Why can’t I lose weight? Oh, right.

A Heavy Topic

eatcakestaysafe

 

My Whale of a Tale

whale

The truth?  We have all struggled with weight at one time or another (or in my case, every day since conception), and most of us would not even consider trying to fit into one of those swimsuits that look like they are apparently made of dental floss.  I once ruminated about becoming a swimsuit model, but for the good of humanity, I will not do so.  Ever.  I would find it dreadfully uncomfortable in my nether regions, my wife would never accept me, and my dog would look at me quizzically.  The alternative is to remain portly, and go swimming in oversized clothes to properly conceal my girth and reduce the screaming.  This is also why I work from inside a studio, concealed from public view.

Somewhere, way back in time - I am thinking during the Pliocene Epoch - I used to be fairly svelte.  I could deftly flit to and fro with a reasonable amount of speed and agility, like maggots frying in hot grease.  Fast forward to today, and I go from 0 to 60 in approximately four hours.  I am not exactly sure what happened or when, but I will go ahead and blame Burger King.  Cancel culture, do your thing.

In truth, I have always struggled with my weight.  I have waffled (did someone say WAFFLES?!?!?) between overweight and borderline overweight for the duration of my life.  There are pictures from life that I cannot look back on, simply because I do not subscribe to National Geographic.  Please take your time figuring that one out.

Good to have you back.

Voiceover Artist, Audiophile and Demo Producer Extraordinaire "Uncle" Roy Yokelson maintains a daily post about what "national day” it is - last Tuesday was apparently “National Fried Chicken Day.”  I myself was unaware of this, but thank you, Uncle, for the motivation to get off my duff and quickly sprint drive on over to KFC, good sir.  I only really trust food wherein I can actually hear my arteries hardening.  Otherwise, it is clearly not doing its job.

In previous Life-Changing Blogs Of Mine, I have discussed an alien activity known as exercise.  In it I mention burpees, which is Latin for demon worship.  That is why I do not do them.  Not because I do not wish to become more fit; but because I do not wish to have anything to do with the Underworld.  Therefore, burpees are out.  And, unfortunately, so are sit-ups (Spanish for “insanity”), push-ups (Swahili for “why are you doing this to me?”) or jumping jacks (Klingon for “Watch me look like flappy noodles.”)

So what is to be done?  How can I – or anyone for that matter – effectively lose weight?  Moreover... should we?

 

And This Time, I’ll Keep It Off!

Grinch Keep It Off GIF - Grinch KeepItOff - Discover & Share GIFs

When I was a kid, I worked out to a morning exercise program hosted by Gilad Janklowicz called Bodies in Motion.  I spent a good half hour each day stretching, getting my heart rate up, sweating, and practicing how to pronounce Gilad Janklowicz without passing out.

Now as a respected and overweight voice talent, I am fairly confident I went about everything the right way.  I got into voiceovers, and anytime I see a script pop up for Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Vegan, The Zone, Keto, South Beach, or Weight Watchers, boy do I jump all over that.  I was even the voice of Nutrisystem for an entire season!  I was elated to do it because I knew in my arteriosclerosis-laden heart that the pounds were going to fall off of me with each word spoken.  I was so overjoyed to have been chosen to voice them that I even let them pay me in buttery pastries.

I know what it means to narrate good weight loss scripts, and to see immediate results.

To further prove my point - as well as to steal more time away from you that you will never receive back - every January 1st at 12am my Resolutions Clock resets, and I am determined to lose weight all year, maintaining strict adherence to daily caloric intake.  I can safely say that this has been my best year ever, because I went all the way to 1:45am, and my reward - an entire sleeve of Oreo cookies with a glass of hot fat - never ever tasted so good.  And because I was so good at enjoying my reward, I rewarded myself!  For breakfast, I enjoyed a cube of margarine.  Let me tell you, a butterstick is an exquisite meal.

I say ENOUGH with uninteresting nuts and berries and boring water, as these fad diets would have you believe.

bacontshirt

I am joking.  I do try to eat well.  By "try" I mean not trying at all and also not caring at all.  For I have come to learn that each one of my beloved family members and friends who have died have all suffered a 100% mortality rate and have not yet returned from the dead.  This is because of food, and other things, like other food.  So, by deduction, the only proven way to lose weight is to simply not eat at all.  Essentially it is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma.  So pardon me if I choose to be damned, because damn, Crisco vegetable shortening hits the spot with a big damn mug of frothy cream soda.

My wife is actually a decent cook, and she prepares meals that she knows have my best interests at heart.  Why, her steamed lemon rind and raisin skin delights are as filling and satisfying as a Meatloaf concert (did someone say MEATLOAF?!?!?), and she has utterly mastered the exquisite art of food deprivation.

So no, thankyouverymuch, I do not watch my weight very well, and I do not exercise as much as I should.  I thought about losing weight once, but I am really not that fond of losing.  Ergo, I have slowly seen my weight continue to climb over the past year, and in many ways feel powerless to stop it.  It is currently placed under the "Oh Well" column of my life.  Confession time: I am presently - gulp - about eighty pounds overweight, and I am pretty sure my cholesterol is seven thousand nine hundred and forty eight.  One thing at a time though.  *eats pastry and sets goals*

But what I have also come to learn is that, although I carry incredible weight, it is not all located in my midsection.  In fact, a lot of it is exactly where it should be: in my heart, mind and larynx.

 

The Weight That We Carry

hurtingthescale

 

Putting aside for a moment diet fads, exercise, healthy eating, and the fact that you have now seen me in only my Costco socks, let us pause to consider the weight we carry as voiceover artists.  Fact is, we carry tremendous weight that is neither a cause for concern nor shame.  Or even stigma.

Our voices bring:

  • Motivation
  • Encouragement
  • Compulsion
  • Passion
  • Excitement
  • Drive
  • Innuendo
  • Impetus
  • Instruction
  • Soothing
  • Mindfulness
  • Urgency
  • Relaxation
  • Warmth

It is your absolute first prerogative in voiceovers to carry your weight.  By carrying your weight, I mean:

  • In how you deliver your voiceovers
  • in how you run a successful business with professionalism
  • in upholding market rates for all of us.  (This is us playing the proverbial "Hanabi" - a game that is designed to see everyone win)

What we do as voice talent holds great weight, and voiceovers are an indispensable component to any video or production.  Will we be replaced by AI someday?  Maybe.  But it is my goal to prolong that day indefinitely through carrying my own weight.

So, in the end, perhaps it is not that bad being a little heavy.  In truth, that is what I am in the voiceover industry: a heavyweight.  Are you?

Pass the cake please.  I am trying to save lives here.

 

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YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.

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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Artist for hire
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20 thoughts on “Why can’t I lose weight? Oh, right.”

  1. I just had to reach out Josh, as your blog on weight not only made me chuckle, I totally hear ya man! Not sure what the answer is, and I think I’ve got about 10 or so years on ya, but movement does help(at least mentally) and Yoga was is a big help too. Flexibility/ and core strength minus the Spanish inquisition torture stuff.
    Hang in there, and thanks for the smile and honesty!

  2. As a child I was so thin my own mother thought I had an eating disorder. I never had to watch my weight…until I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. I’ve made my peace with the fact that I’ll never see a (UK) size 10 again and believe that no matter what weight we are, as long as we are healthy that’s all that matters. Doctors focus too much on the BMI scale, which classes bodybuilders and rugby players as overweight or obese!

    1. Yes! They! Do! I do not have the underactive thyroid, but I do have the Large Organ That Says Sit With Your Feet Up And Watch TV. Doctors tell me that if they remove it, I will die.

  3. Save me some cake!

    I was describing voiceover to a friend the other day and on their own accord, they blurt out: “oh, kind of like story telling!” And my eyes got real big and I screamed “YES!”. I don’t think they understood why I got so excited, but it reminded me of that recent essay about our responsibilities as story tellers!!

    1. My eyes only get that big when I talk about CAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! But seriously (because I am never ever serious), good on ya for spreading the VO mirthy mirthness. And your essay was second to none! (Except of course the winner of the essay contest)

    1. This is not new knowledge. Burpees are in fact Latin for demon worship. Burpicus Maximus Satanicus is the formal name. They are to be avoided at all costs! Only go into Burpees if you are armed with a crucifix and a bag of croutons. The crucifix is for defense. The croutons are for needed calories if you are running away because the crucifix did not work.

  4. Thank you very much Mr. Alexander, I now have the image of your Costco clad feet permanently burned into my retinas. At least it’s the clean pair you keep for special occasions. Unfortunately I have too much of the former type of weight and not enough of the latter. I am working on it though. By working on it I mean eating whatever makes me feel best at the moment, and writing an occasional blog post encouraging others to take their VO journey seriously. Hopefully someday one will outweigh the other.

    1. “Outweigh”! Ha! I see what you did there. Well, just so you know, the socks were the only things I was wearing. There. Something to take your mind off of the Costco dad feet. #iexisttohelpyou

  5. I quite literally just came home from an appointment with a Diabetic Counselor and saw your blog title in my email. It seemed kismet that I should read it immediately (instead of the literature my counselor gave me). I am on the borderline of being a type 2 diabetic and, frankly, have let a lot slide during pandemic life, so have felt a bit down on myself. I’ve been overweight my whole life, but have always been relatively healthy, so this just feels heavier (pun intended!). Your humor and openness just really uplifted me today and I wanted to say thanks. You and your Cosco clad feet are a true gift to the VO world. Now, I’m going to accept the audiobook contract I was just offered and read the other stuff I’m supposed to. Thanks for being you!

    1. Me and my Costco-socked feet are rejoicing with you! Keep it up, woman. You can do this. Thank YOU for being YOU. (Although with Costco socks you’d just be that much cooler.) Now go have some cake – uh….I mean….NO cake…I mean…uh….

  6. Well, at least you can say you’ll give Brad Hyland competition for Santa this year!
    Start with small steps. Increase your water intake. Drink 50% of your weight in fl.oz. per day. That will keep you hydrated and you may see significant loss! OR… you’ll loose weight running back and forth to the bathroom to pee! Either way it’s a win/win! Keep up the potty-tivity! See what I did there? Lol…

  7. It’s not like there is any denial at play here, LOL.

    I get it though – in some areas of our lives, we just find it extremely hard to get a handle on it… In mine, I have a lot of strongholds around making money – I find it so freakin’ hard to do… I do, but every bloody cent is a struggle – not supposed to be… I know you feel the same way about the weight… You’ll get that revelatory moment that breaks it (the Truth sets us free, ie JESUS giving it to us in the way it sticks) and oh what a glorious day that’ll be for both of us!!

    We’ll celebrate it over a diet sprite! hehehe.

    1. Agreed! However, until the day where I am taken up and He transforms my lowly body to be like His glorious body, I shall take great comfort in Leviticus 3:16: “All the fat is the Lord’s.”

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