Being a nerd has it perks, Nerds can pickup mad chicks in Second Life, Photoshop acne out of pictures, and if they’re truly 1337, even have a real life girlfriend one day. I know being a nerd sounds glamorous and all, but there are a few major drawbacks. When you’re a nerd, you usually develop a serious case of Big Bonedinitis.

In college, everyone talks about the Freshmen 15, but here at the Gator, we have what’s known as the Hatchling 40. If you come to work at the Gator, it’s usually not a question of whether or not you will gain weight, but instead a question of how much weight you’ll gain and if you’ll ever stop gaining weight. The more Linux you learn, the more weight you’re going to end up packing on.

Big Bonedinitis is no joke. It’s a real disease that destroys lives and is hitting us nerds especially hard. In fact, one of our biggest expenses here at the Gator is replacing furniture that Big Bonedinitis leaves behind in its wake. We’ve broken over 40 leather chairs in the last year alone. We go through so many chairs we now have a room designated as the chair graveyard.

A few of our wall-mounted toilets have even broken off the wall forcing us to reinforce the remaining with stacked bricks. We’ve gone through so many benches that we finally decided to upgrade to a custom built concrete bench reinforced with re-bar.

I have even been a victim of Big Bonedinitis myself! When I started HostGator back in 2002, I was in great shape and weighed somewhere around 190 pounds. It wasn’t until last year that I realized how serious the disease had become. I saw the picture of me below and at that very moment, I decided I was going to do everything in my power to fight Big Bonedinitis. I started the fight by conquering my fear of scales and upon doing so I discovered I had ballooned to over 248 pounds.

The before picture above was taken of me on Christmas of 2008 at my peak. The nerd shirt was a gag present I was arm twisted into putting on and by far the the most embarrassing fat picture I have. The after picture below was taken march 23rd of 2010 for this very blog post.

I stopped eating as much, started working out more, and most importantly, started giving up some of my nerdness. A year later, I’m happy to report that I now weigh 189 pounds, which is great for someone who’s 6’1” and somewhat muscular. I’m in the best shape of my life and believe it or not, I’m eating more food than ever. All it really took was spending less time on the computer and more time out in the great outdoors.

In order to help some of our colleagues who are suffering from Big Bonedinitis, Adam D. helped us to organize our very own biggest loser contest that was based roughly on the TV show.

We had 13 teams of five people each (that’s 65 people, or about 20% of our workforce) that volunteered to compete. The winning team had to have the biggest percentage drop in their weight. Our first weigh in was January 4th and our final weight in was on April 2nd. During this period, we served healthier lunches, gave out gift cards at various checkpoints, and gave out a $500 prize to the winning team.

The results are in and, much to my surprise, no teams gained weight. Below are the results and the percent of weight lost for each team:

1. Team Ramrod – 6.63%
2. The Inglorious Fasterds – 6.24%
3. Team 10 – 4.38%
4. Team 13 – 3.69%
5. Team 8 – 3.32%
6. Team 9 – 2.95%
7. Team 7 – 2.56%
8. Team 1 – 2.08%
9. Team 2 – 1.98%
10. Team 11 – 1.95%
11. Team 12 – 1.54%
12. Team 6 – 0.88%
13. Team 5 – 0.60%

The individuals who lost the highest percentages in weight are the following:

1. Chris N – 18.75% – 48 lbs
2. Keith K – 10.84% – 31 lbs
3. Andrew C – 9.84% – 24 lbs
4. Adam F – 9.42% – 26 lbs
5. Jeff S – 9.41% – 19 lbs
6. Shiraz H – 8.79% – 24 lbs
7. Jennifer L – 8.30% – 21 lbs

Congratulations to all and never give up hope, it is within all of us to defeat Big Bonedinitis!

12 thoughts on “Biggest Nerd Loser

  1. Congratulations to all of you, that’s some amazing losses. We definitely have a few cases of that here, so it must be spreading.

  2. This post makes me think about less time on computer more time running and eating less at the computer.

  3. Thanks for the shoutout. I should have been the winner but Chris was just a beast and the most stubborn person in the Contest. Grats to him and you too Brent

  4. Thats great that you decided to organize that kind of program with your company Brent.

    I’ve seen quite a few interesting programs, some of which we plan to implement in our companies:

    1) ride bike to work incentive
    2) competitions (like yours)
    3) adding a gym in the office for people to use during lunch or right before/after work
    4) catered healthy food some or all days

    all of the above have great benefits for staff as well as very nice tax writeoffs

  5. Congratulation to all who participate at HostGator. What a great team it must be to work with! I need to do more Linux on my side. I’m 30 and still at 130lbs. I ate way too much for my size but never gain. Let’s get a new Linux book! Should I bought a nerd shirt? Maybe it will help me. :)

  6. This is a very creative and awesome idea. Just let me know next time you have a competition so I can get in on it! ;-)

  7. Most of the programmers here at Moodle HQ play on an indoor soccer team. Nothing like running back and forth till you drop to promote camaraderie and fitness :D

  8. Brent,
    I started a biggest loser competition with the company I work for (a competitor). 12 people joined in with $10 each for a profit of $110 to the winner.
    Our 3 month competition just ended 3/30/2010.
    I ended up winning with 21.47%! Lost 47 lbs in 3 months.
    Nice to see that other nerds are losing the weight too, and helping others with a friendly competition.

  9. i have been a hostgator reseller for the last 4 years and am interested in tying up with hostgator to start a hostgator brand in india and create a huge market for hostgator in india. If interested pls let me know and we could work as u r indian partners.


  10. Thanks for the article, is that only at gator? Or do any of us that sit behind a desk have to worry about it? Congrats on loosing the weight, I know it can be a tough thing to do.

Comments are closed.