How Weight Watchers CEO took almost a decade to beat his own battle of the bulge

How Weight Watchers CEO took almost a decade to beat his own battle of the bulge

David Kirchhoff, 45, labelled himself a 'slow learner' after becoming familiar with the company's calorie-counting system in 2000

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UPDATED:

20:40 GMT, 9 May 2012

Shedding unwanted weight is a struggle many are familiar with and that includes the head of Weight Watchers.

David Kirchhoff, the 45-year-old president and chief executive officer of Weight Watchers, has written a book that reveals how he struggled to adapt to the company's famous calorie-counting points system.

Although he first learned of the system when he joined the company in 2000, the New York-based CEO told the Today show this morning that he was a 'slow learner' when it came to shedding his own unwanted weight.

David Kirchhoff

David Kirchhoff

Now and then: David Kirchhoff, the CEO of Weight Watchers, has revealed his own weight loss battle in a new book titled Weight Loss Boss. It took him a long nine years to shed 40lbs

The book, titled Weight Loss Boss, details how it took Mr Kirchhoff, who has served as CEO since 2006, almost a decade to shed 40lbs.

The weight loss finally came as a result of adapting to healthy eating habits rather than focusing on quick-fix solutions such as dieting. It is an ethos that Weight Watchers promotes.

He said of the extensive struggle: 'Honestly, I
think because I was in the dieting mentality, which is to be hard-core
for two or three months and then… go back to my old life.'

Mr Kirchhoff, who has weighed 203lbs for the past three years, believes the real key to weight loss is to address an individual's 'underlying behaviour' that may work as a contributor to weight gain.

Weight loss king: He went on this morning's Today show (above) to speak about the book, which aims to educate people about healthy eating habits and how to stick to them

Weight loss king: He went on this morning's Today show (above) to speak about the book, which aims to educate people about healthy eating habits and how to stick to them

He
said: 'Establish routines and habits, try to avoid temptation, try to
rely less on willpower. These are the things I've learned… lessons that I
wasn't following for the first nine years that have been saving my skin
for the last three.'

Motivational: Weight Loss Boss (above) reveals the CEO's own personal weight weight loss awakening, which occurred in 1999

Motivational: The book (above) reveals his own personal weight weight loss awakening

The book also reveals how he put on 45lbs in one year of attending college.

A doctor's appointment in 1999 sparked initial health concerns but it was not enough to push him to shed the weight entirely.

He wrote in the book: 'My first shock was stepping
onto my doctor's scale. Watching the nurse slide weight after weight to
the right before finally landing on 242lbs was a punch to my expanding
gut. How did this happen

'As a tall guy, I could carry my baggage pretty well, and I'd almost convinced myself that I didn't weigh all that much.'

He was offered a job at Weight Watchers at the end of 1999 and while the role was less significant than the one he currently holds, the Weight Watchers work environment forced him to evaluate his unhealthy weight even further.

He said: 'In taking the job, I thought it would be a nice perk to maybe lose that weight in the process.

'Nine years later – yes, that's right: nine years – I reached my goal weight.'

He added that obesity is no longer just a women's issue.

He said: 'Men suffer the same ill health effects that women do yet they're half as likely to do something about it.'