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Weight-Loss Goal Turns to Life-Changing Lesson

Written by Matthew Dale
Posted Jan 14, 2008
Scott Kaplan - cyclingWith the four kids tucked safely in bed, Scott Kaplan would plop in front of the television, taking in the Padres. His in-game snack? A dozen DoubleStuf Oreo cookies.

“With skim milk,” says Kaplan, explaining his caloric sacrifice.

On the way home from a late-night gig, Kaplan, co-host of the XX Sports Radio Scott and BR Show in San Diego, might stop at McDonald’s. His meal replacement? Two double-cheeseburgers, washed down with a shake.

To compensate for his expanding waistline, Kaplan left the top button on his jeans unhinged, letting the girth flow.

“I ate and drank anything I wanted. I never stopped myself from dessert,” Kaplan recalls. “I didn’t think, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have a second glass of wine.’ Then I would look myself in the mirror and ask, ‘Why do I have breasts? Why am I shaped like a pear? Why am I so soft?’”

At 6 feet, 209 pounds, Kaplan, 37, hardly was obese. Nor was he Speedo model material. His doctor lectured him, saying, “You have got to lose weight.”

Kaplan addressed the issue in January, attending indoor cycling classes like a Lance Armstrong wannabe, adjusting that tension knob three and four times a week. For some time he’d been thinking about his friend, Qualcomm Executive Vice President Jeff Jacobs, a cycling nut who last year participated in the seven-day, 600-mile Qualcomm Million Dollar Challenge (MDC) that raised $1.25 million for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).

During the ride from San Francisco to San Diego, Jacobs was a daily guest on the Scott and BR Show, offering insight about the scenic tour. Kaplan and his co-host, former Chargers linebacker Billy Ray Smith, talked about riding in this year’s MDC.

“I needed something in my life the last three, four, five years,” says Kaplan, talking about a challenge. “I was still carrying around 25 pounds of pregnancy weight.”

Smith backed out. Kaplan couldn’t cop an excuse. He was committed. Seven months later, the former University of Pittsburgh kicker was down to 196 pounds, wanting to crack 190 by the time the MDC began on October 20.

Oreos and cheeseburgers were replaced by prepared organic meals and protein shakes. A once-or twice-a-week trip to the gym had been replaced with a personal trainer, plus regular bike rides that reached the century mileage mark.

“His muscles are back,” says Kaplan’s wife, Gayle. “He’s probably in his best shape since football.”

Kaplan appreciates the Mrs. noticing.

“My real goal was to look really, really good so I’d be more attractive to my wife,” he jokes. “Clearly, I had a ways to go.”

Turning serious, he says the pants have to be buttoned now and they’re drooping so much he looks like a teenage skateboarder.

“I feel like a completely different person,” he says.

As you can imagine, there were times when Kaplan wondered if his cycling decision was a sane one. Specifically, there was a June ride with Jacobs that Kaplan figured might stretch 25-30 miles, two hours tops. Instead, they departed Rancho Santa Fe about 2 p.m. on a Friday, headed east toward Poway, up to Ramona then back through Highland Valley before returning home. Workout log: four hours, 60 miles.

“I literally thought I was going to die out there,” says Kaplan. “I couldn’t keep up with him. He was so far ahead of me.”


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