Hi, Ben here, and I’m on a mission to not be fat when I‘m 42. To do that I’ve partnered with Profile by Sanford and I want to take you with me on my journey.

I've been on this Profile journey for almost a year now. It has been one of the most exciting and eye-opening experiences in my life. It's like a person's first year at college, or a few months living and working in a different part of the country; you don't really notice the big changes in yourself until you stop and reflect.

In the spring of 2017 I was at the heaviest I had ever been, close to 320 pounds. I'm just about six feet tall (5' 11'' but I'll stretch for that last little bit) and I'm not a NFL lineman, so that weight was very unhealthy on me. I got serious about doing something about my weight. One of the triggers was when my daughter was watching a home video from the last Christmas that I'd recorded, and I could hear myself gasping for air like I'd just ran a marathon.

I was noticing other things like that, and getting signals from my 40 year-old body that I was coming to a crossroads. I could continue living like I had been, but I'd probably only get to do so for a handful of more years. Or I could get my act together and have at least another 40 years. So between a little bit of FOMO and not wanting to burden my kids with a sickly parent if I could help it, I searched for a solution. I'd know about Profile, and when my doctor recommended it to me I figured it was time to give it a go.

After nearly a year on the program, my life is very much changed. Here's some of the things I've learned.

I need far less food then I ever thought.

I have a hard time thinking of myself as a grown-up. In my mind's eye I am still 23 and working in retail and restaurants. My body needs, and can burn off 3000 calories everyday. But, in reality even if my mind has yet to catch up, my body is definitely that of a man in his 40's that works in an office environment. Profile has taught me that I do not need to eat all that much, and that what I eat is far more important than I realized. Portion control, meal planning, eating more vegetables, and reading labels are all part of my life now. It's not at all as hard as I thought it would be, and the benefits are enormousness.

To not be obsessed with food, I have to think about food.

I don't like to eat. I know I used to carry about 200 little pieces of evidence to the contrary, but stopping to eat or taking the time to prepare a meal used to feel like such a hassle. But, that attitude lead to an obsession with food. Eat this, eat all of that, eat, eat, eat!

Our bodies have an instinct to conserve energy and store calories for later use. In other words, left to its own devices the body will seek to be lazy and consume. If I didn't start the week with a meal plan I very well could not eat on Monday and gorge myself on Tuesday, all while not doing any real physical activity. The rest of the time I'd eat whatever I could find, regardless of the nutrition. I actually remember convincing myself that a bottle of soda would be a fine meal replacement. Hey, it has water and sugar, it'll work.

Profile has taught me that a little planning goes a long way. Each week I go into things knowing what and when I'm eating each day. So I finally get what I want; to not having to think about food all the time.

Losing pounds is easy; Changing your mind is the challenge.

Eat less and move more and you will lose weight. But, what comes after is where the challenge is. It took working with my Profile coaches and being on the program for me to change how I think. Change how I react to stress; to create positive assistance (like working out) instead of negative crutches (eating all the chips. Not just a bag; all the chips). I'm going into my second year of change with so many new tools to make sure that the next 40 years are as enjoyable as possible.

With my coaches' help I know that food is only fuel for my body, not anything else. It's not love, it doesn't solve any problems, and it's not fun. Sure eating exciting meals at a cool place is one thing, but the life I was living was not that. I am not a chef that need to taste everything in the kitchen. I was stuffing my body with junk. One hamburger, once in a while is a treat. Like my parents tried to teach me. Three hamburgers three time a week is problem. No matter how good that first one was.

This has been a hard journey. But, if it wasn't hard I would not have learned anything. I am far better equipped to continue losing weight and living healthy into the future. I would not be on this better path if not for Profile.

Keep up with Ben's journey by bookmarking Ben's blog. Got a question or comment? Connect on Twitter or email at ben@hot1047.com.

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