Brian Sandford: Losing weight around the holidays proved too big a challenge |

Brian Sandford: Losing weight around the holidays proved too big a challenge

Brian Sandford

I am 50 years old.

I haven’t actually been on Earth for five decades, but that’s what the body-composition modified scale told me Thursday. That day marked the end of the eight-week fitness challenge involving employees all over the Nevada Appeal building, and I found myself standing on a machine that calculates one’s “real age” based on body factors.

Each challenge participant paid $20, and we were divided into seven teams of five people each. The goal was for team members to lose weight and body fat and gain muscle, and the team and individuals with the best results split up the $700 pot.

Reporter Teri Vance, classifieds department supervisor Amber Clavelle and I would talk excitedly about the challenge when it began in mid-October, even though we were on different teams. The weekend before it started, I cheated a bit by trying to gain some temporary weight. It’s likely the only time in my life in which I’ll enjoy burgers from both In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys Burgers and Fries in the same sitting.

On the challenge’s first day, I weighed in at 175.6 and set a goal of dropping 20 pounds. In coming weeks, Teri, Amber and I would take walks on the path near the Appeal building — it was still warm enough then — and watched what we ate.

I dropped the temporary weight quickly and bragged to my co-workers once I’d lost 7 pounds. I was sure I’d be up to twice that much weight loss in no time.

You can guess what happened next. The holidays. I did pretty well right up until about Thanksgiving, which I spent enjoying a delicious feast prepared by the publisher’s wife. Co-workers started leaving cakes and cookies around the building. I resumed indulging in a couple of slices of pizza on Fridays and scarfed down spicy Mexican food more than once.

By early December, Teri and I were in agreement: We no longer loved the fitness challenge. In fact, we hated it because of our respective poor performances. Sure enough, when I weighed in Thursday, I was back up to 175.2 pounds, my body-fat percentage was up while my body-muscle percentage was down, and my “real age” was two years higher than when I’d started.

Come January, I’ll get back on the weight-loss and health-improvement bandwagon. In the meantime, I’ll definitely indulge in a Christmas Day feast.

And speaking of Christmas, I hope you have a very merry one. I’m looking forward to enjoying my first here in Carson City.

Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at