Downsizing: We can work it out

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imageToday, Kevin and I present the first of the four workouts we’ll be doing each week. We even made a video, just like Richard Simmons. And unlike last time, my clothes stay on.

Over the next week, we’ll guide you through the next three workouts, then we put them all together, and you got yourself one mighty fine fitness regimen. So grab your shoes, your ball, and your dumbbells, and let’s get moving.

You can print out the plan for Workout One.

NO MORE DRAMA
Kevin suggested I keep a daily journal of what and when I’m eating, plus how much movement I’m getting on an average day. It actually made for compelling reading. The worst of it: I have a tendency to starve myself until around lunchtime, the only water I drink is run through coffee grounds first, and the extent of my cardio exercise is accomplished by walking to and from my car. I used to chase my dog, but I trained her to sit, so now I can too.

I have to cut back on the caffeine and hydrate more, and of course I’ve got to get moving. But the timetable on which I’m eating is a big hurdle I need to jump right now.

Here’s the problem with starving yourself until lunch: Your metabolism slows to a crawl while you’re sleeping, and won’t kick in again until you put fuel in your body. There’s no such thing as rollover calories. Your body does not care about the cake you had last night for dinner. That’s already on your thighs, and isn’t of any use to you now.

Look at it this way: Your body is a major drama queen. I’m talking Patti LuPone quality here. If you skip breakfast and lunch, you know it’s just because you overslept and had to run by the bank. Drama Queen Body freaks out and assumes that no food is ever going to come back again, so we’d best hang on to everything we’ve got.

Drama Queen Body will fight your weight loss efforts every step of the way, in its desperate fight to stay alive. But if you give Nervous Nelly a freaking bowl of oatmeal, it’ll calm the hell down and let you do your thing. I know people say, “I don’t like breakfast.” Well, your body does, and this is a fight you’re not gonna win.

When you see your own behavior spelled out on paper, the areas in need of improvement become quite glaring. I’d encourage you to try it for a week. Get the journal.

PICK OUT YOUR OWN DAMN FOOD
The first day Kevin and I sat down to put this program together, I asked him what foods were forbidden. His response, which made me love him a little bit, was ”nothing.” If you identify certain foods as completely off-limits, they will haunt your dreams.

It brings us to one of our basic principles: This isn’t about denial, it’s about responsibility. A couple pralines at a Christmas party will not make me look like a manatee when I put on a swimsuit next spring. And the way to keep yourself safe is to not show up at that party hungry. Going to a party when you’re hungry is like going to a bar when you’re horny. You will pick up something you never would have touched otherwise, and you will likely regret the choice.

We’re not going to dictate your diet. Everybody’s weaknesses are different. I don’t need to tell you that eating grapes is better for you than eating Pringles. Nobody had to tell me that. If we eat the grapes, there will be rewards. If we eat the Pringles, there simply won’t be rewards beyond salty goodness.

There’s no mystery here. Make a choice. You can put acai berries in everything, or take that pill “The Bert Show” likes, or buy 30 year-old boxes of Dexatrim on eBay because they made Diedre Hall look so pretty on “Days Of Our Lives.” The most effective, proven way to get in shape is to stop eating so much crap and get off your ass.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO…
Workout One. It is not an easy workout. It is demanding exercise designed to help you see results faster than you might expect. I am sore in all sorts of brand-new places. But this morning, I got out of the shower, looked in the mirror, and noticed some bumpy parts were smoother, and some smooth parts were bumpier.

I got very excited. I celebrated by taking my body out to breakfast.

Video Workout One, Part 1:

Video Workout One, Part 2

imageTopher Payne is an Atlanta-based playwright, columnist and author. His latest play “Tokens of Affection” opens in January at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. His “Domestically Disturbed” column can be found in each issue of The GA Voice. He makes his modeling debut in six months. Questions? Email him.

For all the Downsizing videos, a diary and more tidbits, visit his Downsizing on Project Q page, become a fan of the column on Facebook, or catch up on all of his Project Q Atlanta Downsizing columns.

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