My name is Lucas. I’ve taken 37 trips around the Sun. I am the husband to a wonderful homemaking wife who educates our 10 children at home. We live in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina where I serve as a Detective at our Sheriff’s Office.
We are a very active family and love to homestead and be adventurous. Over the years my ability to keep up with the kids and do the things I have always loved slowly became harder and harder due to excess weight gains. I went from being a competitive athlete in college with a wrestling weight of 184lbs and <10% body fat in 2001 to weigh in at the doctor’s office at 320 lbs in 2017.
In addition to activities becoming more challenging, I was not sleeping well and I had developed severe acid reflux. I tried conventional diets and went through spells of working out, but I was not able to make any traction in terms of losing weight. In short, I had conceded to being obese. Some of my life-goals and planned adventures with my children began to slip away. I began to see myself as a spectator and not a participant in the activities they were enjoying.
Then one day towards the beginning of April 2018, just as I began the first day of baby-leave for our 10th child, I got a random call from my brother, Caleb, who was excited about losing weight. At the time, he had lost 40 lbs in less than 2 months, (65 lbs total currently). He told me about all the rich and fatty foods he was able to eat and how the diet worked.
I’ll be honest, nothing he was saying made any sense to me. Eat fat and lose fat! What? He said, “It’s called the Keto Diet”. I had heard about the diet from a coworker the prior week who was also advocating intermittent fasting. So, there I was with a month and a half off of work and no more excuses. I remember the pep talk I gave myself, “Lucas, it’s now or never.” I determined right then to use my time off to start working on improving my health.
The on-line researching began. I found ruled.me and read everything I could about the Keto diet. I put my numbers into the Keto Calculator, put together a quasi-game plan, read about the “go” and “no-go” foods and went grocery shopping.
The first month I utilized ketoproof coffee with MCT oil for breakfast and kept meal planning very simple. Mostly my diet consisted of eggs, bacon, avocado, cheese and good greens. When things got monotonous my secret weapon was buffalo wings with fatty blue cheese dressing. I lost about 35lbs that first month. I couldn’t believe the way the fat was melting off. The results were extremely encouraging and I was motivated.
In the second month I became more focused in terms of my goals. I utilized intermittent fasting, which just meant skipping the fatty ingredients in my morning coffee and waiting till about 3pm to consume my big meal for the day. It was during this second month that I began to seek out alternative Keto recipes for some of the foods I had been missing. I lost about 25 lbs on month 2. You should have seen the looks I got when I returned to work down 60 lbs. I needed a new uniform.
Month 3 got tough!!! By now progress was slow but steady. I got a membership at Anytime Fitness and started weight training and hitting the Indoor Rowing Machine. I rowed like my life depended on it. I lost 15 lbs by the end of month 3, but felt like I put on some muscle.
Month 4 continued to be steady and I continued to hit the gym. I took about 3 weeks off Keto while monitoring my calorie intake on a more conventional diet. I found that I was able to maintain and even loose a little; however, I noticed “brain fog” and joint pain come back almost the day after I consumed my first carbs. I think I lost about 10 lbs this month.
Month 5 and 9 days into month 6th: I got back on Keto with a vengeance! To cap things off towards the end of the month, I did a planned 5 day water fast with two of my friends who are on Keto now too. I am currently breaking that fast very carefully and will be on Keto for the next week or so, before I switch to a cyclical Keto diet for long term maintenance and perhaps losing a few more pounds of fat.
I have now currently lost 100 lbs and 10″ around my belt. I have eliminated acid re-flux and joint pain and am sleeping like a baby. Now, I am back to enjoying backpacking hikes with my children and having my wife’s loving arms make it farther around my waist, (the snuggles feel closer!). Not to mention that during this journey, I have learned a ton about the human body and how it fuels.
My motto, “Keep Calm, Keto On!”
Thank you again for this tremendous resource. Your website was critical to my success. Two of my photos are my “before” pics I found and the one in my uniform is the “after.” I actually had no idea where this was going to end up so I never took an official “before” pic.
Godspeed to all, and may you achieve all of your personal goals!
1. What tactics did you employ to help you get to your goal? What did you find helped you get to your goals best?
I counted calories and followed the macro calculator strictly for the first couple weeks till I got a feel for what I could eat. I made a choice early to stay off the scales and to monitor success by beltline and visual results. Drinking plenty of water is important; I did not want to be tempted to manipulate results with water weight (wrestling habits die hard) so I decided to rely upon how I felt and how my clothing was fitting as a measure of my progress.
2. What is the most impactful change you’ve made to your diet and why do you feel it’s been the most important?
Lately, the most impactful component of my diet has been to pair KETO with Intermittent Fasting. It is a dynamite strategy that has very good return for the effort. Fasting is not for everyone, but for me it helped me get my head right about food. With time you gain willpower and confidence and that’s important for more than just diet and spills over into other things in life.
3. What is the best single piece of advice you can give to someone that is just starting out?
All out commitment. Set your goals and make them “historical future” say, “this will happen” and just do it.
4. How do you feel your life is now that you’re at your goal?
My life is more active with less struggle.
5. What do you consider the biggest change in your day-to-day life?
I have been doing exercise more regularly and being deliberate about my diet.
6. What did you do to find support throughout your journey?
Perhaps the most important question, for me… My family, friends, and coworkers have encouraged me the whole way; some have even joined in on all the KETO fun or are showing interest. Even more than important as having a social network is having good information to base your plan upon.
7. What do you currently do to manage your day-to-day diet?
Currently, my day-to-day plan is a little more relaxed. I use less structure and planning than at the beginning now that I am more comfortable with the diet.
8. What is your favorite keto recipe from www.ruled.me that’s become a staple?
So, I love to cook. I take a lot of recipe ideas from ruled.me and “make them my own.” I stock certain ingredients and don’t always have all the specialty items. I like the fun pizza recipes and I get lots of casserole ideas. I’ve enjoyed coming up with recipes of my own too.
9. If there is one thing that you could do differently during your journey, what would it be and why?
One thing I would have done differently that I have now remedied was to go ahead and bite the bullet on a Ketone/Glucose Blood Monitor. The symptomatic indicators and the pee strips did not give me the type of information I would have liked to have had back when I started. More accurate personal information helps when you are starting because everything is new. Dealing with concrete numbers takes out the guesswork and makes for less doubt about what is going on with your body.