My 22-Hour Raw Foodism Experiment

During my junior year of college, I inexplicably lost 30 pounds. I was working 80 hours per week at the student newspaper, taking 15 credits and still managed to play pick-up basketball about four days per week. I was also taking Hydroxycut, the weight-loss pill that was yanked from shelves no so long ago over health concerns. (They’ve since changed their formula.)

I played my senior season of high school football at 219 pounds. Since then, I’ve never weighed more than 230 and never less than 207, which is pretty miraculous considering I spent the better part of six years on a college campus. Right now, I weigh 225, give or take a few.

After 19 hours, I started noticing changes to my physical appearance. I grew concerned.

The other night I stumbled upon the raw food diet. Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, nothing heated above 110 degrees. I thought I’d give it a try because I read nothing about portion control and raw foodism still allows for trail mix. And I love trail mix.

For 22 hours, I dabbled in raw foodism. I went to Trader Joe’s Saturday and dropped $47.34 on produce. I ate bananas, blackberries, raisins, a salad, carrots, oranges, trail mix and drank almond milk and water. I worked out and felt fine. The raw food diet relies on natural energy found in foods with enzymes that promote more effective digestion. They say after two weeks, you can almost completely detox your body of all those Taco Bell quesadillas and Whoppers from Burger King. (I’ll spare you the details, but said detox also leads to some pretty epic trips to the men’s room. Which is nice.)

Twenty-two hours. What went wrong? Why did I stop?

Coffee. Then beer. Oh, and Chipotle. Lemonheads. After 22 hours, I caved to the fact I love me some processed, genetically-modified foods. I love cheap drive-thru fast food. I love milk … from a cow … not milk … from an almond. And coffee — sweet, succulent bean juice of the gods. If I’m obese to the point of immobility someday, remind me how lucky I am to have coffee in my life. I’d take a sedentary lifestyle as long as I had Sumatra.

Fortunately, right now, I’m just obese. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, my body mass index (BMI) is 30.5. My recommended body weight is no higher than 183 points. (Pfff … I remember 7th grade.) The BMI has its limitations, of course, not taking into account muscle mass. Look, as long as I can run a few miles, play some basketball, walk stadium stairs — I’m not overly concerned about my weight.

But people like me — once active, now employed — often become too busy to keep in shape. The way my work schedule goes now, I’m either at the gym at 6 a.m. or 7 p.m., neither of which are the most desirable time slots, but that’s my reality. That’s why I (briefly) considered raw foodism. Silly boy.

I may never know a size 30 waistline or “abs,” but at least I have coffee. And beer. And Chipotle. And Lemonheads …

But