I Am Forever Changed

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!

Hello Mark,

My name is Brian McKenna and I am an inspiration! I am 30 years of age. I live five minutes from Boston, in the town of Saugus, Massachusetts. I am currently 5’9” tall and I weigh 177 pounds!

I would like to thank you for all the work you do and for writing The Primal Blueprint, it is the most important book I have ever/will ever read! I first read The Primal Blueprint in December 2010 and I have forever been changed! While reading your book I would often find myself throwing a fist into the air and swearing vengeance against convention wisdom!

During late 2009, I was 28 years old and I weighed just over 400 pounds and I had not been happy with myself in years. I had just enough energy to go to work then come home and sit on my butt and play Xbox. I was only sleeping between 3-5 hours a night. My diet mainly consisted of coffee truck cuisine, fast food, takeout food, and lots of soda. I would get a cold roughly four times a year, and then the cold would turn into a sinus infection. I also had high blood pressure, and based on how I felt when I started to get hungry I suspected I may be diabetic. I started to think about how I have lived my life so far, and how I have never been happy with my activity level and the way I looked.

So at the start of 2010 I decided to stop drinking soda, instead I drank some grape juice mixed with water. On March 4, 2010 I decided to weigh myself on the shipping scale while I was at work. I weighed just less than 400 pounds. I said some curse words then I decided to start changing what I ate. I left work early so I could purchase a blender so I could start making Alton Brown’s buff smoothies! I had my first AB smoothie on March 5, 2010 just before I left for work at 6:45 am. The AB smoothie became my breakfast every day, my lunch went from some junk off of the coffee truck to something I used to call a salad (romaine lettuce, shredded cheese, croutons, homemade dressing). If I needed a snack I would eat a handful of nuts, and my dinner was usually chicken tenderloins with another poor excuse for a salad.

By July of 2010 I weighed 350 pounds, by November I was down to 300 pounds (I finally got back down to my High School graduation weight!). I decided I was going to start working out again. The last time I worked out was back when I was 19 years old. So I started to work out in the basement with the multi station machine. Lat pull downs, rows, leg presses, etc. I worked out alternating muscle groups; I also worked out every other day of the week. But I did not have enough energy to get though my workouts so I decided that I needed some more carbohydrates. I started to incorporate some pasta into my diet. After a few weeks of consuming pasta and working out I noticed that I stopped losing weight and that lifting x number of pounds on this machine means nothing to me. So via Facebook I asked a friend from high school, who just happens to be a power lifter and own a supplement company, if he would recommend a book about body shaping and nutrition. I was told that he had read many great books, but if he only could recommend one book it was The Primal Blueprint.

I picked up The Primal Blueprint after work that day and I started reading it in the car in the parking lot of the book store. Within reading the first 100 pages of your book, I was forever changed. I finally knew why I started to get fat when I was a kid, and how I became a morbidly obese adult. I decided to start following the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws as best as I could. I made a promise to myself that I would continue to always better myself for the rest of my life! I ate eggs in the morning and some fruit instead of the AB smoothie. For lunch I had a huge salad with lots of vegetables, and topped with some chicken. For dinner I ate more protein and I tried Brussels sprouts for the first time in my life! During that first week of my transition, I noticed I had a lot more energy, so I decided to start going for a walk after work. I think the next week I decided to incorporate some PB fitness. I did my fitness assessment, and then I started on level 1 of all movements! I started to pay more attention to my energy level and my output.

I weighed myself on January 1, 2011 and I weighed 274 pounds! I started to feel this unstoppable power flowing through my body. I could tap into this power at any time and do whatever I wanted to do, then get up the next day and do it again. Go on a 3 hour hike though Breakheart Reservation, no problem! Then the next day do my PB fitness! I had my first attempt at sprints during late January 2011. After I was done with my sprint session I could not believe that I just ran. I had not even attempted to run since my teenage years and now roughly 15 years later I just ran!

I love the way I live my life now. During a typical week I am in bed by 9:30 pm. I get up at 5:30 am, and I have my primal breakfast before I leave for work at 6:30. I work as a metal fabricator and I arrive to work usually 10 minutes before my shift starts. At work I have to wear steel toe shoes. And I spend my working hours standing on my feet running various metal processing machines. I bring a cooler to work; inside the cooler is my primal salad which I made the night before. I usually top my salad with chicken, tuna, or even sardines! I also bring a piece of fruit, some unsalted cashews, macadamia nuts or almonds with me, and one dose of whey protein. When I leave work at 3:30 pm, I have the energy to do whatever I want. Going for an hour long walk in my Vibram FiveFingers. Or having a quick walk before my PB fitness session. I save my sprints for the weekend. These are all things I love to do! For dinner I usually have chicken or a steak, and some Brussels sprouts or beets. Or if I am not that hungry I will have another dose of whey protein.

Throughout my life changing experiences, I have kept others informed of what I was doing and why I was doing it. I have even inspired others to make changes. I am so proud of myself that I made those changes and kept going. I am also proud of anyone that is not happy with the way they live and have decided to change. I would not be where I am now if I did not have the life experiences I have had so far. I will never go back to drinking bottled beverages, or consuming food that is processed. I will always stay active. I can feel all this energy flowing through my body. I have to put it to use!

Enclosed are some pictures of me. The fattest picture of me was taken on April 14, 2010. I weighed roughly 385 pounds. The picture of me with the greatest book ever written, that picture was taken February 2011. The last picture was taken in July of this year around my 30th birthday, and I was weighing around 200 pounds! Please share my story with others and if you want to know more just ask!

Thank you for reading this,

Brian McKenna

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