40 pounds ago.
Thank God that's the photo that stuck.
The main reason I haven't updated my photo is because it has become my brand. My logo so-to-speak. But ... I'd be lying if I didn't say that it also represents the person I want to physically represent me.
A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to be a guest on Mixergy with Andrew Warner. I've been a big fan of his show for many years, so it was an absolute honor to take part in it.
During the interview, in a lighthearted fashion, I put my hands on my stomach and mentioned that this is what four years of entrepreneurship and failure does to you.
I was being facetious.
The truth is, it wasn't entrepreneurship or failure that did it, it was me. I've consciously made the decision to put exercise and healthy eating on the back burner.
It's hard to eat healthy when you travel. I've got too many things to do today to go to the gym (or run). I'm on a boot-strapped budget, I can't afford to eat healthy. Dadbods are sexy now.
It's whatever excuse I can conjure up to justify the fact that I'm not doing right by me.
But, it's not just my health that's been affected, it's also my business.
I suck as a chubby entrepreneur.
In 2011, I was on top of my game. Ideas were flowing and things were getting done. I felt good and was extremely confident. Not surprisingly, this was the time that I started Wahooly, which had as much momentum as I had energy.
What IS surprising is that, in addition to my full-time job, I was also building a company in my spare time and yet, I still had time to be stay healthy.
That's how I know that, no matter what excuse I make, I'm full of shit.
Lately I've realized that, for me, my weight gain has had a massive negative impact on my performance as an entrepreneur.
Loss of Energy
When I was eating right and exercising, I was accomplishing so much more. When I ate like crap, I felt like crap. Both mentally and physically. Every task seemed exhausting.
After consuming a 2,000 calorie lunch, there is nothing more I want to do than put on headphones and fall into a YouTube rabbit hole for the afternoon.
As my weight has increased, lethargic afternoons had started to become a staple of my routine.
This has resulted in missed deadlines, work piling up and just general mental debilitation.
Dressing like a slob
I'll be honest with you, I haven't worn dress pants in the past two years. Partially because I don't have to, but mainly because they don't fit. I've refused to move up a size in pants, because in my mind, that's conceding to chubbiness.
Plus, as I've gotten bigger, shopping for clothes has become demoralizing, so I've stuck with the classics. Which aren't skinny jeans (or dress pants).
Consequently, when I need to dress nice, I tend to class up a jean wardrobe.
Loss of confidence
I'm self-conscience, I'll admit it. I tend to worry too much about what other people think.
Regardless, skinny Dana was full of confidence. Chubby Dana is less pushy and more accepting of defeat.
Nothing crushes your confidence more than worrying about your man boobs while speaking in front of a room of people.
Loss of creativity
Creativity has always been my strong suit, so it's hard to watch it dissipate.
The truth of the matter is, many of my thoughts and ideas have come about when I've been able to clear my mind of distractions. Running has always been that channel for me.
Obviously, running sucks when you're overweight. It's not meditative or mind-clearing, it's excruciating.
Without that outlet, I've really struggled to find the mental space to be creative.
This isn't a weight loss story, it's a weight loss revelation. One that's driving me to better behaviors. I'm still chubby, but back on the road to confidence and creativity.