By the time you read this, I'll be in Las Vegas. Lest any would-be burglars see this and get bright ideas, let me caution you that my house won't be empty. We have housesitters, burglar alarms on the doors and windows, noisy dogs and attentive neighbors, including a retired couple who are home all day. They're mean and heavily armed. I think their last name is Rambo. Bear in mind, too, that I'm a reporter, so unless you have your heart set on a 1999 Oldsmobile that leaks oil, you're not going to find any valuables. My money, what little there is of it, has gone with me to Vegas. Where I am now. While you're reading this. I'm nervous about being here. By and large, I've been eating better for three months now. Smaller portions. Lean meats. A lot more fruit. I've lost 26 pounds due to better decision-making and moderation. But moderation isn't exactly what Vegas is all about. This place — at least from all I know — is about indulgence. Sin City, baby. Money disappears like water poured on sand, and vast buffets are everywhere. Skip those, and you're still dealing with fancy restaurants and rich foods. When you're my size, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” doesn't apply. Whatever I eat here, I'll be bringing back with me to Oklahoma as added pounds, and packing them on is a whole lot easier than taking them off. Knowing that most of my meals will come from restaurants is freaking me out a little. I'm bringing some bars as low-calorie, high-protein meal replacements, but I don't know if I'll be able to find skinny options when I go out. I don't want to drop $25 on a buffet just so I can have a salad. And I'm not familiar with this town, so it's all brand new to me. I'm staying at the MGM Grand, the second-largest hotel in the world. That's something, anyway. I'm probably going to have to walk a mile just to get from my room to the lobby. I'll be wandering around the Strip, too, so I should get plenty of exercise. Even so, this is clearly the biggest test of willpower I've faced since I started trying on April 1 to get back in shape. I want to relax and have fun, but temptation surrounds me. I can't afford to give in.
Staff Writer Ken Raymond began a yearlong weight loss and fitness journey on April 1. Here are his stats:
Age: 41 Height: About 6 feet 1 inch Beginning weight: 307 pounds Current weight: 281 pounds