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

I Didn’t Know How Bad I Felt Before, Until I Started Feeling So Good!

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 am writing to add myself to your list of PB success stories. The pictures I’ve attached above pretty much tell it. The first three were from the last few years, and they show me at my heaviest. The one in the pink gown was taken at about three months into the PB plan, and the last one, of me with the kettlebells, was taken a few days ago, at 7 months into the plan. I am holding 40 pounds worth of kettlebells and that’s how much weight I’ve lost since February of this year, with your help.

I am currently 54 years old, have struggled with weight gain and loss for the last 35 years. The yo-yo started going up and down in college, and I would gain and lose over and over. I have tried every fad diet there is, including starvation, and have done Weight Watchers three times. I was active over the years, but my food intake was typical of the standard American diet you refer to all the time. SAD indeed. I was lazy when it came to food preparation and I ate a lot of cereal, bread products, and protein, power, or granola bars. I would never have thought I could go without it like I do now. Cereal and toast or an English muffin was a favorite breakfast, and dinner of mine. I drank a lot of coke over the years.

I gained more recent weight after I had a hysterectomy in 2005. My hormones got messed up. I had a few job changes, life stressors in excess (sick parents, a son in college, financial issues), and a terrible, wheat, other grains, and sugar filled diet. If I managed to lose some, I would gain it back, plus more. I worked out with a personal trainer for close to a year in 2010. I managed to lose about 18 pounds by counting calories, carbs, protein, and doing excessive cardio, and a very strict lifting schedule. The minute I lost focus, back it came.

I had a physical exam summer of 2011 and I was unhappy with my weight (high 170s) and lab results. My cholesterol and triglycerides were high, and my HgA1C was borderline for Type 2 diabetes. I had asked my doctor to run one, because I wanted to see what my numbers were. As a nurse, I was seeing a huge increase in the number of diabetic patients and it worried me. I felt like I was headed to being a Type 2 diabetic if I didn’t change things. I didn’t feel good, I felt sluggish, and was really self conscious about how I looked.

I moved to Tennessee in August of 2011, (knowing no one, to start a new job) and joined a gym for something to do. I dabbled around at it, then the holidays started and I got heavier, and hit 183, my highest ever. I made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, yet again. In January 2012, I got a free session with a trainer, who was sympathetic to my tale of woe. She listened to my frustrations, and then she told me she had something for me that she thought would really appeal to me. Her words were, “as a nurse (I’m a registered nurse for 34 years) you will like the science behind this plan.” She wrote your website down for me, and I was interested enough to look at it.

I studied your website for about three weeks. I read every article, every link, several success stories. I signed up for your emails, and started having many “aha” moments. I ordered the 21-Day Total Body Transformation, read it, and committed to trying it. I endured “low carb flu” and detoxed off sugar and learned how to shop differently. I started taking my lunches to work, and got a lot of questions about what many perceive as an odd eating style. Weight did not come off fast at first. I almost gave it up, about four weeks into it, because I was not seeing results like I wanted to see. I remember reading in your books, though, to stick with it and be patient and that eventually, without the constant influx of carbs my body was used to, it would HAVE to start burning my stored fat. At last, slowly but surely, pounds started dropping off.

When I bumped up my exercise by adding two or three Zumba classes a week, and walking more whenever I could, my weight loss accelerated. I noticed how much better my stomach was doing without so much bread and other grains. Over the years, I had been troubled by a lot of abdominal problems, and had one doctor tell me I had IBS. I have suffered lactose intolerance since childhood. I wasn’t having cravings anymore, I wasn’t hungry two or three hours after eating, wasn’t having frequent hypoglycemic episodes like before, and wasn’t desperate to find anything I could find to eat like I had previously.

I tell people I was a good student. I studied your information, and did what you said to do, including the planks, squats, pushups, and working on pull-ups. I started as an 80/20 girl, and I am moving over time more toward 90/10 now. I find that “when I stray, I pay” with the way I feel in my body. I’ve learned to listen to it, and be more attentive to what it’s telling me.

I have gone from 183 pounds to 143 pounds in seven months, from size 16 to size 8, and have lost 11 inches off my total measurements. My skin looks clear and bright, my hair is shinier, I feel so much better. I have more mental clarity. I am very aware of feeling lighter and how much easier movement is. I feel stronger. I have had to buy a whole new wardrobe. Even my shoes don’t fit. My FEET lost weight!

Mark, I read your articles and comments so often I feel like I know you. I want to say thank you. I am so happy that your information was given to me and that I actually looked at it!!! I am hoping very much to attend one of your Primal Conventions. Maybe 2014! The best way I can sum it up is by saying this:

I didn’t know how bad I felt before, until I started feeling so GOOD!

I’ve gone from being a sugar burner to a fat burner, and it’s still coming off. When I tell others about the PB plan, I feel like I’m paying it forward. I have started to give your website information to fellow medical staff and even some patients who ask my advice on nutrition and weight loss. I also gave it to my 23 year old son and told him I regret not feeding him better as a child! I didn’t realize until I really “got it” that food is medicine, and what you put into your body is of utmost importance to good health, and quality longevity. There is a shocking lack of good dietary and nutritional information out there, for the general public. We are still spoon fed what I now consider terribly erroneous information about food in general. I’m trying to help change that in some small way by explaining what I now know to people, and hoping they are interested enough to pursue it for themselves. I stand as an example that it can be done.

Thank you again for life changing information. I will continue to be a fan.



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. Wow, so inspiring! you look amazing!

    Jodi M wrote on December 1st, 2012
  2. Lynn, you look so healthy and beautiful in the after picture. I am totally envious of those killer arms! Keep up the great work!

    Sabrina wrote on December 1st, 2012
  3. Congratulations! Looking awesome!

    Helen wrote on December 2nd, 2012
  4. Very nice

    You have a hot LINDA GRAY vibe going


    pete wrote on December 2nd, 2012
  5. awesome transformation. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Stephanie wrote on December 2nd, 2012
  6. Lynn, I’m 20 years younger than you, and you look HOT.

    I was wondering what’s your kettle bell routine? How often? For how long? Etc.

    james wrote on December 2nd, 2012
    • James: thanks for comment! I don’t really have a set Kettle Bell routine. I carry my heavy one (25#) up and down stairs outside my apartment at random (part of the “lift heavy things” ) Mark says to do. I do squats a few nights a week holding either a 15# or my 25# bell, and sometimes I do arm work with my 10# one. No real strict plan. I just use them a few times a week, to mix up routines. It’s more fun that way.

      Lynn wrote on December 4th, 2012
  7. I’m sure others have said this, but in all of your pictures you look upper 30’s max! Congrats on your loss and you look great!

    Heidi P. wrote on December 2nd, 2012
  8. Your story resonated with me. I am also in a “helping” profession (school counselor) while caring for elderly parents and just sending two kids off to college. You and I even maxed out at the same weight! I was doing great on PB this last spring, then my mom’s alzheimers went a little out of control and so did my eating. Now the kids are at college and my mom is in a nursing home and I am still fat! Started PB again this week, dusted off the exercise DVD’s and made my own mayo and beef jerky today!

    I gotta keep reminding myself it is a process, and even when I slip up I am doing better than before. Committing yourself to clean eating and regular exercise is like adding a part-time job to the fast-food/sedentary life. But I feel better already.

    So thanks for the inspiration!

    Christine wrote on December 2nd, 2012
  9. WOW!!!!!!!!




    zeph wrote on December 3rd, 2012
  10. What an inspiration! Your age, weight and situation are very similar to mine. I started eating primal a few months ago with noticeable improvements in some areas – except for weight loss. After reading this, I am facing the truth once again that the exercise piece is missing from my life and I need to re-commit. Thanks for sharing!

    Jura wrote on December 3rd, 2012
  11. O man. I am going to put kettlebells on my Christmas list! I am impressed! Congrats!

    lanz wrote on December 3rd, 2012
  12. Nicely done. My story is similar to yours. 40 lbs gone.

    turtle64 wrote on December 3rd, 2012
    • congrats. It feels SO GOOD doesn’t it?

      Lynn wrote on December 4th, 2012
  13. so lovely!!!!! IM so happy for you!!!!! I was shocked to see ur age!!! I’d guess u r 35 years old!!

    babs wrote on December 4th, 2012
  14. Well done! You look radiant. Has any one ever told you that you look like a healthy version of Ann Hathaway?

    Julie wrote on December 4th, 2012
  15. Thanks for sharing! As a “mature” woman in the same age bracket, I am inspired by your story and am more willing to start down the Primal Path. And by the way, you look as awesome as you say you feel :)

    Melissa wrote on December 5th, 2012
  16. Gave me a good giggle when I read that your feet lost weight! It’s like that here too, shrinking in more places than I had even imagined!

    clare wrote on December 6th, 2012
  17. Your story is very inspirational. Thank you for sharing, especially the part about the flu like symptoms. I am into my third week and have been feeling so low, tired, and wondering if this is working for my body. Weight not coming off and not feeling great was making me second guess but hearing your story makes me want to push through. You look wonderful and more important to me you sound you you feel wonderful. Thank you again.

    BTaylor wrote on December 8th, 2012
  18. Wow – you’re a hottie now! Good job!

    Steve wrote on December 13th, 2012
  19. Congratulations! You look fantastic–so fit and healthy. Thank you for sharing your story–it really spoke to me. My life situation has been similar in many ways and you have motivated me to get back on this plan. I felt better when I was doing it. Hopefully I can share a success story in 7 months or so myself.

    Again—thank you and wonderful story!!

    Teresa wrote on January 7th, 2013
  20. Lynn, you look wonderful! I am 54 as well and my husband & I have been loyal followers of Mark’s for almost 3 years now. We’ll never go back to our old habits – we feel better than we ever could have imagined at our age. It’s great feeling 20 something in your 50’s!

    Karen wrote on January 22nd, 2013
  21. Damn girl, you are fabulous. This is incredibly well-written as well, I hope you put your writing skills to use with a blog or a book perhaps? :)

    Jase wrote on January 29th, 2013
  22. I am 51, have lost 40lbs in the last 2 years doing a different program, homeopathic hcg. But I am burned out with it and am looking for a less stressful, more balanced way of living and maintaining my health. I have recently gained 10 lbs because if stress and this burned out feeling. I am so inspired by your story, I was wondering if it could work for a middle aged woman, and I see it does! I am going to commit to this new way of living and I hope one day I will be writing my story like you have. Thank you for sharing!

    Shari wrote on February 21st, 2013
  23. Lynn,
    I was scrolling through all the success stories, looking for someone like me, eliminating the males, the females under 45, then finally got to yours. I have gone “paleo” since 07/29/2013 and have lost about 20 pounds in seven weeks, just by cutting the crap. For the last two weeks, I have been stagnant, and I feel a little impatient. Did you experience this? I have some concern that maybe I am eating too much fruit? I haven’t really been paying attention to ratios, or even calories for that matter. I usually have fruit/eggs for breakfast, salad and fruit for lunch, and meat and vegetables for dinner. Did you experience a “pause” in your weight loss without cheating? Thanks for your story, it inspires me to keep going.

    Sam Seevers wrote on September 20th, 2013
  24. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Lynn. I’m so envious of your arms! I think buy some Kettle Bells as my present to myself this year.

    I turned 70 in October and stared Primal the same month. I haven’t done much exercising other than a half-hour daily walk. My main goal was to lose weight, have a flat stomach and toned arms. So far I’ve been averaging 1-2 lbs. @ week which is fine with me. My stomach is going down and my arms are changing too. I know I need to start using weights for my arms. I have a long way to go for my goal weight but know I’ll get there eventually. Bring on the bacon! :)

    So glad you’re passing MDA info on to your patients. Grok On! :)

    Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on December 23rd, 2013
    • Hi Darlene congrats to Your stamina and courage to go primal at 70 !!
      I started at age 48, it was a difficult transition, it took me a few months to not miss pasta and bread and rice anymore. But I liked it a lot and felt always better when I stuck to it than when I lost track. I lost only a few kilos as I didn´t do a lot of of lifting heavy things or sprints. just kept moving and discovered Zumba. And right now I discovered the kettlebell which seems really really fun !!
      hope to see Your success story soon here, You´re a great inspiration !!!

      Annie wrote on February 22nd, 2014

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!