1. Chapter 1: That Fateful Day…
I will never forget that day. Standing in my bathroom after getting out of the shower about 30 pounds and 6 years ago. I might have considered getting on the scale, but I knew I was well overweight, and I had a pretty good idea of what the scale would say. The past 8 or so years had not been kind to me, as I had gained weight every year.
I had been trying to lose weight since my early twenties, when I started ballooning up for no good reason. I hadn’t changed what I was eating or drinking, at least not that I was aware of. But still, while all of my friends watched with amusement, I got fatter and fatter.
So, over the years I dieted and got fatter, and on this morning I stood in the bathroom realizing that I was part of this epidemic of weight gain in North America. I had tried to be fit. I had joined a gym, I had bought expensive exercise equipment, I had reduced my fat intake and nothing was working. The weirdest part of this was that up until this moment, I didn’t think I was like every other overweight person out there. I was different. They weren’t trying, I was. They were dumb and lazy, and I wasn’t. It was then that I realized that if all of the things that the experts were recommending weren’t working for me, and clearly weren’t working for everyone else, then maybe I should stop listening to the experts and start using my brain.
It was a very important moment in my life. It is one of those moments that I can remember as clearly as when it occurred. I realized that all of the advice, all of the expert instruction wasn’t working for anyone. In a significant way, it wasn’t our fault that no one was getting thinner-I don’t want to dump the personal responsibility onto anyone else here, obviously we are all responsible for ourselves, just that we weren’t ignoring the experts and that was why we were fat, but exactly the opposite, because we were following the experts, we were getting fatter. I knew I had been trying. I had been working hard, and I realized right there, that so had many, many others. These weren’t stupid people, these were lawyers, accountants, doctors even. These weren’t lazy people, these were driven people who had raised families, gotten degrees and earned awards.
Clearly something was wrong. This was during the low-fat lifestyle recommendation that was being suggested by everyone. Given the hype a few years earlier and all of the products on the market, it seemed as though we were all going to be thin any day now. What a disaster that turned out to be.
So, I was standing there and I realized that I had to find out what was wrong. I had been sold a bill of goods and I was damn well determined to figure out why it wasn’t working. I also promised myself right there and then, that if I came up with the answers to these questions, even if just for people like me, I would share them. I believe I have come up with the answers and this is my attempt at sharing them.
I knew that 90% of the diets and weight programs, detoxes and fitness plans on the market were crap. I had known this for quite awhile. I am an inherently cynically person and I have seen the weight loss industry trying to rip everyone off for quite some time, yet still I wanted to believe that some of the people who were rising to the top of this field were inherently decent people trying to help us. I actually strongly believe that to be true, even now, having reviewed and seen some of the silliest diet plans and the most predatory shysters while writing this book. Still, while believing that these people want to help, I still didn’t believe any of them could help me.
As soon as I saw myself as being just like everyone else who was overweight, I realized that of course we were not losing weight. Not only could these experts not help me, but they couldn’t help anyone else. They didn’t understand what the problem was. I knew I had to understand what the problem was before I could help myself.