LA Times

He Let Delivery Service Do All the Dirty Work. How I Did It.
by Paul Marcus

Last July, I was sporting the fat-bloated-Elvis look, and it wasn't a pretty sight. I'd subsisted on a diet of airline food, hotel food, client-dinner food and snacks. I ate constantly, too much, too often and too late at night. I was on the verge of having my second rotator cuff operation, after which I was slated for back fusion surgery. My back surgeon suggested - indelicately - that I might want to lose 10 pounds before he operated.

Because I'd been through the first rotator cuff surgery, I knew that not having readily available, prepared food was a problem. I've always eaten all my meals out because I don't cook. I'm not sure how my stove works, and my oven's a storage place for, well, I don't know. I never look in there.

A story about calorie-controlled meals that are delivered caught my eye. I decided to give it a try but first consulted with my doctor on what calorie-intake level would help me lose the fat at the right pace; he recommended 1,500 calories a day. So I called the service and never looked back. In addition to convenient delivery service and low-fat, low-cholesterol ingredients and preparation, the food was delicious. This from someone who ate most of his meals at good restaurants.

I established a goal of losing 15 pounds at 1-1/2 pounds a week. As I rehabilitated my shoulder, I started the meal program and walking fast for 1-1/2 hours, three to four times a week. In the process, I discovered that losing weight requires the same kind of commitment and behavioral changes as quitting smoking (which I'd done cold turkey years ago). It was tough, but every time I saw a little more weight had come off, my resolve increased. When I reached my goal of 15 pounds, though, I still had this...thing...around my waistline. That's when I realized I'd been seriously overweight and needed to lose even more, which I did.

Now I'm active again and for the time being have avoided back surgery. Besides the obvious health benefits of significant weight loss, there are others: I don't need to spend time hunting and gathering meals, so I spend more time focused on work and being productive. The food costs less than what I was spending eating out, and I no longer stop by the store 37 times a week (I'm shopping impaired as well), so that incremental spending has tapered off. Most important, I no longer think about eating healthy. I still have the meals from Healthy Gourmet in Irvine delivered, and when I do eat out, I eat what I want and when I want.