Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

Balancing the scales

February 7, 2014

I joined “The Biggest Loser” competition at work. I’d do a lot better if Jillian Michaels came into my living room and started yelling at me to do 10 more sit-ups, or if Bob Harper and I hugged it out (those two have vastly different coaching styles).

Every Friday, we weigh in. I get a little nervous. I have a spiel prepped for our leader before I get on the scale. Usually with the “I didn’t do so well this week” speech.

I’m not winning at losing.

I have taken some palpable hits in the battle of the bulge.

If you ever want to shoot yourself, you should go to a Weight Watchers meeting in Westwood, a tony neighborhood in Los Angeles. It’s one of those places where the gym has a valet. God forbid someone would have to walk to their car after running on a treadmill.

The Weight Watchers facility was set up like every other WW facility in the country, but you could still tell it was different. The people were different.

A skinny skeleton of a woman stood up and pronounced, “I was super-stressed, and I binged on a cookie.” A cookie! Singular! One cookie does not a binge make. A sleeve of Oreos is a binge.

The worst part is the woman continued to speak. She said, “I was stressed about having to tell the maid that she was putting the groceries away in the wrong place.”

What a stressful day! I felt her pain. I don’t think I could be angry at a maid for that, even if she put the ice cream in the clothes hamper.

I was wigged out by that weird woman in the Westwood Weight Watchers (say THAT five times fast). She had a maid, she thought one cookie could destroy her and she already was rail thin. She was one of the ladies you often see in LA – a Pez dispenser with boobs. She was concentration-camp thin and still worried about having a cookie. Unless the cookie was the size of my head, I’m thinking she’s doing OK.

It was really hard to relate to the people in that meeting. I had to find a WW meeting with real people. I wonder if I could stand at the door and ask income levels of the patrons?

Dieting in LA was also terrible because everyone was so thin. There are actors who stress about being two pounds overweight. I couldn’t handle the pressure.

Dieting might not be any easier in Pittsburgh, but the people are more relatable. Still, the scale scares me a little.

Getting on the scale is a lot like walking the plank in a pirate movie. I hesitate, but, ultimately, summon my courage and step on. I am a brave soldier in the fight against chocolate. I’ve lost a lot of skirmishes to the enemy, but I will ultimately prevail!

I lost three pounds this week! This calls for champagne! How many calories are in champagne?



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