I like this time of year. Not just because it’s the holiday season. If I was being balls-on honest, the truth is I’m not crazy about the commercialism of the holidays. The one saving grace about living in L.A. is they don’t play Christmas songs back to back on the radio. Growing up in Louisiana, you would start hearing sappy songs a week or two before Thanksgiving. By the time Christmas came, it would be at a feverish pitch. Sometimes I had the shotgun barrel in my mouth, but before I knew it, Christmas was over with and the songs were gone. I can’t confirm this, but I’m thinking that’s why the suicide rate goes up during the holidays. The reason L.A. is so different? It’s a melting pot of different people and cultures, from every nook and cranny on the planet. It brings every religious type you could imagine. I think that’s a good thing. The best part about it is the radio doesn’t blare wall-to-wall Christmas tunes. The only problem is we in L.A. have to listen to that idiotic Adam Sandler Hannukah song. But I digress. The only reason I like this time of year is because it gives me and friends of mine (who I don’t see daily) reason to call or visit. I’ve done that a lot lately. Today I got to see one of my favorite clients of all time. Let’s call him Kevin because, well, that’s his name. I’ve known Kevin from the time he was a 5-year-old kid. At the time, his mom was a client of mine. Sheila kept herself in impeccable shape in those days. I might add that at 52 she’s still a knock out. Kevin was a different story. By the time he hit 12, he was growing horizontally, even though he hadn’t reached his peak height. He was tipping the scales at 240. That’s when his mom asked me if there was anything I could do to help him. Kevin hasn’t been my biggest success story. I’ve had people lose a lot more than the 105 pounds or so we took off of him. But I can tell you he’s my favorite success story. On our first workout, I asked him why he wanted to lose weight. He said he was tired. “Tired of what?” I asked. “Tired of being teased at school…and tired of being tired all the time,” he answered. I thought it was pretty insightful coming from a 12 year old. I won’t get into his whole story. If I get enough inquiries, I’ll tell it. One year later, Kevin and I rode our bikes about 120 miles, from L.A. down to San Diego to the fat camp his parents had sent him to before we started working together. Kevin delivered a speech telling the other kids that they can do it too. I told you that to tell you this. Kevin kept the weight off through high school and college. By the time he was 21, he was married. At 25, he’s still married. He moved away to Ohio, where he works for his stepfather’s company. He was home today for the holidays.
Kevin still looks great. I happened to notice he put on a little gut. Not enough to be concerned with. I wasn’t going to bring it up. But Kevin did. “It’s tough when you have a job and sit in an office all day. Then I go home to my wife Iko and we want to do stuff together, so there’s no time for exercise.” He added that he tries to eat right as much as he can. “I put on a few pounds, and I don’t know what to do,” he concluded. What I then told Kevin will work for him, and anyone else. Don’t give up your time with your wife. And don’t let your job suffer. Instead of trying to control it with diet alone or exercise alone, you should go for a combo. Watch your diet a little more and try to find 15 or 20 minutes to exercise every day. That combo will do more for you than you think.