The strug­gle with weight

The Canadian Jewish News (Montreal) - - Comment - Avrum Rosensweig

It’s hard to be over­weight, as I have been since I was 20 years old – and I have suf­fered tremen­dously be­cause of it.

For a num­ber of years, it’s been dif­fi­cult to but­ton up my pants. I would fre­quently speak in pub­lic and make ev­ery ef­fort to wear long shirts to cover my gut and en­sure that my half-closed pants could not be seen. It was em­bar­rass­ing.

Peo­ple wouldn’t let me for­get I was plump. Those who were bold would of­ten say such things as: “En­joy­ing your burg­ers and steaks are you?” Or, “Must be eat­ing late at night, eh Avrum?”

It was not un­com­mon to hear such put­downs. I would of­ten lie about my health, deny­ing that I was gain­ing weight or had any prob­lem los­ing some pounds. But I did. And not only could I not lose weight, I kept gain­ing.

Those who have gone through weight gain and have ex­pand­ing waists, know what I’m talk­ing about. We are open game, and for some rea­son an aw­ful lot of peo­ple feel it’s OK to poke fun at in­di­vid­u­als with a wide girth. Not sure why.

But on Dec 4, I be­gan tak­ing con­trol of my life. I trav­elled to the Cre­ative Health In­sti­tute (CHI) in cen­tral Michi­gan, with en­cour­age­ment from my dear friend, Burt.

There, for 10 days, I lived on strictly raw food, drank wheat­grass and par­tic­i­pated in yoga and heart-health education.

It was tough, be­cause I had to make a dra­matic switch from eat­ing meat, cooked food, lots of bread, heap­ing amounts of car­bo­hy­drates and some yummy Shab­bat food like cholent.

Ini­tially, I didn’t think I’d make it. On Day 3 – the most dif­fi­cult day of my de­tox – I could barely stuff an­other piece of kale and other veg­gies into my mouth.

But I did so, and while at CHI, I lost 11 pounds.

Since then, I have con­tin­ued to use much of what I learned at CHI at home. I loaded up my home with the right

For 10 days, I lived on strictly raw food, drank wheat­grass and par­tic­i­pated in yoga and heart-health education.

kitchen tools, in­clud­ing a de­hy­drater, a su­per duper blender, a food pro­ces­sor, a juicer and a steamer.

My meals in­clude spi­ral­ized zuc­chini with cashew sauce and cauliflower rice. Sim­i­larly, I’ve served my son por­to­bello mush­room burg­ers and heap­ing sal­ads with a plethora of veg­eta­bles and raw salad dress­ings that are ex­plo­sive in taste.

I am juic­ing a lot. This morn­ing, I made a juice with gin­ger, beets, ap­ple, car­rot and lemons juice. My smooth­ies con­tain ca­cao and dates, ba­nanas and dark leafy greens.

The To­rah says, “Sh­mor naf­shotay­chem,” guard your souls – you should be the guard over your phys­i­cal well­be­ing. In sim­plest terms, Ju­daism stresses the im­por­tance of a sound mind and body so that you en­sure that your ves­sel, the body that holds your soul is healthy and vi­brant.

I am hop­ing that I can main­tain this new lifestyle so my hair con­tin­ues to get softer and darker, my skin re­mains soft, and mostly that I ar­rive at the weight I’m sup­posed to be, which is about 50 pounds lighter. Mostly, I want to live long and well.

This road is a bumpy and dif­fi­cult one, but a very mean­ing­ful one. I can once again taste my food, and I am now able to do up the but­ton at the top of my pants.

I’m grate­ful to those in­di­vid­u­als who led me to a bet­ter lifestyle. I en­cour­age any­one who suf­fers the way I did to take a coura­geous step to­ward ad­just­ing his or her life in or­der to be­come healthy and live a long and mean­ing­ful life.

It’s hard, very hard. But it’s worth it so that I can be with those I love for many years to come.

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