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, my name is Mike. I haven’t always been overweight or obese. In fact, when I was a child and teen I was skinny. To the point of being teased frequently because of how skinny I was. No matter what I ate or how much of it I ate, I couldn’t gain weight. Fast forward to January 2017 and I was at my largest: 350 pounds, barely able to fit into 4xl shirts and was about to have to purchase 48 waist pants because the 46 I was in I couldn’t button. I had to put them close, fasten my belt, and hope the pants didn’t slip through and unzip.
I didn’t get here overnight, although after finding and devouring Mark’s Daily Apple I realized that my overnight practices were definitely part of it. High stress lifestyle as a paramedic for 18 years, working nights, fast food almost every meal, then stress eating through Physician Assistant school. I was definitely the “Do as I say not as I do” healthcare provider. And done with it.
In February of 2017 I checked my Hemoglobin A1C and it was 6.4, just 0.1 short of official diabetes. I started to do some of what Mark said to do on MDA but wasn’t fully into it. I’ve always been the “why it works that way” person and, being the geek that I am, kept reading. Mark’s Daily Apple, Chris Kresser, and others increased my nutritional knowledge far beyond my education as a PA (a subject for a completely different article).
In May 2017 I had lost 10 pounds but my A1c was still 6.2 and my Triglycerides were 264. It was time to actually do something about my health instead of just talk about it and tell my patients what to do. Actually, several of my patients as well as my parents, who really listened to what I told them, read MDA and instituted the Primal Lifestyle and had lost lots of weight and were doing great, which inspired me to take my own advice.
Like many people who are obese and have tried to lose weight, I’ve done well for a little bit, screwed up, and beat myself up about it. “I don’t know why I even try” and, “Well I blew it again” were frequent thoughts. When patients would ask how much I’ve lost since I started trying I would say, “Thousands” because I had been trying and failing since my mid 20s. I’ve been telling patients recently that the flip in mentality came with the 80/20 concept that we read about on MDA. It’s true. Once I fully grasped that concept and instituted it in my life, things began to turn around.
In December 2017 I tested again. My A1c was 5.4, Triglycerides 146, and I was down 15 more pounds. 2018 has been even better. I’m only down another 10 pounds (40 total as of this morning) but that’s despite several trips for work and some vacations, and my body composition is definitely changing. In May my A1c was 5.0. I’m officially no longer pre-diabetic. I am down 6 belt loops (I keep making new loops and the tip of my belt is literally on my left hip). I actually fit into and button a pair of 40 waist jeans. 3xl shirts fit me somewhat loose. All of this without any workout program. My BMI has gone from 47.5 to 42.0, so still morbidly obese but getting close to, “just obese.” I increased my activity by moving more and working on projects around my property such as building a raised garden (pulling weeds, raking rocks, etc), but didn’t do any actual workout program until the first week of May when I started a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) program three days a week.
I still have a long way to go to get to my goal of 205. The 21-Day Reset that we are currently doing has helped me get back on track paying attention to what I am doing. I’m sleeping better. Energy is better. Clothes fit better. The area I work (mountains in Arizona) has a large population that lives where it’s warm in the winter and comes up to the mountains for the summer. My summer patients who haven’t seen me since the fall are making comments about how I look. My confidence is returning and I’m re-engaging in life.
I will be 50 next year and I’m confident that I will be healthier at 50 than I was at 25. I also would like to do the Primal Health Coach Institute as well as the Functional Medicine Program at the Kresser Institute (student loans currently keep those from being financially feasible), and I have started to figure out how to institute a primal based health program at my current practice. Grok on!