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February 12 2016

60 Pounds Gone: How I Reclaimed My Life by Going Primal

By Guest

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-1-2Throughout my high school experience I fluctuated in weight, but towards adulthood I began to gain weight slowly.  At 19, I began to go to the gym regularly and had actually started taking over-the-counter fat burners from a well known health food store in my area. At the time, the fat burners contained ephedrine which was later discovered to be rather dangerous, but at the time they had helped me lose quite a bit of weight. However, I had started to have frequently occurring panic attacks where I felt like my heart was racing and that something was seriously wrong with me, so I stopped taking them and the panic attacks stopped.

Unfortunately, when I was about 23, the panic attacks returned and no matter how many times I would go to the doctor for help, they would tell me, “It’s just anxiety.” Eventually I made it to the doctor while I was in the middle of one of these attacks and it was discovered that I was experiencing atrial fibrillation.

Over the next year I saw a couple different cardiologists and then went to a specialist who recommended a catheter ablation procedure. For this procedure, they would go in through the veins in my groin with catheters to try and find the faulty electrical signal in my atrium, and cauterize it to keep it from interfering. Over the past 10 years I’ve had five of these procedures and all of them have worked to an extent, but have failed to completely eliminate the problem.


Slowly from 2005 on, my weight continued to increase, topping out in 2012 at 240 lbs. I am 5’6″ with my shoes off and 240 lbs is a lot of weight to lug around. I was unhealthy both physically and mentally.

Cabo Couple

I had known about Mark’s Daily Apple for a year or so at this point. A motocross friend of mine named Steve had recently retired from the Marine Corps. Although he was fit his whole life, he said he never felt as healthy as he could have and even suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome due to all of the years of hard training. He said making the change to a Primal lifestyle changed his life, and that interested me. I debated it for a while, and initially experimented with an 80/20 approach.

I can’t describe why or what changed in my life that made me finally just decide to go full bore, but in 2013 I made the leap. I would spend my breaks at work on Mark’s Daily Apple learning as much as I could. I bought Paleo cookbooks and began making home cooked Primal meals every Sunday, and would make enough to get me through the week.

In the beginning the weight seemed to be falling off so fast, with 30 lbs dropping off in the first six months easily. The more weight I lost, the better I felt and the more confident I became. It motivated me to keep going and I began to preach to everyone I knew about what I had learned.

Hawaii CoupleI have become so sensitive to how food affects my body. Every now and again, I will give myself a “cheat” meal and immediately I can feel the affects to my body and how I feel. Any time I consume grains or legumes I feel bloated and uncomfortable. I don’t crave what I used to crave. My days don’t revolve around meals and that provides me with a huge sense of freedom! I eat to fuel my body, when it needs it. I no longer obsess over what my next meal is going to be.

I am back to racing motocross which is what I love to do, and I have never ridden better. My fitness has come so far, and it continues to improve. I now weigh 178 lbs and although my weight loss has slowed, I am able to adjust my diet as needed to maintain. My next goal is to drop about 15 more lbs and improve my fitness even more. I recently purchased Primal Endurance and have been reading daily. I can’t wait for what the future holds. I thank you for changing my life and making this information available. Mark’s Daily Apple has improved my life immeasurably.



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39 thoughts on “60 Pounds Gone: How I Reclaimed My Life by Going Primal”

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    1. Wow that is AMAZING. I myself am starting my Paleo Journey. Come visit my blog today’s post FRIENDLY PALEO SHOPPING LIST

  1. Glad to hear how great you feel. Always look forward to Fridays and the amazing changes people make for themselves. Congrats.

  2. Great change in you–and I’m sure for your family. Be thankful for every day you have–and even more thankful for each day in good health which increases joy in life many times over.

  3. SO happy for you Steve!
    Things will just keep getting better and better for you. 🙂

  4. Love the pizza stain on the shirt in the first photo!
    All kidding aside, great job Steve. My mother had Agoraphobia and could never get rid of her anxiety. You’ve come a long way. Keep up the good work. A huge congrats!!!

    1. Haha that was actually something much worse. I had gotten 3rd degree sun burns on that cruise the 2nd day of our cruise. Ruined the whole cruise for me I was in so much pain. Thanks for the kind words!

  5. Wonderful work. You have taken control of your life instead of ” flirting with disaster.” Enjoy the peace of mind you get from living right. Lovely family.

  6. Congratulations! Has your family gone Primal with you? Hook ’em young, you know? Keep up the great work, dude.

    1. While they haven’t gone totally primal, I have certainly had an influence on their diet. We don’t have much bread in the house, they keep any type of soda or candy in the house and I cook the whole family meals as often as possible. My kids unfortunately venture off and stay with family some times during the day and eat whatever the family feeds them which is usually not primal. I would love to get them to commit 100%.

    1. Yes unfortunately losing that much weight has not “cured” my A-fib, however following a primal lifestyle keeps me away from the outside triggers of a-fib like alcohol. So my A-fib episodes have dramatically decreased. Unfortunately I don’t think I will ever be cured completely. But not having to lug around 240lbs makes it much easier to deal with than it was previously.

      1. Congratulations! You have done amazing. A-fib can be related to a sleep disorder ( like sleep apnea) or mineral/vitamin deficiency . I had A fib which disappeared as soon as I started my cpap . Hope this helps!

  7. Hi Steve,

    I had a LONG history of PAT. First diagnosed at age 15. Lots of stuff tried. Nothing worked.

    Eventually I discovered that in me it was a delayed food allergy reaction (4-5 days) to eating several foods.

    Beef, tomato and onions were by far the worst. Once discovered my cardiologist told me: ” I have never heard of anything like that.”

    I have since talked to others. Same symptoms, same experiences, same MD advice.

    I eventually fixed my diet [added minerals, etc.]. Problem GONE. Absolutely GONE. Still amazes me 55 years later. Can’t remember the last time I had the problem.

    You have come to the right place :).


    1. This is a really noticeable change in your face and body and you look much more healthy, congratulations!

  8. Congratulations, Steve. My grandmother had atrial fibrillation, and she discovered fairly close to the end of her life that she was gluten intolerant. My uncle did the research for her online as he was having chronic gut problems. It turns out that he was gluten sensitive, also. You look wonderful, but even better, is the fact that you feel healthy. I’m also curious about the a fib. Did it go completely away? Best to you and your family.

    1. The a-fib has not gone away completely, but the episodes are less often and less severe. Thank you so much for the kind words! My doctors tell me that so many people have A-fib and don’t even realize it, and older people it is extremely common.

      1. I was having periodic A-fib episodes several years ago. A naturopathic doctor told me to take magnesium (400 mg/day of mag. glycinate). Doing so immediately eliminated the problem. This might not work for everyone, but it sure did the trick for me.

  9. Nice work Steve………… looking fantastic. Another guy who I wouldn’t recognise between “before” and “after”.

    Also, we gots to know………’s the heart problem now? And what does the cardiologist have to say about your fabulous turn around health wise?

    1. Cardiologists are very happy for me, they are like family to me as they have treated my mother in the past. Some people do not recognize me in the office anymore.

      I still have to take anti arrhythmic medication for the a-fib but the episodes are infrequent and I do not have to take blood thinning medication like most people with chronic a-fib.

  10. Wow, what a transformation! You don’t even look like the same person!

    I am curious about your afib as well.

    My 89 year old dad has it, along with some congestive heart failure (in fact, everyone I know over the age of 70 has been diagnosed with afib, what’s up with that???), and I firmly believe it’s diet related. But will he listen to me and attempt something different?? Sadly, no.

  11. Thank you everyone for the encouraging words! Unfortunately the a-fib did not go away completely, but the episodes are rare and less severe. Going primal has steered me away from some of the “triggers” the biggest is drinking.

    1. My husband has a-fib so I’m always researching looking for something to help him. I read in one of Dr. Bruce West’s newsletters about a year ago that a-fib was a B4 (choline) deficiency. My husband started on it immediately. At his last physical a couple of months ago the a-fib was detectable, but much improved. The doctor didn’t think it was bad enough that he needed to take anything for it now, although a couple of years ago he was recommending meds.

  12. Wow! Awesome transformation!
    While it is so common for panic-attack prone people like me to mistakenly think there is something wrong with their heart, it never occurred to me that the opposite might also happen! Good thing they found out about your actual condition!

  13. John ,same problem as you had only still acts up every 2 or 3 months for a week or so before it stops,was thinking about minerals ect would be interested to known what kind you are taking Had it for 17 years now still take meds had a few ablation,s would love to get it under control

  14. You’re holding a tiger! How did you get to do that? Is it soft?

    1. There’s a great story with that, in that picture my wife and I were on a cruise in cabo, the 2nd day on the cruise I got 2nd or 3rd degree sunburns due to the humidity my sunblock sweat off. Anyway we went in to town and I was already in pain, but a local zoo was raising money by letting people take photos with a baby tiger. It was a little fluffy but the fur is not like a house cat it is much more bristle like. Shortly after this picture the tiger proceeded to bite me multiple times and drew blood. The people working there freaked out. I need a do over on that cruise.

  15. Nice! I like that your wife/girlfriend was beside you in every pic!