Behind-the-Scenes at a Weight Loss Infomercial

February 14, 2013

Hey Folks! Now that Richard Simmons’ new infomercial has seen the light of day, I can share some fun behind-the-scenes scoop about the whole experience. Before I do that, a big thanks to everyone that tuned in! For anyone that doesn’t know what I’m talking about, Richard Simmons just launched a new 90-day weight loss program called Project H.O.P.E., and I’m featured as a weight loss success story in the new infomercial!

For everyone that missed it, I don’t have any information for you about how you can watch, unfortunately. I’m not in the online version of the infomercial (which can be seen here), and I don’t know if the 30-minute version that I’m in will ever appear online. As for television viewing: I’d like to think that this infomercial, just like every other infomercial ever made, will run for months and months and be inescapable. I just don’t have, at this time, any more scheduling information. What that means is that you should stay up late and watch cable TV in the middle of the night for the foreseeable future until you happen to catch it on the airwaves!

Kidding, of course. If I learn more about concrete viewing opportunities, I’ll be sure to let you know! In the meantime, you can live vicariously through these photos.

I appear three times during the infomercial. The first time is right near the beginning, when they show this graphic for a few seconds that features ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs:

Info2 Still1

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“Before” and “Current” Photo Comparion… WITH PUPPIES!

June 7, 2012

This post has lots of cute puppy pictures. You’ve been warned!

Before I get to that, I just wanna welcome any new readers here for the first time. WELCOME! I’m guessing you’re here because you read about me in the Montreal Gazette, and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and check out my site!

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, check this out: Today I’m the subject of June Thompson’s Shaping Up column. June interviewed me last week and wrote a fantastic article about my weight loss and relationship with Richard Simmons. Click here to read June Thompson’s column about me in the Montreal Gazette.

For you newcomers, here’s a few quick links for things June mentioned in the column:

Whew! That’s enough to get you started! Now, on to the puppies!

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Brooklyn Bridge “Before” and “Current” Photos

May 13, 2012

I’m exhausted.

In a post last week, I mentioned I was travelling, but I didn’t mention where. If you follow me on Twitter, you could’ve gotten a couple clues over the past few days, but in case you missed those tweets… I was in New York City!

I just got home a little while ago from a fantastic, jam-packed 4 days in Manhattan, and I’m pooped. I hung out with my brother, sister-in-law and two nephews, went to the wedding of one of my best high school friends, and saw a bunch of other friends from high school and college. I spent four days on the move – seeing landmarks, going to a Broadway play and, of course, eating well and exercising.

Most of my trip is well documented in photographs, but I’m way too tired to sort through all of it tonight. My next post will have a ton of photos and details. For right now, I thought I’d share a “Before” and “Current” Photo Comparison.

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“Before” and “Current” Photo OVERLAY!

April 30, 2012

I met my friend Steve in 6th grade at West Maple Middle School, and now here in California, not that far from me. I’ve always known Steve to be smart and talented, but last week, after I shared my glowing-yellow-wall “Before” and “Current” pictures and the cool silhouette photo, Steve shot me the following email:

“Your new photos inspired me to Photoshop your new silhouette onto your ‘before’ picture. I tried to line up your ears and elbows to keep the two pictures proportional, and I think it turned out pretty well!”

And this was attached:

I absolutely LOVE it – it’s so unbelievably cool! No need for “Before” AND “Current” pictures… Steve combined them into one! This is going immediately into the Photo Gallery. Thanks, Steve!

Movin’ on…

Did you have a good weekend? Mine was quite nice, except for the jarring realization on Saturday that my 163-story stair climb fundraiser challenge is only one week away. If you’re struck with a sense of deja vu, it’s because I already wrote a post about the stair climb being one week away, but that was before I injured my foot and postponed the climb for two weeks.

Now my foot feels a whole lot better – I’ve been gradually putting more pressure and weight on it during my workouts over the past few days, and there’s been no flare-ups or pain whatsoever. On Saturday, when the one-week-away realization hit me like a truck, I decided to ramp my StairMaster training back into high gear. After all, thanks to the injury, I’ve only been on the StairMaster once in the past two weeks.

I ended up spending 21 minutes on the StairMaster, and climbed 84 stories, burning 318 calories. Not bad at all. It’s only half of the 163 stories I’ll be climbing this Saturday, but I hope to get one or two more training sessions in before the big day. I’ll be ready.

And I get to add a new tower to my Skyscraper Collection!  I plan on taking a little (or big) break from the StairMaster after my challenge, so I thought I’d add another landmark to my collection while I still could.

You know it, you love it… the latest addition to my collection is…


It’s 77 stories tall, and I’ve wanted to add this guy to my collection for a while now.

My favorite thing about the Chrysler Building was how Walter Chrysler and architect Willam Van Alen, during the building’s construction in 1929, kept the now-famous 7-story, 185-foot spire a complete secret. No one in the press knew it existed, and it was constructed within the lower part of the building, so no one could see it taking shape. Then one day, to everyone’s surprise, it was hoisted and bolted into place in just 90 minutes. Just like that, the Chrysler Building became the tallest building in the world, edging out 40 Wall Street, another building under construction at the same time. The Chrysler Building only had the world-tallest-building title for 11 short months, though… then the Empire State Building came along.

And here’s something I just learned while researching this post: The Chrysler Building has never been owned by the Chrysler Corporation, nor did the Chrysler Corporation pay for its construction, even though their headquarters were there from 1930 through the ’50s. Walter Chrysler paid for it himself, so that it could be passed down to his children.

FUNDRAISING UPDATE: I’m almost there! I’ve raised $1,555 dollars, which means I’m 95% of the way towards my $1,630 goal. Only $75 short! Can you help me with those final few bucks? Click here to read about the stair climb, and CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION. Thanks!

Finally… I went to the pool yesterday for my second swim in a week (read about the other swim here). My friend Emily came along, and the pool was very crowded and it was hot. I got in 2,100 yards before calling it a day, and then Emily and I walked across the park to a… carnival!

I love a good rickety carny-operated ride, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any cash money on me, and the ticket booth didn’t accept credit cards. I did take this picture with the Ferris Wheel:

I took the exact same picture at Disney California Adventure with Mickey’s Fun Wheel (see it here). I guess it’s my thing with Ferris Wheels. Yep, me and Ferris Wheels have a thing. Jealous?

Even though Emily and I didn’t ride any rides, we did buy a snack (er… Emily bought us a snack, to be specific). There were a lot of options: Funnel Cakes. Cotton Candy. Nachos. Corn Dogs. So what did we decide on?

Roasted Corn on a Stick!

There was a row of Food Trucks, and this came from the Corn Heaven truck.

I got mine with lemon juice, and added some Cajun seasoning. Might have been the best corn I’ve ever had! I definitely wanted to go back and buy 4 more ears, although that’s where the lack of funds became an issue.

Eating veggies at a carnival?

Keep it up, David!

Weight Chart Update AND Underground “Before”/”Current” Photos!

April 25, 2012

The last time I weighed myself, two weeks ago, I had to give myself a big ole pep talk. And I needed it. And it worked! The past two weeks have been full of good choices and healthy eating. But I also had a major body part conspiring against me: my foot. After injuring it last week, I spent the better part of three days plopped on my couch, icing and elevating it. I did make it to the gym for some upper body workouts, but I also ended up having a couple more rest days than I had planned.

Given the circumstances, I’d quite happy with the results of yesterday’s weigh-in:

Maintaining my weight is a good thing. Nope, I’m wrong… it’s a GREAT thing.

Here’s another shot of my weight loss chart:

This morning I took a good long look at the first year of my chart, which I condensed, a few months ago, onto two pages. These two pages will always be a great motivator for me:

So, for everyone keeping score at home, maintaining my weight means I’ve still lost 162 pounds. And counting.


I was downtown a few days ago, and some friends and I went to lunch. We headed over to 505 Flower, which is an office tower that has an big underground shopping center beneath it. The shopping center is mostly restaurants and eateries, and I had a fantastic salad at a place called Salata, a Texas chain that opened their first California location last year.

As exciting as that salad was, what was more exciting was that it was my first time at 505 Flower in about three years, and I had the chance to update a “Before” picture!

505 Flower has these glowing yellow and blue walls near their escalators, and, truth be told, they’re kinda cool and kinda hideous at the same time. Three years ago, I got a picture with my friend Heather in front of the wall, and it’s a terrible photo. It was taken at 1am, and there’s nothing I like about it, and that what makes it a perfect ‘Before’ photo!

You can see the version with Heather (and a more recent picture with Heather, who has lost 50 pounds, by clicking on Photo Gallery – there are lots of ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photos there).

And here I am, just a few days ago, in front of the very same wall:

Pretty. Effin’. Sweet.

A note to anyone who finds themselves at 505 Flower: as tempting as that glowing wall may seem, it’s a really tough background for a Kodak moment. My friend Maya took the above picture, and she took about 15 just so I could have one that turned out semi-decently. I have a hunch that not many people will look good in front of that shade of glowing yellow. But if you’re in downtown LA, I invite you to go and prove me wrong!

I actually LOVE another picture that Maya got of me – full silhouette!

This picture makes me want to shout GO BLUE! – and if you’re a fellow University of Michigan alum or fan, than you’ll know why.


PS: Tomorrow’s the deadline to enter my giveaway to win a $68 fresh fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements. Have you entered yet?


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Sportcoat Edition

February 8, 2012

A trip to the dry cleaners isn’t usually anything to get excited about, but I was geeked to go to the dry cleaners yesterday. And the dry cleaners didn’t disappoint! I wasn’t there to pick up a piece of clothing that had been cleaned. Nope – I was there to pick up an article of clothing that had been altered for me. To learn the rest of the story, we have to jump in a DeLorean and time travel 14 months into the past. Buckle up!

December 2010. My friend Laura’s wedding is fast approaching, and I have nothing to wear. I’m losing weight at a steady clip, and my one suit no longer fits. Alterations to every seam to make it fit would be costlier than buying new clothes, so I opt for the latter and hit the discount stores. With your input (thanks to a poll on this very blog), I buy a sportcoat (and pants, but this blog is more about the sportcoat). I go to Laura and Chad’s wedding, and have a fabulous time. Here I am with the bride:

Beautiful, right? And Laura looks amazing as well! HEY-O!

(Fun fact about Laura: She was one of the people who, way back in the day, encouraged me to start a blog in the first place, and for that I’ll always be grateful. I can’t wait, when I’m super famous and super wealthy, to screen her calls and pretend I don’t know her. Just kidding! Or am I?)

(Fun fact #2 about Laura: I don’t think she’ll mind me saying, but her weight has been all over the place in the past year, and that’s because a couple months ago she and Chad had a baby! Now she’s reading Keep It Up, David as a tool to help her lose the baby weight, and I have no doubt she’s gonna do it. And their baby, by the way, is adorable.)

January 2011. The ensemble in the above photo gets worn a second time, when I deliver the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral. I’m thankful that Laura’s wedding forced me to go shopping, because there was no time in my grandmother’s final days and during the prepping for the funeral for me to make it to the mall.

February 2011. The ensemble gets worn a third time, at a fundraising gala for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. I’m working the event as a volunteer, and my friend Nicolette walks up to me at the gala, looks me up and down, and says something to the effect of: “You look very nice, David, but I think your jacket may be a little big.” The jacket is two months old at this point, although I have lost weight during those two months. I take the entirety of Nicolette’s comment as a compliment, and smile. A big shit-eating grin. I love shrinking out my clothes!

We’re done time traveling. Back to present day. A full year has gone by, and I’ve had no occasion to wear formal clothes (which is not abnormal in casual Los Angeles). This year’s gala for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is approaching, and I’m volunteering again (I still have community service hours to work off for punching that cop). Last week, I take the sportcoat to my cleaners, which has a slew of tailors on-site. The tailor ends up removing a couple inches of fabric from the sides. Wanna see me in the jacket now?

This is what I’m wearing to the gala, from head to toe.

Let’s talk sizes! I’m not wearing the same pants to the gala this year that I wore last year. Last year’s pants were 40″ around the waist, but I got a great new pair as a Christmas present (thanks, Mom and Dad!), so I’ll be wearing those this year, and they’re 38″ (I fit into both 36″ and 38″ pants right now, depending on brand and cut).

Even more exciting: The jacket is a 48″ Long – although not after it was taken in! My previous suit jacket was a 54″ Long – check it out:

I hate this photo – I look like Kevin on The Office, but with more hair – but it’s the only one with that suit.

And the piece de resistance: The suit I wore at my heaviest, in July 2009, to the wedding of my friends Lisa and Matt in New Jersey. This suit is size 64″ Long, and it was ordered from a catalog – even big and tall stores don’t carry suits that big.

The number in suit sizing refers to the distance, in inches, around the widest part of your chest, doesn’t it? So, my advanced math skills tell me that a drop from 64″ to 48″ in suit size reflects a loss of 16 INCHES around my chest (and now a little bit more than that, thanks to my jacket getting taken in). WHOA!

Keep It Up, David!

Check out My Favorite Posts for all the Incredible Shrinking Clothes blogs – this is the ninth one!

Getty Center “Before” and “Current” Photos

January 31, 2012

I’ve posted “Before” and “Current” photos before (including an awesome pair about a month ago, and check out the Photo Gallery to see all of them), but the ones I’m sharing today are definitely some of my favorites. I can’t wait for you to see them! I’ll get to them in a little bit, but let me share some other pictures first.

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Paul and his husband Court. Paul and I met when we were students in the theatre department at the University of Michigan, and after graduating, I headed to L.A., and Paul headed to New York City. I’m totally envious of Paul’s job – he’s a technical director for the Metropolitan Opera – and I’m envious of Court’s career too, for that matter – he’s a scenery and costume designer who works throughout the U.S. and Europe. I studied theatre design in college (and have the degree to prove it), but before graduating I decided I wasn’t cut out for it professionally. I’m thankful to have a handful of good friends from that program who have forged wonderful theatre careers (Paul being one of them), because whenever I hang out with them, I can live vicariously through their stories and imagine my life in an alternate universe. For the record, I don’t regret not pursuing theatre design as a career – I love theatre, but I’m happier being an educated audience member.

Enough back story. Paul and Court swung through Los Angeles on their way to Hawaii, and I met up with them at the Getty Center, a giant art museum on top of a hill in Los Angeles. Here we are (Court on the left, Paul on the right) in the gardens:

The Getty Center is an impressive place. Designed by architect Richard Meier, it opened about 15 years ago, and cost $1.3 billion. The artwork is displayed in five two-story buildings arranged around a center courtyard. Other buildings house offices, a restaurant, an auditorium, and a research facility. This is basically the same photo as above, but without anyone blocking the view:

People (including me) come to the Getty Center for the architecture, gardens, and views as much as they do for the art. This was my fourth or fifth visit, and I’ll never get tired of walking around that campus. The landscaping is full of colorful and exciting plants…

…and the view is second-to-none. It spans from the ocean to beyond downtown L.A., and we were there on as an extremely clear day:

The skyscrapers in the distance are downtown L.A., and the closer ones are Century City and Westwood.

It was fantastic catching up with Paul and Court as we wandered through the galleries. They were also more than happy to help me with my little project. And that brings us to…

…Some AWESOME “Before” and “Current” photos!

I know I said no more back story earlier, but I lied. There’s a little more back story, and here it is:

The last time I was at the Getty Center was in the summer of 2009, when I came with Tavi (my aerialist/dancer friend that gets mentioned way too frequently on this blog) and a friend of his. Here’s a picture from that outing showing how big I was at the time:

What we’re doing is recreating the sculpture on the left that we had just seen in one of the galleries, of the Greek god Cronus (the Romans changed his name to Saturn) devouring one of his children. The sculpture had been the basis of a funny conversation – basically, Tavi thought it was sweet that it showed an old man kissing a baby, but when I looked closer, I saw that the baby’s hand was completely inside the old man’s mouth, and it was clear he certainly was not showing affection.

By the way, I had forgotten how disgusting and disturbing Greek mythology can be. Not only did Saturn eat five of his own children, but he also castrated his own father, and tossed his testicles into the sea (Fun fact: the testicles created a white foam in the ocean, from which the Goddess Aphrodite emerged!). Saturn’s sixth child, Zeus, was hidden from him, raised by a goat, and returned as a grown-up to overthrow him. Zeus, using a potion, also forced Saturn to barf up all the siblings he had eaten, and they all survived.

The sculpture is really quite stunning – much more appealing to look at than Francisco Goya’s painting of the same event. There was a print of this painting hanging in my grandparents’ house when I was a kid (I think it was my uncle’s), and it gave me nightmares. Literally. (Fun fact: Goya painted this directly on the wall of his own dining room – can you imagine looking at that every time you sat down for a meal? It’s now in the Prado Museum in Madrid).

OKAY, OKAY, enough with the mythology lesson. Get on with the pictures!

In addition to staging photos where it looks like we’re eating each other, Tavi and I also took photos in the garden, and because I hadn’t been back to the Getty since losing over 165 pounds, I thought it’d be fun to recreate two of the photos as closely as I could. Paul and Court have great eyes for detail, so they helped figure out the angles and get me into position.

So without any further ago (I swear), I present:



Holy Crap, what a difference two and a half years makes! These pictures make me so happy – you have no idea. And doesn’t that statue have a nice rack?

The Getty Center also provided a nice bonus workout. I say ‘bonus’ because I had already taken Richard Simmons’ aerobics class before meeting up with Paul and Court. In addition to walking around the enormous campus for a few hours, I also walked up to the museum itself. While the museum is on top of a big hill, the parking garage is at the base of it, and there’s a tram that connect the two. I had no patience for the long tram line when I arrived, so I decided to walk up the hill. It’s not a long walk – 3/4 of a mile – but the whole way is up a steep grade. Here’s one the trams that passed by on my way up:

The three us also walked down when we left. An extra 1.5 miles of hill walking? Yes, please!

One final picture. We stayed at the Getty Center until after the sunset, when the sky turned all sorts of gorgeous colors.

I have a whole lifetime of sunsets like that to look forward to, and that’s just another reason to…