How Richard got a new life at 69

Richard SS

When Richard couldn’t fit in his work uniform anymore he knew he had to lose weight. He started the 2-week challenge back in January and he shares his story on what has happened since:

I started my keto journey on January 1, 2018. I used Diet Doctor’s 2-week challenge to get started and to discover what this new lifestyle was about. Originally my goal was to simply lose weight and inches around the belly. I work as a seasonal National Park Ranger during the summer and I literally could no longer get my uniform pants on so the situation had become critical! I was reporting to Grand Teton National Park the first part of May so I had about four months to get into my trousers…the clock was ticking.

I followed the two-week challenge religiously and by mid January, I was in nutritional ketosis and on my way. The first month or so my weight and waist size changed dramatically…much more than I expected. Particularly the waist measurement (which is exactly what I needed!) By May I had progressed to the point that my uniform fit me perfectly and the pressure was off. I decided, however, to continue my keto lifestyle throughout the summer at the Park. This was easy to do as I was buying and cooking all my own food in my own single person cabin. I had complete control over my diet and meal timing. Throughout the summer, I continued to lose weight and inches.

By August I had a new problem… my uniform pants were literally falling down as I walked, as I had already tightened my belt as far as it could go! I quickly ordered a new, much smaller Park Service belt and had my pants back up where they belonged within a couple of weeks. It was really interesting to watch many of my coworkers go through their daily workouts at the gym, take frequent hikes and long bike rides. I did many of those activities as well, but not nearly as often or as intense. Despite all the others’ efforts, they generally either maintained their weight throughout the summer or they gained weight. In my case, I continued to lose weight and inches the entire summer with really minimal exercise.

My job at the park was collecting entrance fees. I began to notice just how many people came through the gate and were constantly snacking! Pizza, chips, soda drinks, ice cream – just a never-ending snack fest of high-sugar and carb-loaded munchies! Most of the people I encountered had physiques to match all the non-stop snacking…clearly obese. It dawned on me that many, if not most, people have no idea what makes them fat! I used to be one of them.

So here are my stats: Starting weight 244 lbs (111 kg), Current weight 188 lbs (85 kg) and goal weight 150 lbs (68 kg). It has been over ten months on keto now and I have come to realize that the weight really wasn’t the important change after all. I was pre-diabetic with a HbA1c of 6.0… I am now normal at 5.0. My serum glucose dropped from 120 to 84. My liver enzyme ALT went from 49 to 23 (indicating my fatty liver was not so fatty anymore). In short, I have seen significant improvements in my health markers and have never felt better or more alive than I do right now.

My cardiologist has taken me off of all my prescription medications with the exception of a low dose Simvastatin (which I choose not to take). You see, I had stents implanted in June 2002 so I am expected to be on a statin for the remainder of my life because that is the US “Standard of Care”, i.e. the physician has NO choice, he/she MUST prescribe a statin to me or risk being “called a quack” by their peers (sad, but true).

I notice I have more stamina during the day now. I used to get sleepy every afternoon and would have to take occasional naps. Not anymore. I am awake and alert throughout the entire day. To my amazement, my poor hearing has actually improved! I usually had to use hearing aids at the Park as I collected entrance fees to understand what people were saying to me. This summer I didn’t need hearing aids as my hearing actually cleared up as I continued to lose weight! I really was not expecting that to happen. My dental issues have also lessened. I had bleeding gums from time to time. Not anymore. My gums are perfect as well as my teeth.

I am 69, retired and have adopted a new hobby… I’ve learned everything I can about human nutrition and tried to undo 50 years of abusing my body with high-carb meals and snacks! Thanks to Diet Doctor and all that you do to educate people on how to take care of themselves. Unfortunately, it seems it will be a few more years until the bulk of our medical profession figures out where they have got it wrong and begin to really help.

Richard J Rynearson


Congratulations, Richard, on your new and improved life! Very inspiring!

I’m very happy to hear that your cardiologist could take you off all medications (except a low-dose statin) due to your massive health improvements. At we always recommend discussing changes in medication with a qualified health care provider (full disclaimer).

After having heart stents due to heart disease, a statin can be a good choice, as it tends to lower the risk of heart disease somewhat in absolute numbers. But this positive effect has to be weighed against the potential of side effects and personal preferences. Ultimately, after discussing it with a doctor, it’s up to the individual to make an informed decision about his or her treatment.

Personally, I believe that improving risk factors this powerfully via a lifestyle intervention is likely to often have far more powerful positive effects on long-term health and wellbeing than any medication ever could.

/ Andreas Eenfeldt, MD

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