All Kinds of Ripped: A New Beginning

Follow Brent’s Quest to Lose Weight, Eat Healthy and Get Fit Before Graduation


Published: January 29, 2009

My name is Brent Nycz. I am a Lincoln Center senior, and I am overweight.

I don’t think of myself that way, but according to my Body Mass Index, I am “overweight, bordering on obesity.” If my weight continues to increase, I could potentially be part of a disturbing trend: I could be one of the millions of Americans who feed the obesity epidemic.

Though I have been told I “carry my weight well,” my actions prove otherwise. I’m usually that guy who always wears a T-shirt to the beach, suffering from extreme farmer’s tan just so my body isn’t exposed. I endure wearing tight jeans at times, fooling myself into thinking I haven’t grown out another pair of pants. Most of all, I have grown sick and tired of hearing comments from relatives at family get-togethers that sound something like, “Oh, looks like you put on some weight there at Fordham, huh?”

Those are the reasons why I am starting a new weightloss regimen: I am going to get “all kinds of ripped” by working out and eating healthier.

I have a couple of vices that complicate my decision to get fit. I love food, especially Mariella’s Pizza on Eighth Avenue and the infamous Halal guys’ cart on 53rd and Sixth. Granted, some of their food can potentially be healthy, but I usually go for the un-healthiest options. I can also get physically lazy, lounging around for hours on end or taking the Lowenstein elevators to the third floor.

The changes I have made so far are small and gradual. I have been walking more, and I’ve taken to climbing those potentially grueling flights of stairs in Lowenstein. My workouts are building up in intensity as the weeks go on. I have started counting calories and substituting my favorite foods for healthier options. Most importantly, I have cut out chicken and rice over white sauce platters completely out of my diet.

But I need help.

That’s where you come in. Throughout the next few weeks, I will be trying different weight loss methods and exercise tips provided by you, the reader. I will also try different recipes as I venture into the world of cooking for the first time. Any great tips or suggestions I get could be printed in the next issue of the Observer, so help me out, people!



As of Jan. 21, I weighed 228.5 lbs. My main goal is to lose 15 pounds while gaining some muscle by the time graduation comes around.

I have three additional goals in mind. I have not yet been able to successfully do any of the following things—except the third, which was accomplished only once in the eighth grade. Each goal seems impossible to me, but I believe each can be realized with regular exercise and some intense willpower.

  1. Be able to complete 15 push-ups.
  2. Cook a meal and enjoy it.
  3. Do one pull-up.


I have started by doing workouts three days a week, building up my cardio endurance to establish heart strength and calorie burning. To me, if my heart is not strong, the rest of my body cannot be strong. I do the stationary bike for 25 to 30 minutes a workout, burning 200 to 250 calories every time. I have also started using the Abdominal Crunch/Back Machine to work the muscles in my stomach and cut out some fat.

I have also started to count my calories. For a person my age, height (6’0”) and weight (228 lbs), I need to consume over 2,800 calories to maintain the weight I have now. By helping myself to smaller-portioned meals and by consuming about 2,000 calories a day, I think I can start to lose a pound or two every week.

In the next few weeks, I will increase my exercise, doing both arm and leg lifts while adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet.


Substituting Brent’s favorite foods for healthier options.

INSTEAD OF THIS: White bread
EAT THIS: Whole Wheat bread

  • BRENT’s TIP: I was raised on white bread, so the switch has been strange at first; however, whole wheat bread provides much needed fiber to a healthy diet. Numerous studies have shown eating whole wheat bread also aids your heart and digestive system.

INSTEAD OF THIS: Subway Philly Cheese Steak
EAT THIS: Subway Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast

  • BRENT’s TIP: I have a love for really greasy meat sandwiches, but going for the foot-long chicken breast sandwich is not only almost half the calories of the Philly Cheese Steak (620 calories to 1,080), but the chicken also tastes great on whole wheat.

INSTEAD OF THIS: Three slices of pizza
EAT THIS: Two slices of pizza (with grease soaked up)

  • BRENT’s TIP: Though pizza is delicious, limiting my intake to one or two slices is the smarter choice. Not only does a regular cheese slice have over 300 calories, the grease on the slice adds fat and cancels the nutritional aspects of pizza.