My Transformation in Photos

Wow. It’s been just over two years since this greatest journey of my life began (unnecessary; wish I’d never let myself go so far astray). Nevertheless, here I am, and I wish to first acknowledge the growing number of enthusiastic readers who, I believe, have a major role in this. I really doubt I would have seen it through without your enthusiastic words of encouragement, excitement, and motivation every single step of the way.

Not one single time, either in comments, email, or in person have I received a single negative word. Not once. Thank you for your tireless encouragement. It means a lot to me. In return, my sincere hope is that these photos, more than anything else, encourage and motivate all of you on similar paths. Don’t give up. Never quit. Achieving leanness and renewed vitality is within virtually everyone’s grasp.

Alright, this is the third official photo update. The first was in February, 2008, and the second, September, 2008. As always, let’s begin with how bad it got.

Before pics

Pretty bad, eh? Here we are nowadays, and you can click these for the full-size versions.




Here’s a montage of pics Bea took yesterday afternoon while I was getting in a workout here on the patio of our vacation home in Arnold, CA.


And, finally, here’s the comparison shot, around October 2007, five months or so into the program compared with today.


Once again, thank you all for the continual and never-ending support. I very much like to think that I couldn’t have done it without this blog and the readers and enthusiasts who make it happen daily.

Thank you.

10/6/09: Here’s an interim update as of mid-September; down to 176.

06/20/10: A couple more, here and here.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Joshua on July 8, 2009 at 13:13


    Awesome job, especially without the gym. You may want to consider a few super foods [such as Wakame] to supplement what you're doing. Also remember the hormonal influences on muscle growth, such as testosterone which is naturally increased with consumption of ginger root. Don't skimp on protein!

  2. Ricardo on June 18, 2009 at 12:06

    Dear Richard, great results, you're 20 years younger, happy and much healthier! Paleo and lots of saturated fats really work!!! Congratulations!

  3. Kathleen Conway on June 18, 2009 at 10:26

    Holy smoke, Richard! Hard to believe my eyes. I went way back to some of your original photos and did some more comparisons. You don't even look like the same person anymore! And that's a good thing. A very good thing indeed. I am impressed!

  4. PJ Vallier on June 18, 2009 at 10:33

    You look strong and I can start to see the cuts coming in your abs.

    Thank you for your blog. It really helps me stay focused.

  5. Skyler Tanner on June 18, 2009 at 10:35

    Looking at your traps tells a lot; deads have clearly contributed to the improvement. Great work!

  6. Adam Cilonis on June 18, 2009 at 10:36

    Simply OUTSTANDING! Love it!

    But really, don't you miss the carb face? LOL—NOT!!!

  7. Michael Bender on June 18, 2009 at 11:16

    The weight loss and gains in musclarity are impressive. Kudos to you.

    What I find to be an even more compelling testimony is the "deflation". If there were one word to describe the original photos I would choose "bloated". A little heavy – yes, a little under-conditioned – sure, but more than anything else it looks to me as if you were retaining a ton of water.

    I have seen this in everyone ascribing to this lifestyle, including myself.

    My mental linkage goes down this path: water retention = systemic inflamation (a literal swelling of the entire body).

    The opposite effect is shown in your recent photos. It is no surprise that your blood profile is excellent – the swelling is gone. There is visual evidence of what is going on internally.

    The paleo lifestyle works on so many levels. Your pictures prove the point.

  8. Zack F. on June 18, 2009 at 12:06


    I don't comment often but I'm afraid you fail to realize you've given more than received. Your transformation example is inspiring yet I (and many others) have gained from your insight and research. I found your blog, and Art Devany's, through the also insightful and irrepressible Karen DeCoster. Keep up the good work.

  9. Mark on June 18, 2009 at 12:42

    thanks for putting yourself out there – it does inspire.

  10. rachel allen on June 18, 2009 at 12:50

    inspired and motivated! thanks for your tireless sharing and articulate support of this lifestyle. we need all the support we can get!

  11. Patrik on June 18, 2009 at 14:09

    Nice job! Keep it up dude!

  12. Yummy on June 18, 2009 at 15:04

    You look awesome! Congrats!

  13. Chris on June 18, 2009 at 15:47

    Great progress. Well done – you look great.

  14. Nancy R. on June 18, 2009 at 16:28

    Rock on, Richard! You should be absolutely proud of everything you've accomplished. So inspiring. Thanks for putting yourself out there!

  15. Monica on June 18, 2009 at 10:42

    INCREDIBLE! Good for you!

  16. Jessica on June 18, 2009 at 10:44

    Good for you! And good for all of us, too. 🙂

  17. Michael - Fat Loss Tips on June 18, 2009 at 19:11

    Richard, fantastic results. It's good to see an honest guy with honest results. No photoshopped photos with rippling abs and a fake tan. Just you proudly displaying your results.

    Cheers to your continued success,

  18. Scott Miller on June 18, 2009 at 19:43

    Good stuff, Richard.

    At some point, you might look into testing your hormone levels. If needed, supplementation of hormones will help you reach an even higher level of energy, health and well-being, especially if you're low in key hormones like thyroid and testosterone, which is somewhat inevitable for those of us 45+.

    Keep in mind, most doctors who test hormone levels will compare your values to those of the average population in your age group. In other words, they accept the decline as natural and normal. What you want is to keep your hormone levels at a 30-yr-old average benchmark. That's what I do.

  19. minneapolis J on June 18, 2009 at 21:21

    Richard, keep on keepin on man. Cumulatively you have moved in the positive direction for two years. I thought middle aged men were supposed to fizzle out?

    us natural food guys often get weird looks for ignoring the frankenfood ways bc it is "not practical", but when we have moved in the positive direction..why the hell should we change our ways?

  20. Tim Rangitsch on June 19, 2009 at 07:28

    Hat's off to you! Thanks for leading by example.

  21. amie on June 19, 2009 at 08:00

    Hottie. 😉

  22. Janice on June 19, 2009 at 08:33

    Great job Richard. I'm just starting this journey with my daughter so we hope or should I say know that down the road we will have similar results. This blog is amazing and so helpful.

  23. golooraam on June 19, 2009 at 12:19

    Hi Richard

    Nice job from a fellow bay area person

    So inspiring, so much so that I am going to hit the gym and follow it up with a steak, raw egg yolks, and some eggplant sauteed in lard 🙂

  24. John Venlet on June 19, 2009 at 05:55


    Impressive! No backsliding, now.

  25. Bill on June 19, 2009 at 13:59

    I would like to support your suggestion about testosterone. I have been paleo for more than 3 years and I have reduced my body fat to zilch. I am 6 feet in height and my weight has dropped to 136 pounds. I walk 30 miles a week and have upped my my upper body exercise, but I cannot gain weight. I have a daily calorie intake on paleo of 2,500+. Extra virgin olive oil as the main source of calories. Over 1 litre a week. (>8000 calories)
    I have been diagnosed with low testosterone, and hope to start testosterone replacement therapy soon.
    I hope that I will be able to increase my muscle mass and generally have more drive and motivation.
    At 55 years old, I was beginning to think that my lack of libido, and low energy was just a sign of getting older.
    But when Art De Vaney has to make sure that doors are closed, because WW is having vociferous orgasms, and FFS he is in his 70's!
    Pertinent observation, Scott. Maybe you have more to say on this subject…

  26. Mark on June 19, 2009 at 14:06

    Dude! Excellent work, congrats, and thanks for continuing to share.

    I would echo the comment above that the change in your face is at least as impressive as the improved physique. In fact, I think that's what makes it most obvious how comprehensively this approach can impact overall health. Anyway, kudos.

  27. Joanne at Open Mind Required on June 19, 2009 at 07:16

    Forget your body. I'm gawking at those gorgeous trees behind you, 🙂

    No, but seriously. Very cool, Richard. Very inspiring.

  28. Bill on June 19, 2009 at 14:42

    Richard, I looked at the link, being testosterone deficient, hoping for some information from the link. You seem to have dismissed Scott's comment.
    Testosterone deficiency is very widespread, one of the side effects is moobs and obesity. Do the research and then come back on this.
    The problem seems to be, based on my experience, is that a paleo lifestyle cannot change your testosterone levels, if it has been affected by whatever reason, thyroid and pituitary gland problems or some autoimmune breakdown.
    If this has happened, then hormone replacement or surgical intervention seem to be the only answer.
    I am hoping that my therapy will be enhanced and supported by my paleo diet and that normal service will be resumed, without viagra being needed.
    Please take this common problem seriously.

  29. Richard Nikoley on June 19, 2009 at 11:01

    To All:

    Thanks all of you for your continued support.

    Please do tell your friends, family and acquaintances about Free the Animal. I am continually amazed, now, at how many people around me are getting some result, even from only minor forays into the lifestyle.

  30. Richard Nikoley on June 19, 2009 at 13:22


    Did you see this newsweek article on Suzanne Sommers on Oprah? Interested to know what you make of it.

  31. minneapolis J on June 19, 2009 at 21:30

    Richard, the one thing I've noticed about people who lose body fat and make body transformation, they seem to gain general pectoral definition right away. Losing that body fat unveils the muscle definition.

    Don't you think its dumb how fitness gurus advertise that their product will get you the body transformation you want? People don't need to get fancy, get a sensible diet and get in the gym

  32. Richard Nikoley on June 19, 2009 at 14:57


    What in the hell are you talking about?

  33. Richard Nikoley on June 20, 2009 at 08:20


    Yea, that's about what I took away from it. Now, had I not the perspective from you, whom I greatly respect in this area, I'd have thought the article right on the money. But I wasn't so sure, now.

    Looks like Mercola had about the same take:

  34. KDC on June 19, 2009 at 20:47

    Richard — keep showing 'em that us folks in our 40s are at our peak. 20s? Bah, we were stupid then. Stupid and soft. Ripped and 40-something is the prime of life.

  35. Diana Hsieh on June 19, 2009 at 21:26

    Wow, awesome!

  36. John Nugent on June 20, 2009 at 04:39


    Amazing transformation. You are a graet inspiration to the rest of starting this journey.


  37. Scott Miller on June 20, 2009 at 06:40

    Yes, I saw that a week or two ago. The writer of that article is clearly uninformed, and is having fun with Sommers, who obviosuly doesn't come across as a credible spokesperson for using bio-identical hormones.

  38. Richard Nikoley on June 20, 2009 at 08:29

    Thank you very much, Dr. Hsieh.

    And, again, congratulations. The fulfillment of a major goal.

  39. Richard Nikoley on June 20, 2009 at 08:30

    And the diet will get them to 80% alone.

  40. Monica on June 20, 2009 at 08:50

    There's something interesting I notice here in these pics that corresponds to my own progress.

    I'm not near where you are. I still have to lose 9-10% or so of my body weight. Halfway there. However…

    You see a HUGE change in your stomach, with immense loss of fat in this area that begins to show the lateral muscles up at the top/sides. That's the exact same effect I'm now noticing. I've always had a big belly, and while I have way more fat to lose off my abs, I notice these muscles becoming defined under the fat already… they are becoming visible in a way I've never had before… even when I was 10-20 years younger and 15-20 lbs lighter.

  41. Tin Tin on June 20, 2009 at 18:59

    Nice work! Seeing your progress is great motivation/inspiration. I think that's something your blog brings to the paleo community that is missing from a lot of other sites. For example, Mark Sisson and Art Devany are great sources of paleo insights but both Mark and Art have always been fit. Seeing someone who was fat become paleo fit is provides a sort of inspiration that can't come from someone who has always been fit.

    I've been eating strict paleo for a good 6 months. I've yet to lose any weight but I've had huge improvements in strength and muscle hardness, quality of sleep and I'm no longer a slave to hunger!

  42. minneapolis J on June 21, 2009 at 07:38

    Yea I agree on that one. I think Mark Sisson does have a bit of false advertising when he shows his washboard abs bc of his primal plan. he already was in a fit condition so its hard to see how it changed him. i mean mark's primal idea definitely is great, but the average paleo/primal guy who was overweight isnt going to look like Super Mike/Devany/Sisson unless they do something methodical and consistent(although the primal diet isn't the only way you can get ripped).

    I don't know if you saw pictures of a guy named Super Mike, TinTin, but the one deception there was that when he switched to cutting out grain, he got shredded. The trick though was he made most of his progress away from the primal diet. The primal/diet worked for him because he continued to weight train and cut calories, not bc the primal diet was a magic bullet.

    primal diet is good….it is a great nutrtion plan, will give you off the chart health levels, but it has to be brought to earth too.

  43. Chris on June 21, 2009 at 23:34

    Unbelievable – an amazing change. If I wore a hat, I would take it off to you. Keep up the excellent work

  44. Amy Wagner | Camping on June 26, 2009 at 02:32

    Hi Richard

    Wow you have truly worked hard to get to this point, well done and keep up the awesome work you are an inspiration to others that this can be done

  45. Steve on August 14, 2009 at 07:50



    Sir, you are looking good.

    You have my utmost respect and admiration.

    Kind regards,


  46. Kama Sutra on September 20, 2009 at 02:45

    Wow! I'm digging through you blog now to see how you did it. Keep in mid that you have done what most don't have it in them to do. Keep up the hard work!.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 20, 2009 at 11:22

      Dig away. I hope what you discover is what I have: it's not really hard work. Sure, it takes some discipline, but it's an enjoyable and sustainable way of life for me, now.

  47. pieter d on October 25, 2009 at 06:14


    I agree with everyone else, but might I add something? You not only lost fat, built muscle and therefore look better, but you also look smarter, more intelligent. That was the first thing that struck me when I saw the pictures. Your current picture correlates nicely with the intelligence of your blog posts.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures, even more thanks for the blog.

  48. Athonwy on November 8, 2009 at 02:36

    Decent progress, but you still look pretty bloated to me, especially in the face. If you were Vegan you’d probably look and feel a lot better. Like this guy, who looks better at 72 than you do now:

    So much for veganism being unhealthy in the long run, huh?
    Or how about Mimi Kirk, who is 71 now, and looks like she is 45? Vegan for 40 years now.

    Wow, these people really look like they are deteriorating before our very eyes! I mean, a Vegan diet has done them so much harm, it’s amazing they are still alive at all.

    I guess we’ll find out in 30 years how your poorly justified paleo diet works out. That is, if you’re still here.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2009 at 09:10
    • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2009 at 09:19

      …And good for them, both of them. While I didn’t watch long enough to hear the specifics of the woman’s diet, the guy’s was represented to be nuts, fruits, bean & veggies. No mention of grains, and in particular, processed food.

      While I don’t think a veg or vegan diet is _optimal_, I have acknowledged a number if times that it can be satisfactory. Like here:

      But I’d bet I’d have to look far and wide for any such _honest_ recognition from a veg or vegan that a whole food, natural diet of meat, fish, veggies, fruit & nuts (basically, my diet: high-fat paleo) is “satisfactory” for good health. Hey, I don’t even need to see “optimal.”

      And that’s because a paleo diet is based on the science of evolution and not on a religion making spurious and ignorant moral and ethical claims.

      And finally, one doesn’t need to look far to see that the veggies and vegans are heading down the same path as Atkins: tons of processed franken foods.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2009 at 13:12

      Incidentally, I agree about the face. Not bloated, though still not representative. The previous one on the top right of the blog was at least more than a year ago. Replaced it with something more current. I have always carried a bit more fat in the cheeks than normal, thanks to mom.

      BTW, here’s a challenge. Find me some credible stories from ex-paleo dieters who had the sorts of health issues these vegetarians and vegans had.

      The beauty of paleo is that it’s very flexible. It can be relatively high fat, or low fat high carb. It can be moderate protein or low protein (30% protein seems an upper limit in just about any diet). And, it can be just as organic, fresh, humane and sustainable as you like. Best of all, it naturally includes all necessary nutrition so one doesn’t have to pay any attention to micronutrients.

      In terms of a diet heavy in grain products, it blows it out of the water in terms of nutrient intake.

      • Grok on November 8, 2009 at 15:28

        Don’t sweat this goon. You’re doing fine. You haven’t been paleo for that long… you still have some SAD to work off… So what?

        I bet you his diet was PALEO when he was Mr. America. Remove the beans add a little eggs, fish or chicken and he still is. Vegan #fail

        Hey Vegan… Want to play second grade my guy is better than yours games? Clarence bass isn’t a Vegan and he’s way more ripped than you dude

      • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2009 at 15:38

        No sweat at all. Actually, I quite enjoy the opportunity to be so helpful. 🙂

      • Grok on November 8, 2009 at 16:23

        UNGABUNGA brother! LOL

      • Jamie on November 8, 2009 at 17:39

        Seriously, Grok. Think of how much more muscle he’d have if he ate more meat! 🙂

  49. Athonwy on November 11, 2009 at 12:59

    Hey Richard, well, the new pic certainly look much better. I would totally be willing to say that a Paleo diet may be satisfactory, health-wise, in the short run. I say in the short run because, as far as I know, no one know what effects a Paleo diet will have in the long term. Paleolithic people lived until maybe age 54, and that is the very upper limit established by current anthropology. As medical science and hygiene have pushed our life expectancies up, we really are forging new territory concerning diet and longevity.

    All those attributes you listed for the Paleo diet, “very flexible. It can be relatively high fat, or low fat high carb. It can be moderate protein or low protein (30% protein seems an upper limit in just about any diet). And, it can be just as organic, fresh,” – are also available in a vegan or raw vegan diet. it’s when you say humane and sustainable that we diverge in opinion though. There is nothing humane about killing someone else for your food, and meat and dairy are certainly NOT sustainable. It’s not a matter of opinion here, it’s a matter of numbers. With almost 7 billion people on the planet, there simply isn’t enough arable farmland to grow the food needed to feed everyone meat and dairy. Wild animal populations could never support the worlds meat habit either. If everyone on earth were to abandon farmed meat and switch to hunting there would be no wild animals left in the world within 2 years.
    You are able to eat meat because other people are starving, and eating vegan. The third world supports the first world’s meat habit.

    I totally agree with you about the processed foods. I won’t touch them except on the rare special occasion. I also avoid most grains, trying to keep grains to less than 10% of my diet. I do eat a LOT of hempseed though. It’s the perfect food, and the only food on earth to contain every amino acid, with a perfect Omega 3-6 ratio.

    As for stories of Paleo diet people with health problems, well, the Paleo craze is relatively new, newer even than veganism or raw foodism, so time will tell. My main worry would be about the long-term health of your colon if you are eating a lot of meat. Humans have a very long sacculated colon, that processes meat very slowly. This allows meat time to rot in the colon before elimination, unlike true carnivores who have a very short and smooth colon and eliminate meat within hours. Over the short term this is not a problem, since colon cancer takes decades to become an issue. Your average paleolithic person would be long dead by the time colon cancer reared it’s ugly head. But you can expect to live into your 80’s, or well beyond. That is long enough for the polyps caused by rotting flesh in your colon to turn into cancer and spread into other areas.

    As for Grok, anyone who knows anything about body-building knows that looking cut has way more to do with bodyfat ratio, dehydrating yourself and eliminating carbs, than it does with how much muscle you have. I bet if Jim Morris was willing to be unhealthy for a few days and deprive himself of water he would look way more cut than he did in those pictures. His diet when he was Mr. Olympia was totally meat, dairy and egg free.

    Thanks for the intelligent and rationale response Richard.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 12, 2009 at 13:25


      Regarding life expectancy, Grok covered that pretty well. I’d just add that infant mortality in the wild was huge, as was death by murder. There’s plenty of observations of primitive people’s going back several hundred years to establish that when all these hazards are escaped, they too live into ripe old age, but with a big difference.

      You might want to spend some time investigating the work of Dr. Staffan Lindberg.

      In articular, from the Kitava study:

      “Despite a fair number of older residents, none of whom showed signs of dementia or poor memory, the only cases of sudden death the residents could recall were accidents such as drowning or falling from a coconut tree. Homicide also occured, often during conflicts over land or mates. Infections (primarily malaria), accidents, pregnancy complications, and old age were the dominant causes of death, which is in agreement with findings among other similar populations. Child mortality from malaria and other infections was relatively high, and the average lifespan was around 45 years. The remaining life expectancy at 45 years of age is more difficult to determine, but may be similar to Swedish figures. The number of people examined with an EKG was too small (n = 171) to be able to draw clear conclusions, but when combined with two similar studies of traditional Melanesian populations, the EKG findings provided additional support for the lack of ischaemic heart disease in the area [25, 26].”


      “The elderly residents of Kitava generally remain quite active up until the very end, when they begin to suffer fatigue for a few days and then die from what appears to be an infection or some type of rapid degeneration. Although this is seen in western societies, it is relatively rare in elderly vital people. The quality of life among the oldest residents thus appeared to be good in the Trobriand Islands.”

      Better way to go than the last 20 years of life being a slow, downward slide.

      In short, we know that all primitive populations include much animal and seafood in their diets. There have never been any known vegetarian primitive societies. And we know that if they can escape the many other-than-diet hazards, they live long, healthy, active lives.

      “There is nothing humane about killing someone else for your food, and meat and dairy are certainly NOT sustainable. It’s not a matter of opinion here, it’s a matter of numbers.”

      There is nothing objectionable about living in accordance with your nature, and our nature is clearly that of meat eaters. Vegetarians essentially demand that I sacrifice my very being, my nature, to their notion of “humane,” one that is based on feelings and emotions, not science and naturalism.

      How’s this for humane?

      Or this?

      Regarding sustainability, you’re behind the times. It definitely is sustainable if the land used to grow grain to to feed feedlot animals were used to graze animals, build topsoil and carbon sinks, etc.

      See the recent book by Lierre Keith, The Vegetarina Myth. She was a vegan for 20 years. I’ve done a number of reviews. Here’s one:

      Finally, when will this meat rots in your guy myth die? All food moves through at the same pace and trillions of bacteria do their thing to digest. And even if it were true, veggies putrefy just as easily as any other dead bio-material.

  50. Grok on November 11, 2009 at 14:51

    @Athonwy, Good response for your reason for choosing veganism. I think most of on here will agree to disagree.

    If we quit feeding the third world, they wouldn’t be breading like rats. We wouldn’t have a problem. Same with here. Way too easy of access to an abundance of calories. Feed a species and it will grow until it cant sustain. This happened with humans long ago with the advent of FARMING.

    As for the low lifespan. Throw a vegan into paleo time period and see how long he lasts. HE WOULDN’T! And for many reasons. The two biggies:

    1) Where is he going to get the hemp seed protein he need for optimum nutrition?
    2) They new nothing of macro nutrients back then. That crap is all brand new. They ate what kept them alive!
    3) Most environments there’s not enough edible plant material to give him the energy required year round.

    If you’ve spent any time outdoors, you’d know this. Obviously he was more in tune with his environment and was more efficient at finding plants, but also remember many wild plants are very poisonous! If he moved into a new environment there would be new hazards. Eat it raw or don’t boil your plant enough = severe vomiting/dehydration. Think that might increase the chance of death for say… a 50 year old? Especially one with no access to supplements, electrolytes or even potable water! Animal flesh is generally no hazard.

    Watch Survivorman on Discovery sometime. Les is trained by the natives in the area about the edible plants. They are never enough to sustain him for even 7 days.

    Then you have the whole infection thing. No doubt modern medicine, antibiotics in particular are keeping us alive longer. If paleo man got a cut/infection at say a weakened 50 years old… he died!

    I probably would have died at 25 from a infected hangnail when my big toe exploded. Paleo man had way more environmental hazards than I have.

    Colon problems. A healthy paleo eating person does not have rotting meat in his gut. We are regular. Healthy people are regular. Paleo eaters most definitely eat plants. If you eat enough fat, the meat will move through anyway. We are not fat pizza & steak eating slobs. You are unfairly grouping paleo eaters with fat booger eating Western Diet eaters.

    Yes I know what it takes to looked ripped for the photos. Bodybuilders are hardly the pictures of health people see them as.

    Vegan and paleo are not much different. We just choose to get our protein from more natural sources.

  51. Sethnakt on December 20, 2009 at 00:52

    This is absolutely great work.
    Its always difficult to motivate oneself, but this is really inspiring.
    I’m just 40 years old and have about 40 pounds to lose.
    Looking for the kind of training that suits me since I’m no gym type, I found your blog entry about Le Corree.

    Thank you very much and keep on running wild.
    Thorsten from Germany

  52. Heather on January 2, 2010 at 07:49

    Just stumbled on this and wanted to say congratulations! You definitely look better, but in your face, you look like a generally happier person, especially when comparing the oldest to most recent photos! Good job!

  53. Joy on January 27, 2010 at 19:11

    1st I need to thank Steve for Turing me on to your blog. WOW Richard go wit u BAD self :))
    Very impressive, I’ve never been much of a meat eater. I’m just getting into the Primal life.
    I will deffinetly follow your blog. Your pics r GREAT. Congrats to you,
    so impressive. Thanks for sharing.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 27, 2010 at 19:21

      Joy, Stand by for later. Food pics coming (might be very late). I’m doing a whirlwind.

      I thank you for amazingly kind comments.

      • Joy on January 28, 2010 at 04:06

        I think I missed the pics ..

      • Richard Nikoley on January 28, 2010 at 07:55

        Sorry, I was in a rush and thought you were talking about a food pic post, and I’m doing one this morning. Didn’t get to it last night.

      • Joy on January 28, 2010 at 09:29

        No problem, thanks Richard,
        Have a great day :))

  54. alfredoe on February 3, 2010 at 12:43

    Hi, I am linking my site to your site to show it as a good example of what exercise and a healthy diet can do to your body.

    Congratulations and thanks for your showing it here.
    Alfredo E.

  55. Heiner on February 8, 2010 at 06:34

    Great, a year ago, I am 44 now, I realized, change your life style or die… A year later I am a NonSmoker, I walk regulary, 6 -7 km per day, leave the car home as often I can. I read the NYT article about your life style a week ago and now I found it in the German Spiegel Mag and landed on your site. You are right, we need to learn to trust ourself much more, train our will and bodies and put the demands against ourself much higher. Great to see your examples ! Best regards from Tbilisi, Georgia, Caucasus, Heiner

    • Richard Nikoley on February 8, 2010 at 11:46

      Ah, so the article is published. I didn’t know. Is it on the web?

  56. Heiner on February 8, 2010 at 11:49
  57. Dove on February 21, 2010 at 10:23

    Here’s another youtube clip of Mimi Kirk, she says that she’s only been on a raw diet for “almost a year and a half,” and said she’d been “on and off” with her vegetarian diet for those 40 years. She also says that she did have blood pressure and cholesterol issues before starting raw diet (year and a half ago).

    I”m a former veg/vegan, and I know that mode of eating was just an extension of a long anorexic (starvation) period in my younger years per trauma from childhood. Regardless of what this woman says, I’d never go back to that type of diet. I think the most significant realization in all of this is that we can eat just about anything that’s clearly as nature intended (observe nature, animals eat animals)–anything as long as it isn’t “franken foods,” all that fake “refined” sh*t. Just rior to my starvation years, I had a basic nutrition class in college. The teacher of that class had some of the best advice in this regard. “Variety and moderation,” but that doesn’t apply to “food” that poisons the body, because it isn’t really food. Our crazy screwing with the food and our extremes, in general, that’s what’s killing us.

  58. mourad on March 3, 2010 at 01:42

    hi Richard Nikoley i have a big problem and i need some help pls if you can help me this is my e-mail

  59. stephen c benoit on May 14, 2010 at 13:09

    Wow. Richard, I hadn’t looked at these photos before now. Pretty amazing transformation. Thanks again for your blog.


  60. Mike on June 30, 2010 at 18:22

    You look incredibly better man! Great job, I’m 26 and was always super skinny in high school, then bloated up after college a little because I kept the same eating habits. I started “going paleo” and am seeing amazing results especially with overall body tone-ness and getting tons of complements. I highly recommend this lifestyle to everyone!

  61. Vegan Warrior/Stud on September 25, 2010 at 07:37

    Congrats on your success!

  62. Mike West/Elderly Help on September 25, 2010 at 17:50

    That’s awesome! I’ve been using P90X for the last 3 weeks and I can see a difference already. I really does take commitment and hard work. I commend you on your progress!

  63. Ronald on September 28, 2010 at 18:53

    What would be really interesting is if you would try a vegan diet for a month or two, and report on your before and after blood work and weight, and include photos. I dare you. I’d suggest this vegan diet: 1/3 to 2/3 raw. Lots of non-starchy vegetables (all you can stand to eat, if you want to lose weight), a handful or two of nuts/seeds daily, a few servings of fresh fruit, and enough tubers or whole grains so you don’t get hungry, but generally choose legumes over tubers or grains. Supplement with Dr. Fuhrman’s Gentle Care, V-Pure algae DHA/EPA, and some vegan vitamin D2 if your vitamin D level is low before you start. Just try it and see how you do. I realize a vegan diet is the opposite of what you believe to be optimal, but there’s nothing like one’s own experience. If it doesn’t work for you, you’ll be able to report on what happened. If you feel good, lose weight more rapidly, and your blood work improves, then you may want to acknowledge that short-term, a vegan diet has therapeutic benefits greater than your prior diet.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 28, 2010 at 18:56

      yea, I’ll get right on that. Right after I eat a 40mm S&W from my Sig Saur.

    • Vegan Warrior/Stud on October 3, 2010 at 13:20

      Are you trying to bait him, Ronald?


  64. Mykey on October 5, 2010 at 22:25

    Hey Richard…you ought to be proud. You look fantastic and deserve the good things that that come of this transition.
    This is a link to my own similar journey…

    Peace like a river


    • Richard Nikoley on October 6, 2010 at 15:42

      Hey Mykey, that’s a great video. I really enjoyed it and wish you continued success.

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