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The following is an excerpt from FAT MAN WALKING :Lessons in Loss, a book chronicling Jay’s journey from 460 pounds following weight loss surgery and a dramatic lifestyle change. 

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As a guy who has built a career helping other people tell their stories the task of setting out to write my own is rather intimidating.  Since I started this journey I’ve been aware that the change in me has been worth documenting in some way.

From my website and the weight loss blog I learned early on in this process that words have an ability to help other people, to find them at just the right moment in their life to mean something – to inspire, to inform, sometimes even to challenge. As I set out to write the blog or shoot a video each week I’ve always thought about who might be reading my words or seeing my video.  That’s different with a book.  As I set out to write this my words lack the context of time and place.  I don’t know who is reading this or when.

The blogs really were like confessionals.  Week after week on that site I spilled out the end result of seven days of living this new way. The challenges, the opportunities, the successes and struggles are all there – week in and week out – ready to be taken for just what they are.  But here in this book I’m hoping to give it all more context.  So much of this weight loss challenge has been about gaining perspective on my life – where I am, where I want to be, what I want to accomplish, and how I plan on making that happen.  Keeping all of that in mind every step of the way has been a challenge all by itself.

My goal in writing this isn’t to sell anyone on weight loss surgery, or convince anyone that healthy living is easy.  My goal with this book, and with everything I’ve done since I started this challenge, is to hope it reaches someone who is reading it with a head full of wrong ideas about themselves and their life.  That’s where I was when all of this began. I had lost all perspective on my own life.  This challenge, with every passing day and every pound lost, has helped me see where I fit.  The real world is much bigger than the one I was living in at 460 pounds.  I hope these pages help you see that life is bigger than you believe it to be, and help you take the first steps to getting out of your own way.