Diet, Schmiet.

The simple truth is, anyone can lose weight.


This is me in around 1995. I weighed somewhere around 250, 260.

It was around this time that my brother passed away, and for the first time in a long time, I was around some of my extended family. My uncle expressed extreme worry about my weight, which to be honest, I'd stopped noticing. I'd simply gotten so large I really couldn't see myself anymore. I was also forced into realizing how large I was because I needed new clothes for my brother's funeral, and had to get a pair of size 44 waist pants!

Once I did notice, I started to consider doing something about it. But I only "considered" for several years. I dropped a few pounds, and came down to what I thought of as a "manageable" 230. I stayed there for a long time.





These were taken in June, 1998 (in Colorado) and December, 1998 (on the set of "Visit to a Small Planet"). I weighed around 220 or so, and was in no shape at all to be hiking those high mountains. In both cases I was thinking I was looking pretty good until the pictures came back.
But then I got serious. Here I was at the top of the millennium:



We were on our way to ring in the New Year at the Grand Canyon. About all I'd done to improve my appearance was maybe drop another five pounds and get my hair cut. I thought I looked pretty good, but I was comparing myself to those previous years.

I continued to slowly drop a pound here or there, mostly due to my fashion return to cowboy gear and the discovery that it was hard to find good cowboy togs in size Extra Fat. I was wearing a 42 waist in men's size, and around a 20, 22W in women's.
At the end of 2001, I was looking like this:



I weighed about 210 and was wearing 38 or 40 men's pants. The shirt is a mere large. By this point, I actually had a gym membership and even went two or three times a week, often begging off "just because" and largely sticking to aerobic exercises that didn't take too much time or trouble. I was in a little better shape, but it really wasn't doing that much for me.
It was at this point that I decided I was tired of being fat. The little bits of weight loss weren't enough and I made a decision to actually do that dreaded "change your lifestyle." I knew from experience that diets of whatever stripe simply did not work. High carb, low fat -- bull. Low carb, high fat -- also bull. Cutting ANYTHING totally from my diet was a key to failure. I bought a book called "The Business Plan For The Body" by Jim Karas. I actually read it, I didn't just buy it and stick it on the shelf. I didn't take all his ideas, nor have I subscribed entirely to the complete diet plan. However --



These were taken in July of 2004; the jeans were a large-ish size 10 (mostly I was in a 14 at this point) and the t-shirts are Medium.
I now weigh between 162 and 165 pounds and am regularly wearing size 8-10 women's (small shirts, mostly, depending on the maker) and most men's clothes are now WAY too big for me; although I can wear a "small" when I can find it.
ANYONE CAN LOSE WEIGHT.

Stop telling yourself you "can't" do it. I have been heavy most of my life. I started gaining in 4th grade and while I tended to yo-yo up and down, this is the first time I've ever always gone consistently DOWN. Sure, it's been years since I read "Business Plan," and some years before that until I got serious about it. But I'm still going DOWN. Proper exercise has made me even smaller than I was when I weighed 145 (last time I weighed this much I certainly couldn't wear size 8 jeans). I don't have backaches anymore; I don't get easily fatigued. I can walk a block to the store without feeling like I'm having a stroke. I hope to eventually get to my goal of 145 pounds. It's not easy. It's not fast. There's no magic pill. But it is as simple as Milo Bloom put it:

Eat less, and exercise more.

Proper portion control was and is the biggest and most important thing--second is weights. Weight training is way more important to shaping and weight loss than strict aerobic exercise. I never deny myself anything. I eat pretty much anything I want, just a whole lot LESS of it. I still bake cookies with twice as many chocolate chips as the recipe calls for. I still enjoy evenings of cheese and crackers. I still drink beer, cocktails, or wine. I love spaghetti, and adore crusty Italian bread. I just don't eat as much as I used to, and have learned to stop, most of the time. I do have setbacks. I gain holiday weight. I stayed at 180 pounds for so long I thought I'd never start losing again. But I did.

You can do it, too. "Never give up, never surrender." You just have to want it badly enough. And yeah, it's not easy. But I didn't give up carbs. I didn't give up sugar. I didn't give up caffeine. I didn't give up fats. I didn't have to have major surgery. I didn't stop cooking, and I even go to a fast food place once in a while. So if I can do it, so can you.