Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
10 Dec

2 More Success Stories from Mark’s Daily Apple Readers

It’s time for another round of Primal Blueprint success stories. It’s been a real pleasure receiving these messages from Mark’s Daily Apple readers and being able to share them with the community. As you’ll read, Malika sent hers in recently after reading a bunch of stories submitted by other readers. If you have a Primal Blueprint real life story, I hope you’ll do the same. Shoot me an email with pics explaining how the Primal Blueprint has played a role in your life. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone. Grok on!


After reading another half dozen success stories I decided tonight is the night I submit my own.

Right now, as I type this I’ve just downloaded pictures from a photo shoot I just completed in Miami that I can hardly believe is of ME… and that’s all because of YOU and our little community here!

I’m seeing muscles I thought were lost forever and a number I never thought would be possible after having 3 kids and starting to believe that I had to settle for the fluffy mommy look forever.

Frustrated with my results after doing an entire round of doubles of a 90-day home workout program that glamorized “muscle confusion” (you may be familiar with it from a past life of yours), I figured the problem must be my diet.

I didn’t have a scale when I started the program but by the end I was 151 pounds.

That led me to explore low-carb eating according to the glycemic index.

After about 2 months of replacing all my white/brown carbs with beans (gag, I know) I was asked if I ever heard of the Primal Blueprint.

I bought it and the cookbook almost immediately. That was May 1st of 2010. It was a massive nutrition education crash course and I took my husband and 3 kids along for the ride with me!

Yes, we had a semi-huge argument about the rapid change in our diet which of course led to an increase in the food budget but after about a week of eating uncured bacon, sausage and real eggs from a near by farm for a week… There wasn’t anything to argue for. I mean come on, what red blooded American male would argue for whole wheat pasta instead of spinach, tomato and onion in bacon fat with a big honking piece of rib-eye?

I didn’t have any other issues I was personally looking to solve except for losing belly fat to avoid diabetes. I was approaching the age, 32, where my father was diagnosed with diabetes after a HIGH rice/bean Caribbean diet. It has rendered him legally blind which has taken away a lot of his independence, impacted his self worth and self esteem as well as his lifestyle.

It’s also effected my grandmother (took her life 2 years ago), aunt, uncle, two cousins and will catch up to the rest of my family who refuse to seek change or entertain life after grains.

I am determined to have that disease stop with me in my blood line.

My husband however, seems to have recovered from his totally undiagnosed IBS and thanks me at least once a week for his newly uncovered 8 pack!

Also, the two oldest of my 3 kids – 10 and 8 – have also leaned out as well from a pudgy 137 lbs and 110 lbs to 106 lbs and 84 lbs, respectively.

Things have gone so well that we’ve created a community to help woman and families transition to living PB!



Dear Mark,

Rewind 8 months, after having my second bundle of baby joy, when I was the heaviest, most disgusting, hideous blubber-monster known to man. I am sure that no one thought I looked THAT bad, but that was exactly what I thought of myself. My self-confidence was almost non-existent. Yet, I still allowed 6 months to float by trying to lose weight the “conventional,” carb filled way. I suppose you can guess that I did not lose one spec of weight. Even though my husband, who is the nutrition and Crossfit whiz in the house, was there to encourage me and write workouts for me, I still did not lose weight. He kept *nicely* suggesting that I try to go Primal, but I poo pooed it because I have a special place in my heart for mini muffins.

Finally, on the first day of September ’10 I was ready. I was 5’5” and 175 lbs of self loathing. I remembering taking my first “before” pictures and looking at them. I looked worse than I even thought! I had to call my husband and apologize that he ever had to gaze upon that (as I am sorry that you all have to as well).

Upon recommendation from my husband, I actually started out using the Zone blocks but eating Primal. I needed to count and weigh for a while simply because my perception of servings was a little….skewed. If I was left to eat until I was no longer hungry I would still be eating to this day.

Let me just say that as far as “diets” go, I had never stuck with anything much past 2 weeks for this very reason. After two weeks of Primal perfection, I was excited to step onto the scale and see how much progress I had made. When the scale registered at 175 lbs still, I cried. I actually cried. In swooped my husband with a measuring tape and showed me that I had actually lost an inch on my hips and an inch on my waist. With a little resistance due to society’s focus on scale weight, I allowed my husband to hide the scale in the house somewhere. I began working out 4 times a week in a Primal/Crossfit style. Short. Intense. I love it. You should see my shoulders! The point is, after 2 weeks it got easier and I kept going.

Fast forward with me now to December ’10 and 20 lbs dropped.

This journey was first about fat loss and fat loss only. I happily received that, but it is almost a secondary blessing to all of the benefits that come from eating Primal! Food has become a casual friend and not an obsessive lover anymore. I don’t weigh or measure anymore. I eat when I am hungry, and, if I am not, I don’t! The scale sits, yet again, on the bathroom floor but I only use it occasionally. I am less hungry, I don’t crave things, and I have a full day’s worth of energy. That ain’t easy when you are chasing around two kids all day. Also, going Primal has almost eliminated my headaches and migraines I would get several times a week. I haven’t had one in months.

I still want to get down another 10ish pounds, but I figure my body likes doing the 5 lbs a month thing, so I am in no hurry. Going Primal has proven itself as far as I am concerned.

The last reason why I can never go back to living or eating any other way can be summed up in one word: bacon.

Thank you so much for your dedication, service and information to all who care to look! See you all in another 3 months!

Lindsey Forbes – Tucson, Arizona

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Awesome Awesome Awesome! So Inspiring, Ladies! Thank you Lindsey for posting about how it’s not all about what the scale says, and that it’s important to ignore that in the beginning and just keep going- what a knowledgeable and supportive hubby you have to “swoop in with the measuring tape” and wisely make the scale disappear- it’s so hard for us American women to make that mental shift!

    Val wrote on December 10th, 2010
  2. Wow. Congratulations to Malika and Lindsey. Amazing transformation stories.

    Richard wrote on December 10th, 2010
  3. Congratulations to both of you, thanks for sharing your stories.

    debbie_downer wrote on December 10th, 2010
  4. Thank you BOTH for sharing your story. I have been feeling in a rut, thoughts of, “Well, I’ll get back to Primal after Christmas because, you know, Christmas COOKIES.” I should say not only feeling as though I’m in a rut, but also feeling like a RUT. Sugar and carbs will do that. Both of your stories and photos helped rev me up to get going again and treat myself well not only after the holidays, but NOW!
    Malika, may I ask? Was your end weight 151? I’m confused because I know what 151 looks like on me and let me tell you, it’s not anywhere as awesome as your final photo!
    Thank you again Ladies.

    Beth wrote on December 10th, 2010
  5. wow, great success stories, thanks ladies for sharing it with us. Loving Ms. Malika’s style and her progress, beautiful woman indeed.

    Hodan wrote on December 10th, 2010
  6. I’ve been following Malika and I’m inspired and amazed. I’ve gotten off the train recently as far as health goes (recent break-up with a guy who said in the beginning he supported my food lifestyle but did not in fact he resented it) and aim to get back on.
    I’ve lost alot of weight but it is from not eating at all vs. eating right (I kind of resemble a heroin addict right now).
    But anyway I just wanted to make the comment regarding the cost of food…I read that in Europe people spend more of their paycheck on food than we do in the USA. Apparently in Europe they care more about the quality of the food they eat. I can’t verify the validity of the statement but it makes sense. We have this cheap food mindset in America.

    Jolie wrote on December 10th, 2010
    • Jolie, only believe the statistics you’ve made yourself. In Germany, where I live, there’s also the cheap food thing going on. My parents (and the whole family) are really big on it and get often nearly a heartattack when I eat steak or by “expensive” oils (like pumpkin seed oil, I just love it). They definitely prefer quantity over quality. From what I know France and Italy are really on top when it comes to food.

      Forget about this guy and do yourself something good. You’ll find the right partner soon enough, maybe you should go looking for him at a Crossfit gym near you. Hot and good stuff eating guys and you can do cool everchanging workouts. Sounds like heaven, no?

      San wrote on December 11th, 2010
  7. Great job girls! You both look amazing! You have totally motivated me to go Primal! I am doing crossfit right now and that has made a huge difference for me but this makes me want to change the way I eat too!

    Hannah wrote on December 10th, 2010
  8. Inspirational! This is just the ‘kick in the pants’ I need to get me back on track. Thanks!

    Tamin wrote on December 11th, 2010
  9. Girls you are amazing. Well done.

    And Malika, whoa, I’m so envious of those muscles.

    San wrote on December 11th, 2010
  10. Thanks Malika and Lindsey. Those are truly great transformations and stories.

    Kitty wrote on December 11th, 2010
  11. Such beautiful and strong women, mentally and physically! Great job, and thank you for sharing your stories!

    Alise wrote on December 11th, 2010
  12. Thank you both for sharing your smiling success with us. When I’m having a down day, I like to tune in to “Success Stories”. It feels good to be happy for and inspired by others.

    tracepdx wrote on December 11th, 2010
  13. I just want to say that you both have done an amazing job. You both look amazing and most importantly, happy and healthy. Lindsey, I really enjoyed your story and it was really important to me to have an example of someone who didn’t have results on the scale right away. I always seem to lose weight rather slowly, so now I feel like I should just keep pushing. Malika, you look amazing and I am very impressed by how you’ve brought your family along for the ride (which I would find difficult) maybe if I have results like you two awesome ladies, they’ll jump in willingly!

    T wrote on December 11th, 2010
  14. Amazing!!! Thanks for sharing!! 😀

    gilliebean wrote on December 11th, 2010
  15. great …keep it going…

    rik wrote on December 11th, 2010
  16. Just amazing! Ladies, you look incredible :)

    Kat wrote on December 11th, 2010
  17. You ladies all look so beautiful, glowing with health, vitality, and joy. Thank you for sharing your success stories!

    Sonagi wrote on December 12th, 2010
  18. Wow to the both of you!

    Malika, do you have any before and afters of your husband?

    dragonmamma wrote on December 12th, 2010
  19. You guys are awesome!

    Sonia wrote on December 12th, 2010
  20. Malika and Lindsey,

    You both rock the house. Seriously. Rock on.

    Rahsaan wrote on December 12th, 2010
  21. And Malika, I can relate to losing family members to type 2. I’ve tried to help others in my family. Alas, to no avail.

    Rahsaan wrote on December 12th, 2010
  22. simply amazing !!! great job !!!
    congratulations to both of you

    Jason Young wrote on December 13th, 2010
  23. Ah yes very inspiring, and you look great sure. But what about the nasty side effects of living this “healthy lifestyle” The staring, the whistleing, and the jaws dropping when ever you enter a room. Stay strong eventually you’ll get used to all the added attention, but you must know it will just get worse the longer you stay healthy!! Great job girls!

    Brad wrote on December 13th, 2010
  24. My total weight loss, I’ve gotten down to 128.2 lbs from 156.8, 28.6 lbs! That’s from the 1st picture in the blue shorts to the last picture on the bottom.

    I’m not sure how much I weighted in the top picture but I know it was somewhere in the 180s if not more!

    I know some people want to say that the scale is evil but I think its a very useful tool and those who use it most often are learner than those who try to keep it out of the house.

    I encourage women especially to get one that measures water % and BF too. It helps you learn the rhythm of your body when used with other measuring tools like that pair of jeans 2 sizes too small that you are dying to fit into AGAIN!

    The muscles are very cool to look at in the mirror and to feel. I touch my body a lot now like I’m getting used to it.

    I have a “like” page on fb where I have albums of the scale pics and more body pictures and what I ate…. Pics of my hubby’s 8 pack are in there too for those who asked.

    My family can’t deny what they see unfolding right in front of them. They are becoming aware that their fleeting health and expanding waist lines are within their control. As our transformations continue to prove everyday.

    If they chose not to unleash the power of their own perfect gene expression then then they chose also the consequences.

    I have more success stories to share too like my sister losing 77 pounds since April, my dad about to come off diabetes meds he’s used for 27 years and his younger sister losing her 1st 20 recently too… Ahhhh another time my Primal pals!

    Thank you again for all the kudos! XOXO

    Malika Duke wrote on December 13th, 2010
    • Its awsome when your possitive influence helps those you love! 2 years ago now I got my Dad going he lost 45 lbs, and got off his blood pressure meds that he had been on for 10 years!

      Way to go Malika

      Brad wrote on December 14th, 2010
  25. Malika,

    Thank you for taking the time to write all of that and for sharing your weight. You are SO inspiring! I cannot wait to be where you are, feeling my own muscles. I too have a family that struggles and/or just accepts that their plight is having to take high blood pressure medicine, count carbs to try and control their Type II diabetes and don’t forget the cholesterol lowering meds. When I mention ‘Mark’s Daily Apple’ or suggest they read anything at all about Primal Living I get a polite nod of the head or a blatant eye rolling and something to the effect of, “Well, my doctor doesn’t think my diet has anything to do with it.” Of course they think their doctor is right.
    Anyway, I hope you can feel pride in how much your are inspiring people out there in this world – you can tell your family that someone in Minnesota saw you – your success is far reaching!
    Happy Holidays, thank you again, and look for me sometime listed as a ‘Success Story’ on MDA! :)

    Beth in MN

    Beth wrote on December 13th, 2010
  26. It’s great to see such enthusiastic and positive results from real people. I want on this band wagon.

    I’ve lurked here on occasion for the past few months, reading the blogs, read the fitness ebook multiple times, and I really want to try this way of life. My copy of PB is on the way to my mailbox right now. Thanks Santa.

    It’s the first time any “diet” has ever actually made any sense to me! I managed to discover MDA when I kind of thought to myself, “I wish I could know what a caveman would eat, that’s got to be the pinnacle of human health.” I googled and here you have the whole system already figured out!

    I have two kids, 9 and 1 1/2. I want to be able to keep up with them forever and show them how to live a healthy and energetic life too. I’m 27 years old and I’m tired of feeling like I’m 80.

    Milty wrote on December 15th, 2010
  27. I have to pile on. I just called my wife and daughter over to see Malika’s transformation. Just astounding! I have been PB’g since May ’10 and they still shake their heads. I started at 265-270 and now hover around 210. Although I have introduced more food variety to the family, they still covet their sugar and grains. In the end, I will convert them all!

    Primal P wrote on December 16th, 2010
  28. You both are so beautiful, BEFORE and AFTER! Thank you both for sharing your story and your results. Malika, you blew my mind and inspired me to continue with all my hard work! Lindsey, great job!

    Lauren wrote on December 16th, 2010
  29. You need an evil laugh on the end of “In the end, I will convert them all!”

    Lauren wrote on December 16th, 2010
  30. OMG!! I literally have tears in my eyes! These stories are so inspirational. Malika, you just RADIATE this confident, deep beauty. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s so, so beautiful. You look amazing!
    Lindsey!! WOw! I can’t believe that it’s only been 2 months for you! You can totally see the happiness in your eyes now. I can’t WAIT to see more pics from you!!!

    Steph wrote on December 18th, 2010
  31. Hello,
    First i want to say thank you so much for sharing your stories with us. I am always inspired when i hear of some one success. The first story touched me. Not only it her transformation amazing but i could relate.
    My father is a diabetic and has lost his eye sight, his kidneys, and ability to do most things he used to enjoy. My mother is very overweight has fibermayalga (not sure how to spell that) but to make a long story short i come from a long line of health problems. So at the age of 19 and a whopping 248 pounds ( ugh it hurts to say that) jan. of this year (the 7th to b exact) I started eating primal and havnt looked back since. I will change the course my family has taken i will be healthy and fit. I have been primal just shy of 2 months and have lost 32 pounds!!!!! When I get down on my self or think no i can’t do this i like to read others stores and the Malika’s story just touched me in a way no other story ever has. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Both these ladies look amazing and i am inspired!!!!

    Paige wrote on March 1st, 2012

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