A coder’s honest account of the bumpy road traveled to living healthy…

If 20 year old me saw 42 year old me’s squishy size 10 body, she’d kick my ass.  But, all I would have to do to get away from her is run about a block away.  See 20 year old me (we called her Smokey McSmokerson) smoked 2 packs & drank ~8 Mt. Dews a day!  Wow, it was a good time!  I was EXTREMELY AWAKE at all times!  Awake enough to drink Jagger Bombs all night, get into trouble, and get up to work the next day (seriously, how did I function?!).  I always told myself that I wouldn’t smoke past 30.  It was all fun and games in your 20s, but having a father that STILL smoked, I thought, “That’s just silly”.  Well, my doctor told me that I would have to quit when I was 28.  I had very bad hypertension (that reached it’s peak of 155/115 after a particularly fun night of Jagger Bombs).  It was time.  I knew from the previous attempt to quit (I made it 6 months), that I would get fat and I would just have to be okay with that for my health’s sake.  ANY substitute was better than cigarettes.  I gave up Mt. Dew with the smoking (they were just too synonymous). And I didn’t have a drink for 2 weeks (which was a SERIOUSLY big commitment in my 20s). I did it!  And after 16 years of smoking I’m so happy to say that I haven’t had a cigarette in 13 years and I never plan to go back.

I did get fat. 40 lbs. fatter exactly.  I never had to diet?!  I was a cheerleader, track runner, gymnast, that worked out regularly (remember, I was EXTREMELY AWAKE).  So, being a nerd, I wanted to do it right. I researched.  And at the time, Jenny Craig offered nutrition classes with their program. It was GREAT!  I learned about the food pyramid, calories in / out, and through their program, I was able to drop all but that last 5 – 10 lbs.  I became a lifetime member and have returned many times over the years (after the holidays, the birth of my daughter, before vacations) to help me maintain a healthy weight through diet. 

Let’s talk more about that ‘nerd’ part.  I was a smart kid, but boys, fun and partying were way more important as a kid. I found that as I settled down (stopped being dangerously awake all the time, settled into a great job, and met the love of my life), I stopped moving.  I’m pretty good at not letting my weight get out of control through food, but I LOVE my work, I LOVE my laptop, I LOVE my code!  I’ve seriously been on romantic dates with just my laptop to code in the evenings and have a nice glass of wine. And when I tear myself away from that laptop, I feel compelled to look my daughter in the eye and do whatever she wants until bed time.


So, MOVING has been my challenge for the last few years.  I’m still struggling to find that motivation.  I’ve at least realized that it’s not about convenience (I have a free lifetime membership to 3 gyms, a great gym across the road, and another in my BASEMENT), it’s about priorities. My most recent efforts involve Fit Livin’ and (a very judgmental) Fitbit. I AM moving more!  But I (literally) have a long way to go.

Tiffany is Director of Apprenticeship at Eleven Fifty Academy, President at Trusty Applications and Board Member at Women and Hi Tech