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

I Now Have Respect and Love for My Own Body

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 know I sound crazy. Like, Hare Krishna, ran off and joined a cult, crazy. But this is all true, and I know it is, only because I experienced it firsthand. Am I a good example, or a horrible warning? Hopefully, if I play my cards right, I can be both.

My memories of childhood are hazy. Especially names, places, and dates. I spent a lot of time, just sort of “drifting” with the current. I remember images, and faces. And I remember being sick a lot. Not like “I HAVE THE SCARLET FEVER!” sick, but just a runny nose, and teary eyes. Since I grew up in California’s Central Valley, no biggie: seasonal allergies were legendary there. Hay fever was just assumed. The fact that it turned into sinus infections on a regular basis was just a given- right? As I got older, it would last year-round. Inevitably at the first cold snap, I would lose my voice. There was always a chalky pink bottle of amoxicillin in our fridge door, right below the milk.

I was also prone to ear infections, and vividly remember a procedure at around age 5 where they made me swallow “something that glowed” and then not being allowed to move so they could get a better idea about the bladder infections I couldn’t seem to kick.
I seemed to outgrow most of it: with the exception of the lethargy and the sinus stuff. Poor Mom knew something “wasn’t right” and dragged me to so many doctors: to have my thyroid tested, to check for allergies, and everything came up “fine”. The ENT guy finally just said, “This kid is sniffling constantly because she has teeny nasal passages, and gigantic adenoids. She might grow out of it, or she’ll need surgery as an adult.“ Great. By default, I became a chronic mouth-breather.

School was OK. I was quiet, usually characterized as a “dreamer” and by teachers who paid attention, an “underachiever.” Since I wasn’t a behavior problem, what would now probably be diagnosed as “ADD” was never noticed. I tested well, but in a noisy classroom, I had the attention span of a gnat, unless I could focus on one thing at a time. Two things I was great at: reading books or watching TV. If I was on my own playing with a friend, I was fine, but slumber parties were a disaster: all my high-pitched peers in a room together talking at once were absolutely overwhelming. I viewed these rites of passage with dread, as I knew I didn’t fit in, and my involuntary snoring was something humiliating I would be teased about later on. And I was always tired, so I’d be the first to fall asleep.

The first recollection I had of sneaking food would have been around the age of 10. Maybe it’s just that I was embarrassed to be caught at that age: I think it probably started earlier, but was written off as just being a kid. I was always hungry, and was getting “chubby”. My parents didn’t say anything about it: just implemented family walks after dinner, or I would ride my bike while Dad jogged. It just seemed to make me hungrier.

My first official diet was in the summer between 6th and 7th grade. I begged Mom to send me to Weight Watchers. Kids had been teasing me at school. I wasn’t 12 yet, so I needed a note from my doctor. I remember the scornful faces of the other kids in my group when they heard I only had 10 lbs to lose. They wanted to know just WHY was I there? They had been forced to attend these humiliating meetings, by their parents, by medical professionals. Back in the mid 80’s, there was usually only one kid at school who resembled Augustus Gloop, which was the limit of my experience until then. There they were, all gathered at Weight Watchers in an obese and resentful horde. They had 40, 50, 60 lbs to lose. To this day, I hope I wasn’t smug. I do remember thinking, in my 11-year-old ignorance, “If I ever get that heavy, I would just want to die.”

So Mom encouraged me to fill in my nutritional log. She joined with me for moral support. We went to the store together to shop for special diet food, and I learned to count – this was before points, I think they were called “exchanges” back then. I got more exchanges because as a kid, I was still growing. I checked off my boxes, and rejoiced because I could have peanut butter on my rice cakes for breakfast every morning. Which may be the most depressing food-related sentence ever written.

I lost 8 lbs that summer, writing everything down, checking off boxes, exercising faithfully. Between that and my graduation from thick glasses to contact lenses, I was evidently unrecognizable. When I went back to school, I was like Clark Kent, except my phone booth was a diet center, and instead of spandex and a cape, I had ankle-zip acid washed Guess? Jeans, Reebok hightops, and an Esprit book bag. Mom was excited not to have to shop in the “Big Girl” section, and we had gone all-out.

At my 12th birthday in November, I got a clown sundae from Farrell’s, and devoured it under the disapproving eyes of my father, who said, “You’re not going to eat that, are you?“ And of course, by the time Christmas rolled around, I ate a pizza pocket or three from the snack bar, and had gained all that weight back plus more. Mom was still packing a nutritious lunch: carrot sticks, celery, a sandwich on white diet bread with turkey breast and a slice of low-cal plastic cheese (mustard only!) along with a little bag of pretzels (lowfat!), sometimes a non-fat yogurt sweetened with aspartame and flavored with God-knows what, and a diet cream soda. I would say 50% of the time, into the trash it went. My peers could eat pizza pockets with no problem, and I desperately wanted to be like them. But metabolically, I just wasn’t. At 12, this was difficult to understand.

This is around the time I started having problems with cystic acne. I didn’t know what it was, just told dad that my ear was hurting me. I do remember the look on his face when he peered inside my ear and recoiled. The next thing I knew, there were needles and matches and alcohol and pressure and pain and blood and yelling. OH the yelling! Mostly from me.

After a few more incidents like this, my long-suffering mother took me back to the pediatrician. He peered into my ears with his trusty otoscope, and said, in his German accent: “I don’t like this. Usually, this is an indicator of outbreaks as a teen and young adult.” I sat sullenly through this, and as a gesture of pre-teen hostility, refused to let him draw his trademark duck on my arm with a ballpoint pen.

So I religiously swabbed my ears with alcohol, and tried to avoid chocolate. The acne continued, and worsened, and spread. And inevitably, every summer, and sometimes in-between, I was on a diet. Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers (multiple times), Low-fat on my own, you name it. Some of them worked for awhile, but I would inevitably take a break and get discouraged, and BOOM: twice as much to lose next time around. I remember lying in my bed, listening to my stomach rumble, and looking at the tiny pink hearts on my wallpaper in my bedroom, and just wishing. My weight became something I prayed about, a constant reminder that Something Was Wrong With Me.

As I got closer to college, and gained and lost, and gained it all back plus more, I got more discouraged. I needed to lose 40 lbs, then 50 – my parents got more concerned. Bribery: promises of money, of new clothes, of the choice to attend the private university I had fallen in love with on my visit there – they were all dangled before me. And oh, by God, I tried. When conventional methods failed, I tried to make myself throw up – and am now thankful for the fact that it didn’t work.

I was so embarrassed by my seeming lack of control over my body, of my appetite that strove to thwart me, of the fact that I constantly felt like I was starving, of my figure, which was an exaggerated hourglass that was impossible to shop for in the junior section. It was also impossible to walk to the bathroom in a TGI Friday’s without some dudebro at the bar trying to pick me up. Dad would walk me to the bathroom when we went out to eat. I was 16, and I looked like a 30 year old cocktail waitress.

This is also when the long-awaited facial breakouts started to happen. I ping-ponged back and forth from the allergist, to the endocrinologist, to the ear, nose, and throat doctor. I didn’t get any answers, but actually did lose some weight, due to the mass quantities of antibiotics I was taking, both orally and topically (I constantly had stomach acid). And then on my last checkup before college, I went to see the same gynecologist my mother went to: an old-school gentleman, who ordered my mother out of the room, asked if I was sexually active (NOPE) and gruffly handed me a prescription for birth control pills, with the instructions, “You’re a lovely girl: don’t ruin your life.” Then he added, as an afterthought, “These might help with your acne, too.”

I coasted through college. I was still drifting through life like a jellyfish, but now I was away from my family and still not technically an adult, so I had zero guidance or parameters. Luckily, I made some great friends, and learned how to fake it. I grew up: I got a little edgy. I threw parties, and went to more parties, and then everything just came to a screeching halt.

I just sort of abandoned any kind of responsibility in my life. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what happened. There wasn’t any sense of choice about it: I evidently had coasted for so long, I just traveled straight into a brick wall. I am guessing what I was dealing with was depression, although I didn’t know that at the time, and couldn’t explain it when my parents wanted answers – WHY?!! I couldn’t get enough sleep, and I stopped returning calls. I checked out.

Back to the endocrinologist. Back to a doctor, who was a friend of the family, who had been briefed beforehand. Also, a psychiatrist. My parents were frantic for any explanation. Alien abduction? Hormonal imbalance? I had only ever been marginally present in my own life anyway, and I look back at this entire time through a haze. There is no real answer. I couldn’t tell you if I blocked it out in the interest of self-preservation, but that is a guess. I was in a dark place, just drifting. I just remember the reaction of the endocrinologist the most, when he reassured me that I was normal and there was nothing wrong with me, and I burst into tears. He patted me on the shoulder sympathetically, and said, “I do not think the problem is you. I think the problem is something else.”

I moved back in with my parents briefly, realized immediately that it wouldn’t work, and moved out again as soon as I got a job. A super-cheap two bedroom apartment with a roommate was my salvation. I was half-heartedly attending a local college because I didn’t know what else to do, and somehow ended up playing swing music on the college radio station at 1 AM. This dovetailed nicely with my job doing graphics and filming the news at a TV station. I also started to “wake up” – with a vengeance. I had gone into my coma at 180 lbs, and come out of it at…I would estimate, 260. I don’t know for sure, because I refused to get on a scale. I lost some of it on my own, but the solution for the rest was to go to a “medical weight center” and they hooked me up with a pill called Bontril. They weighed me weekly and took my blood monthly, and for the first time in my life, I could wake up for work on time and lose weight, spend an hour on the elliptical at the gym every day, and clean my grout at 4 AM with a toothbrush. In the plainest sense, it was probably a lot like crack. However, my thoughts had a crazy sharpness. For the first time in my life, I had some clarity. I remember wondering, “If everyone functions at this level all the time, why can’t I?”

I met the man who would become my husband when he called into the radio station late one night. A lot of guys would call: they evidently found my 2 AM rants about Cheez-Its and my husky and congested voice strangely alluring – but he was the only one who had asked me about the music I was playing, not what I was wearing. I remember being shocked when I met him – what I thought would be just a funny story for my friends later, ended up being someone who I hit it off with immediately. We will celebrate our 10 year anniversary at the end of July, 2012.

By the time we had gotten engaged, I had gotten down to 200 lbs, which for me is about a size 12. I’d done it thanks to the looming threat of the impending wedding, my willingness to exercise like a crazed hamster on a wheel, the fact that I had no appetite thanks to chasing the Bontril Dragon, and the fact that surviving pretty much solely on reduced-fat Smart Pop microwave popcorn didn’t kill me first.

I got married. I think I gained back 20 lbs over the course of my Bontril-free honeymoon. My husband was deployed for six months, and when he got back, we started trying to start a family. And trying. And trying. Once again, after a full workup, the doctor said there was nothing technically wrong with either of us, but suggested weight loss would help with my fertility. I tried Bontril again, but it didn’t work. I tried anything and everything I could think of. We went through horrible fertility treatments. At the end, we were emotionally and financially drained. I was back in depression central, and all I could do was eat cookies and cry. I never had much direction in life, except wanting to be a mother, and this seemed like the ultimate betrayal of my body. It could not even do this, something that every woman should inherently have the capacity to do, and what I had always wanted.

Surely, this should be the motivation I needed. Motherhood was my brass ring. But the weight, which once would disappear (albeit, briefly) if I followed the rules, had begun to defy the guidelines I had so carefully drilled into myself. I would get down to a certain weight, 215, and exercise faithfully, lift weights, count every calorie – and gain. I bought a pedometer, I bought a polar heart-rate monitor, I bought a Go-Wear Fit, I tried eating more whole grains, I went to the doctor, I did the math, all to no avail. The doctor I went to actually said I wasn’t being honest with myself, and tried to explain how to do circuit training to me. Me, veteran of many gym memberships, personal trainers, and hour-long sessions on the elliptical! Pfft! But what was worse, I was getting debilitating migraines once or twice a week, crazy PMS, my acne had branched out into rosacea, and my hair started falling out! I blamed stress.

The hard-learned truth: when you eff with Mother Nature, Mother Nature effs right back with you. 25 years of yo-yo dieting and chronic cardio, not to mention a constant barrage of pharmaceutical crap in the name of health, had trained my body to hang on to whatever it could for the upcoming famine ahead. I know that now.

I was at rock bottom, and had been flailing for awhile, when I found The Primal Blueprint.

There’s a sentence in the book that details the many things gluten sensitivity can cause: Brain fog. Infertility. Migraines. Congestion. Acne. Lethargy. Depression. Those are the things I can remember. Because when I read them, I screamed, and threw the book against the wall. It was like opening a dictionary, and seeing my face. All I could think of was all the stress, the doctor visits, self-flagellating behavior, the pills I had taken and shots I had given myself and money that had been spent. Could it really boil down to this? The recurrent infections and depression and congestion and ditziness since childhood? This whole acne/infertility weight loss nightmare? Was it true that a change this simple could have seriously changed my entire life?

I just thought, well, I just thought it was me. But that long ago Indian endocrinologist, maybe he was right. It wasn’t me, it was something else. Maybe grains and sugar were that elusive “something else”?! I looked at myself, a thirty-five year old woman, who loves her technology, her smartphone, her curling iron, high heels, jewelry, and cosmetics. Underneath that sophisticated (albeit, obese) veneer, could I really be a cavewoman?

It was time to find out. I chucked grains. All of them. I cut drastically back on sugar.

Within three days, my rosacea was noticeably diminished. Within a week, my snoring was quieter, and I was waking up refreshed for the first time in years.

In two weeks, my skin was clear. I get the occasional zit, and the scars still remain, but this in itself is a minor miracle. Also, I had lost 5 lbs. And I was not constantly hungry. My eyes, which were always, always bloodshot, like I had been hotboxing in someone’s VW van, suddenly revealed that they had white sclera!

A month in, I was 10 lbs down, and I had my waist back. News flash -you typically look better and it’s a lot easier to wear clothes when you are no longer shaped like a potato. This is also when I realized that my debilitating migraines were blood-sugar related, because they stopped happening. I also was waking up in the morning before my alarm. I had amazing amounts of energy.

Two months in, I could breathe through my nose. This is still something I have to focus on, as I have been conditioned by decades of having to breathe through my mouth. Those teeny tiny nasal passages and giant adenoids? I am guessing that was chronic inflammation, even as a kid.

That winter, My “hair guru” reported that my hair was thickening back up, and no longer falling out. And my seasonal depression just didn’t happen. My husband called me a pet name, his “little black raincloud” – or at least he started to, and then he said “You know, that really doesn’t suit you anymore.” “My little piranha” also seems to have disappeared from the repertoire without comment. Thank God.

Another traditional winter hallmark: my horrible recurrent sinus infections: didn’t make any appearance. And let me tell you, I sure as hell don’t miss them. I haven’t had one since. I have a familial history of high cholesterol: While I did get a big scary number recently, my ratios are good and my triglycerides, after decades of being elevated, are nice and low.

After 6 months, I went home for Christmas, and saw a friend of the family, who asked, ”What are you doing? You look so…healthy. And happy!” And without thinking, I smiled and said, without thinking, “Thank you! I AM happy!” And it’s true. I am. Nobody is more surprised about that fact than I am. When I run into people I haven’t seen in awhile, they will inevitably ask, “What are you doing?!” And I am happy to tell them.

I almost didn’t write this because, well, I didn’t magically get skinny. There’s no “big reveal” with me wearing a crop top to show off my 6-pack abs. I do still have bad days, when I have to remind myself that skinny and healthy are not the same thing. I do occasionally get the “stink eye” from some poor deluded schmoe when I throw uncured bacon into my shopping cart. While I haven’t lost a lot of weight, I am able to eat like a normal human being and maintain. I am repairing decades of damage that I did to myself, and it’s just going to take time – and patience.

By that token, I have been spared adding another 30-50 lbs to my grand total for the 2.5 years I have been eating this way. Which is no mean feat! And I am getting stronger, and exercising more because I enjoy it now, not because it’s a chore. Life is short. I do what I love: Zumba classes, walking, riding my bike and playing active games on the Wii. And occasionally go on new adventures. The last one was going opal mining in the Nevada desert over Memorial Day weekend. My (new, awesome) doc says she will clear CrossFit when I get a little lighter. I know, you can scale, but as she says, you only get one pair of knees. Can’t argue with that.

There are so many gifts I have gotten from following the PB. My health, my motivation, my identity, the ability to buck the system and go with my gut, self-worth, and respect and love for my own body and what it can do. Hopefully, motherhood is next. All of those things are beyond price. Thanks a million, Mark, for what you do!!!

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 was practically sobbing by the end of this. This describes much of my life so well, and comes right at a time when I’m feeling low.

    I didn’t have frequent illness as a kid, but the migraines, acne, fog? Yeah, that’s me.

    I’m four weeks into my primal journey and needing motivation. This helped tremendously. Thank you for sharing.

    Leea wrote on June 15th, 2012
  2. What an incredible story. I was laughing and crying.

    Keep it up girl!

    Nicole wrote on June 15th, 2012
  3. Well written too!

    Nicole wrote on June 15th, 2012
  4. Wonderful article!

    Jeffrey wrote on June 15th, 2012
  5. I so relate to your story.

    I have been “dabbling” with the Primal Blueprint way of life, not fully committing; hence the no weight loss results.

    I am presently reading an incredibly eye-opening book called WHEAT BELLY by Dr. William Davis. Wheat is a nasty thing – very scarry what it is doing to people.

    I am a now total believer in Mark’s way of living more naturally, and will start applying myself! Bad food habits must be broken, and replaced with more life sustaining choices.

    Your description of your youth is my youth. Thanks for your story.

    DEBRAKADABRA wrote on June 15th, 2012
  6. Absolutley veautiful story….I’m glad to hear you have your life back.

    Keep it going!!!

    Erik wrote on June 15th, 2012
  7. My childhoods was so similar it’s scary except the parts where I grew up in the 90s. I’ve only been on the primal blueprint for a couple months and I’m forced to make concessions because I live and work in a military environment, but I love the way I feel. I can relate to the haziness. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Shane wrote on June 15th, 2012
  8. Your story is fantastic!! Congratulations for having the courage and strength to find what works for you..many people would have just given up. Go girl!!

    Ida wrote on June 15th, 2012
  9. “…My husband called me a pet name, his “little black raincloud” … “My little piranha” also seems to have disappeared from the repertoire without comment…”

    BEST LINES EVER! My husband knows every time I cheat when my inner piranha comes out. So very glad that you’re feeling so much better – isn’t it amazing?!

    ~heather~ wrote on June 15th, 2012
  10. What an amazing story! And so well written! Thank you for sharing it and good luck with your pregnancy plans! I hope you achieve everything you wish for and more!

    Sol y Sombra wrote on June 15th, 2012
  11. I really enjoyed your story and found it so uplifting. I am not losing weight as quickly as I would like, but I started this way of eating to cure health problems, and any weight loss is considered a fringe benefit. You have the right attitude: health first, weight loss will follow. My arthritis and lower back pain were noticeably better in the first ten days. This is the only “diet” I have ever done that doesn’t feel like suffering, so I am willing to be patient with the weight loss. For a fascinating in-depth look at how food can affect the body and even bring healing, I highly recommend the book Deep Nutrition. You will never look at food the same way again. It even made me want to eat lIver! Hang in there and your body will repair and restore itself when given the proper building blocks of nutrients.

    Miss Understood wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • I will have to check out Deep Nutrition- It is on my Kindle, just WAITING for me. I am so glad that you are having great results too- what the body is capable of when nourished correctly is nothing short of miraculous to me.

      Lady Grok wrote on June 15th, 2012
  12. Thanks so much for sharing! I cried when I read this. It is so like my own story. Especially the constant ear/bladder infections and acne. I have not lost a lot of weight yet either, but I feel better than I have in years. My 18 year old son started on the program, and his allergies and psoriasis have all but disappeared. I wish I knew about this years ago!

    rebeccajr wrote on June 15th, 2012
  13. Thank you for sharing your story, I love your sense of humor! I like the fact that you decided to share your story even though you don’t have six pack abs. I know a lot of other people don’t agree, but I truly believe everyone has a different weight set point. And the bmi calculation is not accurate IMO. PB is great because you will actually HAVE the energy to workout, which is really what changes body composition (for me atleast).

    Melissa wrote on June 15th, 2012
  14. I just want to raise the obvious point (because I don’t see it yet said) that you look wonderful right now. Not later if you lose some particular amount of weight. Right. Now.

    Joy Beer wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • Awww, thank you! I am getting all blush-y.

      Lady Grok wrote on June 15th, 2012
  15. Inspiring.

    Great suff. I personally would avoid crossfit.

    Grok on cave girl.

    Onge wrote on June 15th, 2012
  16. Bloomin fantastic . well done on ur honesty and beautifully written piece…
    I’m just a baby primal (3wks) but feel if i can get rid of health issues and be this weight then I’ll take that happily. You’re statement about being skinny isn’t always being healthy is gonna be my new mantra !
    Well done to you and best wishes with you’re future x

    pinknemo111 wrote on June 15th, 2012
  17. I, too, mirrored many parts of your story in my own life. It’s really crazy how so many of us were/are poisoning ourselves daily with “food”. (I don’t know if wheat and sugar are poison for everyone, but it is for ME!)

    Thank you, Lady Grok, for submitting your story, and to Mark for posting it. It IS a success story!

    Jodis wrote on June 15th, 2012
  18. Beautifully written and inspiring story! Thank you for sharing!

    Although many people have lost significant weight from changing eating, I think it is the mental and emotional changes that really makes this a lifestyle and sustainable!

    Becca wrote on June 15th, 2012
  19. Thank you for sharing the pain and your jouney of discovery. It was very exciting to read because I knew there was a happy ending coming. :^)

    I can relate to your childhood frustrations; mine were of being sugar sensitive as well as a compulsive eater. I didn’t figure it out until I was thirty. Started low carb, lost weight, became pregnant with the child I thought I could never have. Now I know it was because of the diet.

    I have been hypothyroid since babyhood, PCOS at puberty and now post-menopausal, so have always had weight issues. I keep reading and learning and making progress. Don’t ever give up or allow yourself to become complacent!

    You are beautiful and brave and I’m so glad you decided to share with us! Thank you!

    gibson girl wrote on June 15th, 2012
  20. OMG – thank you so much for sharing your story! I agree with the others who said it was extremely well written and honestly, despite the content, a joy to read.

    To be perfectly honest, the content freaks me out a little bit. In many cases, your paragraphs were like they had been ripped out of my diary. I snorted my water onto my keyboard when I read about rejoicing to have peanut butter on rice cakes!! So much of your story (including ear-aches, acne, over-stimulation at slumber parties and having ‘only’ 10 lbs to lose at your first WW meeting – in my case it was Nutrisystem) was also my story.

    I’ve seen many of the same improvements as you have and my new ability to look at food as fuel (or as a ‘normal person’) is my biggest motivator for sticking with this nutritional bent. I still have weight to lose as well, but I’ll get there and so will you. All my best to you and your husband and I hope you get to be a mom soon!

    Cat wrote on June 15th, 2012
  21. What happened to the octopus link?

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • I’ll bet a dollar it will be there tomorrow.

      John wrote on June 15th, 2012
  22. Congratulations! Great story, I am happy for you!

    bog wrote on June 15th, 2012
  23. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. Although I never had a weight problem, I did suffer throughout childhood from mysterious stomach aches that progressed to episodes of debilitating abdominal pain in my teenage years (undiagnosed, sometimes requiring hospitalization and opiate pain killers) stress-related gut problems (like bouts of diarrhea before exams), acne since the age of twelve, and hay fever. I started the pill at 18 and became depressed for something like 9 straight years.

    If I had not developed diabetes following my pregnancy and birth of my child, I would probably never have ditched all the junk I had been eating. Now forced to do so to control my blood sugar, I must grudgingly admit that my ills have all but disappeared.

    Reading your story made me put two and two together on this!

    Anna wrote on June 15th, 2012
  24. Thank you so much for making me cry this afternoon! :-) It’s the perfect storm of recognition, gratitude and post-massage toxin clearing. Keep on living!

    Marianne wrote on June 15th, 2012
  25. You rock (grock?)

    Anders wrote on June 15th, 2012
  26. Love your story.
    Thanks for sharing it with us. After decades of injury your body is finally able to heal and recover! Like you, Im losing slowly, but my SHAPE is so much better. Wouldnt give up my new “centeredness” for any food in the world!

    Kim wrote on June 15th, 2012
  27. There is a lot here I can relate to as well! Substitute really bad chronic gas (IBS I believe they call it these days) for the acne, though. It sure would have been nice for someone to suggest that the raisin bran I was eating for breakfast all the time might not have been the ideal food for me.

    Louise wrote on June 15th, 2012
  28. This is the best. Thank you so much for this story. As a woman who has “only” managed to lose 25 lbs on the PB, it can indeed be disheartening to see other people who drop the other 75 I’d love to lose. What I’ve gained through this is worth so much more than those other pounds and the number on the scale: awareness of myself and my body, an affinity for REAL FOOD, a newfound of love of lifting heavy things, and muscles I didn’t even know existed. We, women especially, have to understand that our health is so much more than the stupid numbers society tells us should measure our worth. Thank you thank you and thank you again for sharing this story with us.

    Leigh wrote on June 15th, 2012
  29. CONGRATULATIONS on all you’ve accomplished in the face of so many setbacks!!! What a strong woman you are!I related to your story because I’ve been going to dermatologists for 25 years for rosacea and not ONE of them ever suggested eliminating grains. For most of those years I used special cleasers and applied increasingly more powerful (and expensive) topical prescription ointments twice daily. Eventually even they didn’t work and I was put on a daily antibiotic permanently. My motivation for switching to Primal eating was purely for weight loss, but my rosacea improved immediately and within weeks I was off the antibiotic and I don’t even need the topical medications anymore. The derm says it has nothing to do with grains and dismisses it as “a coincidence or something…” Really? Do conditions often just disappear after 25 years of continuously deteriorating? Drs always told me rosacea could not be cured you could only try to SLOW its inevitable progression!
    Sadly though, I haven’t lost any weight either, but I also spent many decades constantly dieting and overdoing cardio. Thank you for your encouraging viewpoint on that as well. God Bless!

    Theresa wrote on June 15th, 2012
  30. Wow – you are an amazing writer… you moved me… I’m so keep on going even when i don’t feel like it – it is a journey – and I can do it. Thanks for sharing – it really means a lot :)

    melissa daams wrote on June 15th, 2012
  31. That was a wonderful,well written story and I want to hear more. I can relate to the haze and fog as I feel my life has been the same. I lost my father when I was in my early 20’s and since then have had no direction. When I divorced and followed a path of total destruction I hit an all time low with regard to respecting myself (food, alcohol and random men) Quite by accident I met the man who thinks I am lovely and at the same time I stumbled into Crossfit and consequently Marks daily apple. It has been the total turning point for me. I have discovered that it is 95% what goes in your mouth that matters and have been able to follow the paleo/primal lifestyle without much drama. The weekly cheat still happens but I feel happy and healthy both mentally and physically as I move through my 50 ‘s. Thank you for sharing. Carol

    Carol wrote on June 15th, 2012
  32. Loved reading your story and thanks so much for sharing it. I can relate to a lot of it especially the sinus problems and the acne. I suffered from the worst acne all my life from age 9 years – age 40. I had Roaccutane treatment in my 20’s which cleared it for a few years then it came back and the treatment has left me with pain in my knee joints and my back. However, once I started low carb eating and also quit sugar about 90% of the acne cleared up. About a month ago I discovered The Primal Blueprint, quit grains and the acne has improved even more. At the moment I am trying dairy free as well and I’m hoping it will clear the remaining acne. I have also noticed that for the first time in my life I can breathe through my nose!!!!! So amazing!

    I wish you all the best with your ongoing primal journey and plans for motherhood!xxx

    Diane Smith wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • Thank you Diane: I too, took Accutane- two separate rounds. It only worked briefly for me too! After fighting with your skin so long- I am guessing that it seems miraculous to find something so simple that works. I still am amazed by it. Good luck with your Primal journey!

      Lady Grok wrote on June 15th, 2012
  33. I am so so happy you got out of the trap :) I never had these exact problems … I never ever gained weight … or had really bad skin probs but the brain fog sound very very familiar … I was doing a sport and fallen out with my coach completely … they said I waqs anorexic but I was eating down like 3000 calories a day and more … and my head was … kind of foggy … well of course I got the blame for everything that went wrong … I am actually naturally very skinny but had many other problems doctors just could not get their head around … I think I am definitely sugar and/or gluten sensitive … maybe more than the most and maybe that is what kept me very boney … but I am still on the track to try to feel great … because I never ever did 😀 😀 😀 always foggy and kind of sickly …

    Natalie wrote on June 15th, 2012
  34. Oh, you are lucky with your new doc – knees are precious 😉 Pick your cross fit trainer well, it is not so much about the weight but the correct joints alignment… do not compromise that and focus on good form. It may take longer but would be well worth it. Good luck!!! you sound like a very strong person :)

    Natalie wrote on June 15th, 2012
  35. WOW!! Awesome story Jenna!! You are an inspiration and your story just brought tears to my eyes.. keep it up! You are going to be an incredible mother!

    mars wrote on June 15th, 2012
  36. This was the most amazing story! Oh how you suffered all those years!!! I am so happy for you that you are doing so much better. Keep up the good work!

    Sandy A. wrote on June 15th, 2012
  37. Thank you for sharing. Your write beautifully :) Probably my favorite Friday story ever.

    laura wrote on June 15th, 2012
  38. Very touching account of your journey. You look beautiful inside and out! You and hubby will make great parent’s, Lord willing.
    Thank You for sharing,and please consider writing professionally, you have great expression.

    Barbara wrote on June 15th, 2012
  39. Beautifully written, and definitely an encouragement. You’ve been there (where so many of us have been). The realness of your story almost brought me to tears! Thank you for writing this.

    christina wrote on June 15th, 2012
  40. What a beautiful uplifting story! I’m so happy for you that your health is finally showing through. It still amazes me how decades of imbalance in the body begins to fall away so quickly and real health shines through, given the chance.

    You really do have a gift for writing. Your story carried me along on every word.

    Congratulations! And here’s to you becoming parents soon!

    Caroline wrote on June 15th, 2012

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