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

I Cannot Believe the Way My Body Has Changed

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!

Today’s is a special edition of Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories. Last year, I put out a call for people to make a public commitment to going Primal in 2012. Over 500 Mark’s Daily Apple readers joined the “Success Story in the Making” challenge, submitting their personal goals, before photos, and updates throughout the year. At the beginning of this year, I reached out to the participants to see how they were doing, and the results were impressive. While it’s an ongoing journey for many of them (all of us!), the stories were familiar: weight lost, energy gained, illness overcome. Some of the participants were gracious enough to share their stories for an eBook I’ve put together. You can get it for free as a newsletter subscriber (see the details below). The following story from 26 year old Ganeesha is one of the inspiring stories included in the eBook.

First Submission – January 7, 2012

I’m Ganeesha. I’m 26. I’m Trinidadian. I’m a primary school teacher.

My goal for 2012 is twofold. First, I intend to kick my asthma’s ass. Second, I want to do it while getting back to the size I was most comfortable at.

And I want to do it while keeping butter, bacon and play in my life.

I look forward to Groking Out for the rest of my life :)

This first pic is what I looked like for all of 2011. I was 190 lbs.

Ganeesha - 2011

I went Primal at the end of November, but could not say no to corn until January 1st. I’ve lost 15 lbs so far. I’m 175 lbs right now.

This second pic is a picture of me 5 years ago, strutting (or at least not wobbling) my stuff down a runway in Barbados. I was 145 lbs. That’s what I want to be again.

Ganeesha - Barbados

Second Submission – April 5, 2012

I cannot believe the way my body has changed. Before I went fully Primal, I had lost about 15 pounds. Since January however, I have lost a further 25.

I’ve lost 40 lbs. And I feel freakin AWESOME.

Ganeesha - April 2012

Asthma’s ass has been successfully kicked. Asthma was the symptom, not the problem. The problem was gluten. Turns out, I’m allergic. :-s

I joined a gym. I go to spin once a week, twice if I’m being extra hyper. I do a bit of weight training as well. And most notably, I did my first ever push up. Laugh all u want, I’m proud. 😀 Since I joined the gym, my weight loss slowed down, but my fat loss continued. I’m still losing inches and I have teeny baby muscles starting to form. God, It feels good.

I won’t, I CAN’T go back. My skin has cleared up, I have all my energy back, I can breathe normally, even my work performance has improved.

My family is catching on too. I’ve put them all on to MDA. They’re still trying to wrap their minds around “No grains? EVER?” (We’re big on pasta and rice). But they’re making the effort to improve their health and they’ll get there. Eventually. I hope. Maybe my whole generation will escape diabetes. *crosses fingers*

I cannot thank all of you at MDA enough. I’m beside myself. I’m happier than I have been in years. And it’s because I found this. Thank you.


P.S. Now that I’ve gotten this far, I’m going to spend the next 90 days trying to convince myself that “moderation” also applies to cheesecake and dark chocolate.

Third Submission – July 7, 2012

In my own case, My weight has stabilized at around 150 lbs. Since April however, I’ve lost some more inches. My waist, for example, has gone from 30″ to 28″. This time last year 28″ was the circumference of one of my thighs.

Next year, for the first time, I will be putting on a costume and playing mas for Trinidad carnival. I’ve wanted to for years. Now, I can. I’ll look fantastic, but more importantly, I’ll have the stamina to dance in the street for 2 days straight. 😀

I’m not as disciplined as I would like to be with exercising, but I go to spin class, or dive in a pool once or twice a week.

I just feel so good about everything; I feel healthy, energetic, and so freaking HAPPY all the time, that I want to practically evangelize from the rooftops about Primal Living.

And it’s contagious.

I have my own little tribe of cavemen. It’s about 10 of us (friends and family) who follow Primal Blueprint now. The results are astounding. My uncle has lost 25 lbs. My best friend has lost 30. My cousin’s weight has remained the same but his muscles are ripping out! We’re a sexy little Primal Tribe!

It’s awesome. I’m always so inspired by the stories I see on MDA, and I’ve gotten to pass that inspiration on to others. I kind of feel like a Superhero!

Ganeesha - July 2012

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

eBook Submission – March 18, 2013

What were your goals in 2012?

I just wanted to feel like I owned my body again. I wanted to be able to lead my class by example during PE and run around with them. I didn’t want to end up in the hospital wheezing anymore.

Why did you decide to go Primal, and what exactly was your plan to accomplish your goals in 2012?

After “asthma” attacks landed me in the hospital 5 times in 2011, I’d had enough. I knew something was wrong so I saw a doctor. My blood tests showed that at 26 I was pre-diabetic and pre-hypertensive. At 190 lbs, I was borderline obese. I was told that if I didn’t change my habits I would have diabetes, hypertension and heart problems before I hit 40. (All 3 run in my family.) I was instructed to give up gluten immediately (since it was an allergy to this, and not asthma, which was causing my breathing issues), along with meat, dairy, coffee, and everything else I loved. I politely refused to ever give up meat in favour of flavoured soya chunks and sought out a plan that better suited my palate. I stumbled upon a blog entry that began, “What do you feed a lion?” Grok stole my heart… And stomach.

How successful were you in sticking with your plan?

Apart from the occasional cheesecake slice or scoop of chocolate-caramel-pralines ice cream, I’ve had no problem sticking with my primal plan. At first, I can’t lie, tears were shed over the loss of bread. After about a week though, I stopped noticing the smell. Through a happy accident involving dried fruit in the spice cupboard, I now crave raisins every time I smell Cinnabon. I’ve lost 50 pounds so far, going from 190 to 140. I’m still working on my 6 pack, but my legs are amazing! Who knew this body was hiding under there all this time!

Ganeesha - December 2012 Ganeehsa - December 2012

What were your biggest hurdles, and how did you overcome them?

Honestly? My biggest hurdle wasn’t dietary. I had no problems adjusting to caveman food (apart from the aforementioned bread tears). It was getting off my ass. I had to really kick my own behind to start spin class. I started walking everywhere. I lived at the top of a hill for a while, so I made it my business to walk it every day. When I moved, I started doing sprints once a week. I currently do my own version of Shaun T’s Insanity (in my version, I only do it 3 times a week and almost never go past 30 minutes. I’m not trying to pass out on the floor or cry after a workout here.)

What was your biggest accomplishment?

I feel like a Primal Evangelist. My whole life has become so much more organised since I went primal. I graduated from university, I’m more effective as a teacher (I’m as energetic as my 11 year olds!), I’m taking better care of myself and it shows… and it spreads. Several of my friends and family members are now Primal as well (my best friend, Saidi, lost 50 pounds too!), and we have our own little tribe, swapping recipes, stories and inspiration all over the place! It really is fantastic.

What did your average daily meal plan consist of?

On mornings, I have coffee with a pinch of sugar. If I have breakfast, it’s usually a layered omelette (egg, bacon, cheese, random vegetable, another egg on top). Lunch is more often than not a big salad with lamb, chicken or fish. Dinner is usually a bunch of vegetables tossed in a pot with whatever seasonings I feel like (but always including cayenne and cumin) and whatever meat is closest at hand. When I feel like dessert, there’s always fruit available and when I’m celebrating, I have cheesecake. Because sometimes I want to indulge, dammit.

What did your average weekly exercise routine consist of?

Sometimes, it’s Capture the Flag. Sometimes, Cops and Robbers. Sometimes, I swim, or run, or just walk around my neighbourhood for a while. As mentioned before, I do pseudo-Insanity 3 times a week and sprints once a week. After that, it’s all play and leisure.

What else did you change in 2012 (sleep, sun, stress management,etc.)?

Since going Primal, things sort of fell into place. I became less stressed. I sleep better. I read more. I have a constant level of energy that wanes around 10 pm and I just go to sleep. I hardly ever watch tv now. I go to the beach after work sometimes (and almost every weekend) and just relax. My body’s happier than it’s ever been and I think because of that, my mind is at ease.  I just enjoy life now.

What are your goals for 2013 and beyond?

I’m happy with my life exactly the way it is. I just want to maintain that. I’m compelled to keep moving and keep healthy. I do want to organize some Primal Island recipes, that is, adapt some Primal recipes to a Caribbean ingredient list. I keep telling people about the Primal life and hopefully I can convince even more that this is the way we were meant to be. We don’t have to be shaped by our family history. We can change our own lives, bodies and destinies through our choices.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’m a primary school teacher. My class used to get excited about pizza. Now they scoff at it and encourage their parents to make them salads for lunch. They swap ideas and recipes for that and bring fruits, nuts and veggies to school as snacks. Not all the time, but hey, it’s a start.

Success Stories in the Making eBook

Success Stories in the MakingIn this free eBook, dozens of Mark’s Daily Apple readers provide insights into how they took control of their health. Learn about their personal struggles, and what they did to overcome them. Find out what what they ate, how they exercised, what worked and what didn’t in their personal health journeys in 2012.

If you are an existing newsletter subscriber, click the “Free eBooks” link in the sidebar of any past email newsletter to gain access to the eBook. Or wait until the next newsletter is sent out this coming Wednesday.

If you aren’t yet a newsletter subscriber, what are you waiting for? Sign up here to get this eBook and numerous other freebies and special offers. Grok on!

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. Damn girl! I can’t believe how much your body has changed either! Lookin hot! 😉

    Peter wrote on April 12th, 2013
    • No kidding, I’d like to be one of her Cavemen…LOL! Great job Ganeesha.

      Nocona wrote on April 12th, 2013
  2. What a fantastic way to take a mental break after a crazy busy work week — I look forward to these posts every week and Real Life Story Fridays are one of my favs! As always, another inspirational story to keep us moving forward and remind us why Primal ROCKS (not that we really need the reminder, but you know, it never hurts 😉 ). Congrats!!

    Lindsay wrote on April 12th, 2013
  3. First of all, I’m impressed that you were diagnosed with a gluten ‘allergy’ and that instead of treating the symptom, they encouraged you to deal with the cause. Second, WOW, what an amazing transformation! Finally, I’m totally jealous that you have a beach to relax on after work!

    Kathy wrote on April 12th, 2013
    • I went to a holistic health center eventually. When I went to my regular doctors, they just kept switching my medication and telling me that if I lost weight, I would get better. Turns out it was the other way around. When I got better by dealing with the gluten problem itself, I lost weight.

      Ganeesha wrote on April 12th, 2013
      • Ganeesha,
        Your story is amazing and the highlight is that you have a little tribe! I went Primal last June and my life is upside down in all the best ways! Try as I may I cannot convince friends or family that I am not just odd, but living a better life! You must be an amazing teacher and I hope to learn something from you of how to inspire others. My family and some friends and coworkers are now entertaining the idea that the Primal Principles make sense and are no longer just questioning and refuting all I say, but so far no one wants to bite the bacon and forego the bread! I hope to motivate others so that their lives can turn around much like so many Grokers lives have.

        lynda wrote on April 12th, 2013
      • Hey Ganeesha –

        I have Asthma too, so I’m curious. In what regard did your Asthma improve? Did you have fewer overall episodes of strained breathing, or was it just less severe over all?

        Alexander wrote on April 13th, 2013
        • It went from having issues to none at all!

          Ganeesha wrote on April 14th, 2013
        • Once I removed gluten from my diet, my breathing issues went gently into the night. So I suppose to answer your question, it became less severe (to the point that I’ve had no episodes of strained breathing since I cut out wheat).

          Ganeesha wrote on April 14th, 2013
  4. You look amazing! Congrats!

    Mary wrote on April 12th, 2013
  5. Congratulations Ganeesha….its great to see you happy and healthy and looking awesome. MDA has been a life saver for so many of us. Life is good indeed!

    Judy G wrote on April 12th, 2013
  6. Ganeesha, congrats on EVERYTHING! What a great inspirational success story you are! What a great life lies ahead for you!

    Gwen wrote on April 12th, 2013
  7. Wow, you are gorgeous! Way to go, girl.

    Shary wrote on April 12th, 2013
  8. *Swoon*

    Finnegans Wake wrote on April 12th, 2013
  9. Congratulations! Your story is so inspiring. I love that you intended to reach your goals SPECIFICALLY with butter and bacon in your life. Those are two of my favorite foods of course, and I eat them with abandon. I recently got my bloodwork checked for a work health challenge and I was trilled to see my triglycerides at 38. THIRTY EIGHT! That’s the power of primal, with LOTS of butter and bacon. :)

    Susie wrote on April 12th, 2013
  10. Wow!! You look amazing!!! And even better than in your model days!! I so hope you share your Caribbean recipes with us too! Way to spread the word about Primal living. I wish you and all your Primal tribe the best!!

    Rhonda the Red wrote on April 12th, 2013
  11. “My class used to get excited about pizza. Now they scoff at it and encourage their parents to make them salads for lunch. They swap ideas and recipes for that and bring fruits, nuts and veggies to school as snacks”

    Now that’s an inspiring teacher! Congrats on your success! Will be forwarded your story along!

    Luke wrote on April 12th, 2013
    • Yes, exactly! You’re giving your kids the same gift you gave yourself! Go, Team Ganeesha!

      Scratch wrote on April 12th, 2013
  12. What a great story. Congratulations to you!

    Colleen wrote on April 12th, 2013
  13. Fantastic to see someone from the Caribbean finding the Primal path. I was in Barbados in December and was shocked at the diabetes epidemic taking hold there. The sugar trade has a lot to answer for, in so many ways.

    A great to see a young Primary teacher out there flying the flag; that’s the way to permanent change – inspire the youngsters :-)

    Kelda wrote on April 12th, 2013
  14. gyurl, you look amazing! i am from the USVI (living in the states now) and i know the rice and beans is hard to give up. you are an inspiration. congratulations!

    allison wrote on April 12th, 2013
  15. Eh eh! Ganeesha, get some! I’m also from the USVI (St. Croix MASSIVE!) and it’s so wonderful to see another islander taking control of their life and health. Rock on with your bad self, girl!

    Keeli wrote on April 12th, 2013
    • me too! CRUCIAN MASSIVE!

      allison wrote on April 17th, 2013
  16. Y’all have me blushing so much right now. Thank you. I’m enjoying my journey.

    Ganeesha wrote on April 12th, 2013
  17. My favorite part about this post is the embracing of joy and happiness in life and doing healthy things because they make you feel good. Maybe that’s just part of island living, but here in the middle of the US, it seems like the typical suburbanite who’s trying to be healthy does nothing but fret and worry, as if a good life can possibly be born out of fear.

    It’s also amazing to see the contagiousness of primal living. People are drawn to health and happiness!

    Mark A wrote on April 12th, 2013
  18. Wow. You feel like a superhero and you look like one too! Love that smile! And I love that you are bringing family, friends and students along with you, clearly you chose the right profession for your talents! Congratulations on your success, A+.

    Bayrider wrote on April 12th, 2013
  19. I keep looking at the after photos and thinking “that USED to be 190”.
    Wow, you give me hope for my wife’s transformation!

    Jeremy wrote on April 12th, 2013
  20. whoo hoo you are HOT!!! Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    mars wrote on April 12th, 2013
  21. Holy crap. Looking good

    zack wrote on April 12th, 2013
  22. “I do want to organise some Primal Island recipes, that is, adapt some Primal recipes to a Caribbean ingredient list.”

    Yes please!

    zack wrote on April 12th, 2013
  23. “I have my own little tribe of cavemen. It’s about 10 of us ”

    Love it.

    Each person you add to the group is getting a new lease on life thanks to you.

    Scott McCollum wrote on April 12th, 2013
  24. Most inspiring post ever. Tears in my eyes. The pure joy that you radiate is beyond awesome. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Zot wrote on April 12th, 2013
  25. You tell a wonderful, inspiring story, Ganeesha! I’ll be looking out for those “Primal Island” recipes (great name for a book)!

    Helga wrote on April 12th, 2013
  26. Hi Mark,

    I very much like your recent inclusion of here’s what I did to the on-line stories. And your e-book of stories in the making.

    I *finally* bought your latest book. It is fantastic. Really nice piece of work. I especially like you clear and repeated explanations of each ‘step’.

    Probably the most memorable title for me was: I never knew I felt so bad until I started to feel good!



    John wrote on April 12th, 2013
  27. Whoaaaa!!! Hot mama!
    You look frigging fantastic. But most importantly, you look very happy.

    chocolatechip69 wrote on April 12th, 2013
    • I AM very happy. :) I LOVE BEING A CAVEMAN. Woman. Person…. You get the idea.

      Ganeesha wrote on April 12th, 2013
  28. Wonderful, simply wonderful!!! WTG…you’re awesome.

    Rebecca C wrote on April 12th, 2013
  29. Congrats, you look amazing and your attitude is truly inspirational. Thanks for making me smile today

    melissa wrote on April 12th, 2013
  30. This is amazing. Every Friday I wait patiently for the story of the week and some inspire me more than others. I really enjoyed reading this story. It helps me stay motivated during my own journey.

    Hillary wrote on April 12th, 2013
  31. Congrats! You look so much more confident in your after photos, and you deserve it! You’re beautiful!

    Cherice wrote on April 12th, 2013
  32. I LOVE this story..What a primal transformation!!!! I Love it!!!Love it!!!

    Alexandra wrote on April 12th, 2013
  33. Since you are named after the Indian elephant god, I can imagine losing weight was a challenge. Congrats!

    Erik W wrote on April 12th, 2013
    • Lol. I don’t mind. That same elephant god is the Remover of Obstacles.

      Ganeesha wrote on April 13th, 2013
  34. Ganeesha, you look amazing! What a babe! I’m so inspired by your hard work. Love these success stories so much, and look forward to them every Friday just like others have mentioned.

    Nikki G wrote on April 12th, 2013
  35. Girl, I wanna be a cavewoman in your tribe! Fantastic!

    Siobhan wrote on April 12th, 2013
  36. Great transformation and the fact you are reaching out to others to make a positive impact on their lives is even more impressive.

    George wrote on April 12th, 2013
  37. MMM… did she say primal island recipes?!?!
    That sounds deliciously fantastic!

    Sunny wrote on April 12th, 2013
  38. You look great! I need to shed 20lbs…sounds like Primal Blueprint is the way to go.

    Lewis wrote on April 12th, 2013
  39. Congats! you look absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing your story, it’s so inspiring!!!

    Brian wrote on April 12th, 2013

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