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. If anyone is interested,I had Mark as a guest on my podcast a few weeks ago. Here is the link

    Hank Garner wrote on April 29th, 2011
  2. Holy night! You’re amazing! I don’t know if I missed it in the comments but is your blog public?
    Best wishes in your race tomorrow!

    huntergirlhayden wrote on April 29th, 2011
  3. Amazing work! I am in awe.
    You look so much healthier. Good luck for tomorrow!

    Sabrina wrote on April 29th, 2011
  4. What amazing success. And if you look back at it I am sure you will say it wasn’t a restrictive diet but a great lifestyle change. But people want to insist that it is a “fad” or “diet choice” that doesn’t work for all. But it works because it’s true. Congratulations to you!

    Be wrote on April 29th, 2011
  5. I love that you said “…just 6 MOUTHS ago.” !! — I feel like I’ve had 6 mouths from the way I’ve eaten with the SAD Standard American Diet.

    I’m eating strictly Primal for 55 days: I started on my wife’s birthday April 22nd, and am looking forward to the progress on my birthday June 15th.

    Thanks for sharing your story Hank!

    Mike wrote on April 29th, 2011
  6. Wow, that weight came off FAST. Congrats!

    Donnersberg wrote on April 29th, 2011
  7. Great job! Keep up the good work, you look amazing, you have not only helped yourself but now you have added so many more years to your life and that equals so much more time with your family!

    Hannah wrote on April 29th, 2011
  8. What a great story and even more amazing results. Thank you Mark for sending these to the community every week, and congratulations Hank for reaching two of your goals. Many more to come!

    Shay wrote on April 29th, 2011
  9. Ah Hank – that’s fantastic! Good luck in your 1/2 tomorrow!

    spksea wrote on April 29th, 2011
  10. Wow. Stunning!! And by the way, you have a gorgeous little niece!

    Sara wrote on April 29th, 2011
  11. Bloody awesome mate!!!

    Well done, you’re an inspiration!!!!

    Morrigan wrote on April 29th, 2011
  12. My dad has been resistant to the changes in diet I suggest, but your story may help me finally reach him. Thanks for sharing, and keep up the great work!

    Hal wrote on April 29th, 2011
  13. Rock on!

    Vidad wrote on April 29th, 2011
  14. You rock, Hank!!! 😀

    Melissa Fritcher wrote on April 29th, 2011
  15. Man that truly is inspiring! Congratulations Hank! Keep up the great work!

    Mark - Look Sharp Fitness wrote on April 29th, 2011
  16. Awesome Hank.. you didn’t lose weight; you lost a man… 100lbs.. way to go.. and good luck

    bharath wrote on April 29th, 2011
  17. Awesome work.

    Now, not to take away from theses amazing results, but I’d really like to see some success stories about little scrawny guys getting fit and strong and turning their health around. Just too see the other side of the coin.

    josh wrote on April 29th, 2011
  18. Awesome Hank! Good luck in your race!

    JennyK wrote on April 30th, 2011
  19. I finished the race in 2 hours 29 minutes. Not setting any records but for someone that was a heart attack waiting to happen 6 months ago, i’m very proud!

    Hank Garner wrote on April 30th, 2011
  20. Hank, Great job! The work you are doing (and have DONE) is paying off in the best way possible…improved quality of life for you and your family. Thanks for sharing.

    skeedaddy wrote on April 30th, 2011
  21. Whoa… Splendid work, Sir!

    Please, keep it up!!!

    And… thank you for the inspiration. :)

    Patrícia wrote on May 1st, 2011
  22. Congratulations on the weight loss and the Marathon!!! What an awesome accomplishment!!! :)

    Kristie wrote on May 1st, 2011
  23. Excellent Hank! Keep on going and you’ll see 160 before too long!

    edwaed wrote on May 1st, 2011
  24. Awesome job!! Thanks for sharing the story and keep up the great work :)

    Ronald wrote on May 1st, 2011
  25. I added a blog post with some initial thoughts about the race yesterday. It will take me a couple of days to get out all my thoughts on it, but here is the first.

    Thanks for all the encouragement!

    Hank Garner wrote on May 1st, 2011
  26. Holy cow, this was a big inspiration. I just read it today and kept going through the comments to see how you did on the 1/2 marathon. NICE JOB!!! I’m proud to be a primalist with people like you who do the amazing stuff that you do!

    Keep up the great work, I’m going to keep checking into your blog. GROK ON!

    Tony wrote on May 2nd, 2011
  27. You inspire me Hank. You are a shining example of what determination can do!

    Hannah wrote on May 3rd, 2011
  28. Way to go, Hank! So awesome! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!

    Lauren wrote on May 4th, 2011
  29. Holy CRAP!! Awesome work, my friend!

    J wrote on May 4th, 2011
  30. Very cool. :-) The before/after photos are awesome!

    J.D. wrote on May 7th, 2011
  31. Great job :)

    mausam wrote on July 22nd, 2011

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