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!

On 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.

Heath - Before

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.

Heath - January, 2012

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.

Heath - Before

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.

Heath - After

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.

Heath - After

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!


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, I can see why you’ve kept the beard – no one would believe it’s really you!!!

    Seeing is believing. Great job!

    Jeff F. wrote on February 8th, 2013
  2. Good job on the weight loss, big guy! Maybe not a doughnut eater anymore but still a tax eater.

    Joshua wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • good cop….bad cop

      skeedaddy wrote on February 8th, 2013
  3. Great story! Congrats on your transformation. But also, thank you for your service.

    Rozska wrote on February 8th, 2013
  4. Wow, tremendous job! Bet if you had shaved none of us would have recognized you in the after pics! (not suggesting you should shave just sayin’.) Congratulations to you and give your wife an extra kiss for being so supportive.

    Tina wrote on February 8th, 2013
  5. Congratulations! You look amazing! Thanks for sharing your story! I hope your family follows the PB too…

    mars wrote on February 8th, 2013
  6. AWESOME! It’s wonderful to have a supportive partner. Was/are your family supportive as well? Can they not see that the primal/paleo lifestyle beats out ‘dieting’ any day of the week?

    Caleigh wrote on February 8th, 2013
  7. What a great story! When you said,
    “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” it reminded me of a saying. “Live out of your refrigerator or die out of your pantry”

    Steven wrote on February 8th, 2013
  8. wow. amazing. I have only a little weight to lose but suffer all that this gentleman did…which goes to show diet alone can be a culprit for many ailments. starting blueprint today.

    Laura Lee Drucker wrote on February 8th, 2013
  9. You’re The Man alright, that’s quite an accomplishment. You must feel like a million bucks after dropping 90+ lbs! Think of the many years you have added to your lifespan, and all of those years to be lived at peak quality and fitness.

    Primal is so simple and makes our lives awesome and badass. I tell loads of people I meet about Mark’s Daily Apple and how it will change their life, the rest is up to them.

    bayrider wrote on February 8th, 2013
  10. I’m so glad you discovered this way of life before you gained even more weight and your health issues became more severe. You look great!! Good job! My husband and I went Primal last January and lost a combined 80+ pounds by November. We are still enjoying this way of eating and frequently remark gleefully over getting to eat eggs, butter and steak and have cream in our coffee! We groan whenever we see cooking shows on TV where they’re promoting their dismal LOW FAT receipes!

    Miss Understood wrote on February 8th, 2013
  11. Excellent story.. love these inspring fridays!

    bjjcaveman wrote on February 8th, 2013
  12. Holy $#!T man! Great job!!

    BTW, these stories and the comments are the most helpful thing out there for keeping me on track, everybody keep up the awesome work and positive support!

    Josh wrote on February 8th, 2013
  13. Holy crap, that is impressive… Initially read it as having dropped that in two months rather than six and thought “well, that can’t be healthy!” Over six tho, well, that’s just being aggressive. Congrats!

    Sean wrote on February 8th, 2013
  14. Did you eat that pig you shot?Very primal

    scott wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Double primal points for taking it with a bow!

      bayrider wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Yes I did, it made some great sausage,

      Heath wrote on February 8th, 2013
  15. Holy moley, Dude!! Well done!!

    W. J. Purifoy wrote on February 8th, 2013
  16. Hottie before and after.

    Diane wrote on February 8th, 2013
  17. I love fridays stories!

    I am 7 days in and i have got the BUZZ!
    I am off to lash some liver on yum-yum.

    cavemanbob wrote on February 8th, 2013
  18. Love this story. You look great. Well done!!!

    Sonia wrote on February 8th, 2013
  19. Damn dude. That is impressive! Now how can I convince my dad to do this…

    Alexander wrote on February 8th, 2013
  20. One of the big boys back from the brink!! Love the man transformations. Always forwarded to my men friends. “diet web sites” are usually girly with after pics more spanks than true healthy loss.
    You my friend are the REAL DEAL.
    How’s your skin ? I always want to know this from those who practically halve themselves?

    I think anyone who manages to lose this much weight without medical intervention should get free skin off op.
    After all you’ve saved the govt a lot of money as they now can’t treat you for the plethora of obesity related disease. (well, here in Australia where medical treatment is free).
    Great job. Marvellous!! Your family surely must be begging for advice????

    Jane britton wrote on February 8th, 2013
  21. Thank you for inspiring all of us with your story, Heath. I wish both you and your wife a lifetime of good health, and happiness!! And God’s blessings to you for ROCKING it as a police officer!! Thank you for serving your community so selflessly.

    Heather wrote on February 8th, 2013
  22. Stand sideways and disappear! Congratulations on your success.

    Leslie wrote on February 8th, 2013
  23. Wonderful job! Congratulations! And, I think it is also wonderful that you have a committed and supportive spouse in your health journey. Kudos to her, as well.

    The positive, immensely rewarding life changes speak for themselves with this better way of eating/living.

    Thank you, Mark for another great Friday installment!

    Sue wrote on February 8th, 2013
  24. Wow – great story! Congratulations!

    Lisa wrote on February 8th, 2013
  25. OMG!!! you look amazing. The transformation was incredible. And that’s just the visible side effects of the wonderful new you. Congrats!

    teena christopherson wrote on February 8th, 2013
  26. Congrats Heath, what an accomplishment ! I bet that javenlia made for some tasty Primal eating. Thank you for your law enforcement service.

    Kara wrote on February 8th, 2013
  27. Well done young man!

    Robert wrote on February 8th, 2013
  28. Awesome story………you look fabulous – and happy. You have done your body a big favour and will be a healthy role model your kids as they grow up. Congratulations.

    HillyM wrote on February 8th, 2013
  29. I’m happy for your success, but I can’t help but feel disheartened that you think that eating meat is the only way to lose weight and get fit. Eating a mostly raw fresh fruit and vegetable diet would do that AND give you the vitamins and nutrients you need to look and feel your best. I’m not saying go vegan, but our health would be a lot better off if we all ate less meat — not to mention the environment would be better off, and the poor animals who are treated so inhumanely in the factory farm system. The picture of you with the pig made me cringe and I find it sad that no one else even cares. Just look at the pig’s face!!

    Jen wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • The fact that you cringe at the pigs is strange to me. We produce 90%+ of our own food. When I was anti-hunt/anti-gun I purchased a peice of land in the Virginia mountains. After the first winter I cringed at the skeletons of the deer that starved through the winter. I decided to take the weak or elderly that I reasonabley beleived would not survive winters. Since then I have moved into processing all of our own foods and am currently installing a commercial kitchen on my property to move the processing from the kitchen and carport. I agree with the factory system. Trust me, we care. So much that we hunt.

      Patrick wrote on February 8th, 2013
      • I mean I agree with you regarding the “factory system”…

        Patrick wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • 1) We have protein requirements. We need certain essentially fatty acids. Eating fresh/raw fruit and vegetables does not fulfill that. Most people do not do well long term on raw fruits/vegetables alone, even if they have short term improvements from cutting processed food. If they are thin, it’s because they are depriving themselves of the calories and nutrients their brains/bodies need.

      2)My health is much better now that I eat more meat. How does that stand up next to the claim we’d *all* be more healthy with less meat? How much do you know about nutrition to make that universal claim?

      3)Who says the environment would be better off? The only people I’ve met who say that are also telling me how awesomely healthy I’d be eating less or no meat. Trust me, they are wrong on the second count. I have no reason to believe them on the first.

      4)Factory farming is not ideal — however, neither is the life of a wild animal. (See Patrick above) Dieing of “natural” causes in the wild is not usually a picnic.

      5)I care deeply about many things. But to make my home and therefore the world a better place, I must acknowledge my nutritional needs. If I could be healthy and not kill anything, I would do so. That is not how the world has been made.

      Amy wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • If god didn’t want us to eat animals he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.

      Sooner Nation wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Jen,

      It is hugely important to eat ethically raised meat — to “get to know the cow,” so to speak, or a la Joel Salatin, to “respect the chicken’s chickeniness.” My husband and I choose to eat less meat because with the meat portion of our food budget we purchase a smaller, higher-quality amount rather than conventionally-raised factory-farmed. I’d like to share with you a quote from a book we’ve found useful in beginning our homesteading/farming endeavors:

      “The vegetarians point out that it is cruel to kill animals. The non-vegetarians point out that some factor has got to control the population-increase rate of every species: either predators (such as non-vegetarians!), disease, or famine, and of these, predators are possibly the most humane. Vegetarianism seems to be almost wholly an urban, or big-city, phenomenon, and is possibly due to people having been cut off from animals for so long that they tend to anthropomorphism. The humane non-vegetarian says (and I am one) that animals should be kept in the conditions most nearly approaching those for which they were evolved as possible, treated humanely and subjected to no cruelties and indignities, and, when their time comes, killed instantly and with no long journeys to far-away markets or abattoirs…the animal need have no inkling that anything is going to happen to it.”

      The book is “The Complete Guide to Self Sufficiency,” by John Seymour.

      Erin wrote on February 9th, 2013
    • Jen, there are plenty of us here, who do feel bad that animals must die to provide us with proper nutrition. There are even a few of us, who feel bad that plants die to feed us. (I know, because I am one of them.) Plants may not be sentient, but they are living thngs. I feel bad that when I till my garden, bugs and worms die.

      I’m the sort of person who will rescue worms that have gotten themselves stranded on my cement breezeway and porch and are drying out and dying. (They tend to do this during and after it rains, especially in the evening and at night.) I rescue June Bugs that are drowning in my dog’s water dish or my pool, even though they terrify me )gotta love phobias). I killed the snake that my cats had mortally wounded, because I didn’t want it to suffer. I am not going to stop eating animals (or plants) because I feel bad that they died to nurish me. I do my best to get my food from places where animals are raised humanely. I know that living things have to die for my family and me to be healthy and I have made peace with it.

      b2curious wrote on February 11th, 2013
  30. Love the “Utili-kilt!” Awesome job!

    craig almaguer wrote on February 8th, 2013
  31. I lost 53 pounds in 4 months with no excercise as I had an operation on my foot two weeks into my lifestyle change….

    Patrick wrote on February 8th, 2013
  32. Congratulations Heath to you and your family. What an awesome success story. I don’t think any of the commenters so far have congratulated Greg yet and I think he should be. Kudos to him for spreading the word. I have almost given up trying to explain to people because all they ever say is …….I could never give up my pasta etc Karen ……sigh………….

    Karen wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • I recently talked with a very bright young lady who is studying to become a Registered Dietitian. After some discussion I told her what I eat (or don’t eat), and all she could say was she couldn’t think of being able to give up bread and pasta. So I totally understand your pain!

      Obviously folks like Greg who lead by example DO make a difference – maybe a bit slower than the rest of us would like, but a difference nonetheless!

      PrimalGrandma wrote on February 8th, 2013
      • Thank you PrimalGrandma for your comment! You are so right, people who lead by example do make a difference. I just get frustrated sometimes, especially with my own unhealthy family members. I so want to help.

        Karen wrote on February 9th, 2013
  33. Nothing moves me more than a dad getting fit for his family. Well done indeed, man. May many others in your life learn from your example.

    Timothy wrote on February 8th, 2013
    • Absolutely well said—

      PrimalGrandma wrote on February 8th, 2013
  34. Thanks for all the positive comments from everyone! Made my day (pun intended)…

    Heath wrote on February 8th, 2013
  35. That’s freaking awesome. More than anything love hearing about the upswing to your general health, but the fat loss is also staggering.

    Well done Heath.

    Reventon wrote on February 8th, 2013
  36. I understand about the fridge, our 2nd one is on order and our cupboard is bare. Hubby and I are only a few months away from our own success story. You look fantastic. Congratulations. Mark, you need a t shirt that says, “Real food rots”.

    Donna wrote on February 8th, 2013

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