Most of the time when I tell people I’m on a diet, the person looks at my mom and asks, “You have him on a diet?”
When encountering this question, we reply that the diet was my idea, which is normally followed by a strange or confused look.
When I was younger, I was a bit heavier than I would have liked. When I started this journey last summer, my initial plan was to lose weight by exercising, so I started running and, later, doing Crossfit. This definitely helped my cause but not as much as I wanted it to.
A few days before this school year began, I realized what I needed to do: Go on a diet.
I decided to try the high-protein, low-carb paleo diet because it’s so well known in the CrossFit community. I even convinced my mom to try it with me. We have been – and still are – making the effort to cut carbs from our diet.
By cutting carbs from meals, I don’t find the same pleasure from eating as I did before, and now meals are much more bland. Have you ever tried eating spaghetti and meatballs without the spaghetti? Or a hamburger without the bun? It’s not as satisfying without those delicious, carb-filled foods.
Another hardship occurs at school, since I order school lunches.
I have been told more times than I can remember how “sad” my lunches look. To my friends, I’m ignoring all the best parts of the meal. But in my eyes, I’m just staying disciplined. It’s possible that my friends are the real winners here, seeing as they get all the food that I can’t eat.
If my drastic change in diet wasn’t already hard enough, I then had to go on the freshman class trip and figure out how I was going to eat paleo when surrounded by fast-food joints and the siren song of street food in San Francisco.
Every meal we ate at the hostel was based around carbs. For breakfast we had French toast, breakfast burritos and bagels. Dinners consisted of burritos, spaghetti marinara and a night out on Pier 39; however, I was ready for the challenge.
Luckily, I was able to find ways around the carbs at all meals. For breakfast I only ate fruit. When we went to Pier 39, I ate a salad while my friends had pizza, burgers, french fries and nachos.
While I ate my “depressing” meals and mentally complained, I also thought, “This may be one of the worst things I’ve ever done, but at least I haven’t given up.”
Temptation is everywhere, from advisory snacks to dinners out with family. However, after a few weeks of enduring the torture, it became easier and easier to say no to the normal American diet.
Now, I have developed a sort of “super power” in my friends’ eyes. They think of my diet as an impossible task and are in a constant state of pity for me, but in reality, my diet is no longer a “task” but just something that I’m adding into my lifestyle.
The real question remains: Is going through this “torture” worth it?
Absolutely. In the past month and a half of cutting out carbs and staying disciplined, I’ve lost 13 pounds.
—By Miles Morrow
Originally published in the Oct. 30 edition of the Octagon.