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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 3, 2010

Friends face off in Battle of the Skinny Jeans

By Michael C. DeMattos

It all started a few months ago with little Ms. Skinny Jeans from the hardware store. Since then, my buddy and I have been obsessed with getting down to our fighting weight, which is ironic considering neither of us has been in a fight since middle school.

Yes, we are obsessed, but our preoccupation has not led to action.

In fact, most of our weight-loss conversations occur between bites of cheesy nachos, chicken wings and jalapeño bread.

Then two weeks ago, my buddy came over for a quick game of cribbage after work and announced that this would be his year for taking the weight off. I laughed, "How you gonna lose weight — catch pneumonia, battle food poisoning or have your wife cut off your eating hand?"

He laughed with me then explained the situation. It turns out his company is trying to promote fitness and is offering "incentives" for weight loss.

"Oh my gosh," I shouted out through a mouthful of fries. "I hope you realize you're being co-opted by corporate America trying to control your personal life in the name of their unholy bottom line." (I admit I can be a bit over the top when it comes to big business and big government controlling our lives).

No, this was not about big business or social control, he assured me. If anything, it was just some first-quarter team building. That's when I got scared.

My buddy is a money machine. He can sniff a dime a mile away. He's not tight, but if there is a way to make some coin he will find it. In his case it usually comes in the form of hard work, which I respect, but he's not averse to easy money either as long as it's honest.

I knew that he would drop the pounds and take the prize at work. His quest at work would likely leave me home alone eating nachos by myself. So, I had no choice but to challenge him to a homefront smackdown: the Battle of the Skinny Jeans.

A third friend has since entered the fray and our families have even joined the fun and started a pool. I am facing the longest odds, but I'm not sure why. Maybe it's my sedentary lifestyle. Maybe it's my diet. Or maybe they have underestimated me and failed to fully comprehend my "evil genius" nature. Yes, my friends, I have what neither of my competitors have ... a plan.

The three of us will scale up early this month, first thing in the morning, wearing nothing but our skivvies. (For safety reasons, I recommend law-abiding citizens avoid Kāne'ohe altogether. Take special care with children and household pets. Seeing the three of us in a near-naked state could cause blindness, disorientation and involuntary gagging.)

We can change our diet, exercise routine and/or political affiliation, but we can't use chemicals, Photoshop or a doctor's scalpel to alter our shape or appearance. Competitors have 90 days to drop a few pounds, shed a few inches, pack on some much-needed muscle and claim the Skinny Jeans Title.