Weight lost to date: 38 pounds
PGN: Why did you agree to participate in Weigh It Forward?
MM: My whole life I have struggled with my weight. At the end of last year, I was at my highest weight. Doing this would provide structure. Trying to manage my weight has always been done alone and it’s been difficult to do. But this was a more structured way and I’d be doing it with other people. I was also intrigued by the charitable aspect — I like to fundraise.
PGN: What are you hoping to achieve?
MM: Part of what we do at Fusion is a lot of goal setting, so I’ve thought a lot about goals. I have several of them. I want this to be a life-changing experience. I’m trying to do this in a way that is maintainable. I want to lose 100 pounds in the next year. I’m eating healthier — getting to the supermarket. I have little goals, like going to Reading Terminal Market twice a week. For the competitive part of me, my goal is to raise more money than the others: I don’t think I’m going to lose more [weight] than the others.
PGN: What’s been your biggest struggle with your weight?
MM: It’s been a longtime struggle to manage my time. I’ll work very late, might have lunch if I have a lunch meeting. I’ll get home by 8 or 9 at night, and I’m so hungry that I just order food and have it delivered. So I was eating late at night, way too much food. Pizza, cheesesteaks, etc.
PGN: What’s been the hardest about this so far?
MM: The hardest part has been managing time — managing when I eat. We have been encouraged to eat several small meals throughout the day. That’s literally the hardest thing. This morning, I had breakfast at 7:30 after I worked out, and I haven’t eaten since [it was after 4 p.m.]. So, managing when I eat and managing time in general. I’m very busy as it is, and this added 20 hours a week to my schedule, with workouts, shopping, cooking, cleaning. But I’m getting a lot of encouragement.
PGN: The easiest?
MM: It’s interesting: The easiest thing is just adapting to working out. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it. I was very embarrassed about working out. I didn’t go to a gym. If I did anything, I ran on my own. But this is class settings, and I’ve grown to enjoy the camaraderie element of working out with folks. It has turned out that I love it. I’m looking forward to doing it for the rest of my life.
PGN: Has anything surprised you?
MM: That’s been it — how much I’ve liked working out. And how great everybody is — everyone is so supportive. It makes you feel really good. And the people you are working out with — if my experience at gym in high school had been like this ... I have a whole new group of friends — my gym friends.
PGN: Tell me about your workout plan.
MM: I feel very lucky that, by happenstance, I got assigned to Fusion. I was a little worried at first. I thought I was being shortchanged with a bootcamp, a class. It turned out that I feel so lucky because it’s so well structured: I don’t have to worry about anything when I work out. Someone else is there to take care of it. I sign up for four cross-training classes a week. It’s 20 in a class, cardio drills, do some stretching, then another room with resistance and strength training. This a.m. was my 50th workout and every one has been different. I don’t have to think about it. We end with 20 minutes of yoga. It’s the hardest for me. Stretches are really hard for me, but I’m getting better at it.
PGN: And food?
MM: I don’t feel like I’m on a diet. Once a week, we discuss what we are eating. Each week, we’re given a principle to follow, eating whole, healthy natural food. You cut out as much processed food as much as you can. And keep a log — log everything we eat. It’s not really like a diet: I could technically eat anything I want. But you sort of see how much you are eating: It was very clear I was packing on calories. Food logging has been a real help; I’m using something called Daily Burn Tracker.
PGN: Do you think this is something you can sustain?
MM: I absolutely do. I’ve gone through 10-15 years of doing something that was unsustainable. This is something I want to do — I like working out.
PGN: What do you think will be the hardest part to sustain afterward?
MM: I think just the unknown. I’m concerned. Will the motivation factor go down? Will I stop paying attention to my food? What makes me feel more confident is that I am having fun doing the workout and I don’t feel like I’m on a diet. My biggest fear is I just don’t know how I’ll feel when this is all over.
Gavin McKay, owner, Fusion Cross Training, 105 S. 12th St.
Fusioncrosstraining.com PGN: What has your plan for Micah been?
GM: Micah is doing our 10-week boot camp, two in a row. His goal is to do four cross-training workouts per week and report out each week. He has to complete an eating challenge each week from the 10-step eating program. He has to weigh in and we do fitness assessments every few months. The boot camp is unlimited, with a once-a-week mandatory outside session.
PGN: Tell me more about the exercise.
GM: He does four workouts total, and one of the boot camp. That’s enough. The workouts are an hour and 15 minutes.
PGN: Tell me more about the food plan.
GM: We focus on one habit at a time. So there is an eating principle each week, strategies, the science behind it and there is a challenge connected with it. One is eat in Technicolor: The challenge is about incorporating a fruit or vegetable into every meal or snack, 90 percent of the time. So the focus is on eating produce as a staple.
PGN: What results are you looking for short-term?
GM: What he’s already accomplished: built his confidence and a base of fitness. He can complete any workout we throw at him. Recently, he finished the Comcast challenge here, where he did 60 flights of stairs — which is two flights more than the Comcast Tower.
PGN: And long-term?
GM: It’s to make all of these lifestyle changes permanent. So he’s participating in everything, making changes, staying on the path and continually upgrading his diet. And to enjoy working out for what it gives you — to flip the switch from “work” to “play.” He is doing an awesome job, and raising so much money. He’s not just thinking about himself. We’re proud of him.