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

It’s Not a Matter of If, It’s a Matter of When

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story. 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!

For as long as I can remember I have been on the heavy side. I remember going through grade school being made fun of and teased because of my weight. I was raised in a traditional Hispanic household where almost everything we ate was either fried or refried. I grew up on sweet breads, sodas and gallon jugs of sugar overloaded fruit punch. Life as a teenager for me was a living hell. My life was headed in a direction that I could not imagine. I turned to food for comfort. I was an emotional eater and I was such a wreck because of my weight. I quickly ballooned up to 250 lbs. by the time I was 18.

At the age of 20 I had found my career calling. I wanted to be a police officer. I knew that getting into a police academy would be difficult. So I went on the traditional crash diet of malnutrition, severe calorie restriction coupled with hour long extended cardio sessions. I quickly dropped the weight in a very unhealthy manner. I was weak, very agitated and had the appearance of being sickly.

After only a few years of working the streets as a police officer and the need to constantly eat on the run – going through drive thru windows swallowing 2-3 hamburgers in one sitting – I quickly ballooned back up to 285 lbs. I was miserable. It not only affected my work performance but my personal relationships at home and my overall health was in jeopardy. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes and high blood pressure and was immediately put on a daily regimen of medications.

In January 2011 at 265 lbs. my life appeared normal and I gave the perception of being happy on the outside but inside I was a living a life of turmoil. I was ruining the relationship at home with my fiancé. I didn’t feel happy about myself and how I looked so we seldom went out in public and I began to have feelings of self-consciousness in our intimacy. I finally said enough is enough and I started a new journey of getting a hold of my life and health. I started a quasi-paleo diet. It was more of a high protein, low carb quick fix. I started walking on the treadmill 3 days a week and did some light resistance training with a power band on alternate days. I gradually was able to start running again and started to see some weight loss. Around the beginning of February 2011 I had gotten my weight down to about 230 lbs. Then the unthinkable happened. My fiancé and live in girlfriend of 7 plus years dropped a bomb on me and ended our relationship abruptly. Again my life was a wreck and again I immediately turned to food for comfort. In less than a week I gained a quick 5 lbs. and felt like crap.

With the help of some good friends I decided it was time for some life changes. I had to move into a new apartment which allowed me to cook for myself and finally eat what I wanted – which meant I could control my own destiny. I could either fall into the same old rut or keep moving forward. I survived!

With the help of Mark’s Daily Apple I immediately switched to a complete Primal lifestyle. I got my life and diet straightened out. I started shopping at local farmers’ markets and preparing Primal meals on Sunday night for the entire week. I joined my local CrossFit box and worked out 3 days a week and started high intensity interval training on the treadmill at work on alternate days. The fat started to melt right off and I was building some muscle. My overall mental health improved and I was finally able to cope with the loss of my fiancé.

I recently purchased the 30-minute Primal Blueprint recipe book and use it regularly to help plan my weekly menu. I’ve learned great lessons about not only eating Primal and living Primal, but making the lifestyle change I needed to overcome my emotional eating habits and improve my self-consciousness.

I am proud to say since going completely Primal that I am down to 180 lbs. and I am starting to build lean muscle. My doctor has completely taken me off the medications I was taking. I lost a total of 85 lbs. of weight in about 5 months. I still have about another 10 lbs. to go to reach my goal weight. Living the Primal lifestyle I no longer have to worry about losing weight and constantly weighing myself. It’s not a matter of “if I get there” it’s just a matter of “when I get there.”


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. Congratulations, Jose and thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

    Goldengrokette wrote on June 17th, 2011
  2. way to go Jose, You look great and truly happy.
    Food can definitely effect your mood and behavior.

    bbuddha wrote on June 17th, 2011
  3. Awww, yay! I’m so glad for you.

    Allie wrote on June 17th, 2011
  4. religion does not make wars – people do.
    real faith is not in using bad things like using religion for bad things. real faith is in love, energy, positivity, creativity and childish play (:P). god migth be a thing human made, and a thing only beying real in our brains, and a thing that people have used for good and bad, but if you ever tried practice prayer and meditation .. oh boy. i mean go try it. im really not in on all that american bullshit like buuhuuuh i am the atheist in the world and got the “real” answer, or i am the religios holy person who knows everything and is cured of all evils and engels is in the sky.. (but thats whats cool about our differences, i can learn from some people who is religios and at least not talking down to people who is it) i fail a lot im only human.. god yeah god is fucking energy .. to me ! to you something else.. about nutrition yeah at least there is some universal earth LAWS about the human body and what we eat that we in a way have to follow… god made or something else scientific.. the answer is the same, and in front of us, for us to choose.. action speaks.

    surbastian wrote on June 17th, 2011
  5. Am in AWE! Congratulations and yeay, very happy for you. Inspiring. You know now there´s no going back to the ´old´ you. :-)

    Alex wrote on June 17th, 2011
  6. 85lbs in 5mo?! O.O You may just be the inspiration that pushes me forward! It’s so daunting when I look down and realize that I have a person and a half to lose and it’s all just fat. Depressing and daunting. Especially when I figure that most people would say to take 2-3yrs to even get all that off! :( So thank you for your inspiration.

    Dawn wrote on June 17th, 2011
    • It will melt right off eating primally :-)
      Just remember NO grains of any kind, NO beans of any kind and NO processed, man-made sugars of any kind.
      Buy only fresh, REAL foods and get busy cooking. The cooking and doing dishes every day will burn extra calories as a bonus!

      Arty wrote on June 18th, 2011
  7. I commend you on taking control of your diet and congratulate you on your accomplishments, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say that the beginning of your story frightened me. Picked on as a kid and teen because of your weight and then you decide to become a cop? I sincerely hope it was from a desire to protect and serve.

    kcult wrote on June 17th, 2011
  8. I would not want to be a criminal in this dude’s neighbourhood. or any neighbourhood but you get the point, good work.

    Alex wrote on June 17th, 2011
  9. Gosh, if everyone is feeling SO much better with the paleo diet and how it affects their brain and attitudes and outlook on life, why do people here still put the butt-hurt on other people about ANYTHING? Don’t you all feel there is enough room on this planet to make allowances for other beliefs, perspectives, and ideas? I for one am grateful for the wonderful effects and benefits of the paleo diet, and I might be high on meat or something, but I don’t mind just reading these inspiring stories and feeling thanks for living long enough to do something as basic as learn how to eat better. Anyway, amen.

    Samantha Moore wrote on June 17th, 2011
  10. Great job! Primal really works, and it’s pretty low carb naturally so don’t be afraid of that. Keep it up, you’ll shed those ten pounds in no time at all. Glad to hear you’re off meds. Have some fun, you deserve it:)

    Evelyn wrote on June 17th, 2011
  11. Terrific job!! If you wouldn’t mind, could you share what the meals you prepared on Sunday nights contained, and did you track calories and nutritional composition at all?

    Mark, if you catch this post…I know PB isn’t about “counting calories,” but I know it’s important to at least get a handle on them. I have been primal for two weeks, and using Fitday on your recommendation. I got digital kitchen scale and weigh (or measure) EVERYTHING that goes in my mouth. To start out, I wanted to get a good sense of calories and ratios of Fat/Protein/Carbs. It has been a very worthwhile exercise to do so. Interestingly enough, just like you promised…It’s tough to get much over 50g of carbs a day by sticking to only leafy and colored veggies, and little fruit. Like you, my daily mainstay is a huge salad full of everything, including a few Tbs. of Olive oil dressing and chicken, beef or fish for protein. Other meals are eggs, beef/fish/chicken with vegetables; and I have a helpings of almonds.

    Almost like clockwork, my calories are coming in around 2,000 give or take a couple hundred, and calories from fat are always mid 50% range; protein 35% range; and carbs 10-15% max. Can you comment on the ratio for a PB diet. I manually calculated it from your post on the PB diet, and it came out about at this ratio.

    My goal short-term goal is to get down from 240 lbs (I’m 6′-2″) to 200 lbs, which is where I feel I need to be and felt my best (including some added lean body weight). 11 pounds came off the first two weeks, which was a thrill.

    I’ve cut out ANY grains, starches, sugars, except maybe one piece of fruit per day.

    I just wanted to double check on the amount of fat my diet should include in terms of the ratio of fats/protein/carbs. I can’t seem to find this anywhere; someone did post on here for Jose to get fats up to 80% of his calories, that seemed high; I seem to think it should be in the 50-60% range?

    Thanks, and sorry for the verbose post. And Jose, CONGRATS again…very inspiring.

    Peter wrote on June 17th, 2011
  12. Great job :)

    Meagan wrote on June 17th, 2011
  13. I’ve been low carb for 10 months, but am leaning toward primal. Your transformation is an inspiration. Well done.

    Barb wrote on June 17th, 2011
  14. WTG Jose. Well done. You’re an inspiration to all of us. Hopefully, your family is on board now too.

    hiker wrote on June 17th, 2011
  15. Jose,
    One LE to another, keep up the CF and diet. Awesome drop of weight and energy. Only gets better.. Take care.

    Nathan wrote on June 17th, 2011
  16. Well done. Fianc’e eat your heart out. Looking wonderful


    Erin wrote on June 18th, 2011
  17. Wow – there seems to be alot more “stuff” to push through on these comments than I remember before….God, opinions, etc.. I had to go back and re-read Jose’s story to try to figure out what I missed that the comments section read like a religious blog.

    That’s before getting to the important part:

    Jose – you did a phenomenal job! You look fantastic and very happy! :-)

    It’s an admirable story when someone can take adversity and turn it into something good – and making the move out on your own could’ve been your reason to “comfort” yourself with familiar foods for a while.

    Instead you grabbed on and created something wonderful for yourself! GROK ON !!!! 😀

    Jill wrote on June 18th, 2011
  18. Inspiring and emotional story. Keep up the great work.

    Rob wrote on June 18th, 2011
  19. Way to go! If I could get all my young patients to get this serious about their health so they don’t have to spend the rest of their life coming to see me! You have inspired me and I feel even more stronger that this message will work for those who choose it!

    Joe Tittle wrote on June 18th, 2011
  20. Fantastic story and achievement Jose!
    These Friday inspirational stories are one of my favorite features of MDA!

    Mark – most “dieters” put the weight back
    (and more) within a year or two. Although it would not be a true “study” …would love to have the “evidence” of following up with your Friday stories to see % that have maintained their weight 2,3,4+ years out.

    deb b wrote on June 18th, 2011
    • This would be so cool!!!

      Elisabeth wrote on June 21st, 2011
  21. Nice work, Jose! You look great- both your physique and your smile. Great story. Thanks.

    Barry wrote on June 18th, 2011
  22. Awesome Jose!!!

    Nancy Chavez wrote on June 19th, 2011
  23. Primaldog says,

    It’s amazing what happens when you read a post on this and other websites. It starts out on a subject, and people post their response to the subject in hand. but then others hijack it over some word or phrase or belief or something and it degenerates into what we see midway down. At least this thread managed somehow to get back on track. I find this very discouraging. Someone comes here to read up on information and then we see “govenrment”, “relgion”, “spanish inquisition”, etc. Then some like Van and Alyssa try to pull it back to the subject (kudos to them). Why is that when people go to sites – and not just this one – they seem compelled to do this? Makes me feel like not bothering. Afterall I can go to basically any blog site and get an endless dose of internet blogging philosophy. Never mind Jose. Just post irrelevant hotspot statements to get some typical row going.
    I’ll just end this and say good luck Jose. You seem to have it together, and continue doing what you are doing. Afterall it works for YOU and that is what counts.

    Primaldog wrote on June 19th, 2011
  24. Congratulations, Jose!

    Lauren wrote on June 19th, 2011
  25. You are Amazing! The determination you have shown in turning your life around is one that is worthy of admiration. I see that you took your past and left it there….with your weight and the heartache of yesterdays. May your transformation continue to be one of physical, mental and emotional growth. Know that you are a truely beautiful person and inspire many. I am wishing you the future of your dreams because you know you can accomplish anything you want.

    Loretta wrote on June 19th, 2011
  26. What an amazing transformation, Jose! Shows incredible strength of mind to be able to do what you did after what must have been a very painful experience. Congrats on getting off the meds, too!

    eurogal wrote on June 20th, 2011
  27. Great job with the recomposition!

    Also, you may want to find another spot for your CCW if you’re going to sit like that often…

    Lark wrote on June 20th, 2011

    Pandaglam wrote on June 21st, 2011
  29. Great job, Jose!

    Thanks for sharing your very inspirational story. As a Deputy Sheriff I’m glad to see that this change really can be done by someone like me (L.E.O hours, 250+lbs, etc.) Keep up the good work and keep us posted!

    TONYSHOGUN wrote on July 3rd, 2011

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