This is the incredible story of Jeff Pulver. One beyond 140 characters. It’s the story about his personal struggle to bypass the bypass, about hacking his behaviour patterns, circumventing surgery and rebooting his mind, body and soul.
In short, when Jeff realised that his weight was getting out of control – and he couldn’t see his own feet anymore - his cardiologist recommended him a bypass surgery. Considering the intervention, his friend Mel Rosenberg urged him to “bypass the bypass” and take real action himself. Ultimately, he decided to change his lifestyle and hack his own behaviour. Today, Jeff Pulver is the Foursquare mayor of his gym in NYC, he has lost incredible weight and gained mental and physical strength in return. It is for this reason why Jeff has decided to refocus the 2013 #140conf on: Health, Wellness, Fitness and Food while also looking at fitness gadgets, mobile apps and related technologies. The event is now called: "State of YOU." The conference will bring together some doctors, book authors, people from the fitness, tech and wellness industry, some foodies and healthcare professionals as well as people who have also been on a similar journey.
But read yourself, this is the story of his journey:
I've been aware of my weight issue for a long time. Over the years, when friends suggested I exercise, I would likely suggest the only exercise I did was "exercise judgment." And I used to think I was managing things well, until February, 2012. The fact that I spent years feeling pain daily was something I kept to myself.
By late April 2012, it felt like my weight was starting to spiral out of control. One thing lead to another and by early June as I was doing the last minute work on the 2012 State of NOW Conference, I convinced myself the only way to fight this was to opt for gastric bypass surgery. I went so far to get sign-off from my primary care doctor for the surgery. The reality is that gastric bypass surgery is a surgery of last resort. It was explained to me the surgery should be considered by someone with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or more (which was me), and only after failing with diet and exercise. The kicker was I never engaged in exercise in my adult life. So I started doing some soul searching from mid-June thru mid-July 2012 and I eventually decided to by-pass the by-pass. In doing so, I knew I had to engage in something dramatic. I had to find a way to reboot myself and become someone who enjoys exercising in the gym, watching their weight and cared about their diet.
I decided to set a life goal of losing at least 100 pounds (45 Kilos) and admitted to myself a desire to be able to do a one-armed pushup on the stage of the 92nd Street Y at the State of YOU conference. Crazy, I know. Or so I thought.
One of my immediate goals was to start building muscle. By building muscle, I would be able to burn more calories during the day without having to do much. And I choose July 24, 2012 as the day I would start to engage in what can be best described as an intense exercise regimen. So…with the help of a few close friends, something special and amazing has been happening to me ever since.
Geo Geller spent time with Jeff and filmed a background video about his journey.
The First Move
When I first started exercising, my workouts did not last more than 10 to 15 minutes. I think the first day of exercise lasted maybe 7 minutes. I had no stamina and no strength. Back then, I was exercising in a local park and what I thought would be simple and easy exercises were quite difficult for me. The early exercise days were hard and frustrating. But over time I started to see and feel results. Weight started to disappear. Along the same time, I started teaching myself Tai Chi and I have been using the warm-up Tai Chi exercises as a way to give balance to the start of my days.
I first starting working out in a gym at the end of August, 2012. It was at the gym that I started to focus on both cardio and weight training. My first couple of weeks on the treadmill I had trouble lasting more than 10 minutes.
When I finally felt comfortable, I started sharing short videos on a sometimes daily basis with my friends on Facebook which I took before, during or after my visits to the gym. I also posted photos and reading lists filled with healthy lifestyle and diet books. Much to my surprise I received a lot of feedback and friends started to share their stories with me. My facebook feed is starting to become a hub for people talking about their own journeys and sharing health tips. I still have a long way to go but I wanted to share what I am doing at this moment in my life in case someone else may also be thinking about making a change. Everyone wants to be healthy and when someone is making an effort, more often than not the feedback is usually positive. Tapping into this community is part of the reason I am so excited about this conference.
It has taken everything I can give to get to where I am and I only hope to continue to have the strength to get to achieve my goals. I have no regrets for pushing myself into this personal reboot, except for not having the courage for giving this a try sooner. Each morning when I wake up and get ready to go to the gym I keep on reminding myself that every journey starts with a first step. It is because of this journey that I have decided to create a new conference, State of NOW, (#140YOU) to focus on: Health, Fitness, Wellness and Food while also looking at technology, social and spirituality.
The #140YOU conference is taking place June 18-19, 2013 in New York City at the 92nd St Y. You can review the conference schedule over at: 140you.me. Whether or not Jeff executes his one armed push-up – we are totally confident in his powers – the whole team at DLD is touched by his impressive journey and happy to see a good friend in such great shape.