The Macht Duo. I almost hate to corner you two into a “duo”…as the Macht CLAN really did transform this year! I couldn’t be any more proud of the victories and successes you all experienced this year. Watching you two transform was…mind blowing.
Juliana – my little sis ☺. I love you always. You know you are as much a part of the Powell Pack as little Ruby! I think it’s safe to say you spent more time with the Powell Pack this year than anyone!! Loved every moment ☺.
Jeff – to date, I’ve only seen a couple transformations as dramatic as yours. And I’m not just talking about physically. Emotionally and mentally, you go down as one of the biggest and best. Ever. Grumpy Jeff I met at day 1 is gone (ha! Sorry…I couldn’t help it!). Truth. That sad man went away and will never come back. Who you are today…wow. The Jeff you always wanted to be. We are SO proud.
Gonna miss you two (and the whole Macht Clan!). Thanks for chatting with us today! Here we go…
Heidi: Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. During your flight or fight challenge there was an emotional moment where you both were incredibly vulnerable and authentic about your relationship. How has your father/daughter relationship changed through your guys’ journey?
Jeff: Our relationship has changed dramatically. That is due to the fact that I realized that I wasn’t being a good father and that I was transferring my feelings of guilt about my weight onto Juliana. Now we go on dad and daughter dates, we work out together and we have great conversations. I love just being around her and seeing what a great lady she is becoming. As Chris said, she is truly a warrior.
Juliana: Mine and my father’s relationship is actually existent now. Before it wasn’t there. He is one of my best friends and I can go to him with anything and everything. I love my daddy!
H: I loved witnessing your blossoming relationship, and seeing you two become closer. It was inspiring to me and Chris! Jeff, at the beginning of your year, you expressed major disappointment in yourself as a father, and specifically about not being a good enough role model to Juliana. You made so many amazing changes in yourself this year as a person AND as a father. How do you feel about yourself as a role model now?
Jeff: It is certainly a work in progress, but I feel like I have made some major strides in becoming a better father and husband. I had to first admit that I needed to change and when I did that things started to get much better. Family has always been important to me, but because of my weight I was not setting the right example. But now that I have changed, it has affected my whole family. Not only my wife and Juliana, but it has affected my 2 older children as well. They are now living a much healthier lifestyle and have lost a lot of weight. As a family we have lost over 520 pounds in this last year. During the last phase of our transformation I had my other 2 children weigh in and send me the results as well. It was so exciting to see their excitement about the gains they were making. Now when we are together our meals are healthy and nutritious.
H: After boot camp, you both struggled to stay on track with your eating and exercise – clearly, from the surveillance scenes. What finally made it click for you to get you back on track to lose the weight you needed to lose?
Jeff: For me it was becoming truthful with myself. I realized I was still making excuses, my back or knees hurt, I had to work etc… Once I decided that I had to be genuine ad authentic in everything, eating, exercising and even being a good father, things began to fall into place. This all happened after what I call my Terrible Wonderful Tuesday. That was the night Chris and Heidi confronted us about the things we were doing and then not telling them the truth about it. I so appreciate them loving us enough to take the time to make sure we would get on track. That night completely changed my transformation. From then on it was about Truth in Transformation, running 400 meters and not 395, eating 2000 calories and not 2005, working out for an hour and not 55 minutes, and in fact, that is now what I am trying to teach others as I have opportunities to speak to different groups.
Juliana: I realized that time was going by fast and I needed to get my butt in gear!!
H: You certainly did get your booty in gear!! When we first surprised you, you two had to walk a total of 12 miles combined to Anschutz – a MAJOR physical challenge for you two! Then after 6 months you completed your first half marathon!! Tell us how amazing that felt.
Jeff: The half marathon was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. It fueled the rest of my transformation. When I would get down or tired during a workout I would simply say, I ran a half marathon – I can certainly do 10 more kettle bell swings. When I found out that our 6 month milestone was a half marathon I got really scared. Could I finish, could I keep up the pace that was required by Disney, would my bad knees hold out? But during the race Chris knew just what to say to give me the inspiration to keep going and then finish strong by running the last mile. And then when I crossed the finish line and literally fell into my wife’s arms, it was the best feeling of accomplishment I have ever known. I think you and Chris knew this was exactly what I needed to give me the confidence to finish my journey.
Juliana: Crossing that finish line of my half marathon I felt on top of the world. I had worked up to this for so long and I love running, so it felt amazing to finish something I wanted to do.
H: Juliana, you were our FIRST ever high school-aged teen on EWL! You set such an unbelievable example for millions of teenagers all over the world. And you certainly surpassed your 2014 resolution to inspire someone ;). What advice do you have for the teens reading this who might be struggling with their weight?
Juliana: For any teens out there that need help, I want to let them know that it IS possible to do. It might not seem possible right now, but it is. You just have to be strong and persevere. Even if it’s a pound a month, it’s still something. I know you guys can do it!
H: So tell us what’s new with you two, and how are you staying active and on track?
Jeff : I have been able to keep off the weight since the finale and because of this I was able to get my skin removal surgery about 3 weeks ago. About a month before my skin surgery, I developed a hernia while doing kettle bell swings. This really scared me because I thought it would derail my skin. It also scared me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to work out as much. So I really watched my nutrition and spent a lot of time in the pool and on the recumbent bike. I was able to stay under my goal weight and thus qualify for surgery. This was big for me because that taught me that I can maintain my weight, and even if faced with obstacles I can be a success. This was the best year of my life that I never want to do again. I so appreciate ABC and the production team for how they poured themselves into our success. And I especially want to thank you and Chris. These are very special people and they will be friends of the Macht duo for the rest of our lives.
Juliana: I make sure I have an active PE class every semester in school, therefore, I have to stay fit so I can keep up with the rest of the class.
H: Guys, I could not be more proud of you two…AND your family. Michelle and Joanna…WOW. That’s all I can say. BIG things for the Macht family! You guys will ALWAYS be a part of the Powell Pack. I love you both to pieces. Keep changing lives!!!!!!!