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Ted Spiker Talks Weightloss

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While working on the popular “YOU: The Owner’s Manual” series of health books with Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, co-author Ted Spiker one morning spiked the needle on his bathroom scale at 279 pounds— a record high for the 6-foot-2 writer and professor, who was just about to start teaching a course in health and fitness writing (syllabus sample: Am I a Hippo-crit?). Having spent 15 years drenched in medical studies about health and fitness, and having spent even more time training and racing in 5Ks, triathlons, marathons and other grueling athletic tests—going back to his days as an editor of Delaware Today—Spiker needed to know why he couldn’t get the body he wanted. The result of his study: “Down Size: 12 Truths for Turning Pants-Splitting Frustration into Pants-Fitting Success,” published last fall by Hudson Street Press. “Readers should gain new hope through his fast-paced, uplifting and downright funny look at living the good life through health behaviors,” says Oz, who grew up in Delaware. “Ted makes the topic sing with his spirited writing.” Part memoir of Spiker’s adventures in diet and exercise, part account of the travails of others and part advice from experts, the often-hilarious “Down Size” is not a traditional diet book. It doesn’t tell you what to eat, when to eat or how to exercise. It shows you—often by side-splitting example—the truths he believes will help anyone find a diet-exercise program that will work for them. “I thought there was a place for a book that wasn’t so prescriptive. ‘Eat some salmon and some asparagus and some beans.’ It’s not that easy,” says Spiker, a graduate of St. Mark’s High School and the University of Delaware. “I wanted to explore the psychology behind it. What makes you do the right thing?”

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