I had started working as an insurance agent part time when I was in high school, and I went back to that job once again in a full time capacity once I returned from my trip to Europe.
I spent my lunch hours at the gym, learning proper technique and chasing the physique that I had always wanted. I was in a pretty good place at this moment in my life, and I actually ended up meeting my future wife of 18 years during this time as well.
My insurance office was located in a shopping mall, and she worked as a waitress at a restaurant that was situated across the hallway. I ended up eating a LOT of greasy food during the time that she worked there, mostly as an excuse to talk and interact with her.
While my time in the gym enabled me to get some modest success in getting stronger, building muscle and losing body fat eluded me.
Add to this the fact that I was eating greasy diner food almost daily and I slowly started gaining weight around my midsection, even though I was training quite hard at the time.
Life was great, but my old demons started to show their ugly faces once again. I had suffered a shoulder injury from bench pressing too heavy a few years earlier, and I had surgery to try and fix the problem in same year we got married.
The recovery period from the surgery involved powerful narcotic painkillers, and I discovered that I loved the feeling that these powerful drugs gave me.