written by ilene ross
photographed by gina weathersby/kiwi street studios

Nobody would ever head off to culinary school thinking it’s the ideal place to lose weight, but at 5’11” and 288lbs, Michael Worth knew that his only hope was to start the battle before embarking on his career as a chef.  If he could begin losing the weight before he started, the encouragement he felt from his success would lead to a lifelong mentality of healthy living.  So, eight months before leaving for the famed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, he began a disciplined regime which consisted of running, circuit training, limiting portion sizes, cutting out dairy, and what might be the most difficult of all for a newly minted 21 year old, the banning of late night drinking.

Initially, his too strict program was met with frustration, and the pounds refused to come off.  Discouraged, he relaxed just a bit, and was well rewarded. Off to the CIA he went with his plan in place, spending his time without a car in the pastoral countryside of Hyde Park divided between class and the gym.

Four years and 112 pounds later, Michael is in the exacting kitchen of The Palace-one of Cincinnati’s finest restaurants- as Jr. Sous Chef to Executive Chef Jose Salazar. Working ten hour days in an extremely demanding kitchen is a great work-out routine on its own, though he still hits the gym. “I eat more now than I used to, but I’m not gluttonous, I do taste everything,” he says.

Being surrounded by all of that incredible food on a daily basis could prove to be the undoing of many a healthy eater, but Michael offers up these words of encouragement. “Never get discouraged. It’s [weight loss] not a numbers game. People need to look at it holistically.”

As a complete aside, yes ladies of Cincinnati, Michael is single….

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phyllis - April 24, 2012 - 8:39 am

I love a good weight loss story!

gweathersby - April 26, 2012 - 2:07 pm

So do we, Phyllis! We think Michael is amazing, and we envy the fact that he’s surrounded by all that fabulous food all day and manages to keep so fit! {Ilene}

holly may - April 30, 2012 - 10:22 am

i think you should have a blog giveaway contest…prize? a date with this fella…please 😉

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