Calorie Counter to Anorexia & Depression to Vibrant Health with Real Food

Max 1

Hello! The following is a short and sweet body transformation story by Max Gazarra. If you are a calorie counter then it’s a must read. Do you have a story to share? Shoot me an email!


Hi everybody, I sent Todd a message the other day and he asked me to write my story for his blog. I figured why not?

Before I start I’ll mention that I am a 21 year old male, and a distance runner for my college. I know that distance running is not exactly primal, but I have been doing it for the past 6 years. While the fire is no longer as strong as it once was, I still plan to train hard for my teammates in my last season as a collegiate athlete.

I sent my message to Todd to tell him how I first became primal, and how I found Mark’s Daily Apple at a similar time he did. Before I found this wonderful way of living in June of 2010, I was a freshman runner who wanted to improve as much as possible. I began by reading the conventional wisdom online, about cutting out the foods that are “bad” for you and eating healthier.

It is scary how this misinformation can damage someone who is very serious about their health.

I began in the Fall by cutting out all snacks and sweets, which was fine. It wasn’t enough for me though, I wanted to take my running to the next level. So I kept on reading, and started cutting out almost all fat and most meat.

I would jump on the scale, and see the weight I lost. I thought losing weight would translate into faster times, but boy was I wrong.

A lunch consisted of 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 2 slices of turkey, and excessive tomatoes/peppers/cucumbers. I was stuffing myself with vegetables and not eating substance.

Calorie counter to becoming anorexic

As the winter progressed, I basically became anorexic. I would look at the scale each day, and if I was not happy with what I saw I would eat less that day. Although I was running up to 75 miles per week regularly, I was only consuming just around 2000 calories or less per day (I know, I was counting).

Although this time period only lasted for about 4 to 5 months, it was easily the worst time of my life. I was always tired, hungry, exhausted (I did not want to get out of my chair while sitting ever), cold, and depressed. I would do things that never happened before (I won’t go into detail, but for example I wet my bed 3 times… the only 3 times in my life I wet the bed). I went from 135 pounds in November to 115 in April. I am 5’5. I don’t recommend running 11 miles a day and not eating!

Anyway, after eating a lot again in April I finally ran some good race times (my times suffered prior to then), but that is besides the point. As I was recovering from this mini-episode, I stumbled upon Mark’s blog and was intrigued by what I read.

Discovery of the saturated fat myth

About 5 months after going Primal.

After a month or so of convincing, and after watching Tom Naughton’s “Fat Head”, I was sure that saturated fat was not bad for me and I went fully primal. My life has improved since then in all ways.

Right now, two years later, I am back to my old self, happy and healthy. I still think about food more than most people I know, but I love the science and power behind eating the right foods.

I believe the healthiest diet consists of vegetables, all meat/fish/eggs, coconut products, and root vegetables and tubers (sweet potatoes in particular!). I believe great additions include fruit, nuts, white rice and dark chocolate. For desserts, I feel chocolate and ice cream are fine due to the lack of grains and oils.

I also believe living stress free and enjoying life as much as possible.

Taken 2 days ago

Toad speaking: Do you have a body or life transformation that you wish to share with the world? Shoot me an email. I’d love to hear about it whether or not you want it published on this blog!

Do you believe saturated fat is heart healthy? Click here to sport it on a t-shirt! The $15 sale ends July 31st!


  1. Hannah says

    Great story! Thanks for sharing. Your transformation is a huge inspiration. :D I use to be a calorie counter and afraid of fat. Now that I ditched the old habit (any myth that I will get fat) and became a hunter-gather I am in the best shape of my life too. I am going on two years with this lifestyle and have more energy than my two young kids! :D

  2. Kati Ivey says

    Thanks for sharing! And you’re right. It IS scary how much mis-information is out there. Up until last Fall, I thought I was eating “healthy” by having oats for b-fast, a whole wheat sandwich for lunch, and ww pasta with dinner. Sheesh!
    Best of luck after college!

  3. Dean says

    Thanks for sharing your story! I went through something similar. I used to think a banana and a tbsp of peanut butter (up to 1000 cal a day) was enough nutrition to get me through the day and I ran every day as well.. Real food is liberating. Congrats on your success and health!

  4. kell says

    Hi Max! thank you so much for sharing this story and congrats on your success! you are absolutely gorgeous in your picture from 2 days ago, definitely glowing from the inside out and looking pretty hot too ;)
    Anyway, your story was just the motivation i needed today, thank you for your willingness to be so open and honest about your story! Your courage to do so, has touched me and im sure, many others as well!!

  5. says

    Thanks for the replies everyone! It’s funny I’m actually glad that this happened, for it allowed me to become truly knowledgeable on nutrition and fitness. I now feel I can help others accurately who want to be fit or lose weight, and I can also spot when someone isn’t eating enough too.

    • says

      I am the same way. I never had severe problems but wow. You would think I had optimal health… far from it! Poor digestion – farting, poor BM’s, constipation, cramps. I had acne too! For 6 years! But that was just hormones… nope! Lifestyle 100%.

  6. Rachael says

    WOW. I could have written this same post almost word for word–literally. Going into my freshman year of college I had all of those same habits. Thank you so much for sharing; it’s nice knowing other people who understand!

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