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I Am Now the “Healthy Guy”

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story [7] 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 [8]. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Dear Mark,

I was never concerned with my health, my weight or my looks. I joined the Marine Corps in 1998 weighing 190 pounds and left boot camp at 165 pounds. I quickly gained back about 15 pounds and sat at 185 throughout most of my Marine Corps career. During this time, I exercised a lot but didn’t really restrict my diet very much. I had a high body fat percentage even though I was making weight requirements. When I injured my knee and could no longer keep the Marine Corps PT pace I began to gain weight. I left the Marine Corps in January of 2002 weighing 200 pounds. I quickly began eating junk that I had not allowed myself while in the service. By the time my wife and I moved back home to Mississippi in 2003, I was weighing around 250 pounds. I got a job working in corrections when we moved back. The hours, stress, and lack of time to exercise caused my weight to bloom to an all-time high of 315 pounds. I wore a size 48 pants and a size 3XL shirt. I spent 8 years in corrections. Six of those years were in a supervisory role. My blood pressure was regularly at 190 over 95.

In 2012, I decided to leave corrections because it was killing me. I didn’t have time to spend with my family or my church. I was unhealthy, stressed, and grossly overweight.

Leaving corrections gave me the opportunity to enjoy social media, which was a security risk before. When I got onto Facebook, I found and friended a former Marine Corps buddy of mine, Seth Williams. Seth told me that he’d had a life changing experience with this new lifestyle he had discovered called the “caveman” diet. He gave me this website, marksdailyapple.com.

At first I was very skeptical. I have seen so many “lose weight” schemes that I had become jaded. I was wondering where the hook was, or the catch, or the money making trap. But I had come to a point in my life where I wanted to change. I wanted to hit the “reset” button. So I went to MDA. And it seemed very very simple. It fit totally with the lifestyle I wanted to have. I always enjoyed meat and veggies and never really loved bread and pasta. I didn’t want to believe how easy it sounded.

I started at the end of June 2012, with the diet change. I stopped eating bread, fried stuff, sugar, and legumes. I stopped going to the gas station for chicken and chips. I stopped eating fast food completely. Because I was trying to lose weight, I began watching the amount of carbs I took in. I fasted through breakfast and lunch a couple of days a week. The only thing I refused to give up was Coke Zero.

After a week, I began to have to cinch up my belt. At the end of a month, I couldn’t keep my pants up and had to punch holes to make my belt fit. At that point, I began to exercise as well. When I started, I could only do one single push-up. The rest was done on my knees. I began to work out doing pushups and sit-ups every other day.

In September 2012, I had to buy a new wardrobe because my clothes were all too big. I was wearing a 36 pants size at that point and a size large shirt. By Christmas 2012 I had dropped below 200 pounds. My stomach had gotten so used to small portions of meat and veggies, that when I eat more than I normally do, I feel sick. I can’t handle large portions. Even the thought of eating bread is revolting to me now. Now I weigh between 185 and 190 pounds. I am in a size 34 pants and a medium size shirt.

I have introduced more carbs into my diet since I have begun to level out my weight. I cheat on the diet every now and then, with some sweets (about once a week), but still stay away from grains. I have not been working out as much as I want to. I still have some fat that I want to lose and the Primal lifestyle is the way to do it.

I ran 4 miles last weekend up hills near our home while my 8 year old rode her bicycle. That was something I could never even have imagined doing a year ago. My blood pressure was 126 over 76 when I checked it last. I can do 40 pushups and over 100 crunches. I feel better about myself, the way I look, the way I feel, and the way I live. To top it all off, I was able to fit into my Marine Corps Dress Blues last week. I am now the “healthy guy”. Everyone has been asking me how I did it. I always give them the MDA website. MDA changed my life. Thank you, Seth, and thank you, Mark!

Gabe