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!

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. If you lost your beard, it would be a full on witness relocation transformation look! Well done.

    Lyn wrote on February 12th, 2013
  2. Congrats on the weight loss and health gains. You look great! And thank you for being one of those people willing to run towards a that which, those of us with any sense, are running away from – i.e. bad guys with guns, riots, etc. I’m a (medically retired) cop’s wife, so I KNOW y’all are nuts (but in a good way). But in all seriousness, congratulations.

    b2curious wrote on February 13th, 2013
  3. Just read your story, and WOW, brother, you have done a tremendous job! Congratulations!!
    From a brother in arms, I’m proud of you.

    I started Primal/Paleo just as I turned 56, at 250+ and in sad shape.

    Now 4 months later, at 217#, I do Crossfit 3x’s a week with my 27 year old son, and look and feel better than I did in my mid 30’s. While the weight has stopped dropping as drastically as it did in the beginning, I attribute that to the addition of a good bit of lean muscle growth.

    I’ve been a martial artist, a military and Law Enforcement instructor and a gym rat, most of my life. I have done several “diets” along the way. Some worked, most didn’t last. And while we never had a nutrition program in law enforcement, unless you consider donuts, 2 A.M. IHOP breakfasts and coffee “nutritional”, we did have all sorts of nonsensical workout regimines and weight charts, that were rarely enforced, except when convenient for the admin.
    Most of the workout programs, resulted in more injuries and heart attacks from people trying to “make time once a year”, than any good they may have done.

    As you have proven, the Paleo/Primal “lifestyle” change, has “broken the code” as it’s said.
    Once I changed my “lifestyle” as it pertained to food, everything changed.

    YOur health and “natural longevity” aside, you are probably (professionally) safer to yourself and your fellow officers now, that the weight is off, than you ever were before!!

    As a retired LEO, I just wish I’d have known all of this while I was still “On Duty.”

    Again, congratulations on the change.
    Keep up the great work and stay safe!

    GB

    Off Duty wrote on February 19th, 2013
  4. I found your story absolutely amazing, Heath. That first “after” shot was jaw-dropping I tell you. So happy your health issues have cleared up too; gall bladder stuff and migranes – Yuk! You look wonderful and so happy! Glad you ditched the donuts too.

    You’re in a unique situation to inspire other LEO to get healthy and I’m sure you do. Thank you for your service, Heath.

    Thanks for sharing – You Made Our Day! 😉

    Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on December 4th, 2013

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