Posted by Bruce Miller
This morning I weigh 216 lbs. That’s my after breakfast weight, recorded while wearing slippers and pajamas on a 1950s bathroom scale that I suspect is only relatively accurate.
I mention my portliness because I’ve decided yet again to attempt to lose weight and become more productive by adopting a healthier lifestyle. I’m 58 years old. It’s now or never.
The other reason I’m confessing to this embarrassing heftiness is because I’m thinking that the best way to stick with my new, longed-for lifestyle may be to I write about it. I know that keeping a journal is supposed to help weak-willed weight-losers stick to their goals. Experience tells me I’m more likely to subscribe to a new regimen if I do so with friends. When I put these two nuggets of knowledge together I discover a compelling reason to blog.
There are other reasons, of course:
1 People turn out in droves to read about how to lose weight. Maybe this new, sporadic series will attract more readers to the Barksdale Buzz, which would be a good thing.
2 I like to write. Others will decide if I’m any good at it. I find it impossible to sit down and write for myself. I only write when I think it’s at least possible that someone will read what I’ve written. My main attraction to the blog is that it gets me writing. My secret hope is that one day I’ll put together some combination of these jottings into a book. Books are hard to write—impossible for me. I’d never have the willpower to sit down and write a book. But apparently I have whatever it takes to write a blog, one post at a time. And if I do enough of that, I may one day discover that I’ve written a book by accident.
3 Adopting a new lifestyle requires discipline and research. Which changes should I make and why? Writing a blog requires similar efforts. Interspersed with all my investigations into plays and playmakers, maybe I can reconnoiter the latest exercise data, learn the perfect method for brewing green tea, or crack the code for making tasty whole wheat waffles. I have lots of intellectual curiosity, but I tend to direct it only towards work-related topics. If I blog about my desired change toward a healthier lifestyle, it becomes work-related.
4 In my first baby steps into the “healthy lifestyle blogosphere,” I’ve been told repeatedly that participants in this brave new world are among the most supportive, friendly and well informed people online. Based on the many times I’ve tried and failed, I suspect that this new attempt to embrace a healthier lifestyle will “take a village,” as they say. I hope to benefit from friends who are there to offer occasional support and information. When you learn of a better way to do sit-ups after hernia surgery, I want to hear about it. And when you’re standing next to me at a cast party and Gordon Bass enters with a plate of his sausage cheese balls, you can warmly advise, “Two, you’re only allowed two.”
5 As I embark on this journey, it occurs to me that I may actually help someone—a fellow sausage ball junkie who, like me, may benefit from some encouragement and step-by-baby-step advice. I like being a helper; I really do. Knowing that the information I uncover may be of use to someone who is committed to a similar quest, and living in the sure knowledge that many of you “someones” will be seeing me at the next opening and assessing my progress (or lack thereof)—it all makes me feel accountable. I’m much better being accountable to others than I am being accountable to myself.
Succeed or fail, I figure it’s worth a shot. I’m more than a little humiliated to be sharing turf with Kirstie Alley (not that there’s anything wrong with her), but I need to try something that may make this time different.
What does any of this have to do with theatre? Everything. Ask anyone who's ever been rejected for a role (or a grant) because some director (or contributor) chose to support someone else who was more physically fit.
Stay tuned for the results of my research and the occasional progress report. My goal is to reach 185, pretty close to my ideal weight and a number I haven’t seen on a scale in about a quarter century. Anyone who wants to toss in their two cents worth along the way is much more than welcome.