Marks Daily Apple
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!

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.


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,


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. 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!

    Donna wrote on August 1st, 2014
  2. 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

    Kara wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • Yes! on the poster girl for a campaign!

      Candi wrote on August 1st, 2014
  3. 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

    Deb Willbefree wrote on August 1st, 2014
  4. So glad you shared your story. I’m 20 years younger and humbled by your success. Bravo!

    Susan wrote on August 1st, 2014
  5. 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

    Evelyn wrote on August 1st, 2014
  6. You are so gorgeous inside and out! Wow, thanks for the inspiring story that we can do primal at any age. Big hug.

    Jen wrote on August 1st, 2014
  7. You are an inspiration. I got to tell my 71 yo dad. He needs to do it asap. Thanks for sharing.

    Kamila wrote on August 1st, 2014
  8. What a delight!!!! Thanks for letting everyone know, it’s never too late. Truly inspirational.

    Linda A. Lavid wrote on August 1st, 2014
  9. 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 seems to have gone and he no longer walks with a stick. We seem to have reached a plateau with the weight loss but maintain our present weight effortlessly and are never hungry. I just wish that our friends who have various health problems would take a leaf from our book and go primal. Unfortunately our words fall on deaf ears but we live in hope. I wish you many healthy years.. I forgot to say that we are 72 and 71 years old.

    annakay wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • 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!

      carl wrote on August 2nd, 2014
  10. 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!

    ultrarunnergirl wrote on August 1st, 2014
  11. Awesome story! My sister is a dietician and I have tried so many times to get her to realize that we might be able to get my 85 year old father off insulin if he ate primally, but she doesn’t believe in anything but ADA recommendations. Congratulations Faye!

    Devi wrote on August 1st, 2014
  12. I can’t “like” this story enough!!! It’s truly spectacular! I’m sending it to my dad…if I can’t help him go primal maybe Faye can!

    Grok on Faye – you look absolutely ravishing!!!!

    Jess wrote on August 1st, 2014
  13. LOVE THIS STORY!!!!!!!!!

    AJEZK wrote on August 1st, 2014
  14. WOW. this may be the most beautiful story i’ve ever heard- i am so inspired! thank you, faye!

    adina wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • +1

      Alice wrote on August 1st, 2014
  15. Thanks so much for your post, Faye!!!! It brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could convince others to go Primal, especially the octogenarians I know. But like someone else mentioned, at some point you have to respect other people’s wishes and let them go down the path recommended by their doctors and conventional wisdom. So sad.
    But I’m extremely happy for you, and maybe when the time is right I can point someone to your story!

    PattB wrote on August 1st, 2014
  16. Your story is such an awesome inspiration! My grandma has a lot of health problems that I think could be improved with nutrition but I never really thought to mention it because she’s in her 80’s and has dementia. It’s so wonderful to think as human beings we really can change at any age- thank you for sharing your story and I’m so glad you feel beautiful because you are- and always have been :).

    Kirstin wrote on August 1st, 2014
  17. Faye, just from your posture in the last picture, I can tell you feel so good! I am so happy for you. Thank you for sharing this – I know a few people who might be willing to change after reading this!
    I am “only” 51, but I want to live to be 87+ and fabulous, like you.

    HopelessDreamer wrote on August 1st, 2014
  18. Woo-hoo, primal granny!! 😉

    Fixed gear wrote on August 1st, 2014
  19. I would like to propose that Faye become a frequent writer to this site. I’m sure we all could learn a lot.

    Ellen wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • +1!!!

      CM wrote on August 1st, 2014
  20. Amazing story. I know so many people over 70 that are too fixed in their ways to change. I am so impressed by your story.

    My76 y/o step-mom’s diet is about 40% sugar and she thinks I am crazy eating “all that fat.” Her health is poor, even though she believes it to be good.

    Between Faye and Cindy’s success story from 5 week ago, nobody can say that primal doesn’t work or make any other excuses.

    JoeBrewer wrote on August 1st, 2014
  21. Awesome work Faye, old or young you’re an inspiration to us all.

    Matt wrote on August 1st, 2014
  22. Yes! I loved your story! You are truly an inspiration. (And I too wish I had found this earlier….but looking forward, everything is primal gravy so to speak.) Thank you for sharing your journey.

    Judy wrote on August 1st, 2014
  23. Best. Success. Story … EVER! I’m 51 and 20 pounds overweight and have been moaning and groaning about how it’s too late to make a difference. Holy smokes…. Faye, you are a rockstar. Thanks for sharing.

    Julie in CA wrote on August 1st, 2014
    • OOOO Julie, is this going to give you the push to dive into the primal pool? I was 30 pounds overweight and eating “real food” like this is what made all that go away. I tried Weight Watchers (because work paid for it) and gained weight on all the “pretend cheese, butter and beans” that was recommended. Eating real foods is what did the trick. I’m 60 this year and am happy now with my “older body” that may be a little thicker in the middle than what it was in my 20’s. 😛

      2Rae wrote on August 2nd, 2014
  24. I’m teary-eyed from your success story Faye!

    Wish my mom would change her bad habits and help herself but that is not going to happen. Stubbornness runs on my family!

    At 54 and Primal over three years, I am determined to live well and be healthy for the rest of my life.

    Thanks for sharing and giving motivation to older people who think it’s too late. You showed that it is never too late!

    Pure Hapa wrote on August 1st, 2014
  25. I loved your story, Faye! Congratulations on your success! You look so happy.

    Erin wrote on August 1st, 2014
  26. wow, what a GREAT story. you are such an inspiration that it’s never too late to make changes and be healthier! thank you!

    jenny rose wrote on August 1st, 2014
  27. Thank you for sharing your lovely story. It is an example for us all. Any ideas how those who reside in “independent living” housing (meals prepared by others) can adapt a primal diet?

    betsy wrote on August 1st, 2014
  28. WOW. I thought at 40 it was hard to take off weight. You just proved me wrong and I thank you for that. May you live a strong and happy life.

    Bill wrote on August 1st, 2014
  29. Wonderful Faye! Thank you for sharing.:)

    Curtis wrote on August 1st, 2014
  30. Inspiring! I love all the success stories here but it’s so uplifting to see an older woman achieve her dreams. So many folks much younger than Faye decide it’s “too late” for them to change – she proves that determination is the defining factor in success. Congratulations!

    Linda wrote on August 1st, 2014
  31. Faye, you are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story.

    Rich Proctor wrote on August 1st, 2014
  32. You are amazingly awesome!!! Way to go Faye!

    Melissa Bitter wrote on August 1st, 2014
  33. Congratulations Faye! Great story and pictures. Just love those Fridays at MDA. Faye, I do not usually repost these on FB, but yours, I couldn’t resist to repost with the mention: “You’re never too old to be healthy”. Thank you Faye. Life is good!

    Robert wrote on August 1st, 2014
  34. Faye, I read and am inspired by these stories every week, but yours has been the most inspiring by far. Good on you!

    Kazz wrote on August 1st, 2014
  35. Way to go Faye!

    Your story should be on the message board of every doctors waiting room!

    You look incredible and extremely happy!

    Sparrow wrote on August 1st, 2014
  36. Truly Amazingly Inspirational Faye! KUDOS to you.

    Your testimony gives us that guiding light into our future lives. A life free of inflammations and maladies.

    Thank you so much, Bless your heart.

    d_PrimalyDiscrmntin_Palate wrote on August 1st, 2014
  37. Faye you look beautiful in all those photos, but the in the first and the last you are glowing. Your story is wonderful, and I too think you are the poster girl for Primal Living at any stage of life!

    It always makes me wonder how much the lives of those in aged care could be improved if they stopped feeding them all that heavy stodgy grain laden food. Maybe they would regain some movement, stop dozing off in their arm chairs, and regain some alertness and interest in the world around them. Every time I visit my mother in law, I am saddened by the old folk slumped in arm chairs with rugs over their knees. Can’t help but wonder if the staff prefer them that way so they are less trouble?

    Go girl, keep spreading the word and showing the world that positive change really is possible at any age.

    HillyM wrote on August 1st, 2014
  38. Sharing this with my father! You go girl!

    Carol wrote on August 1st, 2014
  39. Simply amazing!
    Wonderful. Beautiful.
    Thank you.

    Jane wrote on August 1st, 2014
  40. Thanks for sending the message to all ages that its never too late. Faye, you are an inspiration!

    JJ wrote on August 1st, 2014

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