Hi, I'm Mark, the creator of KetoJam.
This Is My Story
(keep scrolling for the before/after pictures)
When I tell people what I used to weigh, they are often shocked. At first they think I'm joking, then when they realize I'm serious, they just want to know the story...
So here it is. A bit long, but hopefully worth it.
I was chubby most of my life. I was always active, but I also loved to eat. Eating was my happy place.
Early on, I found a sport that I loved to play (football... American Football for you non-US people) and was lucky enough to play it from 6th grade all the way through high-school and university. Being a football player became part of my identity, but it was also a crutch -- it gave me justification for being overweight. It was "OK" for American football players (especially offensive linemen, like me) to be overweight -- it was part of our job, right? More on "crutches" later...
When I finished college, I got a great job in Silicon Valley. I was a Product Designer at Apple, and I was lucky enough to work on designing the first-generation iPhone. (remember that thing?) I worked my butt off. I was constantly traveling back and forth between the US, China, and all sorts of other places, on conference calls, and working long hours. And I completely ignored my health.
I left Apple in 2008 to start my own company, also in the electronics industry. It was more of the same -- long hours, flying all over the place for business meetings, and of course... more ignoring of my health.
On the surface it was a "glamorous" life. Flying business class all over the world, staying in fancy hotels, and living the entrepreneur's dream. But underneath, I was growing more and more unhappy. And my weight grew to over 400 pounds.
This "glamourous" life had become another "crutch". Being overweight didn't matter since I could always fly in a nice big business class airplane seat. I could afford to buy custom tailored clothes to fit my 4XL body. And I could hide my unhappiness behind the facade of entrepreneurial success.
The Turning Point
One day a close friend told me he was going to have gastric bypass surgery. I was scared and confused. He weighed nearly 100 pounds less than me, and this was his only option?!? Being deathly afraid of surgery, I knew I was really in a tough spot. If that was my friend's only option, then surely I would have to have surgery too....
Around that time, both my friend and my cousin had started following something called the "Ketogenic Diet" - aka "Keto". And they had been having great results. Was this my other option? Could this save me from my otherwise certain fate of life-changing surgery?
I gave it a shot. Within the first few weeks, I dropped nearly 20 pounds. I was excited! But then, of course, like many "diets", the excitement wore off and I gained some of that weight back. And of course I was frustrated and confused.
A couple months later I regained some of that excitement when I met a certain girl... I was smitten, and she was out of my league. I knew I had no chance with her unless I lost some weight. I had proven to myself before that Keto could work if I wanted it to... but I really needed to want to.
I spent the next few weeks figuring out how I could keep myself motivated for the long term. As a trained engineer, I built systems to force myself to stay on track. I put signs around my home and office to remind myself of my motivation. I announced my commitment to my friends and family to help them keep me on track.
I was a long journey with plenty of ups and downs, but over the next ~2 years I dropped over 170 pounds and went from really really big to finally being a normal sized guy. And most importantly, I've kept it off. (As of April 2018, I've now lost over 195 pounds!)
What Did I Learn?
I learned that the Ketogenic Diet is incredibly powerful and effective. But just knowing what to eat and not eat is NOT enough. Long-term success takes real determination. Consistent motivation. Fail-safe systems to keep you on track. And plenty of support.
I've kept my story quiet for a couple years, but after looking around the "diet" and "weight-loss" industry, I still don't like what I see. It's still filled with gurus selling gimmicks and shortcuts. Even in the Keto world, it's filled with scammy companies selling people supplements they don't need. And then industry is filled with people who have been fit their entire lives trying to preach to normal people who need help.
So that's why I decided to start KetoJam.
I wanted to share my story, tips, and strategies with other normal people who need a little help. I wanted to talk about technical parts of weight-loss (foods, exercise) in addition to the emotional and personal sides, since those are often the limiting factors.
I hope I can be helpful to you, and I'll be happy if you find even a single good bit from what I say.
Mark @ KetoJam
CONFUSED ABOUT KETO?
Get a FREE copy of my popular book
SUPER SIMPLE KETO
and stop feeling overwhelmed!
JOIN THE KETOJAM FAMILY
Subscribe to the KetoJam newsletter for all of our new recipes, program updates, and our exclusive discounts on our training and coaching programs.