My Return to Prison…

Most of you probably don’t know me personally, so you probably don’t know that I spent about 8 to 10 years of my life in prison. Now, before you conjure up images of me in a large, orange jump suit lounging on a steel bunk with a small mattress, or walking in the yard with other prisoners; let me assure you that I was never arrested and spent a day behind bars. I was a prisoner of my circumstances, and my prison was my couch.

My Prison

To shorten up my story, I had fallen down some stairs, given up exercise and accumulated somewhere between 550 to 600 pounds of me. It had gotten to the point where simple exercise, like climbing stairs or taking off my shoes and socks, became a major challenge. I remember well that I couldn’t make the 1/10th of a mile round trip to the mailbox to check the mail anymore, without having major challenges. And, the couch became my existence while I worked. My family would come visit me, and play with me and chat, but my existence pretty much became that couch.


I must confess that one of my favorite parts of the 2KetoDudes podcast is when Carl and Richard yell out “Mail”. I spent my years as a child running out to check for mail, looking for the many surprises that could be in the mailbox. I always looked forward to the surprises in the mail. Sadly, while I was in prison, I had to delegate this chore to my children, as well as the removal of my socks and shoes. But, this became my catalyst. Ultimately, the mere fact that I could not make it to the mailbox or remove my socks and shoes without pain, became the catalyst that got me going.

I used to read many Zig Ziglar books as a child, and I remembered how Zig started his journey back to good health by jogging to the mailbox. He then proceeded to add mailboxes every day. Jogging was out of the question for me as my knees were bad. But, I had a little bit of information. A good friend of mine from church had lost a significant portion of weight eating a low carb diet, and my knowledge of the topic meant that it would mean I could eat meat and cheese. Without any further research, I dove in and started to lose weight. I eventually refined it some, and added in some other low carb tools and limited exercise. It took about a year before I became much more mobile, and pretty much left my prison for good. At that point, I could climb stairs with difficulty, but I could. At one point, I even climbed 13 flights of stairs on a cruise ship just to prove that I could. After roughly two years of low carb dieting, I eventually passed below 500 pounds where I could weigh on the scales that I owned.

When I reached the magic weight of 450 pounds, I decided that it was time to add back in exercise and started bicycling. I loved bicycling as a kid, and knew the love of bicycling would keep me doing it. Here again, I had no specific scientific information that this would be good or bad, but I had more energy and I felt it would probably be good for me. I started with 2 simple miles as a birthday gift for my wife on April 6, 2011. I experimented with various diets for the next three years, until I spent a year counting calories in and calories out. The pain of that experience became the catalyst that eventually led me to the Ketogenic Diet or Way of Eating. I heard about the diet listening to a Jimmy Moore podcast, and then spent about a month of research before I embarked on my ketogenic way of living around the end of December 2014.

Since embarking on that journey, I’ve enjoyed losing around 110 pounds of fat and another 4000 miles of bicycling. I’ve also experimented with fasting, which had terrified me before. I’ve eaten foods that I would have never thought I could eat while losing weight. I’ve even cooked a little, and found things to eat that I’ve enjoyed.

…but, I never expected to return to my prison.

About six weeks ago, I managed to injure my left knee. I spent most of this time healing up by sitting, and not riding my bicycle. I did manage roughly 300 miles of riding while injured but I felt bad when sitting or standing. As I sat around and moped while trying to heal, I was reminded about the lonely times I spent in prison on the couch.  Walking to the other room was painful, let alone to the mailbox.  But, time heals all wounds, or most any .  I was able to ride 44 pain free miles this past weekend in Memphis Tennessee.

2016-10-01 - Memphis BOB

2016-10-01 – Memphis BOB

Why do I tell you this story?  What’s the point?  Both are excellent questions, and deserve answers.

It is important to start taking steps, even if they are small steps and not necessarily in the right direction.  Had I waited until I had acquired all the scientific knowledge necessary to make an educated decision as to a correct path, I’d probably still be a prisoner on the couch or maybe even pushing up daisies in a field somewhere.  I took the information that I had at the time, processed it, and made steps forward.  I eventually made it to the mailbox.  And, you need to do the same thing.  Don’t wait until you understand all the science or wait for the scientific studies to be performed; start taking steps now, and learn from them.  Make measured steps, make corrections as you learn new information, make course alterations and slowly move forward.

Many are fortunate, and don’t live inside the prison of their minds.  I didn’t.  I make decisions quickly, and accept the consequences; good or bad.  My prison was the couch, and I don’t spend much time there any more.  I hope you leave your prison, if you have one, and liberate yourself.  You’ll eventually stumble across helpful tools like podcasts, blogs, books, videos and the 2 Keto Dudes, and you’ll learn from your mistakes and successes.  Like I have.

I just wanted to encourage you to take the first step, and then the next one…

9 Responses to “My Return to Prison…

  • Thank you for sharing. I find myself using so many excuses to put off committing to what I know will work for me. You have helped to give me the push I needed to not give up. Congratulations to you for finding your way.

  • What a story! Well done and continue at it!!

  • Keren Stepp
    8 years ago

    Awesome article, uplifting and positive! ‘Course, I’ll bet you wouldn’t push up daisies….Scottish Thistle is more your thing!

  • Your wife’s birthday is our anniversary. We have “birthdayversary week” in our house; mine 4/5, anniversary, his 4/7 (yes it was intentional!) I bet your family is grateful for all of the future birthdays and anniversaries you’ll now be there to celebrate.

  • Amazing to see the way you would not yield.. a true Keto Warrior

  • An amazing recollection of a man that refuses to yield until his last breath.

  • Mom Seest
    8 years ago

    We are so glad you have worked so hard on your health and weight issues. Good for all of you!

  • It is a heart warming story.

    Keep calm and Keto on 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I am so happy that you are now living a full and satisfying life. And you’re right, it’s important to just get going, take some steps, and not wait until you can see the entire path, because you never will. Thanks for the inspiration and the reassurance.

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