Week Five on the 4-Hour Body Plan

We’re on Week Five of our six-week experiment inspired by Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Body program. We’re also on a week-long Caribbean cruise, so this week’s report will be a little different.

We don’t have access to scales here in our stateroom — and I think it would be unwise to weigh ourselves naked in the ship’s Greenhouse Spa weight room — so this week’s total weight loss is an estimate. That said: my lowest confirmed weight before leaving home this past week was 213 — a total loss of seventeen pounds, or just over three pounds a week on average.

Remarkable, Obvious Transformation

We didn’t bring a tape measure on the cruise, so I can’t report inches lost this week. However, last night, while downloading Clyde’s photos to the iPad, I did see several pictures of myself … and I was stunned.

My belly is *dramatically* smaller … and, while I don’t have washboard abs or even a flat tummy, the photos drove home how my change in lifestyle is paying off. My face, my neck, my waistline, and my legs are noticeably thinner. I look worlds better than I did just five weeks ago.

Being fat has been a part of my identity for so long, I’m not quite sure who I am or what I’ll be once the fat is gone … and it *is* falling away. Five weeks ago, according to our electrical resistance scales at home, fat was responsible for 29% of my body weight. Now, it’s down to less than 23%.

On the Plan, Even On a Cruise

A shocked MadeByMark.com reader writes, “Are you going to stay on the plan, even while on a decadent cruise?” After all, cruises are known for their all-you-can eat midnight buffets and non-stop indulgences, right?

The answer: absolutely. At least for us, the plan isn’t a diet — it’s a lifestyle change.

That said: our first day on the boat — yesterday — was Indulgence Day, and that was a good move, as it allowed us to partake of as much of whatever goodies we wanted right up front. (That way, we don’t feel deprived or left our for the remainder of the trip.)

After a hearty breakfast, we had lunch in the Lido, where I had a bite of pasta and some garlic bread. Then we had second lunch at Slice, where I had a slice of pepperoni pizza. Then we had third lunch in the dining room, where the chicken cordon bleu and chocolate mousse cake were very tasty. After mojitos in the Crow’s Nest, we had dinner — veal and baked potatoes and red velvet cake and chocolate cookie dough ice cream — before joining friends in the lounge for an evening toast. Right before bed, we had chocolates Clyde was kind enough to bring from home!

Had we been on the plan — as we will be today — we still could have eaten very well: the crab appetizers with avocado … the seafood soup … the prime rib or New York strip steak … the stir-fried kale.

In short: while on the cruise, we can stay on the plan (lean meats, lots of vegetables) in style.

Some New Changes

New this week: I’ve given up sodas and colas entirely. This surprised me as much as anyone, since Coke Zero was a $10-$20 dollar per week habit for me. But last week, it suddenly occurred to me that I just didn’t need or want soda any more, and, just like that, I was done.

As a result, I’m drinking a *lot* more water than I ever have, and, in just a week, I feel much, much better than I have in ages. I’m not sure how to describe it, other than to say that a sort of general fogginess has dropped away that almost certainly has something to do with no longer flooding my body with sodas and artificial sweeteners.

Which brings me to BIg Change Number 2: no more artificial sweeteners for me. This, also, was an unplanned cold-turkey change. One morning, I just forgot to pour Splenda in my coffee — and, to my surprise, the beverage tasted just fine on its own. It occurred to me that my use of sweeteners was more a habit than a necessity … so I gave ’em up.

Just one week later, the difference is dramatic. Foods — particularly vegetables — taste much sweeter than they did before. Coffee has a rich, subtle fruitiness all its own that I never noticed. And — while skeptics still doubt that this is possible — my aphasia (an inability to think of the exact word you wanted, as quickly and easily as you’d like) has begun to recede.

All too often, we are being sold things we just don’t need … and now, I count sodas and sweeteners among those things.

I LIke Me

Numbers aside, here’s the most important thing: I like the new me.

It is a strange thing to go through life not liking the way you look, avoiding full-length mirrors, deleting photos that highlight your belly, and pretending that there’s nothing you can do about the situation.

If you’re willing to be more conscious — to make better decisions about what to eat, with larger goals in mind — then you can generate remarkable change in a very short period of time … without being extreme, without taking risks, and without going hungry.

If I can do this, you can do this.

Now — off to breakfast, where I’ll share omelets, bacon, and coffee with a thinner, sexier version of the husband I adore. Long story short: Life’s good, and getting better every day.

Mark McElroy

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

Add comment

Who Wrote This?

Mark McElroy

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

Worth a Look