I’ve nearly always struggled with my weight. When I was a
child, I was skinny. I was always outside running around and
climbing trees. I was busy using my imagination to put me on
another planet, back in time, far into the future, etc. I am sure
I was a born writer. I imagined myself as a Native American
traveling across the prairies (my great grandmother was a fullblooded
Cherokee so maybe she was my inspiration), but was
equally often a pioneer traveling the Oregon trail with my ma and
pa, out to the wild west—a place in which I was also sometimes a
cowboy fighting ‘Indians’ and at others, the ‘Indian’ fighting
My brother and I played cops and robbers (he was
always the robber). Sometimes we played that my father and his
lawn mower were a monster from another planet and we ran away
from the lawnmower—which is better than running towards it, but
it drove my father nuts and he was always yelling at us to stop
running in front of the mower.
Okay, I know, it seems like my imagination could have been
dangerous to my health and it likely could’ve been. Running in
front of the lawn mower was the least dangerous thing we did.
When we were playing cops and robbers, we needed ‘diamonds’, so
we went down to the junkyard back in the woods behind my father's garage. (Dad was a mechanic and towed the wrecks back to this junkyard way behind
his garage out of sight). So, anyway, my brother and I would go
back there, feeling even more adventurous because that was
strictly off limits to us.
So first we had to sneak past Dad’s garage without him seeing us, and if we made it (sometimes he caught us and sent us home), then we had the luxury of tons of wrecked vehicles from which we pulled shattered glass and put
it in little velvet pouches (no idea where I got those from, possibly Avon lol) and voila—pouches of diamonds just like on Mission Impossible or Kojak.
Once we’d collected our diamonds (imagine! Kids playing with
shattered glass! It kind of explains why we had to keep getting
new diamonds, Dad kept taking them from us). So, anyway, once we
had our booty, we’d race off chasing each other in a game of
cops and robbers. Sometimes those games were launched by seeing
who could jump the farthest from the roof of one wrecked car to
another. The roofs and hoods were all crumpled up with rusty
doors hanging out or totally missing. Keep in mind, I was only
around six or seven. Probably both 6 AND 7, because I am sure we did this
for a few years before we stopped.
I have no idea why I wasn’t scared to jump from one rusty
jagged roof to another. We’d get full of wood ticks, but I don’t
ever remember even getting scratched from our car-jumping.
So, in short, I was very active as a kid. If I wasn’t pursuing or
being pursued in some game of A vs B, then we were exploring
islands aka Swiss Family Robinson scenarios or exploring
planets aka Star Trek scenarios, or sometimes we spent weeks on
Planet of the Apes.
All this action kept me skinny and energetic. When I was 13, my
parents divorced and we moved. We were in a new town. We lived
in an apartment. We didn’t have five acres to run around on.
Although, by the time I was 13, I was more into reading and less
into running around. Still, my activity had me walking to
school, up and down a huge hill, walking six blocks to the local
library after schools and on weekends. So, still, my imagination
was keeping me active. Not to mention the muscles I was building
carrying home 12 library books each week, usually hardcovers,
some coffee table books. I read voraciously. I’d go through two
novels a week. I had no interest in school sports, but my
library activity kept me exercised.
But, then, I got into eating junk food. I would eat chips and
candy while I read. I lived on Pepsi. Soon, my library trips
could barely win over the junk food. The new A vs B was
junkfood & Libraries.
I started to gain weight. I noticed. I didn’t like it. Especially
after my first school picture where I noticed I’d gained weight.
I hated it But I couldn’t give up junk food. But then, in my
ocean of reading, I discovered Fit For Life by Harvey and
Marilyn Diamond. I read that with the same appetite that I did
the fiction novels, and lo and behold, I was on a diet. I lost
weight. I felt good.
I was fine until the 2000s. Then, I really started gaining
weight. I was distracted by my imagination. I was writing. I was
working. I was busy. And I was eating. I was published by
Highlights for Children in April 1999 (Ben Gets to Help by
Elizabeth Trigg) and then in 2000 or 2001 by CTB McGraw-Hill.
They published two of my stories, and I was also working 17 hours a day in a news job.
Then I went through a breakup and gained weight. Then my best
friend since we were 14 died and I gained weight. Things
happened left and right. I was overworked, overweight, and exhausted.
Then my mother died, and I gained weight. Two years later, Dad died and I was an orphan. Age doesn’t matter when both parents are gone. You feel like an orphan. It is a disorienting feeling.
Anyway, the point is, I gained weight. No matter what I tried, I
couldn’t lose weight. I exercised. I cut out junk food. I
slept more. I walked more. I ate less. I could not lose weight!
No matter what I did!
Now, over the past year, I’ve discovered Dr. Berg on Youtube and
I discovered the Keto diet. It sounded too good to be true! I can
eat bacon?? Butter? Fat? Exercise isn’t going to contribute to
weight loss? This sounded too good to be true, but I gave it a
try. (I could actually blame my weight gain on my low-fat diets!)
In a couple months, I lost 18 lbs. Then for some weird crazy
reason, I went back to eating junk food. I have no idea why. So,
I was stuck at that 18 lbs I lost. I couldn’t go down another
It took me months to get myself back into the right mind-frame
and I went back on the keto diet. I was still having
inflammation though and I couldn’t figure it out. I was eating
The reason I’d quit the keto diet earlier in the year was
because I was still having inflammation and I thought eating so
much fat was what was causing that. I’d read or heard that fat
can cause inflammation. So that was why I’d quit before.
But then, I realized that I’d been on the high fat diet for
awhile with no inflammation and sometimes I had it and
sometimes I didn’t. I kept a food log and discovered that it was
actually the broccoli and spinach that was giving me
inflammation! I found out a few days ago that I'm also allergic to cocoa! Ugh!
I could not believe that anyone could be allergic to broccoli and spinach! Broccoli and spinach were the healthiest foods known to man! But I was in excruciating pain. Every single bone and joint in my body was in so much pain that I was totally useless for an entire week.
So, I did an experiment. I cut out all the greens. No more broccoli or
spinach or kale. I was going to try just eating the fat and
meat and see what happens.
Lo and behold, in three days my entire inflammation was gone!
With no pain medications! Nothing! I was allergic to broccoli
and spinach??? I was in shock.
So, now I’ve stuck to the fat and meat only diet for the past
week or so and I’ve lost another five pounds. And I’m sleeping
better! And I was sometimes having anxiety attacks; those are
gone now. I feel much calmer. Focusing is much easier too. I’m
able now to get stuff done!
So, it’s weird how some people can eat some things and others
can’t. I know that for most people, broccoli and spinach are the
best things for them. For me, it isn’t.
So now I’m just experimenting. I know what I can eat for sure
(butter, eggs, bacon, beef, pork, cheese, cream) and I’m just
adding greens back one at a time to see how/if they affect me. I
think I can handle romaine lettuce but I’m not taking any
My diet may sound weird to some people, but it is making me feel
healthier and I can focus on my writing far better than when I
was trying to eat a ‘healthy’ diet. The great thing is, I’m
never hungry, I’m not counting calories. If I’m hungry, I eat
bacon and eggs, or a steak, etc. I never feel hungry, I’m
sleeping better, I focus better, and I’m losing weight. That’s a
win/win! I’m making sure I’m getting all my vitamins and
electrolytes. That is really important!
Okay, that's enough rambling for one day! Back to writing for me!