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Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
1 Aug

At 87 Years Old, for the First Time in My Life I Feel Beautiful, Both Inside and Out

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

real life stories stories 1 2After reading last week’s success story post and all the comments from people who wanted to hear from someone my age, I thought I could be that inspiration telling my primal story. I am 87 years young and found the primal lifestyle about three and a half years ago. I went from 220 pounds to 130 pounds. Here’s my story.

I was raised on a cotton farm in California’s Central Valley. I was the youngest of eleven children. We all worked on the farm and during the Depression we ate what we raised. But even as a young teenager, when I asked my teacher if she thought I was fat she replied, “You are pleasingly plump.”

At seventeen I left home and moved to Santa Cruz to work at the Boardwalk, living on hot dogs and hamburgers. Four years later I met my husband of 64 years.

We had four children, two daughters right away and a son and daughter seven years later. Trying to make ends meet, we ate a lot of beans, oats and rice. My husband and I worked in the restaurant business, he as a chef and myself as a waitress. Needless to say, we both worked long hours and meals for us was whatever was quick to put on the table for the family.

When our two youngest became teenagers, I decided to be a stay at home mother. With this there began to be loneliness and boredom and food often filled the void. I never had a drivers license and my husband worked ten to twelve hours a day. I would eat when I was bored, lonely, mad or happy. And so, my emotional eating began increasing with the empty nest.

Oh, I would try to lose weight through the years; Atkins, Weight Watchers, Weigh Down, but they never worked.

In 1990, at the age of 63, I learned I was diabetic. How confused and scared I was to learn this. But even with this news and doing my best with SAD meals for diabetics, I could never lose the weight. Along with diabetes and still no weight control, of course, came the onset of heart disease. I suffered a heart attack in 1999 and stepped up my efforts with different fad diets, but was never able to keep the weight off.

My grandson became the editor of this blog (which I didn’t know what that was) and soon his parents were following this new lifestyle. They kept telling me how the Primal way wasn’t a diet but a simple way of life. They gave me a copy of The Primal Blueprint and as I began reading it something just clicked. I no longer wanted to be overweight. Each week I saw a difference as the weight came off with ease. I never felt like I was deprived and found I wasn’t hungry all the time. After a year of being Primal, I moved to be closer to my daughter. My new doctor checked my blood work and took me off of several medications, including insulin. I have been able to manage my diabetes through eating Primally and exercising three times a week.

At 87 years old, for the first time in my life I feel beautiful, both inside and out. People look at me and tell me I’m so tiny. I still can’t get over that. I tell my Primal story to anyone I meet. Being overweight all those years has taken its toll on my heart, but I have never felt better. My advice to those thinking about the Primal way of living; do it. It is simple and it works! I eat better than I ever have and feel better than I ever have. Look at me!

Living life,

Faye

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!

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on August 1st, 2014
  2. spectacularly groovy!!

    John D wrote on August 1st, 2014
  3. Thank you for your wonderful story!

    granny gibson wrote on August 1st, 2014
  4. Very inspirational, Faye!

    Hao wrote on August 1st, 2014
  5. Respect to you! You look so healthy!

    Helen wrote on August 1st, 2014
  6. This is a beautiful story :)

    kt wrote on August 1st, 2014
  7. Wow. Just wow. Fantastic! And love your photos! Sort of leaves no excuses for the rest of us, doesn’t it?

    1956okie wrote on August 1st, 2014
  8. Thank you so much for your story. It’s just what I needed to read today. You are lovely and yes, you ARE tiny! You are prettier now than you were in your 60s.

    I’m a woman of 62 and have been despairing of ever being a “normal” size again. Your post gave me a good, solid dose of hope.

    Bless you!

    MistressMerriment wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • It is one of my greatest achievements. My only regret is that I didn’t find this earlier. You have, and through the community of MDA you have an abundance of support.

      Faye wrote on August 1st, 2014
  9. What an inspiring story! You ARE beautiful and you are simply radiating in that last photo!

    Erica wrote on August 1st, 2014
  10. This is a fantastic story, congratulations Faye! You look beautiful, and way younger than 87!

    sandy wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • +1

      Melissa wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • +1

      eDeaRL wrote on August 1st, 2014
      • +1

        Karen wrote on August 1st, 2014
  11. Such a wonderful story! And the photos you posted of you in your youth–you were beautiful then, too! Thank you for your inspiration.

    Z.E.S.T. wrote on August 1st, 2014
  12. You are BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations!

    Tina wrote on August 1st, 2014
  13. I’m completely confused! With testimonials (like this impressive one) how on earth can there still be people who criticize this lifestyle as a potentially dangerous fad?

    Cody wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • The answer is genetics. Consider Otzi the Iceman’s story. Pure paleo, with heart disease.

      Rick wrote on August 1st, 2014
      • Otzi did not die of heart disease. And he was eating grains.

        einstein wrote on August 1st, 2014
        • Which brings up an interesting point. Faye is old enough that she gained her weight BEFORE the advent of dwarf hybrid wheat, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, GMO, CAFO meats, and the rest of the baddies. Does she have the genetics to gain on carbs alone?

          oxide wrote on August 1st, 2014
        • He didn’t have time to die of heart disease.

          Re Otzi’s grain eating, it may not have mattered. Genetics…

          Clogged arteries are found in mummies from peoples who did not eat grains. http://www.livescience.com/27778-mummies-clogged-arteries-universal.html

          Rick wrote on August 1st, 2014
        • Yes Otzi had wheat in his belly, in fact refined wheat. And Egyptian mummies have been studied and they ate grains too. In fact they were primarily vegetarian based on recent studies.

          JJ wrote on August 1st, 2014
      • That’s just not true. He lived 5300 years ago and they cultivated 4 different grains back then. He had grain seeds on his clothes. He died of several injuries and must have been bleeding to death. Seemed to be attacked shortly before his death and fled into the mountains. http://www.iceman.it/en/node/226

        Margit wrote on August 4th, 2014
    • There are people who claim they have gained weight or developed high BP, or whatever, on a strictly Paleo diet, but if you talk to them you find out that they aren’t strictly Paleo at all. They’re just good at deceiving themselves. I’ve known people like this. They are “Paleo” except for the pasta they gorge on every Wednesday night, and the breaded fried chicken they eat every Sunday at Grandma’s, and all the terrific desserts Aunt Mable brings over throughout the week, and God forbid that they should give up their morning toast with jam, etc.

      In short, they are in constant “cheat mode.” They’ve turned the 80/20 rule upside down so that they are 20 percent Paleo and 80 percent everything else. The anti-Paleo people jump on these bogus cases and use them as poster children in order to fuel their own misguided fire.

      Shary wrote on August 1st, 2014
      • +1

        einstein wrote on August 1st, 2014
      • Shary, you are so right in my case! I thought I did everything right and ate coco puffs on a daily basis because they were from rice and not wheat! I went to the dentist and couldn’t understand with my “great” eating habits I could have so much plaque.

        victor wrote on August 3rd, 2014
  14. That is truly an amazing story! So many older people claim to be too set in their ways to make any changes, so that such changes from someone who was 84 is truly inspirational. I hope I look as good at 87!

    Colleen wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • +1

      Melissa wrote on August 1st, 2014
  15. You are absolutely beautiful, Faye! Thank you for sharing your story with us- you are in inspiration!

    Jen wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • +1

      Melissa wrote on August 1st, 2014
  16. I work in a health care profession. So many times, patients ask if there is anything they can do to help their aged mother/father cope with a painful health issue. Whenever I mention diet, they dismiss it as impossible – they assume that their parents are too old to change their ways, or somehow it’s not worth the trouble at that age (or possibly it’s too complicated to convince caretakers, as well). Thanks for proving it’s NEVER too late.

    T wrote on August 1st, 2014
  17. Incredible! Congratulations on feeling wonderful and sending the message that it’s never too late!

    Michele wrote on August 1st, 2014
  18. Thanks fantastic! Congrats!

    Jennifer wrote on August 1st, 2014
  19. Pleasantly plump….my grandmother, who would have been about your age, used to describe me like that. I was either pleasantly plump or big boned. Thanks for the memory! Congrats on the change! You have done an awesome job!

    Brandon wrote on August 1st, 2014
  20. Wonderful, hope to be all that at 87!

    Sarah wrote on August 1st, 2014
  21. You look beautiful inside and out in all your pictures.

    Harry Mossman wrote on August 1st, 2014
  22. Thanks for sharing! I’m inspired by people over the age of fifty who are doing this!

    Julie wrote on August 1st, 2014
  23. Faye, I’m sure you will get many, many compliments on this but let me add mine; it’s really great to hear (and see) how well you have done. I wish my mother-in-law (who is 80 now) would follow your example, but she insists on following her doctor’s instructions, which means lots of “healthy whole grains” and as little meat as possible, and margarine instead of butter, and on and on. The thing is, she’s an adult and I think she has the right to her own opinion so I’m not going to pester her even though I think she could be doing a lot better by eating in a different way; however, she is horrified by the way we eat and I imagine she is convinced we are killing ourselves. At some point I think we have to respect people’s wishes and I’m so pleased to see that your wishes have been the right ones.

    Tyrannocaster wrote on August 1st, 2014
  24. It is so nice, Faye, to hear your story. I am 63, have no medical issues other than 30 – 40 extra pounds, which I do not need hanging on my body.

    Aili wrote on August 1st, 2014
  25. +100

    Resurgent wrote on August 1st, 2014
  26. You look GREAT! Thanks for sharing your story! I lost 70 lbs. last year, at the ‘ripe old age’ of 62 by going primal, I’ve kept all of the weight off, and I’ve never felt better, ANYONE can do this, and leave decades of bad eating and poor health behind them. For good. ANYONE! :)

    Gwen wrote on August 1st, 2014
  27. Faye, you are an inspiration, thank you so much for sharing your story, it made my day.

    Congratulations on your success!

    Primal and Proud wrote on August 1st, 2014
  28. Faye – one of my goals of becoming a Certified Nutritional Therapist is to dispel the myth that getting old means getting sick (along with “inevitable” aches & pains) – your story is one I will share with my future clients!! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!!!

    Carol wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • For the record at 52 I’ve been primal for nearly twelve months now and I feel better than I’ve felt in a long time. No more feeling tired half the time and no more stiffness in the joints, that’s annoyed me for years.(inflammation?)

      Paul in Australia wrote on August 1st, 2014
      • My arthritis talking: “From grain consumption, no doubt.”

        Wenchypoo wrote on August 2nd, 2014
      • @ 36 years of age I get this gnawing pain in me joints whenever I stray from primal and eat wheat & carbs.

        R wrote on August 2nd, 2014
    • Yes Carol! There is so much more to life for the elderly than medicating away in a nursing home! Good luck in your endeavors.

      Christopher wrote on August 1st, 2014
  29. WOW! I read these stories every week, and I am always inspired, but this takes the (gluten-free) cake! I’m speechless! Faye, you are awesomely inspirational and I am so glad you decided to share your story. Grok on, pretty lady!

    The Walrus wrote on August 1st, 2014
  30. you are beautiful!

    primalpal wrote on August 1st, 2014
  31. Now that’s inspirational. You go Faye!!! Grokette on.

    Nocona wrote on August 1st, 2014
  32. I loved your story. You look absolutely radiant!

    Anna wrote on August 1st, 2014
  33. Thank you for showing us the future looks bright! Awesome! The point is if you live the primal lifestyle, you will be the best you can be at any age!

    Georgina wrote on August 1st, 2014
  34. How I wish my father-in-law, with extremely severe psoriatic arthritis and skin cancer would read your story Faye, and take heart… “never to late” is the big take back here. Well done! One can tell that you feel as fantastic as you look.

    Kay wrote on August 1st, 2014
  35. Faye, I want to be like you when I am 87. I went primal at age 31 and also wish I had discovered it earlier… Am 35 now!

    ObligateCarnivore wrote on August 1st, 2014
  36. Dear Faye! You are indeed beautiful inside and out. I applaud your strength and courage to commit to, and stick with, such a major change in lifestyle. You most certainly inspire me! And I remember those Central California cotton fields from the 1960’s, when my parents and I would drive south from Lake Tahoe (where we lived) to Southern CA, to visit family. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    Candi wrote on August 1st, 2014
  37. FAYE!! Great going gal– I hope to be as spry and healthy and reach 87 someday–and feel many years younger.

    Pastor Dave wrote on August 1st, 2014
  38. AMAZING story! I love this. Thank you for your example and inspiration. No matter what age we are, living Primally is living beautifully!

    Jen wrote on August 1st, 2014
  39. Best Real LIfe Story ever! I’ve read and heard many times that once women reach a “certain age” that weight loss is impossible. Faye and others show that it most certainly isn’t.

    Trish wrote on August 1st, 2014
  40. Congratulations on your success, Faye! I am pretending that your posting was an answer to my plea posted on last week’s success story (Joe) for an octogenarian or better to post their journey. You mention your weight loss as a measure of your success, which is awesome. I am curious, however, if there were other noticeable differences such as inflammation and its resultant maladies. If you would care to elaborate on this, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again so much for sharing your story.

    Warren wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • Oops! My bad! I see that you did mention diabetes. I scanned too fast. I am still interested in any other health issues you may have had.

      Warren wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • IT CERTAINLY WAS YOUR POST THAT INSPIRED ME TO WRITE. I’M ALWAYS SHARING MY STORY BUT IT IS NICE TO SEE IT IN PRINT TO HELP OTHERS. THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BESIDES WEIGHT LOSS WAS MY DIABETES. TO BE TAKEN OFF INSULIN WAS HUGE FOR ME, SUCH AN ACHIEVEMENT. I HAVE DONE PERMANENT DAMAGE TO MY HEART BUT I FEEL THAT I HAVE LENGTHENED MY LIFE BY MY NEW LIFESTYLE. I HAD CHRONIC BACK PAIN THAT HAS BEEN RELIEVED BY THE WEIGHT LOSS. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THAT PUSH I NEEDED TO TELL MY STORY.

      FAYE wrote on August 1st, 2014
      • Faye,

        wow, your back is so very straight; & you have beautiful skin;
        i wish my mom could change (she lost a great deal of height & her back is slumping (bone spur & gout)
        she is younger, sigh)

        pam wrote on August 3rd, 2014

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