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

Hypertension, Prediabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and 75 Pounds, All Gone in 6 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!


I would like to give you another success story to add to your expanding collection.

6 months ago I was 270 lbs, hypertensive, pre-diabetic, metabolic syndrome, etc. I had been aware of your site for a year or so because a political blog I frequent ( occasionally links to yours. I was intrigued by some of the articles but was skeptical and didn’t take it too seriously. I knew I was too large, uncomfortably so, and my cholesterol levels were out of whack, but I walked and biked, ate what I thought was a fairly healthy diet and didn’t think my overall health was very bad. Until my blood sugar levels started creeping up. Another New Year (2011) had come and gone without me even making a resolution to lose weight like I usually did.


Then came February 4th and this article on your site: The Unconquerable Dave. I was completely wowed that Dave could make the transformation he did. My birthday had just passed a few days earlier. I was 48 and not very happy with my appearance and was staring down the barrel of major problems as time went on. I thought a lot about Dave over the next few days and the following Sunday while making chicken nachos for my family to eat while watching the SuperBowl. I took a first tentative step and ate my chicken without the chips. The following week I bought your book The Primal Blueprint and completely devoured it over the weekend. I could do this.

The success was immediate and amazing. Over the next 3 months I dropped 50 lbs and people started to notice. The next couple months brought another 20 lbs that really thinned out my arms, legs and face and people really noticed. I am a new man. I am now 195 lbs and working on leaning out a little more…hopefully eliminate some residual stomach skin but am generally exactly where I have wanted to be for the last 20 years of adulthood. I cannot believe how much better I feel and look and actually have a much better outlook on growing older. And it was relatively EASY.

Today I had my first checkup with my doctor since I began this program. I had the distinct pleasure of watching him cross out the multiple diagnoses on my medical chart:

Metabolic Syndrome…gone

All medication…gone. Also gone is my snoring, apnea, constant flatulence and frequent heartburn.

I’ve included some recent “after” pictures as well as some “before” pictures that you could also classify as recent because they were all taken just over 6 months ago.

Thanks Mark for giving me the inspiration and guidance to change my life!


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. Congratulations, Greg! Your transformation is amazing…not to mention inspiring! You give me hope that I, too, will eventually be healthier through primal living.

    Julie wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  2. Wow Greg, you look like a different person. Unbelievable. Keep up the awesome work and start squatting if you have not already.

    Big Dog wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  3. Extremely pleased to see how well you’ve done Greg! Wow…just wow.

    And pretty please with a little sativa on top, no politics on my MDA. If I want to read a libertarian screed I’ll go to a designated blog for that.

    Bjarni Tryggvason wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  4. Great work man! I have gone through a similar
    Transformation, life is good

    mike wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  5. WOW!! This is an AMAZING transformation! It looks like two different people! Congrats!

    Lisa wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  6. Greg,
    First off congrats on your success!
    Second, in the second picture, is that a plott hound with you on the couch ?

    Ronnie wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  7. So, cool! What an amazing story! I am thrilled for you and your better health. Congratulations!

    Eden wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  8. Fantastic.

    jdt2003 wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  9. Wonderful story! Greg, you look like a completely different person not to mention you must feel like a totally different person, too!

    Besides the obvious physical changes the real story here is how your health has changed — you just did what it would take a lot of meds to accomplish. And the meds probably wouldn’t come close to doing it as well as you did.

    Thank you so much for sharing your success with us.

    PrimalGrandma wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  10. congratulations – great stuff!
    Can you update us on what your exercise program wasis like, and having been pre-diabetic, are you limiting fruit and do you test your post meal blood sugars occasionally?

    deb b wrote on September 2nd, 2011

    Daveman wrote on September 2nd, 2011
    • You’re an inspiration for everyone in our family Dave! We love you! Whenever I tell someone about Primal I show them your success story 😀

      Robin wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  12. Wow nice work Greg you look terrific.

    Thanks for sharing

    debbie_downer wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  13. WOW – Just Wow!

    Griffin wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  14. HOLY COW – GREAT pictures. I wouldn’t have recognized you on the street at all.

    Meagan wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  15. woah congrats, its a new person o:

    steffo wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  16. Yeah yeah SmAsHeD it. good stuff Greg

    Ben wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  17. Hi Greg – wow what a change! Amazing. Your story will undoubtedly inspire others to ‘go primal’ too.

    Sharyn wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  18. awesome story! thanks for sharing it and congratulations on your good health!

    also, you look like a new man. to which, my son (3 yr old) heard “indian man” and wanted to see the pictures of the indian man. he was disappointed. it was hard to explain to him how you were a new man, though, too. but, he’s 3, so we forgive him for not being impressed. 😀

    Jenifer (aka Zoebird) wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  19. Wonderful story and your pics, beautiful family and lab numbers say it all! Thanks for sharing.

    pmpncali wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  20. If there are any “nattering nabobs of negativism” lurking, this should silence them! Thanks for sharing your story.

    skeedaddy wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  21. Wow, very awesome!
    Congrats on getting rid of all the meds and being in charge of your health :-)

    Arty wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  22. I’m so inspired! Thanks for sharing your story, Greg. I’m one the same path, and feeling better and looking better every single day. What an incredible high it is to be alive!

    Amy wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  23. Congratulations! You look great!!

    cyanne wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  24. Greg, you don’t even look like the same man. Wonderful transformation in only 6 months. My story will cover a much longer time period but I will get there.

    Melissa wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  25. Awesome job Greg, congratulations on such a fantastic transformation.

    Natalie wrote on September 2nd, 2011
  26. This is really inspiring for me. The picture of him standing up at the table, before he went primal, looks almost exactly like my build right now. This is helping me get into a mindset to really get into gear. Thanks so much!

    The worst problem of mine is when I get depressed is that I don’t want to get healthy. I feel like I should just die, so I stop caring for about a week, then I feel even worse, because I will undo a lot of the immediate good effects of going primal. I know that it works for me, though! I have been off-and-on primal for almost 6 months, and every time that I stick to it for a while, I feel great! My family doesn’t support me at all, and won’t even let me explain how OB works, so it makes it a lot harder.

    Now I might get myself into gear! Thanks for this great story! You might see one from me in a few months because of this one!

    Aidan wrote on September 3rd, 2011
    • Don’t be so hard on yourself Aidan. Take it one day at a time, even one meal at a time. That’s what I do. I don’t think of it as falling off the wagon or getting back on.
      If I eat something non-primal, oh well I’ll try again at the next meal. I just try to eat Primal as much as I can and I don’t stress about it when I can’t because it doesn’t help.
      I know what you mean about not wanting to get healthy, sometimes I don’t care about myself enough, but I think Primal may help us with depression in the long run if we keep trying our best. It seems to help with almost everything else!
      Good luck on your journey Aidan!

      Robin wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  27. Oh my god! You look awesome. I just started eating primally and I can only hope that my transformation will be as good as yours. Dave might have been an inspiration to you, but you are just as well an inspiration to me!

    Keep up the good work.

    Anna wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  28. Greg – Amazing! Someone mentioned it earlier: can you provide more details on the food choices and exercise components? Any cravings, or any of the other mental stuff? If so, how did you deal with it?

    Strathy wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  29. Wow…I can’t believe all the responses. Thanks for all the congrats and well wishes. Overwhelming doesn’t begin to describe my feelings.

    @jkc, Belinda, Foco girl, Cassandra, My wife has been extremely supportive and pleased with the results (especially the snoring and flatulence ;)). My daughters have been as supportive as teenagers are capable. I like to think that at least they are not embarrassed anymore to be around me!

    @ Milestone…I don’t have my previous numbers here but my current ones show HDL of 67, Triglycerides 97. This test shows LDL of 167 but this is only a calculated number and doesn’t differentiate particle size so it is not particularly helpful. Chol/HDLC ratio is 3.8 which is much improved and what really impressed my MD. I will try to get my previous numbers from my Doctor and post them but I will say my HDL was much lower and Triglycerides much higher before.

    @ Primal Toad “You do NOT look for 48 at all! Not even close!”…thanks, you are now my new best friend!

    @ Jason, Peter…sorry I never really calculated my carbs to give you a specific answer. I’ll just say my diet consists of meat, chicken, fish, some dairy (heavy cream, butter, a little cheese), coconut milk and coconut oil, olive oil, any vegetables except white potatoes, and minimal fruit. I assume I was usually in the “sweet spot” and occasionally in the ketogenic area.

    I would like to give a shout out to my local farmers:

    Vegetable CSA, pastured eggs:

    Pastured Pork and Turkey:

    Pastured Beef:

    @ Sue Minger…OK, now I’m embarassed 😉

    @ Craig…as I mentioned I have always been somewhat active, walking and biking even at my heaviest, but my exercising has increased since the weight loss because it is much easier and enjoyable to do now. I exercise pretty much primally, 3-4 times weekly for about an hour. One day I’ll do squats, planks and sprints, another day I’ll do pullups, dips, pushups, and walk for a couple of miles, another day I’ll ride my mountain bike to a local nature preserve and run the trail along the river, or kayak around the lake. Every couple of weeks I’ll take my road bike for a 25-50 mile ride, but am definitely not “chronic” about it. I try to do a little of everything but stick to body weight exercises.

    @ Alex…I’m from Georgia…I think the red neck is permanent 😉

    @ Nick…the amazing thing is the snoring and apnea disappeared within weeks of starting…even before the weight really left. Maybe a gluten issue?

    @ Mike…this has already happened more than once!

    @ Ronnie…sorry don’t know the breed of my Dog (Tiger). She came to us as a homeless dog needing a loving family and have fully taken advantage of us 😉

    @ deb b…For several weeks early on I monitored my glucose closely before and after meals to get a pretty good idea of what was happening with various foods, but only check it occasionally now. My fasting sugar levels started out about 120 and are now down to 80.

    @ Unconquerable Dave…thanks man, you started it all!

    Greg wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  30. @Aiden…all I can tell you is you have to “flip a switch” inside your head that no matter what you are going to do this. Dave was my switch. Once you’ve done it, you won’t be tempted off the path. In my case my family was very supportive and since I do a lot of the cooking, they didn’t have much choice 😉
    If you are not already doing a lot of the cooking, I recommend starting.

    @Strathy…I gotta admit that once I got started cravings were really not there. I would say some coffee with a big dollup of coconut milk and heavy cream was my savior if I needed something. Success on the scale and frequent hole changes on my belt were pretty self motivating.

    Greg wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  31. You look amazing, Greg! Congratulations!! I like that you said it was relatively easy to lose the weight and change your habits. I think a lot of the time we fail changing our habits because we already have in our mind that it’s too hard to change and we won’t succeed anyway.

    Thanks for sharing your story! This post is a great motivation for others!!


    Jen wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  32. Excellent transformation of the body and mind! Great work..

    Twinwolf wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  33. Wow!
    You look great! And younger!
    Great job!

    Kristin Smith wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  34. WOW!!! Talk about double takes!!! Greg-you look like a completely different person!!!! Don’t you feel GREAT!!!! I know all of your loved ones must be so proud of you!!

    Tonja wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  35. Greg, that is absolutely incredible! Well done.

    To the folks who want some libertarianism on this site, here’s my take. I’m one of those guys who is extremely excited about reading some libertarian stuff, and I always appreciate someone talking about the problems of big government, but the genius of this blog is Mark’s consistency. Every day, without fail, he writes a post about one thing: choosing to live the primal lifestyle.

    Sure, there’s probably some things government must be held accountable for with regard to food and all, but this website is about our choices not about government’s choices. When I want to see political debate, I’ve got other websites I go to that do the trick just fine.

    Mitchell Powell wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  36. Love these success stories, especially the before and after photos. What a great job you’ve done Greg! And what an awesome job you have, Mark, inspiring and teaching people the truth.

    Angela wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  37. Awesome work Greg. It’s one thing reading a fantastic book like the Primal Blueprint, but it’s truly inspiring to see someone live it and have such amazing results.
    I’m especially impressed by the fact that you’re off medication. I think too often ‘health professionals’ take the ‘easy’ way out by prescribing more and more medication rather than taking the ‘ideal’ (yet more challenging) approach of doing all we can to keep people off the medication.
    Really impressive!

    Isaac wrote on September 4th, 2011
  38. Help me decide. I had a heart attack three years ago. In my late 50s. Female and fat. After getting the stent and going on several prescription meds which I am still on and three months of heart rehab I am still over-weight (not quite so much) and still on pills to protect my damaged heart and other pills like statins and cholesterol pills, etc. My doctors would never endorse the Primal Diet. They, of course, tell me to be on a very low fat, very low salt diet but those heart doctors like Esselstyn who demands that you eat NO meat, NO oils, NO dairy and has you eating tons of grains. Since I already have heart disease and have had a total blockage and have a stent and fear every day that I’ll have another M.I. dare I try the Primal Diet?

    hillary wrote on September 5th, 2011

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