ABOUT
(…ME, ME, ME…)

“He don’t hear too good, but what a wonderful listener he is,” said an old friend of mine to another, describing how I had talked her through a tough moment in her life.  Ironic, right? Here I am, this hearing impaired guy, being given kudos for his listening skills…I guess I was always fearful of missing something in conversation or wherever, and my listening focus grew stronger because of my inborn condition—and it only got better from there.  And I’m ready to listen to you now!

I’m Adam Wilk, a certified health and wellness coach.  I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in January 2018.  I’ll tell you more about that soon; but first, how I got here…

Call me “Adam from Queens;” and by that very connotation, it should be very clear to you that I grew up around some very wonderful foods—we’re talking White Castle (the best sliders ever!), Nathan’s Famous (hot dogs and crinkle cut French fries that came with their own little two pronged red fork for easy feeding), and of course, the best Kosher delis and bagel joints in the world!  I’m getting hungry just talking to you! 

You see, I know what it’s like having to live in a world where temptation lays in wait around virtually every corner—and I’ve learned to make peace with these things that so pervade our everyday lives—we cannot live in a bubble nor can we exile ourselves into our own personal solitary confinement—it never works, and it’s a terribly lonely way to live—I’ve tried, and it’s awful.  No more. 

Adam

When I was 8 years old my parents moved us (my brother Daniel and me) to Los Angeles, California; this was 1977 (goodbye, dear Elvis…) and a totally different world than the Queens, New York we were used to.  It was a lovely existence, and due to its proximity to Mexico, we all learned just how delicious Mexican food can be—for wherever you turned in L.A., you were greeted by a Taco Bell, Del Taco, or a Pup N Taco—in addition to all the other serious ethnic restaurants this great city offered.

L.A. didn’t last long (4 years) because Mom missed home and Dad was determined to keep her happy—“happy wife…” (you know the rest) and so it was back to New York—Queens—once again.

I went on my first “little diet” when I was about 17 years old; I wanted to look “hot” for Prom.  Luckily, the weight came right off. (Thank you, Slim-Fast, for helping me shed those 10 pounds) without much effort (Ah, youth…)

But tragically, it would be the first of many, many attempts I would make to achieve “hotness,” and a “normal” weight during my lifetime.  This is how I got to be friends with almost every diet that was ever created and how I’ve tried almost every gadget and pill this wonderfully capitalistic world would sell me!  I’ve been to the depths of despair in dealing with carbohydrate addiction, but I’ve also seen the mountaintop, making peace with these negative thoughts and emotions concerning food addiction—and I wrote a novel about my struggle (as well as my family’s) titled Diet King in 2005.  That book is basically required reading for what NOT to do when trying to reclaim your health and get to a so-called “healthy weight.”

Over the years, I’ve watched close friends and family members struggle with their health and weight—I’ve seen people whom I loved madly lose their lives to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other maladies—it began to shape my heart and my thought process—my researcher’s mind began chugging away and thinking way outside the proverbial box—what if we didn’t have to struggle with weight, with poor health; what if we didn’t have to be held hostage by food addiction, and seek answers in a healthcare system that only bandages us up, only to keep us coming back for the same chronic problems? 

As a customer service representative for a popular health insurance company in New York City (another one of my fun jobs in my twenties…ah, youth again…) I couldn’t get over the magnitude of the problems these poor clients struggled with—repeat claims for repeat sicknesses, unpaid doctor’s visits and hospital stays—it was unbelievable to me, witnessing this firsthand, and merely bandaging these problems—there was a very large, heavy-handed system at play here, and I was part of it. 

Something inside me told me I was in the wrong field—I felt I needed to be working side by side with those wanting to choose a different path, an alternative solution to their health related problems and a better way toward achieving that goal of beautiful health and life balance. 

I thought, “why not be a teacher, then?” After all, throughout my whole life, I’ve been a teacher (to anyone who would listen…) to my friends, my family, and my coworkers on the virtues of healthy and nutritious eating, vitamin supplementation as nutritional therapy, and time/life/family balance as a goal for sustained happiness and peace—heck, I even rescued myself by weaning myself off an awful medicinal protocol after well-meaning physicians had placed me on a myriad of painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, anti-seizure medications and other fun concoctions after a botched hernia surgery in 2009. (I told you I’ve been to hell and I’ve been to heaven, right?)

Now, I was going to make a difference; I was going to educate our most vulnerable population—elementary aged schoolchildren.  I moved to sunny Florida (yes, my parents got there before I did…had to follow mom and dad…) in order to accomplish this goal.  But what I found, once again, was a system that wasn’t helping our children—instead, it was another huge problem.  I was blown away by what was passing for food/lunch in the cafeteria; I was stunned at the amount of sugar being delivered to our children not only in the cafeteria, but in the classrooms and at home as well.  I saw too many children struggling with poor moods, inattentiveness, and overweight; their parents, too.  My coworkers, these poor underpaid souls, were struggling and grasping for any bit of energy they could find via coffee, chocolate, chips, etc.; you name your poison—it was there; after all, when a system overly burdens humans by underpaying them and forever changing goalposts, they will seek relief through whatever means they can.  There was no room for my kind of thinking, no quarter for alternative ideas on foodstuffs, diet and peaceful living at these institutions.  I was misfit, once again. 

I felt lost, but I knew there must be a way for me to spread my thoughts and knowledge of alternative, healthy eating and living.  A friend who happens to be a functional medicine doctor suggested I become a certified health coach in 2016; I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in January 2017—it was the best thing I had done in my life in a long time—what a wonderful, eye-opening and joyful experience it was, indeed!  I even made friends with a few people! 🙂

During this time, for money, I started up an airport transportation company—these passengers were my first “clients;” those comfortable enough to let me assist them in making some lifestyle changes and vitamin/supplement augmentation to benefit their health.  As usual, I listened closely to their fears and their stories of friends lost way too early or loved ones hampered by chronic, preventable health struggles. 

I’m finally making my dream a reality; helping, coaching and assisting those who want to make big, lasting changes in their lives--be it diet, lifestyle, emotional and physical.  I may live in sunny Boca Raton, Florida these days, but once we get to talking and we begin our journey to reclaim your health and wellness, you’ll see that although I possess the tremendous knowledge and skills to help usher in a new you and a brand new outlook on life for you, you’ll quickly find that I’m still Adam from Queens.