January 2012, 100 lbs. lighter

This is my husband Brandon holding up his 46 in. waist pants that he was doting last March. As you can see he is quite smaller – actually 12 inches smaller in his waist! How did the weight loss happen, you ask?

Well, let me give you a little glimpse of his journey...

Brandon was a college football player when we got married in 2000 and was in great shape and weighing approximately 265. But after he stopped playing, exercise and health took a backseat and was really not a priority for a long time. At his heaviest, in 2003, he weighed approximately 400 pounds and was in the midst of gout flare ups. In the summer of 2007 Brandon and I began doing CrossFit with a group of friends and shortly after we started CrossFit Utah Valley with those same friends. This marked the return of his passion for working out and for the next few years Brandon continued doing 3-5 CrossFit workouts a week and worked as a trainer too. But still not feeling healthy and still struggling with gout. Although he was told by doctors to lose weight, he never really felt like it was a true possibility since he was already exercising regularly.

Working out in 2009

Our Family in 2009

In about 2010, we had some CrossFit friends introduce us to “Paleo”. And like you probably guessed, we thought it was crazy, unrealistic, and not necessarily effective. You see our friends who introduced it to us to Paleo did not scream “weight problem” or even “chubby kid.” They appeared to be the image of health and fitness. Eating Paleo seemed to just make them look slightly more awesome than they already were. But once we wanted to make a change to be healthier, we choose to give Paleo a try. So many of us have tried so many different “diets” or “fads,” and we were no exception. So why not give Paleo a whirl – in August 2010 I started Paleo and Brandon soon followed after.

April 2011

HOWEVER, in March 2011, Brandon was armed with a big goal in mind – to run in the Red Rock Relay this past summer. So he figured he would need to lose 2 lbs. per week to achieve his goal of being healthy enough to run comfortably. At that time, March 2011, he was approx. 325 lbs. And when Brandon puts his mind to something, he is committed in a very REAL way! So with a strict commitment to Paleo and joining CrossFit Endurance in addition to regular workouts, he met his goal with flying colors and hasn’t stopped! And now the gout is GONE and he is training for a triathlon! And my favorite thing is his reasoning: “Because I am doing things I never thought I could do!”ย 

January 2012

Hopefully, this goes to show you that it is not as much what you do, as far as exercise, but how diet can make a HUGE difference! Brandon and I, struggled with weight all our lives and Paleo has freed us from that. No counting, no extravagant foods, just fresh and clean eating! Paleo is aย life choice – it is not something you follow until you lose a certain amount of pounds – and because of that, it is also a life change. How strict you want to be is really up to you. Many people who eat Paleo (clean and fresh food) no longer need medications for asthma, diabetes, blood pressure, gout, etc. So to us, what we are doing now protects us from trouble in the future related to diabetes, high blood pressure, andย cholesterol.

I am so happy, as a wife, to know that Brandon has vitality and health and optimism about what the future holds! Thank you to our skinny (lol!) friends for not giving up on us and introducing us to this whole new world of possibilities!


73 responses »

  1. […] First of all, if you know my husband Brandon, please do not look at his speedy transformation and allow it to make you […]

  2. julianne says:

    Thanks for sharing your paleo success, it is an inspiration.


  3. Wow, my mom has been telling me a little bit about Paleo to help me with my joint pain. Honestly she has done a lot of crazy fad diets so I kinda blew it off. Perhaps I need to give this a better chance. Thanks for such a great testimonial. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I would do it! And most of us are like your mom – trying to find a solution to the battle of the bulge! I did the same thing, including South Beach and The Zone. But the great thing is this is not a fad, it’s life :)! Do some research and let me know what you think! Have a great day!

  4. Congratulations! This is an amazing accomplishment. You guys should be proud of yourself and thanks foor sharing your story with the world. I eat a plant-based diet without grains (just ocassionally) along with lots of protein from whey and eggs. I just wrote a piece on “how” to eat … and then came across this! Congratulations once more for being Freshly Pressed.

  5. What is Paleo? Congrats on your success. I’ve struggled since childhood with weight concerns. Thanks for your post and encouragement.

    • Thank you for your comment! Paleo is a way of eating that really is aimed at taking us back to when we didn’t process our foods and start eating so many carbs. So the sort is lots of meat, fish, protein, fresh veggies and fruit, some nuts, and good fats. No grains, no legumes, no processed sugars, and little to no dairy. For more info go to Robb Wolf’s website. I have the link on the left side of my home page. It has made a huge difference for everyone we know who has done it and has really helped us to succeed with our weight. Let me know how else I can help :)! Happy Hunting/Investigating! Let me know what you think ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. equine rugs says:

    Wow amazing effort on the weight loss. Well done ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Matt says:

    Funny: I was thinking about looking into Paleo earlier this morning. Thanks for clinching it for me!

  8. This is very inspirational! I, like many others, resolved to be healthier this year, and this really helps!
    Thanks for sharing and keep it up!

  9. xdhaas says:

    Always interesting to see another paleo success story. My family started paleo back in August and everyone here lost weight too, even me, who was at an ideal weight to begin with and hadn’t really intended on losing. But, it was all body fat, so no complaints.

  10. gaycarboys says:

    I could do with losing the 30 kilos I put on after giving up smoking. NYE resolution wss to give up drinking for 6 months, eat well and get some exercise in. so far so good.

    • Good to hear! Habits die hard but these are huge life changes you are tackling here, so props to you for your bravery and courage! Remember, it is definitely worth it and that you can make it happen with some discipline and self-control, even though it will be hard! Way to go!

  11. You are inspiration my friend. What you did is amazing. I made a promise to live healthier for 2012….and your post just motivated me more. Wishing you and your family all the wonderful blessings of the New Year.

    • That is so awesome that we inspired you! Go for it is all I can say! The difference it makes it so amazing! If it helps, try reading my post titled “My Starting Point.” And don’t be too hard on yourself either. My hubby always says every time you eat, there is an opportunity to make a good decision. So if you mess up at one meal, make a point to succeed at the next one! Keep us posted on your progress ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. babil2 says:

    Good job!
    Diet and exercise are keys to life, but it doesn’t come with sacrifice and commitment to follow through.
    Having accountability partners are helpful.
    Here is a good article.
    New Year’s Resolutions: The Pain of Change


    • Ooo I am excited to read the article you posted! Any change with regards to discipline is hard at first, but trust me – IT GETS EASIER!!!! Don’t give up and yes you gotta have an accountability partner. Paleo is a savings plan, not a spending plan. Meaning you are saying no to yourself now, so you can say yes later! You can do it!

  13. Congrats on the reduction. I am a semi follower of the paleo, if that is possible, and have dropped close to 50 pounds since joining Crossfit. The Crossfit Games will be coming up in 44 days and I hope you enter.
    Keep up the good work and I will be following your progress.


    • That’s great! And if weight loss is not a goal, to me, it is possible to be a semi-follower. You probably amp it up when it comes close to competing, but maybe it’s something put on the back burner when you are not. We have friends who do it all and as long as they are making progress I think it’s all good! My husband used to be a heavy lifter, but we laugh because now we realize his body isn’t made for it LOL! He seems to be built more like a swimmer – who would’ve thought that would ever be said about an offensive lineman, LOL! Good luck to you as well! Thanks for your comments!

  14. momb2 says:

    What an inspiration! Great job!

  15. abichica says:

    wooww!! amazing, it is always good to see someone who has gotten through this journey, because it is a hard one!! congradulations and wishing you a happy and healthy life.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think any significant change is hard since we are all creatures of habit. But Brandon reminds me that the impossible is possible if you are willing to work for it! My pastor once said, “To be different, you have to be different.” I so agree, especially with Paleo. Bad habits die hard, but we all can do it if we go forth with faith and confidence! I wish that for you – lots of faith and confidence in your own journey! It’s hard, but it is worth it :)! Thanks for your encouragement!

  16. Inspiring life altering story. Congrats to you both and your family!

  17. Great family story! Found you as I was “surfing” info about WordPress. Started by blog last year after I got picked up by a literary agent (I’m the author of a series of historical adventures for kids. http://www.annrichduncan.com) but my blog suffered because my computer was, well, sick. Finally got a new one and am trying to figure out this world of blogs. Good for you on your efforts!!!

  18. Wow the first paleo family that made front page. Congratulations on the weight loss.

    • Wow I didn’t know that – so cool! Thanks for sharing! All the attention has given us greater encouragement to share how Paleo can be practical and how it can make such a big difference! Thank you for checking us out!

  19. Thank you so much for posting this, for inspiration and ideas… I have just been “diagnosed” with quite a few vitamin and mineral deficiencies and I seriously need to start looking at what I’m eating… Paleo sounds very interesting…. had never heard of it before…

    • It seems like there are so many health problems for us Americans these days and YES I do believe that so much of it is related to what we eat and how much of what we eat lacks the good stuff we need to fuel our bodies. We all do it – we eat what’s easy and quick and suffer later, but I pray not for you! I would encourage you to give Paleo a try for 30 days and let the difference speak for itself. No gimmicks, no counting calories, just fresh, clean, and nutrient rich foods that our bodies need to run properly. Paleo is a new concept, but an old concept at the same time. Old like back before our food became so heavily processed and was stripped of its natural health benefits and in exchange became full of corn and was left nutrient poor and not good for us. I would love for you to visit http://www.robbwolf.com, especially this page http://robbwolf.com/faq/#basics. And read his book and be encouraged! Thanks for your comment!

  20. lloydrosen says:

    Wow fantastic! Great job, very inspiring!


  21. molls225 says:

    Congratulations! What an amazing accomplishment. I recently started Crossfit and LOVE it. Keep that weight off!!!!

  22. This is really inspiring! My husband lost 25lbs and I lost 20lbs, but after this christmas season I’ve put almost all of it back on. This post has really inspired me to get back to the grind and stick to it.
    Congratulations on your success and for getting freshly pressed!

  23. freemiss says:

    Paleo is amazing! It is great to keep hearing success stories, good luck !!!!

  24. I love this! I’m with you on the clean eating which is a challenge in our culture. But it’s worth it.

  25. Kathy says:

    What a lovely story! I am an avid Crossfitter and following a bit of a modified Paleo diet – in the best shape of my life because of it! Keep up the great work and looking forward to hearing more!

  26. Rae says:

    Congratulations on meeting your goals!

  27. Wow! Paleo changed your life! Some people just do not understand that this is the way we were made to eat. Without all the grains, processed foods, and all that junk.

    • Doc, that is SO good to hear from a medical professional! Most people, including some doctors, think we are nuts. But my family doctor agrees with you too! The way we were meant to eat! Thanks for your comment!

  28. valentinedee says:

    I’ve no idea what paleo is but I guess I’ll have to look it up. thank you!


  29. The Hook says:

    Your husband is to be commended for his hard work and dedication. Good job, Brandon!

  30. Dan Smith says:

    Great story….similar to mine: 400 lbs, gout, lost a ton (& the gout) with Paleo & CrossFit starting in 2010. Best wishes on continued success!

  31. ksmahoney says:

    Did you find the transition was difficult? I have been reading more research about the cancer and heart disease fighting properties of a plant-based diet, but I honestly haven’t had the nerve to really jump in and try it.
    Sara from http://www.losingtogether.com

    • Yes it was difficult, but within reason. I did not switch cold turkey – I eliminating non-Paleo items from my diet one by one at first and then after I saw the results, my progress sped up, but it was a process and I feel like as long as you are moving in the right direction, you can go at your own pace – just as long as you go! It might help for you to read my post titled “My Starting Point,” to get a perspective on how I did it, which was a little different than my husband. He is an all or nothing type of guy who went all our pretty much from the get go. So your approach is all your own, but do be committed! Another great thing to do is The Whole 30 (http://whole9life.com/start/) where you hit a “reset” button on your body so that you can see how what you eat effects you personally. I believe passionately that this way of eating and living will make an impact on your health! I have seen it happen in the lives of friends and I am constantly amazed! So be encouraged and keep the questions coming! I am happy to cheer you on and be of a help :)!

  32. lgsmash says:

    This is a great post and very timely for me! I’m just starting the Paleo diet today for the next 30 days, at least. I’m not trying to lose weight like your husband but more to get my body back on track withe healthy, whole foods. Cheers! (And congrats to your husband!)

    • Yay! I am so happy for you! Are you doing the Whole 30? Weight loss is just one objective of many that can be reached with Paleo – Athletics and AutoImmunity are a few others, as well as just general health. Be encouraged to follow through and change your future! Thanks for reading!

  33. Awesome! That is quite an accomplishment. I’m doing Jenny Craig and have lost 16 pounds so far. Losing weight is no easy task. Thanks for sharing this story. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. That is inspiring and a good reminder for me! I now weigh in at 200 due to a medication I take and I am having to take a second look at everything I put in my body. Which is sad because I love sodas which are part of my probelm. Best of luck and what a transformation!

    • You are SO NORMAL! We all are hooked on stuff that’s no good for us, and unfortunately the better choice is the hard one too! I hate that! LOL! BUT I want you to be inspired to make the change and live a medication free life and don’t out it off any longer – you can do this! Our health is based 80% on what we eat and 20% on what we do (exercise) and so diet is key! If you have more questions about Paleo, visit http://www.robbwolf.com/faq. I believe with all my heart, you will see a huge difference in how you look and feel! Good luck!

  35. sarahsjoys says:

    Hey…Jamie!! Too funny to pull up wordpress and see a random Freshly Pressed blog by someone I actually know! Congrats on your success with Paleo and on being freshly pressed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Rob Rubin says:

    I like reading about people’s weight loss stories since I too went from being a cheeseburger away from death to a 10K runner. We cut out red meat and became mostly vegetarian. Now, I feel like I might live till Tuesday!


    • I, like you, love a good cheeseburger! But we need to put it down to pick up health indeed! I am glad to hear that you are taking your health seriously! Congratulations in making a positive change!

  37. Wow — I do love unsponsored testimonials, as this truly seemed to work for him (and he’s not just being paid to say that, right?).

    Congrats on the journey, and thank you for sharing. I’m interested to learn more about Paleo.

    • I feel the same way! We want to share our story because we have seen it work for us and friends and we believe it can save lives, or at the very least save people from living a life full of medications, physical limitations, illnesses, and conditions that could be avoided if only we all cleaned up our diet and ate fresh, clean food. I would love for you to do some investigation and give it a try for 30 days and just experience it makes in how you look and feel. Thank you for letting us share and good luck!

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