During my first year on Stargate, I put on fifteen pounds (The Freshman Fifteen!). I blame mostly the fantastic catering – Steve’s terrific cooking and Anthea’s extraordinary desserts. At one point, we were producing two shows (SG-1 and Atlantis) and that meant TWO catering options. Then script coordinator Lawren Bancroft-Wilson would scout out the trucks and report back so that we could make informed dining decisions. The SG-1 truck has schnitzel! Or The Atlantis truck has hazelnut torte! It wouldn’t be uncommon for us to walk from one end of the lot to the other to put together our ideal plates. Between the fine food and the sitting around all day in the production offices, chatting with my fellow writer-producers (and, occasionally, writing) I tipped the scales at 180 lbs!
And then, over the course of a vacation, I lost a whopping 15 lbs on what I like to call The Snake Soup Diet. Many of you may remember (if not, just do a blog search) that it basically consists of ordering the snake soup at the Hong Kong airport, then flying into Tokyo and being violently ill for a week. The pounds just melt away! Then, when you return home, you just start working out and keep the weight off.
Eventually, between eating right and exercising (at one point, I was doing a cardio workout in the morning and weights at night), I got down to my ideal weight of 165!
And then, last year, I moved to Toronto to work on Dark Matter. No longer able to access my treadmill and weights, I was suddenly reliant on the condo’s health center and it’s weirdly inconvenient hours. The demands of the production didn’t help either. There were times when I had to get up as early as 5:30 a.m., and got home as late as 10:00 p.m. – and the last thing I wanted to do was wake up even earlier to work out, or hit the gym after an exhausting day on set.
Toronto catering is, thankfully, nowhere near as good as in Vancouver. However, our crafts service team (with the ever affable John Schieder at the helm) is very good – and very accommodating. If you don’t like the breakfast options laid out for you on the crafts service table, just head over to John’s truck and he’ll whip you up a breakfast burrito. Between breakfast and lunch, and then again between lunch and dinner, John’s crew serve up subs (aka “substantials”) to tide over the hardworking crew. Options vary and range from homemade clam chowder to chicken burgers. If we go late, the production will spring for dinner. Eggplant parm sandwiches and pizza were popular offerings last year. And, between that, are the catered lunches.
Staying in shape – and avoiding temptation – is hard when you’re working on a show. But I’m determined to make this year different.
Forget the gym on weekdays. I’ll kick off every morning with a 30 minute work out that will consist of stairs, lunges, calf raises, squats, burpees, tricep dips, push-ups, incline push-ups, decline push-ups, and crunches – 30 reps each.
Breakfast will consist of a protein shake (banana, whey protein, all-natural peanut butter, almond milk, berries, and steel cut oatmeal). I’ll stick to lean options for lunch, have a healthy afternoon snack, and stick with a healthy dinner option. The plan is to do three pescetarian days, two meat days, and two vegetarian days.
We’ll see if this game plan lasts past January.
They usually don’t.
So, that was my New Year’s resolution: To get back down to my fighting weight.
Back in 2014, I read a whopping 180 books! In 2015, distracted by scripts and work, I barely cracked 85. As a result, my list of Recommended Reads isn’t quite as lengthy as last year’s Top 35 –
But there were nevertheless some real gems in both the ongoing comic series and book categories…
MY TOP 10 COMIC BOOK READS OF 2015
10. This Damned Band by Paul Cornell and Tony Parker
9. Ant-Man by Nick Spencer, Ramon Rosanas, and Jordan Boyd.
8. We Can Never Go Home by Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, and Josh Hood
7. Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
6. Squadron Sinister by Marc Guggenheim and Carlos Pacheco
5. Jupiter’s Circle, vol. 1, by Mark Millar and Chris Sprouse
4. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack
3. Descender by Jeff Lemire
2. Arcadia by Alex Paknadel and Eric Scott Pfeiffer
1. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.
MY TOP 10 BOOK READS OF 2015 (hardly any of which were actually published in 2015).
10. The Deep by Nick Cutter (Horror)
9. 419 by Will Ferguson (Fiction)
8. The Candlemass Road by George MacDonald Fraser (Historical Fiction)
7. The Time Traveler’s Almanac edited by Anne VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer (Science Fiction)
6. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (Fiction)
5. Cutter and Bone by Newton Thornburg (Crime Fiction)
4. Get Carter by Ted Lewis (Crime Fiction)
3. Lexicon by Max Barry (Science Fiction)
2. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson (Non-Fiction)
1. Sharpe’s Tiger by Bernard Cornwell (Historical Fiction)
Half A War by Joe Abercrombie
Nightborn by Lou Anders
The Serpent’s Tale by Ariana Franklin
Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Science Fiction)
The End of All Things by John Scalzi (Science Fiction)
The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley
What were your top reads of 2015?