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

I Have a New Lease on Life

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!

It was November 9th, 2009. I remember that day vividly because it was the day I reached my breaking point. I was 28 years old and I broke down into tears and decided “enough was enough”. The words that come to mind when I think of that day is the quote from the movie “Animal House” when Dean Wormer says to John Belushi’s character: “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life”.

Let me give you a little background. I was always active in high school and college. I played high school football and tennis, and continued my tennis career into college. While that kept me fairly active, my diet and partying ways always kept me on the larger side. After college, I got married to a wonderful, beautiful woman. However my inactive lifestyle and partying ways continued. We had our first child in September of 2008. As our daughter became more active, I simply did not have the energy to play with her. My greatest fear was not living long enough to walk her down the isle. I did not want my daughter growing up without a father. And it broke my heart.

You see, shortly before I made the decision to go Primal and begin an active lifestyle, I had ballooned to 291 lbs. I was having serious panic attacks and living in a constant state of anxiety. I had been to every kind of doctor imaginable. Cardiologists, chiropractors, family MD’s, and naturopath doctors. I had received two stress tests and visited the emergency room twice because I swore I was dying. They could never find anything wrong. I just thought that that was how I would have to live whatever life I had left. Miserable, fat, inactive, and basically a useless blob taking up space in the house. I was a terrible husband and father. My doctor threatened to put me on cholesterol meds and BP pills. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and forced to sleep with a C-PAP machine. There I was, 28 years old, sleeping with a C-PAP machine.

My wife had already started eating more Primal and was very active. She actually is now the owner of Barefoot Fitness in Watertown, SD. She has been a great mentor of mine as I have made this transformation. I started slowly. At first I cleaned up my diet. I dropped 50 pounds in about a year with a Primal Blueprint diet alone. But then my progress stalled out. I was feeling better but still didn’t think I felt good enough to workout.

On my 30th birthday, I decided that my 30’s were going to be the best decade of my life. I got up, hit the gym, and have never stopped. I train primarily with kettlebells and bodyweight exercises. That was almost two years ago. I have been very strict with my Primal Blueprint diet now. As a result, I have lost 110 lbs and currently weigh 180 pounds. My cholesterol numbers are that of a very healthy person.

I no longer use my C-PAP machine, and I feel like a teenager again. All of my health issues are gone! I feel like I have a new lease on life. I look forward to every morning and cherish every day. Because honestly, when I was at my worst I didn’t know how many days I had left. We now have a second child, and I am able to play with them as much as I want, roll on the floor with them, and just be there for them. I truly have a life I never thought possible. I went from feeling like I was dying every minute of every day, to living the life I have always dreamed! It is truly a gift that I cherish every day.


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. Wow. What an inspirational transformation, Brent! Thanks for sharing.

    stupendous wrote on August 27th, 2012
  2. Your story struck home with me for multiple reasons – 1, you reached your breaking point on my 42nd birthday… and 2) because I have experienced the same health problems you had – anxiety, er visits, high cholesterol, ER visits…

    I started “primal eating” 12 days ago, and I’m down 10 lbs. I’m very excited, and stories like yours just motivate me to keep going.

    Be well! You look and sound fantastic!

    Mark wrote on August 27th, 2012
  3. Wow! Stunning transformation! Congrats!!

    Chris wrote on August 28th, 2012
  4. Stunning transformation! Enjoy the new you and Grok on!

    Deuce wrote on August 28th, 2012
  5. Those before & after photos are definitely an inspiration. I’ve also noticed that I just don’t crave sugary foods like I used to. And when I do have a craving, I find that I don’t need to finish whatever that food is…just a bite/taste will suffice.

    Thank you for sharing your transformation!

    Russell wrote on August 29th, 2012
  6. Congrats on finding your way to Primal while you are still very young! I wish my husband and I had this information years ago.
    You look amazing, and better yet…you feel it.

    Sarah Martini wrote on August 30th, 2012
  7. Hi Brent. Just catching up on the posts since i haven’t been on the site in a little while. I believe that your story is the most inspiring to me yet. I started in June at 311 (not too much higher than you), lost 30 pounds and then stalled. Been the same weight for about a month and a half. I know it’s not all about weight but I was getting extremely discouraged. One of the reasons your journey is so inspiring is that (judging from your before pic) we appear to have a very similar body structure. How tall are you? Your after pic makes me start to think, again, that I can reach my goal.
    In any case, congratulations from Texas! Thank you for sharing your story. As you can tell from this and other posts…it helps a lot.

    Blessings and peace,

    Tripdaddy wrote on August 31st, 2012
    • Hi John,

      Keep going my man. You can do this! I am 6’1″. Thank you for your kind words. It means a lot.

      Brent wrote on December 19th, 2012
  8. Way to GO Brent!
    I am so touched by your story! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work. You look amazing and I am guessing you feel even better than you look!

    heather wrote on August 31st, 2012
  9. Brent, Your story is so inspiring. I’m 33 years old and I am in a very similar position to the one you were in before you started your transformation…. I have panic attacks and severe general anxiety- as a result my blood pressure got to a point I wound up on blood pressure meds (along with anxiety meds). I also live every day feeling like I’m dying- I’ve visited doctors, cardiologist (and gone through the array of stress tests, ekg’s, echo’s) … I’m just tired of it! I’m ready for a change. My goal is to show other people going through these things that it can be done- I want to inspire people…. just like you have inspired me =)

    Andi wrote on December 10th, 2012
    • Good for you Andi. It can be done. My motto is: “Just keep doing the next right thing”. Many blessings as you rock your own success story!

      Brent wrote on December 19th, 2012

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