I Began By Eating, Not Starving

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!

I was 40-years-old, 205 pounds and only 5 foot 6 inches. I ate whatever I wanted. Which usually meant a sleeve of cookies, a quart of soda, a bag of gummy bears….pretty much whatever. Twelve years before I had been a slim fit Marine and had since put on 60 pounds without notice. My vision was getting bad, my sleep was never sufficient, my motivation non-existent. And obviously, my marriage suffering from my lack of interest, poor disposition and dwindling testosterone.

A few years earlier I had gone on the Atkins diet and did lose weight. But I couldn’t sustain it because my cheat days kept increasing till I was back eating junk and was even fatter than when I started.

I literally stumbled on The Primal Blueprint and took the chance, bought the book and read it. Read it like a book. Not like stereo instructions, where you skip ahead past things you “know.” The light came on. Mark’s way of explaining things clearly and directly opened my eyes. I began by eating, not starving. Eggs and sausage, real meat, fresh veggies and just walking.

Seemingly overnight my tight 34″ pants were falling off. I had no belts that worked and my XL shirts looked like ponchos. I didn’t even own a scale, so I bought one and when I stepped on it I was dumbfounded—165 pounds in less that 4 months. I needed all new clothes. Nothing fit. I lost 4″ in my waist and now wore a medium shirt. As I felt great, I wanted to work out because I could. So I left behind the body weight exercises and hit the gym weightlifting and still walking and doing sprints. I also began intermittent fasting.

Family members began asking if I was sick. I told them I felt great and was changing my eating habits and working out. When I explained it further I was told how my cholesterol was surely high and I was advised to see a doctor for blood work. Well, guess what? My blood work came back perfect.

As a side note, it was time to renew my state drivers license and the lady at the DMV made me get a new picture because I looked so different.

Skip ahead to today. I am going to be 50 next year. I am 145 pounds, 28″ waist and 38″ chest. I squat and deadlift 300+pounds and jump rope, and love going to the gym. I have to force myself to take rest days. My last blood work was a waste of time since I knew what it was going to be. Perfect! I have refined my consumption to be more seasonal. I eat loads of venison and wild boar that I hunt. Lots of caught trout, eggs and avocados, coconut oil and spinach with citrus are staples. I get about 75% of my calories from fat, 15% or so from protein and the rest from veggie based carbs. Fruit isn’t that important to me. The commercial stuff is way to sweet.

And I’m spreading the word! In fact when people get to know me and see that I’m not some crazy marathon runner or grass eater they start the conversation. They want what I have. My closest friend went from 235 pounds to 175 pounds. Five co-workers in just the last month have bought the book and are all on the way to a great life. As I type this I just got a text from one telling me his wife is down 10 pounds, and he’s down more than 15.

I’m a success story for one simple reason. Mark. I owe every bit of it to you. You literally gave me a life back. You showed me the path through the jungle of fad diets and misinformation. I will, forever, be indebted to you. There’s no doubt in my mind that had I not read The Primal Blueprint, I would be on insulin, 250 pounds, probably divorced and headed to an early grave. Instead I feel like a 20-year-old, look like a stud and and chase my wife around like a teenager!

Thanks again, Mark. Grok on , brothers and sisters!

Kellet Stephens

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23 thoughts on “I Began By Eating, Not Starving”

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  1. What an excellent story! Really pleased you’ve had such success with it!

  2. Congratulations!You look terrific. It’s interesting that people who are used to seeing us overweight suddenly become concerned about our health when we LOSE weight, rather than vice-versa. Goes to show how pervasive the idea of “obesity being the new normal” has become.

  3. Awesome job, great story. I agree with your sediment towards Mark. He did for me more than almost any person has done and I never even met him.

  4. Great job Kellet! Love your point on not preaching (it’s hard sometimes) but having people ask how you transformed and telling your story. You will enjoy it as you cross the 50 threshold. I am 58 and still Groking up in Canada.

    Happy Fathers Day and impressive on the weighted squats. You are crushing it man!


  5. From pudgy dad to the next James Bond. Daniel Craig…look out!

  6. Great job–I love the emphasis on eating real foods, not starving yourself. Also, the props to Mark!

  7. As someone just starting on the Keto journey- like this week! Your story was and is very inspiring and motivating. Thank you for sharing it!

  8. I am 50, 5’4″, and a former Navy officer. Always in decent shape, but after my daughter was born 13 1/2 years ago, I swelled up to 200+ pounds. I then read and followed The Primal Blueprint several years ago, and had a very similar experience – changed eating habits, walked a ton, mostly body-weight exercises, and lost 40 pounds. I’ve since eaten the SAD diet again, and gained it back. Reading your story is great inspiration – congratulations! I am starting again, and will return to that wonderful feeling of feeling good. Thanks for your story and all the best!

  9. I agree, I am totally indebted to Mark. If not for him, I don’t know what I’d be feeding my toddlers right now, and based on my past food choices, that’s a really scary thought. I am forever grateful. Thanks to this amazing website, I have fed my babies only nutritious foods from the very start, and I am so proud of that. Thank you a million times, Mark! (also, great story!)

  10. Great story, I love the idea of eating seasonally, too. Venison, wild boar, trout, eggs, spinach, avocado… delicious! I agree that feeling well and energised is the best thing, though.

  11. You look terrific, Kellet, with a great story to go along with your photos. it’s wonderful to hear how much Mark and the Primal Blueprint helped you – and how you are inspiring many others.

  12. Man…you look great and your story has just inspired me to get back on the Primal train! Grok on…

  13. I’m with you brother! I am turning 64 soon but apparently my testosterone is way up from when I was in my 40’s. My wife is also on the run…

  14. thanks for sharing your story. It gives me inspiration, I’m the same age as you and have also adopted this life style, I’m looking forward to being Fit n Fifty early next year. Cheers Greg

  15. OUTSTANDING!!!! I am happy hearing your story. I went from 220 to 165. my waist from 30/40 to 34! Changed my eating habits like you. I have had Mark’s book for awhile now and his knowledge on the subject is great! You keep up the good work and keep spreading the word!!

  16. Great story, thanks for sharing this with us all! I am 61, eat Primal and weigh less than when I graduated from high school. And I also am NOT starving, I am satisfied!

  17. Great story of transformation… and massively encouraging too. Thanks for sharing!