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

I Knew a Change Had to Be Made

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!

real life stories stories 1 2On January 1st of this year my sister challenged the family to a “biggest loser” challenge. I was a little irritated since I felt this was pointed at me. I’m also competitive by nature, and so I decided to accept her challenge.

I weighed 299 lbs when I did the first “weigh in”. I was 35, in size 42 jeans, and had approximately 40% body fat. I hadn’t expressed my frustrations with my weight to anyone, but I knew my family was getting concerned with my health. As a father of two wonderful girls, and husband to a beautiful wife, I knew a change had to be made.

Before 4

I am also a law enforcement officer, and not being in better shape was a safety concern for me on the job. As an instructor in arrest control techniques and firearms I felt that I was not setting a good example for the other officers. I hated the fact I was becoming the fat doughnut eating cop.

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I was eating what I believed was a healthy diet, and I felt I was active. I did not eat out much, and ate home made meals everyday. I grew up with a mother who baked bread everyday, and pastas and even our cereal was homemade. My wife remained in good shape while my weight ballooned over 11 years of marriage.

176

Last summer I paid a personal trainer, who was a world champion grappler, to help me get in shape. The workouts were very intense, to the point of vomiting after the workout. After months of this I had lost a grand total of 5 lbs, and I eventually gave up the workouts.

One of my co-workers, Greg, a 64 year old man who looks 50 and is ripped, explained the paleo lifestyle to me when I told him about my family’s “Biggest Loser” challenge. I was skeptical since nothing had been working, but obviously it was working for him, so I thought I would give it a try. Greg gave me the Mark’s Daily Apple website and told me about getting cookbooks and other resources.

I explained to my wife the diet and I could not have asked for a more supportive spouse. She changed the way she cooked and shopped for food. We commented on the fact that our cupboards were becoming bare from the lack of processed food, but our fridge was overflowing with meats, vegetables, and other raw foods.

At the end of 6 months the family weighed in to see who had won the challenge. I had dropped from 299 lbs down to 206 lbs, and from 40% body fat to 17%. I not only had won our little family competition, but I was also one of the few that was able to stick to my “diet”. I almost felt guilty with the victory, the weight had come off quickly and easily, I ate when I was hungry, and I ate delicious food.

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Besides the weight loss, I also experienced other benefits that I had not expected. I had experienced migraines for years, and have yet to suffer from one since going Primal. My minor hay fever allergies also disappeared. My overall health and energy levels are much improved. I had my my gall bladder taken out two years ago, and had the typical side effects which sent me running for the bathroom. This also went away. I wish I had known about the Primal Blueprint diet before I lost my gall bladder.

I have dropped ten pant sizes, and am now on my fourth gun belt. I look more professional in uniform, and I have other officers asking me how I achieved the weight loss. Two other friends/officers have lost a combined 70 lbs in two months after I convinced them to try going Primal.

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It is cliche, but honestly I now feel that I have a new lease on life. With all the health benefits I have experienced since going Primal, I will not go back to eating the typical American diet. I look forward to continuing my transformation, eating well, and feeling young again. Thanks!

Heath

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. Heath wow! What a transformation, congratulations!

    Has the rest of the family that couldn’t stick to their diets given primal a go?

    Luke DePron wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Thanks for the congrats! Unfortunately, no, but I think I’m starting to make some headway. I probably lecture them too much, lol.

      Heath wrote on February 8th, 2013
      • Yea I know how that goes… Well you definatley set a good example and made a great case for it, hopefully they’ll come around!

        Luke DePron wrote on February 8th, 2013
      • Buy them Fat Head (click on my name), it’s 1h45mins long and very good at explaining Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories + low carb + some paleo… it’ll basically show your family in a summarized but entertaining way why everything they think they know about healthy eating is wrong…

        It also has some good bonus material that goes into more detail about the science/research, etc.

        mm wrote on February 17th, 2013
  2. Wow, you look like a totally different person except for the beard. Congrats!

    Wayne Atwell wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Seriously!

      Finnegans Wake wrote on February 8th, 2013
  3. Wow. Well done, Heath. I especially love the part about your wife being so fantastically supportive. Standing ovation for BOTH of you!

    Anne wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • The support definitely makes a difference. Great to see a loving couple change their way of eating together — for the better. Awesome job!

      Chika wrote on February 8th, 2013
  4. Very inspiring and wonderful story! I am a registered nurse who whole-heartedly believes in this Primal lifestyle and I wish more of my patients would be as motivated and educated as you are instead of always wanting to opt for the bariatric surgeries. Congratulations on your success!

    FarrahQue wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • I encourage the Primal lifestyle. After eating primal, pasta dishes lose appeal. I never cared for breads, rolls, dressing, Danish type pastries, cereals, etc. These surgeries mentioned have bad side effects I’ve read. Starchy foods slow you down and slow digestion.

      laura m. wrote on February 12th, 2013
  5. Wow, your story gave me goose bumps! Nice work! I’m going to forward to my mom. This is truly life-affirming!

    Patrick wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • me too. I love your new lease on life

      Rebecca wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • lemme know what works with your mom… i’ve had zero success with mine!

      bjjcaveman wrote on February 8th, 2013
      • Yep, I’ve tried on my parents too, to no avail.

        What was your mom’s excuse?

        Alexander wrote on February 8th, 2013
        • I HATE EXERCISE! and It tastes TOO good to give up!

          bjjcaveman wrote on February 8th, 2013
        • In retrospect… doesn’t sound too different from what my friends 2 year old sounds like!

          bjjcaveman wrote on February 8th, 2013
        • Same .. Except my dad was trying it for a while, lost some weight , was told by the doctor to keep it up, but alas, the pizza and bread quickly came back, and he doesn’t seem to care in the least, even tho I try to encourage him everyday. It isn’t easy to be patient about it. He NEEDS to do this for his health! Best of luck to all with the same issue! I wish you MUCH patience!

          Primal Rach wrote on February 8th, 2013
        • You can’t push someone to want to do something, they have to want to do it for themselves or they are not gonna stick at it.

          Sarah wrote on February 8th, 2013
        • I game my mum the 21 day transformation for mothers day. My dad sticks to it really well but my mum just can’t give up the bread or the sweets, even though she knows that she loses weight when she stops. :(

          Helen wrote on February 10th, 2013
  6. Congratulations!

    Tuck wrote on February 8th, 2013
  7. Wow! You look fantastic! I wish I could get anyone to listen to me about this lifestyle, mostly my Dad but that will never happen. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Fern wrote on February 8th, 2013
  8. Awesome work! I can relate to the gallbladder issue. I had mine out 6 months ago. I was worried about the fat intake of going primal but I have never felt better and I have lost 17 pounds in the process.

    Adam wrote on February 8th, 2013
  9. Nice! Congratulations.

    James wrote on February 8th, 2013
  10. What a stunning transformation! Congratulations!

    Lulu wrote on February 8th, 2013
  11. Great Job, Heath. You look great, and I know you feel better.

    Karen DeLee wrote on February 8th, 2013
  12. WOW! Awesome!

    Cindi wrote on February 8th, 2013
  13. Congratulations! Such a great success story! Like you, our pantry went bare & the fridge is now always stuffed with “real” foods ever since our family went Primal.

    Congratulations again!!

    Lance wrote on February 8th, 2013
  14. Your beautiful wife married one sexy guy! Keep up the primal work- you look good in uniform!

    Susan Slattery wrote on February 8th, 2013
  15. What an ‘arresting’ story! Well done officer, well done.

    Dano wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • +1
      Agree! LOL!

      Joy Beer wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Book ‘em Dano! Love that you have the other officers noticing.

      Nocona wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Lol

      Sonia wrote on February 8th, 2013
  16. Astonishing transformation, Heath! I imagine it makes your job easier, too. Thank you for your service. Your wife is awesome and deserves a lot of credit for making such a 180 in foodstyle!

    gibson wrote on February 8th, 2013
  17. Fantastic! Your story is getting forwarded for sure. Congratulations!

    Cindy wrote on February 8th, 2013
  18. Great success story Heath, and congratulations on the changes made. I hope you can inspire the rest of your family as much as you inspire MDA readers!

    Grokesque wrote on February 8th, 2013
  19. I can relate to the bare pantry syndrome! Many congratulations to you and kudos to your wife for being supportive and helpful. I wish you and your family many healthy and happy years.

    Siobhan wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • I love the bare pantry syndrome!

      Since going Primal, my cabinets stay much cleaner because they are free of powdery crumbly stuff like boxes of cereal or rice, paper bags of flour and SUGAR etc. Everything is either in the fridge, or in an unopened can.

      Bonus: no mice or bugs. There’s nothing for them to eat.

      oxide wrote on February 8th, 2013
  20. Wow. Great job. I feel safer already. Thank you. :-)

    “Our cupboards were becoming bare from the lack of processed food, but our fridge was overflowing with meats, vegetables, and other raw foods.” Yes! That’s how it should be. :-)

    Alison Golden wrote on February 8th, 2013
  21. Awesome job Heath! Fantastic transformation.

    Rob wrote on February 8th, 2013
  22. AMAZING! As the girlfriend of a law enforcement officer who has lost about 30# eating paleo, I applaud your efforts and what you do for your community.

    Susie wrote on February 8th, 2013
  23. WOW! Great job and tremendous transformation! Good for you AND your family.

    Best wishes on maintaining your new healthy life.

    melissa wrote on February 8th, 2013
  24. Love the comment about pantry and refrigerator. I was just saying the same thing to my mother last weekend. Good luck to you.

    Kay wrote on February 8th, 2013
  25. Wow, you look great! Fighting crime and leaping buildings in a single bound :-) Keep up the good work.

    Jen wrote on February 8th, 2013
  26. He can arrest me ANYTIME! Trump up the charges if necessary!!

    Wenchypoo wrote on February 8th, 2013
  27. My coworkers and I just finished a very heated arguement over whether this man’s testimony is true. They are saying it is impossible to lose over 70 pounds in less than 2 months. I’m stepping out on faith that his testimony is true. Is there a way to get someone else to verify this?

    Shavonne wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Read more carefully. Clearly “this year” was 2012.

      Kjo wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • He says the coworkers lost a COMBINED 70 lbs in 2 months.

      Mike wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • I believe he took 6 months to loose the weight and his friend lost a combined 70 lbs in 2 months. I know the beginning sentence sounds misleading, but I think he meant last yr Jan.

      Anna wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • All I can say is that I became Primal on Jan 1 of this year and have already lost 25 pounds. And this is with me barely exercising, although I have started doing the Primal Fitness stuff now because I have the energy to do it. I’m sure Heath, as a police officer, is much more active in his daily job than I am, an IT worker sitting on his ass most of the day.

      Put me down as believing it is possible.

      Both my wife and oldest daughter are trying to get me to buy new clothes because my current ones are getting baggy. And they both don’t believe I am doing it with how I am eating.

      HilliardJoe wrote on February 8th, 2013
      • isn’t it funny how people don’t believe in something when the evidence is right in front of their eyes, and oftentimes they deeply believe in things without having any proof at all.

        einstein wrote on February 8th, 2013
        • Yes it’s so crazy. Hurts my heart sometimes.

          Chika wrote on February 8th, 2013
      • Whether it is 70 pounds in 2 months or 6 months, my coworkers have issues with Paleo/Primal way of eating and exercising in general.

        I believe weight loss is possible in both time frames. Who makes the rules on how fast one can lose weight? Is there a medical reason why losing weight so fast can hurt one’s health?

        Shavonne wrote on February 8th, 2013
        • There’s a right way and a wrong way to lose weight. Eating nutrient dense food and adequate protein each day should protect lean mass and bone density. A decent amount of initial loss after getting insulin low is excess water. Then it’s a matter of getting your body to eat as much of its own body fat as possible with something like 3000 calories in 1 lb of body fat. Big guy like him, I’m not surprised. Everyone has different energy needs so what’s possible for one may not be possible for another.

          Oly wrote on February 9th, 2013
      • Dude, awesome job. Keep it up. Be an inspiration!

        Primal Rach wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • I started going Paleo in January of 2012, and lost 90 lbs over 6 months. I wrote this account in September and sent it in to Mark back then. I have two friends/officers who at that point had lost 70 lbs over two months between them. Hope that clears up some confusion!!!

      Heath wrote on February 8th, 2013
      • That does clear it up. Thanks.

        Shavonne wrote on February 8th, 2013
  28. Wow what a brilliant transformation. It’s a ‘big deal’ to completely overhaul your lifestyle and make these changes and you should be so proud! Congrats on your awesome new look!

    Lindsay wrote on February 8th, 2013
  29. I believe he said he lost the weight over a SIX month period…

    Stacy wrote on February 8th, 2013
  30. Read more carefully. Clearly “this year” was 2012.

    Kjo wrote on February 8th, 2013
  31. Shavonne – yes I believe that might be impossible – but it says it took him 6 months, which I think is actually quite do-able.

    karivery wrote on February 8th, 2013
  32. Now its time for you to gain some muscle mass. Honestly you look like a skinny geek

    Jeremy Creed wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • You look great, Heath–lean and mean (and HAPPY)!

      Helga wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Skinny geeks are my favourite. :-)
      Besides, skinny doesn´t have to mean less strong. Or healthy. We are all cut frm different cloth.

      Elena wrote on February 9th, 2013
  33. Heath – AWESOME STORY!

    You say, “but I was also one of the few that was able to stick to my ‘diet’”.

    This is what kills me . . . . didn’t everyone in the family look at what happened to Heath and understand that for many (most?) this is how it is supposed to be? Why aren’t they all on the bandwagon now?

    I am not surprised b/c this is how my family is but I don’t get it . . .

    Colleen wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • I don’t really understand the difference between people who are open minded to diet shifts and those who will look at someone’s fantastic results and go “Nah, it was just a fluke (or whatever)” It’s totally the case in our family, too, though. I’ve been low carb and then primal for almost a decade. My family is unmoved. :(

      Amy wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • I am hoping my wife “sees the light”. She is trying to lose some weight but no where near as much as I am. She just shakes her head when she sees how much I am losing and what I am eating. It’s like she doesn’t believe it is possible so she won’t try it.

      HilliardJoe wrote on February 8th, 2013
  34. My congratulations! What stands out for me is that you shine as an example to others to the very real possibilities of going primal. Your story will inspire many. Well done!

    Doug wrote on February 8th, 2013
  35. Congrats! A fantastic story!

    Amy wrote on February 8th, 2013
  36. Awesome. And may I say thank you for your law enforcement service? You guys do a lot of dangerous work for less pay than most people would accept.

    Sandra wrote on February 8th, 2013
  37. I love these Friday encouragers…great job!!!!

    I am working on a simple loss of 15 pounds by my 63rd birthday– and have been primal for a few months now– I hope I can match your success Heath–congrats.

    Pastor Dave wrote on February 8th, 2013
  38. Heath, congratulations on your transformation your posture and dignity in the after pictures says it all. All the best to you and your beautiful supportive wife!

    Sally wrote on February 8th, 2013
  39. how can anyone not want to AT LEAST try this lifestyle after reading a story like this?
    i have a coworker who deals w/ migraines several times a year, and i told him about all the success stories on here showing that getting rid of gluten and grains gets rid of migraines…he said it wasnt worth it for the few times a year he gets them. *facepalm*

    Shawn wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Not to mention the “invisible” damage being done that will show up as additional chronic illness as he ages . . .

      Colleen wrote on February 8th, 2013
  40. 93 lbs in 6 months?!?!?! Are you kidding me????

    I am stunned.

    Kim wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Sure. Why not? About 10 years ago, my husband and I both did South Beach (Primal is much easier and more satifying) and he dropped about 130 lbs in 9 months.

      b2curious wrote on February 8th, 2013

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