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

Complete Turnaround After Only Two Months

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!

real life stories stories 1 2After just two months it may be a little soon to be sending you one of these, but I just had to share.

I am a 30 year old police officer in FL. Ever since middle school I have been the fat kid. No matter how hard I tried the conventional way, I could not lose any weight and just kept getting heavier. Even the police academy only helped a little and as soon as it was over, the weight started piling back on (long hours of sitting and fast food). While I knew that I was overweight, I still didn’t worry too much about it because I was always the healthy one in my family. My immediate family is plagued with diabetes, thyroid issues, chronic asthma and allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, IBS… like I said, I was the healthy one.

My department gives us a pretty comprehensive wellness exam every year (blood work, ultrasound of major arteries and organs, stress test, fitness test, etc.). They didn’t have to tell me that I was fat, but last year my blood work really bothered me. My triglycerides were 252 and my HbA1c was 6.0% putting me at an increased risk for diabetes. That one really hit me hard given that I have a grandfather, father, and brother all with diabetes. So I decide to “make a change,” by doing all the crap that didn’t work before… just more of it. I ran more, and lifted more, and ate as much “healthy whole grains” as I could. By the end of January this year (2014) I was at the heaviest I have been in my entire life; 278 lbs.

Robert1
My daughter’s 2nd birthday, 2/8/2014.

Around the beginning of February, a friend gave me a workout routine that he used to get ready for SWAT tryouts. It included low-level cardio staying within your target heart range, 3 days of weightlifting and 1 day of sprinting per week. Kind of sounds familiar, right? One line in the routine said something about sprinting being unmatched in terms of weight loss and muscle growth. That piqued my interest because I have always enjoyed sprinting and despised distance running, so I started doing some online research. A quick search brought up an article on some obscure website called Mark’s Daily Apple. I didn’t really care what some random guy had to say about sprinting so I skipped that link until I had read all of the more “official” looking ones. Looking back, I should have gone to MDA first and saved myself a lot of time.

While going through your articles on sprinting, I came across another article that changed my whole outlook on life; The Definitive Guide to Insulin. Given my family history and rising HbA1c this one caught my attention. I read that article while at work on February 13th, 2014 and immediately gave up grains cold turkey. I have never looked back. I then bought your book and have become a faithful follower of MDA.

I still have quite a way to go in my journey to true health but here is what two months of The Primal Blueprint has done for me. I have lost 36 pounds. My body composition has change dramatically. I am wearing clothes that I wore when I was still 20 pounds lighter than I am now. I am happier than I have been in a long time and not as cranky as I was before. I have so much more energy; I’m not tired and dragging all the time.

Robert2
My brother’s wedding, 3/31/14. I’m far right. Others from left to right are my dad (type 1 diabetes), brother (rheumatoid arthritis), and brother (type 1 diabetes).

Like I said, I still have a ways to go to get to my ideal body composition, but the reason I am going ahead and writing to you is because I just went for this year’s wellness exam. After another 9 months of adding to the problem and then only two months of living Primal, the results were incredible. My triglycerides went from 252 to 165 (I know still high but a big step in the right direction). My HbA1c went from 6.0 (I’m sure it was even higher by the time I started) to a normal level of 5.4. NO LONGER AT RISK FOR DIABETES!!! My body fat percentage went from over 30% down to 20%. The fat is disappearing from my fatty liver, and my stress test numbers improved greatly over last year.

I started this experiment on myself because I wanted to be around a long time with my little girl. Not only that, but I wanted to actually be able to play with her and enjoy our time instead of being groggy and cranky. I have since become a strong advocate of the Primal Blueprint and of your site. My partner at work is now doing it with me and I have been preaching it to others too. Now that I have myself on the right track, my next goal is for my family. After reading another book on the effects of modern wheat, I think grains are a huge part of my family’s medical issues. I think I am driving them crazy with MDA links, but now that they are seeing results in me, I think some of them might be coming around.

robert grok
St. Augustine Alligator Farm, 4/23/14.

Thank you, Mark, for fighting against conventional wisdom and sharing your own experiences with the world. I know I would not have been where I am now (and looking forward to tomorrow) without MDA and I’m sure that I’m not the only one.

Robert

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. Great story, thanks for sharing! Keep spreading the good word!

    Siobhan wrote on May 16th, 2014
  2. Way to go, Robert! Congratulations on your success and I wish you more!

    Curtis wrote on May 16th, 2014
  3. Congratulations Robert! Isn’t it amazing how years of damage can begin to be undone almost immediately with the right knowledge and some motivation? So thank you Mark from me also for fighting CW!

    Susie wrote on May 16th, 2014
  4. Thanks for sharing, Robert. I, too, wish I had come across MDA long ago. I was always on the slightly side of chubby until I gave up grains and sugar even though I counted calories and cycled.

    Truly amazing how quickly the pounds come off when we forgo grains and sugar.

    C L Deards wrote on May 16th, 2014
  5. Robert I spent about thirty seconds trying to figure out which guy was you in the second pic before I read the line below – good job man, you look completely different!

    Peter wrote on May 16th, 2014
  6. That’s awesome Robert! Going from about 30% body fat to 20% is no joke! And the changes in other biomarkers are REALLY impressive for only 2 months! Best of luck with your continued journey! I’ve been following a primal lifestyle now for 3 years, and I’m not looking back :)

    Lauren wrote on May 16th, 2014
  7. Congratulations, Robert. You’ve got a lot of years ahead of you that are better spent healthy!

    Mary wrote on May 16th, 2014
  8. Looking good! It’ll be great for your little girl to grow up seeing her dad being a good role model for health to her and others!!

    K wrote on May 16th, 2014
  9. The fact that you took initiative, and then took action all on your own speaks volumes compared to all the other “walking dead” out there. My husband has one of these zombies at work–yesterday, he caught the guy downing a bag of chips and pieces of candy out of someone’s candy dish. This man nearly lost a foot due to diabetic ulcers!

    Hubby tried to at least get him to use stevia glycerite instead of sugar in his coffee, but no. He even mentioned pork rinds as a sub for the chips, but no. This man only has interest in A1c levels, and he’s not interested in doing anything to lower them. Every time he goes for a check-up, the insulin amount get raised.

    I told Hubby to plan the crew’s work around him, because he’s either going to lose a leg, or have a heart attack in the near future, and there’s no reason why the rest of the team has to suffer because he chooses not to even TRY to be healthier. “Either get this guy away from vending machines and candy dishes, or get yourself away from having to watch him slowly kill himself” were my words of wisdom.

    I’m glad to read that one more life was self-saved today.

    Wenchypoo wrote on May 16th, 2014
    • That’s truly depressing yo read. I just can’t understand some peoples thought processes’

      Paul in Australia wrote on May 16th, 2014
    • It’s very likely that this person has a lot of issues that have nothing whatsoever to do with food. Food is just the way they are being manifested in his life. The thing to be in this case is not judgmental, but compassionate. This is one hurting dude.

      Gydle wrote on May 16th, 2014
      • I have come to realize the same thing – watching friends ruin their health even when they briefly tried a gluten-free diet and felt better. It’s so difficult to watch, but clearly whatever is driving the destructive behavior is not just laziness or gluttony – there are some very deep personal problems there that are being expressed through harmful diet, just like when people cut on themselves or starve themselves.

        It is heartening to read stories like this – he knew he had to ditch grains, he did it, and his life is much better for it. Hopefully one day I’ll know lots of people in my real life who have done the same thing.

        Angel wrote on May 16th, 2014
        • Perhaps you’re both right. Maybe here are some very deep personal problems there, that have nothing whatsoever to do with food, so in this case, probably I should give the benefit of doubt.

          Paul in Australia wrote on May 16th, 2014
  10. Amazing progress in such a short time – well done Robert! Good luck with helping your family too.

    Grokesque wrote on May 16th, 2014
  11. Great job, and now the child will have a great start. Let’s hope the wife comes around. That would be a happy family. Grok on!

    Nocona wrote on May 16th, 2014
  12. Thank you for your service as a LEO!
    also thank you for the renewed passion – i was the same as you when i first started primal and have back slid really bad – my 80/20 became 30/70 and need to kick myself in the butt and get back at it
    thanks

    N. Lockard wrote on May 16th, 2014
    • I do like Monday’s post said and shoot for 100%. Then if I choose to slip the 80/20 rule is just there so I don’t stress out about it. End up staying pretty close to 100% primal that way.

      Robert wrote on May 17th, 2014
  13. Keep it up! And thanks for sharing your history.

    Jaime wrote on May 16th, 2014
  14. Amazing progress in just 2 months! Let us know the results after next year’s physical.

    Peter wrote on May 16th, 2014
  15. Keep up the good work Robert!! :)

    Helen wrote on May 16th, 2014
  16. Great stuff Robert, thank you for sharing!

    Primal and Proud wrote on May 16th, 2014
  17. Robert! Awesome job dude. Amazing how fast an impact that had. And a big one. Those are some series changes in a short period of time. Good luck gettig the family on board, in sure your example will lead the way!

    Luke wrote on May 16th, 2014
  18. Robert – I found MDA almost exactly the same way – looking too change up my workout (add sprints). Sounds like you went all in and have had amazing results. Keep it up, really inspiring.

    Paul wrote on May 16th, 2014
  19. Awesome results! And it’s going to be so great for your little girl :)

    meg wrote on May 16th, 2014
  20. Nice work, Robert. Grok on!

    James wrote on May 16th, 2014
  21. Loved reading this since it is very similar to my own story. I started the Primal journey in mid-January of this year, and I noticed remarkable results almost immediately! The first 6 days were pure hell, but once that was over, I am feeling better than I did when I was in high school. I am not weighing myself (the last time I did weight myself I was about 265lbs) or keeping track of numbers of any kind. For me, it is enough to know that I am living/eating rightly. And yes, I, too, have fallen in LOVE with sprinting!!!

    David wrote on May 16th, 2014
  22. Robert, you’re definitely not the only one who would not be where you are now without MDA! MDA is awesome as is the word they spread…like butter over thinly sliced bacon…lol. JK (or am I??) :) But congrats to you and good luck with your continued journey with your family beside you!

    Kevin Grokman wrote on May 16th, 2014
  23. I learned about the paleo diet last fall after reading the book Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter. The book was recommended to me by my dermatologist after I told him my primary care physician and neurologist could not explain the mind fog I was experiencing for the last 1.5 years. The mind fog set in abruptly after being in st maarten for a week drinking Caribbean beer, and it hadnt lifted until I went complete paleo just over a month ago. Once I cut out grains and therefore gluten , I developed a terrible rash on my arm. At my routine physical, my vitamin D was at its lowest its been in the last 2 years and my B12 was low, and I was taking 10,000IU of vitamin D and a B complex vitamin. After seeing my rash, my PCP finally a light bulb went off in her head… she thinks I might have Celiac disease. She told me I had to start eating gluten again to get accurate results on the blood tests (which are only 70% accurate anyways). I ate gluten for 4-5 days and the rash disappeared! Got the test, cut out gluten again, and the rash is back.. coincidence? Yet my bloodwork showed IgG 187 and TTG less than 2… I am going back to the derm to have the skin test of the rash (they test for accumulation of the anti-gliadin antibodies in the skin) which is now causing my arm to swell. I would rather live with a rash than mind fog anyday! When I started eating gluten (for the test) the mind fog crashed right back in.. I was amazed at how eating bread could all of a sudden make me feel terrible and in a daze. I am now back on paleo and feel great! Diet. check… sleep. check… now I just need to work on low intensity work outs, muscle training, and sprints! Maybe in another month or 2 I will have some answers!

    Jenna wrote on May 16th, 2014
  24. Congrats Robert! It’s never too early to post success stories when you make progress like that. Keep it up and continue to be an advocate for change. Regards

    Michael B wrote on May 16th, 2014
  25. Thank you for writing this early in your journey. This article is like looking into a mirror for me and gives me a great amount of motivation right when I needed it.

    Jennifer wrote on May 16th, 2014
  26. Ok, I’m kind of jealous. 36 lbs in two months? I am 10 lbs in 2 years. Young people, sheesh!

    Vanessa wrote on May 16th, 2014
  27. Wooohooo! Amazing!

    Colleen S. wrote on May 16th, 2014
  28. Awesome comments. Thanks guys for the encouragement. There is no looking back for me. Everyone keeps saying, “Yeah but once you get to your goal you’ll start eating normal again right?” My answer is “Why?” I feel so much better now than I ever did before (and by the way have lost another 8 lbs since I wrote this). I don’t see any reason for going back to CW. This is why MDA and the Primal Blueprint Work. It is not some fad diet that makes you lose a bunch of weight that piles right back on and cycles back and forth. PB truly is about lifestyle and sustainability. With so many cops dying just a couple of years after retirement (mostly from heart issues), I just want to be be as healthy as Mark into my 60s (and more). Sticking with PB and MDA is the only way I see to get there.

    Robert wrote on May 17th, 2014
  29. Robert,

    From a fellow Floridian, retired Florida LEO, and Primal addict, CONGRATULATIONS on your success!!! You have taken the first strides toward a much better life, and it’s obviously working for you.

    You’ll not only be around longer and healthier for your kids, but you’ll set a better example for them, your family, and your co-workers. As a side benefit, you will by default, be safer on the job. That in turn makes the people we are sworn to serve and protect that much safer.

    FWIW, when I started my primal journey, it was much the same was as you. Health concerns arose, and while looking for answers, stumbled across MDA.

    I went “Primal” cold turkey!! As you said, it takes a bit to acclimate, but once you do, there’s no looking back. Sure, we’ll slide on occasion, but that makes the 80/20 now doesn’t it?

    Lost 52# in a matter of a few months just changing my eating habits and the way I approached exercise.

    Hang in there my brother. The rewards are there, and you’ll see them sooner rather than later!

    Stay safe and thanks for your service.
    Shoot me an email if you’re ever in the Tampa, Fl. area.

    OD

    Gordon wrote on May 17th, 2014
  30. I like the inspiring story of Mr. Robert. This is an useful post to be successful through MDA learning. I appreciate it.

    Marc wrote on May 17th, 2014
  31. Thank you.

    Julian wrote on May 17th, 2014
  32. Great job Robert!

    Corey wrote on May 17th, 2014
  33. This is an awesome, concise story, and perfect for driving my OWN loved ones crazy with links… forwarding…

    Joy wrote on May 17th, 2014
  34. Congrats Robert! There is no such thing as a ‘too early’ success story! We all love to celebrate the good and healthy changes. Good luck on the rest of your journey and I can’t wait to see where you are at your next check-up. Enjoy your new found gift of life and health.

    sapphiric wrote on May 17th, 2014
  35. Great job Robert. Love your brother’s wedding photo. I too couldn’t pick which one was you right away.

    Good luck getting your family on board – it seems so hard to change a lifetime of bad habits, and detrimental belief systems for some people. I wish I could figure out what makes people reach the point of “hearing the message” and yet others just dismiss it. What triggers the sudden acceptance? It happened for you didn’t it? And it happened for me. Would love to know what makes one day’s message sink in and not others.

    Well done………can’t wait to see an update when you have your next medical.

    HillyM wrote on May 17th, 2014
  36. Thank you for your service! My fiance is a corrections officer from FL (now in GA), and we’re both still in our twenties, but one of his fellow officers had a heart attack on the job two weeks ago – and he was in his 30s! It really scared my fiance and he wants to change but despite watching me be Primal for two years, isn’t sure what to do. ;) I love hearing stories of officers going Primal because I can pass them on to him for inspiration.

    Congrats on your success!

    Sunny wrote on May 17th, 2014
  37. Great job, Robert! I’m showing this to my husband, we’ve been skirting around the edges of primal/paleo and I this article is the push I needed to go full primal!

    I can’t do sprints, not running ones anyway, so today I started doing them in the pool and had my husband do them as well.

    Keep up the great work, from one Floridian to another!

    Sharon T wrote on May 17th, 2014
  38. Thanks for sharing! I love hearing success stories, they are so motivating.

    Lindsay wrote on May 18th, 2014
  39. Inspiring story, Robert! I’m a police officer in California, so I know how hard it can be to eat healthy on the job. It’s great to hear how you’ve become pro-active with your health. My department requires us to have annual physical exams too, and there are a few guys who are on the border-line of being put on the desk for health reasons. I do my best to guide them in the right direction with nutrition and exercise, but you can’t make somebody want it. They have to want it for themselves. Glad you’re taking your health seriously and you’re so excited to share with others!

    Joel wrote on May 18th, 2014
  40. Joel, Robert,

    It’s good to hear that you’re both trying to spread the word around the LEO workplace.

    Our department requires an annual PFT as well. Fail it and you get one chance to pass it, then it’s desk duty. Unfortunately, they don’t provide time on the job to work out, and the PT facilities are generally “convenient” only to the downtown brass. There’s absolutely NO mention of diet in the mix,

    Every year we have injuries during the test, and we’ve had more than a few heart attacks during the testing or immediately afterward. you’d think the brass, or the officers would eventually catch on.

    Keep spreading the word gents.

    Gordon wrote on May 18th, 2014

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