Micheal shares how small shifts in his day-to-day have changed his outlook and his health.
I’ve always struggled with my weight and I’ve gone through various bouts of losing weight and putting it back on. But when I moved from Ireland (where I’m from) to LA for a FinTech job five years ago, things got a lot worse. It’s harder to eat healthily in the States and I also started traveling a lot more for work. Just as that happened, too, my father died and what was left of my willpower just disappeared. I gained 70 pounds in three years.
As the weight had crept on, I definitely went into a state of denial. There are almost no photos of me from 2016 on. I didn’t want to see myself, so I’d always be the one volunteering to take the pictures. When my husband and I got married, we had a big wedding with hundreds of people and all I could think about were the pictures. I avoided the photographer like the plague.
We have a full length mirror in our house and one day when I passed it and saw my reflection, I realized I didn’t even recognize myself. My weight was over 320 pounds, which was the heaviest I’ve ever been. Thinking about my family, many of my relatives struggled with weight and died young, and I realized that I didn’t want that to happen to me.
I got a trainer at first, but the weight wasn’t really coming off. That’s when I started to realize that for things to change, I really needed to address the bigger picture. I tried another program before Calibrate that offered medication and coaching, but there was no real support. It was just a five minute written consult and a few template messages from the coach. When I got my meds, I wound up having side effects and when I checked with the doctor I didn’t get a message back.
Then, I found Calibrate. It was more expensive than the other program, but I actually felt the cost would keep me accountable. I expected my assessment appointment with the doctor to be a hard sales pitch and it wasn’t. Instead, it was extremely thorough and we talked about the medication, the plan, and how things might work for me, specifically. I also got clear information from my labs, like the fact that my A1c was high. That’s not something I’d been told before. I quickly realized that this was a personalized service, and not just a generic way to lose weight.
Going into my first coach meeting, I was a little skeptical of whether I’d get something substantive out of it and whether I’d actually hit it off with that person. But after my session, I couldn’t wait to talk again. When you’re trying to lose weight alone, you’re your own judge, jury, and executioner, and that’s hard. There are so many times when you need somebody to give context and help you stay focused on the bigger picture. For example, last week my weight loss slowed a little and my coach was able to put things in perspective and point to how I was still moving forward. I got support, advocacy, and a reality check, and that’s the kind of thing that’s really hard to do for yourself.
With Calibrate, the adjustments you’re making are so small you don’t even notice until suddenly one day you’re in a whole new place with things. For example, my husband and I were in the habit of eating a lot of takeout. I was never great with reading labels at the grocery store and I’m someone who really looks for flavor in meals. But Calibrate has given me easy ways to assess foods, plus a new way to frame my decisions. Eating healthfully stopped being about deprivation, and we’re actually cooking more as a result. We joke that we’ve probably saved the whole program fee by cutting back on Uber Eats.
Another surprising development is that I’ve started running. A while back, my coach and I were talking about exercise and she encouraged me to go on a short run just to see what I thought. Now, I’m running four times a week and I’m even training for a marathon. If you told me a year ago that I’d be doing that, I’d never have believed you. But it didn’t feel like a big shift, just something that started to fit into my life and where I was at.
Overall, I’m just so much happier and more confident. I’ve lost over 50 pounds in four months, and my mood, sleep, and relationship are so much better. I also feel optimistic in a way that’s new. I know I’m not even close to the end of this journey because there’s so much work I want to do. At the same time I’m really enjoying looking back at the progress I’ve made.
Unless you’ve been big, it’s hard to understand the anxiety that comes with weight. You worry all the time about things like whether the seat belt will fit on the airplane or if you can get into a suit for the office Christmas party. I joined Calibrate because I didn’t want to keep missing out because of my size. And more and more, I don’t have to. A few weekends ago, I went to a clothing store that all my friends love. I’ve never been able to shop there. But this time, I saw some pants that I liked and I actually asked to try them on. They didn’t have the size I wanted, but they did have a smaller size—and they fit! It’s a little thing, but going from avoidance to that moment felt significant.
Calibrate has taught me to connect the dots around my metabolic health. You can diet and exercise all you want, but until you recognize what the underlying issues are and how they come together, those changes will just be short-term. Now, after years of hiding from mirrors and cameras, I’ve finally posted a selfie with my husband on Instagram. I feel good about where I’m at, and the framework to make that happen is what I learned with Calibrate. That’s the real difference.
*The average Calibrate member loses 10% of their weight or more.
We're a modern, medical approach that combines doctor-prescribed medication with one-on-one coaching—all personalized to your biology, your goals, and your life for 10% weight loss and a metabolic reset that lasts.