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November 16, 2012

I Will Never Go Back to the Broken Conventional Wisdom of My Past

By Guest
97 Comments

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Dear Mark,

I first heard about the Primal Blueprint from Slick Rick, the long haired, five fingered shoe wearing odd ball my cousin married. He had ditched grains four years before and never looked back, and was always dropping jokes about how he loved bacon. I thought he was crazy with his caveman talk and dismissed his low carb philosophy as one that didn’t fit into my modern diet.

You see, I took carb-a-holic to an extreme, consuming well past the 600 carb a day average of most Americans. I maintained a medium body size until I hit college, when I gradually began to pack on the pounds. By the time I was married at 28, I was overweight headed to obese, suffering from gastric reflux, fatigued, and unmotivated. The big blow came when my general practitioner diagnosed me with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) after several unsuccessful months of trying to get pregnant with an irregular cycle. I assumed this was some genetic curse (after all, that’s what every doctor I talked to told me) and started down the path of Metformin and fertility drugs. I felt miserable, the meds made me crazy, and I got fatter on my SAD. After two years of failure, we took a break. I hated the way I looked and felt now 60+ pounds overweight and still without a baby. I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer determined to at least feel good about my body. Following six months of cardio four days a week, light weight training, and a restricted diet of healthy whole grains and low fat tasteless foods, I had a pathetic 15 pound weight loss, raging appetite, and shin splints to show for it. By this time my husband and I had decided to adopt, and brought home our little boy in October of 2009. I had a renewed “healthy” outlook and was determined to feed our growing family the best balanced nutrition I knew. We had the food pyramid down pat. Our diet was filled with whole grains, lean meats, and processed carbs and over the next two years I continued to gradually gain another 20 pounds.

As 2012 approached, and I began to think about New Year’s resolutions, my mom decided to motivate me and my sister-in-laws with a little weight loss challenge. She set up a Facebook group for us and a few friends to help encourage each other along the journey, told us to pick our diet of choice, and rewards were set for each month’s weight loss percentage winner. Almost everyone but myself went with Weight Watchers. I just couldn’t do the same old failing plan again. My mind began to drift back to Slick Rick. Could he be right? Maybe he wasn’t so odd after all. His diet seemed to go against everything that didn’t work for me in the past. My gut (no pun intended) told me I was eating too many carbohydrates, so I decided to give it a try and devoured The Primal Blueprint in just two days. I don’t like to do anything halfway so I fully committed to change and ditched grains, potatoes, and sugar, and ate lots of meat, vegetables, and fruit. I kept a Primal journal for the first few weeks to help me get started. Immediately the weight started to melt off just as I had read that it would. I began walking a moderate amount because of the new energy I gained, and slowly worked up to sprinting once a week and body weight exercises. Within a month, my gastric reflux was gone and I could eat all kinds of Primal foods that had given me indigestion in the past when paired with grains. I never felt deprived, and noticed heightened taste awareness of foods that wouldn’t have appealed to me previously. I lost my cravings for sugar and carbs and the desire to consume the foods that had been making me fat for years. I found foods that I enjoyed just as much or even better than those that had gotten me in trouble on the scales. I regained my love for bacon! I started intermittent fasting a couple times a week and was surprised at my lack of hunger pangs. At last! I was a fat burning beast!

After six months I had lost over 50 pounds, had a regular cycle for the first time in my life, and won every one of our group’s monthly challenges. (I really think my sis-in-laws were ready to kill me!) Everyone noticed the positive difference and many friends and family decided to adopt the Primal lifestyle as a result. I even converted a few of the ladies at the blood donation center as they watched my weight drop along with my cholesterol and blood pressure. My Type 1 diabetic husband was skeptical at first, but after several months he joined me along with our two year old son, and the benefits to our family grew. My husband lowered his A1C, took half the amount of insulin he had taken previously, and lowered his body fat from 18% to under 10%. We committed to buying locally sourced organic produce and grass fed meat, started our own backyard garden, and even became urban chicken farmers so that we could have the freshest eggs to support our growing habit!

I’m now at a 65 pound weight loss and I’m confident I will reach my goal of 80 pounds by the New Year. I’m more active than I’ve ever been and I know I’m becoming the healthy mom my son deserves. In June we became foster parents, and I love that this is one way we can have a positive influence on the health of the kids that share our home. This new lifestyle has truly changed my perspective and I will never go back to the broken conventional wisdom of my past. Slick Rick has now become one of my biggest supporters and frequently emails me the latest paleo videos, blogs, and recipes…and I promised him the Five Finger shoes if I win!

Thanks, Mark!

Angela

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97 Comments on "I Will Never Go Back to the Broken Conventional Wisdom of My Past"

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Wayne
3 years 10 months ago

Congrats to you and your husband for losing so much weight. It is impressive that your husband got down below 10% body fat. I just got back down 9% body fat yesterday after a weekend of intense cheating on my diet. I started at over 20% body fat and have an ultimate goal of 7%. I hope to get there before Christmas.

Carol B
Carol B
3 years 10 months ago

Congratulations on your successes! You look so happy and healthy in your after picture. I love how your family came around when they saw your results, I am working on mine, but it’s slow going.
Way to rock the PB!

Theodora
Theodora
3 years 10 months ago

You look amazing !
Congratulations !

calahmae
calahmae
3 years 10 months ago

Congrats girl! You rocked it!

Primo Loco
Primo Loco
3 years 10 months ago

Congratualtions, you look great! Keep up the good work. And props to Slick Rick!

Aaron
3 years 10 months ago

Very impressive indeed, but you cheated. Your mom said to pick a diet … you chose to change your lifestyle 😉

Chica
Chica
3 years 10 months ago

Just have to tell you, Angela, that you were a very pretty girl before but Primal has worked its magic again, unveiling the stunner within! Congratulations!

So glad your crazy cousin-in-law Slick Rick was there as a model for you, and that you now serve as a model for so many others. That’s the way the word spreads…

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 10 months ago

Great going! Anyone else think of the rapper?

Flying Pig
Flying Pig
3 years 10 months ago

I did! Slick Rick, hehe, good old school memories. Well done Angela, do I recognise you from the forums?

Onge
Onge
3 years 10 months ago

yes I did 🙂

Tina
Tina
3 years 10 months ago

Flying Pig- are you from Cincinnati?

Vince
Vince
3 years 10 months ago

Cincinnati Grok culture is growing!

Violette
Violette
3 years 10 months ago

LOL, yes.

James
James
3 years 10 months ago

You look amazing. Great work. 🙂

John
John
3 years 10 months ago

Way to go Angela! You look fantastic.

Being urban chicken farmers is awesome.

Stacy
Stacy
3 years 10 months ago

Great job! You look fantastic!

Cindy
Cindy
3 years 10 months ago

I’m glad that you didn’t wait to post your success story until you had reached your final desired goal weight. Your weight loss to date is dramatic and you look wonderful. Loosing the cravings for carbs and sugar is a wonderful benefit of this lifestyle. (Would you have believed it before you experienced it personally?) Congratulations to you and your family.

Vollzeitvater
3 years 10 months ago

Great story, how about your two year old? Since my son, 19 month now, is eating normal, he is allowed to choose his food, he prefers primal all the time. He has got more energy than other kids, he is thin, but tall and he does chin-ups every day, much better than me. 😉

Angela
Angela
3 years 10 months ago

That’s awesome! The biggest change we’ve seen is in his behavior. He is much more focused and less tantrum prone while primal. The biggest challenge has been navigating preschool, birthdays, etc. where the norm is goldfish and saltines. Drives me batty!
He is definitely a healthy kid with LOTS of energy, though I’ve got to get him on some chin ups! I’m always encouraged by other primal parents. Thanks for sharing.

Bill C
Bill C
3 years 10 months ago

Chin-ups at 19 months!? Call me inexperienced in the ways of toddlers, but wow. That is going to be one fit kid.

Louisa
Louisa
3 years 10 months ago

Dear Angela: I look forward to reading the success story every Friday. I have to say that your story caused me to tear up. Your ‘before’ photo is of a beautiful lady, and your after photo is a stunning woman, who quite clearly exudes confidence and has such a presence. You should be very proud of yourself, and your husband for looking outside the box for a solution to a very personal challenge. Your story will provide mentorship and hope for numerous others. Way to go! /Lu

NJ Paleo
NJ Paleo
3 years 10 months ago

Angela, congratulations on changing your lifestyle for the better! Isn’t it amazing what this type of change can do for us?

Luke DePron
Luke DePron
3 years 10 months ago

Congrats Angela to both you and your husband. Very cool that you got the garden going and the chickens wish I could do that!

Meagan
3 years 10 months ago

THAT’S SO GREAT!!! YOU GO GIRL 😀

Jessica
Jessica
3 years 10 months ago

What a great story. You look beautiful! Congratulations!

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 years 10 months ago

Angela, I love your story–it’s one of my absolute favorite transformation stories. You look stunning in the after picture. Keep up the great work! You are a great example for your family.

Mark Cruden
Mark Cruden
3 years 10 months ago

Awesome job, Angela! Way to go 🙂 I’m going to forward your story to my two daughters who are both at university and struggling with their weight.

Just an FYI. I found taking L-Glutamine in my protein shake really helped me get past my sugar cravings of the not-too-distant past.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

einstein
einstein
3 years 10 months ago

Congrats! Stay slim, healthy and don’t let big pharma milk you like they do with the sick and unhappy ones.

Sol y Sombra
Sol y Sombra
3 years 10 months ago

Congratulations, Angela! Way to go!

By the way, I don’t know if you have planned this, but I am sure you can have a biological child now, if you give it a try. I hope you are blessed with a pregnancy and a child soon, if this is your wish! Good luck!

mars
mars
3 years 10 months ago

WOW awesome!!!! and thank you for being foster parents!

Angela
Angela
3 years 10 months ago

Wow! Thanks for all the encouraging comments! I am honored that Mark let me share my story as I have enjoyed reading those posted here every week. MDA has been a big resource for me. Just an update; shortly after writing this, I reached my 70lb weight loss goal and then got a big surprise…I’m pregnant! We are super thrilled and I know my Primal lifestyle is what got me here. Now I’m working on a primal pregnancy, something I never thought I’d get to experience!

Chica
Chica
3 years 10 months ago

Fabulous news! Congrats again and best of luck for your primal pregnancy!

It seems that so many young women I know have infertility problems or have had multiple miscarriages. And so many of them are eating CW/ vegetarian/ vegan “healthy” diets to try to get pregnant or bring their child to term. After reading many success stories like yours, I am utterly convinced that most of these women would be able to have a child within a year or two of going primal.

Oly
Oly
3 years 10 months ago

Chica — we’re witnessing Pottenger’s Cats on a nationwide scale.

em
em
3 years 10 months ago

I was near vegan, starting at age 15. Diagnosed with PCOS and put on metformin at 21, started trying to for a baby at 27, and started getting help at 28. On a fluke, I got pointed toward an acupuncturist who put me on WAPF, and five months later I conceived naturally and kinda accidentally (I was told to stop trying for a but while my body healed).

I am a firm, firm believer in animal fat. 😀

Doug D
Doug D
3 years 10 months ago

Considering that rats on a diet of GMO food became sterile within two generations. Colour me surprised that we’re having steriliy issues already. Coincidental link? I don’t think so.

Cheralyn
Cheralyn
3 years 10 months ago

That’s wonderful news, Angela! Your body was finally ready. I will be embarking on trying for baby #3 in January and it will be my first since going Primal. Keep up the great work!

Oly
Oly
3 years 10 months ago

Hi Angela — I was waiting to read you were pregnant — thanks for sharing in the comments 😀

Joy Beer
Joy Beer
3 years 10 months ago

Me, too! Me, too!

em
em
3 years 10 months ago

Congratulations! I was reading your whole story thinking “And then she got pregnant, right?”

Louise Forman
Louise Forman
3 years 10 months ago

What a wonderful ending to a great story! I have a young friend who gave up being vegetarian after not being able to conceive. She started eating meat and – lo and behold – she’s expecting a baby very soon! I find this aspect of nutrition to be quite fascinating.

Sol y Sombra
Sol y Sombra
3 years 10 months ago

Congratulations on your pregnancy! This is very, very good news! I hope you have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby! And best of luck!

Diana
Diana
3 years 10 months ago

You just brought tears to my eyes! Congratulations to you on so many levels.

Michael Maier
Michael Maier
3 years 10 months ago

Wow, Angela. Congratulations and God’s blessings be upon you and your family.

I wish more of my family would listen to me on the Primal front and ditch the crap they feed themselves and their families. I cringe to see the constant stream of carbs. My brain feels more focused when I do low-carb, I bet their kids’ brains would too.

Nadine
Nadine
3 years 9 months ago

Yay! Congrats on your pregnancy! So exciting 🙂

Sophie
Sophie
3 years 10 months ago

You’re positively glowing in your after-picture!Way to go!

Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
3 years 10 months ago

Thanks for sharing Angela. BTW, I have the same green sweater. Grok on!

edearl
edearl
3 years 10 months ago

I love the confidence exuded in “after” pictures here on MDA. Way to go Angela!

Madama Butterfry
Madama Butterfry
3 years 10 months ago

+1

Jeff F.
Jeff F.
3 years 10 months ago

Angela, you are a hero to your husband, your child, and to me. Unfortunately you are probably the object of envy of your sister-in-laws! You look great. Thanks again for sharing your story.

Grumpy Today
Grumpy Today
3 years 10 months ago
Thank you for this story. I have a bunch of gyn problems, including PCOS, and they have snuck up on me unexpectedly this month and are making my life unpleasant today. Primal definitely helps with said problems, although it doesn’t banish them completely for me. I read this story before heading out. I often use “gyn issue days” as my cheat days for the 20 of 80/20. Before reading this story I was seriously considering some Chinese take out and a huge chocolate bar. I was inspired though, since I have been doing really good on Primal lately, and chose… Read more »
em
em
3 years 10 months ago

Hang in there, and keep making the healthier choices. It all comes down to one decision at a time, day after day.

Heather
Heather
3 years 10 months ago

+1

Shelly
Shelly
3 years 10 months ago

Great Job! You look amazing…I am inspired every friday and look forward to these stories. Congratulations on your pregnancy…I was thinking while I was reading your story that you would find yourself pregnant before long and lo and behold you are!

wildgrok
wildgrok
3 years 10 months ago

Congratulations, I am passing this to everybody, thanks for posting!

Christie
Christie
3 years 10 months ago

Beautiful, Angela! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!

Sandy Azancot
Sandy Azancot
3 years 10 months ago

YOu look fantastic, but I know that feeling better is the best reward! Congrats!

Dave in NOR CAL
Dave in NOR CAL
3 years 10 months ago

Congrats on your success, you certainly look happy and attractive in the before photo, but wow, add ‘alluring’ for the after one! Great Job!

Kitty =^..^=
Kitty =^..^=
3 years 10 months ago

Wow, what an inspiring transformation; and congratulations on your pregnancy!!

Hilary M
Hilary M
3 years 10 months ago

Congratulations Angela, on your new found health AND your pregnancy! You look great, and have achieved multiple goals, and with just the healthiest of lifestyles to thank (and your crazy cousin-in-law). I certainly know a few people who I think could benefit this way if only they would “get it” too! Thanks for your story and best wishes for a healthy pregnancy.

Lorinko
Lorinko
3 years 10 months ago

I too have PCOS, and recently started Primal. Already my cycle is normalizing and I look amazing, 5’8 and 125 lbs after a lifetime of weight fluctuating between 140-160. I am a biologist, so when doctors told me at 18 that PCOS was genetic I knew they were wrong (how could a disease that causes infertility be genetic!?). A friend with PCOS started Primal 6 months ago and after years of trying to get pregnant, she is now 3 months pregnant and feeling great! I love this story. Thanks for sharing!!!

Ashley
Ashley
3 years 10 months ago

“how could a disease that causes infertility be genetic!”

AMEN TO THAT!

Pamela
Pamela
3 years 10 months ago

Wow! You are glowing with good health!

skeedaddy
skeedaddy
3 years 10 months ago

Couldn’t ask for a nicer outcome!

Jane
Jane
3 years 10 months ago

Congrats!! wonderful story. would love to see piccies of the whole family!

Victor Dorfman
3 years 10 months ago

Uhh…ROCKSTAR! You look great Angela! I’m very curious as to how Slick Rick presented primal info to you. I have a ‘Slick Rick’ in my family but he’s ultra pushy and just pisses people off and makes them want to eat a banana split just to spite him. How did you respond emotionally/psychologically to his bacon odes?

Angela
Angela
3 years 10 months ago
Thanks! Slick Rick was definitely not ultra pushy but he was unforgiving when he talked about his lifestyle. He patiently answered all my typical doubter questions and often sent me links to answers when he didn’t have them off the top of his head. I just dismissed him at first but the truth I couldn’t deny was that he was healthy and ripped without an insane workout regimin. I think most of our family thinks he’s a little crazy for his diet, but after seeing the results I’ve had and my support of it, they definitely are thinking twice.
The Crunchy Mama
The Crunchy Mama
3 years 10 months ago

Woo hoo! Congratulations! You look wonderful. I started at needing to lose 110 pounds. So far I’ve lost 12 lbs. I’ve been doing primal for 3 or 4 weeks now. You are an INSPIRATION 😉

Angela
Angela
3 years 10 months ago

Thanks! Keep it up and one day you’ll look back and be surprised how quickly time flew by! Stay motivated by your losses and let them propel you forward.

mdrake
mdrake
3 years 10 months ago

Beautiful skin! You really have a glow now.

Janknitz
Janknitz
3 years 10 months ago

Congratulations! Stay primal during the pregnancy, don’t let the doctors talk you out of it. It is safe. Look for Andreas Enefeldt’s interviews with Dr. Michael Fox if your resolve waivers–he’s a reproductive endocrinologist who uses low carb diets in particular to help his patients with PCOS conceive and carry healthy term pregnancies. It’s the BEST thing you can do for your baby.

Angela
Angela
3 years 10 months ago

Thanks for the encouragement and the leads. I am familiar with Dr. Fox but not with these particular interviews.

Casey
Casey
3 years 10 months ago

Wow! You are really kicking butt on this weight loss effort. You look gorgeous! And good on you for adopting and taking in foster children.

Doug D
Doug D
3 years 10 months ago

You look like a completely different woman. So happy, vibrant, fresh and ALIVE. And look at those FABULOUS curves! *wolf whistle* Well done! You and your family stand to continue reaping the benefits of your new found health! Keep it up.

Patrick
3 years 10 months ago

Just impressive…nothing else I can say. Imagine the pride your husband has for you!

Goo
Goo
3 years 10 months ago

You are gorgeous! Well done 🙂

LisaLisa
LisaLisa
3 years 10 months ago

Congrats…your story is inspiring!

Amy
Amy
3 years 10 months ago

Congrats! So awesome!

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