I have a number of friends who live with their boyfriends or husbands, who are sturggling to get the healthy food movement into their homes. I know MOST women want to be in better shape (and eat better), but it seems many guys are highly un motivated to follow suit. When I decided to lose weight the first things I said to Mr. Gaunt was “I cant do this unless you do it too.” Luckily Mr. Gaunt is a total doll and told me he was here to support me. However I have had many comments from girlfriends asking for advice on getting their men to go along with them in eating healthy. I decided to interview Mr. Gaunt about how he has dealt with this, and am posting it here to see if it helps other guys. Sorry its so long…lol, he had a lot to say. Oh and before we get the interview, here are some old and recent pics of Mr. Gaunt:
STARTING WEIGHT: 312
CURRENT WEIGHT: 245 – 250
1.How did you feel when Morgan wanted to join Weight Watchers?
I felt supportive of it because her weight is something we both knew she struggled with, and it was good to talk about it and get it out in the open. I felt that it was a diet that both of us could easily stick to, back when I thought it was “just a diet” not a lifestyle. And I was excited that she was so passionate about doing something about her weight, and I am always here to support her.
2.Had you wanted to lose weight before?
I did want to lose weight, but it never felt like a realistic possibility because (like morgan) neither of us wanted to go to the gym, and it didn’t seem like realistic behavior for us to change our eating. I also had no idea how to eat better, I thought that you just had to eat less. I never really thought my weight was a problem, yes it bugged me, but I wasn’t too worried.
Now I notice that it was a health issue, I had bad sleep apnea (says Morgan) and heart burn daily, if not every meal. Now I hardly snore (says morgan) and I maybe have heartburn once a month. Which is good because both of those things are scary issues.
3. What was your original Weight loss goal?
I would say my ideal weight would be 235, but I thought 250 would be a step in the right direction. Now I would still like to be about 230 (ditch the man boobs).
4. Was it hard to change your eating habits?
I thought it would be, but the Weight Watchers plan made it easy at first. You just eliminate the major fast food, the cheese on a sandwich, little things like that. You have Points, and once you eat them all you stop eating. Any dummy could do it. Once we started cooking for ourselves it became a fun challenge to make the best meal for the least amount a Points. We had fun learning how to reduce the calories in our food. I also learned what to look for on the back of packages, how bad a bag of Cheetos are when you really look. Eating out too, when you know the calories it really grosses you out. A Whopper Jr seems so small, but really its total shit. I would eat these as a snack on my way home from work, no wonder I was fat. now its hard for me to eat a bag of Cheetos, I still love them, but its not worth it.
5. What was the hardest thing to give up food wise?
It really didn’t seem hard for me. I knew I had to give up eating Mcdonalds breakfasts every day. I thought eliminating cheese from sandwiches would be a big deal, but you really don’t notice. All these things I used to eat (like hungry man dinners, and whoppers) would be hard to give up, but we were both so excited that I really didn’t care. The things I would think would be hard (burgers and steaks) I still have them on occasion, but now its a treat and you like it so much more! I also always liked chicken and whole wheat bread, and healthy cereals, so it wasn’t a huge change for me.
6. What new foods have you discovered you like?
-Lean Ground Turkey
-Skim Milk (I use to swear I would never drink this)
-Fish (a lot more)
-Pizza (thats mostly veggies, not cheese and meat)
-Fruit (for breakfast)
-Whole Wheat Pasta
7. Do you cook?
Sometimes, Its wonderful that Morgan has taken a liking to it, everyone sees the amazing things Morgan makes me on this blog. Its really helped me when she makes such good food. I have learned to modify what I cook to make it healthier, plus Morgan really only buys healthy ingredients, so its hard to go wrong. I make a mean Turkey Chili, and all those years working at Dominos helps me make a good pizza. Im just not into cooking anything big or fancy, I leave that to her. But if she ever needs an ingredient Im the first one to jump and go get it for her, its how I can do my part.
8. What do you like to snack on?
-Cereal (whole grain, low sugar)
-Carrots and Hummus
-Baked or POP Chips
-Almonds or Almond Trail mix
-A turkey Sausage with Marinara
-Cut up Fruit
-99% Fat free Turkey Pepperoni on a Healthy Cracker
-100 Cal packs
9. Any foods you had trouble giving up?
-Hamburgers (I try not to eat them more than once a month)
-Cheese (adding cheese to EVERYTHING)
10. Any Foods you refused to give up?
Burgers, but not the fast food kind. If Im gonna have a burger I want it to be a really good burger.
11. How about drinks? What do you like? What have you changed?
I drink diet soda now. I’ve never been a huge beer drinker, but when I do its light beer. I don’t drink glass after glass of milk anymore. I have taken up drinking water, and I get Powerade ZERO and Vitamin Water 10 (which is sweetened with Stevia) when I want something sweet.
12. How did friends react to your weight loss and change in diet?
Friends are pretty shocked at how drastically I dropped weight. People all the time tell me how skinny I am, how good I look. When I go out to eat with friends its easy because they have seen my results so they know Im going to order something healthy, and they don’t criticize. You notice the un healthy choices others make, but I keep my mouth shut unless they want my opinion. Sometimes when you go out its hard to not order un-healthy things, but if you do you just know you have to cut back later that day. People at work ask me a lot about eating healthy, they want to know if their making good choices, and I tell them what I know, I’m no expert.
13. Is it hard to be in social situations and still eat healthy? How do you do it?
You kind of have to pre-plan for this. If your gonna go to a BBQ you just don’t eat much more that day, so it tastes amazing cause your hungry. We sometimes bring a light desert when possible. If you cant prepare for it, you get somewhere and there are no options, then you just eat slow and try not to gorge yourself. There will be days when Im not perfect, I just try to make up for it later.
14. What do you eat for lunch?
Most of the time I bring WW Smart Ones microwave dinners. If I go out to eat I get Chic-Fil-A (which has no sandwich over 500 calories, and whole wheat buns and grilled chicken) or Subway (Whole bread, veggies, Chicken, lite mayo. Or the BLT -cheese). I usually bring Sunchips and a piece of fruit too. Because I eat breakfast I don’t have to gorge myself at lunch.
15. What is the best part about having lost 60+ pounds?
Clothes fit better (Im 38” waist now, from a 44-46” waist) I can wear T-shirts without an undershirt (to cover my tummy and man boobs) I have a nicer side profile. Seats at stadiums are comfier. I could probably fit on the rides at Elichs (amusement park) that I couldn’t fit on before. Its always nice to see people I haven’t seen in a long time, they always say “what’s up skinny” and that Im an inspiration to them. Its also fun to look at old fat pictures. I also don’t go through a bottle of Tums a week which is awesome.
16. Are you done losing weight?
Umm I hope not, I haven’t lost a lot in the past couple months. Both of us have notice its slowed down, but I agree with Morgan that we want our bodies to ease down to a healthy weight. I wont ever eat like I did before, its a life decision, and I think over time I would lose the rest of the weight.
17. How do you feel about working out? Do you participate in any activities?
I don’t think I could ever become a “Gym Person” I understand people say once you get into it it becomes addictive, but I find no pleasure it. I don’t ever want to be a gym rat (even though people say I have a good body to lift weights) its just not my thing.
On average I walk about 2 miles a day at work. I also golf regularly and we walk the course, never use a cart. I play a lot of Wii (golf and sports). We also play softball once a week, plus practice. Now that the weather is getting nicer it will be easier, I want to take up riding my bike too.
18. How has your relationship with Morgan changed?
I think its really brought us closer together. We have both been very committed to it, its a cause we have both taken action into, not just with us, but with america. We don’t have a lot of similar hobbies, but this gives us something to bond over. We have to think about it 3 times a day, its nice to work together.
19. Do you see Morgan differently now?
It make me very proud of her that she has stuck with this for so long. It makes me see her as a stronger person and an inspiration. She is so committed and creative. I notice that she’s happier and in a better mood, just generally happier person. I like that she has her blog and how important it is to her. She’s a fantastic blogger.
20. How do you feel about Clean Eating? Do you participate in this?
I participate as much as morgan wants me to. Clean eating is something that seems pretty difficult, and maybe some day I will be a 100% clean eater, but right now I want to take baby steps towards it. It seems healthier, and everything morgan makes thats “clean” is good, Im just not ready to give up my artificial ingredients yet (Diet Mt. Dew).
As for Organic foods I do support Organic eating, especially after seeing Food Inc, I hate to sound like someone who is just influenced by the media, but its not all fluff and bullshit. We try hard to buy local and organic. I wish it wasn’t more expensive, its never gonna be the popular thing if it costs people more. At this point we are willing to pay more for it knowing we aren’t eating pesticide and such. At the end of Food Inc the guy says “The more people demand it, the less expensive it will be” and I hope more people follow this. Morgan has also said that paying $1 more a pound for Organic Apples is WAY cheaper than paying for a Triple Bypass surgery in 20 years, and I agree.
21. How do you feel about going Vegetarian or Vegan?
Im all for eating more vegetable, but I love meat. Maybe some day it will happen, but it seems highly unlikely that I will willing chose this. Eating less meat is fine (she cooks Turkey instead of beef) but I love burgers. The fake food is good, but I don’t think it would ever be a 100% substitute meat. I don’t think its a bad thing to be a carnivore, everything in moderation.
22. How do you plan on caring on a healthy lifestyle into the future, especially as your family grows?
Morgan and I have discussed that feeding our babies healthy from the get go is the best option. We want to put Kale in their mac n cheese, so they just think it comes that way. It worries me that they will be out in the world and learn about Mcdonald and chips and love them (because who doesn’t) I just hope that we can provide a good base for them to go off of. That they will prefer vegetable, but I know that they will still want to eat kid stuff from time to time.
As for me I don’t ever plan on going back to eating garbage. I think over time I will become an even better eater. I know more about portion control, and really listening to my hunger cues. Its sad to see people that eat only garbage, and I just don’t think I could regress back into that. Knowing what I know now I just don’t see why I would ever go back. Healthy food tastes just as good, you just have to get use to it.
23. How about Hula? Does she eat healthy?
She does! We have recently changed her food to Blue Buffalo Cat Food, when we saw their commercial and went to their website and saw what we were feeding her we knew we had to change. She is like our baby, we need to feed her healthy too!
24. What would you tell other men who might want to get healthy, or men who have spouses that want them to get healthy?
Its definitely not as hard as I thought it would be. The fact that Morgan has been so committed to it makes it easier. Its something I take pride in every day. It feels good to look at yourself in the mirror. It makes you feel more in control of your life. Proud that you have more knowledge than others about what’s going in your body. If your in a committed loving relationship you should do whatever you can to make you and your spouses life a healthier happier life. Is eating garbage that makes your girlfriend or wife fat and depressed really worth it? Just that we have done this together and achieved so much is the greatest reward.