Weight Loss, Ducks and the Art of the Silly Video

Originally published Februrary 2013

A year ago, Jan. 29, 2012, to be precise, I decided to lose some weight. I had not really been fat. I am pretty tall, so the weight distributes pretty well. But I was straining a lot of my wardrobe, and I had some clothes that were taking up space in the bottom of my closet because I bought them thinking that some day I'd lose enough weight to fit into them.

When I quit smoking in 2000, my weight started inching up (literally), until I reached 180 on the scale. When I decided to lose weight, I weighed in at 177.5 pounds. I had been getting cast in a number of little films at that heavier weight, but I believed that I could still play those roles plus add more "professional" type roles if I were trimmer.

You can see from the picture on the right how I looked in the 1980s. I was pretty svelte then, and I liked that look. By the time I returned to acting in 2009, I was a bit heavier — more than 35 pounds heavier. As pictures of the roles I've done more recently show on my acting page, I didn't become obese, but I definitely wasn't thin. The photo to the left is from the set of Dinner at Desmond's, which was shot at the end of 2011. The weight was fine for the character, but not for my own self-image. And my doctor did tell me that my cholesterol levels could be better, and that losing 10 pounds would help.

I am not a good dieter. Over my many, many years of worrying about my weight, I have read books and talked to friends and joined groups to try to lose my excess pounds. I remember eating lots of protein on the Stillman diet when I was in high school (hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, steak, chicken), and craving food after hearing my fellow dieters talk about it at Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous meetings (I'd walk out of those meetings and rush for the nearest supermarket to buy brownie mix, then mix up a batch with cream cheese icing and eat the whole pan).

Continue reading on the Weight Loss, Ducks ... page.