The catering was so good.
That's the part I left out in my story this issue, on discovering a personal definition of success (page 54). In that essay, I share more of my background than I ever have in the magazine, and how it led me to become not only the person I am today, but the person I'm working to become in the future. I give some details about my first job out of college, with the Dallas Cowboys, and the things that turned me off from what I once considered a dream job and set me on a different, more meaningful path.
But I left out the part about the catering. Here's the thing: If you want to keep millionaire athletes happy, you have to feed them well. The Cowboys certainly did that for their players. As an added perk, we staffers got to eat the same food every day at lunch. And I'm not talking salads and wraps--I'm talking steak. Exquisite pasta bars. Pizza as good as you can get in New York City.
And the barbecue ... oh the barbecue.
NFL players burn a lot of calories in practice every day, so they need to eat a lot to keep their energy. But 22-year-old desk jockeys like I was? They really don't need that kind of indulgence. Yet when you're right out of college, and used to eating like you don't know when or where your next free meal will come from, you fill up. I gained 25 pounds during my first season working for the Cowboys!
And that's the backstory to the triumphant part: When the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2009, I went into the most hardcore diet mode of my life. I lost 40 pounds that year. And I've kept the weight off ever since. It was the best New Year's Resolution I've ever made, because it stuck not only through January, but for...