Saturday, April 7, 2007

Status Report... Sort of!

We’ve reached the halfway point in our eight-person, eight-week Publishers Invitational Weight-Loss Contest, so I thought I’d give you a progress report.

In case you missed it, I, along with seven other locals, have each wagered One Hundred American Dollars on our ability to lose more weight during the contest period than any of the others.

Our first weigh-in -- the beginning of the contest period -- was some time around the middle of January. (It was sort of a delayed New Years Resolution thing.) The contest ends at noon on Friday, March 16th, with a final weigh-in to determine the biggest loser. Whoever has lost the most weight in eight weeks walks off with all 800 smackos… or waddles off, as the case may be. (There are, after all, some very large chassis involved here. Any two of us combined are the rough equivalent of a Volkswagen. The whole gang of eight, jumping up and down at the same time, would register a 3.2 on the Richter scale... in Burma!!!!)

There is not a scheduled mid-contest weigh-in, so there’s no way to know for sure who’s in the lead until the final day. Still, I thought I’d try to give you a little update on our weight-loss efforts thus far. So I called each participant to ask for a status report.

Since some of the other contestants – certainly not me -- try to engage in a bit a psychological warfare to demoralize the opponents and boost their own chances, I can’t count on them to give the most accurate data available. Among the eight, incidentally, are some of the Midlands’ most well-established prevaricators. Adding to the likelihood that the reported weights might be somewhat inaccurate is my personal opinion that at least two of the contestants don’t know how to read a scale -- or tell time -- having lost interest in math long before reaching double digits in elementary school.

So, for what it’s worth – you be the judge – here are their responses:

The reigning champ, Kirk Luther, Business Manager and partner at The New Irmo News and Lake Murray News, who originally weighed in at 233.4, now claims a weight of 205.7. Impressive, if it can be believed.

Mike Andrews, the Tune-Up King from Bob Andrews Motors, who tipped the scales at 272.8 to start, now claims a weight of “right around 250”, keeping him the statistical favorite to win this competition.

Norman Agnew of Agnew Lake Service fame, a two-time top-ten finisher (in an eight man contest), started the contest at 261.0, and now claims to weigh 285. How could this be? Is this the immediate impact of his recent engagement to be married? I don’t think so. More likely, this is just an example of his famous “mind games”. We’ll see.

Barely moving the scales at all at 196.0 at the original weigh-in – and the only sub-200 contestant – the gutsy contender from Carolina Wings: Rob Schoolmeester. When I asked for his current weight, he said, “Yeah, right!”

Terry Campbell, Insurance Executive Extraordinaire, initially weighed in at 239.0, and should have been able to calculate his 0% odds of winning. Learning from this mistake, he apparently has now learned not to take my phone calls at all!

Bo McDonald, local ad executive with the Mustard 'n Relish Group, entered the contest late at 209.8 (and a one-week, 2-lb handicap), now says he’s “down three”. With the handicap, that would be either down 5 pounds of up 1 pound, because we never really specified which way the handicap worked.

My second generation writer and political consultant, Rod Shealy Jr., started the contest at 222.6, which was already at least 30 or 40 pounds down from last year. He announced from the outset that he would be trying to win with a strategy of regular exercise instead of diet – a very foolish decision. Apparently, that strategy is not working out too well, because when I called and said, “This is Dad, how much do you weigh now?” he said, “Dad Who?”

Now as for me, the almost-certain eventual upset winner of the entire contest – who started off at an astonishing 243.8 – hard to believe isn’t it… I carry it so well -- I’m proud to announce that my weight after the first four week of dieting is (see page 45)

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