I used to be a lot heavier.  I’d say about 28 lbs heavier back in the day – “the day” being near the end of my first season on Stargate.  Between all that delicious catering and all those restaurants, I really packed on the weight.  At my heaviest I was a strapping 188 – as opposed to my presently lean 160.  Yes, the food on set was fantastic pretty fantastic.  Every lunch, we would take a walk up to the food truck where Steve would offer us a choice of three mains (including one vegetarian option) and sides.  There were other goodies on the table including a bevy of delicious desserts including the daily cake or pie compliments of the amazing Anthea.  We used to sit in the lunch room, eat and discuss stories after which I would retire to my office to sit and write – OR we the writers would assemble in the writers’ room where we would sit and break stories.  Sometimes, if we were in prep, we would sit in the conference rooms for our various meetings.  In short, a lot of delicious food.  And a lot of sitting.

Back then, home cooking was as foreign to me as one of those flaming haircuts.  We ate out – ALL THE TIME.  The rare occasions when we ate at home were instances where we ordered in. 

I’d love to say my weight loss was the result of training and discipline, a concerted effort on my part to get in shape, but in reality, my turnaround was thanks to something I call “The Snake Soup Diet”.  Basically what you do is order the snake soup at the Hong Kong airport.  Then, when you arrive in Japan for the second leg of your trip to Asia, you are violently ill for almost a week.  By the time you get back home – miracles of miracles! – you have shed 15 lbs!  At that point, all you have to do is start eating right, cut down on the desserts (maximum one per day), and work out.

Thankfully, the catering here in Toronto is truly abysmal so there’s no temptation there.

My wife, Akemi, is also an amazing cook who actually prefers to eat in (She has coined the phrase “deliciously happy”).  Being Japanese, she tends to prefer fish and seafood and generally steers clear of frying as a preparation. 

Lunches are my big meals while dinner’s are light, usually comprised of oatmeal, fruit, and all-natural peanut butter.  And always done before 6:30 p.m

I’m also on a fairly regular workout regimen – about 45 minutes every morning, cardio and weights.  Again, I’d love to chalk it up to my commitment to getting healthy but, really, the reason I am able to get down to the gym every morning is my recent discovery of kpop.  I just pop in my earphones, turn on my kpop playlist (now up to 103 songs), and hit the treadmill.

Granted, my lifestyle could be healthier.  I am still a sucker of fried chicken sandwiches.  And some may consider my strict one-dessert-a-day (more or less but sometimes slightly more) a little indulgent (especially since mocha’s don’t count), but I’m pretty pleased with my long game.

Now if I could only apply some of that discipline to studying Japanese.  

12 thoughts on “October 19, 2019: Down to my fighting weight!

  1. I came upon cooking at home as a necessity as a bachelor and then as a comfort once married. Barb’s mom came from Massachusetts and tended to favor starch-heavy dishes with gravy. While my family came from the Chesapeake Bay and Deep South, one side favoring seafood (including steamed crabs) and the other farm meats (fried chicken and pork mostly) with some type of cooked greens (usually turnip, collards, or kale with a splash of vinegar and meat juice). There were more than those dishes, of course, but those were the most common.

    Anyway, after we married, I started missing the foods I was accustomed to, and realized I would need to cook them myself. I’ve since tried to master the recipes from both my Maryland and Georgia roots and I’ve mostly been successful. The few failures had to do more with the locally available ingredients; try getting green peanuts (for making boiled peanuts) in the Midwest!

    Now that we’re moving into a house in Michigan with some acreage, I plan to put in a vegetable garden and plant some things that aren’t that common in the grocery stores here, including green tomatoes, collard greens, various peppers, and maybe a grape arbor. If I feel ambitious, I might even try some melons (although I hated weeding the vines when I was a kid as the spines on the leaves would alway prick me).

    I do have to work on my exercise more, but I’m hoping walks around the acreage will help.

    I guess we’ll see what the spring brings…

  2. I have a very similar weight loss regiment. I too was around 190 lbs. Just over a year ago I began running regularly every day building up my stamina and speed over time. I cut back on my food portions too and after 3 months I managed to loose 30 lbs. I lost another 10 over the next couple of months after that. At the beginning of 2019 I added a little bit weight-lifting to my routine as well. So l too I’m sitting at 160 lbs. And have managed to keep it off for the last year. My first step was to drop drinking cola and cutting back on sugar in general. Since doing this I feel much healthier. I’m 52 but I can say I feel better than ever. I’m happy to hear that you’re keeping the weight off too. There’s nothing better than staying healthy. Don’t worry about having a dessert. I have them everyday too.

  3. Omg. Kpop is the answer. Joe, could you share your list? If you’re using Spotify, you can just make it a public playlist… please? 🙂

  4. I had a little “awwww” moment reading “My wife, Akemi”. Awwwww.

    I have always loved food, my parents always encouraged me to try new things when we traveled. Larry and I cooked together, shopped together, and he would often prepare meals when I did not feel well. We made stuff like eggrolls and baklava. His ribs were legendary. Now, cooking for one is barely cooking at all. My weight is up, and i need to get on it, as I do not want to buy new jeans.

  5. I noticed you worked in “my wife”. Congrats again!

    Your Snake Soup Diet seems a bit extreme, although effective. Thanks for the 😆 this morning.

    After reading the comments from a few days ago, on Dr check ups, I count myself lucky. Some of the posters have such a hard time medically and I’m sending prayers/good thoughts to them. Your blog helps a lot of people connect without leaving their homes. Thank you for that too!

    I have a few back issues but keep moving by swimming each weekday morning. I don’t limit myself to one dessert a day, however. 😉 I try and swim two miles. Some days scheduling limits me but I try. The strokes seem to work out my stiff muscles and the water temp helps my aches/pains. I’m lucky to have access to a YMCA near us. You wouldn’t believe the competition for swim lanes but I’ve made a few friends that share lanes, if need be.

    Today, I’m heading to my son’s house (Dr Jo’s former house) to paint. The inspection didn’t reveal the foundation issues, so that was a big blow. I’m waiting for the estimate on foundation repairs now. Keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer and etc…. 😉

  6. “My wife, Akemi” 🙂

    I’m not much of a fried food eater, but maybe once a week or so, we’ll have a big proper Irish Fry. Bacon. Eggs, Sausages, soda bread, potato bread.. mmm..
    But like I say, that’s not every day, and inbetween there’s plenty of less murderous food!!

    Instant Noodles are still the most frequent “bad” item in my diet..
    I don’t smoke, drink, etc. Let me at least have my noodles!!

  7. I am glad you take care of yourself and have an exercise regimen as you always look like a million dollars (as we used to say back in the day). I had always wondered how you could eat as well as you do and keep looking like Cliff Simon (Ba’al) after winning a battle with The Rock. You have so much going for you, so keep doing what you’re doing and being yourself. You’re a brilliant soul with a lot of light to shine.

  8. …yeah, that “my wife Akemi” made me smile, as with the rest of the girls here on your blog. I notice the boys just go on talking about what they eat. I you believe your healthier self is all due to “my wife Akemi”.

  9. “My wife” I got all mushy when I saw you write that. You and Akemi were meant to be together forever.

    My weight gain started a few years ago and I’m not really sure how it happened. I don’t eat out (rare) and all I could think of was I hit my 50’s and my metabolism is not what it used to be. I put on more from the fiasco last year and into this year. I’ve dropped 8 pounds but it is taking forever to get off. The lack of being able to do real heavy cardio is probably factoring into the slow(er) weight loss. I had been within 30 pounds on my wedding weight back in 2012 and I had every intention on getting there, but it moved in the wrong direction.

    I’ll get it off. It will take time and it will be frustrating.

  10. I’d like to note that this is the first time, I think you’ve written “My wife, Akemi”. Something to note down for your 50th wedding anniversary I hope!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.