4-Hour Body: On a Boat, On the Plan

When I committed to sticking with a routine based on Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Body program for six weeks, I didn’t realize that I’d be on a Caribbean cruise during that sixth week.┬áBut, guided by this year’s commitment to make fewer commitments and keep more of ’em, I elected to stick with the plan, even during our vacation.

Keeping that commitment has been pretty easy, really.

Well-planned indulgences. Rather than celebrate Indulgence Day last Saturday, we bumped our indulgences to Sunday (our first day on the boat). This turned out to be a good move, because it freed us to sample anything and everything we wanted in any or all of the ship’s restaurants.

Had I not scheduled an Indulgence Day first thing, I would have felt deprived every time I passed by Slice, the onboard pizzeria. But by arranging to sample the pies at Slice on Day 1, in addition to getting my weekly pizza fix, I allowed myself to realize that the pizza at Slice really isn’t all that great. (It’s certainly not worth pining for!)

Eating very well within the plan. Especially since I was passing up breads and desserts, I didn’t feel guilty at all about asking for an extra appetizer (starting with asparagus wrapped in ham, for example, and then moving on to crab legs soaked in butter) or even an additional entree (starting with shrimp, and moving to a filet).

At home, I lean more toward chicken and turkey — so here, all the steak and shrimp *felt* indulgent, even though it was all on my plan.

A supportive crew. Holland America’s crews are famous for remembering names and preferences, and it didn’t take Edy and the rest of the dining room staff to catch on to what we’re up to, diet-wise. When I ordered my omelets in the morning, Edy would say, “With no toast and no potatoes, right?” When I ordered my steak at night, Edy would say, “With extra veggies and no baked potato?” Eventually, they even quit asking about dessert and just brought me coffee.

Conscious choices. We knew that we had reservations at the Pinnacle Grill, the ship’s fanciest eatery, on Wednesday night. So, earlier in the day, we ate less than usual … and planned ahead to indulge in a little dessert on Wednesday night.

In retrospect, given what the Pinnacle serves (steak and lobster, shrimp, crab, etc.), we could have eaten there and stuck to the plan … but by going in and consciously choosing to eat the bread and order dessert, we treated ourselves without disrupting progress. As a result, I could really enjoy my mojito, and have a bit of hot lava cake guilt-free. Getting back on track the next day was no problem at all.

Back to the Routine. Tomorrow is our last day onboard, which should make for a great Indulgence Day. Sunday, we’ll be heading home … and, instead of dreading the news on the scales, I’m excited to see what progress I’ve made this week. (Based on how my clothes are fitting, I’m certain I haven’t gained any weight … and pretty sure I’ll have lost a pound or two while feasting on steak and lobster!)

And then … once home … having kept my initial commitment to the plan, I’ll have some decisions to make. Given the speed of my progress and the success I’ve enjoyed so far, I’m leaning toward making at least one more one-month commitment.

By the time that cycle ends, I could easily weigh less than 200 pounds for the first time in almost eighteen years.

Special Note: To all our friends who are trying this same experiment — drop me a line about your progress! I’m eager to hear how things are going for you!

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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Who Wrote This?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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