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

When Eating Healthy is Making You Fat!

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!

Hey Mark,

It occurred to me after reading a number of other success stories that I myself had a success story to share, and while I believe that there are many to thank for helping me get where I am now, you have played a large part in my transformation.

So let me give you my back story.

Excuses I wish I had…

At this point it’s important I clarify a few things. I’m 45 and have been battling my weight for about 25 years. I can’t pin my body fat woes on any specific tragedy.

I would love to be able to blame my troubles on some sort of genetic mutation that makes me eat like a hyena. Sadly, I cannot (which is really too bad because I think I would have made an excellent X-Men character.)

I would love to be able to say I suffer from a rare genetic disorder known as no metabolism. Unfortunately, my metabolism is alive and well and doing the speed limit on most occasions.

I would love to say I am a victim of gravity. Where others experience a gravitational pull, I experience a gravitational grounding, which basically nails my butt to the earth. It might certainly explain those times I could not get out of bed or off the couch, but sadly gravity has no issue with me and subjects me to the same forces as the rest of its flock.

Regular guy doing all the right things…

No Mark, for the past 25 years in fact, I have been someone who I think a fair number of your readers might relate to.

  • I have always been very active
  • I have worked out 4 or 5 days/week for most of those 25 years
  • I was a vegetarian for the last 19 years
  • When I worked out, it was with a high degree of intensity
  • I ate 5 or 6 healthy meals each day
  • I prepared almost all my own foods
  • About 95% of my meals were organic whole foods
  • About 50% of those meals were raw
  • I seldom ate junk food
  • I ate out even less

And what did all that get me?

[That mug shot was taken in November, 2010.]

That’s what all of the above got me.

I can’t tell you what I weigh in that photo because I had long ago given up on the scale as a unit of measurement. I won’t get into the details of the nasty breakup, other than to say one of us was not being honest about how much I weighed.

But I can tell you that waist required a 36-inch pant. And I can tell you that I am not sticking my stomach out to look fatter than I really am. If anything, I was holding it in slightly because I was embarrassed how I looked, even though it never occurred to me that I would be sharing this photo with anyone other than Microsoft Word.

When doing something looks like nothing…

There is an old saying that you can’t get something for nothing. That may be true, but that body above is proof you can get nothing for something. It seemed that no matter what I did, it always looked like I did nothing. I decided that I didn’t want that legacy on my tombstone…

RIP Dean Dwyer
1965 to 2065
He proved you can get nothing for something.

Clearly, what I was doing wasn’t working and on November 23rd I finally had my, “Dude where is my body?” moment.

I needed to do something completely different if I was going to unleash the body that was trapped in my imagination for the past 25 years.

And so I fired all the health experts I had relied on in the past. I tossed out every notion I had about what I thought constituted good health and that included questioning whether a vegetarian diet was right for my body-type.

I really wasn’t sure where to begin. I just knew I had to do something seismic. I needed to take some steps that would drastically alter my course. Simply eating healthy (too vague to even measure) and working out (my default weight loss option) weren’t working.

It became obvious to me that there was more to this journey then I realized and I had to be open to explore it if I wanted a different result. I already knew what to do to be fat.

Stealing from Google…

So I sat down and wrote out a philosophy for my health. Google has one titled, 10 Things We Know To Be True, that governs the very essence of their business, and since they seem to be scrapping by, I figured I better have one too. I knew if I was going to have any success this time around I needed to have a framework from which to evaluate my successes and failures.

While my current philosophy contains 26 items, at the time I started with the simple notion of recording every thing I ate. My rationale was simple. I couldn’t possibly know what worked for my body-type unless I had data I could refer to.

This was a science experiment of the utmost importance and I needed the raw data. This journey would be no different from Thomas Edison’s journey to create the light bulb. He made countless notes and observations on each and every failed experiment, each moving him incrementally closer to finding a solution that worked. I needed to take the exact same approach.

And so I started logging all my foods all the time (I still do this…don’t want to mess with my success). I was still vegetarian at the time and after a few months I could definitely see changes. Not massive changes, but enough change to keep me going.

My theory was and still is, that the very act of recording makes me a mindful eater, as opposed to a mindless eater (which is what I was for 25 years), and as such, I would make better choices even if little else in my diet was different.

But then, as always seems to be the case, I noticed that in mid-January of this year, I was putting weight back on. I knew this because I was taking a photo of myself every morning.

Needless to say I was horrified. It was that, “Crap, here we go again” moment.

But I must say, recording my eating was an accidental stroke of genius because it allowed me to take a step back and analyze what I was putting in my body and suddenly I had this thought…

What if eating healthy is making me fat?

I really couldn’t explain this any other way. On paper my stats looked great. Unfortunately, stats are 2-dimensional and I was living in a 3-dimensional world. The stats and my reality weren’t aligning.

Good calories, bad calories…

And so I jumped online and started doing research. I had no idea what I was looking for, but somehow I stumbled upon Gary Taubes, and this lead me to read his book, “Good Calories, Bad Calories.”

I found the book fascinating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Harry Potter, but I found the studies he cited and the narrative he provided to be just as engaging.

And as I poured over the studies he had presented, “it” happened.

I stumbled upon one line in one study voiced by one researcher (whose name I cannot remember) who suggested the following…

What if weight gain is a symptom and not a character flaw.

WOW! That line floored me.

I knew that people on the outside would look at my November pic and provide a quick and utterly useless diagnosis. Without knowing anything about me, they would simply say I needed to be more disciplined. I would need to cut back on my calories (take on some starvation diet – no thanks!) and expend more calories than I was taking in.

In essence, they would be implying that my situation was a result of a series of character flaws. Since I had already beaten myself up for 25 years thinking I was to blame, this new insight lead me to think…

What if I am not to blame?
What if this isn’t my fault?
What if the foods I am eating don’t allow my body (when I say body I’m referring to it on a cellular level) to do its job, which is to rid itself of the excess fat that has accumulated?

I can’t tell you how liberating this thoughts were. It literally changed the cultural landscape of my mind, which, in my experience, is the most challenging aspect of this whole journey.

A Primal discovery…

But I didn’t know what to do with this info.

I didn’t know what I was supposed to change in my diet to put this theory to work. And so I once again jumped on the internet and began researching diets.

And again, I have no idea how it happened Mark, but I ended up on your site and on this post: How to Succeed with the Primal Blueprint.

I had heard of the Paleo Diet before, but I had dismissed it simply because I knew the vegetarian lifestyle was the right way to go. Clearly, I was blinded by my arrogance and my ignorance.

I was captivated by the concept. The thought of a diet based on an evolutionary premise made sense to me. Hell, I scream like a two-year when someone scares the crap out of me and know that is an evolutionary mechanism at play, why couldn’t the same reasoning apply for diet.

It made perfect sense in theory.

Of course, there are lots of experts who are quick to point out all the negatives. But if this journey has taught me anything it is that I am the expert on me. No one, and I mean no one, can tell me what works for my body-type. That is my domain and my domain alone.

In the past, I was too willing to hand my domain to other people who clearly knew nothing about me and what made me tick.

And while I don’t believe there is one magic diet that works for everyone, I do believe there is one that works for me, and so I was determined to test what you were professing Senor Sisson.

Here is what I did…

  • I dropped the vegetarian diet immediately
  • I banned pasta, grains, legumes, rice, twigs, leaves, branches; you name it, I banned it
  • I adopted mass quantities of veggies, good meats, raw nuts and seeds and fruit (albeit on a very controlled basis)
  • I stopped thinking about my workouts as a tool for fat loss and began to look at them as a way to increase my body’s functionality (geared towards survival and being able to save a life)
  • And I followed the chart below to a tee. That bad boy has been my bible.

And the results?

[Not sure why I am not smiling in the second photo. I am tempted to say I wasn’t ready for the photo, but I am the one who snapped the pic.]

Well, I have achieved results I have NEVER attained before and I have done so eating more now than I did in the past and doing less exercise than I did before (I now do 5 workouts that MUST be 30 minutes or less).

I went from a 36 inch pant size to a 29 inch pant size.

While some of the pictures speak for themselves (sorry for the shameless self-promotion), I want to make it clear that my journey is far from over. I will always be a work in progress.

The great thing now is I am 100% certain what I am doing works. My job is to simply stay out of my own way.

Other benefits?

Surprisingly, I have had many friends who have been captivated by the changes I have made and have asked me to help them create change in their own lives as well. While I never really expected this to be an outcome of my efforts (simply because I had failed spectacularly so many times over the past 25 years) I definitely want to do all I can to add to the primal tribe.

[If you haven’t read Hawaiian Scottie’s story, Living the Dream, check it out. Not only did I love his story, but I was inspired by his ability to add 8 people to his tribe.]

I also recently launched, which is going to be a video based site to help shed some light on the emotional and psychological aspect of this Primal journey. [sorry that is shameless self-promotion part 2]

My mistake in the past was thinking this was simply a diet and exercise issue. It is much more complex than that.

This is an emotional and psychological journey first and foremost. It’s a journey into understanding who we are. Until we are willing to plunge into the depths of our murky inner self and figure out why we do what we do, all the other stuff is meaningless, because it won’t last. We will find a way to blow it up long before the results can ever reveal themselves.

So Mark, I thank you for not only helping me unleash that body that I knew I had, but I thank you for unleashing a passion that was buried even deeper within me.

All the best amigo,


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. good job, inspirational..

    Sebastian wrote on July 1st, 2011
  2. What a great story. I feel newly motivated after reading this. Cheese and ice cream sounds familiar.

    Donna wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Instead of eating cheese I should have just taped it to my stomach. I do treat myself to it every once a while now though…I’m not worried about that one creeping back in. thanks for commenting Donna.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  3. Dean, sorry if this question has already been asked/answered, but… what was your workout regimen like before you started this? I’m sorry to say, but that before picture does not look like you were doing much, if any, upper body exercises. Were you doing mostly cardio? How much and how often? I’m just curious. It helps to put a bit more understanding behind that (before) picture.

    Brad wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • I don’ mind you asking…and sadly I was…but at the time of that photo I had stopped working out regularly about 3 or 4 months before. I had come off doing a popular exercise program you see on TV and I just didn’t get the results I was hoping for so I stopped mostly out of frustration.

      My diet didn’t really allow me to have any kind of sabbatical however.

      I was doing p90x and insanity sporadically 2 or 3 times/week along wiht biking about 50 km/week.

      Hope that helps with the perspective.

      BTW that’s not a shot at those programs…I still work them in when i want a long workout…they are both amazing programs. It just didn’t work with my diet at that time.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  4. I have to say- you are HOT! :))))

    Donna anne wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Donna if you have to say it then say it gurl. But i must confess I believe the camera adds 10lbs of hotness. Meeting me in person might be a let down :-)

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
      • Well that sexy scowl and sense of humor is what does it for me. Great story of overcoming “healthy eating.” I did the same. :)

        Donna anne wrote on July 1st, 2011
        • that’s awesome. Have you submitted your story here?

          Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  5. You look incredible! Hey, no wedding ring, right? Call me. 😛

    Lisa wrote on July 1st, 2011
  6. Congrats! You look amazing and have that healthy glow that only comes from a happy, healthy body!! I read your testimonial and , selfishly, am feeling slightly depressed. While I eat Primally because I feel better this way, I don’t think I will ever have a success story like yours. Neither cutting my carbs to 50 gr a day or allowing myself to do the reverse and get to 150 gr a day ever made a difference in my weight loss. It is frustrating and upsetting. But, at least I am eating primally and feeling healthy from it. Good luck to you and congrats!! (sorry all, having a very bad day today with the weight loss war)

    Gabrielle wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hm…Gabrielle I’m trying to come with the right words without sounding cliche. First, this is a constant experiment. You may find removing one or two offending foods from your diet might make a huge difference to your journey. Second, my workouts play a big role. I now focus on my workout time as opposed to total time, but when I workout I work my ass off. I bring it pretty hard. What are your workouts like?

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
      • Well, as I tell you my workout plan remember that I am a 300lbs woman with a very bad knee. So, I am currently doing the “Evil Russian pushup program” created by Povel. So, something like 10 push ups every hour (time, amount, and frequency varries daily but I am doubling the amount of pushups I can do every week). For cardio I do karate kata for about 30 minutes a day (walking can make my knee worse but kata seems to strengthen it). I used to do kettlebells 2-3 times a week, very heavy weights, for 60 minutes a shot but I actually started gaining weight doing that. Not really sure what else to do. Would love to hear any suggestions you have. Thank you!

        Gabrielle wrote on July 1st, 2011
  7. Great story Dean! I always look forward to Fridays. Now for the important question. Was there any room for a beer in your diet? Great job!

    Chris wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Sure but I drink more wine now. I don’t drink it often but I don’t deny myself when the opportunity arises. Life has to be lived as well right :-)

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  8. What a great success story! I was a vegetarian for fifteen year and, even going through carb flu for three weeks, I still feel better eating this way than I ever did eating tofu hot dogs and mass amounts of whole wheat bread. Congratulations!

    Kim wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • You are preaching to the choir sista!! Too bad it took me 19 years to realize it didn’t work for me. Thanks for commenting.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  9. Congratulations, Dean! What an inspiring story. Thank you.

    slacker wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • your welcome slacker…ha ha! that just makes me laugh. It’s like I am name calling, but I’m not.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  10. I seriously said “Wo-ha-howwwwww!”. Amazing!!

    Tara wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • T-ha-ank yoouuuuuuuuuuuuuu Tara!!

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  11. For some reason I keep thinking “New James Bond”! I mean WOW, WOW, WOW!

    It sounds like once you acquired the info you needed, you got right to it. DId you have carb cravings or withdrawal symptoms? If so, how did you cope?

    Skipping ice cream and dessert is the one big fat (no pun intended) obstacle keeping me from being full on Paleo. I’ve had no trouble staying away from rice, bread, Pasta, legumes, grains, soda, juice, etc.

    But dessert is such a weakness for me, and my life is depending on it (Type II Diabetes and early neuropathy at the ripe old age of 33). And yet I feel and act like a junkie when it comes to sugar.

    I’ll appreciate any advice!

    Shema wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hey Shema,

      yes once I understood the boundaries I did launch in 100%…some may think that’s pretty amazing but that was 25 years of failure that precedes my so-called overnight success.

      Well I am not an expert on this and obviously everyone is coming at this from a different view point, but I knew going cold turkey on the treats wasn’t going to work. i had tried that in the past and at some point the cravings win and then the whole freaking plan collapses.

      So this was very conscious on my part, but before I started I tried to figure out what I could do that made sense. Some do that one day eat whatever you want thing but that just isn’t how I roll…that one day bender would turn into a week.

      So I instead decided on three treats a week…I make them a separate meal (meaning I don’t ruin a great meal by adding that to it). It’s usually chocolate of some sort.

      The thing that I latched onto this time was the idea that will power is a skill not some innate gift some have and some don’t.

      I need to expand on this in another post, but that is how I started with all this. It’s a battle though. I have days where I want my fix and I can’t cause my 3 treats are done.

      There is more I could add but then I will be talking over the entire MDA site. I am actually going to make a video on this because I think it might give people ideas on how to build this skill. Hope that helps.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
      • I totally relate to the “one day bender” turning into a week.

        So how do avoid having your three treats go awry?

        And do you mind elaborating on what your treats are? Are they Paleo treats (i.e. 85% chocolate or berries or something)? Or do treats mean you allow yourself a break from eating Paleo? Curious to know. Thanks!

        Shema wrote on July 2nd, 2011
        • Hey Sherma,

          I tried the 85% chocolate once…it is only time chocolate and I did not agree…yuk! My treats are not paleo…chocolate almonds are my go to treat (about 1/2 cup). This helps keep me sane.

          It’s interesting you ask about the 3 treats and not getting carried away. I will be talking about this more at a later date, but I found myself to be very curious as well as to why I have not one gone beyond three. I do know when I started this whole thing I actually wrote out a whole journal entry on it.

          The message was this: Dude if you even once decide to have more than 3 treats in a week you are done. Because then you will think 4 is ok which leads to 5 etc and 6 months from now you are going to step back and go hey, “I’m fat again!”

          I have done that in the past so I know I CAN’T give myself permission to fail in this area.

          Dean Dwyer wrote on July 4th, 2011
  12. What exactly constitutes mass quantities of meats/vegetables etc? Curious as I have had pathetic attempts at paleo etc, yet still find myself at an unacceptable weight (for health and sport). Also great work too, sucks it took you so long but I’m sure in hindsight the journey made you stronger. All the best

    Percy wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hey Percy…not to plug my blog but I did a post on a typical eating day. If you go to my site you can see it under the title

      The myth about portion control…

      That will give you some idea of what I eat and how much.

      yeah and I am not unhappy about finding this solution at 45…I appreciate the complexity of it more and quite frankly it helps me when I am teaching others about this…I GET WHERE PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM!

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  13. Wow, seriously Dean, this is awesome. I have hit somewhat of a “plateau” in my primal lifestyle and am trying to figure out how to jump over the hurdle that I have been trying to jump for a long time. I would love to hear how you mentally attacked this transformation.


    Jennifer wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hey Jen,

      great question which requires a long answer. Are you on skype? We can chat about it there if you wish…there are probably about 40 little things I have done to get to wear I am…all playing an important part in the process. My skype name dean.b.dwyer.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  14. ..whistling… you look fantastic! Great story!

    bleu wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Thanks bleu…I fortunately accept whistling as feedback.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  15. DD, you’re not smiling in the photo because you are smoldering. Hot, hot, hot! Congratulations!

    Kim wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • AH Kim that made me laugh. Thank you very much for the kind comment. I think you might have made me blush.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  16. Great story, Dean! Can I also say I’m equally impressed that you responded to pretty much EVERY comment. That’s amazing in and of itself!

    Ryan wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hey Ryan…thanks man. I thought about this last night in fact and figured if people were kind enough to take the time to leave a comment than I would find the time to comment back just to let them know I saw what they wrote and appreciated the fact they took the time to do so. Thanks for noticing though my friend…now that I read your comment again I am impressed with my efforts :-)

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  17. Great story, inspirational and well written. I really identify with a lot of what you were talking about, except for the vegetarian part. No one better get between me and my steak :-) You look great. I’ve been dabbling but decided to do a 30 day challenge starting today. A great story to start off with.

    bbuddha wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hey bbuddha, that’s great you are taking the plunge. All I can say is commit to the process as close to 100% as possible. It’s the only way to get a true sense of whether this can and will work for you. All the best my friend.


      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  18. Holy crap!

    Barb wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hey Barb. I don’t know what to say. Thank you? Sorry? Waz up? Thanks for popping by none the less :-)

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  19. Amazing. Really amazing. I’ve been eating carb restricted (Atkins) for 11 months and while I’m happy with my results, I keep thinking I could do more. I found this site several months ago, and have been toying with the idea of primal…stories like yours are so inspiring…and the results speak for themselves. I’ll bookmark your site and add you to my list. Really, just amazing!

    Barb wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Thanks Barb. Perhaps its time to dive into the primal pool?

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  20. I’ll let you know if I finally take the plunge, or just dip my toes in the pool.

    Barb wrote on July 1st, 2011
  21. Great Job, Dean, I’m on my 3rd primal month as a type 2 diabetic, age 50, weighed 182. 3 months later I have lost 11 pounds, my glucose readings are between 80 and 100 most of the time when they should be and I am now off my diabetes meds. Can’t wait to take a picture of my new body in a few more months!

    susie wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • That will be exciting. And awesome that you are off your meds :-) that requires a WOO HOO!

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  22. I think the Primal lifestyle makes men sexy AND crazy. What’s with throwing big rocks directly over your head? One slip and Yikes! Grok would definitely not approve. It makes a great pic though 😉

    I have been Primal 9 months and have lost 60 pounds. I am one of those people who never did anything right healthwise, but the PB works for me too.

    Great story, congratulations!

    Pebbles 67 wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • HA HA! That pic is a little bit deceiving. In fact it is very safe. And the rock I am throwing is not the same rock I am dead-lifting in the pics. The rock I am throwing started between my legs and then I would build up a little momentum and then chuck it backwards about 15 feet. That pic was taken as it came right out of my hand so it looks like I am playing a game of boulder catch. When you seeing me wear a helmet you will know something went very very wrong :-)

      And congrats on your success as well. That is awesome!!!!!

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  23. Dean,

    Congrats on your success! I guess I can now officially tell people I knew you when. Now that you’re all buff, it’s time to run an Ultra :)

    Bill Traynor wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Billy Traynor…how the heck are you my friend…nice to see you here…ha ha! don’t worry buddy it’s not going to my head…it’s humbling actually to see how generous people can be with their support and comments. Yeah the ultra marathon thing is just never going to happen my friend…lol!

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  24. I find it so funny that vegetarian/vegan diets are actually the opposite of the natural human diet. I was a vegan for 3 years by the way. But the real kicker is the smugness and moral superiority that a lot of vegetarian/vegans seem to have. I hope one day humanity can look back at these mistakes the same way we now look at geocentrism, bloodletting, astrology and all the other wacky stuff we’ve come up with.

    Kevin Cowart wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hey Kevin, I can only speak from my perspective but I really thought I was doing the right thing. It’s not the diet’s fault. It was mine for not realizing it didn’t work for me.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  25. That is just great!

    RitaRose wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Short and sweet Rita. Thanks gurl.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  26. fan. tas. tic. I’m 21, and this inspires me more than seeing younger people loose weight/attain their desired body. I have been a Mark’s follower for about 4/5 month, but this is definitely going to be my first bookmark. It embodies my own story. Thank you so much for submitting this!

    inzacqueline wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • and it’s free! How great it is that!! Best of luck to you on your journey inzacqueline :-)

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
  27. Terrific job…and inspired me to keep stay on my journey, which I am 4 weeks into. I’ll check your blog, as I’m interested in what your daily routine is, i.e. workouts/nutrition, etc. Hopefully some info there. Since going primal and living on meats, tons of salad and veggies, it’s been easy to stay at 50-75 grams of carbs a day. One think I’ve noticed is that my energy level is so stable all day, even after a meal…no crashies, ever. I am curious about your six meals a day…that is something I did with Body for Life in the past, which worked great, but I found it a bit tough to sustain. What caused you to commit to six meals? I have found that I have been eating three, and sometimes only two meals a day…and not massive ones…yet am rarely hungry. So I’ve just rolled with that, as prescribed.

    Anyway, thanks for the story and congrats again on a great job. I have 5 years on you, so we are somewhat in the same bracket…and though always “healthy” and much leaner at certain times, the past few years have caught up with me, and I had my “it’s REALLY time for a change” moment in May. And I’ve been true to it every since.

    Peter wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Hey peter…in a nut shell I’m a pig. I chose 6 because it means I am really only going 3 hours between meals. Keep in mind some of those meals are in fact snacks like almonds etc. And give time. It took me 8 weeks to see big changes…but I worked the crapped out of the diet as well…I went hardcore right off the bat. Best of luck my friend.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 1st, 2011
      • Thanks for the reply. I read your blog and saw that you were having three real “meals” then more like snacks in between.

        BTW in 4 weeks, 12+ pounds of scale weight is gone, without the crazy workouts of the past…lots more walking/hiking, and higher intensity stuff a couple times a week. Like you, I care less about the scale and more about my clothes. I took a vacation in the second half of May, and the shorts I was going to pack (which fit me last summer) didn’t make it into my bag…they would not fit. I tried to tell myself they were just “snug,” but now way. So had to go buy a couple pairs of 38″ waist shorts, and one 40″ (those really were too loose)…which almost made me cry. Just a couple years ago, my 34″ waist clothes were loose. This was truly my wake-up moment.

        In any case, after 4 weeks…last summer’s shorts now fit again, and my goal was to get into all the 34s by the fall as well. But now, you have given me a new goal, as you’ve proved it’s possible…I want to get into 32″ pants, and I KNOW I will.

        I went hardcore as well, I know it’s different for everyone but fortunately I have the personality type that it’s easy to cut out the bad stuff, and not even crave it (easier with this nutrition plan, which includes so much of my favorite foods). I haven’t had so much as a popcorn kernel, potato chip, grain of wheat or pasta, legume, in 4 weeks. And I crave none of it. Loving the huge salads, meats, fish, olive oil, and abundant veggies. Lowering body fat while being able to eat roast chicken WITH the skin? 12-hour roasted, fatty, pulled park shoulder? A juicy steak? Are they KIDDING me? I’m loving it.

        Like you, I also tracked what went into my mouth the first week, then again a day or two every week to double check, though really my eating is a variable combination of just a couple dozen basic foods, so it’s easy to know what’s going in. I did by a $25 kitchen scale to weigh everything and log portion on Fitday, just to see, which was an interesting exercise. Now it’s pretty easy to know I’m coming in around 2,000 cal a day, with 50-60% calories from fat, 30-40 from protein, and less than 10% from carbs (Usually just over 50 grams a day for now) no matter what I eat.

        Grok on and thanks again for your input.

        Peter wrote on July 2nd, 2011
        • Peter that is pretty cool my friend. Thanks for the follow up.

          Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  28. Congratulations on your amazing transformation. Love your style of writing – your story was incredibly entertaining.

    Catherine wrote on July 1st, 2011
    • Thanks so much Catherine! Glad you took the time to share that :-)

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  29. Well Done Dean. Good effort!

    Another R-evolutionary Rhythm Reaction, inspired by Six Pack Sisson!

    localad wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • See now I want a cool nickname too!

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  30. Congratulations and good luck with your new website. I’m trying to get my parents to switch from vegetarian to primal, but they are appalled at the idea of eating meat.

    Daria wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • Yeah that was a bit of an adjustment as a HUGE animal lover so I get where they are at.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  31. Great story, and Congrats Dean!!! Thanks for helping me re-focus on my primal lifestyle!!!

    Coach81 wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • Your very welcome coach 81 and to all 80 coaches who preceded you as well.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  32. I read every word of this story, and I definitely find it one of the most impressive and informative I’ve ever read.

    Plus, you’re intelligent. And witty!

    That said, dear Dean, congratulations on your… victory! Yay!

    Patrícia wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • I have a question, if you don’t mind… Have you had any troubles to curb carb cravings? If yes, how did you manage? :)

      Patrícia wrote on July 2nd, 2011
      • Hm…good question. Well oddly enough I don’t crave much of the stuff I used to love like breads, pastas etc. But I am also at a point emotionally and intellectually that I am well aware of the trade off if I did go back and have them.

        But I am also a believer that good carbs attract good carbs…bad carbs attract bad carbs.

        So I work my butt off to be sure that I am putting good carbs into my body.

        That said I do cheat 3 times week. Usually chocolate almonds.

        Hope that helps


        Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • I seldom get anyone to admit publicly that I am either intelligent or witty let alone both in the same sentence. So that comment gets a, “HELL YEAH” Thanks so much Patricia.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  33. Congrats! Yours is a great story of transformation, written with wonderful humor. Thanks for sharing!

    Julie wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  34. What an amazing transformation! One of these days I’m going to get a story in myself. I’m up to almost 80 pounds now that I’ve lost.

    Kellie wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • Gurl you need to get on that story. It’s great motivation as well and as you can see by the comments on this peace, many benefit and learn. So get to it Ketlie.


      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • That is FANTASTIC!!!

      Peter wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  35. Back for more ; your comments are as entertaining as the original story. Maybe you should pursue a writing career. Is there a link to your blog? I know its probably here somewhere.

    Donna wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • Thanks Donna. Commenting is an art I try to do well with. There is a link to my blog at the bottom of the article :-)

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
      • Sorry the English in that statement would have made Shakespeare vomit. What I should have said is the art of commenting is something I try to rock at.

        Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  36. Awesome story! Very inspiring and you should be so proud of yourself! Well done you.

    HP wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • Thanks HP (Hewlett Packard??) I do have to stop every now and again and remember where I came from. Sometimes that is easy to forget as we forge ahead wanting that elusive “more” or I guess I should say Less (get it?)

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  37. Dean-
    You are looking super hot. Well done.
    Also, the art of commenting *is* something at which you rock. I have been laughing at your wry sense of humor enough to go bookmark your site and keep tabs on you.

    momof2groks wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • First let me say no comment that includes “you are looking super hot” will go unanswered :-) And by tabs I can only assume that means you will be stalking me virtually…which I am totally cool with. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
  38. I have a quick question, you mentioned that you ate fruit but in avery controlled way, what do you mean by
    that exactly?

    I’m wondering how whether I should drop my fruit intake a little, I see great results anyway and of course it comes down to how each person handles different food elements but I would be interested to know how you dealt with fruit.

    Michael wrote on July 2nd, 2011
    • Hey Michael, I have no more than one serving of fruit each day…but I do have days where I might not have it at all. Usually somewhere between 5 to 7 servings/week. That seems to work well for me.

      Dean Dwyer wrote on July 2nd, 2011
      • Thanks! I’m thinking of cutting down too, we’ll see how that goes :) P.S you should create a Facebook page for your site for those of us who use Facebook a lot :)

        Michael wrote on July 4th, 2011
  39. Awesome. I start down the Paleo road, and alas, friday through sunday dismantles it. Your article is the kick in the backside I need. Right on. Later.

    Dave wrote on July 2nd, 2011

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