1: CAHD in training age 7. 2. SAHD in training age 8 (EVERYONE HAD CABBAGE PATCH...IT WAS THE 80's). :P 3. I didn't swim without a shirt on until I was in my 20's. 4. Post ephedra skinny body age 20. Gross. 5. I was to be the illegitimate love child of Kurt Cobain and Madonna (my heroes) age 23. I didn't care about weight, I was crunchy. 6. Oops. Got a little heavy age 24. 7. Lost the weight, back in L.A. 8. Same day age 26. 9. Happy 30th new dad. 10. Happy 34th new dad of twins
I talk a lot when I parent blog about the many hats I’ve worn in my adulthood, as well as the many trials and tribulations of my childhood. I’ve only recently begun to discuss the many “faces” I’ve had in my life time. If yo-yoing weight was an art form, I’ve mastered it.
I topped out around 237 pounds (I know it is more because I stopped weighing myself when I hit that weight and got heavier), and I’ve been as low as 147 pounds (SCRAWNY for almost six feet tall/medium build). I had a very difficult time these past two weeks whilst gathering these pictures. I realized there are no pictures of me at either extreme. I’m that guy who jumps up behind strangers taking pictures in the park, but when I was too fat or too thin, I shied away from ALL cameras. YOYO. My family dubs me “the male Oprah” due to all the weight I gain and lose (at least I think that is why they call me that). I have gained and lost 70 plus pounds in three different time periods in my life.
Body image is not just an issue for women. I know a lot of guys who shrug off their bigger, or smaller body weight in public, only to randomly state that they feel they should look like a certain actor, or athlete, or musician. I started off my young adulthood with the pursuit of a career in the entertainment industry, first as an actor, and then as a musician. I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself and on my body to attain an image of what I thought I should look like. I never wanted to look like Hulk Hogan or Arnold Schwarzegger, but I felt more like Jabba the Hut.
I come from a family that is heavier, and who have made less than healthy choices about diet and exercise. To combat that, I turned to products containing ephedra, caffeine, and ginseng. I read the warning label when I was 25 years old that said “individuals should not take products containing ephedra more than 12 weeks for their LIFETIME.” I did at least twice that. At 237 + pounds I frankly did not care. It scares me to think of the long term effects that had on my body.
Earlier today, my 3rd grade daughter announced that a boy who has been teasing her at school made fun of her weight. My daughter is within the normal weight range for her height, but has struggled a bit with the sprouting “out” before sprouting “up” phase. I know she is aware of it, and I know it concerns her. She took it upon herself to sign up for a triathlon and gave up her daily recess period to compete in a marathon. My wife and I do not discuss our weight, the concept of diet, or our own body image issues in front of our children. We try to teach them that the most important thing is to be healthy, active, and feel good about ourselves. Everyone comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors, and there is beauty in everyone. It has become clear to me that body image and issue is just in the air that we breathe.
I was originally going to talk about how I am going to turn 40 in 13 months, and I am going to get in the most kick ass shape of my life to tell that number where to go. I was going to talk about how I was going to finally look the best I've ever looked and put my 20 year old and 30 year old self to shame. I realized I was being a hypocrite. How can I preach one thing to my child, believe something antithetical for myself, and then try and help motivate others out there? I've been in deep thought all night about this, and really pondered: what was I ACTUALLY trying to do?
A lot comes with the concept of turning 40. I can’t say I’m a young adult anymore, with middle adulthood creeping up fast. I can’t say I can’t wait to figure out what I want to be when I grow up anymore (I've been saying that A LOT lately)…I’m grown up. What I can say is that I choose not to age gracefully. I have no interest in being a stereotype of what a forty year old is; at the same time, I won’t subscribe to that foolish notion that “forty is the new thirty.” No, it isn't. Forty is forty. I OWN all my years and experiences and wisdom and feel like “OK, I got this now.” I choose to get in shape now to continue feeling as good as I can as my body will start to make much more dramatic changes.
DARE AND DO. I came up with this concept a few weeks ago on the dad day I run on Sarcasmom. My daughter basically challenged me to sign up for the Food Network show Chopped, and I did…and I got called…and I got the audition…and then I didn't (I STILL don’t know what happened there—I shouldn't have talked so much about how interested I am in Food Network Star). I decided to take a difficult situation (having to report bad news to an audience of thousands) and make some lemonade. I assembled my exercise bike that sat in a box for weeks while I procrastinated. I dared those who follow on dad day to dare themselves to do something….AND THEN DO IT!!!
Well for my first entry (this blog is now “live” where I will update it daily), I am happy to report that I have been following my plan: As a cookbook writer, I can’t exactly diet (and only have about 20 lbs of fat to lose) so I’ve allowed myself to eat anything I want at dinner, so long as the portion is no bigger than my fist (the size of one’s stomach), along with endless fruits and vegetables. I FORCE myself to eat breakfast and lunch everyday (I am a once a day eater, then snack at night by nature), and make sure to keep those meals simple: cereal with skim milk or yogurt with fruit for breakfast, salad with homemade dressing (recipes coming soon) and a protein for lunch, and raw fruits and vegetables and nuts throughout the day.
I hopped on the bike and did 10 minutes on zero resistance the first day. I am now on day 12, and at 50% resistance and am doing 4.5 miles! I am also doing crunches (I am up to 200 now), and push ups (I am up to 50 now). Next week I dare myself to integrate weight training and a more rigorous aerobic routine, switched up with the bike.
On 05/20/13 I weighed in at 187.5 (that is the LEAST I’ve ever weighed this time of year in YEARS…holiday/winter weight always has me crack 200). I weighed myself on 05/27/13 and weighed in at 180.0 lbs!!! It is not about feeling like I look good…or even that my clothes are already beginning to fit again…I feel GOOD to the point where if I skip a work out (which I did twice) I feel like crap and NEED to work out. It used to take me until the end of summer to get to this place, so I am grateful to be here NOW. I don’t want this to be seasonal, a diet, a fad. I want this to be my way of life.
I realize this is a bit lengthy for a blog entry, but it is introducing something very important to me, as a man, a father, and a home cook. I challenge you to DARE yourself to do something and then DO IT! Please use the comment section to announce YOUR goal, and then report back with your progress. You can either click “follow blog” to receive updates, or check back when you can under the tab “Dare and Do.” I would love if everyone could begin cheering each other on. DARE AND DO…BECAUSE WE CAN ALL DO ANYTHING!!! Let’s do this together!! --Brian