Q&A With Dean Lorey: Fitness Confidential


Several months ago my friend Anna started doing a fitness podcast with a guy named Vinnie. I didn’t think much of it but Anna is a good friend so I gave it a listen. Then I listened again and I fell in love with the podcast. It’s fun and entertaining and also keeps me on track.

Vinnie coauthored a fitness book that, like the podcast, isn’t all about fitness. It sort of meanders and tells stories about what it’s like to be a trainer in Hollywood alongside stories about growing up in a small town in Louisiana, getting Leukemia as an adult and the complicated nature of our relationships with ourselves, our bodies and each other.

Every great story needs a great writer and Dean Lorey is Vinnie’s coauthor. Now that Anna’s made Vinnie part of everyone’s life I really wanted to hear from Dean what it was like to work with him. For the record I know what it’s like to work out with Vinnie… it’s hard. Since Dean is a writer I decided a Q&A would be more appropriate than any other interview. Here’s Dean’s take in his own words.

dean lorey vinnie tortorich

JG: When did you meet Vinnie? I’m assuming there’s some fabulous Hollywood story there because ya know… you’ve basically written everything worth watching.

DEAN LOREY: Vinnie was introduced to me through mutual friends and I hired him to train me. I was a good thirty pounds heavier then, I didn’t exercise and my diet was absolute crap. Vinnie tried to put me on a healthy path, which I repaid by firing him, LOL. In COOL HAND LUKE, Paul Newman is told to “get your mind right.” Back then, my mind wasn’t right. But, somehow, Vinnie and I remained friends. I liked him, he liked me. A couple years later, my “mind was right” and, even though Vinnie wasn’t training me at the time, I started paying attention to how he was eating and I copied it. I began going on walks and, with Vinnie’s encouragement, those walks turned into runs. Eventually, I dropped all the weight and ran a half-marathon. I was Vinnie’s worst client and, somehow, became a bit of a fitness success story, which is still astounding to me. If I can do it, trust me, anyone can!

JG: How did you guys decide to write this book? It’s certainly different than the Nightmare Academy.

DEAN LOREY: Well, I knew from personal experience that Vinnie’s method worked and I also thought he was one of the most funny and unusual guys I had ever met. That, plus his incredible personal story — battle with leukemia, ultra-athlete cycling 508 miles through the heart of Death Valley — made telling his story a no-brainer. I also thought he had a really fresh take on diet and fitness with a “warts-and-all,” tell-it-like-it-is, slightly r-rated vibe. I’d never heard that before in a diet and fitness book, so I thought it could be something really unique. Plus, I loved that Vinnie was interested in exposing the ways that the fitness industry exploits us, with real, workable tips on how to come out on top. Even though I’d never written a non-fiction book before, I just could’t resist!

JG: Vinnnie has some great stories to tell and you’re a story teller, how hard was it to maintain Vinnie’s voice?

DEAN LOREY: Pretty easy, considering Vinnie stood behind me with a bat as we wrote! Anytime I wrote something that rubbed him the wrong way, he’d say “I wouldn’t say it like that, I’d say it like this…” His version was always better — plus I didn’t want to get whacked with that Louisville Slugger!

JG: Are you surprised by the book’s success? You’ve obviously listened to the podcast, did you think that an online community could accomplish this?

DEAN LOREY: I had NO IDEA the book was going to be this successful! It sort of exploded out of the gate. I mean, I’d always thought Vinnie was great, I thought his personal story was fantastic and I genuinely believed in his fitness methods, but who knew so many other people felt the same way? When we worked on the book, we had one main goal — make it fun. We hated how most diet and fitness books seemed dry and boring and full of “filler.” We were determined to make FITNESS CONFIDENTIAL a quick, fun, page-turner with no fat. Anytime we wrote something that didn’t seem great or make us laugh, we cut it out.

JG: So we’re going to eat sugar and grains, what do you go for? Sweet or savory?

DEAN LOREY: Well, if I’m going to cheat, I’ll sometimes get pasta as long as it’s in a great restaurant. Or ice cream. Or… God help me… Good N Plenty’s (which my wife HATES — she can’t stand the smell). My general rule is that I stick to eating NSNG unless I’m presented with some spectacular food that I just can’t turn down. Like a slice of NY pizza. Or a beignet in New Orleans. Ugh, why did you get me thinking about this, LOL!

[One day I’ll tell my story about Good N Plenty’s, magic mushrooms and a very bad news boy I was dating in 1987…]

JG: If Vinnie was a character in Arrested Development who would he be? I’m thinking Lucille’s trainer….

DEAN LOREY: Actually, I was thinking Lucille herself! Like Lucille, Vinnie is incredibly smart, driven and looks great for his age!

JG: Which Arrested Development character has your traits?

DEAN LOREY: I guess… Maeby? She’s tenacious and has a great ability to roll with the punches and get things done. Although, considering I just matched Vinnie and I up with two female characters, maybe I have some Tobias in me, LOL…

JG: What’s next for you Dean? You’ve covered comedy, horror, kids, memoirs… everything you touch has turned to gold.

DEAN LOREY: Well… gosh! You make me blush! Aside from FITNESS CONFIDENTIAL, I’m currently an Executive Producer on THE CRAZY ONES, a new comedy by David E. Kelley. It premieres this fall on CBS and it stars Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar. That’s my day job and I love it. FITNESS CONFIDENTIAL is my passion project. I hope your readers love it as much as I do! And people should always feel free to visit my web site (www.deanlorey.com) or my Facebook page and drop me a line. I love hearing from people and I always try to reply, even if it sometimes takes me a while. Thanks for the great interview!

Robin Williams back on TV… so exciting! Na-noo Na-noo

The Only Podcast Worth Listening To


My friend Anna is a voiceover artist who you’ve probably heard and you’d never know it. She’s also an amazing cook and a funny lady so when Anna posted a link to a podcast I decided to give it a listen. I thought it would suck because most podcasts do (sorry Anna) but then when I realized it was all about food and exercise. I only got better because Vinnie Tortorich is the host and in addition to knowing a lot about the body and how to make it do what you need it to do (get bigger, smaller, stronger, faster…) he’s completely NOT PC and hysterical.

This is a random Vinnie video.

It sort of shows how he interacts with a complete stranger… I was holding the camera trying to not burst out laughing… I might have failed.

In any event. The Angriest Trainer podcast is on itunes or you can stream directly off Vinnie’s site. If you’re looking to hear more about GMOs and Prop 37 (which you should care about no matter where you live) you can start with episode 33 and me.

Here’s what’s amazing though. Anna and Vinnie are featured in the “What’s Hot” category.

Here’s what I need from you. Download a podcast, if you love it as much as I do go to iTunes and leave them a five star review. If you don’t love it try another one, maybe that wasn’t the right episode for you. When you’ve left them a five star review be sure to leave them a comment here or on one of their sites and hopefully your blog will get a shoutout on their very popular podcast.


About That Chronic Indigestion….


I’ve got no clue what’s going on with my body. I’ve got this crazy heartburn that I only experienced during pregnancy. I’m fiddling with medicines and assuming that’s the culprit. I’m trying to ignore it and eat Tums but it’s getting tough.

Before I left for Phoenix I’d taken an ALCAT blood test with PreviLean. It’s basically a blood test to find out if you’re sensitive to certain foods, molds and chemicals. For the next few months I’ll be partnering with them and sharing my progress with y’all.

Starting with PreviLean is so weird in a wonderful way. First of all your insurance may or may not cover it so it’s strange to engage a medical team directly. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a blood test that wasn’t part of a check up or spoken to a nurse that wasn’t in a doctor’s office. There was something strange and liberating about having a kit for a blood draw come to my house. If I wasn’t a nice Jewish Girl from Los Angeles I’d have called the toll free number and a phlebotomist would have been sent to my home or office to take my blood. Since I am a nice Jewish Girl from Los Angeles I’m pretty much guaranteed that someone in the family has been to medical school.

So before leaving for Phoenix I had the test in my car and was going to call and have someone draw my blood when I realized I’d be driving past my Mom’s house. “Is Doc around?” I asked her. “Why?” She asked me. “I need fake Doctoring.” I replied. A few minutes later this was the dining room table.

Don’t worry, it’s safe to eat there now.

Actually my Stepfather used to take my blood a lot. I am a passer outer (that’s the scientific term for it) and it really wasn’t that big of a deal until I was pregnant with Jane and all of a sudden they were taking blood every few weeks. After fainting in the OB’s office we struck a deal. I’d have my Stepfather take my blood and he’d send the results to the OB. It worked out perfectly. I’d go over there for dinner, we’d head to a sofa where I’d give him my arm and then when I’d pass out there would be a soft landing. Of course having the cats crawling all over me lent a special touch of hygiene…

So it was this weird sense of taking control of my body by opting into a test that my insurance might say is not medically necessary but could become a factor in my health and at the same time having my Stepfather drawing blood as he did 13 and then 11 years ago when I was pregnant. Strange in a good way I suppose.

Now I’m here with my weird heartburn wondering if the ALCAT test will tell me that I can’t eat my favorite foods. I’m concerned about cheese and jalapeños, I’m not convinced I can live a happy life without either of those things. I’ve recently given up grains and sugar (except that cake last night… which totally wasn’t worth it) and I know that life is unpleasant without bread. I’m sort of excited about trying a healthier way of eating and also dreading it because I’m afraid of them telling me I have to give up what I love. I’m more afraid of adding more medicines to my regime so I’m hopeful that the test can help with the inflammation I’m living with.

Also, I gave up grains and sugar because my friend Anna started doing a podcast with a local personal trainer, Vinnie Tortorich. The podcast is amazing but it’s creating a little friction in my life. I love spending time with Anna and usually I can get a solid hour with her while she gives me recipes and anecdotes and we talk a lot about food and exercise. Now I’m lazy, I just listen to the podcast and text Anna because I feel like I’ve had a visit… which of course I haven’t. So I guess the podcast is technically breaking us up.

You really do want to listen to them all, here’s a link for them on itunes. If you just want to listen to the most recent one and you’re not interested in itunes you’ll want this episode. In it Anna asks Howie Mandel (yes, that Howie Mandel) if the carpet matches the drapes. Being bald and all there are some references to “hard wood”. So ummmmm if you want to know about Howie Mandel’s penis I’m pretty sure this podcast is the only place you’ll get that bit of chatter.