A Look at Some of The People Being Helped by “Bad and Incomplete Science” Part 1

In addition to all these stories already logged, let me take a look through some saved emails and see what I can come up with. Keep in mind that these people might be working off so-called bad or incomplete science (LC, fear of fructose, obsessions about “clean eating” and so on) and apparently, it’s more important to get the “science right” than to get the results right in spite of the science.

~ Rosemary emailed me some time ago to show off her “paleo Facelift.””

Screen Shot 2012 06 11 at 12 52 30 PM
From red & inflamed to normal

~ Ron emailed in quite sometime back with an emphasis more on overall health improvements rather than just fat loss.

I have watched your Success Videos on weight loss and believe they provide inspiration for many of your readers. I have a suggestion, however. While weight loss is certainly the primary concern for many people, others, such as myself came to paleo to hopefully resolve heath issues. Weight was not my primary focus. …

My story isn’t as dramatic as someone that has reversed diabetes or cured heart disease, but it is nevertheless, interesting. And I think parts of my story will hit home with many people.

Here’s a brief synopsis of my health issues 6 ½ years ago: Chronic asthma, Chronic/acute sinus and ear infections, Chronic/acute bronchitis, High blood pressure, Terrible blood cholesterol – low HDL/high LDL and triglycerides, Horrible digestive pain, Allergies to just about everything.

On top of all that, I was about 40lbs over weight plus tired and sick all the time. I caught every virus that came along. I had 4 sinus surgeries over the previous 15-year period to clean everything out and remove polyps. The polyps kept growing back every few years. I was on anti-biotics and prednisone every 3 to 4 months like clockwork along with a daily regimen of various asthma medications.

I was absolutely miserable. My family doctor was ready to put me on a statin and high blood pressure medication. Mainstream medicine was really doing nothing except treating my symptoms. I went to see my chiropractor. He had some alternative medicine approaches that quickly turned me down the paleo road. I found Art DeVany on the Internet about 6 years ago and the rest is history.

Bottom line, at age 52, I no longer have any of those health issues (mostly). I haven’t had a cold in 6 ½ years. My blood lipids and pressure are great, yada yada yada. Oh, and I lost the extra 40lbs.

~ I’ve received a few emails from Timothy here and there. Here’s the first one from last October

I love your blog. You reeled me in last year because, just like me, you were once a big fat slob who turned his life around on a dime via paleo. Your take-no-prisoners critiques of statism and other mass delusions are outstanding and make me want to jump out of my chair and hoist the black flag. You are the only blogger I know with these credentials and I have been fascinated and inspired by your prolific writing. Count me as a lifelong fan.

I used to be a blithering idiot about health. Fast food every day, glued to CRTs and LCDs, my entire life an abuse of human heritage. Of course this caught up with me and I developed more health problems than I care to remember. It’s a miracle I survived adolescence. Somehow I convinced the most beautiful woman I ever met to marry me when I was fat and broke and proceeded to drag her down with me.

We finally conceived a child after years of adverse outcomes. Something inside me snapped then and I knew I had to fix myself. I started running everywhere and eating Subway. As I said, blithering idiot.

Then I stumbled across Mark’s Daily Apple. His concise writing style penetrated even my thick skull. Well, of course our bodies are designed to live as our ancestors did! How extremely stupid not to have thought of that. And I was an anthropology major. My glacial cognitive dissonance melted away overnight.

I changed everything. How I ate, slept, trained, played, thought. My body responded instantly and I never looked back. I changed so drastically that I could no longer comprehend my former self. I resolved to make amends and build myself into a man that my distant ancestors would be proud of. This was in January 2010. I was 33 years old.

I went from overweight to skinny. Then muscle started growing. I wrote Mark Sisson and he published my success story. Everything seemed possible. Unfortunately, I was still afflicted with residual idiocy. I overtrained and underate. Other people were amazed at my progress but what did they know? I didn’t want to be slim, I wanted to be strong. As strong as my genes could possibly allow. A man for the first time ever, not an overgrown boy. My improvised sledgehammer training took me part of the way but no further.

This is where your blog saved the day for me. I never even knew what a deadlift was until I saw you lifting 305 in that video. And I thought, holy fucking shit, that’s the intensity I’m missing. I had read Leangains before, but it didn’t really sink in. Your experiences with Martin fascinated me and I read the articles multiple times over, including the comments. So this is how to lift… and this is how to squat… and this is how to eat. I began a Leangains regimen that very week, using your numbers from November 2010 as my first goal. As iron sharpens iron, man sharpens man. I am now in week 20 and for the first time, I am pretty pleased with my progress.

I still have years to go before I’m ready to face my ancestors. But I cautiously surmise that I am mostly on the right path.

Here are pictures:

Screen Shot 2012 06 11 at 1 34 48 PM
“Bad and Incomplete Science” Exhibit

I’ve come along a bit more since that last picture was taken, in no small part thanks to grass-fed beef liver (again, credit to your article for teaching me what I already should have known). I took a few more pics today in advance of a body fat test tomorrow but the RIM disaster prevents me from sharing them with you just now.

Beyond freeing my own animal, I’ve had an unshakeable urge to share the riches with others who remain locked in the oubliette of modern life. I honestly feel that everyone would live primally if only they knew. My efforts in this direction have mostly been a spectacular failure. But not completely. I was recently honored with an invitation to present at PrimalCon 2012 alongside giants like Erwan Le Corre and Barefoot Ted. Mark even featured me in his recent fitness book which just came out.

In any case, thanks for hearing me out. If nothing else I hope I’ve given you a bit of encouragement to keep doing what you do best. You are changing the world. Don’t ever stop.

Nah. I just peddle bad and incomplete science and give too many people too many passes for not managing to get everything 100% right. Besides, this is all just anecdotal.

By the way, Timothy also blogged about his experiences with far more detail than in the above, outlining some of his methods. And here’s a video of him doing a 345# deadlift, complete with primal scream.

OK, I guess three is enough today. I’m sure I have enough material for a few more parts to the series. I’m out of town for the week and so this is a real good way to manage my limited time.

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. Timothy on June 11, 2012 at 14:04

    Wow, Richard, I can’t believe you kept that email! That really takes me back. Glad to say I never lost any of that initial enthusiasm. To the contrary the fires burn hotter than ever. In a couple of months I’ll compete in a powerlifting event and show the world (or at least Norwalk) what “bad and incomplete science” can achieve. And that is only the beginning. We’ll fucking show them alright.

    Having saved our own lives, we must do our best to help others onto the lifeboat as well. Your blog is an immense service in this regard and all my respect for making it ever better over these many years.

    Rosemary, simply incredible. You look like your own daughter. I know so many who would have given up. I am endlessly fascinated by the difference between those who throw up their hands after half measures, and those who stop at nothing to succeed. I wonder what puts you in the latter category.

    Ron, congratulations! Like Richard says it is remarkable how a lifetime of bad habits can be reversed almost entirely with a short effort. May your example inspire many, many others.

  2. Mike C S on June 11, 2012 at 14:07

    Probably want to correct “”Paleo Fecelift” to “Paleo Facelift”. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on June 11, 2012 at 14:19

      Oh my. I’m on it.

      • jofjltncb6 on June 11, 2012 at 14:28

        I wondered just how bad something would need to be for you to fix a typo. Apparently, that line is somewhere near “fece”…

    • garymar on June 11, 2012 at 18:35

      I got shitfaced last night and it felt great!

      • Richard Nikoley on June 11, 2012 at 18:50


        I do that sometimes, too. I never take it cognitively.

  3. jofjltncb6 on June 11, 2012 at 14:08

    Yeah, but…

    …I think it’s important that we wait until all the science is in before people go off all willy-nilly making any changes to their lives that aren’t completely supported by…you know, the science.

    • rob on June 11, 2012 at 15:01

      I’m waiting for a study to tell me whether I should wait until all the studies are in … until then I’m on the fence.

  4. jofjltncb6 on June 11, 2012 at 14:35

    My thoughts while reading Tim’s story:

    “Hey, that guy looks like gnugnug…”

    “Wait a second, this story sounds very familiar…”

    Took me far longer than it should have to connect those dots. Maybe I should rethink this zigzagging carbs thing to coincide with work/non-work days (with today being a rest day and day one of low carb)…apparently, it makes my brain stupider.

  5. Lara on June 11, 2012 at 14:38

    Re: fece Dick is often guilty of malapropism. Wow, even that word is closely related in sound to priapism!

  6. carey on June 11, 2012 at 15:20

    looks like they lost fat thru calorie restriction and exercise, thus improved their paleo magic here ,move along.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 11, 2012 at 15:48


      How shortsighted. How fucking ignorant and stupid.

      There is no such thing as magic.

      There is such a thing as nature and humanity and Paleo is about people getting that sorted out such that their physical attributes begin to align more closely with their animals natures.

      You know what I see? I see the same overweight people or skinny-fat people on the treadmill year after year, no improved body composition, no improved health (you must have missed the middle story, or you’re disingenuous, of just a run-of-the-mill liar fucktard), no improved strength.

      Now go fuck off.

      • Bushrat on June 11, 2012 at 18:31

        Right on Richard. Come on carey everyone knows calorie restriction is bullshit and its all about food reward…

      • Richard Nikoley on June 11, 2012 at 18:45

        Long time no see, Bushrat.

        In truth, I do think food reward plays a part, calorie restriction is necessary (it’s automatic up to that last 20-3o pounds)’ but that Paleo is the very best approach to solve all. Integrated with heavy liftimg’ intervals, IF and now, CT.

        Many tools in the toolbox, some work better than others or are more preferable for some.

        I’m comsieriderimg a trip up to the top of the mountain tomorrow, getting in literal ice water” I’m scared as shit, so we’ll see.

  7. A Look at Some of The People Being Helped by so-called “Bad and Incomplete Science” Part 1 » Bydio on June 11, 2012 at 15:49

    […]… What do you think of this post?Awesome (0) Interesting (0) Useful (0) Boring (0) Sucks (0) Be Sociable, Share! Tweet Twitter Facebook Reddit June 11, 2012 | Posted in: Donkeyrock | No Comments » […]

  8. Jenn on June 11, 2012 at 16:21

    Off-topic, but are you still doing the nitrogen blasts?

    Would love to hear more.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 11, 2012 at 16:29


      I decided to not confound too many variables and so no. I’m going to go the rest of my 12 weeks or so in water alone. Imm revisit the nitrogen after that.

  9. Neal Matheson on June 11, 2012 at 22:26

    “conceived a child after years of adverse outcomes”
    “hronic asthma, Chronic/acute sinus and ear infections, Chronic/acute bronchitis, High blood pressure, Terrible blood cholesterol – low HDL/high LDL and triglycerides, Horrible digestive pain, Allergies to just about everything.”

    You can get thin any old way but things like the above ae the real measure of scucess of Paleo eating. I know plenty of unhealthy thin people, obesity is a symptom not the problem. These stories are really impressive.

  10. Srdjan Ostric on June 12, 2012 at 07:23

    Totally right, Richard. I have called this the in vitro reality vs the in vivo reality. As a doctor, you have a patient, data, and interventions…you find something that works, and you give it an explanation, and people dog you because the in vitro reality doesn’t match the in vivo reality…have to deal with this all the time, as a doctor…maybe I am not controlling insulin, but I’ll tell you what, eat real food, take your supplements, cut sugar and grains, be disciplined, and work out, and you’ll go far…if you want to say that I am an idiot because I still believe that insulin has a role, or that I have removed hyperpalatable food, or whaetver, I just don’t care…It’s not that I am not curious to find out, but I do the best I can…I’ll accept not being completely right in my explanation, and I am open to new ideas, especially if I can get results…results count.

  11. Mike T on June 12, 2012 at 08:54


    Been lurking in the background for a while now. I have a pretty standard story, creeping weight loss , failed attempts to lose weight with exercise and the standard healthy diet and restricted calories. I could lose temporarily, but always gained the weight back and found myself fat and fit (sort of). The biggest issue I had was that intense exercise drove my appetite which eventually derailed my efforts.

    After a minor health scare last January, I decided to revisit Gary Taube’s GCBC which I had read a couple of years ago and followed his recommendations. Over the last 14 months, roughly following a primal/paleo lifestyle I have lost about 30lbs fat and added 10lbs muscle reasonably effortlessly. Interesting for my personal experiment, was that I scaled back my intense exercise as I wanted to manage my appetite – I still did Karate 2x a week as this was something I did with my son. Despite this, after six months I had lost 20lbs fat, but gained about 5lbs of muscle despite eating what I thought were insane amount of fat (eggs, bacon, beef, etc). After this, I have gradually increased exercise intensity and in December started the BBS program. Physically, I am very close the same general body composition I had when I was a competitive athlete and worked out intensely 4-5 times/wk, but I only lift weights 15 minutes/wk + Karate (for kids which is not to demanding).

    Though I am not sure that Taubes, Sisson et al have the science exactly right, I believe that they are approximately right and more than good enough for those of us who need to understand how to come to grips with our various diet/lifestyle related issues.

  12. People who bitch about "bad and incomplete" science: just stop, you're over your head on June 13, 2012 at 18:03

    […] […]

  13. Jerry on June 22, 2012 at 05:19

    I’ve also been experimenting with liver. Seems to make me feel subtly better for the next few days after eating it.

    I like the recipe, except for the canned tomato paste. I’m very cautious about using canned tomatoes after reading this:

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