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April 15 2016

70 Pounds Lighter and Medication-Free: How Going Primal Changed My Life

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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!

real_life_stories_stories-1-2I’ve been the chef/owner of a couple of restaurants for the past 23 years. When I started in the biz I was kind of like a kid in a candy store! I gained on average about nine pounds a year for 10 years and found myself weighing in at an impressive 317 lbs! I was told by my then doctor to “do” something or bad things were going to happen! I was pre-diabetic and borderline high blood pressure. No specifics on diet or exercise or anything were mentioned. I was left on my own to lose weight and get better.

So I went on a no starch diet and joined a health club! I’d go to the health club between lunch and dinner shifts. I lost 30 lbs and got in aerobic shape through lots of hours on the treadmill and elliptical machines. Emphasis on the word treadmill. Not much fun involved at all. So of course, I gained some weight back and stopped the health club. My weight yo yo’d for the next ten years, I became Type II Diabetic and officially had high blood pressure.

In July of 2014 I weighed in at around 296 pounds, was on a Type II diabetes medication called Glipizide, taking a pill called Losartan for my high blood pressure, and was just prescribed a pill called Omeprazole for my constant queasy stomach and acid reflux. I didn’t eat bacon anymore and couldn’t even stand the smell of it! So I took all these pills and still felt terrible! But I had good blood pressure readings, my blood sugar was “under control” and I wasn’t so queasy anymore. So from the medical community’s standpoint, I was “cured”, see ya, and that couldn’t have been further from the truth! What was the root cause of all my problems? I took it upon myself to do some research.

I zeroed in on fixing my gut first, the thought being that everything starts in the gut! I read some books by Dr. Alejandro Junger and proceeded to sign up for his 21-Day Clean Gut Repair program. I did a protein shake for breakfast, ate a salad with some protein for lunch and had a second shake for dinner. No gluten, no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol and no caffeine! There were a lot of other no’s too, but these were the major ones. Lots of supplements including digestive enzymes, probiotics, liver support and blood sugar support taken at each “meal.” By the middle of the second week I felt great! Stopped the Omeprazole! By the middle of the third week I asked the coaches “what do I do next, the program’s almost over! What do I do for the rest of my life?” One of them said “check out Mark’s Daily Apple, go Primal.”

20151227_151823I did and I did! Best move I ever made (besides marrying my wife of course)! Bought the books, signed up on Marksdailyapple.com. And started reading. The food is great and just by eating Primal, I started losing weight! I couldn’t do the PEMs, sprints, not even jumping jacks to warm up! Just too out of shape and too much stuff jiggling around. It hurt! I really thought I’d never be able to run again. And I was just 62! But the weight kept coming off and little by little I started getting in better physical shape. Then I joined the online 21-Day Primal Blueprint Challenge that runs on Vimify.com every month. That really helped. The online community there is so supportive! I continued to lose weight, my blood sugar was under control and my high blood pressure was coming down! I run, I sprint, I play! I became a mentor for the online challenges then in October of 2015 I took the online courses to become a Primal Blueprint Certified Expert!

The results are in, but they are not final. I still have some way to go! But I’ve lost 70 lbs, I’m off ALL my meds, my blood pressure is normal and my A1C is going down. My doctor is impressed! I’m back to eating bacon! I have a website called EatBaconGetHealthy.com. I do Primal specials in my restaurant, Harry’s Hideaway in Cornville, Arizona. I’ve developed a online 21-Day Primal Food Challenge that’s going to start running on Vimify in May 2016 with recipes and videos. Life is good! And I owe it all to Mark Sisson and The Primal Blueprint! You are a genius Mark! Unlike the other “diets” I’ve been on, this truly is a way of life and something I’ll be doing for the rest of my (hopefully longer) life!

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Thanks again, Mark!

Harry Olson

P.S. This week was a momentous occasion! I went to see my doctor. My wife has been trying to get our insurance premiums lowered given my recent weight loss and exercise activity. So here’s how my doctor summed up my visit: “You are no longer diagnosed obese. You are no longer Type II diabetic. Your blood pressure is perfect. Your cholesterol numbers are that of a 20 year old. And you are officially off all medications!” I’m getting a little choked up writing that. Why this Primal lifestyle is not mainstream is crazy!

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48 thoughts on “70 Pounds Lighter and Medication-Free: How Going Primal Changed My Life”

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  1. Wow! That is incredible! You are amazing, Chef! I got choked up too when I read about your straight A health report. It is never too old to start taking care of yourself and having the best life. What an inspiration you are.

  2. Congratulations! Next time I’m in Sedona I’ll make a run over to Cornville and have a meal or two at your restaurant.

  3. Your story put such a smile on my face and I kind of became choked up too. I am so happy for you and I agree, what the heck is taking so long for the rest of the world to take notice?! I love your last photo, so sweet! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.

  4. Great story Harry. Love the poster in the restaurant. I’ll eat at your place any time i’m in Arizona. Grok on!

  5. What a fantastic success story–and recent doctor’s visit–you created for yourself, Harry! And love that you now serve primal specials at your restaurant!

  6. Awesome success story! So adorable, with you and your wife in your chef coat 🙂 Congrats on reclaiming your health!

  7. Way to go Harry. And a Primal Blueprint poster in the restaurant kitchen too.

  8. I just love the coat-sharing photo! 🙂 Keep up your primal lifestyle!

  9. Congratulations!! What a wonderful accomplishment. You look fantastic and I’m sure feel even more fantastic!!

  10. Thanks for the inspiring story, Harry. It’s crazy, right? Why don’t we see Primal posters at the doctor’s? I wish my mom’s doctor would encourage her to try this for her type 2 diabetes, which she has “managed” spectacularly – all the more reason I believe that she could go off all meds by adopting this diet/lifestyle. We become attached, in some strange way, to the cycle of carbs and meds thrown at us by the medical profession. Congratulations to you! I need to make changes myself; maybe that will inspire her.

  11. Amazing! Congratulations, and I absolutely love that very last photo!

  12. Heck yea! Way to be a boss, Harry. Congrats on the amazing progress.

  13. Yet another STELLAR story. You should be so proud of yourself, Harry. 🙂

    1. … haha… great title for a book !!

      Well done Harry, so many people think after 60 it’s not worth trying to get healthier, even my brother at 53 seems to feel that it’s normal to start to have meds in his life… how sad!

  14. Fantastic story – and yes, why isn’t this a mainstream methodology? I’d like to know too.

    Congratulations on your perfect health! (your wife looks pretty pleased too)

  15. Wow, Harry, awesome story! Not only did your life completely change, but you are changing the lives of other people with the food you are serving in your restaurant and the coaching you are doing for other people. Love to hear stories like this!

  16. Amazing koan I read here:

    You are no longer diagnosed obese.
    You are no longer Type II diabetic.
    Your blood pressure is perfect.
    Your cholesterol numbers are that of a 20 year old.
    And you are officially off all medications

    Ommmmmm to that

  17. Great story, congratulations and thanks for sharing. Enjoy your new life!

  18. No way! I’ve been to Harry’s Hideaway when I lived in Cottonwood. Wish there were primal options when I lived in the Verde Valley a couple years ago, that’s when I started getting serious about MDA and primal lifestyle too. Small world 🙂

  19. Wow, this is wonderful. Well done! And I wish more restaurants would offer primal dishes (especially avoiding damaging oils).

  20. This is my first time hearing of the Primal Diet. But I’m a runner and tell people who are diabetic that you can pretty much eliminate diabetes by eating right and exercising, especially by running, jogging, or walking briskly on a consistent basis. Cardio exercises help you get in shape and become healthier better than anything out there. Your results look great!

  21. Sounds like a good candidate for the Primal Kitchen Franchise!

  22. Well done! Congratulations on your accomplishment. Means so much that you are paying it forward by offering primal fare at your restaurant. All the best!

  23. Congratulations, Harry! I hope other restaurants follow your example. It’s frustrating to eat out and constantly have to create my own meal by combining an assortment of sides. Grok on!

  24. Personally inspiring story from a fellow Cook who got his stuff together! Thank you, Chef!

  25. Inspiring transformation! Wonderful that you are able to offer primal fare at your restaurant too.

  26. Wow Harry!

    What a story.
    We are so honored to be a part of your journey towards optimal health!

    Keep it up!
    Here’s to your health!

  27. Harry!
    I love your restaurant. I don’t get there often, but way to go!
    Molly

  28. The very last sentence is so spot on, but a lot of people are working on that! This is a great success story, and I LOVE that you have incorporated primal options on your menu! Congratulations on reversing your health and may you gain many more years of a fulfilling life as a result.

  29. Inspiring beyond belief!

    I’m starting with a Whole30. About 3 weeks into it. Weird stuff is happening — like I have had to pull my car seat closer to the wheel twice already, apparently because I’m not reclined back due to the big gut. I stand and sit erect!

    The other weird thing is that I am happy all the damn time. An annoyance I have embraced.

  30. Good for you, Harry!!! I sent this article to my mom. She is 80 and is a quadruple bypass survivor, a cancer survivor and also has type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, basically metabolic syndrome. I know at 80, she won’t be able to do all the exercises, but I believe she can get rid of that type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure by strictly following Primal. I’m praying that she is as inspired by your story as I am! Keep up the good work and thanks for the inspiration!

  31. Wow. Your story carries so much “weight” with me. I’m 61, been obese nearly all of my life and just discovered Primal. Oh my goodness! I almost gave up trying to improve my health at this age, but now I know it’s possible. I’m type 2 diabetic and have been on disability for over 3 years. Thank God there are solutions to folks with difficult issues and health challenges like mine.