Bobby Hold (MPAS, PA-C)
“Losing weight allowed me to find myself in a world where I once felt lost.”
My name is Bobby Hold and I’m a New York City-based Physician Assistant; founder of the Lose Weight, Find Yourself® website and FitGuy, LLC; and a testament to the power of transcending obesity through self-esteem. I’m on a mission to help others overcome personal obstacles in order to become the person they want to be. Over ten years ago, I went from 300 pounds to a fit and healthy 190—and have kept the weight off. In the process of achieving my astonishing weight-loss success, I became a medical professional and fitness expert, as well as came out as a gay man.
I grew up in Winter Park, Florida. Beneath the serenity of my surroundings, I lived a tormented life. As an overweight teen and morbidly obese young adult, I habitually used overeating as a crutch to cover deep personal issues I’d been harboring for years.
I had never discussed it or acknowledged it, but my obesity was really tied into repressed sexuality and an emotionally displaced childhood. It did not take long for my insecurities about my weight and sexual orientation to flourish and impede my ability to develop meaningful relationships. At 25, I found myself at a personal low. I was overweight and without direction in life. I used the weight as an excuse as to why I wasn’t living my life. This issue was further compounded by a vicious cycle of self-loathing and toxic coping mechanisms that, at times, I saw no way out of.
One day shortly after my 25th birthday, and after nearly a lifetime of self-destructive overeating, I had a life-changing epiphany while looking at my reflection in the mirror. I realized that the excess weight literally was my attempt to disguise my true self. I was using food for comfort and to cope with my sadness, and was trying to hide my sexual orientation from the world. As much as I tried to cover it, bury it, suppress it, and eat it, I was actually making it more visible. It was then that I became aware that repressing my sexual orientation was the lynchpin to my tumultuous battle with obesity. I was making myself sick by overeating, I finally acknowledged, and something had to be done.
I knew I needed to face the fact that I was a gay man. I didn’t want to come out and be fat because, at the time, I conditioned myself to think that being gay was a negative attribute. I made the decision to take action by joining my local YMCA and committing to a workout regimen, along with tailoring my own dietary plan to shed the pounds. Though the journey saw its share of obstacles, it wasn’t long before I began to see positive results. In an eight-month period, I had dropped a whopping 96 pounds. By the end of that year, I’d lost a total of 110—gaining the courage to reveal my sexuality to family and friends.
My successful weight loss prompted the local YMCA to offer me a role as a weight-loss counselor, wellness instructor, and group fitness instructor. This allowed me to serve as an inspiration not only to countless others fighting their own wars with obesity, but also to lovers of exercise in general. As remarkable as my story became to many, it was merely the beginning of a wondrous journey to self-acceptance and further revelation for me. My story seemed to be so inspirational to people. I counseled so many people that were overweight. I thought to myself that there were so many more folks out there who were struggling with weight loss that could benefit from someone like me. That’s when I decided that I should go back to school and become a health care provider. I wanted to be taken seriously as an expert in weight loss—not just because I lost weight, but also because I had the educational background and medical license to support it.
Invigorated with a new lease on life, I returned to the University of Central Florida, where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Sports & Fitness. Simultaneously, the local Winter Park branch of the Central Florida YMCA launched a promotional campaign, starring me- Bobby Hold! It was clear I was finding my true calling. After moving to New York City, I continued my education at the New York Institute of Technology, pursuing a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Upon completing my degree, I immediately went to work in my field and began treating patients as a licensed Physician Assistant in the borough of Manhattan.
With a wealth of experience diagnosing and treating patients with a wide array of ailments, including diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia—major diseases typically found in individuals battling obesity—I was finally armed with both the professional expertise and practical experience to launch my weight-loss brand, Lose Weight, Find Yourself®. My own weight-loss story was deeply tied to resolving my personal identity. With my powerfully resonant motto, “lose the weight and find yourself,” I’m poised to make an impact on an industry that often prescribes band-aid fixes (such as fad diets) for wounds requiring a more intense healing process.
When I lost my weight, I found out who I was and gained clarity on my life’s purpose. Some people don’t need to be fit in order to find their truth, but for me, it was staring me in the face. I’ve come to realize that dealing with my own issues helped me to lose weight…and losing weight helped me to deal with my deep, personal issues. The two go hand in hand. I’m also keenly aware, through research and empirical evidence, that my personal story has the potential to positively affect a severely under-recognized population when it comes to weight issues. My story can help all different demographics of people lose weight, and I feel that I can open this conversation and connect with people in the LGBTQ community in the way others may not be able to. Because that’s where I came from, and I know that if I was using food to cope, then there are so many others from my community who are doing the same. It’s a freeing and highly transformative experience to let this beautiful person that has been hidden under a veil of shame and fat come out. It’s a cross section of the population that no one is talking about in regard to obesity. My mission embraces anyone seeking positive change in his or her life, regardless of weight, gender, race, level of education, or sexual orientation.
I’ve assembled my own unique weight-loss business, Fit Guy, LLC, and weight-loss brand, Lose Weight, Find Yourself®, headquartered in New York City. I offer health coaching sessions, grocery store consultations, and educational talks as well as networking to inspire others internationally. In addition, I currently treat patients at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Weight Management Program. I have the opportunity not only to treat overweight patients one on one locally, but also the ability to reach out to and help people all over the world through my online consulting services.
Anyone can go buy a weight-loss book or watch a weight-loss show on television. There are not many experts out there like me who can say, ‘I’ve done this too; I understand the struggle, the pain, and this is the story of how I got through it.’ Weight loss is joyful and should be celebrated. It allowed me to discover the true human being who was hiding underneath all that excess weight. I wish all overweight people the courage to face themselves and face their fat in order to live a better life—for their loved ones as well as for themselves.