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. “I know this is not a typical success story, but I feel that my mental success is equally as important as my physical success.”

    Not typical in the sense that most success stories are about losing immense amounts of weight, but still not that far from the rest in that Primal living really is about making peace with food and with yourself. You are like much of the Primal community in that you have regained control of your life and are at peace (or at least as much at peace as any of us can be in this hectic world.)

    Congrats–your story brought tears to my eyes. You look beautiful. Way to go on Grok on!

    Fritzy wrote on June 1st, 2012
  2. What am amazing story and transformation. You look fantastic. Thank you for sharing your story – the mental is one of the biggest parts! Awesome job overcoming your fears and going for it. What an awesome pay off for your efforts. :)

    Susan wrote on June 1st, 2012
  3. What a great post! I can say that you are so right about this subject. I had a different issue with health but you are so right about your post.

    Thank you for sharing

    Grisole wrote on June 1st, 2012
  4. Awesome! So inspiring and thank you for bringing the topic of mental health into a success story. I have seen tremendous changes in my mental health and have experienced freedom from depression and anxiety with Primal/Paleo eating as my foundation. Thank you for sharing your amazing and inspiring story.

    Joy Dvorak wrote on June 1st, 2012
  5. You’re really beautiful now. : )

    Ma Flintstone wrote on June 1st, 2012
  6. 30+ years ago, I was on the roller coaster of bulimia and anorexia. It was a horrible way to live. After three years, I decided I didn’t hate myself enough to kill myself to be thin, but I never developed a healthy relationship with food or my body. Last year, I discovered the Primal Blueprint and I felt, for the first time, that beating my body into submission and ignoring the existence of my body as much as I could wasn’t the only way to keep from getting “fat”. This past year has been my best ever. With a little blip caused by a paleo challenge (food logging and rigidity skirted far too closely to the edge of obsessive), I have maintained a healthy and positive attitude. I just want you to know that this way of life will serve you well, even when you’re not a sweet young thing! Congratulations on coming so far…sharing your story (with pictures!) was so brave!

    Erin wrote on June 1st, 2012
  7. Your baby is beautiful and so are you.! Best wishes for you and your family

    ezestreets wrote on June 1st, 2012
  8. Great story. Good for you. Well done.

    And man, look at all the comments about shit carbs/low fat and anxiety/depression problems. Crazy.

    BW wrote on June 1st, 2012
  9. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing your story! I have battled anorexia since I was a teenager and seeing your before and after pictures made me cry. Your after picture is beautiful, you look happy and full of life! Before, I was so focused on just being THIN…whatever it took. And, boy, does it mess with your head when you’re not eating and almost faint and a boyfriend tells you how hot you look. (Yikes!)

    I think the real wakeup call was when I passed out at work one day because I hadn’t eaten. I was sick of feeling so fatigued, getting ill all the time, and having no emotional balance. Once I shifted my focus from “being thin” to “being healthy (meaning as close to whole foods as possible, eating regularly, exercising regularly but with a spirit of gentleness, not punishment)”, I was amazed at the difference. I gained about 15 pounds, and am now at a healthy weight for my height. Not only that, but I have energy and rarely get sick! I am only about a week into eating primal, but I already love it! My digestion (sry…tmi??) Is worlds better and I feel even more energetic and I don’t feel like I constantly need to “graze” to feel full.

    Huge congrats on gaining back your health, and thank you again for your inspiring story!

    Experimentally Primal Chick wrote on June 1st, 2012
  10. Wow, this is scarily similar to my own story. You are amazing ^_^

    Just Me wrote on June 1st, 2012
  11. Thank you for sharing your story. I can pretty much relate to everything said – anorexia, food anxiety, binging and Primal Blueprint as a way of finding balance and TRUE satisfaction in terms of food and – well – everything. :)
    Thanks again and wish you all the best!

    masage wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  12. Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is so heartening for me to read this. I have struggled with anorexia for the past fifteen years. It is such a devastating, nightmare of an obsession. It is such a self inflicted prison. Hearing about your journey is truly inspirational and gives me a deep hope for myself and my freedom. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    Serena wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  13. You… look… MARVELOUS! Congratulations on your recovery!!! Now you can be a happy, healthy mom for your beautiful baby. Alright!

    tracyinbarcelona wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  14. Congrats on your primal recovery. On top of all the other comments, I just had to add, your son is a cutiepie! You will enjoy him so much more, now that you are healthy. And starting off right on the correct diet will benefit him for a lifetime. I am so happy for your whole family.

    Elizabeth McInerney wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  15. I can really relate to your story. I’ve been anorexic/bulimic for about ten years and am finally finding my footing (recovering).

    Although I’m just getting started eating primally, I’ve already noticed the profound effect that eating grains has on my body. After not eating grains for about two weeks and then trying some cereal, my body just felt so bloated/tired!

    Congratulations on your success. It’s really inspiring to hear how well you’ve done eating primally, and how it’s helped you recover. You look radiant now, you look truly happy.

    Kaitlyn wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  16. Primal = Primo! Way to grab life and bend it to your will!

    Ted wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  17. You look amazing, thanks for sharing this!

    WildGrok wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  18. Very inspiring. I also suffered from an eating disorder for many years. You look so beautiful and healthy! Keep up the good work.

    Valerie wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  19. Wonderful story. Virtually all mental health issues are diet driven. Check out the work of Emily Deans – and Natasha Campbell-McBride

    Alan Schachter wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  20. You are very brave for sharing! SO happy for you and your family! Now you can hunt and gather for your little one :)

    Ro wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  21. I want to make it clear that the second picture is NOT an after picture. I wasn’t even primal in that picture. I noticed that Mark thought it was an after picture. I don’t want anorexic girls to think that is recovery, I was at least 10 pounds underweight. this is a perfect example of people seeing someone lean and then think “oh they must e healthy” not! I had a lot of Heath issues when that pic was taken. And I can honestly see a huge improvement from the 2nd to 3rd pic. (almost a 25 lb difference). I know no one really cares but I wanted to make that clear.

    Melissa wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  22. You look gorgeous and so healthy — I’m so glad you are on the other side of anorexia.

    Kathleen wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  23. Girl, you were gonna die soon if you didn’t change something! You look very alive now.

    shannon wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  24. You really are beautiful! Congrats on your success and thanks for sharing. :)

    Lizzy wrote on June 2nd, 2012
  25. Melissa, what a great result for you, that great looking boy of yours is just perfect. Dont forget about him ! His primal start will set him up in todays society as probably one of the few to remain healthy due to the proper nurishment platform from an early age, the age when everything is developing. The most important time. Congratulation on your strength.

    Michal wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  26. Melissa, you look absolutely gorgeous in that final picture. You are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. the difference in pics is night and day. Congrats!

    Ray Finkle wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  27. Well done! You’ve managed to do a great thing … and look fantastic!

    elaine wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  28. You look beautiful and so so healthy. You should be very proud of yourself!

    Chisamosa wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  29. As a former anorexic, who is now slightly overweight from focusing on the wrong foods, this is so inspiring to me, i am new to eating this way and already feel sooooo much better

    leila wrote on June 3rd, 2012
  30. Wonderful story, and you now look so healthy and beautiful and happy.

    Jane wrote on June 4th, 2012
  31. Wow, you look great. So healthy. Thanks for sharing. My sister was anorexic (“is”) , so this hit home. I hope you continue to live a wonderful, healthy life. All the best. Thanks for being brave and sharing.

    Matt wrote on June 4th, 2012
  32. Congrats to you! Thank you for the inspiration! Enjoy your healthy life!

    Jess wrote on June 4th, 2012
  33. Wow, what a positive change! You are now gorgeous, and what’s more important, healthy.

    My sincere congratulations for you and your family.

    Pep wrote on June 4th, 2012
  34. Rrreow ! You look fantastic ! You even LOOK happy ! Way to take control !

    Rimbaud wrote on June 5th, 2012
  35. I have yet to post anything on MDA, but just had to post in response to your amazing story.

    I struggled with anorexia in high school and never even considered a possible link (among many other links) to my vegetarianism at the time.

    Thank you for sharing your story and opening my eyes – so, so inspirational and you look radiant!

    Julia wrote on June 5th, 2012
  36. When I got to the third picture, I noticed your skin first. You are actually glowing with good health. Not only do you look ten years younger, there’s happiness in your eyes. Way to go!!

    Rhonda the Red wrote on June 5th, 2012
  37. JLeah try reading the book “Women, Food and God” by Geneen Roth. I would suggest it to anyone who struggled with an eating disorder. Primal helped stop the physical cravings, gave me more energy and focus, but the book helped me stop the emotional cravings and let go of some powerful “truths” I had been repeating to myself for years.
    Melissa~ you are Fn awesome! Well done on your journey to a happier and healthier place, and thanks for the inspiration!

    Meghan wrote on June 6th, 2012
  38. I rarely leave comments but just wanted to congratulate you on your recovery and success. You look wonderful and healthy! Good for you and your family. I wish you continued success!

    exilio wrote on June 7th, 2012
  39. As a male, I can say with authority that few things are as shudder-inducing as a pic of an anorexic young female. Simply terrible.

    It´s great to see that you´ve recovered into a (attractive, natch) normal body comp.

    As an aside regarding some of the discussion in the thread, some people probably have terribly disordered leptin systems, etc. after a serious metabolic disorder and will not be able to simply “eat primal” in order to stay on the up-and-up.

    They will have to watch amounts and macronutrient ratios in order to be able to at least manage their condition.

    Makarax wrote on June 8th, 2012
  40. I still remember reading, in Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution, the words “no one ever binged on steak and salad.”

    While I had managed the emotion issues with bingeing by my mid-twenties, the physiological issues, such as the tiredness, the depression, and the constant hunger, had not become clear to me until I started low carbing.

    Then, with Primal; it all fell into place for me.

    You look so healthy, happy, and gorgeous in your last photo. I am so glad you are there for your partner & baby!

    WereBear wrote on June 8th, 2012

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