The Health Freak Geek

I was born and raised in Georgia in the Marietta/Austell area, north west Metro Atlanta, to David and Shirley (yes, I’m a junior). The oldest of three boys, I have two younger brothers: Phillip and Taylor. I’ve lived in roughly the same area my entire life until a few years ago when I branched slightly further out to Kennesaw, Ga.

I’ve held a few jobs in my life from working on trucks, to retail, as well as my more recent positions in the tech industry.

Currently, I live in Kennesaw, Ga with my two cats: Queenie and Google. I’m the Senior Front End Developer at What’s Up Interactive, do plenty of freelance work, and entertain myself and a few others with this site as well.

My Health Adventure

As a kid I was chunky/husky (call it what you will). I thinned out a bit in high school but not much. I guess you could say I never lost my “baby fat”, hahaha. Manual labor jobs and retail kept me fairly stable, not healthy but stable. After leaving retail I made a push to get into the tech field (the field I was going to school for). I got a position: behind a desk, doing software/hardware QA, and eating the same things I had for years. My diet was similar to how I had grown up: fried foods, greasy foods, sweets, lots of cheese, white rice, white flour, little fresh veggies, etc.

I think its obvious that being seditary and continuing with a poor (a typical) diet I was bound to grow more outward than upward. Of course at the time I didn’t really see the problem I was having.

A few years ago my father was admitted to the hospital where they found 3 blockages in his heart: 98%, 90%, and 85%. These resulted in an emergency triple bypass. This time was rough on the family, primarily my mom.A few things contributed to my wake up call:

  • Watching my dad go through his heart surgery and the pain it caused him.
  • Family visiting him all pointed out I was starting to look like my dad even more, pointing at my belly.
  • Seeing a photo of myself with my gut in my lap.

I made a drastic change in my diet and life style. I also begin doing research and taking advise from Hope to really make the most impact to my health. I started following some simple mantra: Eat Right. Eat Often. Move.

  • Eat real non-processed food
    • No white rice
    • No white flour
    • No white sugar
  • Eat my fruits and veg everyday
  • Eat 5 times a day (plus supplements post workout)
    • 3 meals
    • 2 snacks
  • Use the gym to my advantage
    • Do cardio and weights
    • Always do cardio last or at different times of the day

It took me about a year and half to drop the weight. I went from around 300lbs to about 160lbs currently. I never went on a fad diet such as Atkins, low carb, paleo, high protein / low fat, and such. Never did any “get thin quick” schemes. I did my research on how the body processes food, how the body fuels itself, and understood that if I eat real food I get everything I need naturally. My calories were always correct, my protein intake was what I needed, I started getting all my vitamins. I FELT GREAT.

You have no idea how bad you feel when you don’t feel bad anymore.

Geek Cred

I got into computers when my dad bought our first computer when I was in middle school. I don’t recall the specs but I remember it was “pizza box” with Windows 3.1, a 15″ CRT monitor, and a 56K moden (start of the art, wouldn’t you say?). I spent hours on AOL learning about everything I could about how this machine worked. Playing around I came across QBasic and starting writing small text based programs.

I toyed around with web design and development as well as understanding hardware and software all through high school. In my senior year I took a programming class were we learned some pascal and C++. It was then that I told my teacher that I wanted to be a programmer one day (not that he was that convinced at my ability).

In 2001 I started at Kennesaw State University persuing a degree in Computer Science. A year and a half in I started to become discouraged. I had expected to be making amazing things in school, really learning how to create with this machine that had become part of my everyday life. Instead we were building lists and arrays then learning ways to arrange them and output them to the screen. After a long talk with department head he advised I change majors to Information Systems since I was more interested in web development, network administration, and general computing. I gradutated with the IS degree in 2008.

My last year at KSU I started QA work with a company that made hardware and software for kids. I gained a greater respect for quality in a product as well as the process involved in delivering creations to a customer/client. Also, I had been doing freelance web design and development for the past few years, honing my skills there as well.

I left the QA position as the result of companies that bought our proucts become cautious after the economy crumbled. After 6 months of hunting I scored a position as a web master with Chattahoochee Technical College. I learned much more there being in charge of all the web design, front end development, and back end development. Basically doing the job for a 4 man team on a daily basis.

After 3 years as a web master I took a role at What’s Up Interactive. My new is currently “Sr. Front End Developer”. I’m happy to finally be working with a team and creating really cool ideas with pasionate people.

My journey so far hasn’t been very long but I look forward to what’s next.