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

It Was Time to Make a Change

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another dose of Primal Blueprint inspiration. Many thanks to Hank for taking the time to share how he lost nearly 100 lbs in just 6 months, and turned his life around in the process.

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 you send them in. Thanks for reading!


My name is Hank Garner and I am 39 years old. I have struggled with my weight my entire life. Except for a brief time in my young adulthood, I have always been over weight.

My wife and I were married 16 years ago. Over the 16 years, we were blessed with five beautiful children. The problem is that every time my wife would get pregnant, she gained weight, and so did I. After each baby was born, my wife went right back to the slim figure she has always maintained and I did not. As the years went by I got bigger and bigger. I am five feet six inches tall and in 2010 my weight reached almost 300 pounds. I am not exactly sure how heavy I actually got. We had a scale that went to 280 and after I started trying to weigh myself, it broke. Go figure. I was easily 300 pounds and I was miserable. I hated everything about myself. I hated knowing that I was not the man that I should be.

October 2010 – Holding My Niece

I started doing research and found that low carb eating worked well for me. I started losing a little bit of weight, but I wasn’t fully committed to it. I had successfully lost about 20 pounds, but I hadn’t committed to a lifestyle. I had a conversation with my wife in early Fall 2010, and told her that I was disgusted with myself and felt like I did not have control of my life anymore. My blood pressure was badly out of control. I had chronic asthma and after any physical exertion I had to use an albuterol inhaler. I watched over the past couple of years as family member after family member was diagnosed with either heart disease or diabetes or both. Some of them were very close to my age. It was time to make a change. I weighed in officially on October 15th at 276 pounds. I set a goal to be 180 pounds. I honestly did not know if I would make it to 180. It seemed like I was stuck being fat. I tried to lose weight many times, but I could never get below below 230 pounds. This time, I was determined, would be different.

I decided that I was going to change my life and to keep myself accountable, I would start a blog. I knew that I would follow some sort of low carb plan so I called it my low carb journey. I would post what was going on with me, the good, the bad and the uncomfortable. I started really digging into the science behind fat loss and discovered Primal living. A friend recommended I read “The Primal Blueprint”, which I did. This book made such sense to me. Everything that I knew deep down inside about nutrition and exercise was being validated. I wanted to learn all I could.

I had tons of questions to ask. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn, and the more I wanted to help others. I have a history in broadcasting and decided to use this as another way of learning for myself and educating others. I launched a podcast and sought out people that had information about fat loss and people that had made a big change in their own lives. During this time, I was applying what I learned and making a change in my life.

The first month of my journey I lost 37 pounds. I felt like a new man. I removed all sweeteners and dairy from my diet and the weight just kept coming off. I started only eating real food. I started moving more. I lifted weights and started running. As an asthmatic, any exertion was not fun. The more weight I lost I found that the asthma was no longer a problem. My blood pressure stabilized and became normal. I set a goal to run a half marathon. I do that in 2 weeks. I am already up to running 11 miles on my long weekend run.

This Friday, April 15th is my 6 month anniversary. I reached my initial goal of 180 pounds in under 6 months. I still have a few pounds to lose and I want to add some more muscle, but as you can see, I am not the same man that I was just 6 mouths ago.

April 2011 – A New Man

Follow Hank’s progress at his blog, My Low Carb 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. Great job, Hank!

    heavv wrote on April 29th, 2011
  2. Thanks for sharing my story, Mark and for all the great information you share.

    Hank Garner wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • Way to go, Hank! Your story just blows me away. You deserve your success. Congratulations!

      Annette wrote on May 4th, 2011
  3. I just read this same success story on Free the Animal…

    GO HANK! GO! GO! GO! Your success story has been published on 2 of the most visited primal sites. Next up is Robb Wolf. Go for it!

    Would you like to be the first one on my site?

    P.S. I will do a podcast with you soon!

    Primal Toad wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • Robb Wolf isn’t primal.

      Geoff wrote on April 29th, 2011
      • He’s not? So hes paleo? Primal=Paleo. I guess that means Robb Wolf is primal.

        Primal Toad wrote on April 29th, 2011
        • Primal is a form of Paleo. There are paleo diets, for example, that aren’t against carbohydrate and where potatoes are allowed. They don’t believe carbohydare on its own is a bad thing (think of the tribes that eat 50%+ of their calories from carbs), but probably only in the context that it may not be good for people with damaged metabolisms.

          Brian Kozmo wrote on April 30th, 2011
        • Primal and Paleo are funny to me. Every individual has such a unique interpretation of what the differences and similarities are.

          Primal Toad wrote on April 30th, 2011
  4. Awesome job, Hank! Congratulations!!

    Sarah D wrote on April 29th, 2011
  5. Thats a big change in only 6 months dude. You look like a whole different person.

    Edward wrote on April 29th, 2011
  6. Nice work Hank. I myself have lost 60 lbs. From about 230lbs. 28-30% body fat to a new 168lbs 11% body fat. Althought I took my time getting there (about 2 years). I don’t regret it one bit. It feels sooooo good to be able to look at yourself, and your family members look at you as a form of inspiration and encouragement. Keep up the good work. And thanks to Mark, Robb Wolf, Jimmy Moore, and the rest of the low carb, primal, paleo community. You guys are awesome!!

    Raul T wrote on April 29th, 2011
  7. Fantastic Success Story!!! Congratulations on such amazing progress !!

    You’re the Primal Biggest Loser !! :-)

    Jill wrote on April 29th, 2011
  8. just like everyone else: I love Fridays! I love starting of the day inspired with a story of triumph!
    Thank you Hank (& all the others) for sharing your journey :)

    peggy wrote on April 29th, 2011
  9. LOVE the story! Contrats on a great life change Hank!

    Randy wrote on April 29th, 2011
  10. Thanks for the kind words, yall!

    Hank Garner wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • By the way, I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. My half marathon is tomorrow morning.

      Hank Garner wrote on April 29th, 2011
      • Hank this is awesome! I’m forwarding your story to a few friends who need some inspiration. I myself have become a new person (not as large a transformation as you, but I FEEL totally different) and I just want to share the knowledge!

        Nick wrote on April 29th, 2011
      • Congrats and good luck, Hank!

        Richard wrote on April 29th, 2011
      • Best of luck tomorrow Hank and way to go!

        FoCo Girl wrote on April 29th, 2011
      • Go, Hank, go!

        Karen P. wrote on April 29th, 2011
      • Thanks for this story Hank! My parents have been on a Primal challenge (instigated by me) for the last three weeks and I think its catching on. Your story will definitely inspire them.

        C wrote on May 5th, 2011
  11. Hank, what a great story! I started with Atkins, changed quickly to Primal and enjoy every day feeling healthy and strong! I have lost about 30 lbs myself in almost 3 months, with more to lose, but will enjoy every step of the way. You are a great inspiration and I’m sure you will ROCK that 1/2 marathon!

    Lori wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • *whispers* You can do a Primal form of Atkins…

      Dana wrote on April 30th, 2011
  12. Good luck with your marathon tomorrow, Hank.

    Keep up the great work – your own and what you do for others. Congratulations!

    Alison Golden wrote on April 29th, 2011
  13. LOVE IT!! Thanks for sharing your journey on your blog too!

    gilliebean wrote on April 29th, 2011
  14. Great job…keep up the great work!

    Maggie wrote on April 29th, 2011
  15. Great job, keep it up!

    Justin wrote on April 29th, 2011
  16. Hank, such an amazing job! That’s over 30 pounds a month since you began, an absolutely stellar figure.

    It seems to me that the more overweight and unhealthy someone is before adopting primal methods, the more striking the results. Once your body is accustomed to carrying loads of fat, that same internal scaffolding can be repurposed to carry loads of muscle instead. And, of course, the closer you’ve been to the brink of health disaster, the deeper your resolve to maintain and improve your health once you win it back.

    Beyond mere physical strength, your psychological strength is apparent. That look of steely confidence in the second picture says it all. I bet you’re an even better father to your kids now, and you’re certainly an inspiration to more people than you know. And your journey has only just begun!

    Thanks for sharing your story, and good luck with the half marathon! I hope you’ll let us know how it goes.

    Timothy wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • Apologies for my faulty math. Apparently when the numbers are this big I can’t handle division.

      Timothy wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • Oh, it gets better. When you’ve been that overweight, you oftentimes have more muscle mass than you would have if you’d been slender the whole time–your body adjusts to carrying all that weight around. So when you lose it, if you can preserve your lean mass, that’s half your battle.

      Dana wrote on April 30th, 2011
  17. Big congrats! I love these stories each Friday to keep my head in the game!! :)

    Crunchy Pickle wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • I totally agree. By Friday I start feeling a bit knackered, and a great success story like this one reminds me what it’s all about and puts new wind in my sails. I can’t wait to get outside and tear up the pavement in solidarity with Hank!

      Timothy wrote on April 29th, 2011
  18. Awesome work, Hank. Inspiring stuff. Respect to you for having respect for yourself, and for your family.

    Darren Dix wrote on April 29th, 2011
  19. AWESOME!!!!

    Kathy wrote on April 29th, 2011
  20. Way to go, Hank! Another case history to pass along to all my non-believing friends and family!

    Maryann wrote on April 29th, 2011
  21. Great job Hank. It’s a great feeling. From February of 2010 till now I have lost 109 lbs. 272-163. Keep up the good work!

    gt wrote on April 29th, 2011
  22. Great job Hank! Your incredible resolve and commitment let to an incredible, new you! Keep up the good work.

    Steve Willhoite wrote on April 29th, 2011
  23. That is amazing.

    NaNRunsOnPaleo wrote on April 29th, 2011
  24. Awesome Hank. I really enjoy following your blog and the podcasts that you did with Steve. Good luck with your half marathon!!!

    Cin wrote on April 29th, 2011
  25. Amazing progress! Your story is very inspirational. :)

    Ealachan wrote on April 29th, 2011
  26. congrats — sounds like you’re doing this for all the right reasons, and it sounds like you’re doing this the right way!

    kitty wrote on April 29th, 2011
  27. Damn fine way to go ..I also have taken it to the limit and returned..I SALUTE YOU and all you have done..welcome to the success pages..I am here also. We are the walking talking proof it works..keep those fires of life burning my friend
    GROK ON>>> The Daveman

    DAVE PARSONS wrote on April 29th, 2011
    • Great company to be in Daveman! I am honored to be among such heroes.

      Hank Garner wrote on April 29th, 2011
  28. WOW Hank that is incredible!! Congrats!

    Erica wrote on April 29th, 2011
  29. Thanks for all the encouragement. I will be tweeting tomorrow about the race. @lowcarbhank on twitter. I will be sure to let everyone know how it goes and post pics and stuff.

    Hank Garner wrote on April 29th, 2011
  30. Way to go! You are truly an inspiration!

    albertasara wrote on April 29th, 2011
  31. AWESOME transformation, Hank! Rock on in that race…if it’s your first, it won’t be your last. The sense of accomplishment will get you hooked!

    Sandy wrote on April 29th, 2011
  32. Very impressive results! I love your website!

    Just Joan wrote on April 29th, 2011
  33. You Win! Congrats!

    Bill Enerson wrote on April 29th, 2011
  34. Oh my gosh…these stories are just amazing. I have got to fully commit to PB…I dream of having my own before and after story to share! Have a Grok weekend everyone!

    Honeybear wrote on April 29th, 2011
  35. Good luck in the 1/2 marathon Hank and congrats on the accomplishment.

    Darcy wrote on April 29th, 2011
  36. Hats Off!!!!

    kepo wrote on April 29th, 2011
  37. Well if this doesn’t convince me to fully commit to PB…what will? :) Great job sir!

    Emily wrote on April 29th, 2011
  38. Absolutely outstanding results and write up. You are killing it man! Keep up the great work. Truly an inspiration.

    Jake wrote on April 29th, 2011
  39. wow-phenomenal change!

    Jana wrote on April 29th, 2011

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