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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 01, 2014

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

By Guest
162 Comments

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!

After 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.”

Young Faye

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.

Faye and Earl

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.

Faye

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.

Faye with Son-in-Law Steve

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!

Primal Faye!

Living life,

Faye

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

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Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 1 month ago

Awesome!

John D
John D
2 years 1 month ago

spectacularly groovy!!

granny gibson
granny gibson
2 years 1 month ago

Thank you for your wonderful story!

Hao
Hao
2 years 1 month ago

Very inspirational, Faye!

Helen
2 years 1 month ago

Respect to you! You look so healthy!

kt
kt
2 years 1 month ago

This is a beautiful story 🙂

1956okie
1956okie
2 years 1 month ago

Wow. Just wow. Fantastic! And love your photos! Sort of leaves no excuses for the rest of us, doesn’t it?

MistressMerriment
MistressMerriment
2 years 1 month ago

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!

Faye
Faye
2 years 1 month ago

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.

Dave Harrington
Dave Harrington
1 year 6 months ago

Faye your story is truly inspirational. I am a 58 year old type 2 insulin dependent diabetic diagnosed 19 years ago. I am a train wreck. Today after reading about your primal journey I have ordered the 21 day transformation book which should arrive in a week but I am starting on the journey immediately.
Thanks for sharing your story
David Harrington

BbalanceD
BbalanceD
8 months 29 days ago

A very inspiring story of someone falling in love “with themselves’ and taking care of them-self – it is reflected in your outer and inner self. Thank you for sharing these results.

Erica
2 years 1 month ago

What an inspiring story! You ARE beautiful and you are simply radiating in that last photo!

sandy
sandy
2 years 1 month ago

This is a fantastic story, congratulations Faye! You look beautiful, and way younger than 87!

Melissa
Melissa
2 years 1 month ago

+1

eDeaRL
eDeaRL
2 years 1 month ago

+1

Karen
Karen
2 years 1 month ago

+1

Z.E.S.T.
Z.E.S.T.
2 years 1 month ago

Such a wonderful story! And the photos you posted of you in your youth–you were beautiful then, too! Thank you for your inspiration.

Tina
Tina
2 years 1 month ago

You are BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations!

Cody
Cody
2 years 1 month ago

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?

Rick
Rick
2 years 1 month ago

The answer is genetics. Consider Otzi the Iceman’s story. Pure paleo, with heart disease.

einstein
einstein
2 years 1 month ago

Otzi did not die of heart disease. And he was eating grains.

oxide
oxide
2 years 1 month ago

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?

Rick
Rick
2 years 1 month ago

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

JJ
JJ
2 years 1 month ago

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.

Margit
Margit
2 years 1 month ago

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

Shary
Shary
2 years 1 month ago
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… Read more »
einstein
einstein
2 years 1 month ago

+1

victor
victor
2 years 1 month ago

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.

Colleen
Colleen
2 years 1 month ago

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!

Melissa
Melissa
2 years 1 month ago

+1

Jen
Jen
2 years 1 month ago

You are absolutely beautiful, Faye! Thank you for sharing your story with us- you are in inspiration!

Melissa
Melissa
2 years 1 month ago

+1

T
T
2 years 1 month ago

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.

Michele
2 years 1 month ago

Incredible! Congratulations on feeling wonderful and sending the message that it’s never too late!

Jennifer
Jennifer
2 years 1 month ago

Thanks fantastic! Congrats!

Brandon
Brandon
2 years 1 month ago

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!

Sarah
Sarah
2 years 1 month ago

Wonderful, hope to be all that at 87!

Harry Mossman
2 years 1 month ago

You look beautiful inside and out in all your pictures.

Julie
Julie
2 years 1 month ago

Thanks for sharing! I’m inspired by people over the age of fifty who are doing this!

Tyrannocaster
2 years 1 month ago
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… Read more »
Aili
2 years 1 month ago

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.

Resurgent
Resurgent
2 years 1 month ago

+100

Gwen
2 years 1 month ago

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! 🙂

Primal and Proud
Primal and Proud
2 years 1 month ago

Faye, you are an inspiration, thank you so much for sharing your story, it made my day.

Congratulations on your success!

Carol
Carol
2 years 1 month ago

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!!!

Paul in Australia
Paul in Australia
2 years 1 month ago

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?)

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 1 month ago

My arthritis talking: “From grain consumption, no doubt.”

R
R
2 years 1 month ago

@ 36 years of age I get this gnawing pain in me joints whenever I stray from primal and eat wheat & carbs.

Christopher
2 years 1 month ago

Yes Carol! There is so much more to life for the elderly than medicating away in a nursing home! Good luck in your endeavors.

The Walrus
The Walrus
2 years 1 month ago

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!

primalpal
primalpal
2 years 1 month ago

you are beautiful!

Nocona
Nocona
2 years 1 month ago

Now that’s inspirational. You go Faye!!! Grokette on.

Anna
Anna
2 years 1 month ago

I loved your story. You look absolutely radiant!

Georgina
Georgina
2 years 1 month ago

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!

Kay
2 years 1 month ago

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.

ObligateCarnivore
ObligateCarnivore
2 years 1 month ago

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!

Candi
Candi
2 years 1 month ago

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!

Pastor Dave
2 years 1 month ago

FAYE!! Great going gal– I hope to be as spry and healthy and reach 87 someday–and feel many years younger.

Jen
Jen
2 years 1 month ago

AMAZING story! I love this. Thank you for your example and inspiration. No matter what age we are, living Primally is living beautifully!

Trish
Trish
2 years 1 month ago

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.

Warren
Warren
2 years 1 month ago

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
Warren
2 years 1 month ago

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.

FAYE
FAYE
2 years 1 month ago

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.

pam
pam
2 years 1 month ago

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)

Donna
Donna
2 years 1 month ago

Faye, This is one of the most amazing success stories and I read them all! It demonstrates that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what condition you are in, food can be your medicine. And that everyone can make positive changes in their life. You look beautiful!

Kara
Kara
2 years 1 month ago

Dear Faye,
Many thanks for sharing your story. You are lovely and courageous. I nominate you as the poster girl for a Primal Lifestyle campaign directed at the US seniors and soon to be seniors. If even a fraction of this group went Primal, just imagine the impact THAT would have on burgeoning Medicare costs!!!
Thank you Faye

Candi
Candi
2 years 1 month ago

Yes! on the poster girl for a campaign!

Deb Willbefree
2 years 1 month ago

Faye, Thank you for this. I am 62 and weigh 220 pounds and am on insulin…lots of insulin. I’ve played at Primal, but as soon as I send this comment, I’m going to buy the Primal Blueprint and set out to follow it in earnest. You’ve given me hope. Deb

Susan
Susan
2 years 1 month ago

So glad you shared your story. I’m 20 years younger and humbled by your success. Bravo!

Evelyn
2 years 1 month ago

Congratulations, Faye! You are a true testament of that eating a Paleo/Primal diet works. It is awesome that you are off your medications. I know you feel as beautiful as you look – amazing! Your story is inspiring! Evelyn

Jen
Jen
2 years 1 month ago

You are so gorgeous inside and out! Wow, thanks for the inspiring story that we can do primal at any age. Big hug.

Kamila
Kamila
2 years 1 month ago

You are an inspiration. I got to tell my 71 yo dad. He needs to do it asap. Thanks for sharing.

Linda A. Lavid
2 years 1 month ago

What a delight!!!! Thanks for letting everyone know, it’s never too late. Truly inspirational.

annakay
annakay
2 years 1 month ago
Faye, what an inspiration you are to everyone! You look so healthy, beautiful and vibrant. A few years back my father in law died. He was a year younger than you, he suffered from Dementia, was doubly incontinent and lost all his dignity. My husband and I swore that we would never end up in that state if we could help it. I stumbled on MDA on the internet, bought “The Primal Blueprint” and changed our lives for ever. Through eating primally we both lost lots of weight, my husband’s Type 2 Diabetes is under control (no medication), his Angina… Read more »
carl
carl
2 years 1 month ago

I discovered Primal too late to really help my father, but even taking him off wheat for a year made a big difference in his alzheimer’s and boosted his cognitive ability at 92. As a result I sometimes succumb to the lure of too much dark chocolate or almond butter, but am never tempted by wheat products. I suspect you’ve also dodged the dementia bullet there – here’s hoping!

ultrarunnergirl
2 years 1 month ago

Faye,
I am so impressed you were willing to make that change so late in life. So many people just aren’t, it makes me sad for them. Way to take life by the horns and try a new approach!

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