Chef’s Husband on a Diet—No, Really

I was reluctant to start writing this blog for a number of reasons, specifically:

  1. The premise seemed a bit hokey. After all, Denise did a long-running blog about herself on a diet, which was interesting, entertaining, and well liked, but that’s because she’s the chef and a good writer. I wondered, “Is anyone really going to be interested in the husband of a chef trying to lose weight?”
  2. Unlike everyone who’s writing a blog nowadays, I have no real desire to share all that much about myself with the wider world. I barely even post anything on facebook, and that only goes out to my “friends.”
  3. I’m illiterate. So far I’ve been incredibly lucky randomly pounding out strokes on the keyboard, but I knew my luck couldn’t hold forever. OK, this reason is a complete fabrication, but I remember from a long ago English class that rhetorical flourishes work best in three’s, and I honestly only had two legitimate reasons for not wanting to do the blog.

But Denise—the chef, my wife (thus the clever title for this blog)—urged me to give this experiment a try. She insisted that people would be interested in getting the perspective of another person trying to lose weight on the California Chef diet plan. And, since many of our clients are men, Denise also thought that a male’s perspective would help illustrate that diets are not just for women—especially our diet plan. Denise does not believe in deprivation, ours is not a crash diet, we include plenty of healthy carbs, and eating often is part of the plan. Hell, you can even enjoy pizza and tacos if you want!

Well, I thought, we truly do have wonderfully delicious offerings and I would like more people to learn about them and give us a try, so, damn it, I’ll do that blog! So what if I get discovered on the Internet and then have to do my own incredibly successful reality TV show and upstage the Kardashians who will then dump an entire tub of buttered popcorn and three large drinks on me to vent their rage when we run into them at the movies ?(What? It could happen. They really do just live in the next town over.) So what if I have to post nude before and after photos of myself every week on our site? So what if in the not-too-distant future when I’m delivering to Dwayne Johnson (a real client of ours), he notices what incredible shape I’ve gotten in and offers to cast me as his arch-nemesis in an upcoming movie he’s doing and I have to spend four months on a movie shoot in Bolivia? Well, I thought, I’ll just have to take those risks!

So, here it goes. My name is Michael, and I need to lose some weight. I’m 6’ 4”—any way you measure me. No, just kidding. I’m not that overweight, but I should be at right around 200 lbs., and I’m currently weighing in at 226.5. I also have a family history of heart disease. My dad had a heart attack and quadruple bypass back in the 90’s, and my mom has had—and I know this is going to sound callous, but it’s true—I lost track of how many heart attacks. Let’s just say she’s had at least 3, with a few episodes of congestive heart failure thrown in just to make sure my panic response to any late night phone call stays sharp. But wait, there’s more: She also has type 2 diabetes and has lost some toes in her body’s tug-a-war between insulin and glucose. Not a pretty picture.

Well, I love my mom and dad, but I don’t want to spend anywhere near as much time as they do in hospitals and doctors’ offices. I’m 47 years old and have done a pretty good job trying to keep at a healthy weight and watching my cholesterol numbers, but this past year, things just got away from me a bit. OK, a good bit. My wife and I love California Chef, but like almost any small business, it can be incredibly taxing on its owners. We work crazy long hours (she far more than me, I’ll gladly admit), and it’s highly stressful trying to make all the numbers add up week in and week out in this economy. So, I found that the most fun and least time-consuming way to deal with that stress was to go out for dinner and drinks as often as possible after work. Unfortunately, that combination of sleep deprivation, high stress, indulgent food, and excessive drink helped me put on 20 lbs., gave me high blood pressure, and knocked my cholesterol numbers into the “Do you really want to end up like your parents?” column.

I’m not comfortable in that column. So, I’ve decided to make some big changes to get me back to where I need to be. And, if you’ve really read this far, I’m inviting you to join me on that journey. I’ll do the best I can to arrest my slide toward ill health, and I’ll pass on to you what I learn on the way, trying to keep you interested and entertained all the while. And don’t worry, I was just kidding about the nude before and after photos. So, with that fear safely out of the way, are you interested?

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