Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

Looking the part

After I wrote Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents and turned it into a college show, I realized that I was getting a bit heavy in my face. Since I’ve been a talent agent most of my life, and I was now agenting myself, I followed the advice I would give to any rock and roll vocalist I managed: “You need to look the part.”

So before my first speaking gig, I lost 30 pounds, in order to look the part of someone who had adventures on all 7 continents. This coming school year will be my 13th speaking at colleges, and I have more or less kept the weight off the entire time. I still have some weeks where I am above where I want to be and have to do some extra exercise and dieting.

Spring is the worst, because for some reason my body likes to put on a few extra pounds at that time. So last week, when I realized I needed to lose 5 pounds, I went back to my very simple diet of oatmeal with next-to-no-sugar for breakfast and lunch and whatever my wife cooks for dinner. I quickly dropped 6 and ½ pounds. Yay!

Coincidently, my bathroom scale has been slowly dying. It would work, but sometimes I needed to hit it on the side to make the digital display show properly. I finally gave up and bought a new scale this week. When I stepped onto the new scale, it said, “Sorry, life isn’t fair. You weigh 3 more pounds than you think you do!”

The good news is that I actually lost the pounds; it’s just that the original scale had read 3 pounds lighter the entire time. Still, it’s just not fair that I have to accept that my ideal weight isn’t what I thought it was, and my morning weigh-in won’t feel quite as satisfying. So fuck you new scale! I know you’re accurate, but that’s beside the point.

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