Which makes it sound really stupid that at age 40 I was 300 lbs. and really had no idea what to do to fix my weight. No idea. I was overweight and unhealthy pretty much all my life -- growing up in Kentucky, eating suburban food -- and had tried forever to fix my weight issues myself. It wasn't until I realized that I was ignorant -- I'm from Kentucky, you would think I would recognize ignorance -- and that I had no idea what to do -- until I literally said to myself, "I'm being stupid!" -- that anything changed for me. I had to do something different than what I had been trying over and over, which was basically eat less of the same food, and get more cardio.
So I went looking around in the media and saw that vegans were getting a lot of play, and specifically this guy John Mcdougall (via Bill Clinton), was doing something "different." That was definitely a different way of eating, super low fat, no meat, lots of grain, fruit, vegetables. I'll go radical, I thought, I'll try that food. So I switched everything, dove right into it, ate like that for 18 mos.. And felt awful -- hungry, bloated, lethargic, moody, with gout pain. I lost weight, about twenty-five pounds, but then started gaining it back.
So, back to looking around, but this time, I went to the small small media -- podcasts. And found Robb Wolf's stuff. And listened. And knew immediately, oh, this fits me waaay better. I'm a dude. This is actual food. And somewhat normal people. And they lift weights. There's no airy/agey "morality" driving this, it's just, "Hey, there's a science-logic here, it's probably better to avoid these foods, and eat these foods."
That was my second big food change. And I knew immediately it was right. My weight dropped in about four months down to where it is now, around 185. I stopped weighing, in fact, because I don't care. I look right, I dropped multiple pants sizes, and I'm not hungry all the time.
And I'm a comedian for a living, so I started talking about this stuff on stage, and it grew, and grew, and I learned more and more, and the ex-professor in me kept organizing and explaining the information, and the comedian in me kept turning it into comedy, until it was a one-man show about, essentially, Paleo eating.
What was the biggest challenge to adopting a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet?
At first sweet cravings. Giving up beer. But then finding good replacements -- dark chocolate, straight bourbon-- made those not really a problem.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone interested in trying a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet? Were there any obstacles that you overcame that could help future dieters?
Get around other people who are into this stuff.