Title     Introduction


This is not a normal diet book, and I am not a normal diet book author.

I'm not a doctor. Nor am I a nutritionist, psychologist, sports hero, gourmet chef, or any of the other vocations that seem to qualify people to tell you how to lose weight.

I'm an engineer by training, a computer programmer by avocation, and an businessman through lack of alternatives. From grade school in the 1950's until 1988 I was fat—anywhere from 30 to 80 pounds overweight. This is a diet book by somebody who spent most of his life fat.

The absurdity of my situation finally struck home in 1987. “Look,” I said to myself, “you founded one of the five biggest software companies in the world, Autodesk. You wrote large pieces of AutoCAD, the world standard for computer aided design. You've made in excess of fifty million dollars without dropping dead, going crazy, or winding up in jail. You've succeeded at some pretty difficult things, and you can't control your flippin' weight?”

Through all the years of struggling with my weight, the fad diets, the tedious and depressing history most fat people share, I had never, even once, approached controlling my weight the way I'd work on any other problem: a malfunctioning circuit, a buggy program, an ineffective department in my company.

As an engineer, I was trained to solve problems. As a software developer, I designed tools to help others solve their problems. As a businessman I survived and succeeded by managing problems. And yet, all that time, I hadn't looked at my own health as something to be investigated, managed, and eventually solved in the same way. I decided to do just that.

This book is a compilation of what I learned. Six months after I decided being fat was a problem to be solved, not a burden to be endured, I was no longer overweight. Since then, my weight hasn't varied by more than a few pounds. I'm hungry less often at 145 pounds than I was at 215. I look better, feel great, and have more energy for the things I enjoy. I spend only a few minutes a day maintaining this happy situation. And I know I'll be able to control my weight from now on, because I have the tools I need, the will to use them, and the experience to know they work.

The tools are now in your hands.

Live long and prosper.

John Walker
Sausalito, California
January, 1991

Neuchâtel, Switzerland
November, 2005

Title     Introduction