Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
19 Apr

97 Pounds Destroyed!

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Hello Mark,

My whole life changed because of the Primal Blueprint. Ever since I can remember, I struggled with weight. Unsure why at times, since both of my brothers had no problem being thin and built. My bodily make-up was apparently different.

I tried many diets over the years. Accompanied by many short stints with gyms and home workouts. I lost 10, 20, and even 30 lbs one time, and gained it all back with vengeance. When I was 24, I suffered a back injury that required surgery. From that day on, I was constantly in pain from my lower back.

As life went on, I began to believe that being a big guy was me. I grew to accept what, I felt, I could not change. I also grew to accept back pain as a way of life (sometimes crippling pain). At one point in my life I remember weighing in at 350. Below is a picture of what I had become – 339lbs.

John - Before

Something about seeing this picture, triggered the biggest battle of my life. I left work one night and joined the nearest gym I got to. Once there, I was offered a trainer as part of the membership offer. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it full bore. Two days later, I started with a trainer and battled through every workout, till I had given it everything I had. As time went on, the workouts became easier and the bodily pain subsided. Back pain also greatly reduced.

I was put on a nutritional plan by my trainer. It was very similar to the low carb lifestyle of Primal Blueprint. However, it was very confusing to me and not very clear cut. I started making salads for lunch instead of ordering in at work. Pounds started to disappear. This transitioned my thought process into, how can I make it better? I checked out books on Amazon about how to lose weight and stumbled across your book. As I read through it I realized the similarities to my current plan. Only it had one key factor that I was missing; an understanding of how everything effects my body.

Two months later was weight check-in time. I had lost 38 lbs since this all began. This just gave me more drive. I was so close to dropping below 300 for the first time in, I don’t know how long.

I went out and bought a treadmill, weight machine, free weights and a rowing machine to build a home gym. I wanted something for the nights it was too late for the gym. I went a little overboard. Who would have thought, I’d convert my home bar into a gym.

I started experimenting with many Primal recipes. Concocting my own and spending free time searching Mark’s Daily Apple for new and exciting meals. I have eaten vegetables and fish that I have never tried in my life, and love it! I am always searching for new ideas.

With all the changes taking place, I decided to step it up a notch. After 16 years, I grew my hair back and shaved my goatee. I was surprised to find a full head of hair.

I even felt so ambitious that I signed up and started a 25 person team for the ToughMudder (inspired by British military training) in July. Twelve miles and twenty-five obstacles of Guns a Blazin’ Primal exercise. Everyone on our team must make it. When I make it through that will be when I feel I have completed what I set out to do.

And now 10 months later, I am weighing in at 242 lbs. 97 lbs destroyed!

I still have a long ways to go, but I’m getting there. Training hard for July. I just wanted to say thank you, Mark.  Your book has inspired me to fight the toughest battle of my life and has changed it forever…

John - Primal

Thank you,


You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I hardly recognize the new you from the old pic. Thumbs up and keep it up.

    Bjarni wrote on April 19th, 2013
  2. Way to go young dude! At 53 I am in the best shape of my life and looking forward to many years of good primal health. Now you are on that same road – feels good!

    Pure Hapa wrote on April 19th, 2013
  3. Wow! You look fantastic. It takes a lot of vulnerability (read: courage and strength) to walk into a gym like that and allow another person to expose your weaknesses….and look how knowledgeable and strong you are now! Good work, my friend, good work.

    Jen wrote on April 19th, 2013
  4. YOU are fabulous! Keep up the awesome work.

    Furmantacular wrote on April 19th, 2013
  5. You look amazing! Congratulations on your transformation! And best of luck on the Tough Mudder!

    Krys wrote on April 19th, 2013
  6. I love the point about the missing link: understanding how everything affects our bodies. If people would know that eating whole grain bread and pasta creates a massive insulin response in our bodies, which in turn promotes fat storage, systemic inflammation, etc etc..maybe they would have an easier time ditching the grains and eating more veggies and meat. But the only ‘understanding’ people have, is what CW tells them…and we all know how off course that can be sometimes

    Shawn wrote on April 19th, 2013
  7. That’s the way it’s done John! Search and destroy! Congrats!

    Marco wrote on April 19th, 2013
  8. Congratulations! Your story is an inspiration.

    Vicky wrote on April 19th, 2013
  9. Isn’t it great that the saying we become wiser as we get older, often comes true? You are a head-turner now. Fantastic story & keep up the work – you’re doing an awesome job!

    Rosemary B wrote on April 19th, 2013
  10. John,
    Congratulations. You look great. Overcoming the belief that “this is just the way I am” is very difficult for a lot of people. You did it! Fantastic!

    Chris wrote on April 19th, 2013
  11. Well done young man.

    Robert wrote on April 19th, 2013
  12. Holy grass-fed cow! You’re doing great. Keep at it.

    Stan the Man wrote on April 19th, 2013
  13. John, you didn’t eat that dog you’re holding in the first picture, did you? DID YOU??
    Just kidding, Congratulations on your success. One of the cool things about the Friday real life stories is how everyone starts from such different places but always wind up in a better place than they started.

    Tom C wrote on April 19th, 2013
  14. Legend, great work. : )

    Madama Butterfry wrote on April 19th, 2013
  15. John, I gotta say your story was one of the better ones I’ve read in a while. I liked this line the best:

    “With all the changes taking place, I decided to step it up a notch. After 16 years, I grew my hair back and shaved my goatee. I was surprised to find a full head of hair.”

    I love how going Primal encourages us to just… question ourselves. Question our motives. It encourages open mindedness, and the trying of new things. I just loved reading that you tried new veggies and loved them, and that you converted your bar into a gym. It just goes to show, (for me), that we all just need to realize that we have the power within us – we just have to be willing to explore. Congrats for doing exactly that – exploring yourself and finding how awesome things are!

    I’m looking forward to seeing your next story, in another year or so. I’d also like to see a picture of you next to your brothers, looking more ripped than they do. It’ll happen 😉

    Nick wrote on April 19th, 2013
  16. Looking great, John, congratulations! Best of luck in your upcoming event! Truly inspirational!

    Connie wrote on April 19th, 2013
  17. That’s a great story. Good for you. I’m so proud of you. Keep up the good work.

    Amy Hagerup wrote on April 19th, 2013
  18. Before the physical changes though, I think you won the toughest battle by searching for answers. You took the initiative to approach life in a different way, and that’s your ulimate success!

    Keep searching and trying new things. :)

    Christine wrote on April 19th, 2013
  19. You look great, John- What a hot grok!! Keep up the good work!

    Katie C. wrote on April 19th, 2013
  20. You look great, John! Congratulations, and thanks for sharing!

    Kathleen wrote on April 19th, 2013
  21. Congratulations and best of luck to you. Hooray for your new discovery of life and energy! :)

    sapphiric wrote on April 19th, 2013
  22. Nice work, John. Have a blast in the TM. Do a lot of high rep body weight work and some HIIT. You’ll be set!!

    Gregory wrote on April 20th, 2013
  23. I really can’t see that it’s the same person in the pictures! Very good work, keep it up, John. Stories like yours inspire others to do better.

    Erik W wrote on April 20th, 2013
  24. Great job! Thanks for sharing your story and good luck with your future success!

    sid wrote on April 20th, 2013
  25. John,
    You look flaming FANTASTIC! Good job!

    Thank you for sharing your story and success with us. It shows that there is hope for any of us who wish to change our life if we commit to it.

    Much success with your Tough Mudder. I know you have what it takes to do it.

    NY Nan wrote on April 20th, 2013
  26. Complete transformation! Very inspiring.

    BevtheAwesome wrote on April 20th, 2013
  27. John, Nice one mate. Great motivating story and I am sure others, like me, will appreciate the journey you’re on.

    Nigel wrote on April 20th, 2013
  28. Fantastic job! Cute dog too :-)

    Allison wrote on April 20th, 2013
  29. Well done!

    I like your new look.

    mare wrote on April 20th, 2013
  30. GROK ON! Seems as if you are in it for the long haul…Try adding coconut oil by the tablespoon to your daily regimen as well as upping your vitamin C consumption. Both these things will help provide the stamina you will need for your MudOff.

    skeedaddy wrote on April 20th, 2013
  31. Oh My Word. Well done!

    Ganeesha wrote on April 21st, 2013
  32. Congrats!!! That is just so awesome! I had a similar journey, though not nearly as dramatic. Best of luck.

    William wrote on April 21st, 2013
  33. Hey John congrats!! Please post and update to let us share in your victory with toughmudder!! You are so inspirational to us all, I know you will knock off those last 30 lbs in no time! All the best to you and yours.

    Brianna wrote on April 21st, 2013
  34. Incredible, John! You look great–inspiring!

    Christie wrote on April 21st, 2013
  35. Awsome John!!! And i want to thank you for the inspiration. Into PB for 1 month and lost 10 lbs……..I have another 45 to go ……..not stopping now!!!….Special thanks MDA Thank You Mark!!!

    Mike D wrote on April 21st, 2013
  36. Great work John – you are looking awesome… the puppy too…is it a cocker spaniel? Adorable!

    Sarah wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  37. Thank you Everyone! Your comments are very inspiring also! I will send in an update after tough mudder in July. The puppy is a Boggle (boxer / beagle). Thank you.

    John wrote on April 22nd, 2013

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