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

My Primal Transformation: Discovering the Art of Fit

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!

Hi, my name is Frank Sabia Jr.. My story starts out like most in that for my whole entire life I have struggled with my weight. I ate well as a child and never developed weight issues until my late teens when my eating outpaced my activity. From there it was a slow and steady increase in weight gain. Like a lot of people, I have a desk job and sit all day long. Sometimes my work requires me to put in long hours, frequently sitting for up to 16 hours a day in front of a computer. This only helped to make my problems worse. My sedentary job along with my eating put me on a path to poor health and uncontrollable weight gain.

At my worst, I exploded to a whopping 255 lbs and over 40% body fat with a waist at 44 inches. The shocking thing about this time in my life is that I still worked out 3 times a week yet saw no change.

My diet was a SAD (Standard American Diet) one which was typically high carb, low fat, moderate protein, filled with fast food and processed foods. I felt depressed and ashamed of how bad I allowed myself to become in terms of health. I had trouble breathing, aching joints, acid reflux, high blood pressure and was constantly tired just to name a few health issues. I was morbidly obese and knew I had to do something about it.

That all changed the day I stumbled upon Mark Sisson’s Mark’s Daily Apple. I had decided to commit myself in not only exercise but also diet. Having to travel frequently for my job I decided to do an at home exercise program that would incorporate body weight movements for both strength training and cardio fitness. During this time I slowly transitioned from my SAD diet to a full Primal Blueprint diet removing all grains, gluten, legumes and dairy. For the first time in my life I was eating whole unprocessed foods and was no longer afraid of fat. This is when I not only started feeling better but looking better. Over a 13 week period I managed to lose 43 lbs of fat, going from a little over 30% body fat to 12%.

Not satisfied with my results, I decided to see how far I could get with this new Primal way of life. I decided to use weights for the first time and mixed in some IF (Intermittent Fasting). Still keeping to a strict Primal Blueprint diet, I was able to enjoy foods I thought were previously unhealthy like bacon, butter and eggs. For the first time I tried coconut and loved it. I became a master Primal chef creating things like gluten free Mexican buffalo pizza. Never having cooked for myself before, I quickly become a whiz in the kitchen converting all my mom’s home cooked meals and recipes to Primal friendly versions.

All my illnesses quickly disappeared, the high blood pressure went from stage 1 hypertension to that of an athlete level. Gone was the depression, acid reflux, joint pain, energy crashes, and mood swings. I pushed myself to limits I never imagined possible. I now weigh 167 lbs with a 29 inch waist at 8% body fat while packing on extra muscle in the process. This all took place in a 6 month period. My final numbers were shocking to my doctors and loved ones, 48 lbs of fat lost, 4 lbs of muscle gained, from 30% to 8% body fat and all improved markers of health. My health and fitness-age, previously tested by a sports physician, went from one of a 42 yr old to that of a 28 yr old.

Over a short 6 month period, with the help of Mark’s Daily Apple and the Primal Blueprint, I finally discovered the art of fit.

I continue on my path to Primal living having completed my first race, through the mud! Grok would be proud!

Thanks for your help, support and continued inspiration.

Yours truly,

Frank Sabia Jr.

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. hmmm call me cynical (because believe me i really am) but my suspicion has only been heightened by this truly amazing metamorphosis when i discover mr sabia apparently works on visual effects for movies!! say it so!

    greg grok wrote on December 9th, 2011
    • ”say it aint so!”

      greg grok wrote on December 9th, 2011
    • Yep–I was thinking photo shop!!! Not sure this passes the smell test.

      Jan wrote on December 10th, 2011
    • Dude, he’s works on lighting on movies. Those pics aren’t a result of lighting.

      Leave it alone, already.

      Peter wrote on December 10th, 2011
  2. Way to go, Frank! I think we’d all love a bit more information about your workout and IF routines. Have a great weekend, everyone.

    Mark Cruden wrote on December 9th, 2011
  3. WHOA…that was it…I’m going PRIMAL…

    (terrific job, Frank!)

    semir wrote on December 9th, 2011
  4. Awesome story. I didn’t read all the comments so if someone already asked I apologize. Can we please get some recipes. That pizza sounds really good.

    Steven Rigby wrote on December 9th, 2011
  5. great transformation man. so quick too. awesome. i’m interested in knowing what type of fitness regime and diet looked like?

    justin wrote on December 9th, 2011
  6. Duuuuuuuuuuuuude… wow! You’ve shocked more than your doctors and loved ones. I second the pizza and fitness program… omg.

    Holly J. wrote on December 9th, 2011
    • pizza is coming soon!…but I do have a pic online on my facebook site.

      Frank wrote on December 19th, 2011
  7. Are you freakin kidding me??!! I’m sitting here trying to pick my jaw up off the floor, without much success. AMAZING!

    Carol wrote on December 9th, 2011
  8. I’ve seen tons of dramatic success stories, but HOLY SH**! nuff said.

    you need to share details! food diary, exercise diary, etc. PLEASE!!

    MIdgy wrote on December 9th, 2011
  9. Good grief! What have you done to yourself?

    I want this, too!

    Mert wrote on December 9th, 2011
  10. WOW Frank! Congrates you look awesome! I’m just beginning my journey with my oldest son. You are an inspiration! Thaks for sharing your story and your pictures!!!!!! 😉

    primalgirl87 wrote on December 9th, 2011
  11. Sweet 8lb. baby jesus that’s amazing

    Steffo wrote on December 9th, 2011
  12. 1001+ on the Holy S#*t

    I like to scroll really slow on these to see how *surprising* the after-pic looks. And you are rockin’ some serious happiness! I just luv the grin.

    Totally needed your brand of inspiration today.

    Jessica wrote on December 9th, 2011
  13. Holy cow. You have the best looking pair of serratus anteriors I’ve ever seen!!

    Meagan wrote on December 9th, 2011
  14. Frank that is unreal. Hell of a job!

    Erik wrote on December 9th, 2011
  15. WOW! This is an awesome transformation! Congrats.

    Conn0r wrote on December 9th, 2011
  16. What a transformation and an inspiration you are. Truly a form for all us to follow.

    Brenda Living Primal wrote on December 9th, 2011
  17. Holy smokes dude! I want to know everything you’re doing. What workouts do you do, what meals are you eating, how long are your fasts, etc?

    Tin Tin wrote on December 9th, 2011
  18. Looks a little like steroids to me. Sorry. But that’s not normal or healthy looking.

    yasmine wrote on December 9th, 2011
    • booooo

      Maureen wrote on January 6th, 2012
  19. Good grief YOU ARE AMAZING!
    Well done you :)

    Nicola wrote on December 9th, 2011
  20. Holly SMOKES. Well Done Frank, truly inspiring!!

    Sez wrote on December 9th, 2011
  21. BRAVO for all your amazing work. You look grand!

    Linda Marcy wrote on December 9th, 2011
  22. Not only did you change your body (and, man, what a change!) but you vastly improved your health as well. The bod change is always good but, in the long run, I think you’ll eventually welcome the perks with the health changes as well especially in a few years. You’ve proven what the human body and dedication can accomplish when we put our minds (and bods) to the test.

    Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing. If I wasn’t a proper old lady I’d say something like “Holy efn $#it” at this transformation, but right now I’m too busy trying to keep my eyeballs in place!

    +1 on wanting that buffalo pizza recipe–

    PrimalGrandma wrote on December 9th, 2011
  23. Congratulations Frank, very impressive. I’ve been living primal for the past 6 months, my results aren’t even close to yours

    Alvaro wrote on December 9th, 2011
  24. “I became a master Primal chef creating things like gluten free Mexican buffalo pizza. Never having cooked for myself before, I quickly become a whiz in the kitchen converting all my mom’s home cooked meals and recipes to Primal friendly versions.”

    Someone get this man a paleo cookbook deal, maybe its part of the secret to his success! 😮 (And who DOESN’T want to try Mexican Buffalo Pizza?!?!)

    Congrats Frank, you are an inspiration to so many of us still on our way 😀

    CV wrote on December 9th, 2011
  25. DUDE! CHEESE GRATING BACK MUSCLES! Too cool, man. Such a transformation, I love it! The numbers are shocking, I can’t believe you lost over 20% body fat that quickly (OK, I guess I can). Way to go. So inspiring!!!

    Nick wrote on December 9th, 2011
  26. Does anyone know where the heck I can find out what he is eating/doing to get down to that weight? He must be doing something more than primal or working out a crap ton . Carb cycling or something.

    Dualhammers wrote on December 9th, 2011
    • Yeah I followed Martin’s LG protocol. So I was eating from 2pm till 10pm anywhere from 1800 – 2800 calories. 2800 on strength training days and 1800 on rest/recover/off days.

      On high calorie days I upped my carbs post workout and ate my fats in the evening before bed. On low cal days it was mainly protein and fat. So you could call it calorie cycling along with carb cycling or carb back loading.

      Frank Sabia wrote on December 9th, 2011
  27. you big Stud from LA!!! i remember seeing you last time in Australia and now WOW… really impressed and congrats on this great success!

    Deepak wrote on December 9th, 2011
  28. Holy shit. Great work!

    Pretty envious dude.

    Sean wrote on December 9th, 2011
  29. Now that is inspiring!!! Good job man!

    Laura wrote on December 9th, 2011
  30. Frank, You look amazing and so happy! Way to go!!!

    Miss Libby Jones wrote on December 9th, 2011
  31. Amazing! I dropped an “F” bomb when I saw that last photo. Thanks for sharing your story! I love when someone sets a goal and reaches way beyond it.

    Lauren wrote on December 9th, 2011
  32. CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is honestly amazing. I love your story and all it does it fuel my desire to reach my goals and stay primal!!!!

    Paulina wrote on December 9th, 2011
  33. workout plan?

    George wrote on December 9th, 2011
  34. Amazing work man! To all the doubters – I don’t see what the problem is? The guy said he was working out before going Primal so he probably had plenty of muscle underneath already. All he’s done is shed the fat and bulk up even more, what’s unbelievable about that? I say “all he’s done” like its a small achievement, of course to get those results he’s had to show the kind of willpower and dedication that 99.9% of people just couldn’t manage, and trained like a BEAST! Respect is due, great job!

    Rob wrote on December 9th, 2011
    • Thanks! Appreciate it. I dont think my story is anything that unbelievable. Its not like I put on 20lbs of muscle in 6 months. I think I only put on 4lbs of muscle the whole time. I was more interested in getting lean. At the end I only weighed around 170lbs and Im 6 feet tall. That seems pretty lean and light to me. Since then I’ve slowly tried to pack on some more muscle.

      Frank Sabia wrote on December 9th, 2011
  35. holy crap!
    there are not enough words.

    robert kirk wrote on December 9th, 2011
  36. Woah!!! Really! That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing your story. How awesome!

    Stephanie wrote on December 9th, 2011
  37. Great work mate. Leangains is the best protocol I’ve ever tried. Martin Berkhan is a genius and his site and MDA are my two sites of choice for food/training advice.

    Mark wrote on December 9th, 2011
    • I 100% agree. WHen I first read Martin’s site it was the opposite of everything I was taught and read. I didnt believe any of it….but I tried GOMAD for a few weeks and destoyed my health. So I decided to give Martin’s Lean Gains a try and needless to say everything he has ever said or suggested has worked 100%!!

      I credit him with my new lifestyle as well. I love LG fasting!

      Frank Sabia wrote on December 9th, 2011
  38. Ridiculous. That is all.

    ChocoTaco369 wrote on December 9th, 2011
  39. Wow, if it weren’t for the hair, I’m not sure I would have thought it was the same person! Aside from the remarkable transformation, I noticed the disappearance of those undereye circles too. Not only do you look younger and fitter, but more rested too.

    Karen P. wrote on December 9th, 2011
    • Thanks for the kind words.
      Alot of health problems disappeared along the way.
      I had acid reflux so bad I would wake up at nite with my throat burning and unable to sleep. I had really high blood pressure and was always fatigued. I noticed when I switched my diet, my symptoms of disease disappeared quickly then my body changed after that. A great read in addition to primal blueprint was Protein Power Life Plan and Lights Out.

      Frank Sabia wrote on December 9th, 2011
  40. Haha! I’ve just read through all the comments and you’ve inspired a lot of cussing Frank!

    Mark wrote on December 9th, 2011

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