I’m fat, sick, sad, diabetic and it hurts to walk. Oh yeah, life sucks, too!

I feel terrible, I look terrible and I’m terribly unhealthy.

I have peaked at 352 lbs. about a week ago. I look like someone that has just eaten the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, except that I feel even heavier.

My lower back hurts when I walk, to the point where I need to sit down after walking about 500 feet. My ankles always hurt and I think I’m diabetic. I’m not positive, and I’m too chicken to go to the doctor, but I have problems that indicate this. Mostly, I just pee at night, a lot. Beyond that, I’m just very unhealthy feeling. There is a “suck” a sense of a medical “squeezing” of my soul. It can get powerful, sometimes.

I have what I call my “ring of pain”. It starts with my organs under my final right rib, and crosses my rib cage into the organs under my final left rib. Apparently these organs don’t have any sensation of their own. It’s got to be the areas surrounding the organs being constantly pressured by my gut and my ribcage as I sit at my desk and work all day.

Either that or it’s something far more dubious, like cancer.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh …

… ignorance is bliss!

I could go on and on with gripes, complaints, pains, ticks, tocs and issues. I have little doubt that I will as this story progresses, but I suppose I should talk a little about what I’m doing.

I’m writing.

I’m documenting.

I’m journaling.

I’m not sure why, exactly. I have grand visions of this turning into a cook book, filled with inspiration, recipes and a true to life story about how a man came back from the depths of hell. How he was able to conquer his vices, organize his thoughts and create a fulfilling life for himself. That man, I hope, will be me.

As I said, I’m very unhealthy and overweight. I should go to the doctor, but am afraid of what I’ll learn. I tell myself that if I can just get my eating and exercise under control that I’ll visit a physician when I “feel better”. I’m not sure what this means precisely, but it’s fair to say that I haven’t “felt better” in a very long time.

I’m without a career, friends, health, happiness, a girl and a healthy outlook. I don’t have anything much left to lose, except my life. It’s really about the only thing I have left to lose!

I need to take stock of that. I need to work towards friends, happiness, health, family relationships, career and improve my healthy outlook.

My hope is that this journal will document this process. That it will take some of my random blatherings and slowly, but surely, gel into a cohesive and uplifting story of a man who got it right, after seemingly intentionally doing everything wrong from the moment he turned 18.

To Begin …

I have been trying like mad to lose weight. I’ve been doing a horrible job and have been teetering between 338 lbs. and 352 lbs. I’m about 5′ 9″. So, this isn’t good. I have no muscle. I’m a disgusting blubbery whale. Yuck.

I’ve been trying to walk. I try and walk about a mile, every other day. I walk with my puppies to the beach and back. It’s a grueling hour, and I hate it. It’s hard, my back hurts, I have to sit all the time, but I can never find anywhere to sit; just the occasional rock. I’m starting to learn the good spots.

It’s embarrassing to be out in public, walking my dogs, all fat and sweaty, in clothes that don’t fit, while I rock out to outdated music on my iPhone. I’m the guy I want to laugh at on the street, but don’t because I’m mature enough to recognize that the guy is trying to make it better. He’s trying to make improvements!

Then … I laugh at him anyway. Fat bastard.

I’m that guy!

The days I don’t walk, I tell myself that it’s good to let my muscles relax. Then I eat WAY WAY too much cereal, pasta, or some other kind of sugary, fatty sweet concoction.

Without the walks, I’d be 400 lbs. by now. So, I suppose I’m at least teasing the right thing to do. I’m testing the waters. They are cold, but inviting.

This past weekend, I forced myself to read a book by a heart surgeon. It was a book on a diet evolution. It spoke to me and made me want to try something radically different. However, it was also something I felt was manageable, appropriate and understandable. The end result would be a healthy person, at least physically, and with the capacity to live another 60 years. It’s good health and longevity … and that, to me tastes better than all the meat lover’s pizza and chocolate coated fruity pebbles in the world.

Today, I have started on my path.

Today, I ate the following:

  1. Black unsweetened organic coffee, probably about 16 oz.
  2. Making due with what I had and being in a bit of haste, my first Dr. Gundry based meal was a 3-Egg Omelet with Capers, Whole Grain Mustard, Spinach and Parmesan. I cooked it in Bacon fat, because I had no defrosted meat, yet. Probably not the best idea, but it’s where I started. 3 eggs with capers, salt, pepper, mustard, whipped. Cook one side in bacon fat. Flip. Fold in about 10 to 15 large cleaned and dried spinach leaf (chiffonade) and peeled parmesan. Fold into center and eat.
  3. ¼ cup raw walnuts
  4. Chicken breast with romaine lettuce salad, lemon juice, EVOO, salt, pepper, capers, whole grain mustard and grated raw carrots.
  5. ¼ cup raw walnuts
  6. Chicken breast with Caesar salad and pecans

Current weight: 343.2 lbs.

Tomorrow, I’m planning:

  1. Black unsweetened organic coffee, probably about 16 oz.
  2. Ham and Mushroom Omelet with Spinach and Parmesan
  3. ¼ cup walnuts
  4. Garlic and Soy Marinated Shrimp with Spinach, carrots, lemon juice, broccoli, soy sauce and olive oil.
  5. ¼ cup walnuts
  6. Beef tenderloin with Dijon Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms and Asparagus

Weekly Recipe!

Greatest Salad Ever: Warm Chicken, Bacon, Tomato and Balsamic
This salad is AWESOME! I probably eat this salad at least once a week, and have for a few years. It’s probably the backbone, or foundation of my entire outlook on this way of eating. It’s fresh, warm, comforting, delicious, a little sweet, a little dangerous, it has no FrankenFoods, it’s a combination of cooked and raw ingredients, plus … it has BACON!

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31 thoughts on “I’m fat, sick, sad, diabetic and it hurts to walk. Oh yeah, life sucks, too!”

  1. DJ, I had no idea of your story. It’s fascinating and I will read more. I already know what a fabulous chef you are, so without hesitation I will give your recipes a try. Be well, and we will miss you here in Cabo.

  2. I just found your site today through Jennifer Eloff’s blog. Inspiring to say the least. Looks as if you did what you set out to do. Thanks for sharing something so personal.

  3. Hi DJ, a mutual friend sent me. Your story is an inspiration. I’m trying to wrap my head around adopting low-carb as a way of life. I know it works for me – I always feel better when I avoid sweets and grains. I’m just struggling with getting started again, knowing it’s a forever thing. Last year I lost 25 pounds with low-carb, but I’m gaining again…health problems that disappeared are slowly returning. I’m looking forward to getting back on track. Thanks for the great website and Facebook page!

  4. Hi there Dj
    Woe just read your story right here and that’s ME through and though !! Every word you said is just the same how i feel today . i been struggle with weight for sometime now but you know how that is. This time around is a bit different i dont just wanna lose the weight because i am FAT i wanna lose because im SICK im very unhealthy, i cant walk any distance, my body hurts, my ankles swell , my breathing isnt the best, i have pretty much become homebound due to this and i am so ashamed of myself to even face people. I feel like im slowly dying and feel so helpless and alone and scared to death . i SO need help but dont know where to go or even where to start . Since Jan 1st of this year have been low carbing and i have lost over 30 pounds but would love to start some sort of exercise plan , you know start out slow and build some muscle back in my legs so i can go outside and walk so if anyone has any advice for me on a very low impact exercise plan i could do that would be great !! I am open to any advice from anyone PLEASE .. HELPLESS IN VERMONT ! πŸ™

  5. OMG!!! Thank you so much for your inspiration…I have to say that I cried while reading your story! I am so trying to get my daughter to the point where she wants to do something for her health she’s only 14! Her knee hurts when she walks too much and she blames it on an injury that happened in march. The Dr. told her to walk but she just doesn’t want to and whenever I say anything about eating or exercise I get the look and excuses.

  6. WOW!! I just noticed some of the older comments … I’m sorry for not responding!!! This system emails me when someone comments on a recipe, but it seems to skip it when it’s a blog post comment … I don’t know why. In any event, the two most recent comments have to do with walking. All I know is … I walked. I forced myself to walk about a mile, every day … no matter what. It was kind of a nasty walk, too! It was downhill to the beach (about a half mile), but it was a STEEP climb back up the hill, through dirty trails and weeds and cacti. It hurt and it was hot and there was nowhere to sit, no shade, etc. I pushed through it, sitting on the ground if I had to. It was NOT pretty to start and it was NOT fun. Starting this whole thing isn’t pretty, it isn’t easy and it isn’t fun. I wish I could say otherwise, but … it just isn’t! (well … it wasn’t for me, anyway!) I just knew this was it, though. THIS was my shot. I had to do it … to push through … to see if the grass really IS greener on the other side. Let me assure you … IT IS! I don’t know another way to say it other than … start walking! Just … begin! Pick a destination that’s close to home, if you’re held back. Just take a 5 minute walk, if that’s all you can do. DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO RUN A MARATHON. It’s taken a long time to get where you are. Thankfully, it won’t take anywhere NEAR as long to correct it, but … it will take time. Just do better tomorrow, than you did today! If you can only walk to the corner of the block, then … do it, even if its slow. Time yourself. Just try and beat yesterday’s time … even if only by a second! You will find that you’ll easily beat the time after only a few tries. Then, go for 2 blocks (or two miles … whatever distance you’re able to go). If things are REALLY ailing you, you can always try swimming to begin. This is incredibly healthy, while also being low impact on joints. The key to the whole thing really, though … is diet. Every pound you lose is one less pound you’re not carrying on your knees, ankles, hips, etc. Walking will become easier simply by the nature of their being so much less of you! The best advice I can give is pick a reasonable strategy. Slow and steady is TOTALLY fine. Set reasonable goals and slowly start achieving them. Do a little better tomorrow. If you don’t beat your time … don’t worry about it. Try again tomorrow! There will ALWAYS be ups and downs. Pay attention to the trends … and keep ’em moving. To Paula … about your daughter, I’m really not sure what to suggest. In my case, it took me to a point in life where I really felt I had no other alternative. It was, as they say, my bottom. People tried to get me to change my ways, but … I just wasn’t ready yet. I don’t have the slightest clue how to make someone ready … that isn’t ready. She needs to decide on her own. The trick is in her realizing that they benefits outweigh the effort. If she’s content with her situation and the effort isn’t worth it to her, then … she won’t change. Somewhere/somehow, things need to be so bad that the effort to change suddenly seems worth pursuing! As a parent, you have some control over her surroundings. I’m not a parent and don’t claim to know how to handle a child, but … the key is in her being willing to put forth the effort, because it would be worse not to. Read that line again … the key is in her being willing to put forth the effort, because it would be worse not to. Whatever that means to you … it’s the key (at least … in my opinion). I hope each of you find some comfort in my words. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do!

  7. Hi Dj!

    It was so cool to stumble across your website via Pinterest today! I discovered your simply amazing mussels recipe posted on Allrecipes in 2008 and it was a much loved and raved about dish. Still is as I have since made it several times πŸ™‚ So, it was interesting to read about your history with Allrecipes, and of course your journey to better health. Way to go! I look forward to perusing your site and discovering all that lies within.


  8. Hi!
    I’m very glad I was directed to your blog. At first I didn’t read ‘the about me’ section and I just assumed you were a woman – assumptions are bad I know.
    I’m sooooo glad you’re not a woman. It’s so refreshing to browse your blog (I recreated my first meal today (Uber Crack Slaw) & discover your recipes. So many diet/recipe/ life advice pages are by women – you Sir have shown what my husband also found, that men are good in the kitchen. It can be fun (first one in the kitchen chooses and cooks the meal) and like him (he had a heart attack due to high cholesterol and basically just bad habits) you can redirect and improve your life for the better ON YOUR OWN.
    Well done! I truly look forward to exploring more of your blog recreating your delicious healthy food.

  9. Hi Donna! Welcome! Thanks for the kind words! Yep. I’m a dude. I get that a lot, though. It would seem that most bloggers are women. I suppose I’m pretty rare on this particular landscape! Yep, having the skills to cook REALLY went a great distance towards giving me the power to really embrace the change and make it interesting. I really wonder whether or not if I’d have been able to do this, without the skill of cooking. For me, cooking is easy and is mostly just rooted in common sense, but … that’s been developed over years, from skills that have been refined by millions for hundreds of years before me. So … *shrug*. I can cook. It’s my secret goal to get others in the kitchen to cook and empower themselves to make some changes for the better!

  10. I found you through Carbing Amongst Friends, and am now a devoted addict, LOL! Bless you for sharing so much knowledge with the rest of us in our long journeys to health!! You’ll be getting a big ol’ shout out on the Every Woman Blog from yours truly!!

  11. Awww … thank you, Lydia! I appreciate the kind words! Looking forward to reading it! πŸ˜‰ Welcome! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

  12. This is my new favorite blog. You are an inspiration. I wish I was your neighbor! I have tried a few of the recipes and they were fantastic. Keep up the good work and keep up the blog, I couldn’t bear to have you leave me now when I need you the most!

  13. Hi Marcy! Thank you for the kind words! I’m happy to help! Welcome and … please let me know if you have any questions!

  14. Wow its like you are in my head and just wrote what I am thinking…ONLY I am female and I cant walk to the beach, but I cant walk where I live due to a ankle that wont let me do much, I have fibro as well, which doesn’t help that to be able to help that feel better I need to move. Iam a cook in a caf? and cant do my job so In Feb. 2010 I was 384.6 lbs In less then a yr and a couple months I got down to 247 with the help of weight watchers, then $ got tight due to loss of hrs. at work, ( I had to go from 40+ hrs down to 6, because I cant do it, my leg goes numb in mins of standing very long, any how I thought I could do it my self and stopped paying for WW and all that means is I quit. so since Nov. 2011 I’ve gained back 71 lbs. BUT I’ve started back & at this point I’am at 285! My hubby is now a diabetic, with very high A1C’s (12) daily readings of 280+ so we are back at it changing our life style together this time! Sorry so long, but I am VERY EXCITED to have found your site! I’ve started cooking low crab and this site is going to be heaven sent.

  15. Hi Robin ? first of all ? WELCOME! I?m glad you picked up some inspiration here. My story is a bit sad, but ? it also really helped light a fire under my rear, once I fully accepted that I was ready. As a cook, you should have no problem with these recipes and adapting some of your favorites to this new style. I think it?s perfect for where you?re at. It?ll also be EXCELLENT for your husband. In reading about some of your limitations, I?m wondering if perhaps a swimming pool might help you build some strength and burn a few extra calories. Just a thought! No problem on the length. Anyone that hangs around here for long, knows that I can really spin a yarn, myself! πŸ˜‰ Keep in touch and let me know if you have any questions. Again, welcome and ? good luck! πŸ™‚

  16. Wow! Powerful. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on turning your life around. I have really enjoyed you FB posts and look forward to more!

  17. Thanks for the welcome! I have in fact thought a pool, however is live in the middle of no where and 40 miles one way to get to any pool,gym, or shopping, doctors etc. I live on my hubby’s family ranch and our tiny town of 90 doesn’t offer much other then a school, church, a post office and the cafe (where I work) and what town wouldn’t be complete with out the oldest travel in the state of WA! If you were to google western Bluebirds we are said to be the Bluebird captail of the world:) On the excerise I do what I can with the daily chores of the racnch, a excerise bike & treadmill … But a pool would be fantastic πŸ™‚ Both my hubby and I are excited to trying all the recipes we can, we already made the coconut cream pie for one of our girls birthday, mine is this coming Sunday so iam planning on our meal from your site! Yummy!! πŸ™‚ again thanks for the welcome!!!!

  18. DJ, I’m encouraged by your words about your new way of eating. Are you going by a particular plan or just a generic type from the internet? I also like that you have recipes on your blog. Great help to me. And I’m awful at planning ahead, making menus. My husband and I are both needing to lose weight especially for our health. We each have too many medicines that could be controlled if we’d just lose weight. So thanks for your inspiration and I will be following your blog.

  19. I just finished reading your story, and I just want you to know, I believe I am your female version. lol I literally could have wrote those words, but with a female twist….and of course the fact that I CAN’T walk more than probably 50 feet. ugh Anyway, very inspiring. I am currently looking into LCHF way of eating. Our family switched to eating “cleaner” about a month ago. We are mostly eating whole foods, a lot of fresh veggies, chicken breast and green smoothies. I enjoy the new way of eating, but it just doesn’t seem to be dropping any real weight so I feel like I need to tweak it to be more of a LCHF type. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  20. Hi Gay, look through my blog and find the post called ?How I did it?. That talks a bit more about what I did, and also links to two different full plans that you can read about and follow. Currently, I do something I?ve lovingly dubbed ?Low Primal?. It?s essentially a whole foods approach, with low-glycemic ingredients and a few modern twists. I personally tend to stick to around 30 to 35 net carbs a day and ? love it! Please let me know if you have any further questions. Here to help!

    ReneeH, I?m glad you?re here and working towards better health. Based on what you?ve said you eat, it?s tough to really pinpoint a better place to start, but ? my quick take is to kill the smoothies, lower the carbs and increase some fats. Maybe google the ?Ketogenic Diet? and really read up on it. There?s loads of info out there and some FAT-TASTIC recipes! Regarding the walking ? I?m not sure if you?re sincere or if that?s sarcasm. I definitely struggled with walking, stairs, aches in my back, knees and ankles, but ? could walk a good mile or more if I needed to. It required a lot of sitting and breaks, but ? it was at least possible. Whatever your ability is ? try and push it. If you really are stuck at 50 feet ? try and make it to 51 tomorrow! Baby steps. No one ever said that starting would be easy or pretty, but ? it DOES get easier and it does get prettier ? and you?ve already started. Keep it up! Please let me know if there?s anything I can do to help. Welcome!

  21. Hey Brother! I read your story, and it is simply amazing. It is kind of similar to my wife’s story. Both us of have come to the conclusion (right at about 5 months ago) that it was time for a change. Both of us were topping out larger than we have ever been. We started the Atkins Diet. We have dieted before, and after she had stopped losing after about 30 lbs, she would give up. She was around the weight you were, I was about 100 less. In the 5 months since we started this time, she has lost 50 lbs, I have lost 45. Though we are still doing Induction in Atkins, I am starting to branch out and get other recipes from different sources other than them, all low carb. I get most from low carbing among friends on Facebook. But I do have one question. I have gone through your appetizers and pinned some to my Pinterest, but football season is approaching next week. We get together with other couple each week, taking turns hosting. I need some good appetizers that we can fill up on that are super low carb, and make in bulk, for everyone to enjoy. Our favorite for the games are the sausage rotell dip. Since we can’t have the tortilla chips, I am wandering aimlessly around trying to think of something to substitute. Please help!

  22. Happy to have my Man back, wonderfully exciting..How incredibly, thanks E-mail:{{ Robinsonbuckler11@ gmail. com }}______________________

    I love this ????

    You’re the best

  23. Im fat .Cant walk without pain in my back.Dr’s say i have all kinds of problems.Im at the end of my
    Life where i could die from all.my issues.i have big legs and its about30 lbs just towalk that around my fat gutis so big cant tie my shoes.i need lipo and tummy tuckis my only way to survive.but no money.so guess ill die a fat pig

  24. I just commented on your lovely lemon pound cake recipe and I too assumed you were a woman. Isn’t that weird?!
    I am glad you are doing so much better and still with the blog. You really are a good writer. One of my favorite books EVER is “Blood,bone,butter” by Gabrielle Hamilton. I have given about 6 copies away because she is such an amazing writer as well as amazing chef. You’re writing reminds me of that. Cooking and writing don’t always go together, but you make it seem like it does.
    I also want to say that I do hope dear Michelle is doing better as well. Such a sad post. I have been there so many times that I can almost feel that pain in her words.
    I am back on keto/Adkins after a bout of depression and self punishment that lead to a 60+ pound weight gain and disuse syndrome so bad that I get out of breath turning over in bed. I want to go places and do things and that means making it so I can.
    Thank you for all you do!

    • Hi Kerry! Yep! I saw that comment. Responded!

      I’m sorry you’re going through it. Been there, done that. It’s been my experience that … sometimes the only way is … THROUGH! Start very small, with tiny little incremental improvements. Don’t overwhelm yourself with solving every problem, today. That’s almost insurmountable. Just give up soda. Or, give up cookies. Or, go for a short walk, each day. Slowly make little changes, but stick with them long enough to establish a better collection of good habits. If you have a healthy body, many of the things you describe will subside, clearing a better path forward, enabling you to tackle the rest. It all begins with that first step.

      Start small, then build! πŸ˜€

      P.S. I see there are a variety of comments I’d never responded to. Sorry, Folks! I largely stepped away from the blog, during the pandemic. I’m back!


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