Throughout 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.
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.
I 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 effects 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.
“Originally published on Mark’s Daily Apple.”