It was the SIX PACK!
In 2003-2007, I was skinny-fat and healthy SAD. Having heard of mad-cow and heart attacks and having a vegetarian boss, I would sometimes go a month without meat. I never bought raw meat and cooked it at home -- I always bought it as part of Lean Cuisines. Everything low fat. I was a Very Good Girl... ... until I got home at night. And then I snacked like a sonofagun. Sometimes i would dip carrots in olive oil dressing, and feel so full as to be slightly sick. But if I spread margerine on saltines, or eat half a baguette for supper, i would feel great and never fill up. The snacking happened every evening ... EXCEPT when I went out to lunch and had a sandwich or soup with a lot of mayo or hummus or butter or oil or cheese. On those days, I forgot about supper.
In 2007 I went on an anti-candida diet in an attempt to get rid of acid reflux. Bread, sugar and anything fermented or yeasty was ruled out. Even though I didn't care about weight loss at the time, I lost five pounds in two months, from 110 to 105. But after I went off that diet, the weight came back and I needed the Prilosec again, dammit.
In 2008, I had heard of Atkins. But I was repulsed by all the fashionable low carb prepared foods, where they made something "low carb" by adding processed fiber so that "net" carbs was 0. It just felt wrong. I said, geez, just eat less to begin with.
In 2009, I lost a job and gained 15 pounds, to 122. I saw Good Calories Bad Calories on the endcap at the library. Checked it out, read it, believed it, and decided that it would be a good idea to "limit" my carbs. I found a couple other sensible carb-limit books like South Beach, but none of them worked well. They distinguished between good and bad calories, but not between good and bad carbs. And they were still pushing chicken breast and low-fat fish. I was still eating bread and taking Prilosec. Plus I exercised more but the weight was stubborn. I had heard about the "caveman" diet but it was too meaty. Also in 2009, a friend lost weight on the CalorieCount.About.com forums, so I went there. I was introduced to protein powder smoothies. The berry smoothies, along with some willpower, some calorie counting, a new job, and prepping for a move, helped me lose about 10 pounds.
In 2010, I heard about Tosca Reno and her Eat Clean diet, where you start the day with steel cut oatmeal, "pack a cooler" of raw veggies and lean chicken breast and eggwhites, eat every 3 hours, and drink gallons of water. After three weeks of doing nothing but chopping vegetables, crunching goddam rabbit food, and peeing constantly, I had gained a 3-pound roll of tummy fat. I said the heck with this. Somehwere in there, I found Fathead, which was a cliff-note version of Taubes. Meanwhile, on the CalorieCount comment board, during a very specific discussion of something, someone from MDA posted the link to MDA. Unfortunately, I think the guy posted to one of those very medical fad forum threads (maybe the original leptin reset?). But thankfully, I found my way back to the main MDA page.
At first it was a little weird; who WAS this guy, Mark Sisson, not a doctor. And he said: We burn FAT. Eat Moar Fat. Huh? Wasn't fat The Enemy? Then I read more, and it sounded like a simplified version of Taubes. Then I found the carbohydrate curve. Suddenly, all those little observations over the years clicked together:
The low-fat lunches which made me inhale bread in the evening.
The days when I Ate Moar Fat for lunch and forgot about supper.
The no-bread anti-candida diet which didn't do squat for acid reflux, but had weight loss as a "side effect."
The cortisol-induced weight gain.
The exercise that didn't work well.
The high-protein smoothie which allowed me to (barely) hold me off until lunch.
The constant eating and constant hunger on the Eat Clean diet.
Taubes who didn't care about calories so much.
Something was going on. Despite decades of low fat advice, and even "low-carb," could these weird people be right?
And then, and I admit this freely, this is the wake-up call that really tipped me over. I saw Mark's 58-year-old SIX PACK abs on the MDA page. And I said: Aren't we supposed to get fat after 40? And yet here's this 50+ guy with a fricken 6-pack. This isn't some Weight-Watchers thing where you lose only some weight and hide the rest under a black dress. You can't hide weight behind a SIX PACK. You can preach biochem all day long, but you can't argue with a SIX PACK. So, after a month a prepping and primalizing the pantry, I went full Primal on Halloween of 2011. And here I am (still looking for a six pack, but I'll get there.)
The past year has been horrible emotionally (unrelated), but physically, I never looked back.
5'0" female, 44 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently keeping food tracker.
I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and should tweak Primal to their own needs.