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About me

I've been overweight most of my life.

In 1987, not yet forty years old, I achieved the material goals I'd been working for all my life. The company I founded, Autodesk, Inc., had achieved a commanding position in its industry, enriching me beyond the bounds of even my perfervid imagination. I'd handed the management over to willing and capable people and returned full-time to the work I love most, programming and writing. I'd moved to a beautiful house on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, shared with my intelligent, resourceful, and attractive wife.

What's wrong with this picture? Well, I was fat as a hawg and in lousy shape. I hadn't exercised since high school. I'd lost some weight once in the mid 1970s, but put it all back on in less than a year.

Life has a way of evening things out. And, I figured, dropping dead before forty would balance out a great deal of the success I'd clawed from the flinty soil of life. What a drag.

So, there was nothing for it but to shed all those pounds I'd packed on through the stressful years of starting, growing, and running a company. ``If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.'' I'm an engineer. I decided to approach weight loss as an engineering problem.

I studied the human body the way I'd tackle a misbehaving electronic circuit or computer program: develop a model of how it works, identify the controls that affect it, and finally adjust those controls to set things aright.

It worked. In less than a year, totally under my own direction and without any drugs or gimmicks, I went from 215 pounds to 145 and achieved physical fitness. Since then, I've kept my weight right where I want it with none of the yoyo swings I'd suffered in the past. All of this was accomplished in less than 15 minutes a day, and without any significant changes in the way I choose to live my life.

What's more, I came to understand the game of weight control. Confidence, founded in understanding and confirmed by success, makes maintaining an ideal weight far more likely. What I discovered was so simple, so obvious, yet so profound and useful I decided to make the tools that worked for me available to everybody. So I wrote this book.

I lost weight recently enough to remember clearly what dieting involves but long enough ago to be confident I have a way to avoid gaining it back. I understand what you've gone through trying to lose weight previously. I know what lies ahead. I've been there. It's worth it.

Next Up Previous Contents Index
Next: About the computer Up: Introduction Previous: About you

By John Walker