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. Good story! I have just started this primal regime and am busy trying to figure it out. My son and his family have been on this for several months and all look great and feel better! I just learned I have insulin resistance and my doctor thinks this is a great program for me. So, we’ll see how it goes! It’s not too hard to do, after I have stocked my kitchen with the unusual (for me) ingredients I need for cooking! I love to bake, especially bread so am experimenting with those primal recipes with great success. I am about to go make some primal chili….I have to figure out how to make primal saltine ‘crackers’ and have an idea on that!

    Cheryl wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • Something I left out- I used to love cooking. But “traditional” dieting and preparing food is absolutely torturous. Go forth and experiment: it’s so great to be able to love food and cooking again!

      Lady Grok wrote on June 15th, 2012
  2. Awesome, I grew up in the Central Valley too, based on your story about your same age (or a bit older), I never had allergies though, guess I was lucky.

    Jeff wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • Awwww yeah, Fres-NOOOO! You were indeed lucky. Between pollen and pollution, at least half the people I know are snarfling and sneezing, or mainlining Claritin.

      Lady Grok wrote on June 15th, 2012
  3. Wonderful post. Like many, your health issues/story and mine are so alike. Even down to your body type, exaggerated curvy. I was also referred to as a dreamer in school, dislike crowds, prefer reading. I’m 40, and recently diagnosed celiac. My onset of symptoms occurred in a different order (oh, the horror of adult acne!), but so much of your health history mirrors mine (migraine hell!) that it only confirms my belief that primal is the way to go. I’m not really primal at the moment due to gallbladder problems, but as soon as that is resolved, I’m going back to PD. (The rapid weight loss, 10 lbs in the first week, or the high fat content with the diet aren’t helping my gallbladder pain. I feel that primal would probably help heal or prevent gallbladder problems, but right now it’s so sensitive that I just can’t do it, I tried, I really tried…)
    Anyway, I appreciate the journey of your story, and that you’re presenting yourself, and you don’t have a perfect gym bunny body yet, but you look awesome to me! I have also hovered around the 200 lb mark a few times. (you look like you weigh quite a lot less than that now!) The amazing thing is now I consider that to be a huge success for me! I used to feel that I couldn’t feel happy/pretty/sexy/healthy/etc. unless I was at my high school weight of 135. (5′ 9″) But my highest weight was 285 several years ago. 200 is a major improvement, and one I hope to see again soon. There’s something to be said for appreciating what you have, not hating yourself, doing what you can, being kind to yourself, and working towards being healthier. Weight loss and muscle tone will come with time and primal living.
    Thank you again for sharing your story and presenting a journey towards greater happiness and health!!!

    Lilygrl wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • You have to obey your gallbladder! All that fat when your body isn’t used to it would NOT be cool. It is strange and wonderful to hear so many people say they related to my story. When you are in that position, you feel incredibly isolated and alone- and I am honored to have touched a chord with so many people, even retroactively.

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I have some news for you- Appearances can be deceiving! Since we are being real, and I basically have no secrets left, I will just lay my soul bare.

      That first picture was taken the day of my 16th birthday. I am probably between 160 and 170 there.

      Then there are three pics of my husband and I together.

      In the one with the white shorts on, I weigh about 200 (And exercised like crazy and took diet pills to get there).

      In the middle (sunset) one, I am 50 lbs. heavier.

      In the one in front of the Golden Gate Bridge- 233, after eating Primal for a year.

      Alone with the bicycle- 230, Primal for 2 years. That’s why getting hung up on the numbers is so frustrating. (OH MY GOD, I just posted my weight on the internet!)

      I am not freakishly tall (5’7″) but I am muscular under my padding, and have size 10 feet, and evidently…bones like a T-Rex. I sometimes wonder if I was meant to be taller, but stunted my growth with dieting, which is a cheerful thought.

      Lady Grok wrote on June 15th, 2012
      • Lovely story, I really enjoyed reading it and all the comments too. You are right, the numbers are rubbish! In the last photo with the bike you look much slimmer and really fantastic!

        I wouldn’t bother with Cross-fit if I were you. Try Pilates or yoga instead. Much better on the joints. Make sure you get a good teacher though, that can make all the difference.

        Sandra from NZ wrote on June 15th, 2012
      • Yet again, thank you for being so honest. Good for you! You DO NOT look like you weigh 230! The scale is very deceptive, and shouldn’t be the arbiter of our happiness or self-worth. I say this, and I try to follow this, but when I’m losing weight, I find myself overly concerned with the #s. While on PD, I was giddy to see the lbs falling away unbelievably fast, while having so much energy, sleeping well, etc.
        But then my gallbladder kicked back, and I had to ease up. I was so incredibly disappointed. I knew the weight loss couldn’t continue at that speed, but it wasn’t about that, I was feeling healthier. Soon, I will try again, but this time I will go slowly and allow my body time to adjust.
        Thank you for your kind words and support, too!
        By the way, I currently weigh 245. I know it’s not the same because my picture’s not out there, but I thought I’d try to show my support.
        Before I forget, I want to echo what many have said, continue writing, you have a knack for it!

        Lilygrl wrote on June 15th, 2012
      • I’m with you on the gall bladder – whenever I try paleo strictly the fat overwhelms my system. The best I’ve felt has included a transition with sprouted lentils included in one meal (breakfast = eggs, sprouted lentils, and raw sauerkraut). If I go with paleo the rest of the day (especially big salad with protein for lunch) I feel great and lose weight. Lentils/beans or 2 tsp ground psyllium seed husks apparently bind with toxic bile and get ushered out of the body as waste, rather than getting recycled back to the liver. I think paleo is ideal and hope to transition to strictly eating that way, but until my body purges all that internal bile I need to help it out a bit. Good luck on your journey – and I would absolutely read a column of yours:)

        Ingrid wrote on June 16th, 2012
      • “bones like a T-rex” awesome line! I’m gonna steal it!

        I’m 5’3″ and certainly don’t look like I weigh 163 (although I still look, and am, overweight). I just think of myself as a very dense blonde. :)

        I also think I was meant to be taller, although I think my growth was stunted by chronic emotional stress. There’s something about chronic stress that seems to encourage growth patterns to be shorter and thicker (wish I could find the link to the article that discussed that … ah well). I would imagine the metabolic damage from chronic stress in childhood is very bad and probably permanent, too, which is probably why no amount of proper diet and exercise can get some people to the point where they look good naked … especially women. Just gotta focus on the health.

        Thank you for having the courage to post your weight! It’s such a relief to see a healthy woman mention her weight and it’s not 120.

        Angel wrote on June 16th, 2012
  4. Most poignantly written article on the bedevillment of our lives by grains and sugars.

    Congratulations on a wonderfully written piece “-)

    Rose wrote on June 15th, 2012
  5. Very moving story. You have a way with words, I must say. I also relate to the whole “brain fog” thing and finally waking up in the morning BEFORE my alarm, alert and everything.
    Kudos on your remarkable success.

    Sophia wrote on June 15th, 2012
  6. I, too found that I could relate to your story. I was a very quiet person, too. I loved books, I had acne, I was a bit overweight, but I have always carried it well, so I escaped scrutiny on that front. Low energy, and almost constant gas were my own concerns.

    Now that I am primal, and feeling the greater energy and focus, I find myself wondering, how would my life be different if I hadlived primal all along? I got myself tested, I have a high IQ, I have the capacity, how far would I have gone? Then I realize that my past has made me who I am today.

    On the primal pregnancy front, there’s a nice group of ladies on the low-carber parenting and pregnacy forum. They are very supportive, offering encouragement and advice.

    SharonV wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • Actually, I still am a quiet person, but I am light years away from the anxious, painfully shy teen that I was.

      SharonV wrote on June 15th, 2012
  7. This was such a great post. I was engulfed in it from start to finish. Thank you for posting.

    Ashley wrote on June 15th, 2012
  8. The boyfriend, who has seen me go through four years of new diets and exercise programs to no avail, is skeptical of the no-grain, no-legume, lots-of-eggs-and-fish program, especially since we’d been vegetarian-to-vegan for years. I emailed him your post this morning and he called me after reading it and said oh, it’s like you could have written it. I think he’ll take me a little more seriously – your story helps me sound a little less hare-krishna-cultish and more like someone who had to figure out what conventional wisdom couldn’t. Thank you for putting your voice to our story.

    jennyfromtheblock wrote on June 15th, 2012
    • All these comments, mean so much. I know how you feel- people who have watched me do one thing, then another for years and years were initially skeptical. I am so glad I could help you communicate with your boyfriend. It’s hard to put it all into words sometimes.

      Lady Grok wrote on June 15th, 2012
  9. Thank you so much to everyone who has posted so far. I am doing my best to answer questions, and hope I answered most of the direct ones I found! If you’d like to PM me, I have my profile linked now.

    So many people have said such wonderful things. I wish I could go through and address you all individually, but don’t want to sound like a weirdo or a broken record. :) But I do want to take the opportunity to express how much I appreciate the time and thought you put into your comments, and all your compliments and well-wishes. These aren’t things I would typically say to myself, and hearing them from people who don’t know me IRL has been a much needed eye-opener for me. Thanks to you all for your kindness!

    Lady Grok wrote on June 15th, 2012
  10. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you do continue to write: you’re very compelling. But I may be biased as I related to your story closer than any other I’ve read. I was down the road from you in Bakersfield suffering most of the same things. I didn’t gain weight until puberty, but then bammo! And then WW camp and rice cakes. I’ve haven’t lost much weight after 1 1/2 years of paleo, but since I finally gave up cheese I’ve experienced clear nasal passages for the first time ever. And my body comp has definitely changed.

    Rella wrote on June 15th, 2012
  11. You go girl! Your write with such humour and candour. I loved reading your story. You are a true inspiration. Keep writing – you have a real talent and of course, stay Primal.
    Good Luck in your endeavours to fall pregnant.

    Sally from South Africa wrote on June 15th, 2012
  12. Wonderful, wonderful story…have fallen off the wagon over the last few days and this has reminded me why I started making changes in the first place!! Thank you for sharing and good luck xx

    Genevieve wrote on June 15th, 2012
  13. Wow, such a moving story, and so well-written (like others have said). So happy for you that you have discovered great health and happiness through TPB. Hope your dream of becoming a Mom fulfills itself :)

    Josephine wrote on June 16th, 2012
  14. I love that story great job congrats and welcome to the comunity

    borntobelean wrote on June 16th, 2012
  15. Like so many others, I was moved to laughter & tears by your story. Good on you for recognising the importance of looking after yourself & feeling healthy, and less emphasis on those numbers! I too am focusing on health, and feel fantastic and also found a love of lifting heavy things (thanks Amy – my trainer!).
    My daughter is fructose intolerant – I so wish I could bring her over from the dark side to paleo, I really feel it would benefit her too.
    Good luck with the babies and do keep writing – you have a talent for it.

    Hilly wrote on June 16th, 2012
    • Oh my goodness, she HAS TO. I have fructose malabsorption. Just a fairly mild case – I can tolerate the occasional tiny sliver of cooked fruit. My condition has improved incredibly since shunning wheat. I also have cholinergic urticaria, and the two conditions were feeding off each other because trying to digest things I lacked the enzymes for triggered a stress response and I was breaking out in hives daily. Since going primal-ish (still easing into it), I haven’t broken out in hives once.

      My skin has cleared up, I’m more alert, my hair is much shinier, and I have better muscle definition to boot.

      (And a shout out to all the other healthy big girls out there. I’m 5’9.5, between 175-180 and in the best shape of my life. Not even remotely fat, just sturdy. :))

      TangerineViking wrote on June 16th, 2012
  16. Ive never responded to one of these before but I wanted you to know how much it helped me. As a former overweight child I related to much of your story. For me, the Biggest point you brought to light was the fact that Primal works but takes time. It is hard to hear so many people talk about the ‘weight just falling off’ when you are working and fighting for every half pound. But, I believe the longer you ate a SAD the longer it could be until the weight loss kicks. I also have some bad days still but, my good days are so much better. Patience is not my strong suit but I do believe Primal will eventually get me where I want to be.

    Grokvamp wrote on June 16th, 2012
  17. I really enjoyed reading your story. I wasn’t an overweight child or teen but I always had allergy and sinus problems and chronic headaches and still do at 39. According to the allergist I’m not allergic to any food and my most potent reaction is to ragweed …. so why am I stuffy and itchy in the dead of Canadian winters? There is also no “medical” explanation to my constant, daily headaches. Like you, the weight has been increasing on my body. Your story has instilled in me the determination that I need to finally give up the grains and sugar.
    Thank you for sharing your story and giving me inspiration!

    Leanne wrote on June 16th, 2012
  18. Lady Grok — I’m a lifelong professional writer and I agree with those who said you’ve got it. You told your story not only lucidly, but with verve and style. I say GO FOR IT. You could easily write a lifestyle column.

    P.S., I too identify with spending childhood in a fog. I had both physical and “mental” problems — that I know know weren’t “mental” at all, except in the sense that it’s crazy to eat a diet that consists of total, processed, all-American CRAP.

    PrimeOfMyWrite wrote on June 16th, 2012
  19. Very inspiring story and beautifully told. Thank you for sharing it!!

    Wren wrote on June 16th, 2012
  20. Great story. Way to go.

    BW wrote on June 16th, 2012
  21. I wasn’t sure whether to stand up and cheer, or marvel how much your story sounds like mine. So I did both! 😀 You are a talented writer, that is for sure.

    I also coasted through childhood in a daze – and have “bad” sinuses. And rosacea. I discovered awhile back that low carb made my sinuses better – but didn’t at that time make the grain association. I was also unable to get pregnant during 4 years of my first marriage… sound familiar?

    I am tinkering in IF to try to get my weight loss going again – I lost 40 pounds but have another 40 to go – and have been stalled for months. The good news being, of course, that I do feel better and at least I’m not gaining. 😉

    I am aware that Crossfit is considered the Holy Grail of the Paleo community. And the next time Groupon offers a trial for it near my home, I will probably check it out. But I could not afford the rates to do it all the time. What I have found and want to get involved in is I just got the total system, thanks to a birthday gift card from my co-workers. And it would not bother your knees. 😉 Just a thought.

    Good luck! And if you have a blog or site you are writing to, please let us know!

    Suze wrote on June 16th, 2012
  22. just wow.

    you articulated so very well your struggles and successes. you should feel so happy and empowered.

    well done!

    noodletoy wrote on June 16th, 2012
  23. You go girl! Your story is written with such humour and candour – you write beautifully. You truly are an inspiration. Good luck in your quest to start a family. I hope it all works out for you.

    Sally from South Africa wrote on June 16th, 2012
  24. You’re very courageous to write so honestly. Thank you for sharing and continue to heal!

    Alissa wrote on June 16th, 2012
  25. There are many stories that can be related to your story but i really want to appreciate you because you have done a great job. It’s quite easy to say but really hard when it comes to act upon.
    Keep up with good spirit, health and wealth! :)

    Online Expert wrote on June 17th, 2012
  26. I totally started crying part way through your story. It’s like reading my own biography. I recently was diagnosed with allergies to gluten and eggs, and I also suspect lactose intolerance, as well (although that’s not an immune reactions). I’ve cut out all of it. I’ve already noticed some pretty miraculous improvements in not even 2 weeks. Still hoping the acne will begin to clear and the fertility will improve, as well. Thank you for sharing your story!!!

    Shantess wrote on June 17th, 2012
  27. Wonderful story – I’m just starting out on my pb journey and this was both inspiring and a great read!! I’ve never posted here before, but I had to this time!

    (And as others have said, your writing is wonderful!)

    Chris wrote on June 17th, 2012
  28. I can’t figure out the main point of your story; is it the wonders of the human body’s ability to repair itself if given a chance, the priceless fortune of having wonderful parents or the value of a true husband and mate? Sounds like all three to me. Owing to your superb story-telling skills we will now be awaiting your oficial’first book’. I would say you have done a pretty good job overall. Congratulations!

    mike#3 wrote on June 17th, 2012
  29. Fantastic writing! I loved reading every word. Also really needed it since I feel I can relate to so much of it. I have enjoyed some of the benefits of living primally–just not weight loss. So thanks for pointing out the bright side. And for pointing out that for some of us it will just take time.

    Julie wrote on June 18th, 2012
  30. Thanks for the such a great post. This is the success story of your weight lose. I am also the over weigh and i also want lose my weight. Now i will follow your tips and try to become as you body fitness.

    Health Niche wrote on June 18th, 2012
  31. Great article. For long-term weight loss, a person should get into the habit of taking a cold bath every day.
    This speeds up the metabolism (but don’t do it if you’re sick, pregnant, or obese.)

    Ron Liebermann wrote on June 18th, 2012
  32. You at school sounds like me at school. And my debilitating 2-3 a week migraines vanished when I went gluten free. And yes, I am strong and happy. Still ovewrweight, but much, much more healthy with it. As you said, it will take a lot of time – and I am undoing 40 years+ bad habits.

    Glad you posted, it is inspiring. I hope you hear the patter of little feet very, very soon. And I know you will feed them Primally!

    Odille Esmonde-Morgan wrote on June 18th, 2012
  33. Whoa… this is easily one of the best stories I’ve ever read. I wanted to cry as you were sharing your childhood, it just feels like such a shame. I’m so happy to hear that you can say those words, “I’m happy” – it’s a gift that not everyone receives!

    You have a great writing style, too! Your story was compelling and I felt like you were talking right to me. You have so much passion, and it’s wonderful to hear it coming through. Way to go. I’m sure all of your goals will be realized. This story rocks!

    Nick wrote on June 18th, 2012
  34. Thanks for sharing your story! Best of luck on your journey and new lifestyle!

    Melissa wrote on June 19th, 2012
  35. Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came
    to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and wonderful design and style.

    leadership wrote on June 20th, 2012
  36. I am really impressed with the success stories Mark has been posting. Many are not about the traditional weight loss or super hot body, but more importantly recovering health and happiness. I love that! It’s so refreshing. Keep up the good work Mark!

    Rachel wrote on June 20th, 2012
  37. I’m a writer too and as I was reading your fabulous post I thought “I’ve got to tell this girl she can REALLY write”. Looks like I was beaten by several thousand others! Brilliant story, beautifully written. I’m so glad you found your health and wish you well for the future.

    Claire wrote on June 21st, 2012

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