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

I Cannot Imagine Living Any Other Way

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!

Dear Mark,

I just wanted to thank you for your hard work and dedication to your blog.

I discovered Primal living during my recovery from anorexia. I didn’t give it a real shot until 5 months into recovery. I was just too afraid of all of that fat was going to make me fat!

During those 5 months, I gained up to an ideal weight for myself eating 3000-3500 calories a day. Oh, and lots and lots of carbs and lean protein – you know, that bodybuilding stuff. I still had no menstrual cycle and had a night eating problem. I was still depressed, anxious, and was still drooling over food I saw on the Food Network. I was getting really scared because I literally could not stop eating. I didn’t want to gain any more weight. I had decided I nothing to lose, so took a plunge into Primal living.

I obviously didn’t go cold turkey with the carbs. It took about a week to cut my carbs in half and eliminate most grains. (I swear carbs are like crack). I started eating lots of egg and cheese omelets, BEEF, whole avocados, some bacon. I was so excited eating cheeseburgers at my favorite burger place where they have grass-fed beef burgers…YUM. I knew if I didn’t eat enough fat and too much carbs at a meal, my cravings returned. I quickly learned this and became very consistent with my Primal choices.

About a month into the diet change, I noticed some changes. My anxiety after a meal decreased, and I was able to concentrate on school and my son more.  I started to feel my sex drive returning, was less hungry, was able to go longer periods without eating.

Then about a week ago, BAM, my period finally returned! I was so, so relieved and felt like I was back to my old self, but a more improved version.

I know this is not a typical success story, but I feel that my mental success is equally as important as my physical success. I am finally looking forward to movies, meeting new people, completing my school work, and playing with my 17 month old. I now eat to live instead of living to eat/binge by myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very pleased with my appearance. And I am glad that I don’t have to spend mindless hours running on the treadmill – how depressing! I have fallen in love with resistance training and have gained lots of strength.

Although I am sure there is no proof, I believe that the lack of saturated fats and too many carbs completely messed up my mental health. (It wasn’t until I turned vegan that my anorexia really peaked). I see so many people devote years to their eating disorder and sometimes even never recover. I feel very fortunate that I got out of that hell in a relatively short amount of time and am healthy again.

I found what lifestyle works for me and simply cannot imagine living any other way. I am so grateful that I discovered Primal living and happy that I am living life again!

Thanks, Mark!

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. What a courageous woman! You are gorgeous! Thank you for being strong enough to speak out – and brava on all you have accomplished!

    Lauren wrote on June 1st, 2012
  2. From Auschwitz to Playboy (and way beyond the fake)!

    Petter R wrote on June 1st, 2012
  3. This is easily my favorite success story. Congratulations on your successful return to health! And I agree with the other commenters: these features on “success besides weight loss” are great. Let’s see some more of them!

    Ware wrote on June 1st, 2012
  4. You, my dear, are a badass ;)

    Emily Mekeel wrote on June 1st, 2012
  5. What a beauty! Congratulations on your new life :)

    Yolanda wrote on June 1st, 2012
  6. Wow, what a great transformation! Congratulations on your return to health.

    LM wrote on June 1st, 2012
  7. Holy Moly! This story should be required reading in every school in America to help the anorexic/bulemic/obese –everybody. I am not just impressed by your dedication and results, but how you and so many have found more than just excellent health and have restored a much happier balance in your lives. Way to go!

    Pastor Dave wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • Pastor Dave,
      I agree with what you said! This is the sort of health class material we need in high schools.

      Julie wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • Thank you!
      I don’t think that it is a huge coincidence that many of anorexics and bulimics I have known are vegans or vegetarians. I mentioned the PB to one of my friends, who has been bulimic for years and vegetarian since she was 10. She didn’t really want to hear about it, and was angry at me for doing so. I just wish more people would realize what they are doing to their health by following this so-called perfect diet that the government preaches. I hope this becomes mainstream some day.

      Melissa wrote on June 1st, 2012
      • Yes, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride of the Gaps Diet (very similar to primal in many ways), says she has encountered in her clinical practice many, MANY cases of eating disorders that began with vegetarianism. Perhaps it is the lack of fats that starts screwing with your mind…

        tracyinbarcelona wrote on June 2nd, 2012
        • Exactly. 2/3 of the brain is fat and needs essential fatty acids to function. Myelin, the protective neuron sheath, is mostly fat. Without it, we literally cannot think straight.

          koalabear wrote on June 4th, 2012
  8. Beautiful! Wonderful story!

    Gillian wrote on June 1st, 2012
  9. Congrats ! You’re glowing !! Thank you for sharing your story. Truly inspiring.

    Jes wrote on June 1st, 2012
  10. Not the typical story, great to see the Primal way of life helping all sorts of issues. You look amazing!

    John wrote on June 1st, 2012
  11. A sincere congratulations to you for turning your life around. You do look pretty and healthy:)

    Margie wrote on June 1st, 2012
  12. Thank you for all of your kind comments! I was a little embarrassed to post this, and was a little apprehensive. But now I am glad I did! I hope this can inspire someone struggling with the same issues I had. What a great a community PB has!

    Melissa wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • Thank you again and again for posting it!

      Julie wrote on June 1st, 2012
  13. WOWWOWWOW!!! You look absolutely fantastic!! I am so proud of you!

    Katie wrote on June 1st, 2012
  14. You look gorgeous and you’re glowing! Stick with it, you’re a smart lady.

    Nionvox wrote on June 1st, 2012
  15. Proud of you! That change can’t have been easy…and you look fantastic. Glad you feel that way too!

    Cathy Johnson (Kate) wrote on June 1st, 2012
  16. Your story is very encouraging–thanks for sharing it. You look radiantly healthy and healthily radiant!

    Julie wrote on June 1st, 2012
  17. You are amazing! I was struggling with eating disorders from my teenage years up to late 20-ties as well. And I thought I was the only one. Now that I can spread the word about primal & strength training to other women I hear that most of us have all been there.
    Sharing stories like these really open our minds to the actual reality and are ending the B.S. that we were absorbed in. Grok on Girrrl! Grrrr :))))

    Zoo wrote on June 1st, 2012
  18. Fantastic! You should caption the bottom photo, “This is the body FAT built!” That might help some of the people who are still convinced SAD is the way.

    Siobhan wrote on June 1st, 2012
  19. Wow! What a story, and what a transformation! Nutrition has been key to my mental health, too. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and congratulations on your success!

    Maggie wrote on June 1st, 2012
  20. You are absolutely glowing!

    The change in your facial expression, body language, and general energy is astounding.

    Congratulations!

    Val wrote on June 1st, 2012
  21. What a great success story! Congratulations on your improved health, both physical and mental!

    Ed wrote on June 1st, 2012
  22. One of my favorite stories so far on MDA. You look incredibly healthy and happy in those last two pictures. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Laurie D. wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • The second picture I was still vegan and at a pretty unhealthy weight. It’s probably hard to tell cause I had a major fruit binge before that picture was taken! lol. But thank you for your kind words. :-)

      Melissa wrote on June 1st, 2012
  23. You look amazing and healthy. Its fantastic how far you have come :D a true testament to yourself!!!

    steffi wrote on June 1st, 2012
  24. Congrats, Great job!

    CMHFFEMT wrote on June 1st, 2012
  25. One of the most inspiring primal/paleo stories I’ve read. You look outstanding and your transformation (MENTAL and physical) is just unreal. Really shows how food has such a huge impact on how we look and feel – although every time I say that now, I can’t believe there was a time in my life when I thought otherwise. Your son is lucky to have you back, and I’m glad you have your life back. Keep doing what you’re doing! I have no doubt that this post will save lives.

    Trevor wrote on June 1st, 2012
  26. You look great! Stories like these make my day :)

    RAL wrote on June 1st, 2012
  27. Wow……thank you so much for sharing your story, I’ve been struggling to go “primal” for awhile now despite knowing how important eating real food is. After reading how much it has done for you mentally – its the kick up the bum I needed – Thank you!

    Also I just wanted to say, you look amazing now and so much younger, you could pass for the daughter of your old self it that makes sense?!

    Jodie wrote on June 1st, 2012
  28. I have a similar story with Primal living basically turning around my depression and anxiety as well as gaining 20 pounds of pure muscle and huge strength gains.
    Congrats and Grok on

    Andrew wrote on June 1st, 2012
  29. Great job ,congrats on your recovery i’m very happy for you that you made it through such a trying time in your life and welcome to the best group of people in the world.

    borntobelean wrote on June 1st, 2012
  30. This is probably one of my favorite success stories. I really believe processed carbs are causing a lot of anxiety problems. I notice that I am a lot less anxious/OCD when eating primal.

    sqt wrote on June 1st, 2012
  31. Soooo, happy for this young woman! I had bulimia an did not get well until I ate healthy fats and lots of protein. Now I know I can point anorexics toward MDA also! I learned about the screwed up brain chemistry from Julia Ross’s “The Diet Cure”, I was so astounded by my mental and physical recovery I researched all I could on nutrition, and found myself here 2 yrs ago. I hope I can get some people I know to read this young woman’s story…she looks so healthy!

    cnymicaa wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • I learned about the screwed up brain chemistry of vegans from Julia Ross as well- most of the girls in an eating disorder clinic were indeed former veg*ns. (Whether it was the diet itself that pushed them over the edge or using the lifestyle as a “cover” for avoiding food remained to be seen. Still). But quite possibly, apparently it’s a lack of zinc, tryptophan, and fat from animal sources that starve the brain of essential nutrients and screw up normal thinking patterns.

      So, to the original poster: Many times over, I’m so happy for you (and for your baby to have a healthy mom!!)

      You said, “Although I am sure there is no proof, I believe that the lack of saturated fats and too many carbs completely messed up my mental health.” You’re in luck- there actually IS proof! Julia Ross’ “The Diet Cure” was already mentioned, but also there was a study during WWII called the “Minnesota Starvation Experiment” in which previously healthy men voluntarily ate a diet consisting of only potatoes, grains, and certain vegetables (to resemble a postwar European diet). No meat. Not only did they become extremely thin and weak, but their mental health declined as well, and some of them even developed symptoms of eating disorders before people even knew what they were(!)- low body image, depression, mood swings, binging/hoarding, etc. (Remember, these were previously healthy MEN!) I wish more people knew about this stuff. The fact that eating this way can contribute to eating disorders is NOT a popular viewpoint within the ED community.

      arfies wrote on June 2nd, 2012
      • Wasn’t Hitler himself also a vegan? Or at least a vegetarian? How long did he keep to that diet until he got paranoid and surrounded himself with yes-men, until Germany began to lose WWII?

        mm wrote on June 17th, 2012
  32. You look fabulous!

    Randy wrote on June 1st, 2012
  33. How long until your periods were recovered? Mine have been gone since 2007 and now with my body at a normal weight still haven’t returned :( I’d love some advice

    Meghanne wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • It took me only 25 months. The only thing I can honestly say is eat more calories and exercise a bit less for a little while. I am not sure of your stats, but it doesn’t really matter. The reason why you loss your period was starvation. Eat a bit more and don’t be afraid of eat non-primal things as you are gaining. As I mentioned, I ate 3000 calories of both primal and non primal food for a short period of time.

      Melissa wrote on June 2nd, 2012
      • oops im sorry i mean 15 months.

        Melissa wrote on June 2nd, 2012
        • How did you transition into the diet from your bulimia? I have been binging with some bouts of purging for a year now. The binging has been horrendous and makes me feel awful. Bloated, lethargic, puffy, fat, etc. I feel I need to give my body a break with a detox before to get out all the accumulated crap I’ve put in it and through it. Any thoughts?

          JLeah wrote on June 4th, 2012
  34. Your happiness really shows! Good for you!

    pestmeat wrote on June 1st, 2012
  35. Beautiful story further validating the importance of healthy animal fat and the primal diet. The healthy saturated fat of the primal diet is necessary for maintenance of neuron membrane integrity, preserving the proper flow of nutrients into neurons and waste products out of neurons.

    Animal fat from clean sources (wild – clean environment and from chemical-free sustainable farms with free-range grass-fed meats) contributes profoundly to prevention of irritability, depression, Alzheimer’s, premature memory loss and loss of cognitive function.

    No CAFO meat or dairy or factory farmed chickens or turkeys. Find out exactly how to source your food from the best chemical-free sustainable farmers in your area by visiting:
    http://www.nu-gen.net/securing-best-food-sources/

    David Marino wrote on June 1st, 2012
  36. Wow, congrats. What a difference ‘the paleo way’ makes!

    jktedder wrote on June 1st, 2012
  37. Hi! I never reply to anything, congratz on your accomplishment!

    zamas wrote on June 1st, 2012
  38. All I can say is “WOW” — “Wonderful Outstanding Wrecovery!”

    I’ve never had to deal with what you had to go through, but I can only imagine how difficult it can be. You’re definitely an inspiration to everyone who is in your situation.

    Your fortitude and resolve are a wonderful message to those gals (and guys, too) you need help and who sometimes think there’s no end to the misery.

    PrimalGrandma wrote on June 1st, 2012
  39. I am in tears – you look beautiful, but more important your story says you are happy and that gives to all of us – including your baby. You have given me the courage to truly embrace what I know is good for me, no matter the vegan pressure around me. THANK YOU!

    mls2725 wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • If being vegan is so great, why do those around you need to pressure you to participate?

      PrimalGrandma wrote on June 1st, 2012
  40. I can attest to primal eating helping mental health. I’ve suffered from depression and apathy which got worse after quitting nicotine cold turkey (anxiety and the blahs even though my body felt better). I ‘pampered’ myself with any comfort food I wanted but continued to loose weight from under eating due not really caring. Weight loss leveled and I was always in a bad mood and nervous, tired, drained, etc. My mind felt like mush. Since cutting grains and moving in a primal direction my thoughts are positive, I WANT to move (had sushi tonight, walked to the store, bought a smoothie blender, walked back and made a blackberry and coconut water smoothie), and I catch myself smiling and feeling energetic and engaging. It really helps. Congratulations!

    ash wrote on June 1st, 2012

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