Late-night beer and taco runs can pack on the pounds. So can a new job in a new city, especially if a baking genius is among the colleagues. But it's a new year, and these guys are ready to lose weight. And – get this – share.
Inveterate blogger Tony Pierce has acknowledged that his up-at-all-hours lifestyle isn't conducive to a trim physique. He wants to lose 20 pounds through … well, no discernible plan, it would seem. He's asking for suggestions.
New Angeleno Jimmy Orr has recently realized just how sluggish he's become. He wants to lose 25 pounds through exercise and a still-somewhat mysterious diet. He's confident he can do it, and he promises to divulge details of his eating plan down the road.
So… every weekday for six weeks, these Los Angeles Times employees (a.k.a. desk jockeys) will chronicle their battles of the bulge. It's real-life weight loss in almost-real time -- kind of like a reality show without the tears.
First, we'll hear from Tony Pierce...
Messed up and told my boss that one of my new year's resolutions was to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year.
Never one to bite his tongue, his response included telling me I could "stand to lose 20" and then gave me this assignment to write about it every day and include photos.
This first weekend may not have seemed like a success, but somehow I seem to weigh less today [Monday] than last week when I weighed myself.
Friday I had fresh salmon, carrots and white rice for lunch with a Naked Juice Blue Machine. I was later told that those fruit juices are loaded with calories and I should leave them off the menu. Whoops.
More whoops happened later that night when I was out on the town with a hot young woman. After we left a rock show near USC we found ourselves starving. I knew of about 10 great barbecue soul food joints and was shocked that many of them had closed. So we ended up at a place I'd never been and ordered the rib sandwich, which turned out to be a quarter slab of pork ribs, a little cup of potato salad, and two slices of white bread in a baggie. Not wanting to appear super bizarre to the lady friend, I didn't bother getting a Diet Pepsi so I splurged, calorically, and got the fruit punch soda.
Then there were the late night drinks at the Standard, the swanky lounge downtown. Three shots of Captain Morgan, one diet Coke and a margarita over several hours provided quite a decent buzz.
Even though I have been told that breakfast is the most important part of your day, I usually miss the best meal, I guess. No breakfast happened on Saturday. Instead I ate about 10 peanuts until 3 p.m. when I took a friend out for sushi.
Most of the fish was ridiculously fresh, and even though I'm sure sashimi is probably the way to go, I prefer regular sushi over rice. The lobster roll was probably unnecessary, but totally delicious. Like life-changingly so. The crab roll was just unnecessary. Low salt soy sauce was where the edamame was dipped. And I had a regular Coke but no dessert. Yay?
Saturday night I became very lazy. Friday was such a fun time, and the sushi couldn't be beat, so I ordered a medium Meat Lovers pizza from Pizza Hut, thin crust. I figured if I only ate half of it while drinking water then that would be good.
Sunday I woke up and had three packets of low sugar Quaker oatmeal at 2 p.m. Then three slices of cold pizza for dinner with a Coke because I'm dieting! My dessert was a 10-ounce cup of apple juice.
A friend recommended that I join the most expensive gym I can find, which will inspire me to actually use it. I sent a swanky one an e-mail -- they're too posh to publish their rates on the nasty Internet. Their site said something about no initiation fee, which Yelp says usually goes for $1,000. So it will be interesting to see if they really are giving that sort of deal for the month of January.
I can't say I'm very proud of this weekend's diet. I learned that I need healthy food in the house or else I will order the worst foods (Chinese, pizza, fried things). And I realized that I should probably have a few healthy restaurants in mind before I go out with women, or else I will end up in my old haunts that got me where I am today.
Monday weigh in: 170.5 pounds
Now let's hear from Jimmy Orr...
Strength in numbers. Never one to let a colleague veer out alone (unless it would be dangerous for me), I joined with Tony to dump the extra flab I've gained in the past year. Oh, have I gained....
I moved from Boston to L.A. in August. It's meant a lot of new things. New city. New job. New friends.
It's also meant new pounds. Like 20 of 'em.
Seeing the tonnage accumulate in the fall, I wisely signed up to get a trainer. I've had a trainer before. In Boston, I was a science experiment for Justin. I don't think he was that interested in training me. I think his real goal was to be an obstacle-course maker in ABC's "Wipeout" and was using me as his own personal contestant (I lost every time).
People in the gym would gather as he had me attempt to run across the floor with some giant leaded ball while he pulled on a tractor-like rope that was attached to me. I'd be jumping that tractor-like rope next. And then I'd be on the floor doing some weird (and agonizing) worm-crawl.
It worked. Justin beat the crap out of me three days a week. Physically annihilated me. But toward the end of my stint in New England, I was in good shape. Eating right. Running again. I was a much healthier 183. And I could lift stuff too. Not that I ever looked like I could lift a weight.
Moving to a new place means meeting new people, which in turns means eating. A lot. Plus, when you're in the same time zone as your significant other who has an unfair metabolism (she ordered something called "The Sasquatch" the other day for breakfast and lost weight), you're at a disadvantage.
When I weighed in with Mike (on our initial training session in October), I had already gained 10 pounds. On Saturday, it was up another 10.
"You're going to make me look bad," he said.
"Going to?" I responded. "Too late for that."
To be fair, I've done nothing he's told me to do. Sure, I worked with him three days a week (except for a two-week stretch during the holidays). But did none of the cardio on my own that he prescribed.
And I don't recall him recommending the Franken Berry for breakfast or the 24-ounce XXXL (triple king) masterpiece at Fatburger for dinner. Adam Richman ("Man v. Food") has nothing on me. I can take him.
Anyway, the weekend was good for me. No more than 1,500 calories on both days. Wasn't hungry. Good workout on Saturday. Signed up to do a 5K on Super Bowl Sunday.
Goal is to hit 178 in three months. 25 pounds. Two pounds a week for 12 weeks. Bring it on.