Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bodfather: The Jury's Still Out...

Subject #2 in the "Bodfather"
Witness Reduction Program: Laurie

Height: 5'6"
Starting weight: 240  
Current weight: 232
Loss: 8 lbs.

What happens when a lawyer is made godfather? 
. . . He makes you an offer you can't understand.

What can a goose do that a duck can't do that a lawyer won't do? 
. . . Stick his bill up his ass.

What's black and brown and looks good on a lawyer? 
. . . Two dobermans!

Pretty soon after Laurie–the second participant in my “Bodfather” program–got started, I began having misgivings.

First off, Laurie’s a lawyer, and when has anything to do between an attorney and me ever gone the way I wanted it to?

Secondly, Laurie’s heart didn’t really seem to be in it.

She was busy.

She didn’t have time to eat right, her career kept her hopping too much to exercise.


I object!

I had to get a teensy-weensy bit testy with Laurie because I didn’t like a lot of what I was hearing from her:

And I'll go ahead and say this right to your face: get your priorities straight! A career is important, to be sure, but don't relegate taking care of yourself down the list. Yesterday I was working on a project with an afternoon deadline that I was woefully behind on. My first impulse was to skip my noontime workout and knock the project out, but at the last minute I said "F that" and went and did my thang, trusting that I work even better under pressure (well, maybe not "better" but definitely "faster"). It all worked out in the end AND I got my workout in. I know that law can be an intense profession, but you're not gonna be in any shape to enjoy those big bucks you're pulling in unless you make some big-time changes in your life. 

I thought about all the people looking for assistance that I had turned down, and I was getting ready to really let Laurie have it with both barrels. Because that’s what I envisioned this whole “Bodfather” business being about anyway… about having someone to shine a light on you, someone to hold you accountable even when you start second-guessing yourself.  Someone to make you do this, and do it right!

I’m not even sure if the “Bodfather” participants realize how serious I am about this, but if they start slacking off on me, I’m prepared to publicly wear them out (and I encourage you to join me in the beatdown).

But for now, Laurie seems to have straightened herself out. After a no-loss weigh-in to start things off, starting enjoying a little success on the scale. She’s still having issues with time management and food, but she’s starting to see signs of a down-the-road payoff already and has been chronicling her struggles and successes on her own blog.

“I can't believe that food had me in tears at one point,” she told me recently. “It's really embarrassing.  And I am so confused as to why it is so hard.  I am confused because I feel better. You are so right, that energy is starting to come back. After starting to take 10-20 minute walks at lunch or, if meeting, in the afternoon, I feel so much better. People have begun to notice the energy (I talk really fast when I have energy...you are probably a figure of dislike at my office now). And my skin is clearing up. I knew it had a lot to do with sugar and as soon as I stopped eating candy and made the effort to read labels, it started clearing up.

“My clothes are already fitting a little better. I still creak, still not all that flexible, but I can smoke a 1 mile walk now. I have climbed to 15 minutes on the elliptical in one week. And I can get up from a chair without using the arms.

“All in all, everything is changing for the better. I wish I could figure out why, when all of these GREAT things are happening, I have so many moments during every single day of wanting to quit, wanting to eat crap? I suppose the most honest answer is, of course I am fighting every single day. I spent over 20 years giving in every single day. That gremlin is not going to be silenced by a few days of being denied.

 “Scientists have found that what we call will-power (the strength to say no) has to be built up like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger and more automatic it gets. It's why it takes a dedicated smoker multiple times to quit. And it's why a dedicated weight loss person usually has to go through a lot of crap in the beginning phases. People give up because they don't realize that it will get easier, that they are building toward something."

Laurie got off to a slow and unsteady start, but she’s catching her stride now.

What do you get when you cross an overweight lawyer with a positive life change?

I don’t know, but we’re gonna find out…



  1. Laurie, You're where I was physically (maybe mentally too) about a year ago. We're the same height and we started out at about the same weight. I still have another 30 pounds to go, but the pieces are falling into place. Hang tough girlfriend. You'll get there if you want it badly enough.

  2. Keep at it Laurie, we know you can do it!!!

  3. Laurie...GO GO and don't give up! Things get easier, and soon you will find that you will not be overpowered by food.

    Don't give in Laurie...don't disappoint...The Family. :p

  4. Go, Laurie, Go! You will be a better lawyer and a better person as you continue down this path.

  5. This is a fantastic post, thank you Jack and Laurie. I actually wrote a blog post today with a similar question to you Laurie, how do i remain positive and remember that change is positive?
    Jack, you may not have chosen me for your programme, but thank you so much for this article, and your tips. I will be bookmarking this to read again and again


  6. You can do it, Laurie! Weight loss is a mental journey as well as a physical one. As you shed fat you also shed mental baggage. It's worth it.

    Jack, maybe someday you'll consider choosing *all* of us and give us weekly goals, tips and challenges? :)

  7. Right now, I am sooooo stinking close to getting my 70 pounds lost. (I came from 238) What I couldn't understand was why that I wanted it so bad, and yet every time I turned around, I was sabotagging myself! Now, getting closer to my goal than ever (and sooooo close to the finish line) I STILL struggle with it. Why does crap food have to taste so darn good?
    Keep hanging in there, Laurie, and know that the closer you get, the more worth it the fight is.
    Right now, you are in the court room, laying out your opening statements/arguments. As the case becomes more and more involved, you will start looking at how all the pieces fit together (or don't fit). Truth and self control become your reliable witnesses, which will be great because you gain a lot more than weight loss on this journey. You get to know who you really are inside. By closing statements, you will come to the conclusion you've been looking for. That conclusion is YOU CAN DO THIS.
    The "Family" is backing you on this one. Use your connections, and don't back down!
    Big hugs!

  8. Great job Laurie!! I too am an attorney and know how hard the job can be when it comes to prioritizing your time -- when the deadlines aren't artifical but court-driven and you simply HAVE to meet them. This is my busy time of the year; I'm working six days a week and will soon go to seven through January 3 -- the most exercise I get during that time is falling in and out of bed!

  9. Jack and Laurie - More power to you both. Laurie, I'm so glad Jack is supportive enough to give a reality check about the importance of taking care of yourself. Life and supersonic careers will always be busy, and healthier habits will give you that extra burst of energy to go to the next level professionally too. So when you are preparing your acceptance speech for the Supreme Court, make sure you mention Jack on that day too!

  10. Awesome. It's the Christmas season and our office is receiving baked goodies every day. This blog entry stopped a butter cookie issue today. Thanks Jack, a kick in the a** is exactly what I need.

  11. Great job Laurie!!! Congrats on the loss! And Jack I too hope you will someday choose us *all* and give weekly challenges, goals, and tips!!!!

  12. The difficulty of it and the emotions of it really ARE confusing. Food can do so much to us.

  13. Woohoo for Laurie! Or, is that an appropriate thing to say to a lawyer? Oh well, you get the gist. Remember, you went through law school and passed the bar ... YOU CAN DO THIS! Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com



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