msnbc | January 06, 2013
>>> in today's office politics , my conversation with nbc's al roker . in this segment, we talk about al's new book, "never going back," which chronicles his ups and downs battling weight issues and how there are no shortcuts. he also shares the charming role that food played when courting his wife, deborah roberts . but first i asked him how he deals with the dangers of reporting from the middle of a hurricane, literally.
>> nobody goes into this thinking, oh, boy, i want to get hurt. so that you take as many precautions as you can. but, look, in the average day, you could be walking along the street, and a bus hops the curb and takes you out. this is one of the things you do. like i said, you take necessary precautions, but you can't life proof yourself. things happen. knock on wood , so far nothing has.
>> talk about "never goin' back."
>> i've worked at it very hard. about four years ago, my mom got sick. i lost my dad about 11 years ago. he was kind of instrumental in me having the gastric bypass . he made me promise -- he was literally on his death bed. he said, look, you've got to take care of yourself because i'm not going to be here to help you and your children. and made me promise that i would. and so i had the bypass. and i felt pretty good, and i think i got a little cocky eight years into it, and then my mom got sick. she was out at a hospital out on long island. so i was driving back and forth every day and kind of in a three-month period fell back into old habits. i had gained back 40 of the 140 pounds that i lost. but then a good buddy of mine kind of hit me to something that changed my life. i did a cleanse and actually ended up changing how i workout, and that made a big difference. so i think -- other than that three-month period, this is the longest i've been dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, incorporating exercise. it's a lifestyle change. it's kind of cliche, but it truly is.
>> so there's no shortcuts.
>> no, there aren't. look, it's very simple. it's less going in and more exercise.
>> is it a challenge, though, every day?
>> oh, yeah.
>> but have you changed your lifestyle?
>> i've changed, but it's still work. again -- and my wife, deborah roberts , who's on 20/20 and abc, she's a person who eats, but she's a size 4. she works out. she runs. there's a certain mindset, i think, that naturally thin people have that those of us who are not don't have. we were at the chicago airport a few weeks ago coming home, and we're walking down one of the terminals. and we're walking by a mcdonald's, and i went, ooh, mcrib is back. she didn't even see that sign, but i saw mcrib is back.
>> probably some beautiful picture.
>> my old friend, mcrib . hello, mcrib , i've missed you so.
>> what i think is fun is that you actually use d food to woo your then friend into being your fiancee.
>> deborah was going off to do the olympics and asked me -- look, we're friends. she's a beautiful woman. we're friends. we don't want to ruin it.
>> ruin the friendship.
>> just a friend. so, guys, you know, if you're in the friend zone , i mean, it's like trying to break --
>> good luck with that.
>> it's like trying to break out of the phantom zone . anyway, she was gone. she asked me to look after the apartment and the water the plants. i immediately went into the kitchen. i wanted -- most guys would check out her bedroom. i went into the kitchen, and it was just -- it was appalling. there was like nothing in the fridge. it was like a bottle of champagne, a mustard, and some old cheese. there was nothing in the pantry. i opened up the oven, and it was -- i was flummoxed for a moment because there was cardboard on the oven rack. oh, my god, she's never used this oven.
>> she had never used the ov, been in the apartment for a year. had never used the oven. she could have stored sweaters in there. anyway, the day before she got back, i stocked her fridge, stocked the pantry, left fresh flowers on the table.
>> you're good.
>> and i got a date out of it.
>> i bet you did.
>> for the next week. so it worked out.
>> and a couple of kids later. you can check out al's full weight loss story on "dateline's new year, new