I Was Unhealthy and Getting Sicker: Something Had to Change

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!

Hi Mark,

I’m 47 years old, happily married, and have a 12-year-old son. I encountered The Primal Blueprint in May 2012, and it’s changed my life.

I’d been working on some health issues for a few years and had seen solid progress. However, something wasn’t clicking. My weight was still going up and down and my triglycerides were always high, never falling below 240. Nine weeks after I started following The Primal Blueprint, I dropped 12 pounds and my triglycerides fell below 100 for the first time in years. After 9 months with The Primal Blueprint, my triglycerides are at 105 and I’ve lost a total of 25 pounds.

I like The Primal Blueprint because it targets overall health, not just weight loss and physical fitness. It’s also about playing, thinking, resting properly, and managing stress.

Some background: About 10 years ago, after a lifetime of “enjoying” the Standard American Diet (McDonald’s was my kind of place), I began experiencing a steady decline in health. I developed painful tendonitis in both Achilles. I had occasional bouts of gout in my big toe. (One of the most painful things I’ve experienced in my life.) My forehead was constantly broken out with rosacea. I was overweight. I easily became irritable and got the low-blood-sugar shakes when I went more than a couple of hours without eating. I was having dizzy spells and at times stumbled while walking down the hall at work. And I was starting to really be concerned about my weight, which at 190+ pounds was the highest it had ever been. (I’m 5’ 7” and feel that my “ideal” weight is somewhere between 140-150 pounds.)

During a bout of Achilles tendonitis in 2009 that kept me home from work, I felt it was time for some self-examination. I looked at myself and saw an out-of-shape, overweight middle-aged man (I was 43) who couldn’t walk, who was experiencing dizziness for no apparent reason, and who had embarrassing acne on his forehead. I was unhealthy and getting sicker. Something had to change.

Tim - 2011

It was at that time I was told by my chiropractor/nutritionist that I had Metabolic Syndrome, was suffering from insulin resistance, and was in an almost-constant state of inflammation. Over the next 3 years under his guidance, I cut out soda and fast food and began to eat organic vegetables, farm-fresh eggs, and grass-fed beef. My health improved markedly, and I felt a lot better. My tendonitis flare-ups were less frequent and less severe. And my rosacea cleared up completely. My weight, however, was still going up and down, generally hovering in the mid-180s. And my triglycerides remained above 240, topping out at 446 in March 2012!

There is a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease in my family (not to mention gout), and I was concerned I was heading down the same road. I knew I had to ramp up my efforts to get my triglycerides down. I had learned over the past few years that excessive dietary sugar is stored in the body as triglycerides, so I decided to get serious about eliminating grains and sugar from my diet.

Shortly thereafter, in May 2012, I came across a copy of The Primal Blueprint in my acupuncturist’s waiting room. It was beside a sign that read “This is the type of eating style we recommend.” I opened the book and knew right away I had found something special. The stories of Ken Korg and his family really spoke to me. I was exhilarated! I bought a copy and haven’t looked back.

The book’s description of the role of insulin in fat storage and retention fascinated me. I had known that grains and sugar were problematic, but I began to understand exactly why. I became convinced that controlling insulin production and exercising Primally were the keys to not just burning stored body fat, but to finally reducing my triglycerides. The Primal Blueprint was the missing piece of my nutritional puzzle, the missing link in my nutritional evolution.

I immediately cut processed carbs from my diet. I started exercising with the Primal Essential Movements. And I made a hobby of discovering more and more local sources of pastured meat, organic vegetables and fruit, farm-fresh eggs, and grass-fed raw-milk dairy products. (Living in the Black Dirt region of southern New York is very conducive to my foraging.)

Using The Primal Blueprint carbohydrate curve as a guide, I started losing 1-2 pounds a week. Nine weeks after first reading The PB I had my next round of blood work. My triglycerides, which had measured over 400 two months prior, were now down to 76! “You’ve reversed your insulin resistance” my nutritionist surmised with a smile. That was incredibly fulfilling.

My wife, who has always been supportive of my attempts at improving my health, was so impressed; she joined me for a 21-Day Challenge. My 12-year-old son joins me on my weekend foraging trips to local farms and farm markets and is learning where his food comes from. He’s gotten used to bun-less burgers, enjoys yogurt and fruit for dessert, and prefers raw grass-fed cheese to “that flappy cheese” as he calls process cheese product singles.

Tim and Family - September 2012

After 9 months with The Primal Blueprint, my triglycerides are in a healthy range at 105 and my weight, now at 160 pounds, continues to go down. While I love the drop in waist size, I know that the real signs of my improved health are on the inside, where my systems are functioning more as nature intended, and my lifestyle is promoting optimal expression of my genes.

Tim - August 2012

Thank you, Mark. Grok on!

Tim T.

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61 thoughts on “I Was Unhealthy and Getting Sicker: Something Had to Change”

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  1. “McDonald’s was my kind of place”. 🙂

    Love how you turned PB into your lifestyle, Tim, and involved your family. Amazing results, especially on the triglycerides. Great job! And yeah, “flappy cheese”. Shudder.

    1. Nothing like when your palate starts to shift a little while after the diet shift and you notice that unhealthy foods really don’t taste as good as you remember.

      That was my experience with ice cream a couple of weeks ago.

      1. Great story Tim, glad to hear you got the health conditions under control. Always cool when you can get the family on board too. Love me a Good Friday story. Off to do some early morning foraging myself!

  2. Nice work! I think I get more excited about people who get “healthy” than who get “ripped.”

  3. That’s an interesting progression, how you found out that cutting soda and fast food and eating healthier foods wasn’t enough and how cutting grains and sugar turned out to be the key. It’s always neat to see that so clearly proven and your story is one I can share with certain friends. Congrats on turning it all around. Your foraging trips sound like a lot of fun. 🙂

  4. Congratulations, you look great! And now your son has a chance to learn this lifestyle while he’s young. It’s neat how that waiting room sign got you started on the Primal Blueprint– we all discover it in such random ways. (I’m always tempted to hand out little cards to strangers “Get this book and read it!”)

    1. Me too (on handing info out to strangers)! It’s funny how this way of eating makes you want to become a preacher!

      1. On eating this way making you want to be a preacher; I think it’s because of how much better it feels with so little change, and all of the changes just MAKE SENSE!
        Congrats, Tim on your progress and health!

  5. Loved this story! This one really spoke to me. Thank you so much for sharing! I love your attitude and openness to new ideas. What a wonderful example to set for your son as well.

  6. Great job Tim. Going from Korg to Grok. Love the pic of Sedona and the Merrell’s you are wearing! Grok on!

  7. you look good. Continued success on your weight loss you are well on your way to your goal!

  8. “I came across a copy of The Primal Blueprint in my acupuncturist’s waiting room. It was beside a sign that read “This is the type of eating style we recommend.” ”

    So cool! More health care practitioners can learn a thing or two from your Acupuncturist. Awesome job in your transformation not just physically but mentally as well. Way to get your son on board!


    1. I thought the same thing! It’s so awesome that you have a health care practitioner who supports this type of diet.

      Congratulations on your success!! Those numbers are really impressive, and there’s nothing better than hearing a doctor say you’ve reversed a serious health issue (:

  9. Great job! You look awesome! Happy to hear that you feel great, too! 🙂

  10. Great job! You have years of good health ahead of you.

    I started primal eating eight months ago at age 58. My triglycerides went from 121 a year ago to 65 last month. That’s a 47% improvement. My LDL went down 20% and the HDL went up 16%, I’m sold. Best of all, my bacon and eggs consumption must be up at least 1000%!

  11. Congratulations Tim, a great transformation, and so good that your son has taken it on board. At 46 I always wish I’d found this lifestyle years ago but your story is yet another example of how quickly and dramatically you can turn your life around for the better.

  12. Inspiring story. I am around the same age and started 2 weeks ago.

    You coming across the primal blueprint at your acupuncturist does give me an idea. Last year i came acr

  13. In your acupuncturist’s waiting room? Crazy! Congrats on the transformation, Tim. Your family looks healthy and happy in that last pic. 🙂

  14. Way to go! Really enjoyed reading about your transformation from not feeling great to being healthy and happy.

  15. Congratulations, Tim! Your story is so inspirational! My acupuncturist has the Primal Blueprint posters on the wall of the waiting room. When I saw it during my first visit I knew I had found my people

  16. Wow! What a change in only 9 months! Keep up the great work, and like you said, what you see is representative of the positive changes happening inside. You look great. Grok on!

  17. Mad congrats and inspiration that maybe one day my little girls will join my pb lifestyle!

  18. Fantastic Transformation Tim, good job! You should be very proud of yourself.

    On another topic, any comments folks about the study that is on every site it seems (on cnn dot com and elsewhere) about the link of Omega3 to prostate cancer? Apparently a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states there is a strong correlation.

    1. I somehow missed the reports, but my husband mentioned that he’d read about this study. I hope Mark will address this!

  19. That’s an awesomely healthy family right there.

    Congratulations on being another person who took charge of their own health and turned it around. You look relaxed and glowing in the “after” pics. Isn’t it wonderful when we are in the right place at the right time – i.e. when we see the message when we are ready to “get it” – hope you thanked your accupuncturist!

    Keep up the good work.

  20. Great work Tim. Skin, weight, cholesterol, gout – check, check, check, check.

  21. Way to go Tim!!! What a great transformation! Congratulations!
    Life is so much sweeter when we find the answers that click and suddenly we see clearly, without our health we can’t enjoy much. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  22. hooray, tim! your story is motivational and well written…a fun read on a saturday morning! thanx for the inspiration!

  23. I used to live on this blog, have not posted in several years. I know that every Friday, another Primal success story is shared. But I’m just compelled to weigh in this particular Saturday and say “Mark. Saved. My. Life.”

    Paul Verizzo
    Sarasota, FL

  24. Congrats! Beautiful family. And I love your son’s T-shirt 🙂 We have a potential future Akeela camper in our family. Enjoy your new life!

  25. Well done. Looks so much better too.

    Keep going down to 140 pounds if you can.

    Thanks to the lnk to the carb curve – just what I was looking for as trying to lose 14 – 28 pounds and despite mostly eating meat/fish/eggs and veg the weight is not shorting too well at present. Not sure why. Perhaps I just am able to stuff myself with more steaks and meat and fish and eggs than most people so still eating more food than I need.

  26. You look like you have reversed the clock about ten years too! Fantastic. And it will only get better as you continue!

  27. Great story…I love Sedona! Looks like you are at the airport mesa. I live around Sedona and I’m still not tired of the beautiful rocks!

  28. I’m still relatively new to MDA so am just now seeing your story, Tim. Quite an inspiration! I think it’s so neat that you received the information when you were ready and willing to receive it. I’ve had similar issues with my #s and your story gives me hope I’ll be able to improve as you did.

    Grok On!