Hello, my name is Paul Allen and I am 40 years old. I grew up hefty my whole life (or as my Mom would say, big boned) and didn’t shed the weight till I was in Culinary School around the age of 21 at a top weight of 255. As a fat kid, we sometimes bring the weight back on and then try to shed again. (like a yo yo effect) At the current moment I am hunched over a computer with my belly resting against the top of my thighs and It is once time to do something about it. I haven’t been on a weight scale in years but if I was to guess, I would say I am around 230-235 pounds. My ideal weight is 185 and I need to do something about it.
I am going on a diet or should I say “Lifestyle” that I created while attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. At the time I called it the “SOA Way of Life” but I am thinking of changing the name to “DOM Lifestyle” (D.O.M. = Design Of Me) but maybe you can help me come up with a better name. (feel free to message me a name you think would be better) I was big my whole life and when I went to Culinary School I ate a lot of food, and had a grand ole time. I was blowing up like a whale and loving every minute. Until my thighs would rub together and I would get soars and agony from the pain. I hated when that would happen. As a fat kid you don’t realize all the ailments you have, until you loose the weight and you think to yourself, how did I live with myself???
I remember going through Nutritional Class at the CIA and learning about calories, fat, healthy fat, trans fats, and all kinds of interesting stuff. We did a project and had to count the calories we consumed for the week and input it into a computer program. I clearly remember on the day that we did this, when I entered my breakfast alone I had gone over on calorie intake for the whole day and hadn’t even gotten to lunch, dinner, desserts or snacks for the remainder of the day. I was at over 5,500 calories for the whole day!!!!!
At that moment I knew I had to make a life change! Now was the time to apply my knowledge, and focus on weight loss and a better life all around. Are you ready for my formula??? I started off by eating anything I want for breakfast, a modest lunch and fresh fruits and vegetables for dinner. I stayed away from dairy but did allow hard cheeses like Parmesan and Asiago in the morning or afternoon, and had one cheat day a week. Besides that day, no sugary candy or sweets.
I would find myself eating better and better for breakfast and on the cheat day, sometimes I would not even cheat. My body started to crave this new lifestyle of delicious whole foods and eventually I didn’t crave sugar at all. I cut out all fast food restaurants, and stayed away from condiments and pre-packaged items. (that doesn’t mean all items, just thought about my food and ingredients. Starting to practice moderation in my life for once) Now if I was at a friends house and they served me food, I din’t make a big deal of it. I would eat and not be the weird guy, and just later that week I would eat better. Or I would consider that my cheat day for the week. It is all about balance and an 80/20 lifestyle. 80% good, 20% anything goes.
Previously in life, I always tried the diets that have no light at the end of the tunnel, the strict crazy diets that are so hard to follow. If you live a normal life and actually leave your house, these seem impossible! At the time (2001 “ish”) the weight loss diets that have you eat a bunch of meat and dairy were very trendy (still are) but so very unhealthy I feel. This is just my thoughts, but I don’t see how that particular diet can be good for you. And every time I would do those kind of diets, yes the weight would come off, but if I was to slip up a hand full of times the weight always came right back, and sometimes even more.
According to the USDA, we are supposed to eat 5 oz of meat per day, about the size of a deck of cards, yet we eat 2-3 times that amount. Click HERE to read more. If we are on the meat induced diets, we might eat 4-5 times that amount. Where does it all go? Again, I do believe in some meat, but not in excess. The average American eats 222.22 pounds of meat per year according to a study in 2018 by Micheline Maynard Senior Contributor of FOOD & DRINK. I will copy her link HERE if you want to read more.
Now lets get into the dairy aspect, when is the last time you viewed a 20 year old man suckling on his mother bosom for milk? My point exactly, (sorry for the image, lol) you haven’t! So why are we consuming so many milk, cheese, and dairy items? Well probably because they taste delicious!!! And when did we become able to digest milk from a Cow???? I am sure we choose this animal because it produces a lot of milk, but take some time to think about it, to truly truly ponder and think about it. Common sense will tell us all that it is not OK to eat that much diary, especially highly mass produced dairy products. If you have to have dairy every once in a while, I get it, but to incorporate ever day, I don’t think that is smart, but who am I t tell you what to do, I am no expert or doctor. On a serious note, don’t ever try to take away my ice cream, nothing gives me more satisfaction than a good trip to the ice cream stand. In moderation, this is OK and believe me I am the first to say I eat to much diary, but am going to put a handle on this and see how I feel. (I will let you know in future blogs if I feel different)
We have to get away from thinking that calories are bad for us, calories in Europe are labeled Energy. Yes that is right, think of calories as energy, you just want to put the right energy inside you. For instance, if you are a marathon runner you might need more energy than someone sitting in their office chair all day. Not saying one is bad or the other, just saying we all have different lifestyles. So if you are consuming the same amount of energy as a marathon runner, and you are sitting most of the day, it could possibly turn to fat. Just look down at your waistline and trust me, it doesn’t lie. Also there is healthy fat like in avocados, nuts, and olive oil. The main fat we want to stay away from is Trans Fats. Here is an article for the top 7 trans fats and where they come from, CLICK HERE to read. Basically fried fast foods and items like margarine. We want to stay away from Trans Fats at all cost!!! I try to not even do them on Cheat Day! If you happen to eat one every now and again, don’t let it get to you, just try to slowly cut them out.
This way of life is not about being worried all the time, it is about freedom and taking your life back in stages. Some will take this way of life more aggressively and loose weight faster, some will take it slow, but the key is to making it your new way of life. Eat with common sense, have fun, life life and enjoy it all, in moderation. Like if I go out of the country, I might eat bad every day for 2 weeks, but when I get home I get strict with what I consume.
This is a short introduction to the “Adventure of a FAT kid” to learn more about how this new way of life is going to work for me, keep reading my blog. I plan on showing you what I eat daily, helping you with recipes, and meal plans. We will see what this will grow into, but I will have no expectations of what is to be. If I can help a couple people loose weight like I did, and live a better lifestyle, so be it! I am sure you will not all agree on my diet, and what I believe, but that is OK. I am no doctor, I am not a scientist and am not saying one way is better than the other, this is just what worked for me. Like they say in Israel……….L’chaim! (to life my friends)
PS Now I have to figure out how to review restaurants and still stay healthy 🙂 Maybe I will have to only review healthy restaurants, lol 🙂