Self-diagnosis: Health reporter takes on weight loss challenge for all Crossroads to see

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

April 7, 2011 at midnight
Updated April 6, 2011 at 11:07 p.m.

Now, I know I'm not the only one who goes on these diet and fitness kicks.

And I'm positive I'm not the only one who ends up scarfing down a Snickers bar on the way to work, only to tell my coworkers I'm doing so well with my new "lifestyle."

Please, I beg of you, put down that Twinkie, wipe away the cream filling from the corner of your mouth, and think for a second why you don't look like Ryan Phillippe or Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Lesson No. 1: Losing weight and changing your body doesn't come in a pill.

I personally have never taken that route, but if there was a miracle pill out there, I'm sure we'd all be walking around naked excited about our bodies.

Lesson No. 2: Weight loss comes from proper nutrition and exercise.

In high school, I weighed 215, was a size 36 waist, hated the glutton in the mirror and was embarrassed to read out loud in class because looking down at the book made that double chin turn triple.

I decided I had enough.

I became vegetarian for about four months during my freshman year of college, and by the end of my diet experiment, I was 159, had a 30-inch waist and was so confident, that I probably became one of those annoying egotistical skinny people.

You know who you are.

Lesson No. 3: Make your eating and exercise habits a priority.

Soon after I lost the weight, other priorities came into play, and the true battle of the bulge began.

School became more trying and involved, I was leading my university paper, which was stressful, and I got into a relationship.

Granted, the relationship is five years and still going strong, but my body still took the back seat.

Most recently, another reporter and I put some teeth to our fitness kick, and we dropped some weight and then the holidays came around.

We all know what happened then.

One annoyance I've encountered is that women are the ones who talk about losing weight all the time and never men.

Well, I'm here to tell you on behalf of men across the world: We may be even worse than our female counterparts.

Women aren't the only ones exposed to flawless figures scantily dressed on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

Men also see the token male as a smooth-skinned, tight-bodied, six-foot-tall guy with more muscle than body fat, a strong jaw line and a killer smile to boot.

Well there goes my self-esteem - down into a pint of rocky road.

Today, I'm about 205 pounds and inching my way right back to where I started.

So why not go back to the diet that worked so well for me? Well, first off, anything you call a diet has failure written all over it.

I've learned that the hard way. My body has stretched and thinned out several times, and it has taken it's toll on my body.

You need to eat in moderation, something we all know, but refuse to do.

I mean, why not Super size that meal? More bang for your buck and your belt.

And finally:

Lesson No. 4: Change how you think about food and exercise. Enough said.

So I'm bearing myself to the eyes of the public and trying to do this again. Maybe, I can finally get this done the right way by publicly chastising my weight (is this the right way?).

The plan is to post three photos of the side, front and back profile of myself on my Advocate blog for all to view as I take on this new challenge. I'd love to hear your input, both negative and positive.

So guard the ice cream aisles, fast foot restaurants and couch, here comes the male Kirstie Alley, whose weight also fluctuates.

Have you won the long-winded battle of the bulge? I'd like to know how. Call me at 361-580-6504 or email me at



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