Taking Life Safety Personally

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You may be looking at the photo on this page and asking yourself, “Who the devil is that guy?” That’s certainly how incredulously folks have reacted at recent industry events. Upon closer inspection, perhaps you’re thinking something along the lines of a comment made at one of those functions and worthy of induction into the Left-handed Compliment Hall of Fame: “That looks like a skinny Scott Goldfine!” Try 120 pounds skinnier.

While the double-takes have been fun, I have found the interest level among friends and colleagues throughout the industry so profound that this month — at a time when people are assessing 2010 and making New Year’s resolutions — I have decided to share my weight-loss story. The battle of the bulge is one of the most universal personal challenges and I hope to provide some inspiration. After all, how can you call yourself a life-safety expert if you don’t safeguard your own life by being more physically fit?

For me, my weight has fluctuated considerably throughout my life — with sweets and baked goods being my main downfall. However, the situation really started to get out of hand at the outset of the 2000s and as I entered my late-30s. After having led a very active lifestyle, physical, career and family rigors conspired to cause me to pack on more pounds than the London Stock Exchange.

I was finding it increasingly difficult to get my eating under control let alone establish a regular exercise routine. My health suffered and medications became necessary. It was demoralizing and left me depressed, angry and frustrated. Denial became a coping mechanism and mirrors, cameras and scales were things to avoid like the plague.

What really brought my plight to a head was the birth of my son in 2004. As he began to walk and talk I realized how much I did not want to be physically limited in what we could do together, and I wanted to be around for as much of his life as possible. I was so desperate in fall of 2009 that I went to an orientation on gastric bypass surgery. That option went out the window when I found out my health insurance did not cover the procedure’s exorbitant cost. It was then with my wife’s urging that I attended a Weight Watchers meeting.

Being a skeptic and cynic by nature, becoming a Weight Watchers member and going to weekly meetings violated my comfort level. It meant admitting to others I had a problem and opening myself up to vulnerability. Also, I perceived the program’s points system to be overly complicated. My aversion was obvious to the session leader, who later told me they never expected to see me again.

But return I did, embracing the program to its full measure. I quickly learned it was not so complex after all. I also discovered the plan allowed me to eat most types of food as long as it was in moderation. As the pounds melted away I became more and more of a believer. My confidence began to build as I withstood the challenges of holidays, life stresses and business travel.

My son accompanied me to the meetings, learning about nutrition and rooting for his dad all the way. A few months in I bought a recumbent exercise bike and began working out daily. It was awesome to finally feel in control and make so much progress. One of the journey’s many highlights was getting in good enough shape to become medication-free.

It’s now 14 months after I embarked on my weight loss/fitness odyssey. Words can’t convey how much of a better place I am in both physically and, as a result, mentally. It truly permeates every aspect of my existence. It’s not about dieting; it’s about permanently changing your relationship with food. I am confident I have crossed that bridge and those with similar struggles can as well.

As a security professional you owe it to yourself and those you love to do everything in your power to secure your own well being. You don’t have to follow Weight Watchers but do commit to some type of program. I always hear about how owners and managers are improving their bottom lines. Now tell me how you are improving your waistline.

Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent more than 12 years with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125 or [email protected].

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About the Author

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Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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