Hello everyone! Happy Independence Day. I normally post success stories on Sunday but since today is Independence Day and the success story is about an Army Veteran I thought it was appropriate to publish it today. Read this success story and then contact me if you have one to submit yourself. All comments, questions and concerns are greatly appreciated and can be left below. Grok on!
P.S. Zach submitted this photo of himself while in the Army. He is the man in the middle. When he gets down to his ideal weight he will submit a new photo to me which I will then place on this blog post. The emphasis, bold lettering, throughout the post is mine.
I recently downloaded the app called Primal Feed for my Android phone. I stumbled on the app while I was working at my internship. I got to checking the app out and I noticed a feed for unique stories and I thought to myself “I have a pretty unique story” so I debated contacting www.primaltoad.com.
I guess I should start with my name, age, etc. My name is Zach Powell and I am a 31 year old from Huntington WV. I currently live in Chester WV.
My story begins when I was 23 years old. I had enlisted in the Army when I was 17 years young and had been in the military up to this point. My unit deployed to Iraq in February of 2003. This is where the story begins. I am not telling this for sympathy or anything like that. This will be the short version of my story because its very hard personally for me to tell.
On 1 June 2003 myself, 3 other military and 5 civilians were taken prisoner by Iran.
That’s right; Iran. We were held from 1 June 2003 to 3 June 2003 which in most people opinions isn’t a long time or isn’t long enough for their liking. I can assure you that the 2 days I spent while captured were not easy.
From the 2 days of captivity I have 2 cracked vertebrae, a bulging disk (which has come about more recent), spondolythesis (my spine shifts 18 mm out of place) which causes my body weight to shift to my right hip causing all kinds of problems, sciatic nerve damage which has resulted in lack of feeling in both my shins, and of course PTSD which is a really hard thing to deal with. I am rated 100% disabled from the VA.
After returning home I had a lot of problems adjusting to normal life. The VA hospital began treating me like they do everyone else.
They started shoveling pills down my throat till I couldn’t think straight.
I got hooked on my prescriptions and began drinking heavily and had already been smoking 2 packs a day and dipping a can of snuff a day. My health was the furthest thing from my mind.
Well, again, long story short, I found out I was going to be a dad (it happens). I decided that I didn’t want my child to have a drunk for a dad so I stopped drinking the day I found out. However the addiction ( I wasn’t doing “things” for my prescription I just couldn’t function without them) and all the nicotine had control of me. Shortly after my little girl was born I had an allergic reaction to my prescription and it almost killed me. At the age of 25 I almost died of a heart attack.
Fast forward a few years…
I decided to stop it all. I dumped all my scripts threw out my cigarettes and my snuff and stopped everything. It was so hard to do. My main comfort was to eat and eat and eat.
Now remember that at this point I hadn’t worked since coming home from Iraq since Im disabled and had put on some weight. I went from about 250 lbs to 325 lbs in what seemed like no time. I had been struggling for so long to lose weight and keep it off. I tried all kinds of different diets.
My best friend (Josh Souder) is an MMA fighter and knows a good bit about nutrition and he tried to help me and still nothing I would lose and gain back lose and gain back. It was so frustrating I had all but given up. I tried and liked the Gracie diet but there is to much room to cheat (which I did a lot). I stopped it and said the hell with it I don’t care anymore.
I began having chest pains one night shortly after I gave up. They were to the point I wasn’t sure I would last another week. My friend Josh called me and told me about Paleo Solution by Rob Wolf and I thought to myself here is just another book to get read and put on the shelf. This will not work it already sounds insane.
So I read the first 60 pages and was pretty excited about it. I kind of looked at the recipes and meal plan thought for the first time this might be doable.
So I went to the store that night bought all the stuff for the 30 day challenge. I did the 30 day challenge and felt great. I started the diet on February 22 2011 and weighed 313 lbs (horrible right). Thirty days later was down 25 lbs.
Two days ago was my 4th month on Paleo Solutions and I am down 60 lbs.
I am at 253 lbs as of tonight (still bad but Im getting there).
I know this story is all sorts of scattered I guess would be appropriate but you got to understand this all has happened over the last 8 years of my life. Three years ago I started thinking that though terrible things can happen to us every day of our lives it doesn’t mean tomorrow might not be different.
Life is worth living.
I am 31 years old. I started back to school getting a degree in horticulture. I just got married a month and a half ago. I have a 5 year old. I own my own home. I’m still heavy but I am fighting to get healthy.
I wake up every day and I try. I try to do better, be better and make the world better for myself and everyone in it.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story though it’s probably written a bit sporadic. Peace and Love to all and hope everyone achieves their goals and if its something I can help with my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Take care.