• Team Blue


    Some of you have seen my ‘diet’ references around here. I have been on a low carb diet plan, along with exercise for the past 2 years…last weekend was the anniversary. It hasn’t been an easy journey but nothing worthwhile should come easy.

    I’ve always been fat and I was always bullied about it. When I was about 8 years old I put an end to all photography as I couldn’t stand looking at myself. Every year my parents would get a call when it came time for school pictures. Often times this included the use of middle finger. As the years passed the only photos that I ‘allowed’ was for the purpose of an identification card.

    2 years ago my parents rented a beach house in Oceanside, OR… Before and during the trip it was discussed that we all need to make a positive change in regards to our health. In particular our weight.

    Knowing that it would be my last weekend of eating ‘real food’, I indulged. My plan was to eat as much seafood as I could that weekend being on the coast and all. When it came time to eating out I kept going back to my favorites…burgers, pizza, beer and Reuben sandwiches.

    Upon returning from the trip I cleaned out the cupboards and fridge of ‘off-limit’ items. No more rice, beans, bread, sugar, corn, potatoes…beer (insert sad face and whimpers.) It was nothing but fresh meat and green veggies from now on.
    When I make up my mind to do something I am more determined than most people and this was a ‘do or die’ decision. Failure means a premature death. Failure is not an option.

    During the first few weeks of the diet I observed immediate results. I also came across Walton’s Inc. and Meatgistics at about the same time. I noticed that many of the sausage seasonings were mimicking the very things I was now trying to avoid on the diet. Most notably Pizza and Reuben sandwiches. I could now enjoy my favorite meals with a product that is easy to portion and has virtually no carbs.

    I was determined to lose 100 lbs. by my 1 year diet anniversary. I lost a steady 10 lbs. per month for the first 6 months but was frustrated that I didn’t lose any ‘girth’. I was still huge and the lack of physical results was frustrating…but I kept going.

    I was having a discussion about this with my dad and his friend which gave me a pat on the back and put things into perspective. It was also at this time that my dad divulged that he had taken a picture of me while were on our trip without my ‘permission’. Had I known at the time I would have likely demanded that he erase the image immediately. Had he not taken that photo I may have lost my way. When I saw my before image I was more determined than ever…this s**t is real. I am really losing weight!

    By August of 2018 I was down 90 lbs. and finally to a size that I could start exercising without wanting to die. I didn’t want to wait until October to hit my 100 lb. goal. I wanted to get there by my birthday in early September…so I did!

    It was at this point that my clothing really started ‘hang’. Pre-diet I was wearing a 4X shirt and had a 66" waist. One year later I dropped one shirt size. By Thanksgiving I was a 2X. When Christmas came I was into my first 1X shirt since 2003…most notably my Audioslave and Lollapalooza concert shirts that I had saved. Luckily and ex-girlfriend had saved all of my prior clothing. There is no way I would have been able to afford clothes had she not done that for me.

    When I first started the diet I was using an app on my phone that wanted me to enter my ‘goal weight’ so I threw 200 out there thinking I would never get close to that in a million years. When I hit 225 lbs. I knew that the goal was well within my grasp. I got this.

    Over the next few months my weight loss slowed and my size remained steady but I was still at a decent pace. I had been working out an hour per day 6 days a week on an elliptical/recumbent hybrid since August. On April 6, 2019 I hit my ‘unreachable’ goal of 200. Whoa!

    I could have easily stopped there. Nope. I need to push goal posts to better myself. I only needed to lose 15 more lbs. to be half the man I used to be…so I did! At this point I was wearing a large shirt and had a 32" waist. These are numbers I hadn’t seen since I was 12!

    I promised myself that when I hit 185 that I would reward myself with a burger. By June 1st I hit my next goal and was ready for my reward. My son who lives a few hours away wanted to be there for the occasion but I knew it would be a while before we could get together…so I moved the goal posts yet again.

    It was too hot for working out at my place so I decided my reward for now would be less exercise unless it had a negative impact. It slowed progress but I still managed to drop weight. That’s a reward I can live with!

    Lots of people lose 100 lbs. and that is certainly something to brag about. Many people lose 150 or more. Few people can brag that they weigh half as much as they used to. Far fewer can say they lost over 200, so why not try?

    In mid August a new butcher shop opened up in my area called ‘Butcher Butcher Walla Walla’ On my first visit the owner mentioned they might be looking for a sausage maker. Over the next few days I visited his shop and made purchases daily. Each time I would ask questions about the shop, their process, equipment, etc… It has been a while since I’ve looked for work so I was cautious. Rather than filling out a resume I delivered 14 different kinds of sausage and threw some jerky in for good measure. I was hired!

    By August 20, 2019 I weighed in at 170 lbs… Boom! It’s burger time! One problem…my son wasn’t here. We had been planning on visiting the same beach house to take a before and after photo of my weight loss. I figured this would be a good time for a burger with the kid. This would also give me a little more time to go beyond the 200 lb. barrier…so I did!

    I left for my trip last Friday morning weighing in at 164 lbs with a 31" waist and totaling a massive 206 lbs weight loss. I drove 4 hours to Vancouver, WA. to a Killer Burger location and had my first burger in 2 years accompanied by my son and parents. I can’t imagine a better group to celebrate with!


    I’m not the only success story here though. As I mentioned in the beginning, this was a group effort. My father lost over 60 lbs and my mother lost over 40! As a family we have lost well over 300!

    Walton’s Inc and the Meatgistics community were a huge part of my success. I really could not have done it without all of you. Food related hobbies gave me the drive and focus to stay on task and the camaraderie here is an inspiration. Thank you for making this, my 1000th post, possible!

    -Joel (aka Joe Hell)







  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    Joe Hell
    Awesome… Good for you! You set a goal and accomplished it. 👍🎇🎇🎇

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    congrats on achieving your goal and staying with it ,I think it was good that you shared this as we all have our own vices , and as they say a picture is worth a thousand words Good Job !

  • Regular Contributors

    Joe Hell Excellent job you should be proud of your efforts and it looks good off you! as someone who has “been there and done that”, be ready for a small rebound and embrace it. it is you and it is life. Your son has great taste in shirts and you have poor taste in hats

  • Team Blue

    Departing Contestant lol! I bought him the shirt! You must be talking about the Farmers Insurance hat!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    We are super happy, excited and proud of you man!

  • Joe Hell a really tremendous achievement you’re obviously a very special person if it wasn’t for the tat on the leg I don’t know if I believe it was the same guy 🙂

  • Joel I have known you for many years and I have to say, I am so proud of you! You are such an inspiration to me. I’m excited for you to experience life as a more confident man. You should be proud. You’ve accomplished more than most people with you weight loss goal and now I can only see bigger and better things coming from you! Keep up the good work hottie!!

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    Well now I know why you didn’t want to waste post 1,000 on me! Congrats!

  • Joe Hell
    Congrats Joe on both your determination success and your new job or should i say labor of love. Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.

  • i have a question… i have struggled with weight also and have decided to cut out all bread, pasta, rice, and trying to do no carbs, just lots of fresh veg, and fruit and lean meat. I have lost 36lb. in 2 months but have gained back 3 lbs. would you be willing to share the app. or the info to the plan you use, I found a site where i can keep track of everything i eat and it tells me how many calories, carbs, fat and protein i eat with a pie chart but find my carbs are to high…If you could help with any info it would be Great, I am really frustrated and know i need to keep my goal for my health… THANKS! Gary P…

  • Joe Hell that is an amazing accomplishment!!! Congratulations 🎊🎈🍾

  • Regular Contributors

    Joe Hell yeah, never liked Farmers or their coach Pete Carroll

  • @Guest - Gary P. I, too, have been on a weight loss quest myself. Because of health issues I have been bed-bound for almost a year, so exercise is difficult. I have been able to loose weight through the Ketogenic diet. Not quite as much as Joe-Hell, but a fair amount as I have lost enough to now wear a size smaller shirt.

    For some information on how much of what to eat, you might check out the YouTube channels “Dr Becky Fitness” and “2 Fit Docs”. They make it much easier to get on the Keto diet and make it work for you.

    Good for you to make that decision to loose weight, that is the first step. Now, like Joel, make it work!

    Register to this Blog and keep checking it out as here you will find tasty recipes and encouragement from Joel and I.


  • Joe Hell GREAT JOB BROTHER. Your pictures are awesome, as is your story. The burger you chose was impressive looking! How did it taste? After having been on this quest for over 2 years, you know that some bumps are in the future of the road that you are traveling.

    Keep going Brother. This is where the term “Looser” is quite appropriate and positive!

  • Team Blue

    Good work!!! Don’t be discouraged by small gains. I weigh myself sometimes several times per day. It’s normal to be be 5-6 lbs heavier in the evening than what your morning weigh in.

    The app that I used specifically was Atkins but there are a bunch of keto related apps that are just as good. The main thing is just documenting what you eat to better understand HOW to eat.

    Once you start to see what your normal daily intake is it will really open your eyes. I document everything including alcohol intake. I try to keep around 1600 calories and 16 carbs daily to maintain steady weight loss.

    I’ve increased those numbers slightly over the last couple of months and I’ve managed to hover within 5 lbs of my lowest weigh in with little effort.

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    Joe Hell Dude! Nice work, glad you did it on your terms for you and not for someone else! Congrats!

  • Team Blue

    KansasDad The burger was excellent! From their website…

    Bacon, Swiss Fondue, Ham, Deli Sauce, House Sauce & Beer-Caramelized Onions


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About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's (waltons.com). Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today. We have created Meagistics University, where we broke down meat processing into different categories and then broke it down into a class like structure. The introductory classes are 10s, the intermediate are 20s, and advanced are 30s.

About Walton's

Walton's Inc. sells meat processing equipment and supplies, including all of the Seasoning, Equipment, Supplies, Packaging, and Casings needed to make almost any type of sausage. Walton's sells to the commercial customer with a focus on the small to medium-sized processing plants or butcher shops, and directly to the hunter or processor who makes their own product at home. Whether you are a commercial or retail customer of Walton's you will be receiving the exact same seasoning and supplies, we do not have a different "line" for commercial and retail customers so that everyone can make the best sausage or jerky possible!

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