The Road to Wellsville

A Dad's Journey to Health and Wellness

After 18 years of marriage, 4 kids, and a career spent sitting behind a desk, this 43-year old dad is...umm...hopelessly out of shape. This site is a journal of my path to becoming a healthy and fun dad.

I'm an incredibly lucky guy. I have a beautiful and loving wife, and four amazing kids. My Saturdays are spent watching my kids play sports, and my Sundays are spent with my family and my church.

One thing that I've painfully learned from having kids, is whatever you do, your kids are watching and learning. My wife is extremely active and healthy. She bikes, she hikes, she lifts, and she keeps our family active.

I, on the other hand, have spent the last 18 years sitting behind a desk, and I'm paying the price. I'm overweight, I'm out of shape, and I'm not the dad that I want to be. I'm certainly not the "fun dad" and I'm not the dad that my kids deserve.

My Story

Growing up, I was always involved in sports. In high school, I played basketball, and rugby, and even tried a few years of football (I like to think I was the team's best tackling dummy). I remember being self conscious about my weight, but I think that was mostly because I was surrounded by athletes that were in great shape. I remember being embarrassed when I had to weigh myself for football. As a 14 year old Freshman, I weighed 185 pounds.

When I graduated high school I weighed 170. I was in great shape, even though I was a typical teenager, eating everything in sight. However, I was so involved in sports, playing city league basketball and high school rugby, that the weight just effortlessly came off.

After graduation, I went off to college in a different state. After my first semester, I went on a mission for my church. For some, serving a mission can have huge impacts on their weight, for me it didn't. However, I stopped playing sports during this time.

When I came home from the mission, I remember being invited to play basketball with someone, and it was the most frustrating experience, because all of the those basketball skills that I was pretty proud of during high school were gone. After the game, I remember thinking, "wow, I can't even dribble anymore." I decided that I wasn't a basketball player anymore, and I stopped playing.

In college, I wasn't active, but I did have to walk around campus alot, and my diet consisted of one fast food meal in the middle of the afternoon, and a bowl of cereal for dinner. This combined with a young man's metabolism, kept me at a healthy weight.

My Junior year of college, I met my amazing wife. We were married a year later, and I graduated from college a year after that. My wife has always been a great athlete, and to this day, I have only beaten her once at H-O-R-S-E...and it was when she was 8 months pregnant with our first child.

My first job out of college was doing tech support at a consulting agency. I remember the interviewer telling me, "this job normally pays $8/hr, but since you have a college degree, we'll pay you $9." I taught myself how to program and have been a desk jockey ever since.

This was the beginning of my weight problems. The combination of my newfound sedentary lifestyle and a meal plan that consisted of multiple meals a day resulted in me gaining 50 pounds in those first few years of marriage.

I've gone through several diet phases. All of them would be considered "successful" because each time I lost a ton of weight. I'd say my average diet typically results in me losing about 40 pounds. The problem is, eventually, I get tired of it, and I just want to eat what I want to eat.

Where I'm At

So, that leads me to where I'm at. I just weighed myself this morning, and I'm 256.4 pounds, the heaviest I've ever been. I'm 6'1", so I'm not morbidly obese, but I'm definitely overweight. I'm tired of being overweight, and I'm tired of being out of shape. I'm tired of being the dad that sits on the sidelines, and I'm tired of being the dad that can't keep up with his kids.

I know I can lose weight. I've done it many times before. I've done it with intermittant fasting. I've done it with keto. I've done it with plain old calorie restriction. But I've never been able to keep it off. I've never been able to make it a lifestyle. That's what I'm hoping to do this time.

My Motivation

This year for Christmas, my wife got me a pair of trekking poles. Last year, we did a 17 mile hike in Glacier National Park. By the end, my knees were killing me. We had to stop every 100 yards or so, so I could rest my knees.

My kids love jumping on the trampoline, and love it more when I join them. I can't jump on the trampoline for more than a few minutes without getting winded.

My poor health isn't just affecting me. It's impacting the people I love. They can't do the things that they love doing, because I can't keep up. I'm slowing them down, and I'm holding them back.

So that's what driving me. I want to experience life with my family. I want to be able to do the things that they love doing. I want to be able to keep up with them. I want to be able to go on long hikes with them. I want to be able to play basketball with them. I want to be able to jump on the trampoline with them. I want to be able to do all of these things without getting winded, and without my knees hurting.


Like I said before, I've lost weight before. I know how to do it. While I wouldn't say it's easy, it's achievable. However, the weight loss has never lasted. I've never been able to make it a lifestyle. I've never been able to keep it off.

So, the biggest constraint that I'm giving myself is to limit myself to only do things that I legitimately enjoy. That means eating foods that I love, and want to eat. That means doing exercises that I love, and want to do. When I was a kid, no one forced me to go and play touch football for 3 hours. I did it because I loved it. I want to get back to that.

There's one caveat, there's always going to be some headwinds when you try to form a new habit. So I'm going to make myself commit to something for 90 days. If I don't love it after 90 days, then I'll stop doing it. But I'm going to give it a fair shot.