The original plan was for me to take my shirt off. I know, you’re all drooling on to your keyboards at the thought, but settle down! I needed a goal, something to motivate me to get into shape. This was in February. I rejoined my old L.A. gym, Crunch, which makes absolutely no sense because it’s really far from where I live in Atwater Village; only, I really like that gym and when I was a member, I went regularly. I had friends there. So I rejoined and ever since February, I’ve been going four days a week. That’s almost six months of regular gym-going and if I had to take my shirt off now on my blog, I’d be a lot less freaked out than I would have been six months ago (OK, maybe I’ll show you my biceps).
The question for me, though, was never really a question of exercise. We all know that exercise is good for us; there’s not much to think about. You go, you do it, you look better, you feel better, etc. The harder question was a question of diet: how do I change what I eat to maximize my efforts? If I wanted to see changes (and I did want to see changes) what did I have to do?
This is an important message from your sponsor, me. You know how grocery stores sell boneless, skinless chicken breasts more than they do actual chickens? And how people bring them home and cook them in such a way that they’re dry, flavorless pieces of cardboard? And how this leads people to hate food cooked at home so much that they wind up going to Popeye’s where this woman has an orgasm as she watches you eat your chicken? And everyone gets obese as our country goes down the toilet? I’m going to tell you a secret.
The other day we were in West Hollywood, walking after eating sushi at Jinpachi. I saw a frozen yogurt place and I said, “Oooh let’s get some frozen yogurt.” That’s not something I often say; in fact, I’m much more likely to say, “Oooh let’s get some ice cream.” Only, this being West Hollywood, ice cream isn’t really an option. Frozen yogurt is where it’s at because frozen yogurt, presumably, keeps everyone trim and muscular and sexually attractive.
In all the debate that goes on in this country about what people eat and how we need to reform the American diet, it’s always taken as a given that people who attempt to nourish themselves and their children on fast food need to be educated, need to be reformed. There’s a sense that we who are enlightened about food, who subscribe to the philosophies of Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman and Alice Waters (I certainly do), are somehow in possession of a great secret and if only we could communicate this secret to the uninformed, we’ll spare them from diabetes and heart disease and cancer and all of the other blights inevitable for those who don’t buy organic produce, who gobble down Big Macs while we gobble down our brown rice bowls.
College is for experimenting, right? We know all about your gay make-out session and that time you tried to smoke catnip. When I was in college, I’d experiment with smoothies. I’d go to Smoothie King, right there in Emory Village (because I went to Emory, see) and order a Caribbean Way which was 5 squirts of this and 4 squirts of that and, if I wanted, a shot of protein powder. Then came Jamba Juice with a few more squirts of this and that and some other strange powders and I was hooked. Only, I always thought two things while consuming these smoothies: (1) what kind of junk is in this drink I’m drinking? and (2) Why is it so expensive?
Dinner parties are rarely life changing events. Usually, you sit around a table with friends, drink wine, eat cheese, and talk about light subjects like abortion and torture and then you all head home. At least, that’s always how it’s been for me until this past weekend when our friends Dara and Kieran–who’ve kindly hosted us before— invited us to dinner.