In a sign of the coming apocalypse Cheerio’s has released a limited edition Pumpkin Spice flavored Cheerios. I know this because my friend Dr. Jackie sent me a picture. She is an otherwise normal, healthy, left wing, mostly feminist, highly educated, vegetarian, super vegetarian whose main vice is her annual addiction to all things pumpkin spice.

With the arrival of fall and the colder weather, (we hope!) evening strolls around town while sipping on hot chocolates, or Urth Café’s Spanish Lattes, are only days away. Already the cloying and overpowering stench of cinnamon pine cones has taken over the local Ralphs on 26th street. As I went in this weekend to grab a quick salad I was gassed by the holiday display that is now taking over the front end.

I haven’t been to a Home Depot or an OSH yet this season, but I bet they’re starting to put out the plastic deer and animated Santas. I’m kinda disgusted by this rush to the holidays, it seems to me that there should be a bit of a pause between the last days of Summer and the onslaught of the candy, crabcakes, and cocktail season.

This of course is simultaneous with the ‘Holiday Gala Season’ for every charity in town that is out trolling for dollars before the end of the year. This too I know from the number of ‘invitations’ I have received just yesterday alone! There were three invites for legal aid society galas to honor someone for something. I’m sure I’ll have 5 more by the end of the week. Once you’re on a list, you’re on all the lists.

I’m sure I’ll be in the holiday spirit soon, after all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year – people are happy and celebratory. The opportunity to wear cold weather clothing is a welcome change and I do enjoy the parties.

We are only a few short weeks away from the Ice Rink being up on November 3. The holiday decorations will soon be pulled from their winter storage to take over the Promenade and holiday music will take over the stores.

Each year I try to be a good boy and not overindulge in the sweets and seemingly constant stream of noshes and treats. I find that I have little willpower once I start with the sugary goodness – so my plan is to not start. I’m hoping that I can avoid the weight gain this year that previous years have put on.

I’m two weeks away from my 50th birthday – a fact that I cannot fully comprehend as I do not feel like I think I should feel at 50. I feel great. I’m young and in my mind I’m still 30, but the truth is that at 50 our metabolism is slowing down. The testosterone levels are dropping and that means that fat gain is easier than ever before. I’m fighting it with trying a modified Paleo Diet – no breads, pastas, carbohydrates and sugary delights.

It appears that I’ve lost 11 pounds in 2 weeks, a good chunk of that is water according to Lisa Brisse at State of the Heart Fitness ( She’s a Pepperdine trained health and wellness expert who is doing a fitness exam on me today. I’ll get to find out all kinds of painful things like how much of me is pure fat, how flexible I am in relation to others and my overall tone and fitness. Should be a blasty.

Having a plan is one way to face the holidays, being able to resist the goodies and stick to the plan is another. I’m hoping that by going public with this, I’ll be more motivated. I know that when I posted pictures of myself two weeks ago on Facebook I was the recipient of much support and encouragement. The fact that I am doing weekly weigh-ins and sharing my journey to others is hopefully going to help me stay on the good path, and help others to find their way.

Because after all, aren’t the holidays all about sharing and giving?

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at or 310/664-9969.You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra