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Finally, Some Progress – 335lbs

Two weeks ago, on 10/25/15, I weighed 346.6lbs. The highest weight I’ve ever seen in my life. If you know me, or have read anything here, you know the last year, well, really couple of years have been, well: a struggle, to put it lightly. When I saw this number, something clicked. I had finally gotten tired enough to really change things.

I prioritized sleep ahead of everything else, and set aside 7 hours a day (at the same time, everyday) to be in bed. If I sleep or not, I’m in bed, not doing anything else. This took about a week to “work”. I spent most of the first week exhausted and barely able to sleep. Part of this may have been that I started Keto at the same time. Like, legitimate, all in, no quitting keto. I’ve tried to commit to it probably 50 times in the last 3 years, and I usually make it to day 4 and give in. The last time I made it past day 5 (2010), I stayed keto for about 18 months.

Day 3, 4, and 5 were literally some of the hardest days I can remember in my life. Breaking my sugar addiction was not well tolerated. But I knew that I had to stop poisoning myself, and I know that I’m extremely carbohydrate sensitive. If I eat any amout of carbs over about 30g/day, I gain fat. I don’t know why I’m this way. I’ve always been a little predisposed to weight gain from carbohydrate, but I will say that it has worsened over the years. I have been unable to lose any significant amount of weight in the last few years.

This video helped a lot when I wanted to quit. I mean, a lot:

That first week was really hard. Then things let up, and I started to feel relaxed, even well. I’m not exhausted, for the first time in a long time. I went to crossfit once that first week, which resulted in about 6 days of complete soreness. I’m going to try to increase that to a few times a week coming up. But my main focus is sleep, diet, and reducing stress for right now. If I put too much effort in physically, I’m going to wind up too tired. It’s a delicate balance. I’ve also been doing a little bit of lower weight / form work in the garage with a friend. I plan on doing a little bit of sprinting a few times a week. I’ve done this all before, and a little bit of traction is bringing back all of the memories on how I lost the fat in the past. If you’re reading this, and you’re overweight, there are answers. I’m going to link a quick little guide I found on reddit just last night, that sums up almost everything about how to change it if you’re overweight. This guy knows what he’s talking about: Uncovering You – Chris Krause. He should be charging for this, but he isn’t. So if you use it, maybe consider sending him a little scratch.

So, the good news. As of this morning, following 13 days of keto and sleep, I’ve lost 11.6lbs. 335lbs. It has been a long long time since I’ve been able to move that number downward.

More progress to come…

Half-Time @ 339 LBS

It’s July 1st. One half of 2015 is gone, and I’m no closer to my goals weight or fitness wise. Trying to up my activity levels has resulted in weight gains. I’m stressed to the max. I tried time and time again to cut sugar, I went to Crossfit a couple of times in June, each time resulting in nearly a week of immobility due to DOMS and poor recovery mechanisms. My body is so engrained in burning glucose and soaring leptin and insulin levels, that I’m having trouble getting ahead of it. I really did try in June. I could have made it to more crossfit classes, but I honestly am not sure I should be doing crossfit right now. I’ve spent most of the last month researching ketogenic diets, intermittent fasting, recovery, and metabolic syndrome. I wanted to know how to approach this with success. I’ve modified Jack Kruse’s leptin reset a little, and I’m going to do just that and focus on getting my body relief this month. I’m massively inflammed, stressed, and can’t make it to ketosis without an almost binge on sugar if I’m trying to work out at the same time. There is alot of data that suggests becoming adapted to ketones takes between 4-6 weeks. So I’m not going to do any formal workout plans until I’m fully in ketosis. I’ll just go kayaking, take a bike ride, occasionally sprint when playing frisbee with the dog, but I want to keep it light and fun, not significant stimulus during this time. Jack Kruse explains all about this on his website, and to be honest, I’ve never been this far out of whack, so I always thought the advice to skip exercise was a little crazy. But, I can’t get good sleep, i’m sore for days after hard exercise, I don’t have energy, and I’m very obviously leptin and insulin resistant. So I think fixing that has to be the sole focus for right now. Hopefully by the end of the month I’m seeing some good progress. I’ll keep checking in, thanks for your support.


326lbs! I’m fed up! It’s time to push RESET!

Here I am, today. Wow, that’s hard to look at, let alone put on the internet. But, we can’t know where we’re going unless we know where we are. And I want others to know this is possible, and find encouragement as I progress. So here I am today:


Whew. It’s been a few years since I let my health, and this site go down. I went through some of the toughest and most defining times of my life at the end of 2013, and got stressed out! I didn’t intentionally abandon real food or lower stress living principles, I just didn’t do them. I remember weighing in at 218lbs in August of 2013. That was the lowest weight I ever remember in my adult life. Today, I weigh 326lbs. My diet isn’t paleo or low carb. It’s caffeine, sugar, and anything that might promise a quick hit of energy. I’m not losing weight, I’ve been gaining it since I had a rough end of 2013. Tonight, April 17, 2015; I’m taking back my life. This has been brewing for a little while, anger, disappointment with myself slowly growing inside. Depression about where my life is, despair about how it seemed hopeless, even some denial about that despair. I have 316 days until I turn 30. If I don’t do this now, I’ll never do it. I’m not happy. I can’t do what I want to do, I don’t feel good, I don’t like where I am, and I don’t want to continue on this path. I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about relationships, education, dreams, exercise, work, everything. Who we are, the world around us, it’s all the product of our doing. So I’m going to do it differently. Today, I persistently commit to a low carb, high fat, whole food based diet. I commit to show up to CrossFit three times a week. I commit to actively pursuing my bachelors degree. I commit to investing in to people on a daily basis, being a friend, and helping the people around me develop. I’m feeling idealistic, and I want to commit to a hundred things, but I think I best keep it to those 4 for now. This won’t happen without failure, and I’m not committing to a failure free anything. I’m just going to keep doing those things, as often as I can. I sometimes look at things as black and white when in reality they are shades of gray. Not eating paleo for a day doesn’t mean I’m not paleo, and eating paleo forever doesn’t mean I am. I could use all the support in the world, so if you’re reading this let me know, check in on me, or ask me anything!

Until Next Time,

A reflection, and connecting the dots…

One time a few years ago, me and a friend didn’t eat any sugar, grains, sweetener, or dairy to speak of for about a year and a half. I felt the best I’ve ever felt, stress was easier to handle, and I could do more with less than any other time in my life. I was at Crossfit multiple times a week, and even became a Crossfit level one instructor. Over time, life happened and I unfortunately weight about 80 lbs more than then, and I’m really tired lately. I’m pretty distant from friends, and my old facebook page taunts me even now, as I write this: “You haven’t posted in 399 days.” I’ve been to crossfit about 6 times in the last two years.

Around 2012, I went through a very public failure, as well as some of the most heartbreaking series of events I’ve ever experienced. Somewhere in there I let go, decided I would numb myself from some of the experiences in life and just hang on. In a lot more than just my own health, I’ve taken a back seat, rather than preparing for the challenges life may bring, I’ve been buckled in and hoping they would be over shortly.

Even before all of this, I have always loved emergency services from the moment we met. I love taking care of people. I love emergencies, I love bringing calm to chaos. It’s a delicate art which took years to develop, and it’s been my favorite part of life for many years now. Recently, I have been considering what it would be like if I were to never step foot on another emergency scene, and I came to a heart breaking realization: I let a lot of my favorite parts of me fall away slowly, through numbing myself from calls, my own heartbreaking experiences, working too much overtime, letting close friendships get a little less close, not paying attention to my health, and a myriad of other things.

Everyone always asks me, “What’s the worst thing you’ve seen?” I’ve seen death, from the smallest babies to the oldest and most natural deaths, I’ve watched countless people take their last breaths, and it’s not that. That’s almost universally peaceful, actually. Death happens to everyone, it’s the destination we all share, and I can see beauty and peace in that, even through the pain. Some might say that seeing someone frantically doing CPR on an obviously dead loved one is the worst thing a paramedic might see, but I don’t think that is it either. That’s gut wrenching, but it’s such a demonstration of love and hope, that someone so wants the person they love to be alive again. I can see so much beauty in that. Some of the hardest calls I’ve ever been on were the ones that took an all-out effort, sometimes over a long transport time, with lots of thought, multiple medications, intubations, with the patient stabilizing and destabilizing again and again, and then ultimately passing before we make it to the hospital, or in the hospital prior to recovering. Those calls are hard on you, you wonder what you could have done differently when life hangs in the balance, and have to accept that ultimately, despite an all-out and maximum effort, we sometimes cannot help. Those calls are really tough, and I’ve seen more than a few paramedics leave EMS after one of those. But for me, they aren’t the worst. The people I’ve talked to who were dying, were almost universally okay with it. As Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Stanford Commencement address: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

The worst calls I’ve ever seen aren’t the ones where people physically die. The hardest calls for me are the ones where a friendless old man hasn’t talked to his daughter in 30 years and cries because he just wishes he could hear her voice. A cocaine addict that can barely find the words to explain how much he hates himself that he used again tonight, explains that it’s been 5 years, and apologizes a hundred times in the 8 minute trip to the ER. The beautiful girl who has scars all over her body, and most recently has used a steak knife to cut away most of her forearm, exposing tendons and bone, who denies any pain, and explains that she just wants to die so she doesn’t make her family sad anymore. It’s the wife, who beaten and bleeding, sits in your ambulance and explains that he didn’t mean it when he hit her, please don’t arrest him, he would never do this, I can’t live without him. It’s the homeless man who calls because he’s anxious, hungry, and doesn’t have anyone to talk to. It’s the expecting mother who cried the whole way to the ER while she was bleeding because her husband wouldn’t love her if she miscarried. It’s the many widows who live alone and call 911 because they don’t feel well, only to feel much better after just talking with you. Human despair is the worst thing I’ve seen, and it’s everywhere. The feelings of hopelessness, of life not being worth living, of intense sorrow or regret are the worst things I’ve ever seen in my ambulance. We don’t have any medicine or procedures for these calls and while we can listen and be compassionate, we can only do that until we get to the hospital, and we give them over to a busy ER, hoping that a system can somehow show them they are worth keeping. We get only so many minutes one on one with these people in the depths of despair, and then we may never see them again, maybe because they get better, or maybe because they really couldn’t take it anymore. If you want to know a heavy burden, spend 6 or 8, maybe 30 minutes with a broken hearted person who doesn’t want to go on living, and hope that you listened enough, that you didn’t say the wrong thing, or that you gave them what they needed to keep going. Those kind of calls are the worst things I’ve ever seen. Those are the ones that are hardest to find beauty in for me.

I guess I wrote all that to say, I’d be fine never stepping foot on an emergency scene again. Whether I’ll go back to working in emergency services, only time will tell. But I am committed to finding out everything I can about despair, what causes it, where it exists most commonly and why, and what we can do to end it. What I know from my own life is that the times I felt the furthest away from despair were when I was eating well, and in close community; and the times I felt the most despair were when I was withdrawn from relationships, not eating too well, and when I was taking a back seat, just letting life happen. Pain is inevitable, but despair is something different. I think being fully engaged in life is essential to avoiding despair. I don’t have too much despair, I’m all in all a pretty lucky guy. But I noticed when I was thinking about all of this, that I haven’t been fully engaged in my own life, and I’m disappointed in myself for that. I’m personally going to get some of my favorite parts of me back, starting with eating low carb, high fat whole foods for 30 days and becoming a regular part of CrossFit Johns Island. If you’re a paramedic, firefighter, police officer, or actually any person, don’t disengage from life. Do what you love. Find people who love you. Love the people around you. You never know what they may be going through. Don’t give up. You’re so worth it.