First, let me give a little background about my journey so far.
I’m not sure who groaned louder earlier this year — me or the scale? — when I decided to see how much damage I’d done to my body from adhering to a strict diet of eating anything and everything I could get my hands or mouth on for an extended period of time.
I’m a sports writer who covers pro basketball for my job, so let’s describe the damage in terms of the NBA.
When I stepped on the scale in March, I weighed more than Hall of Famer Yao Ming, who’s taller than the Great Wall of China. I weighed more than Robert Traylor, whose nickname was “Tractor” (presumably because they needed heavy machinery to haul his food). I even weighed more than Shaquille O’Neal. You read that right. This 5-foot-8 guy weighed more than 360-pound SHAQ! Dude is a diesel and I weighed more than him. He’s a massive human being/genie who happens to be almost a foot and a half taller than me and who could barely fit into a full-size Buick in the commercials he was paid to make, and I weighed more than him.
(I think this is where I enter the “I’m not overweight, I’m undertall” joke.)
The only player in NBA history who was heavier than me?
Congrats, Oliver Miller! The former center’s heaviest reported weight was 375 pounds. In other words, there was a good reason why they called him “The Big O” and not “The Slim M.”
Fast forward eight months and a lot of nutritious eating on my awesome health program, and I’m no longer heavier than any of those players. Since March 7, I’ve lost 115.7 pounds — or the equivalent weight of one of Shaq’s meals. (I’m still in shock that I weighed more than Shaq. Good grief. Somebody should’ve told me!)
When I started on this health journey in March, I weighed more than every player who’s currently in the NBA. I’m very happy to report that that is no longer the case. In my most recent weigh-in, I weighed 258 pounds, which means I’m lighter than a couple dozen players.
I passed up T-Wolves center Nikola Pekovic, the NBA’s heaviest player at 307 pounds, quite a few months ago. I’m no longer heavier than 7-foot-3 center Boban Majrjanovic, who could easily be cast as Fezzik if anyone ever did a “Princess Bride” remake. (P.S. Even imagining a different cast attempting that is inconceivable.) I’ve also left Big Al Jefferson (289), Andre Drummond (279), DeMarcus Cousins (270), Zaza Pachulia (270), DeAndre Jordan (265) and Metta World Peace (260) in my weight-loss dust.
A bit closer to the home front, I also now weigh less than Jazz power forward Derrick Favors, a muscular 6-foot-10 athlete who is seven pounds and a stepladder bigger than me.
I’ll have to ask Derrick what it’s like to weigh more than me the next time we get in an interview. (If I were him, I’d ask me what it’s like being 14 inches shorter than him in response.)
There’s a good reason why I’m bringing this up — and, no, it’s not to remind myself how vertically and horizontally challenged I am compared to elite athletes.
It’s my goal this season to catch and pass every player in the NBA on the scale by the end of the 2016-17 season. One exception: Pacers guard Aaron Brooks only weighs 161 pounds, so I won’t mind outweighing him even if I am four inches shorter.
We’ll see how I look and feel as I get closer to my healthy weight, but my goal is to get to a good, non-overweight BMI (24.9) and weight of 164 by the time the 2017 NBA Finals end in mid-June. That would mean I would need to lose approximately 2.9375 pounds per week, give or take a thousandth of a pound, to achieve that lofty goal. (For what it’s worth, I’ve averaged a loss of about 3.4 pounds per week since I started in March.)
Although Brooks isn’t on my radar (for now), reaching my goal will make me lighter than Minnesota point guard John Lucas III, who might weigh more than 166 pounds if he hadn’t generously given my kids some pumpkin cheesecake a few Thanksgivings ago.
It will also put me at a lower weight than Blake Griffin (251), LeBron James (250), Carmelo Anthony (240), Dwyane Wade (220), Deron Williams (200), Steph Curry (190), Chris Paul (175) and the other 400-some-odd players.
That, of course, includes the Jazz players:
Derrick Favors (265), Boris Diaw (250), Rudy Gobert (248), Joe Johnson (240), Joel Bolomboy (235), Trey Lyles (234), Jeff Withey (231), Gordon Hayward (226), Joe Ingles (226), Alec Burks (214), Rodney Hood (206), Shelvin Mack (203), Dante Exum (190), George Hill (188) and Raul Neto (179).
The player who should feel the most threatened right now: Washington Wizards center Johnny O’Bryant. The 6-foot-9 big man, who weighs 257 pounds, is perilously close to being passed up by a man on a mission.
O’Bryant can seek solace from guys like Andrew Bogut (260), Roy Hibbert (270) and Brook Lopez (275). They already know what it feels like to weigh more than me.
They’re about to be joined by hundreds of other NBA players.
Which brings me to my next challenge: Earn more money than NBA players.
- Starting weight (March 6): 373.7 pounds
- Last week’s weight (Oct. 21): 261.5
- This week’s weight (Oct. 28): 258.0
- This week’s loss: 3.5 pounds
- Total loss: 115.7 pounds