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

I Feel Like a Normal Human Being Again

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!

My primal story starts about nine months ago. It was December, and we had just been visited by both of my brothers. My brothers’ visits usually consist of copious amounts of eating and drinking. We’re generally healthy folk – we exercise regularly and try to eat a balanced diet. But when we get together, we drink lots of beer and eat lots of delicious fried food. Well, the unhealthy binging was starting to catch up to me, and I was topping out at 147-149 (I’m 5’ 6”), a solid five pounds more than my usual fighting weight.

In addition to being constantly uncomfortable due to the tight pants, I was also struggling with some serious anxiety issues. I would get anxious over the silliest things – waiting in line at the grocery store, stopping at a red light, walking through the mall, etc. I always felt as if I was going to pass out or spin out of control. I finally talked to my awesome nurse practitioner/chiropractor and realized my issues were caused by allergies clogging up my head something fierce. I was able to get some relief through her treatments, but I still wasn’t feeling 100% normal.

Heather - Before

While trying to find a non-prescription solution to my problem (my MD wanted to prescribe anti-anxiety meds, of course), I ran across an article about eating primally in my Lifehacker RSS feed. I followed the links to Mark’s Daily Apple and was super intrigued by what I read. I ordered the 21-Day Total Body Transformation and instantly identified with what the book said. This was a “diet” I could get behind – one where I could eat the foods I enjoy and not have to count calories. The whole approach also meshed with other things I care about – eating locally grown food, living a simple life, and disconnecting from the Matrix.

I started the 21 days in early January (after binging on carbs and drinks, of course). Within the first couple of weeks, I had lost a couple of pounds and realized that I was no longer waking up in the middle of the night, filling 10 tissues with green slime. Gross, I know. About 11 days into the diet, I had to go to a holiday party, so of course I drank. That very night I woke up in the middle of the night, snot just pouring out of my nose. I’m sorry to be graphic, but it’s true. A light bulb went off – my body does not like alcohol (or gluten – surprise!!)!

I got such great results in those first few weeks, that I just kept following the plan over and over again. I think I did it three times in a row. It’s nine months later, and I’ve slacked off a bit on following the exact plan, but I still eat primally, I run at a slow pace three to four times per week and do pushups, squats, planks, and pull-ups at least three times a week. When I started I couldn’t do one real pushup – now I can do seven. I could only do a flexed arm hang, and now I can do two pull-ups. I can do a plank for 90 seconds, and I can do 25 squats with 20 pounds. I’ve lost 20 pounds, so I’m at 129 at 5’ 6”. I went from a size 10 to a size 4. I have TONS more energy. I no longer want to fall asleep at my desk in the afternoon. Best of all, my anxiety levels are WAAAAY down. I feel like a normal human being again – no longer petrified to be caught at a red light. I cannot describe how good it feels to be relieved of that fear.

So I proselytize. To anyone who will listen, I tell them how eating primally is, “good for what ails ya.”

What’s bad about primal living? Well, it definitely takes more planning, but it’s so worth it. The food I make at home tastes way better than the food we get going out. I also don’t know what to say when people say, “You’re so skinny!!” Um, thanks?? And change the subject. I also get made fun of mercilessly by my coworkers for my diet. They help keep me on track by judging me if I eat an occasional non-foraged doughnut or slice of homemade pumpkin bread. I’m sure they do it out of love. 😉 I actually got one of my coworkers interested in the diet. However, she Googled Primal Recipes, and the first one she ran across was “Tender Grilled Baby Octopus.” And…she was out.

I am so glad I found MDA. It really has changed my life! Thank you, Mark!! Like everyone else, I blogged about my experience. If you want more details, check it out here: HloDeCello.

Some stats:

Starting weight: 149.3 pounds, Chest 36 inches, Waist 31 inches, Hips 43 inches

Ending weight: 129.6 pounds, Chest 34 inches(sorry Hubby!), Waist 28.25 inches, Hips 38.5 inches

I’ve attached before and after pictures. I wasn’t really portly to start with, but I wasn’t thin or toned enough to want any photos taken of me in a bathing suit! After eating primally for six months, however, I happily bought a string bikini while on vacation on Ocracoke Island and let the hubs snap a pic.


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. Heather, thanks so much for your story. It’s so great to hear from another, everyday woman. The stories from atheletes are nice, but it’s always great to hear how other women like me are doing following the paleo lifestyle. I’m not doing this to increase my performance, I’m doing this to be as healthy as I can be. And like you, I’ve loved all the side benefits I never thought I’d get out of it. So happy for you!

    Brooke wrote on December 31st, 2012
  2. Congrats! You look great!

    Eric wrote on January 1st, 2013
  3. Wow, I struggle from anxiety, and this story is a huge motivator! Thank you all!

    Dylan wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • From my nurse practitioner, I found out that my lymphatic system wasn’t draining, which caused a lot of my anxiety issues. I take magnesium and PureBalance PureLymph daily, and that really helps.

      Heather Longoria wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  4. What beach is that. It looks like st Pete beach

    schold wrote on January 17th, 2013
    • It’s a beach on Ocracoke Island, NC. SUPER beautiful beach.

      Heather Longoria wrote on January 27th, 2013
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  6. Hi Heather! I read your story almost a year after it was posted and find it very relevant to me as well. I have a lot more weight to lose than you did but am so awed and encouraged by your results – just amazing! Great smile & bikini!

    I’ve only been on PB for a couple of months now (without the exercise yet) and have lost 10 lbs. I do not have any of the ailments members have dealt with so didn’t go PB to cure anything. My main goal was to LGN and not have to ever take any prescriptions. FTR – I just turned 70 this October (2013.)

    I am now realizing I’m not annoyed as much by the little stuff as I used to be. Also, since I’ve stopped drinking enormous amounts of Diet Pepsi ON a daily basis I’m also much calmer. Saved a ton of $$$ and my ankles are back!

    Taking a cue from your comment – I think “Disconnect From The Matrix!” should be on t-shirts. :)
    Grok On!

    Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on December 8th, 2013
    • I’m glad to hear you are getting good results! I’ve been primal for over 2 years now, and I’m still feeling great. I do have to watch my cheats more, however. Since I don’t eat much gluten or sugar, when I DO eat it – YUCK. I ate a piece of cheesecake (which I love to an ungodly amount) for my birthday and later that day had a flashback to the stoplight anxiety. UGH. So glad those days are behind me! Good luck as you keep progressing!!

      hlofromcello wrote on February 22nd, 2014
  7. you look great !!

    Mike wrote on December 22nd, 2013
    • Thanks!

      hlofromcello wrote on February 22nd, 2014
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