Daniel Verastiqui

How I Lost Weight Doing Absolutely Nothing

Time flies when you have your first child, and though I’m happy Matador is burning through his Terrible Twos, I miss the days of his infancy where, if you put him somewhere, he would stay there. Then there was all the napping. That was nice too. But nowadays, he wants to run from room to room, he wants to sit down and stand up, and he wants to ride on my back while I buck like a horse.

It has put a terrible strain on my body.

It’s fun to talk about Dad Bod because if you tell someone you have an infant, they kinda give you a pass (or at least, they should). You’re tired, you’re not sleeping, and every waking moment goes toward taking care of a new human. You’re exhausted mentally and emotionally, and as everyone knows, the best way to deal with that is with pizza rolls and thin mints. I certainly did my share of stress-eating, and as Matador passed the 30-month mark, I found myself falling headlong into an epic gut and the wrong side of 200 pounds.

Turns out, gaining a ton of weight is also bad for your health, that is, all those important organs that sit behind your layers of fat, gasping for air, struggling to make some room so they can remove toxins and bad thoughts from your blood. For me, it was my liver that finally said, Alright, this is too much sugar, let’s just turn this into fat. What? Nobody wants it? Fine, I’ll just store it here with me.

It’s fun to talk about Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease because if you tell your doctor you have it, they just kinda shrug and say eh, lose weight. And if you press, they say most Americans have it because most Americans are overweight. That’s when you decide you’re not like most Americans, and come hell or high water, you’re gonna lose that weight.

And just like that, without actually doing anything, I lost weight.

Here’s how I did (or didn’t) do it.

Eating Right

This one was really easy to not do. I happened to marry a very accomplished chef who cares way more about eating healthy than I ever will. Where I like chili cheese dogs, Dom likes pan-seared fish. Where I like a Nacho Tower, Dom prefers a Roasted Chicken. We couldn’t be more different, except when it comes to bone marrow. We both hate that.

To eat healthier, all I had to do was stop making myself meals and snacks. Instead, I just ate what Dom put in front of me, things like, ugh, vegetables. Protein and vegetables. Vegetables and protein. Every day.

Now, you might be asking, Hey, Daniel, why do you make your wife cook for you? Isn’t that rather Mad Men of you? Understand this, foolish blog reader, I don’t make Dom do anything. Her cooking dinner is a matter of her own survival. If she allowed me to cook dinner, we’d be having pizza and General Tso’s every night, and we’d also be dead.

Going Sugarfree

One thing I also didn’t do was eat added sugar, which was a real pain in the ass to explain to people.

“I’m not eating sugar.”
“All sugar?”
“No, just, you know, added sugar.”
“So no apples?”
“No, apples are fine, just other stuff.”
“Well, like what?”
“(Motherfucker,) like candy, cake, pie, ice cream, chocolate, smoothies, lattes, cookies, donuts, pancakes, cereal, and all the other things that make life worth living.”

It turns out that if you don’t eat a pint of Bluebell strawberry ice cream every day, refrain from the Pop Tarts at both breakfast and lunch, and avoid Mountain Dew Code Red, your body will stop storing so much fat, mostly because it doesn’t have as much sugar to turn into fat*. (*I don’t know if that’s true I’m not a doctor and I lie a lot.)

Not Exercising

The last thing I wanted to put myself through was exercise, so I didn’t. Instead of going back to Camp Gladiator or Austin Impact Jeet Kune Do or Curves, I instead signed up with Orange Theory Fitness shortly after the whole hey this liver enzyme is off the chart maybe you should do something about that before you die incident. I gave them a god-awful amount of money, and they gave me a heart rate monitor and the opportunity to do basically nothing and still lose weight.

But Daniel, going to Orange Theory is totally exercise!

Foolish blog reader, you strike again. As someone who has been to more than 12 classes, I can tell you that working out at Orange Theory hardly counts as exercise at all in any way. Here, let me break it down for you.

Each 60-minute class at Orange Theory basically consists of these activities, noted with cumulative time spent doing them:

  • Walking into the studio and giving a fist bump, high five, or purple nurple to the coach (1 min)
  • Logging into your treadmill and adjusting the fan from industrial speed down to zero (1 min)
  • Taking inventory of who is to your left and right and judging whether they might be interested in buying some science fiction novels (5 min)
  • Adjusting the speed and incline on the treadmill (8 min)
  • Taking sips of water (2 min)
  • Wiping forehead with towel (2 min)
  • Trying to see what speeds the neighboring treadmills are going during All Outs (2 min)
  • Watching your jowls jiggle in the mirror (10 min)
  • Trying to figure out who farted and why, despite running, you can’t seem to get away from it (3 min)
  • Watching that guy run as if he’s chasing a pickup truck full of his best friends who won’t slow down to let him in and man he’s tired and his limbs are flailing but we just started so there’s really no reason for him to be running like that (5 min)
  • Wiping your treadmill down with a wet-nap because cooties (1 min)
  • Getting settled on the gym floor (1 min)
  • Watching the coach demonstrate the exercises (1 min)
  • Spying which weights the neighboring ladies have chosen and selecting something much lighter (1 min)
  • Figuring out TRX straps (7 min)
  • Walking to the rower (2.5 min)
  • Adjusting the rower (1 min)
  • Walking from the rower (2.5 min)
  • Checking form in the mirror (2 min)
  • Wiping down the weights and weight bench (1 min)

So, you see, in any given Orange Theory class, you only spend between 1-2 minutes actually exercising. That’s only 0.01% of your day, and 0.01% of anything is basically nothing. This just proves my point that you can do basically nothing and lose weight. The logic is air-tight.

Not Summarizing

Considering the results I’ve seen in the last couple of months, I think I’m gonna keep doing nothing until the summer. No cooking meals, no added sugar, and no exercise. It’s a recipe for success!

Now if I could only publish novels by doing absolutely nothing…

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photo of Daniel Verastiqui and his writing partner Jetson


I'm Daniel Verastiqui.

This is my blog.

I'm a Science Fiction author, so I mostly post about my experiences with writing, publishing, marketing, and self-loathing.

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