In Which I Try A Diet

This is dessert now.

What a world.

I woke up this morning with a Google Offer in my email box, which is sort of a non-shitty version of what Groupon, ScoutMob and all of those other companies have quickly become.

What it offered me (and what I took) was a chance to spend 10 bucks for 20 bucks worth of brownies at Fat Witch Bakery.

Now, I was still excited for this, but as I hobbled over to redeem my coupon with crutch-bowler Matt Chao, who’s house-sitting my parents’ apartment, it occurred to me, I didn’t even know when I’d ever be able to eat a brownie again.

Maybe I should back up. This is all so much for me. So many changes.

Even as I write this right now, my hypoglycemia is flaring up causing me to feel dizzy and strange, like some sort of sense of primal danger, no doubt caused by the carb-reduction of the diet I’m on, meaning I haven’t had a wheat, rice or corn product in over 24-hours, nothing with sugar added either.

My body must think something strange is going on as I attempt to trick it into digesting all the crap in front of my ribs and stomach. This was not the plan it thinks.

I think that too.


I used to tell people that I have a semi-hedonistic philosophy of eating and life, pretty much, too.

Do things that make you feel good, it goes, trying to adjust that directive for things that will eventually make you feel bad.

For instance, it might feel good to eat all of my delicious Alfanoose Chicken Shawarma platter at once, stuffing gob after gob of Chicken, cracked wheat, hummus, hot sauce and pita into my face and belly, but near immediately after, I feel stuffed and awful.

As simple of a realization as this is, it’s one I definitely didn’t realize until at least 18-19.

So, I had been growing in this pattern reaching ever so tentatively toward the future in my “what would make you feel worse” adjustments.

I realized my own latent lactose-intolerance and cut down on my dairy intake. I started eating smaller meals in shifts or phases in stead of eating one dinner, splitting up into multiples.

Always, I’d err on the side of that semi-hedonism if it teetered. Better to try the dessert or someone else’s food, or the new cart or shop on the block you were exploring, better to gain that knowledge and have the potential for discovery or transcendent experience.

Obviously, this is also a lot more difficult when applied to life and relationships and all the rest. The future of a job choice or classes or move is much less fixed than knowing how you’re going to feel when you eat something.

But the philosophy is the same: go with your instincts, do what seems fun, but also consider what might not be over time, as a ratio.

(I’m fond of ratios.)

So what could change this philosophy? What could cause me to seek some change, or a diet? As many have noted who know me well, a diet seems particularly ill fitting for someone who is frequently labelled a “foodie”.

The prompt was as epic as the world, a universal theme shared around countries and nations, repeated clandestinely from caves to huts to tall buildings, over the long arc of human history. Among all things that divide us, what drove me was something elemental, striking and true:

I had a bad date.


Actually, the dates themselves were pretty good.

We talked for a few hours. We made plans after the first date. We both were excited. We laughed at some funny shows. We even did some kissy stuff (that last part makes me feel pretty cool).

But at this Live WTF with Marc Maron taping, that I attended four beers deep after running through Alphabet City and Park Slope, out of breath, annoyed at the subway and somewhere in the back of my mind wondering if my ex was going to be there, I got a text message saying that “we should just be friends”.

I had many feelings about this text message. On one level, I was relieved and thankful. I wrote a gooddam article about this stuff, clarity and all that. This was an ending, I didn’t have to worry about what she felt about me, what I felt about her. I didn’t have to decode our last date, looking for clues. It was clear and it was over. And if she’s not attracted to me, it’s much better that I know than her trying to awkwardly work it out herself the next time we meet.

On another level, fuck her.

We met on an online dating site, she’s saying to me that’s she’s not into me, but she wants me to be her “friend”? How shitty and emasculating is that? No one being honest with themselves joins an online dating service to make friends, they join it to find someone, to get fucked, or to send naked pictures of themselves to strangers and everything in between.

The thought that you’re asking me to be your “friend” reveals an amazing assumption that I frequently see when talking to women, namely, that the same person who finds that yin/yang of mind/body in you appealing enough to make an asshole out of themselves pursuing, would just be cool helping you move things or taking care of your cat.

It’s an assumption of astonishing vanity to assume that someone who seeks you out on a dating website is also in the market not to be dating you.

It was in this state, receiving my first “let’s just be friends” since the age of 17, at a show run by Marc Maron, a man who open antagonizes happiness and constantly brings up his weight, that I decided, much like I did when I started dressing better and taking care of myself 4 years ago (after much-worse lady issues), to turn to the funny friend beside me who’d invited me to the show, show him the text message and ask him for more advice on how he lost 120 pounds.

I just needed to lose 20. Just to know that I could look better and possibly have enough dates to not care about this sort of shit.

Also, for anyone at that taping or who hears it later, Seth Meyers was pretty boring.

My opinion.


So that’s how I ended up on a carb-restrictive diet, eating “No Sugar Added” Fudgsicles.

I can’t remember the last time I’d had one. It tasted pretty good, though as my “sweet treat” for Phase 1, I am allowed one of them per night.


When I went in to get my brownies from Fat Witch, including a special PB+J “Google for You-gle” Brownie that came with my coupon, I ended up balancing them to get a bunch of the “baby” brownies thinking that whenever I did get in that next stage of the diet, maybe they’d let me eat the small brownie, since I didn’t know if I’d have the self-control not to eat the big one.

My therapist is of the opinion that I’m not fixated on my ex, which I worry about sometimes, but rather that I’m fixated on the idea of having love in my life.

“Before you had a relationship,” She told me. “You had a hole in your life, but you didn’t know what a relationship could be, so it wasn’t so big. The one you had was loving and full and unexpected. So, it’s only natural that when it leaves, it leaves you with a bigger hole than before, now that you’ve experienced what you can have.”

The whole thing sounds like it could be about butt-sex, but it’s true.

In doing this diet, which on the second (first official) day I have not yet broken, my friend told me to keep my reason in mind for doing it. That that would help me from breaking.

“To feel good.” I told him. “To feel better.”

In the only two days since I’ve started and since I’ve told people about the diet, I have people telling me on all sides it’s not enough, talking to me about lifting weights or bicycling or rock climbing or just cardio. My book recommends 20 minutes walking a day, which I already get, but everyone else tells me more.

When I confronted my friend Bobby about why he offers this advice now he said:

“Well, before your philosophy was not giving a fuck. And I guess there’s some respect for it. But now that you do, well, you should do it right.”

Such arguments seem well-founded but have yet to have had an effect on me. I’m not a superman like my friend Frank, who wears an armlet that tells him that his metabolism has so increased that he burns 4000 calories a day just walking around.  I’m not skinny or immune to food, like some of my friends. I’m not even that down or unhappy about who I was before.

I guess, in a way, that dumb fucking text message at the Marc Maron show brought me back to the biggest fear of my life: the regression into “Loser Nick”, the Nick from high school and middle school, the Nick who hated and protected, who stood no chance of finding love or happiness outside of an occasional weekend in Park Slope, an occasional trip to China Town or, later, a night holed up in Sam Carey’s apartment drinking crappy Rolling Rock and not knowing what to say.

I don’t want to be that person.

I want to know that I can love and be loved in return.

I want to feel good about myself, or feel better.

I felt like something should change.

So I grabbed some Fudgsicles from Gristede’s on my way home from a show.

I packed them into my mostly broken mini-freezer one-by-one.

I took one and had it, last night.

And it was good.

And it was.


If you wondering what my last meal for a while as a carb-eating free-man looked like, it looked like this.

It’s from the “Village Pourhouse” truck, which sounded pretty ludicrous to me as a truck did not sell beer should not call itself a “pourhouse”.

But what can I say: I wasn’t full after the Bistro Truck’s free but calorie-light turkey burger giveaway and this was 5 dollars.

What it is, is what you see, a small-ish Buffalo Chicken Slider and what appears to be some beer-battered french-fries, large wedges with a crunchy-ish crust.

For a pretty ridiculously premised food truck, the food was pretty good and befitting the last dance of a pre-diet fix.

My sense is that they should charge 7 dollars for 2 buffalo chicken sliders and fries and then they’d be in business.

Right now, as they themselves admit, they were just taking out the truck to see if it worked.

But for just food that’s bad for ya, but doesn’t taste bad.

Well, you want that sometimes too.

Even if I can’t eat it.



$10-for-$20 Google Offer, including a “PBJ-for-You-gle” Witch- Here’s the link

In Chelsea Market (9th Ave bet 16th and 17th Sts)

ACE to 14th St-8th Ave



Buffalo Chicken Slider w/Beer-Battered Fries- $5

Really no idea for location. I hope I see them again.












10 Responses to In Which I Try A Diet

  1. Julie Brown says:

    Good luck on your diet…..but keep in mind, people should love you for who you are, not what you look like. Nevertheless, it is better to weigh less for your health, for personal reasons….some things are just better when we’re a bit thinner. (get my drift???) Anyhow, again, good luck, stick with those sugar free fudgesicles….they are tasty.

  2. haskel says:

    Re: Internet dating chick just wanting to be friends

    Would you rather her say “Let’s fall out of touch after this message?”. She was just trying to be polite, and as you said, it’s better to be laid off than left wondering if you still have a shot. Cool beans for you that you made out with her.

    And you’ll never be high-school-loser Nick ever again, ’cause you never were high-school-loser Nick. It’s just that now you know you’re cool, and you didn’t realize it in high school. All your friends think you’re cool, so stop being a dingus, ya dingus,

  3. haskel says:

    Re: “Cool beans for you that you made out with her.”

    What I mean by that is you were on the right track at some point in time, so that’s a confidence booster. Any chick that doesn’t like you is a lame-wad, so in that sense it sucks she got any piece of #feitclub at all.

  4. Laurie says:

    Hey Nick — After being overweight since childhood, I lost 130 pounds on a similar low-carb diet, and have maintained the weight loss for 2 years. It was enough for me to focus on and change my eating behaviors first, and then deal with working out later. Don’t stress about how you “should” be working out. As you said, for now, you’re doing plenty of walking. Baby steps — you can up your activity in stages later.

    Just my 2 cents 🙂 .

  5. LAZY says:

    Just tell your doctor that you’re suffering from ADHD and get him to prescribe you adderall. I loved to get high and eat 24/7, not caring about gaining weight. Then I was prescribed aderall (after only one sentence of “I’m having trouble concentrating”). Now I have to force myself to eat and the only foods that sound appealing are fresh fruit and salads. I’ve always been slightly overweight (20-30 lbs. or so) and after 2 1/2 months I’m relating to Victoria Secret models. It’s pretty fucked up & shallow advice but why not share the cheap and lazy secret? Who wants to feel hungry and deprived all the time??

  6. Coco says:

    That girl is obviously an idiot for just wanting to be friends, you’re a stone fox! Once you meet your true lady love you’ll only appreciate her all the more after this.

  7. phoebe100 says:

    Congratulations on making a decision to improve your health. So many other things will also improve as a result. Three things to help you along: fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and cardio. All in abundance. Skip the prescriptions. Be smart and do it properly. Good luck and keep us updated.

  8. Meme says:

    It’s not your weight! You need to learn how to dress to flatter your shape! Maybe a new look all around….. It’s all mind over matter, if you feel good and dress well then you attract the right people. I think you need a visit from Carson Kressley~Maybe you can enter contest to get a makeover~Don’t worry about your weight, worry about being healthy then the weight will fall off and you will not even realize it!

  9. […] (and Bethenny Frankel friend) Nick Feitel some Buffalo chicken sliders and told him that “they were just taking out the truck to see if it worked.” [New York Street Food; […]

  10. […] those of you who follow the blog, or at least read the last post, you know that I tried doing a carb reductive diet and, mostly, I’ve stuck to […]

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