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 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Hi Melissa,

    I can’t believe that I’m reading your success story here! I actually stumbled across your youtube diary three weeks ago and am so happy for you that you’ve come so far. I really admire your strength, I randomly decided to do some reading on MDA and I had a double take when I was saw your picture here. You are an inspiration, and you are SO beautiful in your last picture.

    I too, was most unhealthy (physically and mentally) when I was eating very little fat and animal products. I am not fully recovered since the disordered eating thoughts are still present, even overwhelming at times. I still feel guilty for not exercising, and am scared to gain weight. I would say I’m about where you were in your second picture. I still have a long ways to go, especially mentally, but your story really gives me hope.

    Thanks for sharing. I’m feeling more optimistic now.

    Best wishes!

    Vanessa wrote on June 8th, 2012
  8. Wow, great story. And by the way, you look great. Healthy and attractive.

    Richard - Stockholm,Sweden wrote on June 15th, 2012
  9. I’m so happy I stumbled upon your story, Melissa.

    I have a history with ED: was diagnosed with AN at age 12. While I thought I had overcome it, symptoms began reappearing, including problems with night eating, in university. I’m currently involved in a support group and seeking therapy.

    I’ve been eating Paleo for a little over a year now. I’ll admit I’m still largely afraid of increasing my fat intake – I have my “safe fats” and generally rotate between those… sticking largely to lean proteins as well.

    The body’s ability to ‘self-regulate’ is amazing and I would love to give my body back that control. Your story is so inspiring and has encouraged me to reevaluate my approach to ‘primal living’.

    Ashley wrote on June 18th, 2012
  10. Wow your an inspiration you should be so proud of yourself! Well done hun x

    Kerry palmer wrote on June 20th, 2012
  11. Thank you for your story!! You look so beautiful and healthy. If you don’t mind me asking, how long were you on Primal before you got your period back (TMI? LOL)

    I’m seriously considering trying it for that very reason!

    Judi wrote on July 2nd, 2012
  12. You know I read your story weeks ago, but I just read it again….you just look *so* beautiful in that last photo. Healthy, vibrant, rosy-cheeked….and happy. Congratulations. :)

    Kristin wrote on July 3rd, 2012
  13. This story really inspired me, congratulations. I am about to embark on my primal jorney, i am making good choices now but want to go completly primal, thanks for all the knowledge :)

    Marlene wrote on July 11th, 2012
  14. Wow. I am moved by your story. I struggle with food. You said it…carbs are like crack!

    MaryJo wrote on July 16th, 2012
  15. This is truly inspiring to me, I am currently going through the same thing you were and I am on the road to recovery, I am very curious about your story. You should be so proud of all you accomplishments, you look great

    Afitz wrote on July 16th, 2012
  16. WOW. My story is identical to yours. Waking up from being entrenched in a horrific dream is bliss; isn’t it?

    Heather wrote on July 20th, 2012
  17. Lovely to hear you’ve recovered that well! I really have kind of the same story; one year ago, at the age of 14, I developed an eating disorder. Fats were banned and even though I lost “just” 12 pounds, I felt horrible. I had been a real athlete all my life and I lost almost all my muscle mass. While recovering, I also really started binge eating; a lot of carbs, sugary bars, chocolate and other unhealthy foods. But, it did gain me weight. But I also started sports again to get that muscle mass back I had lost, because I wanted to look like how I used to look. So I started reading about nutrition and how you can build muscle mass. I kept searching and reading and came to your site like 2 months ago. I’m still not fully primal because I find it really hard to ditch the carbs completely, but I now know what my body needs and try to do as much as I can to give that to my body. I’m only fifteen years old and people around me do think I’m a bit crazy sometimes when I try to convince them grains just aren’t good for you and saturated dietary fats are. They won’t believe me. But I am feeling so energized and healthy now, it’s unbelievable. Thanks.

    Tosca wrote on October 3rd, 2012
  18. Melissa,
    You look BEAUTIFUL! Keep it up!


    James wrote on November 1st, 2012
  19. That is a great story! I have been considering going into psychological counseling for a career and hopefully helping people who are either insecure or suffer from eating disorders and help then become creative and help find their path to healthy living and eating without fearing themselves of becoming fat.

    David wrote on December 10th, 2012
  20. Melissa, thank you so much for sharing. I do not have typical anorexia nervosa, but I have struggled to maintain a healthy weight for some time now due to violent food allergies and stress-related stomach pain that makes me not want to eat. I am 5’9,” 20 years old, and have been teetering at around 97 lb for several months now. Of course I am receiving medical attention and have tons of support from a great family, but sometimes it seems like it will be impossible to gain and maintain the 20+ pounds I need to be healthy. It is so inspiring to see your before/after pictures because it helps me believe that there is a way to bounce back. I just stumbled on this website and can’t wait to give primal living a try! Thanks again for your brave and remarkable story.

    farmgirl wrote on May 22nd, 2013
  21. Congratulations- this may be the most inspiring story yet- overcoming the mental aspect of an eating disorder and saving your life! You look so healthy and happy!

    Kristine wrote on December 4th, 2013

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