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. You’ve done an amazing job so far!! Keep going!!

    Joyful Susan wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  2. You must be a tall dude…for 242 pounds you look very trim and fit. Your story is inspiring. I wish there was some way that you could let us know if you still have back issues. Could you describe all the changes you noticed in your back during your exercising and weight loss (briefly…LOL!) Do you still have back pain, etc, or is the back no longer an issue? Thanks for the great motivational story! All the best to you!

    Emme wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  3. I’ll just add to the list and say, “WOW MAN!” I’m so happy for you!

    Patrick wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  4. That’s a great and inspiring story!Thanks for sharing,I’ll borrow a leaf,nice!

    Jonas Larsson wrote on April 23rd, 2013
  5. I still have minor back pain from time to time. However 95 percent of the time, I am pain free!

    John wrote on April 24th, 2013
  6. Tough mudder is coming to my area in June this year so I will be doing it for sure. It look like a lot of hard work but also quite fun. Let me know how you got on. Well done by the way.

    Leon Hardy wrote on April 24th, 2013
  7. wow!!!!!!!
    (that’s all i can say!)

    emily wrote on April 24th, 2013
  8. John,

    Thanks for your inspirational story. It just gave me more energy to continue this program. I just started 18 days ago at 250lbs, I have already lost 10lbs and I feel really great. For the first time in my life I read straight 30mins on a treadmill with no break and still head energy to do weight and lift.

    If I had just done away with Potbelly sandwich (which I really love) from the very first day, I would have being talking about 12lbs destroyed already.

    Again, thanks

    Albert wrote on April 25th, 2013
    • Sorry – I meant to say “I ran stright 30 mins”

      Albert wrote on April 25th, 2013
  9. WHOA!! Hottie! Nice transformation!! Could you talk to my husband please?? lol

    Jenn wrote on April 26th, 2013
  10. Way to go man!
    Congrats on the life changes, and all the best in the upcoming “mudder.”
    We’ll be rooting for you!!!!

    Gordon wrote on April 28th, 2013
  11. Great Job John. It looks like those military style workouts have turned you into a secret agent. Because you have completely changed your appearance to the point of being unrecognizable as the person in the before picture. Kudos for that, and thanks for sharing your inspiring story. I too suffered a major back injury in my mid 20s. But thanks to primal all traces of it have disappeared forever. It’s one of the many benefits you have clearly found too. Good on you. Keep up the good work and Grok On!

    Deuce wrote on April 29th, 2013
  12. Whut? Those two pictures… is that the same person?

    CV wrote on June 1st, 2013
  13. Great story and transformation, John! You should be so proud of yourself. Your before & after pictures don’t look like the same guy. I’ll be your brothers are so jealous of you!

    I love your attitude too – 97 Pounds DESTROYED! Nice to see someone change his health and life through nutrition and exercise instead of resorting to medication(s).

    That TM sounds like a worthy goal. I’d love to see a picture of you and your team after you’ve conquered that challenge!

    Grok On! :)

    Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on November 30th, 2013
    • that should be *I’ll bet your brothers… :)

      Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on November 30th, 2013

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