Actually, the title is a bit of an exaggeration, True, I've dropped 27 pounds in nine weeks, but that is closer to a 13 percent weight loss than it is to 50 percent. Still, I didn't think that saying I'm "87 percent of the man I used to be" had a dramatic ring to it, so please forgive me. More importantly is the why and the how behind my decision to lose weight.
On Jan. 15, I was on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, reporting for Inside Edition alongside Deborah Norville. The evening is one of my favorite Hollywood events, due to the party-like atmosphere and the fact that celebrities are served champagne on the arrival line. By the time they get to us near the entrance, they are noticeably relaxed. I felt particularly good that night, as I was wearing a new black velvet blazer as a festive alternative to my normal tuxedo jacket. Lawrence Zarian was our fashion expert. He told me that he had lost 30 pounds over the previous year (although I could not imagine that he ever needed to). Then, he tapped his finger beneath my chin and quietly and sternly said, "You are too good looking to be so heavy. Lose this."
His words continued to resonate in my head. When I saw photos from that evening, I had an epiphany. Actually, it was a paradigm shift in my behavior and motivation. I had let myself go, and nothing could hide it. It was subtle at first, but the years seemed to get away from me, along with my increasing waistline.
I realized that I was ready to and wanted to take control. As John Lennon wrote, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." There is so much in my life that remains out of my control. Our son has been battling a nerve injury in his foot for the last three years. We recently, and unexpectedly, lost my wife's dad. Our home, which had been in escrow four times over the last two years failed to sell and plummeted in value. My life is like everyone else's. Complicated. What I choose to eat is simple. It's a decision that I and I alone can make. It is not a matter of depriving myself, nor worrying about cheating on my diet. The simple and unavoidable fact is that in one moment, and in each moment that follows, I make the decision that I derive greater joy through avoiding fattening foods than I get from eating them.
I enrolled in a diet program that provides me five meals a day, and I add the sixth. The product itself is actually not as important as is the behavior and philosophy that guide me on my journey. I've adopted a yin and yang approach: Eat Less, Eat More Often; Exercise More and Complain Less About Exercising. The results have been rewarding. My wife actually calls me sexy! My kids and my folks say I look younger. Plus, I got to buy a whole new (smaller) wardrobe. The bottom line -- if I can do this, anyone can do this.
So thank you, Mr. Zarian, for the reality check. I may not be half the man I used to be, but I feel twice as good. As for that new velvet jacket? It doesn't fit any more. Good thing I bought it on sale.
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