I grew up with a family of "hippies".
Functional medicine this.
Meditate on this.
I did not have a food item in my house that contained gluten, sugar, dairy or anything processed. I was only allowed to eat "healthy" food at home, at school, or anywhere my parents could monitor.
But something went wrong.
You could say that I was too close to the source.
I knew what was good for me, but since I was being (no pun intended) force fed this life-style, I rebelled.
I, Misha Hyman, a Health Warrior, have an eating disorder.
I suffer from body dysmorphia and I have a tendency to binge when I eat, unless I am careful.
Food is my drug of choice.
As a child, I was always heavy for my age. I vividly remember a moment in time that scarred me for life. My 3rd grade class was working on mean, medium and mode for math class. My teacher had everyone stand on the scale in front of the class room so that we could get the mean, medium and mode of the classes weight.
The two heaviest children in my class were 79 pounds. I thought I was safe. I was not as round and as pudgy as they were, but I was also a solid 2-3 inches taller than both of them.
It was now my turn to step on the scale. I put both feet on the piece of plastic that I always dreaded, and there it was: I was the heaviest kid in the class. I was 90 pounds. The next thing I knew, my teacher began to chuckle, and the entire classroom erupted into a chorus of laughter. This was one of the most humiliating moments of my young life.
Ever since that moment, I have had an issue with my weight.
I can sympathize with anyone who does not love their body, does not love their weight, and who wants to be different.
That was me, and honestly, I still suffer from that yearning to lose the extra few pounds. It is a daily struggle.
Eating Disorders by the Numbers
Here are some mind numbing statistics that everyone needs to see:
- 1 in 5 women struggle with eating disorders or disordered eating.
- Bullying about body size and appearance is the most common form of bullying in schools
- 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (I am not a girl, but this applied to me)
- Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who do not diet.
- 25% of American Men and 45% of American women are on a diet at any given time.
- 4 out of 10 individuals have either personally experienced an eating disorder or knows someone who has.
- 81% of ten year-olds are afraid of being fat.
- 52% of Minnesota High School females and 20 % of high school males fast or skip meals to control weight.
(Statistics brought to you by The Emily Program Foundation)
I know that was a lot of information to take in, but all of those stats are just an illustration that if you are reading this, and you have an eating disorder, you are not alone.
And I am here to help you, by telling you my story, and showing you that I can lead you on a path to ultimate health and wellness.
After that ill-fated day when I stepped on the scale in front of all my peers, I have continued to struggle with my perception of my weight and my body.
Until I was a junior in college, every day was a struggle. I walked around sucking in my belly and always flexing my non-existent 6 pack. In pictures I would suck in my cheeks and I perfected the "Duck Face". I knew all of the tricks.
In my Junior year of college I met a beautiful woman, and I will omit her name and race. I found out early on that she was a chubby chaser, and this was actually exciting news for me. It was the first time in my life I did not have to worry about my appearance (my fat belly). And of course it did not take me long to make her my girlfriend. For those of you who do not know what a chubby chaser is, Urban Dictionary defines it as such:
A Chubby Chaser: A person, male or female, straight or gay, who is interested romantically in another person who varies from being slightly over-weight to obese.
At the time, I thought this was the greatest gift from the Universe. I had a gorgeous woman who wanted me, and she did not mind that I was a little chubby. She actually loved it. Ultimately, she encouraged me to gain more weight. She would tell me she wouldn't love me if I lost a pound.
So I ate.
And I ate.
And I ate...with no regard for human life. And especially my own.
Since I was 16 years old, I hovered around 210 and 220 pounds. When I met my girlfriend, I was 216 pounds. Within the first week of dating her, I stepped on the scale and was 231 pounds.
Within 6 months, I had ballooned to 292 pounds. I was doing everything you should not do. I was eating gluten, I was eating dairy, and I was having sugar. I was drinking soda with my alcohol (Captain Morgan and Dr. Pepper was my college favorite - we called it Captain Pepper or Doctor Morgan). I was eating fast food late at night. I was eating her left overs when we went to restaurant. I joined eating contests to impress my lady. I was an eating machine.
But in my mind, I knew what I was. I was a fat slob.
There are no photos of me for over a 7 month period. I only have photos of myself when I was around 245 pounds. From 292 pounds to 245 pounds, there is not one photo of me on the internet, one anyone's phone, on anyone's laptop. I was a ghost.
I had no photos of my college graduation, and I have no photos of myself moving to Washington D.C. where I would be starting my dream career in the NBA.
I was so disgusted in myself and my body, I lost 7 months of my life in pictures. That is probably the saddest part of the what happened. I was unable to love myself to the point that I would not let anyone take a picture of me in that physical state.
Once I realized that my relationship may be toxic for my health and my mental state of being, I was ready to embark on a road to ultimate wellness, alone.
It took me 4 months to lose the first 35 pounds. I was working in the NBA with the Washington Wizards as an intern, earning $10 an hour. Going on a diet was not in my budget, and buying food was also tough due to my minimum wage income. I lost the initial 35 pounds by going to a local Vietnamese restaurant in DC and for $13 I would order an enormous bowl of spicy Pho. I would eat that every day during the week and on the weekends I would make a plate of greens and some grass fed steak or hamburgers in a lettuce wrap.
After working with the Wizards, I knew I had to get a job where I could serve people and help raise the level of consciousness on the globe. I got a job with the largest Life Coaching company in the world, and was on a mission to make a difference.
However, I was now at 242 pounds and I knew I had to get to my ideal weight in order for me reach my optimum level of self. Living in this body was not a pleasant state of being, and this was not the way I was going to continue to live my life. I had to find a solution. If I was going to be a good life and health coach, I could not be over weight and sloppy if my job was to inspire others perform at their highest level.
As it turned out, my father was working on his latest book at the time, Eat Fat Get Thin. Through his research, he sent me a lot of information about high fat diets, ketogenic diets and studies that illustrated the impact of this specific way of eating.
In March of 2015 I went on a "guys ski week" in Montana. We rented a beautiful house on the mountain and we were not going to go out to eat, every meal was going to be cooked at home.
The one who rented the house just started a ketogenic diet 4 weeks earlier and he looked spectacular. He was 57 and had a cut six pack, bulging pecks and he said he felt better than he has ever felt in his life. He also told us that we were all going to be embarking on his ketogenic diet as well.
During the next 7 days, I lost 15 pounds going on a ketogenic diet.
I ate seconds. I helped myself to thirds.
I thought to myself, "I have just been exposed to the holy grail of weightless and well being."
For the next 30 days I continued the high fat/ketogenic diet, and I lost 35 pounds. I was now at my lowest weight as an adult: 198 pounds. Since I was 15 years old, I have been over 200 pounds. My transformation truly inspired me, I had this newfound knowledge and I knew I had to help people change their way of thinking when it came to diets and getting healthy.
To me, this was the answer.
This was the golden ticket.
After mastering cooking gluten free, dairy free, sugar free meals, I decided I needed to cook for others, and share my gift. Within 2 years of cooking for family and friends and working as a Private Chef while moonlighting with my life coaching company, I decided I needed to branch out, and on a larger scale. I wanted to share my dream of transforming the healthcare industry, the way people eat, and how to reverse most chronic diseases and other behavioral issues through food.
Essentially my purpose was to package everything my father has worked on throughout his career, and put it on your plate.
"From white coat to white apron." From the Doctors office to your kitchen.
The Health Warrior Way
I have created The Health Warrior Project because I know that fighting for your ultimate health and wellness can seem like a constant battle, or even a war. Often times you believe that you are losing the war, and there is nothing to do but retreat and indulge in your comfort food of choice.
But Warriors fight, they never surrender in the heat of battle.
I am here to show you that there is an easier way to reach your dream regarding your body, and your health. I am here to walk you through the simple foundational steps, and serve and educate you in person if you choose to hire me.
I am on a mission to create millions of Health Warriors so that we can all be soldiers against this pandemic our world currently faces when it comes to proper nutrition and overall health. No matter your age, your race, your weight or your religion, anyone can become a Health Warrior.
Let me teach you, let me lead you. Let me teach you to be a leader in your family and your community.
Become a Health Warrior and fight to take back your health. Your fork is your weapon of choice.
It is that simple...