By STEVE FRIESS
Years ago in San Francisco, I met up with some vacationing British friends. The guests were surprised that the people of the City by the Bay seemed so fit, and one friend asked, less-than-half-jokingly, “Where are all the fatties? All we hear about is how fat the Americans are.” Before I could reply, another Brit fired back: “They’re at the buffet in Vegas, ain’t that right, Steve?”
I couldn’t protest. Men’s Fitness has, after all, dubbed Vegas America’s fattest city, and clearly our girth precedes us. We are huge, and not in a good way.
That’s why the accomplishment of math teacher Chris Smith ought to be trumpeted. Not only has he shed 117 pounds in about two years, down from 322 pounds, but this month he becomes the first man to grace the cover of Weight Watchers magazine. You’ll also see him holding one of his “before” photos on new TV commercials with, among others, newly svelte Jennifer Hudson.
The actual news in there is that Weight Watchers is finally highlighting the importance of weight loss for men. Guys don’t realize it until we try to drop a few pounds, as I recently have, but the diet industry focuses obsessively on those with the milk-producing variety of breasts. When a man who isn’t gigantic decides to diet, people actually ask why.
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