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

Flab to Fab in 7 Easy Months

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!

P.S. This story was titled by the author of the story, Erin.

Dear Mark,

I am so excited to have a story I feel is worth submitting to the Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories. It’s certainly not anything I imagined at the beginning of this journey.

My story began like so many of the other stories I’ve read on Mark’s Daily Apple. Although I was very skinny in my younger years, sometime around puberty I started to pick up “baby fat” even though I’d had none previously. Through college my weight would fluctuate up and down. One year I’d be a size 6, and the next a 10. My eating habits, like most college students, were awful, but I walked almost everywhere I went, and my job working with children kept me on my feet all day, so I always stayed in an “average” range.

In my early 20s, when I stopped living within a mile radius of everywhere important I had to be and started working a job that involved a lot more sitting, I noticed the weight start to creep on again. However, this time it stayed. I wasn’t happy with this new development, and started to make some changes.

Thus began the vicious cycle of Chronic Cardio and CW diet that would inevitably lead to disappointment and giving up, only to try again 6 months later when my pants didn’t fit. I can remember at one point going to two back to back fitness classes three times a week (one strength and one cardio), and spending 60 grueling minutes on the treadmill or elliptical the other four days. I would go home and eat some low fat, whole grain dinner and count my calories like my life depended on it. However, despite all of this work, I could only take off 5-10 lbs and wasn’t seeing the kind of results that would make my effort feel worth it.

In my mid-20s my doctor did some routine blood work and told me I was hypoglycemic. She recommended I check out an insulin resistance diet and make some changes, since the cycle of hypoglycemia can often lead to diabetes. I started to eat more protein and less carbs (I still held tight to the whole grains, I was a self-proclaimed pasta addict), and did actually lose some weight. But life happened and I quickly fell off the wagon.

Somewhere along the line, I resigned myself to “the way things were” and decided I clearly wasn’t blessed with the genes to obtain the body I wanted. Unfortunately, that resignation, combined with taking on an incredibly stressful and demanding job in the summer of 2011, led to a hefty weight gain.

In the spring of 2012 I attended a dog show (I show Australian Shepherds) and was so excited to have a wonderful weekend full of many wins. Winning dogs means taking win pictures. When I pulled up the website to order my win pictures, though, I was horrified at the me that I saw. I mean, yes I had had to buy a new outfit the week before because my usual skirt and jacket suits didn’t fit anymore, but I wasn’t prepared for the image I saw. It was truly a low point for me to have a visual that, at only 26 years old, I was heavy and out of shape.

Erin - Before Primal

I knew it was time for a radical change, but didn’t know what that was since nothing had ever given me “big” results before. Around that same time, one of my Facebook friends shared an article from Mark’s Daily Apple titled “17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight.” I was hooked.

I spent the next week reading through everything on MDA and immediately went out and bought The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. I was hesitant to get my hopes up, since I’d only been disappointed in the past, but was shocked to lose 7 lbs in the first two weeks! The poor people around me got really tired of hearing about “Primal” and “Mark says…,” but they were certainly noticing my results.

After a few weeks on the PB diet I noticed I had more energy, slept better, and was just generally a happier person. I walked, a lot, and even got my company to put in a standing desk for me at work. The weight just kept melting off without any kind of effort on my part. For the first time in years I stopped getting that awful low blood sugar feeling if I didn’t eat something every few hours. And the best part is I was never hungry.

A couple months in I added some IF into the mix. I never really planned a fast, but I would wake up and just wouldn’t eat until I was hungry. The fat really started to come off then, and my body was starting to really shape up.

I’ve gotten into boot camp recently, and do it 2-3 times a week for my strength training and play (I genuinely love it). The most amazing thing, to me, is that I can “exercise” just a couple of times a week and get much bigger results than when I used to spend hours in the gym. When your body is doing what it was meant to do, it’s actually not difficult at all!

All in all, I went from a size 12 or 14 (I’m honestly not sure as I stopped keeping track at some point and wore a lot of clothes with “give”) down to a size 4 in about 7 months. I never thought I’d see a 4 again! I’ve lost over 40 pounds, and the fat is still coming off as I continue to work on toning my body up and building some muscle.

I can now go for a run “just for fun” and not be out of breath in a quarter mile. I can have a camera turned on me and not feel instant anxiety. I can skip a meal and not be tired and grumpy because my blood sugar is low. And most of all, I feel great and I look great.

Oh, and those dog show suits… they still don’t fit, but now it’s because they fall off of me.


Erin - After Primal

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. Very confident and the camera loves you. Well done.

    Doug wrote on January 4th, 2013
  2. Wow! And you’re much prettier than Juliette Lewis and probably healthier too!

    Siobhan wrote on January 4th, 2013
  3. Very inspirational. Congratulations!

    Anna wrote on January 4th, 2013
  4. Absolutely inspiring!! Great job;)

    Sylvia wrote on January 4th, 2013
  5. You look wonderful! I love that sassy smile :-}

    Geraldine wrote on January 4th, 2013
  6. Congratulations!

    I was never diagnosed as hypoglycemic, but would regularly get cranky, moody and shaky if I didn’t eat every few hours. It sucked. I used to chug Snapple iced teas and Starbucks Chai lattes to hold me through to mealtime. Baaaaad!

    Been Primal for two years this month and never been healthier. There is nothing better in this world than to be healthy!

    Pure Hapa wrote on January 4th, 2013
  7. Awesome Erin. Such a gorgeous after pic too!

    Chika wrote on January 4th, 2013
  8. Fantastic !!!! Bravoooooooooo !!!!

    Tanya wrote on January 4th, 2013
  9. You look hot! Well done and keep up the great work.

    Pierce wrote on January 4th, 2013
  10. You look great. Good job. I have tried to get my friends to try this way of lifestyle and nobody will. I was at 170 and now dropped to 158 working out less. It is much more enjoyable.

    tim wrote on January 4th, 2013
  11. This is one of my favorite stories! Erin, it’s inspiring to see someone who I can relate to–young, no kids and wasn’t a heavy child…just made some bad choices and got caught up in the chronic cardio/SAD tornado for too long! You look unbelievable, keep up the great work!

    Liz wrote on January 4th, 2013
    • Thanks Liz! I agree, I see too many young people who’ve already given up before their life has even started (I was one of them). It feels good to know I’m doing what is best for my body now and have made a healthy decision that will affect not just me but my future family!

      ErinFS wrote on January 4th, 2013
  12. Thanks Erin! I needed the inspiration today. I’ve been toying with going primal and I really needed to see this today.

    Jodie wrote on January 4th, 2013
    • Jodie, it will be the best decision you ever make. The 21 Day Transformation really helped me and walked me through every step. The community here on the MDA boards are also amazing and inspirational and are always good to keep you going.

      ErinFS wrote on January 4th, 2013
  13. Congrats! You are an inspiration.

    Adam wrote on January 4th, 2013
  14. Erin, you look absolutely beautiful and so healthy! Congratulations.

    Christa Crawford wrote on January 4th, 2013
  15. Erin, thank you for sharing! I’m doing the 21 day sugar detox right now (have been trying to transition and limit sugar and carbs for a few months) to see if going Paleo will help me. Your before picture is like looking in a mirror–that is me right now. Thank you for sharing your story and letting me know that this isn’t impossible.

    Christie wrote on January 4th, 2013
  16. Hot stuff, coming through…

    Madama Butterfry wrote on January 4th, 2013
  17. Very well done! You look fantastic, and even better – you feel fantastic.

    Sasha wrote on January 4th, 2013
  18. Congrats Erin, you look wonderful! Not only does your body size look healthier, but your hair and skin glows :-)

    Melissa wrote on January 4th, 2013
  19. Fantastic job, Erin! Very inspiring! You are gorgeous! :)

    Connie wrote on January 4th, 2013
  20. Great work! Also great to discover primal living at such a young age.

    I have to add my voice to the chorus of how beautiful and confident you look now.

    Lars T. wrote on January 4th, 2013
  21. Erin,

    You look fantastic! Great job!

    George wrote on January 4th, 2013
  22. You look awesome! Great job!

    George wrote on January 4th, 2013
  23. beautiful before and after!!! Grok on!

    alexandra wrote on January 4th, 2013
  24. Well done Erin. Looking great.

    BW wrote on January 4th, 2013
  25. Who has the “wins” now?!!! Great job Erin and congratulations.

    Jeff F. wrote on January 4th, 2013
  26. Erin, our stories are so similar. I’m a couple years into the primal lifestyle, 40 lbs lighter, a size 4 and anxiety free when it comes to food and photos! Cheers to the good life! Thanks for sharing!

    nikki wrote on January 4th, 2013
  27. Great result. I was interested to see how it affected your blood sugar levels. I don’t have much weight to lose, but I am pre-diabetic. The doctors tell me I have strong genes and it will happen eventually. I am trying to do everything to make sure it doesn’t!

    Sue wrote on January 4th, 2013
  28. Woo hoo – you look amazing, and very pleased with yourself – as you should be! I can relate to the “eating when you feel hungry” thing too – isn’t it liberating?? I bet you and your beautiful dog attract a lot of attention at the dog shows now!!

    PS: As an Australian I have to ask, is your dog a border collie? I haven’t heard of the Aussie Shepherd as such as he looks like a border collie in the pic.

    HillyM wrote on January 4th, 2013
  29. Wow, you are glowing in your second picture! The first thing my practitioner noticed was the “bags” under my eyes disappeared. I can say your skin looks fresh and you look like you’re full of energy!

    Sarah wrote on January 4th, 2013
  30. Erin-

    Awesome work! I am also 7 month primal and am down a solid 30lbs and am wearing size 32 pants for the first time since early HS (I am 38).

    Your story is an inspiration and I hope the others in your life join the bandwagon!


    Carter wrote on January 4th, 2013
  31. Pretty girl! Such a sight would brighten anyone’s day.

    TruckerLady wrote on January 4th, 2013
  32. Fantastic results Erin, well done! The dog is gorgeous too! I’m hoping IF will work for me – I tried a first IF yesterday and no hypoglycaemic problems (nausea/migraine), which have previously been my excuse for almost constant ‘grazing’.

    Grokesque wrote on January 4th, 2013
  33. Wow…looking good Erin!! What an inspiration you are. I need to kick it up a bit now….

    Phil wrote on January 5th, 2013
  34. Damn, girl! You look amazing! MDA turned you into a cover model1

    shawn wrote on January 5th, 2013
  35. This is a great story, I’m so glad you shared it. You are an inspiration, you look natural and beautiful. Congratulations!

    kim wrote on January 5th, 2013
  36. Great success story!! You look amazing!

    Heather Longoria wrote on January 5th, 2013
  37. HOLY MOLEY!!!!!!!!!

    Rev. Dave Deppisch wrote on January 5th, 2013
  38. As someone who is still trying to feel my way through primal, what I would love to see with these success stories is a snapshot of what you eat and how you exercise in a typical day. Might help with ideas for meals and snacks for those of us who are newbies.

    Laura wrote on January 5th, 2013
    • MEAT!

      StateSmashinCaveman wrote on January 6th, 2013
  39. You look beautiful, Erin! Glowing, confident and happy. I have a Red Tri Aussie boy and it was so fun to see yours in the first photo!

    Terez wrote on January 5th, 2013

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!