Growing up as a Jewish kid in the suburbs of the 1970’s and 1980’s sounds like a tv sitcom waiting for the soundtrack to be chosen. Kids running around with BigWheels, Shrinky Dinks, Star Wars t-shirts, and of course, McDonalds! I lived (actually I just bought a house in my home town so I’m back!) on the South Shore of Long Island, NY. I was very active, played with all of my friends until the sun went down and LOVED to eat junk food! Chips, cakes, heros, sandwiches, burgers, more chips, etc etc etc. and since my parents had split up I dealt with my depression one mouthful at a time. (Play sad music)
By the time I was old enough to move on and deal with the split up, the damage was done. I was the fat kid! My mother tried to get me to lose weight with her diet regime (something called Think Thin which was kind of close to Low Carb with a number of terrible additions, more on that later) but that always failed, I tried to ‘eat healthy’ but what the heck did I know about all that? I was stuck.
When I turned 16 I was working at a local video store and a girl called the store asking if a certain movie was in, maybe Turner and Hooch, after talking for a few minutes she asked if I was cute, I hung up. I was terrified and lacked the confidence to say anything! Something clicked and I chose to lose the extra 80+ lbs no matter what. I essentially starved myself for 5 months and it worked. Everyone said how good I looked (which was amazing on its own), and I felt pretty darn good too. The struggle was to just begin since now I needed to choose what I CAN eat. Like many teenagers I chose to go down the route of being a vegetarian like my 3 closest friends but holy cow, I hated this food!! Not-Dogs, MealPacks, SoyBurgers, etc. I chose to begin cooking my own vegetarian foods and made bean burritos, veggie stews, roasted veggies, etc. I liked the food but I knew the problem…it was missing the STEAK but I remained a vegetarian for 6 years and a vegan 3 of those years. I remained slim and appearing to be healthy but I felt horrible, I just didn’t realize it!
At 22 I was at a 4th of July party and as someone who never drank I was handed a Gin on the rocks, I sipped it and in 20 minutes I was ready to eat everything! My friends father handed me a burger but when I said “no, I’m a vegetar…..oh whatever, I’ll try it!” 30 minutes later I was vomiting everything in the world up! Afterward, I slowly began eating meat again and I felt an overwhelming change. I had real energy and the foods tasted great. The veggies tasted better with the meats too! The problem is I now felt I could eat anything, I no longer feared gaining weight since it was so long since then (6-7 years at this point) I wouldn’t ALLOW myself to gain THAT much weight back!
It took 5 years and a corporate design job to gain back the weight and more. High carb breakfasts, too much alcohol in late night hang outs, fast food dinners, take out everything. Depression set in and the weight piled on.
In 2005 while looking into the “newest” diet fad, The Atkins Diet I decided to jump into it feet first and failed terribly. I chose it was awful and it wasn’t until 2007 that I decided to really do something about my weight. I followed Atkins again and dropped 50lbs, then another 20lbs. but then things seemed to get weird. I got bored. SO BORED. I floated around trying to find the ‘right’ way to eat until I came across Ketogenic eating or HFLC. I gave it a try and it makes so much sense to my body. I haven’t felt this good in a long and although I have played the yoyo game a bit I feel I have found something that really works, for me.