“Are you OK? You don’t look well.”
These are the words that began a change in my life style. Like any normal guy, I wanted to say, “Yeah, I’m fine, no worries.” This time was different. I didn’t feel right, something was off. The “normal guy” answer wouldn’t work. I’ve never felt so much pressure.
Pressure on my chest. Chest pains. I felt like someone was standing in my chest.
“No, my chest feels heavy. I don’t know why…its not really pain, but I feel weird.”
I asked mom not to tell Mandy. We were at the cottage, enjoying the weekend. She was at the beach with our 2 little girls, just enjoying life. I didn’t want to ruin it by having her worry about me.
Ten minutes later, Mandy comes in looking like a nervous wreck, and it began. We had my blood pressure checked by a friend. It was something like 220 over 150, something crazy, not good. Let’s go to the hospital, they said. Instead, I just took some aspirin and waited it out. Eventually the pain came down to normal and started fading.
August 16th, 2014 was the day. The day I realized I have to change something. I wanted to see my little girls grow up after all.
I put off the doctor because the pain didn’t come back. Not until a week or two later at the fair. You see, I didn’t take the first discomfort serious enough. I slowed down the beer drinking, and eating so much, but not like I should’ve. After a day of walking around, eating, drinking, and spending the day with the family at the fair – the chest pains came back. This time they were different. Bad enough to make me sit down and have everyone worried. Bad enough to make me take a day off work for a doctors appointment that I, a “typical guy”, made.
The doctor tested my blood pressure, and ran an ekg, but didn’t find anything too wrong. My blood pressure was high, pre-hypertension, and I was over weight at 256lbs. Whoa, 256 is a lot! I was 175 when I got married. I didn’t realize that happened, that fast, until that day.
Then, I was introduced to the ketogenic diet (or keto). Changed my life. I couldn’t believe what I was reading on websites like ruled.me and reddit. Amazing recipes, and helping me realize it’s not a diet, it’s a way of life. So I started keto that day. I decided that I had no choice if I wanted to watch my girls grow up.
Almost a year later of doing keto, I’m down 62lbs. I went from 35% body fat to 15-20% and 194lbs.
“Are you OK? You don’t look well,” made me want to change my life, and keto did.
Thank you everyone for your support, and keeping an eye on me. Especially to my wife, Mandy, for holding me accountable and reminding me how important I am. Even on days I really struggled.
Speaking of which, she jumped on board back in May and has lost 30lbs herself!
We’ve never felt better, and we’ll never look back.
Thanks, Craig, for sharing people’s stories to help motivate others.
What is your favorite ingredient to use when making ketogenic recipes?
Cream cheese and cheddar cheese are our favorites. Our most wide used one is, of course, good ole fashioned bacon grease.
What is/was your motivation to keep on track?
When I was having chest pains the first thought I had was my daughters. It was rather easy to get/stay motivated after that.
Did you ever encounter a stall? If so, how did you get over it?
I did! My first stall was after the first few weeks, although I figured that to be my body rehydrating after losing all the initial weight. My first REAL stall was in February 2015, about 4 months into the ketogenic diet. This is when I incorporated intermittent fasting and WOW, the keto diet for sure helped me with that transition.
How did you hear about keto, and why did you start?
My uncle, who is a Dr. In Florida, saw about my chest pains and me trying to get healthier. He texted me and said “Google keto diet.” I did a few days of research (mostly on ruled.me of course!) and jumped right in. The whole high fat thing blew my mind and I HAD to try it.
In what aspects has your life changed since going keto?
I’ve found myself with a lot more energy, especially coming home and still having energy after a 12-14 hour day (I’m a truck driver). I no longer need to take anything to work with me except my water jug and coffee mug. I save a TON of money not having to buy food on the road.
What piece of advice would you offer to people that are just starting out on keto?
- Start now.
- Keep calm, keto on.
- Read nutrition labels on EVERYTHING. Hidden sugars are EVERY HERE.
What did you personally do in your first 2 weeks of keto? (i.e. Drink broth, go for a walk, throw food out, etc.)
The best thing I did was started incorporating ketoproof coffee with pure mct oil and butter. I felt that was a great start to the day, and gave me a great energy boost. I also started wrapping everything in bacon from the bacon mother#$%/ing bacon explosion, to the lazy bacon wrapped pork chops.