After admitting and accepting that I wanted to change my lifestyle (most important), then I had to take a real hard look at what aspects of my life were hindering the prospective future path to good health.
I knew I had to change how and how much I ate and drank, but how?
Mack and I discussed a reasonable plan that was ultimately sustainable for the rest of my life. That was our goal and it sounded reasonable to me.
Mack examined my diet from soup to nuts. I knew what my struggles would be better than Mack, and just had to be brutally honest with myself and her. Mack explained that there would be things that I needed to eliminate, such as sugary soft drinks, and exercise control on portion size. She knew I would be resistant, but just stayed on top of me every day and night, offering pep talks and strategies for success. She proffered substitutions when necessary. Some I accepted and some I rejected. The most important thing for me was not to start cold turkey. This was an elimination diet, where I slowly reduced certain eating and drinking habits until I was comfortable to remove them altogether. Some things were non-negotiable, such as jamon, bacon and wine.
Mack was great in checking up on me for all meals. At first I was required to send pics of all my meals. When I wanted to go off the meal plan, she asked me to drink water first, then a vegetable, then have my “cheat” food. One time I wanted deep dish pizza. I made it at home, but followed this advice. I drank the water, ate a boiled artichoke with vinaigrette, and then ate a heavenly slice with sausage. I waited the prescribed twenty minutes and found out I was full. In the past I would have eaten another slice, perhaps the whole pie, but was surprised to find myself sated. It is okay to have a slice, not the whole pie. This proved to be a significant breakthrough in solving the puzzle of changing my lifestyle.
This would be Mack Lesson # 1
Week one I weighed 311 pounds. After our first two workouts, I had a trip to Chicago planned. I knew this would be a challenge because Chicago is such a food town and I was attending a wedding. Mack helped me form a plan. I knew I wanted to have a burger at Au Cheval. She asked me to eschew the fries. I found this request ludicrous, but was so excited when I got in, switched to hash browns. The burger was incredible (I often dream of burgers), and after a bite or two of the hash browns, employed another Mack technique, gave the rest away to a diner beside me. Imagine my shock. It felt very counter intuitive. But I was relieved afterwards.
That would set the tone for the rest of the trip. I didn’t drink at the rehearsal party, and had two drinks at the wedding. The food wasn’t that exciting to me and so didn’t eat that much either. This was significant to me as an exercise in self-control for the future travel, especially because I tend to overeat and drink while on vacation.
Mack Lesson #2: That I shouldn’t eat something in front of me just because. If it is not going to be delicious, just don’t have it.
Mack Lesson #3: Remove antiquated thinking. I don’t need to have a burger with fries. I would like to have it. I don’t need the fries. The burger was delicious on its own.
I survived my Chicago trip, returned and worked out with Mack for seven sessions in a ten day span.
Weight: 305 as of 7/2/15 – Total Loss of 6 lbs.
I had another chance to utilize my new tools as I had a trip planned to Fire Island visiting my friends Neil and Lisa Marie for Fourth of July weekend. There is a lot of nature out there, and a lot of peril too. Staying in a vacation home for a weekend can lead to hibernating and overeating and drinking. Mack had me plan for success.
I shopped at the Columbia University Farmer’s Market and bought all the produce and vegetables for my meals. I brought white wine from my cellar. I drank lots of water, and cooked all the meals. I was in control of my diet the entire weekend. We went clamming out on the bay (picked up 8 dozen), and I cooked a vongole to remember. I was proud and encouraged by executing my plan and not feeling like I compromised my lifestyle.
Mack Lesson # 4 Plan your meals for success.
I had another Aha moment when Mack asked me to plan my meals for the week. I resisted, claiming that it would take the spontaneity out of my food choices. I think I said it was “unsexy”. Mack pointed out that I plan almost 90% of Michelle’s (my fiancee) meals. Why couldn’t I do the same for myself. Good question. Gut check. Of course she was right. And I started planning my own meals too.
Up next: Workouts, challenges and more travel. And GOUT.