Me at the finish of the 2012 Disney Half MarathonI am an Information Technologist who specializes in the integration of web technologies to corporate business systems to foster system interoperability and enable effective information sharing and collaboration across business entities.  I have been working in the IT field since 1980 and love all things 'tech'.

So what motivated me to start this journey (and blog about it)...

I started this journey towards a healthier, leaner person back in May 2010 when I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and weighed over 350 pounds.  The diagnosis was a shock to both me and my doctor, and after a detailed discussion about the effects of diabetes on the body over time, it was clear to me that I needed to make some serious life changes immediately.

The heavier version of myself at Christmas 2009So I joined Weight Watchers the very next week, and in January 2011, I reactivated my LifeTime Fitness membership and began to work out 3-5 times a week.  The photo at the top right is what I look like today (100+ pounds lighter).  The photo to the left side is where I was when I started.

I still have plenty of work ahead of me -- this journey is still a work in progress -- but I have come this far and intend to continue.  I want to lose another 60 pounds to bring my total weight loss to at least 160 pounds.  And I want to reach several milestones, including running a Full Marathon, and fit into the suit I was married in more than 15 years ago. I have already run two Half Marathons in 2012 and recently joined the ranks of the Half Fanatics (member #1852).

Why the Blog?  Two reasons: 1) To document the journey make me 'own' the process and is a way to keep myself accountable to it, and 2) To share the experience so that others may be encouraged to take their own journey.  I figured if I can start this process at my level of obesity and at my age (51), then so can others.

What else about me?  Well, when I am not working, I am a Youth Minister with the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and my local parish St. Mary Episcopal Church.  I love sharing my faith with young people of all ages, helping them to gain a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.  It has been a passion of mine for over 20 years.

I was born in Chicago, Illinois where I lived until moving to Los Angeles. I attended Loyola High School and then went on to study at Georgetown University, where I majored in Spanish and French but ended up spending most of my time in the Academic Computation Center working as a Computer Consultant for students taking computer courses. I decided that if I could qualify as a Freshman to help upperclassmen write their Fortran, PL/1, and SAS programs then I must have some real talent with computers. So far, that observation has served me well in my professional life.

Over the years, I have lived in several areas: California, Washington DC, Maryland, and Illinois. I have a diverse set of interests and hobbies which I occasionally get to pursue when I am not at the office, being a husband and father, surfing the Internet, or working on various web projects. I am very happily married and have three wonderful children. I love photography, music, choral singing, 'p-funk', and mexican food. My favorite reading materials are science fiction, mysteries, techno-thrillers, and technical journals. I am an avid Star Trek fan as well as Star Wars, Stargate, Fringe, among others.  I also love graphic novels, playing online games, and reading.