With a little help from his friends—and Adobe—Stan Paulsen gears up his biking to achieve a significant personal goal.
We’ve all heard it said that behind any great leader is a great support network. Stan Paulsen agrees—and he cites the support of Adobe and his colleagues as a key factor in accomplishing a recent goal: losing 100 pounds (45.3 kilos) and becoming a biking fanatic in the process.
Stan, an analytics software engineer, has worked at Adobe for almost seven years.
One Hundred Miles for 100 Pounds
Stan reached the milestone—from 333 pounds down to 233—in early April, and what he did to celebrate will come as no surprise.
“I took a day off, picked up my new road bike and did my first century ride,” Stan said. “One hundred miles for 100 pounds: That just had to happen, right?” (Stan had been riding a mountain bike, and he had picked out the road bike ahead of time, as his reward.)
This transformation has improved his mood and overall health.
“I feel amazing—like I have a whole new body,” he explained. “My level of activity is crazy: I rode 680 miles last month alone, and I’ve done almost 2,000 miles so far this year.”
A Little Help from Family, Friends—and Work
“Things like this don’t happen in a vacuum,” Stan noted. “The culture of hard work, fitness and especially cycling here at Adobe really rubbed off on me.
“It’s been helpful to have colleagues to ride with, but in Lehi this culture comes from the top,” he added. “There are several avid cyclists in senior management, including Brad Rencher, Adobe’s senior vice president and general manager of Digital Marketing, and Ryan Packer, senior director of Engineering for Adobe Analytics, who have helped develop this culture.”
The culture spreads beyond Adobe people to include the physical buildings and generous employee benefits. Stan cites many, including the facilities (e.g., showers, locker room, gym, bike locker); the Adobe Café, with many healthy food choices; and employee benefits (e.g., train fare subsidy and “Commuter check” program for bike repairs and maintenance).
“They’ve all helped me achieve my goal,” he said. “The café in particular has been a tremendous help; I eat two meals there every weekday, and the healthy choices are a huge contribution to my success.”
Stan returned to serious biking (he’d ridden in the past) around the time Adobe’s new Lehi building opened. But despite taking it on with a fever, he was frustrated to find that the activity alone didn’t help him lose weight.
“I’d been riding but not changing my diet, he said. “In fact, I’d probably started eating more, to compensate for the increased activity.”
But a family milestone became an opportunity to set his ambitious goal.
“In October 2013, when my daughter Karen went away on a mission trip, I decided to change my diet,” Stan said, “and by the end of the year, I formulated the idea to lose 100 pounds before she returned.” (He achieved this.)
Stan and his family live in Provo, Utah.
“We’ve always been an active family,” Stan said. “I’ve played hockey and done inline skating over the years, my wife is a runner and we all like to hike in our national parks.”
Stan took advantage of the recent unusually mild winter to ride to work every day.
“One day I even got caught in a blizzard, with white-out conditions,” he explained. “There were no cars on the street, but there I was riding along!”
Advice to Others
“Even though I’m a biking fanatic, diet has been the most important thing in helping me achieve this goal,” Stan said. “I really feel better, and I’m not depriving myself; the foods I eat taste great and are very nutritious.”
Stan isn’t stopping here.
“Ultimately, I want to get as close to my ‘ideal weight’ as I can,” he said.
His next goal is to reach 200 pounds by December.
“I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing: eating right and riding,” he added. “My new bike is beckoning me to take some epic rides this season.”