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!
Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma!
I’ve been debating sharing my success story, as I’m not really one to “toot my own horn.” However, I’ve thought about how others might benefit from hearing it – so here goes!
I was a very active kid and teenager growing up and liked to play a variety of sports (baseball being my favorite). Throughout middle and high school I tried my hand competitively at baseball, soccer, basketball, golf, and some recreational distance running. I always enjoyed being known for my speed, although not so much for my athletic abilities . Much of the reason I was fast was because I was very slender (about 135 lbs at 6’ tall). My freshman year of college I continued to stay active by playing intramural softball, and even some skateboarding. As my college years went on my activity level declined some, but I was still able to manage the same body image and general level of health, for the most part. Additionally, being a college kid, I never worried about what I ate or drank.
I took a full-time job (with the Tulsa Drillers, the AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies) in Tulsa after college and moved from upstate NY to begin my career at age 22. For the first few years here I drank often (mostly beer after games), but for six months to a year drank a few too many Jack and Cokes. Boy did my body change! During this time I also struggled with terrible/debilitating back spasms. Finally two years ago (at age 25) I had enough of the back problems and began to do some cardio and some strength exercises to try and help combat the problem.
Last year, about a month before Thanksgiving, I discovered your blog by happenstance, and ordered your book The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. My views on health, diet, and working out all changed from that point forward. I went from weighing 180 lbs to my present day 150 in a matter of a few months. (I was heaviest at 195-200 lbs in 2010 (above).) I truly enjoy clean eating, and working out now.
This is how it happened: Since I had already incorporated some exercise into my routine, the next step was to begin eating correctly. It was amazing to learn (initially through your book, then through my own additional research) how the food we eat reacts in our bodies. I cut out SAD foods, bread, pastas, most processed foods, etc., and noticed a change in my body within a few weeks.
Once I felt I had a grasp on eating correctly I began Primal Essential Movements regularly. From there I realized I really enjoyed challenging myself with weightlifting. There’s no better feeling than being able to increase strength through hard work. I’ve continued to lift weights 5-7 days a week, and have continued to make strength gains. I recently completed a 50-day pullup challenge! 1,785 pullups in 50 days. First day begin with 10, second day do 11, and so on until you get to 60.
My diet is pretty boring now, really; my staples are eggs, bacon, steak, chicken, broccoli, asparagus, fish, and bananas. I don’t try cooking much, so these things are easy for me. Although, I have tried a few of the Primal Blueprint user submitted recipes. I particularly enjoyed Almond Banana Pancakes and Omelet Muffins. I use quite a bit of the following: organic whole butter, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic unrefined coconut oil, and almond butter sparingly. Occasionally I will drink organic whole milk with my Primal Fuel after a workout. The biggest challenge for me is eating enough vegetables, so I’ve begun to try and incorporate more of those in my diet (e.g. blending kale into my protein shakes). I supplement each meal with a protein shake (three per day). Occasionally I will add raw eggs to the shakes, and regularly add a bit of olive oil in each one.
I like to experiment from time to time with eating, and have found that I really like the LeanGains approach to meal timing. (Eat from 1 PM-9 PM, fast from 9 PM-1 PM). One of the reasons I like the approach is because I enjoy working out in the morning while in a fasted state (tons of energy typically!).
The biggest challenge I faced when making the switch to Primal was pizza. I really, really like pizza, so not eating pizza is tough! Mainly the hardest part for me is continuing to eat correctly. I don’t really know anyone else in my life who eats like I do. At work there are always cakes, cookies, etc., around. When eating at restaurants people sometimes find it hard to believe that I don’t want the loaf of bread or the baked potato with my meal. It’s not that I don’t enjoy these foods (hell, I like everything), I just choose not to eat them, and do what’s right for me. It sounds very selfish, but I’m not really concerned with what other people think I should be doing. A lot of people say that I don’t have any “fun” anymore because I choose to not go out drinking each weekend. My idea of fun is bettering myself, and continuing to learn what it takes to get stronger and healthier. I want to live a long life!
Mark, I’ve shared your book with family members, and co-workers. Reading it was the spark I needed to fuel the now fat-burning machine that is my body. Thank you!