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

Four Christmases

In 2007 Paul weighed 300 pounds. Today… well you’ll just have to read his story.

If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the MDA community please feel free to contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!


I am a 26 year old software developer and I have been a mixture of paleo and Primal for approximately two years now. When I first decided to lose weight, I was sitting at around 295 – 300 pounds. As I went through college my entire life consisted of sitting in front of computers and the TV playing video games and watching movies. I felt like a slob and I lived like a slob. While I was generally a happy person I always felt like I was doing myself a disservice. I wanted to become more involved with people, I wanted to become more involved with the opposite sex, and I wanted people to start taking me more seriously. Unfortunately, a mixture of World of Warcraft, a steady diet of Cheetos and Mountain Dew, and a horrible social anxiety caused by my weight and general appearance made these things very difficult to do.

One day, after eating an entire container of Walmart potato salad I contracted a horrible case of food poisoning. After three days of horrible sickness, I turned out to be 15 pounds lighter. I had also passed out at some point and face planted onto my tile floor and shattered my glasses. When I saw myself in the mirror without the glasses and with a slightly thinner waistline, I made up my mind right there that I would fix myself and become a member of society again. I immediately jumped onto the whole-grain wagon and started eating oatmeal by the boat load, whole grain bagels every morning, fiber crackers with lunch, and every other classic conventional wisdom food you could imagine. A few months into this lifestyle I developed a crippling case of diverticulitis that resulted in having a foot of my colon surgically removed at the age of 24.

I continued to eat the way I had been as I just did not know any better, but I did join a CrossFit gym and started attending the sessions regularly. I was so horribly out of shape and was completely humbled and embarrassed to see myself next to the hard bodied and sexy machines training all around me.  I used them as inspiration to keep pushing myself harder. Over the first month of attendance I was constantly bombarded with the paleo diet and then the Primal [Blueprint] diet.  It seemed like all the best athletes at the box followed these diets and if it worked so well for them I knew it would work for me too! I then read your book, The Primal Blueprint, and Cordain’s book and finally saw how my low-fat, high-carb diet was killing me. My diverticulitis, I believe, was a direct result of my attempts at eating “healthy” whole grains.

I jumped feet first into 100% paleo and then Primal and I have not looked back ever since. The first two months that I went Primal my weight plummeted from 300lbs to 250. Everyone around me was amazed. A couple more months in and my weight had dropped to around 215. CrossFit had built me some muscles and endurance, and I was feeling the best I ever had in my life. People were paying me attention and girls didn’t look the other way when I walked into a room. I felt like I was finally becoming a person I could be happy with.

I continued to train and dial my diet in and over the course of a year and few months I had reached my goal of 150 pounds. At this point in my life, due to my new looks and self confidence I was able to begin making friends and getting over my social hangups. I really started to enjoy life and knowing that I could go out and actually do things in the fresh air and in public. I began to focus on building strength and really transforming myself into an athlete who could compete in a competition and not be ashamed. Everything about me was becoming something I could be proud of.

By switching to the Primal [Blueprint] diet and following a good fitness plan, I turned myself into a powerful, lean, and self-satisfied person. I now also train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and have more friends than I’ve ever had in my life. If it wasn’t for your book and website with its amazing forums to keep me on track and answer my questions, I do not believe I would have ever reached where I am now especially as quickly as I did. All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart to both you and the amazing forum members who helped me get here.

Here is a picture of me from Christmas of 2007 through each consecutive Christmas up until this past one.


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. Paul, the same thing happened to me. I was a big fan of whole wheat and fiber. My first diverticulitis attack was in my 20s, the second was in my 40s. Lucky for me I didn’t see a doctor after the first one, but I did for the second.

    My doctors told me to eat more fiber, so I did, got sicker, and wound up having surgery.

    I can now reproduce my diverticulitis symptoms at will by eating wheat.

    The Primal way of eating is without a doubt the way to go.

    Tuck wrote on March 11th, 2011
    • Wow, what a story. My grandmother was just diagnosed with diverticulitis and when I told her to eat Primal, she thought I was crazy. Her doctor told her to eat whole grains for high fiber. Maybe your story will convince her I’m right!

      Brendan wrote on March 11th, 2011
      • Epic fail on multiple levels by your doc…
        #1 is not knowing the difference between water soluble and insoluble fiber (water insoluble will damage your intestines, just like water insoluble solids will damage a hydraulic pump),
        #2 is suggesting fiber that could feed colon bacteria and lead to more damage/infection,
        #3 is thinking fiber is anything but near-useless,
        #4 is being so nutritionally retarded your doc is a prime example of the dunning-krueger effect…

        mm wrote on October 12th, 2011
    • My sister was told to do the same thing by her doctor. My sister is smart. She saw how ridiculous this idea was and cut out the grains from her diet on her own. Then she received confirmation from reading The Primal Blueprint. She’s had very few problems since.

      fritzy wrote on March 11th, 2011
  2. Awesome transformation!! Congratulations on all your hard work and discipline paying off.

    Chris Lampe wrote on March 11th, 2011
  3. Damn, of course the ladies don’t look away! Congrats and you look amaaaaazing!

    Elle wrote on March 11th, 2011
  4. Go Rivvin! Your progress is inspiring and you are a great asset to the forum here.

    yodiewan wrote on March 11th, 2011
  5. Yeah, it’s pretty incredible what motivation and the RIGHT information will do for you. Inspiring.

    dantheman wrote on March 11th, 2011
  6. Very nice! Keep up the good work!

    Chris N. wrote on March 11th, 2011
  7. Truly inspiring!

    Jana wrote on March 11th, 2011
  8. Simply amazing.

    John wrote on March 11th, 2011
  9. Absolutely amazing Paul! In each picture, you like a different person!!! Keep up the good work.

    Georgette wrote on March 11th, 2011
  10. I like the photo progression:

    2007: Obese
    2008: Pudgy
    2009: Skinny
    2010: Muscular

    Great job!! 50 lbs in 2 months? Awesome! I myself lost 35 lbs in 3 months (208 down to 173) and people were shocked as well. Especially since I wasn’t even working out, just eating right.

    What I find strange about the general public is that they see results like this and are still skeptical. Oh well, our gain… their loss. :)

    Adam wrote on March 11th, 2011
  11. John Goodman to Matt Damon!

    localad wrote on March 11th, 2011
  12. Great job Paul very inspiring. I swear World of Warcraft should be labelled an addictive health hazard lol. I had a harder time quiting that than I had quiting smoking.

    Darcy wrote on March 11th, 2011
  13. I LOVE these stories every week. I love seeing people take back their life and make it the way they always hoped to be. We all have that power in every aspect of our lives…


    Stef wrote on March 11th, 2011
  14. Hot! Nice work!

    Andrea wrote on March 11th, 2011
  15. Love these inspirational stories.

    Your story will inspire many more to take your path. Congrats.

    Sharon wrote on March 11th, 2011
  16. Thanks for all the kind words, it is a bit of an odd feeling seeing my story up there but if I can convince just one more WoW player to step back and look at their health than I’d be happy!

    Rivvin wrote on March 11th, 2011
    • This is so crazy. Earlier today I had remembered about a PWO meal/snack that you had mentioned involving sweet potatoe and cinnamon (I believe). I wasn’t going to start looking through all the forum posts to find it so I made a mental note to PM you in the forums later and ask about the recipe. And as I come to the front page of MDA, there you are. Good job on your transformation bro!

      MountainDew wrote on March 11th, 2011
  17. Great job! I need to link this to my blog so that others who ask will understand that whole wheat is NOT a super-food!

    Crunchy Pickle wrote on March 11th, 2011
  18. This had me tearing up. Congratulations Paul!

    Danielle wrote on March 11th, 2011
  19. Outstanding job! Now you’re the inspiration and after all that, you got that Matt Damon thing going for you too. Yehaw!

    Guy wrote on March 11th, 2011
  20. Congrats Paul – no tears from me mate – just a big grin. You do truly look like a different guy. Awesome!

    George wrote on March 11th, 2011
  21. You look fantastic, congrats! 😀

    wildshan wrote on March 11th, 2011
  22. Congratulations! You’re an inspiration to a noobie.

    Marcela wrote on March 11th, 2011
  23. Amazing. An absolute inspiration. I’m also glad your humor has remained intact, your forum posts are must-reads.

    Buttercup wrote on March 11th, 2011
    • Haha thanks, I appreciate that. I unfortunately got lazy while I’ve been down for ACL surgery so I need to get off the lazy-train and come up with some new material soon I think. :)

      Rivvin wrote on March 11th, 2011
  24. Paul is HOT! Congrats!

    I just love these weekly success stories, keep ’em coming!!

    Ashley North wrote on March 11th, 2011
  25. You don’t even look like the same person! Way to go. What an inspiration!

    Sam wrote on March 11th, 2011
  26. Wow, you’re unrecognizable from your before picture!Congratulations!

    And that WoW is addictive.

    Alison Golden wrote on March 11th, 2011
  27. Wow!

    Drewsome wrote on March 11th, 2011
  28. Wow – impressive transformation indeed! The 2010 pic doesn’t even look like the same person

    Matt wrote on March 11th, 2011
  29. Well done and amazing work, Paul! Your new physique is enviable.

    From one ex-WoW-junkie to another, I know what a dramatic change it is to go primal. But I also suspect that our dearly departed hobby prepared us in some key respects for the primal journey: sharpening our analytical skills to trace the connections between environment and health; honing our competitive urges to match and exceed the accomplishments of others; and most importantly, teaching us that life’s most epic achievements aren’t won in a day, but are ground out one tiny unit at a time with relentless dedication to a long-term goal.

    You make me proud to walk a similar path. Grok on, my brother!

    Timothy wrote on March 11th, 2011
  30. Also a recovering WoW addict. Also down 40 pounds (took longer cause I wasn’t as gung-ho and gradually cut things out) on a paleo/primal diet.

    Losing that much weight (I was 350 years ago and now down to 215) is like wearing a disguise. Keep up the work!

    Brian wrote on March 11th, 2011
    • … I thought you and Matt were talking about Workout of the Week for a minute there. I am proud that I figured it out! Haha.

      So you went from WoW to WOW (workout of the week) and ended up wowing. Nice.

      wildshan wrote on March 12th, 2011
      • I meant Timothy, not Matt.

        wildshan wrote on March 12th, 2011
  31. WOW nice work! Always an inspiration hearing (and seeing) stories like this. Congratulations.

    Alex "Dude Where's My Muscle" Siddy wrote on March 11th, 2011
  32. Nice work! The 100lb transformations are always amazing. One can only wonder how much better you feel every day of your life now.

    Derek Weiss wrote on March 11th, 2011
  33. A ‘video game playing slob’ has revealed he really was a HOTTIE!!!
    Congrats on the amazing transformation!
    Isn’t it great to FEEL GOOD on the inside. :)

    Stephanie wrote on March 11th, 2011
  34. I love Fridays.

    I also love a story that shows that even though it may take a while for the weight to come off, it will come off eventually and stay off!

    P.S. What a cutie!! ;D

    gilliebean wrote on March 11th, 2011
  35. Awesome work man! Wow…

    Arthurb999 wrote on March 11th, 2011
  36. WoW! All I can say is /sexy.

    Brianna wrote on March 11th, 2011
  37. That is an amazing story! Awesome job!

    Hays wrote on March 11th, 2011
  38. Holy cow! I wouldn’t even think you are the same person! Congrats to you!

    Emily wrote on March 11th, 2011
  39. Amazing story…. and a very handsome man! Keep up the great work!

    Kim wrote on March 11th, 2011
  40. I love seeing comments from other WoW players on here, maybe Mark needs to add that as a marketing angle for his next book.

    “Tired of sitting alone in your basement? Read my book to see how bacon can fix that!”

    Rivvin wrote on March 11th, 2011

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