Category Archives: The Chef

Sometimes you bite the bear….

Back from Chi-town, I felt pleased about how I planned my meals and stuck to them.   I was really looking forward to doing the work. Mack scheduled four workouts for the calendar week, and with the diet modifications we were slowly implementing I was able to break the sound barrier (300 lbs) by July 4th.

I started to settle into a rhythm between working out, a modified diet, and living a normal life.

A normal day’s diet looked like this.

Two soft boiled eggs, 2 strips of bacon or jamon, banana (optional if hungry) and coffee,


Post workout   cashews or marcona almonds, berries and lots of water


Cured salmon, jamon, avocado, artisanal cheese, lots of water


Vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables.

I transformed form a carnivore to an herbivore. My diet changed from 90% meat and fish with a side of 10% vegetables to the opposite end of the spectrum. I was consuming 90% vegetables and 10% fish and meat.

This is not something I ever thought I could do, but I bought into it cold turkey, and was partly forced to do so because my body was asking for a change.

I had another scheduled weekend trip to visit my friends at Fire Island, but again planned well by heading to the farmer’s market and buying all the produce and fruit I would consume for the weekend..  We went clamming out on the bay, and I cooked up some great linguini in clams (the only real carbs of the whole weekend.)

On my return, I decided to try to hit one my early goals which was to get back to the dojo. It was hard at first, but I dove right into it, lightly practicing in judo, aikido, and jujitsu. After twenty years of practice, martial arts is in my body and blood. I know the movements and can perform them without much effort. The only challenge is getting around my weight, joint pain and heavy breathing.

But the real challenge was the gout attacks. My left ankle was under constant attack, so much so that I needed two canes to get out of bed and hobble around the apartment. I simply had to cancel several work out sessions. For some reason the pain was at its worst. It felt like my foot was caught in a bear trap and the bear was jumping up and down on it every second of the day. I was brought to my knees and literal tears. I took the prescribed medication and followed an absolute strict diet, but was still under attack. What was happening to me?

The show arranged for me to speak to a nutritionist out in L.A., and she informed me that my body was like a volcano, and I was feeding the fire with any deviation to my diet. I was pouring gasoline on the flames.

But I wasn’t. I was following a zero purine diet. A life of no drinking and 100% vegetables, even avoiding veggies with high purines. My frustration was at an all time high. I couldn’t work out, I couldn’t eat and drink what I wanted, and the reward was that I was sicker than ever. I thought about quitting several times.

Mack cautioned me to weather the storm. Slow and steady wins the race. It would be my mantra and battle cry. Snail power!

Because I was so hobbled on my feet we concentrated on weight lifting, T-Rx, and interval training. Mack made a lot of adaptations on a day to day basis according to how I felt. The physical therapy at the end of the workouts always mad me feel better in the end of ours sessions.

Two weeks later I started to feel a little better, but I had decided that enough was enough. I had planned a trip to Beacon NY with Michelle and knew there would be a lot of walking involved. By some miracle, the gout cooperated just in time and I was able to do a lot of walking.

I think on my best day I walked over 20,000 steps! I was again very careful of my diet and even drank a little, all the while weary of a return attack.

Weight as of July 19th 284 lbs.

Next up Weight Loss Wall and IT band

Workouts Day 1 & 2 – Snail Power

Katie Mack walked into Pata Negra and tasted Jamon Iberico de Bellota from my hands.  I swooned over the ham candy and she reacted as if something foreign was being introduced to her palate.  It was clear that I live to eat and that she eats to live.  This was an important moment for us as later on we would try to meet somewhere in the middle.

When Mack came over to my apartment and shocked me with some life changes I would have to make, I was not ready to hear what she was saying, even though deep down inside I knew she was right.  First, I needed to trust her, then I needed to have faith in myself.  Again Mack reminded me of my motivations for changing my life.

Fast forward four months from the decision to make a lifestyle change, and I am prepped to meet my trainer for a second time.

Continue reading Workouts Day 1 & 2 – Snail Power

Man in the Mirror

Now that hopefully you’ve seen the Mack & Mateo episode, I plan over the next few blogs to fill in any missing pieces that could not fit into the story during the 43 minute episode.  A lot transpired over four months.  I appreciate all of the facebook and instagram requests.  Many of your questions about the process will be answered in these posts as I try to chronicle my fat to fit journey.

The first step in trying to institute change in your life is to take a serious look in the mirror.  Almost as a daily and nightly ritual, I look in the mirror and ask these questions.

What do I see?

Did I do my best today?

Do I want to change?

Continue reading Man in the Mirror

Fit to Fat to Fit Journey Post Show Big Ups

Now that you have seen the show, you must know that none of it could be possible without the hard work and dedication of all the members of the production crew who spent countless hours chronicling and filming the journey.  The struggle is real for everyone!

A Special Thanks to Helen for always pushing me psychologically and helping me to figure myself out.

Super Kudos to Mira for stepping in and doing a great job for the closing shoot while Helen was doing her thing.

Big ups to Johnno for making me look so good on camera with the slim angle lens.

Props to James for catching all the nonsense that came out of my mouth and finding creating ways of attaching my mic to my girth.

Shouts to Rohit, Maritza, Michelle, Shannon and Alex for all the little things required on those long shoots.

And sexy peanut butter mercy buckups to the indefatigable Queen Bea for her absolute professionalism and dedication to the project.  I couldn’t have asked for a cooler person to film the day to day nuances of my life.

Attached are some judo practice pics!

Also, let me know what you think about the show.  I will try to fill in the blanks in the coming month, as you can only get a slice of what happened during that four month pie from the show.

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