NPR logo

A Promise to Wait Before Dieting Again

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6695642/6695643" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
A Promise to Wait Before Dieting Again

Commentary

A Promise to Wait Before Dieting Again

A Promise to Wait Before Dieting Again

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6695642/6695643" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Commentator Kevin R. Free says 2007 may be the time to accept himself as is before he hops on any more weight loss plans. Free is an actor and career coach living in New York City.

FARAI CHIDEYA, host:

Commentator Kevin R. Free wants to keep it real when if comes to his resolutions for 2007.

KEVIN R. FREE: 2007 is almost hare. And once again, I'm going to take control of my diet and, once and for all, change myself in the lean, mean acting machine I know I should be.

I knew it was time to stop the insanity when an actor I'm working with right now referred to me as chunky - not that I care that he was talking about me. Frankly, I can't think of a better subject. I just would rather not be called chunky. It feels a little too much like the truth.

I mentioned to my trainer that I was embarrassed to work out sometimes because I make ugly faces and grunting noises when I lift weights. He explained that ugly faces and grunting noises are entirely appropriate at the gym because the gym is not supposed to be like happy hour.

I've always been a few pounds overweight. I played football and soccer when I was growing up, but sports never helped me lose weight. Besides, when I was a kid, I believed that my chubby cheeks were my ticket to becoming the next Gary Coleman. That's why I balanced all of my little league exercise with a healthy appetite.

As an adult, it was my sense of entitlement that was getting me into trouble. I'm an American. If I work hard, I'll get what I deserve. I work very hard at auditions, at rehearsal, or just being my sweet self which, believe you me, is hard work.

So I'm in for a great reward, right? Chicken fingers for my appetizer, steak for dinner, and a big old slice of cheesecake for desert - I ate like that every day until I was 40 lbs. overweight.

The satisfaction of a job well done wasn't enough. I wanted more, and I got it - more knee problems, more back problems and more self-image issues.

I realize that weight loss is all about choices. Do I want a turkey burger so I won't be hungry later? Or do I want a ginger bread cookie so I can be in a good mood now? Don't I deserve a treat just for getting through 2006?

Do I need to subtract all the treats I had during the year from my end of year bonus treats? These are important questions, but nothing like the questions I have once I get to the gym.

How long until I'm gorgeous? Am I done yet? Do I look butch lifting weights? My trainer was so right - going to the gym is nothing at all like happy hour. I would love to work in a fitness club where all the smoothie-drinking, Speedo-wearing, spin-class teaching perfect-bodied people have been banned. Is that bad? I only want them kicked out until I have a chance to catch up with them.

I have been so close to having a great physique for most of my life. I've been both too heavy and too thin. And I am, at age 37, pretty happy with my looks. But I'm deciding right here and right now, for 2007, that I will become even happier.

I'm not sure yet if that means I'll work out more or if I need to find a new therapist to help me with my self-image, or if I'll spend more time at happy hour. All I know for sure is that it is much too late for me to be the next Gary Coleman.

(Soundbite of music )

CHIDEYA: Wise choice, Kevin. Kevin R. Free is an actor and career coach living in New York City.

(Soundbite of music)

This is NPR News.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.