Friday, February 15, 2008


Ah, I'm so sorry. I haven't written for the best part of a month. how useless is that.

Well, time for an update.

It's now about six or seven weeks since I ventured out on my plan to 'get sexy' by the end of 2008. And where am I now?

Well, weight wise, I'm almost exactly where I started - wobbling daily between 185lbs and 190lbs and never quite sure were I land.

I've been a bit too flustered and exhausted to manage the sharp suits every day. My nails are a mess. I haven't been tanning. All in all, I've made no progress whatsoever.

So what went wrong?

Well, to be honest it's a lot tougher than it looks. You get into the habit of one sort of behaviour and it tends to stick. Home. Booze. TV. Food. Sleep. Then wake up, hammer through the day and do it all over again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pubic Topiary

Let's leave the subject of weight loss for a second and discuss the big picture - other facets that make somebody 'sexy.'

For men, that definition is changing. Thirty years ago, the definition of sexy was big, hairy men with moustaches, like Burt Reynolds and Tom Selleck. These days, men are becoming as bad as women about waxing, shaving and tweezing.

See somebody shed their shirt in a Hollywood flick and the average male moviestar will be as smooth chested as his female co-star. Watch a pornographic movie (I will confess to having done this) and the average stud keeps his tackle waxed, shaved and essentially hairless.

So what's a guy to do?

Well, it's purely academic at the moment. I asked my wifey (despite her probably not being the 'typical woman, since she married me) and she toed the party line, admitting she prefers shaven-chested men. She threw in an exception for men of my portly proportions - 'it looks better if you're hairy when you don't have any muscles.'

So right now, I am keeping my body hair to it's ginger gorilla norm. However, I will have to look into the subject of body hair when I'm closer to having a body I'd be brave enough to expose.

In the mean time, however, there's a topic to consider that doesn't involve a razor, but does perhaps require a pair of scissors.

Now for all my failings (being ginger, pale and chubby) I have at least been blessed with a pretty decent set of masculine equipment. I'm not Long Dong John Holmes by any means - but I'm certainly not ashamed by the contents of my boxer shorts.

However, exposure to reality TV, celebrity sex videos and modern pornography has revealed that my current crotch 'look' is out. The tangled nest of pubes hasn't been 'in' since the mid seventies and even then, I don't think orange was a popular colour for it.

So as 'ongoing maintenance' in Operation Sexy, I have taken to some pubic topiary.

No, don't worry. I'm not turning my ginger hedge into a coiffured animal. But I am trimming it to manageable proportions. A short-back-and-sides, if you will. Trimming my curls from an outrageous two inch bush into a neat, body-hugging quarter-inch crop.

And the amazing thing? Not only does it look neater and more attractive (and hopefully infinitely more edible to my wife) my manhood also looks considerably bigger (and I wasn't too ashamed of it to begin with.)

In addition, the downstairs haircut manages to actually make me look slimmer, by matching the length of the rest of the golden hairs on my flabby body.

So today's Operation Sexy lesson involves getting a pair of scissors and a steady hand (VERY important detail) and keeping your privates and preened as the rest of you.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What's my ideal weight?

Vanity dictates that I need to lose weight - but for health reasons, it would also be a good idea. According to this body mass indicator, my BMI is 26.2 making me 'slightly overweight.'

This means I need to lose about 18 or 19lbs.

It's worth visiting this to see what you healthy weight range is - and to see whether your weight loss goal is for reasons more legitimate than just good-old-fashioned vanity.

Operation Sexy Update!

Wow,, again it's been five days since I last posted anything. I'm sorry.

Well, I weighed myself last night (I always seem to weigh more at night, so I'm using that as my measure) and I'm pretty sure I'm at around 188lb. So I might have lost a pound! Wooohoooo!

Seriously, though, I was disheartened that my caffeine pill diet was ultimately a total waste of time. But Operation Sexy is not dead! I just need to think of another way to slim down.

So I have decided to do the inexplicable and actually try eating less - and more sensibly.

So wifey and went shopping and managed to stock up on Weight Watchers and cereal. One thing I've definitely noticed is that I tend to skip breakfast and that probably explains why I get cranky and irritable. So for breaky, I'm going to have a bowl of Cookie Crisp (I know, I know, but it's pretty good for you and it's the only 'edible' cereal at the supermarket we go to) and a glass or two of orange juice.

With that lining my stomach, I'm going to try and keep my input of calories down by eating Weight Watchers microwave meals. They're cheap from our local BJ's cash&carry.

Considering a chicken sandwich in a kaiser roll with a couple of slices of cheese and a can of Mountain Dew got my lunch-time calories up to a whopping 600 or 700, keeping them about 300 or less - thanks to Weight Watchers - is probably a good way to keep my intake limited.

And I have broken my soda rule! Even through it tastes like crap, I find a diet Pepsi or Coke (with no calories) is a fairly good way of filling my tum-tum without ingesting any calories.

So we'll give this change of lifestyle a week and see if I have any positive or negative effects on it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pills Ahoy

That's it. I've quit the caffeine-pill diet.

After feeling nauseous all week and having terrible trouble sleeping, my two morning caffeine-pills eventually helped me to lose - no pounds.

Hopping on the scales this morning, one week after starting the diet, I was astonished to see that I was firmly at the 189lb mark. That was even more disappointing given that I'd started exercising (well, started taking walks) and watched what I ate all week long.

So objectively, I can state that caffeine pills to lose weight DON'T work. It's as simple as that.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Oh dear!

Been far too long since my last post.

Well, I'm still on the Caffeine Pill diet and so far - I haven't lost any weight. Not even a pound.

Things looked pretty promising on the first couple of days, when I seemed to have a couple of pounds drop right off like butter. But this weekend - and I was a bit naughty diet-wise, I'll admit - they came crashing back on.

Now Wifey tells me that four days is not a fair approximation of how a diet is going, so I will withhold official judgement until Wednesday, when I'll weigh myself and see if my first week of dieting has had any success or not.

But in terms of 'diet' the caffeine pill routine isn't all that pleasent. I've had nausea pretty much throughout my routine, especially in the mornings. I've also found sleeping a lot more difficult (surviving on about four or five hours a night at the moment) and I get headaches and, strangely enough, tooth-ache. Not like a specfic toothache. More like my teeth are too big for my mouth or something.

So I'm pretty miserable - and since I have definitely been eating a bit less, we'll have to see on Wednesday whether this 'get thin quick' scheme is really worth it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Perfect Shave

So the big project has to be weight loss, but 'Sexy' is an all encompassing thing that involves more than just how much one weighs.

I mean, Pavarotti was a hit with the ladies and he weighed as much as a bus.

One thing that certainly fits into my suave, sexy persona is a clean-shaven appearance. Shaving is one of the most personal rituals a man can have and it's worth doing it right. Fortunately, if there's one thing I know a little about, it's getting a close shave, so for the sack of posterity, here is my guide to The Perfect Shave.

Rule One of getting The Perfect Shave is to have the right equipment. This is where quality always shines through and when it comes to the crunch, you can't beat the equipment the professionals use.

If you're old-fashioned enough to get a shave at a barbers, you'll find they've abandoned the old cut-throat razor (that's only used by Mexican hitmen these days) and most will have adopted a modern safety razor.

Almost universally, the knowledgeable barber will use the Gillette Fusion - a five-bladed safety razor available in standard or 'power' versions.

Wow. It was only a few years ago when safety razors only had one blade!

The Gillette Fusion gives quite simply the closest shave available today. It even comes with a sixth blade - a precision trimmer - to tackle the stray hairs the wide, five-blade head can't reach.

Your Gillette Fusion should be kept clean and dry and you should never use a blade for more than seven shaves. Change blades every Monday to ensure you're getting the best shave possible.

Almost as important as your razor is your shaving soap. There are all sorts of options available, like spray cans containing gel or cream. You can also use 'shaving oil' which promises to give a close shave without any of the mess of a cream or gel.

However, the closest shave is achieved by using soap and a badger-haired brush. It might look ridiculously old fashioned, but a shaving brush and soap (if properly used) is the best way to achieve shaving perfection.

The best shaving brushes are made with a high percentage of badger hair - see, I knew badgers were useful for something. The English Shaving Company gives a good range of options. I recommend their Edwin Jagger Large Best Badger Shaving Brush, which is cheap at just £33.50.

As far as shaving soap goes, quality is equally important. L'Occitane en Provence do a wonderful shaving soap and dish for £26.00 which produces a creamy lather and leaves your skin feeling deliciously soft and nourished.

Now, the best equipment in the world would be useless unless it's used properly, so in order to achieve a perfect shave, the following rules must be religiously adhered to.

Every morning, you must first soak your skin in hot water. Boiling hot water - as hot as you can stand it. Soak a flannel or wash cloth in boiling water and hold it against your jaw/chin for the count of thirty seconds. Obviously don't scald yourself, but also be willing to put up with a bit of discomfort. The hotter and wetter your skin, the softer and easier your morning bristles will be trimmed.

Once your skin is warm, wet and ready, dip your shaving brush in the same boiling water and lather up the soap. It should produce a rich, creamy lather which you can brush onto your face, all over your jaw, throat and chin. The rich lather should be hot.

Once you've given yourself a creamy 'Father Christmas' beard, take your razor and run it under a cold tap - you heard me, COLD. The cold water will constrict the blade and give you the sharpest cut possible.

Now shave - run the blade against your skin in the same direction as your beard. You can gauge this with your fingers, or by feeling the resistance against your blade. Shaving the the same direction as your bristles (known as the hair nap) will help prevent ingrown hairs, razor bumps and soreness.

I prefer to start from the 'outside' and work my way in (shaving the edge of my jaw towards the centre) but you can do whatever makes you feel more comfortable. Just ensure you cover all of your chin, throat and jawline - since the spot you miss probably gets missed each and every morning and before you know it, you've got a little tufty beard growing.

Once you've shaven your entire face, rinse your wash cloth in hot water and use it to wash off the stray shaving soap. Your skin should feel smooth and soft. Constrict the pores by rinsing a second time with cold water.

Now that you've managed to shave, aftercare is just as important as any other step in the ritual. Shaving strips the skin of it's natural oils, so unless you care for your shaven jaw properly, the skin will get dry and flaky very rapidly.

I recommend using Cocoa Butter - Palmers produce a modestly priced variety that is quite simply the finest thing to use on your skin. There's a slight 'chocolately' smell to it, but the cocoa butter nourishes and restores your skin better than anything else on the market.

Besides, if you're going to small of anything, chocolate must be one of best. Most women go crazy for chocolate (perhaps all those cologne manufacturers should take note.)

Sticking religiously to these rules ensures that you get the closest shave possible - and your skin gets all the pampering it needs. Skimp on any of the above - and try to shave with cold water, an old blade or cheap soap - and you'll find snags, cuts and razor bumps are your only reward.

That being said, even following all of the rules I've laid out won't promise a bump-free shave.

I've got rather frizzy, curly hair - pretty much a ginger afro, if we're being honest. People with hair like mine - especially people of African descent - often find themselves plagued by razor bumps and skin irritation as a result of shaving - even if they abide by all the rules of a 'close shave.'

So my final recommended product is a wonderful little topical treatment called Bump Stopper - and it does exactly what it says on the bottle. A little dab of this before bed softens the bristles of your beard and helps eliminate the bumps and rashes shaving causes.

Follow all of the suggestions above and even if the rest of you isn't, at least your shave will be sexy.