Column, Movie Diary

Weighing in on it

By Dom Cioffi

I generally weigh myself on the scale in my bathroom once a week. And almost every time I step on it, the numbers register around the same spot. There’s some natural fluctuation up and down through the year, but only by a pound or two.

I guess I’m lucky because it’s been that way for me since college.

Sure, there were times when the numbers started climbing, like when I developed that craft beer habit in the ‘90s. And then they plummeted almost 40 pounds when I was fighting cancer several years ago, but that was because I was unable to consume actual food and instead had to resort to protein drinks.

But overall, I have maintained roughly the same weight since I was in my early 20s.

I attribute my consistency in weight to several factors. First of all, I have been active my entire life. I run almost every other day and have done so for years. And if I’m not running, I’m walking the golf course or my neighborhood. Prior to getting into running, I was a basketball fanatic, playing several nights a week in various leagues year-round.

Another contributing factor to my consistent weight is my eating habits. I’ve never been one to gorge on food and I’ve almost always been a naturally healthy eater. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good burger and shake as much as the next guy, I just make sure they are the exception and not the rule.

In fact, I’m more of a snacker than an eater. I munch on all sorts of things through the day in lieu of eating something like a big sandwich. I love nuts of all types, a good piece of harvest toast with light butter, and any type of dried fruit. Smoothies are a dietary staple, we make them almost daily in our house.

But I think the one thing that has helped me maintain a healthy weight throughout my life is something that is totally out of my control: my genetics.

Through no fault or cause of my own, I was born with some good DNA in terms of maintaining a healthy weight for my overall physical stature. I consider myself extremely lucky in this regard because many people struggle with a set of chromosomes that either make them thinner or heavier than they’d prefer.


I have a friend who is heavy-set — always has been. It’s how his entire family is built. He would really like to lose weight, but it requires him to go on extreme diets and exercise an obscene amount. He tried this for several years and finally got to the point where he threw his hands up, claiming life was too short to fight against nature.

All this leads to my son, a typical teenager who could care less about eating healthy food because he’s never had to worry about it. No matter what he consumes, his body breaks it down efficiently. He experiences no indigestion, acid reflux, or IBS. He can eat four burritos, three Twix bars, a bag of beef jerky, and drink a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew, and nothing happens.

His metabolism is running so fast right now that he can eat an entire pizza and lose weight!

Of course, this freakshow of nature will not last forever. I keep telling him that he should start integrating some healthy eating habits now so when his body slows down, he doesn’t end up falling off a cliff with his weight. But, as expected, he’s not listening to me.

I’ve had countless conversations with him about the lack of nutritional value in fast food and how it’s basically the lowest end of the gastronomic spectrum. And worst of all, it’s being marketed to people who aren’t educated enough to realize they’re being preyed upon with over-salted and over-sugared food substitutes.

And then he jumps in the car with his friends and heads to Taco Bell.

Oh well, his day of reckoning shall come.

A day of reckoning arrived for the main character in this week’s feature, “The Woman in the Window,” when everything she ever believed was true came crashing down around her.

Amy Adams stars as a middle-aged woman with agoraphobia who lives in the middle of a large community of brownstones in Boston. Her days are spent watching her neighbors through the windows and drinking cheap wine. And then one night she witnesses something so horrible that it upends her entire world.

This is a solid psychological thriller that will have you wondering who’s crazy and who’s sane as each scene unfolds. The character development is a little thin, but the intrigue of the overall story keeps you involved.

A twisted “B-” for “The Woman in the Window,” available for streaming on Netflix.

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at

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