Throughout high school, my goal was to become a millionaire by the age of 23. At 23 years-oId, I weighed more than 300 pounds, teetering between depression and suicidal thoughts. I had friends, a job and appeared to be doing OK from the outside, but inside I was spiraling downward emotionally, physically and mentally. The sharp pain led me on a spiritual journey of self-discovery that began with a physical transformation. I lost more than 140 pounds and felt incredible. I was sure this was the key to my happiness. I was thin and able to shop for clothes at "normal people" clothing stores. I was bombarded with praise from friends and family who told me how great I looked.
Jason before and after his 140-pound weight loss.
But a few months later, I started to feel "less than" again. How was this possible? For more than 15 years, I convinced myself that if I only lost the weight, I would be happy. Even if I had problems, I could still go to the beach (with my problems) and look great! But when the weight loss compliments ended and being thin became my "normal," I was left with myself again. The sad, lonely feelings started to creep back: I didn't feel successful. I saw friends making lots of money. Maybe I could be rich too. Maybe then, I would be happy.
I got to work. I was somewhat successful, and surrounded myself with more wealthy people. I traveled and partied. After a year, the partying wasn't as fun and I started to feel lonelier. My friends didn't seem authentic and the money wasn't as exciting as it used to be. I had this feeling that a man couldn't be happy without a woman, and just like that, I was on to the next chase, the next thing I knew could make me happy. Yes, women were going to be the answer to my problems.
Surprisingly, a man in his mid-20s with the self-esteem of a chubby, awkward boy doesn't exactly know how to interact with women. (Translation: Women terrified me.) I had to find a way to get over this.
I started reading books about female psychology, laws of physical attraction, body language and self-help books. I realized I couldn't look a woman in the eyes for more than a couple seconds without a wave of sweaty anxiety. I needed practice. I started by walking down grocery store aisles and increasing the length of time I could look a woman in the eyes. Then, I began smiling at women and saying hello. I found some friends of mine who were great with women and spent months hanging around them and learning how to be an "attractive guy." All this effort worked. I got a girlfriend! I had finally arrived! I wasn't fat. I had a good job. I had a attractive girlfriend. This was everything I had always wanted. I could finally be a normal, happy person.
After a few months, that "new girlfriend" infatuation slowly left me and I was left with an unhealthy, immature relationship. Slowly, I began gaining some weight. Before I knew it, I had gained back 50 pounds and slipped into a deep depression. I had tried everything to find happiness and was still left feeling empty. Eventually, I hit the bottom.
Thankfully, I connected with relatives who were living life happily. In a world of uncertainty, they walked around with a positive, gentle stillness. I wanted, I needed to live like that. They came from a traditional Jewish background, and the more I surrounded myself around these people, the more I learned about "right living." I learned about giving rather than taking. I lowered my expectations of others and increased my personal contribution to society. I started learning more about traditional family values, and met some Jewish matchmakers who taught me some ancient wisdom on finding the right match and being a good partner. Within 30 days of applying these principles to my own life, I met the woman who is now my wife. I continued to learn about the foundations of a healthy relationship and found a sense of peace, serenity and love within a relationship and life that I never thought was possible. The ancient dating guide worked. I was amazed. I began counseling single friends with extraordinary results. It worked for them, too. My wife saw this and suggested I become a dating coach.
A dating coach? It sounded ridiculous to me, but when you wake up every day and go to an office you dislike and sit at a cubicle all day long, these ideas can grow on you. I began to research the industry and connected with the Matchmaking Institute in New York. I became a Certified Matchmaker and started to build my database of singles by messaging my single friends on Facebook and connected with matchmakers around the world using Facebook Groups. Using Facebook's new Graph Search, I was able to quickly expand on my network of singles in order to set up my clients. Word of mouth helped launch my business, and I was able to quit my marketing job to become a matchmaker full time.
Jason's matchmaking business, We Just Match.
Today, I get to wake up every morning and help people find love. I am married to the sweetest girl in the world. I have maintained a weight loss of over 140 pounds for years. My life isn't perfect and I still have the struggles of balancing life, work and family. Although every day has its challenges, I am slowly learning to live life with a sense of calm, gentle stillness. I owe so much of my life today to the people who helped me when I was in a tough spot. This thought drives me every morning to do everything in my power to help my clients, friends, family and community. Connect with me on Facebook and help me to make the world a happier place by building more love and connecting more people.