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

I Feel Like I Finally Have Control Over My Life

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!


I want to thank you for changing my life. I reached my peak weight of 292 pounds in 2011 at 23 years old. I had everything going for me, but I still wasn’t happy because I felt so trapped in my body. I was recently married to the love of my life, I was managing my family’s Middle Eastern restaurant, and about to graduate college after six years of schooling. Even though my life was going so great, I was horribly depressed.

My life has always revolved around food. My dad is Lebanese, and owns a Lebanese restaurant which I feel like I’ve been working at since I could barely walk. I learned that celebrations always included food, and when I was feeling down or things weren’t going my way that food was always there for me. I was always a heavy kid, but I didn’t really start to blow up until high school. I hated high school as many people do because I felt like I didn’t fit in, didn’t have many friends, etc. When I turned 16 I got a car, and I had money from working at my family’s restaurant, so the daily trips to Wendy’s started. I got two spicy chicken sandwiches and french fries almost every day after school, then went home for a big dinner with my family. Before I even realized what was happening I was pushing 300 pounds for the first time in my life.

I stayed that big until the first year of college. I thought I wanted to get away from my family so I chose a college that was in the mountains, about three hours away. I ended up losing about 60 pounds that year because I didn’t have a car, and had to walk everywhere. My dorm was on the top of a very large hill, and the cafeteria at the bottom. When it’s 0 degrees outside and there are about 300 steps between you and food, many times you chose to just go hungry, or at least I did. After one year at that college I decided to come back home. I started working at the restaurant again, moved in with some friends and truly was relying completely on myself for the first time in my life. For the next year I tried doing the Atkins diet off an on. Which really looked like carb restricting for two weeks, then carb binging for two weeks. When I was carb restricting and trying to limit myself to 20 g of carbs a day, I was only living on meat and cheese and I felt so gross. Then when I was carb binging, I felt even worse. Somehow I managed to lose another 20 pounds like that though over the course of a year, leaving me at the lowest weight of 210 that I had been in years.

Fairuz - 292

Then I met my future husband. Instantly we knew that we wanted to be together, get married and go the whole nine yards. I felt like I was in La La Land for the first six months and completely forgot about the dieting. I feel like we ate out every night, he brought me chocolate all the time, basically celebrated the new found relationship with food. For him, it was nothing because he has always been naturally skinny and able to eat whatever he wanted without gaining any weight. But for me it was another story. I gained the 80 pounds I had lost and then some within a matter of months. I stayed around 300 pounds through our engagement and wedding and for the next couple months afterwards. Then I had a wake up call. I saw some pictures of me from my husband’s birthday party and knew I had to get serious. One of my friends had mentioned on Facebook and I decided to check it out. I liked it and with my sedentary office job I was able to be on the computer and track all my food no problem. I joined there on 8/5/11 at 292 pounds. After 4 months on MFP and strictly calorie counting without a change in diet, I had lost about 30 pounds. But my dedication was wavering and my weight loss slowing down very quickly. On the forums on MFP I saw alot of people mentioning the Primal/paleo diet and luckily for me, one of them posted a link to Mark’s Daily Apple. I was hooked. I spent hours reading through all the material on the website, looking up different recipes, downloading the free ebooks, etc. This was the first “diet” that ever made sense to me! It was like my big AH HAH! moment. I asked for your book The Primal Blueprint for Christmas, and devoured it within a couple of days. From there on I was Primal. The first couple weeks were the hardest, because my body was shifting from being a sugar burner to a fat burner, and I was trying to adjust my eating habits and figuring out new favorite foods. But after that I feel like this has been so easy and effortless. The weight has literally melted off, without killing myself in the gym, without starving myself, without feeling sick. In one year I’ve lost 94 pounds to be at my current weight of 168. I didn’t exercise, but did have a change in activity level, with my dad opening a new store and me being promoted to the general manager rather than the office manager. I work about 55-60 hours a week now with most of it being on my feet, walking around the store, lifting boxes, bus tubs, etc. I didn’t start actually working out until about a month ago when I decided I wanted to start toning and lifting weights.

Fairuz - Flexin' Fairuz - Flexin' 2

Now, I feel like I’m a completely different person, I’m so happy and I don’t feel trapped in my body anymore. I feel like nothing is holding me back anymore. I feel so powerful because I can run, jump, lift, stretch without becoming out of breath or needing to take a break. I have so much energy! I don’t have to obsess over what I’m eating, I just eat along the Primal guidelines and know that I’m feeding my body nutritious food that it craves. Food has become fuel (delicious fuel!!) but it is no longer my comfort, my shoulder to cry on, my means to celebrate, or my dirty secret. I literally do not remember ever being this weight, although logically I know I must have been at some point. When I went from kids clothes to the adult department I immediately went into a size 12, and then a few months later I had to start shopping at the plus size store. Now I’m a size 8 pants, and a medium top….and I can shop ANYWHERE! For the first time in my life, I can shop in any store. I ran a mile for the first time in my life this month too! As far as my relationship with my husband, we are better than ever. My new found confidence has improved the relationship, and I feel like he doesn’t have to worry about me anymore. He knows that I’m healthy and gonna be around for a long time with him. And that he gets to enjoy my happiness, rather than try to pull me out of depression.

Fairuz and Friend - After Fairuz - After

Now my plans are to eat Primal for the rest of my life, lose eight more pounds to get to my goal of 160 and to continue toning and lifting weights to maximize my body’s potential. I am so excited about the future and I feel like I finally have control over my life. I can’t wait to update you in a year after weight training to show you where my body is at then!

Fairuz - Before and After Fairuz - Before and After 2


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. well done Fairuz!! you have accomplished so much… congrats!

    stephanie wrote on January 11th, 2013
  2. absolutely amazing thank you I need to hear this today congratulations and you do look simply amazing

    Kimsboxofchocolates wrote on January 11th, 2013
  3. Beautiful and incredibly inspiring!! Thank You – I will come back to this page again many times I am sure :)

    fayeb wrote on January 11th, 2013
  4. You do not look like the same person. Must be very confusing for the passport office and others like. Wahoo for you!

    Sanas wrote on January 11th, 2013
  5. Fairuz – Congrats! You are an inspiration – I want to see if I can emulate your success – Will be great if you can post an example menu for a day

    sara wrote on January 11th, 2013
    • Breakfast – 3 eggs cookied olive oil, and a couple strips nitrate free bacon.
      Lunch- 2 chicken kebobs and ALOT of kale salad with a olive oil, vinegar dressing.
      Dinner- Spaghetti squash topped with meat sauce.
      Dessert- a couple pieces dark chocolate.

      Fairuz wrote on January 12th, 2013
  6. Fantastic story, just started living primal and only just over a week in, would love to have the same sort of success. Well done Missus x

    Stevie33 wrote on January 11th, 2013
  7. Congratulations! What a great success story to read, thanks for sharing!!

    Jaci wrote on January 11th, 2013
  8. What an amazingly strong woman in every sense! Utterly inspiring.

    I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last from Fairuz!

    Timothy wrote on January 11th, 2013
  9. You GO Girl!!! I loved reading your story and the pictures are a tribute to a beautiful and intelligent lady, I’m so happy for you and also for your husband and family…because your health and happiness MUST be contagious! All the best and CONGRATULATIONS!

    Jen O'Callaghan wrote on January 11th, 2013
  10. Holy $&@@$(;;$$!!! Awesome transformation. Well done.

    BW wrote on January 11th, 2013
  11. Wow! So inspiring! You look fantastic :)

    LisaL wrote on January 11th, 2013
  12. Wow! You look amazing, girl!

    Kathy wrote on January 11th, 2013
  13. Fairuz you look fantastic!

    Tricia wrote on January 11th, 2013
  14. Awesome!! What a great testimony! You look wonderful. You were cute before you began to be Paleo but you look so happy and healthy now. I love it! Congratulations.!!

    lynn wrote on January 11th, 2013
  15. Well done!! I’m sure you will hit your goal weight without a problem, weight training is the best!! You will love it :)

    Steph wrote on January 11th, 2013
  16. Does anyone else think her husband is a one lucky bastard?! Amazing job Fairuz, keep it up!

    TS81 wrote on January 12th, 2013
    • haha, thankyou!

      Fairuz wrote on January 12th, 2013
  17. You look wonderful. Keep eating Primal and keep up the good work! I am proud of your accomplishment! Way to go!

    Molly wrote on January 12th, 2013
  18. Awesome Fairuz congrats to you an your hubby .it’s stories like yours an all the positive people on this site that are helping so many others make the leap including my wife an I ,thank you so much for sharing .

    Jd wrote on January 12th, 2013
  19. You look beautiful, Fairuz, and I’m sure you FEEL so much better! Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your story.

    Connie wrote on January 12th, 2013
  20. ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You look FAB : D

    popski wrote on January 12th, 2013
  21. wonderful! YOU are an inspiration to everyone around you. I wish you continued success in everything! :)

    michelle kizel wrote on January 12th, 2013
  22. amazing, congratulations!!!

    wildgrok wrote on January 12th, 2013
  23. Wow! Way to go Fairuz! What a great inspiration. Very happy for you and thanks for sharing your wonderful story. My sister did something very similar and when I saw her after 2years I hardly even recognized her.
    Stay Primal!

    Marco wrote on January 12th, 2013
  24. Fairuz, you are so cute. And what an inspiration. Thank you.

    UmiK wrote on January 12th, 2013
  25. What an inspiring story!! I’ve fallen off the wagon for the last few months – but your story (and amazing pictures) are motivating me to get back on it again. I miss eating Primal. Weight gain is not fun! (Is it ever? lol)

    Congrats on your awesome success! And your eyes are gorgeous btw. xo

    Harley wrote on January 12th, 2013
  26. Oh what a wonderful example you are! Thank you so much. I am a mom of 11 and I am now 38. I want to lose the years of baby weight, and the last 7 have been one right after another. Like every year we were having a new little blessing. Our youngest is 3 months and our oldest is 20! I am so inspired by your story that you have given me hope that this can be done!!! Thank you for sharing, and you look beautiful and healthy!!!!!

    Lisa wrote on January 12th, 2013
  27. You are glory now I love your rosy cheeks and fabulous smile. You are amazing and have inspired me to do this for real I just bought the book today and just hopped on here to check things out but you really inspired me, I too have a radiant glory happy person in there!

    Angel wrote on January 12th, 2013
  28. Thank you, Fairuz. I fell off of the Primal Wagon HARD toward the end of November, and have had a terrible time chasing it back down. Your story and photos remind me of where I have been, how far I have come, and what I am still capable of. Tomorrow is a new day!! Congratulations and THANK YOU!

    Joon Bug wrote on January 12th, 2013
  29. Awesome work! It’s so great to read inspirational stories of such magnitude. You look so healthy and happy!

    Lisa wrote on January 13th, 2013
  30. Wow! That is all I can say!

    Patrick wrote on January 13th, 2013
  31. You look AMAZING! What a great story! Keep going on your goals!

    Shelly wrote on January 13th, 2013
  32. For anyone else who has weight problems, just think of the future overweight you or the future perfect body you, which one appeals to you.

    Note that all of them are you, and here on Mark’s Daily Apple, you will find your primal dose to keep fit. Don’t pass the opportunity, please take it.

    christiano kwena wrote on January 13th, 2013
  33. I love seeing you with the dresses–awesome job! Very inspiring.

    Rachael wrote on January 13th, 2013
  34. Congratulations, good to see that you had such success. It is fun to see the first picture and then the third picture – what a difference!

    And those arm muscles in the second picture, wow. I do lots of push-ups, but I think your muscles are bigger than mine. What bodybuilding do you do? I should take notes.

    Erik W wrote on January 13th, 2013
    • Lol, honestly I don’t have a set routine, I just got to the weights and do whatever I can think of for like 45 minutes. Usually arnolds, bench presses, flyes, just stuff like that.

      Fairuz wrote on January 21st, 2013
  35. I love it that you found a great way to live while you were young and healthy enough to enjoy the rewards. Have a wonderful life!

    Janice James wrote on January 14th, 2013
  36. AWESOME story and very inspiring!!

    LerxstFan wrote on January 14th, 2013
  37. You look great! Congrats.

    Baburhan Kokturk wrote on January 14th, 2013
  38. Awesome work!

    Lindsay wrote on January 14th, 2013
  39. Holy cow, if that’s not inspiration IDK what is. You look amazing, keep it up!!

    Nsanechick wrote on January 14th, 2013

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