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

I Feel Alive for the First Time in Years!

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!


After one full year of Primal Living, I thought now was as good a time as any to share not only my story, but my thanks as well for where I am today.

I feel alive for the first time in years!

A friend of mine had been chirping in my ear for months about Primal/Paleo as well as her obsession with CrossFit. Her boundless energy and enthusiasm was a bit much at times, but it was nonetheless curious to me. I had spent the past few years living a high stress, sedentary, and depressed lifestyle which, looking back on now, was extremely unhealthy and setting me up for an early demise. It’s odd how easy it is to blind yourself to the unhealthy actions you take upon yourself without a conscious understanding of their effects. However, after a few emotional breakdowns and panic attacks that hit me in the latter half of 2011, my awareness became attuned to the dire emotional and physical situation I had put myself in.

So, on a whim I decided to ask my friend what she was talking about. In late December 2011, on a Saturday afternoon, she sent me straight to Mark’s Daily Apple. Five hours later, I realized I hadn’t stopped obsessively devouring everything I was reading on this site. I consider myself a fairly smart person, and as I finished reading each of the Definitive Guides, it was quite literally a face-palm moment of clarity; “This makes so much sense. How did I not understand this before now?!” Needless to say, the very next day, I decided to give this new way of life a try.

I’m 33 years old, 6’1”, and started the year at 322 lbs which was very near the heaviest I’ve ever been. I stopped weighing myself during that time, but I think I peaked around 330-340 earlier the previous year. The photo was taken last December.

Andy - Before

On January 1, 2012, the only thing I changed at first was what I was eating. I eliminated all processed foods and grains and switched to healthy fats, meats, and veggies. I continued to work long days and lead a sedentary lifestyle. However, just changing the food I was eating yielded IMMEDIATE results. Within the first few days, I felt like I was no longer living in a fog – my mind was clear – and I found myself with newfound energy. I dropped four pounds the first week, four and a half the second, and another four pounds the week after that – and I didn’t feel like I was even trying! Talk about motivation! It turns out we really are what we eat! I furthered these efforts for a few more months, and saw continued and consistent weight loss, a lack of mood swings, and crazy amounts of newfound energy. In March I started jogging a bit following the Couch to 5K program, simply because I had to do something with all the energy I now found myself with.

Now a full year into my new lifestyle, I find myself 105 lbs lighter, with ALL of my previous health issues and risks eliminated completely. It’s enjoyable to see my doctor dumbfounded and in awe of my results. The second photo was taken just a few days ago, the little guy is my beautiful new nephew.

Andy - After

I’ve completed a 5K, a 10K, and have started training for a half marathon. Now that I’ve established a base, and felt the effects of healthy living, I need to focus more on a few of the finer points of Primal Living; lift more, play more, and (reluctantly) give up beer. I’m not quite where I want to be physically, but I’m well on my way to a long and healthy life as I continue to “Grok on!”

Thanks Mark, for simply making sense and dispensing it to the masses. I don’t know where I’d be today without having found this journey.


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. Way to go Andy!!!!

    mars wrote on February 15th, 2013
  2. ANDY! Well done man. Looking great. Good for you.

    BW wrote on February 15th, 2013
  3. Always a treat to see someone’s new take on life and the amazing results. Congratulations to you!

    sapphiric wrote on February 15th, 2013
  4. Yet another inspiring story. Congratulations for taking control of your own wellbeing and sticking to it. And thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    HillyM wrote on February 15th, 2013
  5. Wow you look so much younger in the second photo. I like how you integrated the Primal lifestyle one step at a time. Changing your diet and starting to exercise can be very overwhelming for a sedentary person. So good for you that you did what worked best for you.

    Jen wrote on February 15th, 2013
  6. Amazing story, thanks for sharing!

    Leanne wrote on February 15th, 2013
  7. I love Fridays to read these great stories! Awesome job man and well deserved transformation. Also, really well written. Stories like yours keep me going.

    Derek wrote on February 15th, 2013
  8. What an amazing story..congratulations!!

    Kathleen wrote on February 15th, 2013
  9. This. “Thanks Mark, for simply making sense and dispensing it to the masses.”

    If the only thing we take away is the basic understanding of food and diet from Mark, then what a success story is still is! Thanks, Mark!

    Jesse wrote on February 15th, 2013
  10. Great story and congratulations!!! You must be so very proud of yourself!!!! W00t!!!

    redsnapperuk wrote on February 15th, 2013
  11. Well done Andy….amazing transformation.

    Paul Grosenstein wrote on February 16th, 2013
  12. Wow, wonderful – look at YOU! Terrific!!

    Laura wrote on February 16th, 2013
  13. Andy, it’s wonderful to hear how much better you look and feel! Your transformation is stunning. By the way, that nephew of yours is adorable!

    Sabrina wrote on February 16th, 2013
  14. First – GO BILLS!

    Nicely done! Running is good, but strength activities are where it is at for longevity.

    Stoney56 wrote on February 16th, 2013
  15. Great story! Very inspirational!

    Katie wrote on February 16th, 2013
  16. These really are my favorite types of posts.

    coach mark wrote on February 16th, 2013
  17. Excellent success story! Congratulations.

    Cindy wrote on February 17th, 2013
  18. Good deal.

    Matt wrote on February 18th, 2013
  19. Good job Andy! Keep it up! and Thanks for sharing your story.

    kc @ genxfinance wrote on February 18th, 2013
  20. Congratulations Andy! I’m just about to start my own journey and your story inspired me! I have an autoimmune condition and have struggled for years. I’m looking forward to “the transformation”.

    Gwendolyn wrote on February 19th, 2013
  21. great story! very inspiring

    Scott Legendre wrote on February 22nd, 2013
  22. Just WOW. What a great story. Often we just need a catalyst to instigate the amazing changes we are capable of.

    Erica Hornberg wrote on February 25th, 2013
  23. Way to go…is that a Fred Smerlas jersey????

    Kalene wrote on February 26th, 2013
  24. Mark…..thank you SO much for sharing Andy’s story. He is a good friend of mine, and the reason that I went Paleo 6 months ago. I didn’t go Paleo in order to lose weight (I was 152lbs. at 5’11” when I changed my lifestyle), but I had health issues that I needed to find a way to deal with. In the past 6 months, my asthma, allergies, and exczema have all been eliminated. My stomach issues with dairy and gluten are gone, although I do still have occasional problems with my IBS.

    Thank you for all that you do and share on your site. And congratulations again Andy. I am truly blessed to know you!!! Can’t wait to see you in Boston for St. Patty’s Day so I can truly see the fruits of your labor.

    Amy Ayers wrote on March 3rd, 2013
  25. u look like a deflated bag of shit

    Mike wrote on May 19th, 2013
  26. Hey! Great job! Is that a Bruce Smith jersey? I’m a Buffalo gale and LOVE the super bowl Bills!

    Monet wrote on June 6th, 2014

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!