Testimonial written by: John Mack
I love food. Always have, always will. It’s just that for the first 28 years of my life, the food I loved was processed, junk food. This lifestyle led me to become the “fat kid”, even though I was always playing sports as a kid. I was never one for just three square meals a day, I preferred to eat all day long. I would eat anything that came from a box, bag, or bottle and things only got worse when I got my license. Once I had a car, I could have the fast food I craved whenever I wanted. And in college I was known to enjoy a social beer, or twenty. By 28, I weighed over 370 lbs.
After college I took a job on a tugboat. I love the ocean, I have always felt connected to it. Life on a tugboat is confined to 100ft of boat. There are days when you are so busy you barely sleep, but then there are days when work can be slow with nothing to do but eat. It is a very sedentary lifestyle. I learned to cook on the boat which is a trait that has helped save me today. I enjoyed cooking on the tugs but once again it was very unhealthy foods being made. Late night snacks consisted of deep-fried chicken wings to frozen pizzas almost nightly. I would round off the night watch with a bowl or two of sugary cereals. This was just food and not including all of the sugary beverages I gulped down to help me stay awake from 12am-6am.
How I found Paleo/Primal and how it helped:
My life changed for the better in December 2011 when my friend Ryan sent me a heart-felt email describing the Paleo diet. Eat like a caveman! Ryan had went over how one of his co-workers read it and had lost a lot of weight. Ryan was also doing it not to lose weight but to live an overall healthier life. January 1, 2012 rolled around and I decided to download every Paleo book on my Kindle and give it a shot. I read every book that came up on Amazon.com. I then came across the “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf. Let me tell you this book was amazing, his sense of humor really resonated with me. Also the fact that he talks about “Nor-cal Margarita” was a selling point for me. I knew I didn’t want to give up my social life so this really helped me out. My first Paleo meal was a nice NY strip steak and a huge salad. From there on out I was hooked. I have since read every Paleo book I can get my hands on as well as blogs and forums. I immersed myself in the lifestyle.
After changing my diet the weight started to drop off. I started at 372 pounds and after three months I was down 40 lbs. I figured I could continue on my track with ease if the weight was falling off. In the beginning, I decided to concentrate only on my diet because of past failed attempts at diet and exercise at the same time. By September 2012 I had hit the 100 pound weight loss mark. I never thought I could lose that much weight. I didn’t weigh myself regularly because it would drive me crazy. I decided to join a gym in November of 2012. I have been going regularly ever since then and have become addicted to working out. I work out everyday I can, even when I am on the boat. It has been 20 months now and I have lost right around 130 pounds. I am 240 now, which I never thought was possible. Before paleo,I had high blood pressure and a bad case of gout. Now my blood-pressure is finally in a normal range and I can’t remember the last time I had gout. All of these by just eating right. Plus, I no longer have to buy clothes in a big and tall store. Paleo truly has changed my life not only my health but the amazing people I have met along the way.
People always comment on my drastic weight loss and I am always eager to share my story. I have had some great success in helping people reach their weight loss goals. Two of my shipmates have started Paleo and both have lost over thirty pounds. I introduced the Paleo lifestyle to a lot of family and friends. Friends have emailed me, texted me, facebooked me, etc..for Paleo tips. I would say I average about 1-2 new messages during the week with acquaintances interested in Paleo. So I started a blog wwjme.com and an Instagram account WhatWouldJohnMackEat to inspire and help people who are interested in Paleo.
My goals for myself are not limited to losing weight and building muscle now, it is to help people live a healthier lifestyle. I have found a new passion in life and its all with food. I want to inspire and evoke change in people. I never thought of myself as one who would love to help people but my entire world changed on January 1, 2012 thanks in part to a friends suggestion.