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Dean Lorey provided another guest blog today. – Vinnie
I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate working out. First of all, it’s difficult. You know what sucks about lifting weights? They’re heavy. Who would want to lift such ridiculous, heavy things? And then the cardio… Jesus… wouldn’t you rather just sit in a comfortable bed and watch an episode of DIRTY JOBS? I hired Vinnie as a trainer a bunch of years ago and I fought him every step of the way. And guess what — I won! I didn’t get any healthier! So… he stopped training me… and we became friends… and then, years later, I had some heart problems and I decided I needed to finally do something about it. I’d tried a lot of diets and hated them. I lost a bunch of weight on the Atkins diet, but couldn’t sustain it. Who can eat like that? Frankly, all diets ended up not working for me because they all seemed to be based on denying you stuff — and I don’t want to be denied stuff, particularly if it tastes good. And food tastes good. Especially if you fry it. But there were these heart problems. And then I saw this thing where President Clinton lost a ton of weight by becoming a vegetarian. And I was sure that wasn’t for me, because I HATED anything vegetarian. Here’s why: those fucking vegetarians lie. They tell you that this weirdly seasoned mushroom tastes just like a T-bone steak and this mashed up patty of grains tastes just like a hamburger and this fried tofu tastes exactly like chicken. Guess what? It doesn’t! But… Clinton lost a bunch of weight by eating that way and I thought I might give it a shot. And here’s what I learned. First of all, you have to stop thinking that vegetables taste like meat. They don’t. But, oddly enough, they can taste really good if you stop trying to think of them like something they’re not. Vegetable stir fry, pasta, soups — tons of good stuff. Second, I realized that you don’t have to be a creepy sprouts-growing-out-of-your-asshole vegetarian to eat MOSTLY vegetarian. So I hit on the idea of eating one meal a day with chicken or fish and the other two meals vegetarian. That seemed doable. Usually, breakfast was some form of cereal anyway, so that was one meal down. Which meant I only needed to come up with one other vegetarian meal that I could stomach. As it turned out, there were a bunch of meals that I could more than stomach. And once I changed my thinking, I found a ton of dishes that I actually preferred to meals with meat. And then, to complicate things even further, I did something really stupid — I decided to do this crazy experiment during the period of time that everyone puts on weight… between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I wish I could tell you why. Some perverse masochistic instinct. My thinking was “if I can lose weight when NO ONE loses weight, than the rest of the year will be cake… which I should try not to eat too much of.” So I did it. And I’m still doing it, which I guess means that that’s just the way I eat now. And here’s what I discovered. First of all, it’s the only diet I’ve ever been able to stick to, because it’s not a diet. I eat pretty much everything I did before, I just have some rules about how much and how often. If you don’t have meat in every meal, you start to strip away calories along with cholesterol. Now, if I’m out to dinner in a nice restaurant and I want a steak, I’ll have it. But only occasionally. The idea that nothing is off limits as long as I’m sensible about it made everything possible. And, yes, I know that Weight Watchers is sort of the same idea. And I know it’s helped a lot of people and I’m glad for all of you. But I just couldn’t stomach counting points or whatever it is you do (sorry, Vinnie). My brain’s just not wired that way. So this weird new way of eating actually ended up helping me. Maybe if you’ve been hunting around (like I was) for something different, it can help you, too. I don’t know. I’m down to a weight I haven’t seen in a decade. It’s not my college weight, but I was bone thin in college and I’m not sure I want to get that skinny. My blood pressure is 120 over 70. Can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve seen numbers like that. Cholesterol: 122. Look… I don’t know if this will work for you. I don’t even know if it will work for ME in the long haul. But I do know this… it’s the first thing I’ve ever done that has really clicked and made sense. By the way, I also take a nice walk with my wife every day. The cardio probably helps. The company helps as well. Good luck.