I've joined Biggest Loser competition (I know what you're thinking)

It is always easier to write about other people. Seems lately, though, that writing about more personal issues has become tres chic, evidenced by the inspiring number of readers reaching out. One woman even sent me a Garfield comic strip and identified him as my spirit animal.

I think she's right.

Right down to the shared love of lasagna.

But I digress.

Two things have happened recently. I joined a Biggest Loser competition with some friends; and agreed to participate in "Dancing With The Stars" March 23 at Waterford High for the benefit of mental health services and suicide prevention programs. More on dancing in another installment, although admittedly, the visual isn't pretty.

Back to the Biggest Loser. Now I can point to several social commentators who believe I've already retired the trophy. Hmmm. Perhaps. This endeavor, however, is about taking some of the concepts of sports — working together for a goal and moving around — to drop some weight.

I'm in week four.

I approached the scale for the first time with a roll of quarters in my pocket. This was to guard against pure fright. Remove the quarters and the number on the scale goes from Kurtz at the end of Heart of Darkness ("The horror! The horror!") to a more palatable, "eh." But then we agreed to an impartial third party do weigh-ins, thus preventing Patriots-like cheating. Scales nonetheless scare me more than my doctor coming at me wearing the little white glove.

The thought of weighing in at home is terrifying for one reason: I'm fat. Seeing the number reminds me of my physical from junior high, where all of the boys lined up and the nurse called out my weight.

The first week, we all set a goal: walk 10,000 steps. After previous disclosure about how to cheat the Fitbit, I made promises to honestly walk 10,000 steps. The Fitbit app allows our team to monitor how many steps we have taken and compete. The truth is (boy I hope my teammates aren't reading this), I didn't want to win the week. Because then I'd have to win them all. I just didn't want to come in last. I'm not proud.

The second week, I decided to drink more water. After my time comes and I repent all my sins, God may ask me if I have any questions. This will be mine: Why couldn't you make water taste better?

I could go a full day without drinking water. Coffee?  I need it more than a lung. Water?  Sigh. Catholic guilt sets in when everyone else orders a water. My brain says, "Scotch," but my mouth says, "I'd love a glass with lemon."

I bought a glass water bottle and one with a straw. People say that water tastes better out of glass.  I say: It tastes like water. I tried drinking out of the thermos with a straw, but have you ever noticed the weird bubbling noises those things make?  Imagine sitting around trying to interview someone and there's Mikey gently suckling on a water bottle. I've decided to sneak sips when no one is looking.

Week three: brutal. Do men retain water? Maybe it's male PMS? I don't know. But I'm beginning to empathize. My weight went up, but was still down a pound from the original weigh in. So much for expecting positive affirmation from my teammate. She reminded me that I have nothing but time on my hands because my hours are more flexible. She told me how much harder she had to work to lose the same amount. Sigh.

It's week four. I controlled my eating during the Super Bowl and chose water instead of wine. Still, I realize that I got fat by eating too much. So the lingering question remains: "Can I control what passes through my lips long enough to stick to this diet?"

After all, dancers have to keep their figures.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro


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