Eddie Brill Gets Back On His Journey To Wellness
This is the second installment of a HooplaHa original series that follows comedian Eddie Brill on his three-week journey on healing his mind, body, and spirit at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida. Click here to read about his first week at the facility.
They say all things in moderation. Well not if it’s being hit in the knee with a metal pipe or putting toxicity in our minds and bodies.
It’s also important to maintain a delicate balance while riding life’s roller coaster. And to keep that balance is a learned skill with a thrilling outcome.
My life-long roller coaster has been weight control. I have been very heavy at times, lost tons of weight, only to put it back on again and, in most cases, gained even more.
Diets don’t work. The weight-loss/gain industry wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar machination if they worked.
It’s simple really. You put good things in your body and your body, your skin, your hair, your libido, your energy is where you want it to be.
No if’s and’s or big butt’s!
The problem that gets in the way, in most cases, is fighting off addictions that have been created. I know all of this. Intellectually I know what to do and what not to do. Hippocrates Health Institute affords me something I couldn’t get in seven years of medical school: a comprehensive education in nutrition.
I came here four years ago and used this knowledge to better myself and the results were phenomenal. I lost 135 pounds. I cured my sleep apnea. I didn’t need the seat belt extender on the plane. My head was clear. I became more creative. I moved around like a gazelle on stage and I didn’t sweat or feel out of breath after a 45 minute set. I felt sexy and confident and it was incredibly satisfying to be in my own healthy, glowing skin.
I kept this up for over three years. Then just a year ago, I started to gain the weight back. I stopped practicing what I learned and what made total sense and I gained back 84 pounds. The sleep apnea returned. I went back to being uncomfortable in my skin and I needed the seat belt extender on the plane again.
In the last month of falling, I even went back to mindless eating. I didn’t enjoy the food soulfully. I just ate what I could find without REALLY enjoying it. While the food was in my mouth, instead of tasting it and rolling it around in my mouth and loving it and chewing it, I had the fork in my plate preparing for the next bite.
But I caught myself. I had to do something to right the bloated ship. I knew if I could plug back in at Hippocrates and saw the two amazing psychotherapists on campus and got back on the program, I could get back to where I once belonged. Get back, Loretta.
What I have learned about myself is that I have fought my whole life to be loved by everyone. Always looking for approval and acceptance. The “look at me” that most comedians live for.
Eddie with Leroya Sanford, a young comedienne whom he has helped and offered comedic advice to.
In addition to being a comedian, I have spent considerable time as a comedy booker. I vowed to be the comedy booker that worked for the comedian’s best interest. I knew I could help more people because, as legendary comedian Buddy Hackett intimated, I too had “walked the last thirty feet.” Still, many comedians were angry with me for not booking them and the fact that people who didn’t know me, didn’t like me, was really difficult to “swallow.”
But I know me. I know who I am and how I have spent most of my life: looking out for other’s best interest and many times that had been at my own expense. I have fought for comedy and comedians behind the scenes every step of the way. I have created opportunities for true artists and have lent my hand, heart and soul to artists young and old to help them succeed, like the many people who have done that for me along the way.
So I have used this trip at Hippocrates to find out what I could do for myself to not fall backwards again and again and again. My trip here was to focus on the psychology of what I was doing.
The therapists here helped me to find the key to the door to healthy independence: The theory of essence over appearance.
I’ve learned not to worry how things look. I can only deal with being a good person to all who are around me and most importantly I need to be good to me. To love myself. If it looks bad to other people around me that’s mostly their issues. And I can’t own it.
A light went off in my head. I had a breakthrough last Saturday when I danced crazily in the rain, by myself, not caring how it looked. Of course it looked crazy. But it was so freeing and fun and so sexy.
My weight is falling off. I have lost 16 pounds already. My clothes are loose. But this time, I am not going back the other way.
Throughout my unsuccessful dieting life, I would eat something awful to “treat myself.” As it turns out, it is no reward at all.
I now reward myself by doing something good for me. I continue to do nice things for the wonderful people around me. I just make sure that I am one of the people who I take care of. And I understand the psychology that had made me gain the weight back every time.
Essence over appearance.
Get back, Jojo!
About Eddie: Eddie Brill is a well-respected stand-up comedian, writer, and actor who started his career in Boston, Mass. An Emerson College alum, he is credited as being one of the founders of the Emerson Comedy Workshop which spawned the careers of numerous famous actors and comedians. He has performed his comedy all over the world and has taped more than 100 TV shows in six different countries. For seventeen years he worked on The Late Show with David Letterman as the audience warm-up while performing live on the show 10 times. For eleven of those years he was also the Stand Up Comedy Talent Coordinator.
He is the creative director of the wildly successful Great American Comedy Festival, which honors Johnny Carson in his hometown of Norfolk, NE. He is also the creative director for The Woodstock Comedy Festival in Woodstock, NY. He has also been working with The American Comedy Hall of Fame producing comedy archives for the soon-to-be produced Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
Eddie performs and helps raise money for many benefits including The Roberto Clemente Foundation (for underprivileged children), Sisters in Survival (women with breast cancer), Juvenile Diabetes, The American Cancer Association, and with Reader’s Digest and St. Jude on Stand-Up for the Children.