Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Humanese," a Gym Paradise, and Lunch on the Beach

On the last day of the show Heather generously took the VBites team, including me, out to dinner at this fabulous vegan Vietnamese restaurant in Orange County called Au Lac. They call their food "Humanese."

There are many dishes that are raw, uncooked, but so meticulously put together you'd swear that the food was cooked. It was a delightful evening, and reaffirmed once again if you ever want or need to abstain from animal products the choices are not only limitless, but delicious!

While in Orange County I took advantage of the Sports Club LA for a work out. Now, you can have a vigorous work out using just your body weight in your local park, or with bike riding, jogging, etc. And, in fact, most of the best exercises a trainer has showed me are things I can do at home. But, for pure work out decadence, I recommend Sports Club of LA. To compare my gym, with its still putrid locker room, showers, and steam room to Sports Club LA is like comparing the steerage compartment of the SS Catalonia leaving Ireland during the famine to the First Class cabin on the Queen Elizabeth II. The gym was enormous, immaculate, filled with beautiful (albeit fake) people, and more state of the art equipment than I’ve ever seen. There was even a room dedicated to just rowing machines which had a flywheel encased in water so you not only get the authentic feel of rowing through water, you hear it too. There was also a restaurant, bar, and meeting rooms. Basically, you can spend the entire day there! The lockeroom was gorgeous, and the steam room was as big as my apartment and spotless…and, it smelled like lilac and steam, not like the Gowanus Canal in the 1980’s like the steam room at NYSC.

The one drawback – the water. The water in the drinking fountains, although clean, just tastes weird – nothing is better than NYC tap!

I spent my last day in California having a nice salad at Chimayo on the beach in Huntington Beach. Just watching the perfect bodies playing volleyball on the beach, and taking in the perfect weather, reminded me how important it is for me to get back to my fighting weight. I long ago shed the shame of being obese strutting the beaches in the Hamptons - I let my over-the-top personality and pursuit of sophomoric fun hide those 300 lbs in my mind.

The number one reason I am endeavoring in this quest is to lengthen my natural life; to live a better life while decreasing, exponentially, the risk of heart disease and other deadly ailments. However, a close second, I have to admit, is to look good on the beach. No longer do I want to be that "huge, funny guy," I want to be a natural extension of how I looked up through my 20's!

I want to be out there in Huntington Beach playing volleyball with those girls in bikinis, and not the sidekick bearded guy from "The Hangover!"

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