Down 100 Pounds in 9 Months!

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!

How I Gained It: For as long as I can remember I have been overweight. As a child I never thought I was inactive. I played all of the neighborhood sports, league baseball, rode bikes, I was always outside with my core group of friends in Island Park, RI. It was my diet that led me to be overweight. I would consume pizza, fast food, chips, cookies and everything else under the sun. It really got out of control when I got my drivers license. I now had access to a job and a car and could buy anything I wanted to eat. It was like this through high-school, college, and even in my job on a tugboat. Tugboats can be a very sedentary lifestyle. There is not much walking around on a 100ft boat. With access to all of the boat’s food, I was eating a lot with not much exercise. It is a very unhealthy lifestyle. I work on the boat for 3 weeks and then I am home for 3 weeks. The time spent at home was sleeping and eating and drinking, that was all I did.

Breaking Point: I had always thought about losing weight but never gave it a fair try. I thought about it everyday. The hardest part for me was trying to find clothes. I would have to order them online or go to big and tall stores. There are only so many styles at those stores and I definitely didn’t like many of them. On January 1, 2012 I decided I needed to change, not just for being able to buy nicer clothes but for my health. The US Coast Guard is in charge of Merchant Mariner licenses and they have been cracking down on BMIs in the industry. I had my annual physical coming up in March 2012.  So I figured if I jumped into a healthier lifestyle I would have 3 months to shed some weight.

John Mack - Before and After

How I Lost Weight: My close friend Ryan suggested I read a book by the name of  The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. This book covers the paleo Lifestyle. Eating like our caveman ancestors. I figured I could eat meat and veggies and be happy with it. After diving head first into the book I adopted a paleo way of eating. I found it to be very easy especially while reading every paleo book I could get my hands on. During my March physical I had lost 40 pounds with little effort. In fact, my doctor and nurse were shocked when I walked in. The nurse even asked, “do you realize you lost 40lbs”? I jokingly said “I had no idea”. Then they bombarded me with questions about paleo because they had never heard of it. I decided against exercising and to focus on my diet. It was September 2012 and I was down 100lbs. 100lbs in 9 months! I started to exercise after that and have been to this day.

The weight loss has slowed down a bit but muscle weighs more than fat, right? I have lost 130lbs total. I go to the gym everyday and mix in cardio and weight lifting. I really enjoy it now. I never thought I would enjoy going to the gym. My biggest joy of losing the weight is helping other people. I love talking paleo and I have even started a blog to help my friends (What Would John Mack Eat?). I can’t tell you how happy I am. It truly is a life changing event. My new goal is to get to 220lbs and go from there. My even bigger goal is to help people with losing weight.

Age: 30
Height: 6′ 1″
Before Weight: 370 pounds
After Weight: 240 pounds

John Mack - Before and After

John Mack - Before and After

John Mack

John Mack

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109 thoughts on “Down 100 Pounds in 9 Months!”

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  1. Great confident swagger in your “after” photos. You look really happy!

  2. That’s crazy awesome! Lookin good sailor, and I bet feeling even better 🙂

    1. Wow…. just wow! Thanks for sharing your story and great job pulling that off, John! All the best to you!

      Grok on!

  3. I can’t believe that’s the same person in the before and after photos! Congrats, John Mark. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story!

  4. I *thought* you looked familiar! I love your blog, and follow you on IG! Congratulations! What a transformation!

  5. Wow, awesome change for the better John! Congrats on your new healthy, happy life. 🙂

  6. Very inspiring store. i could have sworn I just read your story yesterday though. Did you by chance also post in the whole30 board?

        1. 😉 It’s gonna drive me nuts, i have to figure out where I saw your story. 😉 I remembered the story but also noticed the before pictures were tattoo-free and the after pictures had full sleeves. I had an appreciation for it.

  7. You have got to feel awesome not carrying a whole extra person, 130lbs, around. You are an inspiration, keep it up.

  8. That’s amazing! One helluva job you’ve done. I will be eating what John Mack eats, starting with the pork belly recipe, looks excellent as do the other recipes!

    Are you limiting alcohol to wine only? I have a hard time laying off the beer.

    1. Wow, your blog is really great. You’re my new cooking role model, I really need to up my game. And I found the cocktail section:)

  9. Great job, John! Wowza- What a hot grok!! Keep up the good work!

  10. Thanks for sharing, you look fantastic, and so healthy! Congratulations and I will check out your blog.

  11. WTG John!!!! That is AMAAZING! You look great… Gonna go check out your blog. Did someone say Pork Belly? Yum!!

  12. Way to kick some butt and adapt to making it work (the decision to not workout at the start worked out great for you!) Congrats!!

  13. Nine months, that’s unbelievably good news.

    You just want to grab people and shove their faces into this website every Friday and shout, “PEOPLE, ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?”

  14. Congratulations – you’ve lost an entire person! And you look amazing!

  15. Finally a fellow paleo pal in RI! I work on the island not too far from Island Point. I used to frequent El Parque.

      1. If you like to cook there is a fantastic program at JWU called “Chef’s Choice”; it is one of Rhody’s hidden gems. JWU is where I began my charcuterie journey. (See the hyperlink on my name for class offerings).

  16. Excellent success story – especially given the lack of exercise to begin with, just goes to show that this way of eating really does work. Well done and keep up with the great work!

  17. Nice John Mack. Great work. Doesn’t look like the same person. Good for you.

  18. Great job, man! I’m sure you will reach your 220 lbs-goal in no time. Grok on!

  19. I’ll drink to your health…the wine photo is awesome. Grok on brother!

  20. Incredibly inspiring John. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Truly shows you the power of diet, even diet alone. Nice work!

  21. You Did Work Man! Excellent transformation and total inspiration to so many. Let food be thy medicine.

  22. Congrats! You look great and more importantly, you look like you feel great!!!

  23. “I had always thought about losing weight….. I thought about it every day.” Wow, how many of us can relate to that… wake up daily thinking about it, and go to bed at night feeling like we’ve failed. Primal is life changing – unlike anything else.
    Taking action is a wonderful thing, and you did it big time, John! Way to go!!!!! You look great. Very inspirational.

  24. I understand a lot of people are on the fence about Paleo. But I relate more to what you said: meat, veggies – OK. It was easier than I thought it would be. Either that or I’ve forgotten what it was like at the beginning. Definitely just a way of life now!

  25. Are you sure you didn’t throw in photos of some unrelated stranger? I can’t even tell that the before/after is the same person!

  26. Really inspiring stuff. Love Saturday mornings (Down Under). Way to wake up!! Coffee, pjs, in bed with Mark and your good looking self.

  27. I love the fact that you don’t have that ‘drawn and hanging’ look to you after you dropped the weight. You look healthy and whole. Congratulations!

  28. Now you look like the kind of healthy, fit guy who should be on a tug!

  29. Magnificent turn around in your life. Congratulations and thanks for telling your story. Your passion for good health and good food are obvious. Keep on spreading the word!

  30. I love Fridays here. Someday I will have my own.

    You look fabulous, like you wake up every day and giggle when you look in the mirror!

  31. Love the tats! One day, when I get rid of this arm flab, I want to get a full sleeve, too (just the one). That must have been an awesome thing to accomplish!

  32. Congratulations! I applaud your success. Now take your success to the next level by eliminating all processed foods from your diet and take advantage of what God has already given us for optimal health.
    “…The trees will provide food, and their leaves will be used for healing.” Ezekiel 47:12 When you return to nature for food and medicine, success lasts.

  33. Is not friday without one of these amazing stories…Your history is already inspiring a friend to get onboard 🙂 Thank you! You look gorgeous.

  34. You look like a completely different person; a more confident, healthy version! Congratulations, and kudos to your friend who introduced you to paleo.

  35. Your confidence shines right through the photos. You look great and it’s so nice to see a genuine smile on your face. You look peaceful, at ease, and proud. Definitely inspirational.

  36. Who knew that studmuffin was hiding underneath that other man! Such an inspiration..great job!

  37. As a longtime reader I have never commented before, but now I must. AMAZING! Your story helps reinforce that food is the majority of the equation. This story gives me inspiration and hope for my brother who is struggling with obesity. Thank you so much for sharing!

  38. Congrats John Mack & looks like you are enjoying the benefits of your new lifestyle!

    I love how you were able to get leverage on yourself w/ your frustration & fear:

    * frustration over how you felt about the “fat clothes” selection
    * fear about your BMI causing you to lose your job

    it’s not mentioned here, but my experience coaching fat loss is that
    a lot of new relationship opportunities open up after major fat loss transformation which of course also boost self esteem.

    Keep it up John!!!!

  39. WOW! You look like a completely different person! Congrats on the amazing transformation. Keep up the good work!

  40. Congrats on the weight loss and health improvement!! I am curious to know if you have a lot of excess skin as a result? If you do I would recommend to get skin removal surgery, not for aesthetic reasons, but for leptin signalling and metabolic processing. If you have a lot of excess skin (I don’t notice from the pictures, but in case if you do on your stomach etc.) then the fat cells in the skin are all depleted and therefore they would be depleted of leptin. If one is deficient in leptin such as in the case of major weight loss, then the hypothalamus gets screwed up signals and perceives starvation mode. For easier weight maintenance, having skin removal surgery will get rid of the depleted fat cells, and the rest of the healthy fat cells will be able to function, and your leptin levels would be more in balance ie. you would not be in starvation mode.

    It’s just a consideration and purely up to you. I just wanted to point this out. If you want more detailed information on this I would suggest Woo (Scribble Pad) blog and you can search leptin. She lost something like 160lbs and she had skin removal surgery (but she also participated in a leptin trial study as well—which she speaks of her experience).

    All the best!!

  41. Nice one John!
    You killed it!
    Don’t stop now, keep powering through!
    If you need a shot of discipline motivation stop by my blog.

    lemme know when yours is up too!


  42. Wow, John. Just. Flat. Out. Wow. The before & after pics don’t even look like the same person. Your transformation is stunning/bsolutely amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us.

    Nice ink, too – BTW!

  43. hi all so I have know about primal for some time know just need supports to start and keep going is there a group that gets together in Edmonton ?