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Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
16 Nov

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

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!

real life stories stories 1 2Dear 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!

beforeandafter

Thanks, Mark!

Angela

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. 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?

    Victor Dorfman wrote on November 16th, 2012
    • 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.

      Angela wrote on November 17th, 2012
  2. 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 ;)

    The Crunchy Mama wrote on November 16th, 2012
    • 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.

      Angela wrote on November 17th, 2012
  3. Beautiful skin! You really have a glow now.

    mdrake wrote on November 16th, 2012
  4. 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.

    Janknitz wrote on November 16th, 2012
    • Thanks for the encouragement and the leads. I am familiar with Dr. Fox but not with these particular interviews.

      Angela wrote on November 17th, 2012
  5. 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.

    Casey wrote on November 16th, 2012
  6. 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.

    Doug D wrote on November 16th, 2012
  7. Just impressive…nothing else I can say. Imagine the pride your husband has for you!

    Patrick wrote on November 16th, 2012
  8. You are gorgeous! Well done :)

    Goo wrote on November 16th, 2012
  9. Congrats…your story is inspiring!

    LisaLisa wrote on November 16th, 2012
  10. Congrats! So awesome!

    Amy wrote on November 16th, 2012
  11. Hi all – I’m going to post in the forum, too, but does anyone have a suggestion for the vegan blues?

    Somehow I’ve surrounded myself with amazing, funny, intelligent women — who have gone vegan one within the last year or two. I also have a friend who suffers from chronic cardio on top of doing a pseudo veganism.

    I’m old enough to know that talking won’t do much good. They are convinced how healthy they are despite some starling evidence to the contrary. I cringe when I hear about the constant cold type illnesses and the weight gain issues. It’s so frustrating. I know what’s going on (including the biochemistry) but I’m powerless to prevent this self inflicted suffering.

    And yeah, I know I’m taking this too seriously but it’s still bumming me out. Any thoughts on how to counter the vegan blues?

    Amy

    Amy wrote on November 16th, 2012
    • Nothing you can do :\ Just live your life, set a wonderful example! And don’t waste your energy trying to save people who don’t want to learn!

      Ashley wrote on November 16th, 2012
      • Let them see from your own results that PB works. If they ask questions – send them a link to MDA and let the message speak for itself.

        Otherwise, just Grok On! :)

        Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on December 26th, 2013
  12. Congratulations on your amazing weightloss and Now your Pregnancy! I shed a little tear of joy when i read your follow up comment announcing your pregnancy – all the best for you and your family XX

    Rebecca wrote on November 16th, 2012
  13. Way to go! here is a great real life story about raising kids on paleo from birth: http://www.drjaywortman.com/blog/wordpress/2012/08

    Third Chimp wrote on November 16th, 2012
  14. Good job! It’s inspiring to see folks going through the same thing many of us do, and making the tough changes to improve our lives. However, the changes don’t seem so tough after you make them for a while…. and they’re well worth the effort. You look amazing, and more importantly, your new baby will have the background to live a wholly healthful life.

    Mango wrote on November 16th, 2012
  15. Congrats. A very motivating and emotional story.

    Ronk wrote on November 16th, 2012
  16. Way to go! You really look like a whole new person. The person you’re intended you to be. That’s what’s so great about these stories, you don’t even have to read them (although I do). The pictures tell the story, all of it. In the before pictures we always see someone, yearning for happiness, a vibrant life, a love for life, and just not quite getting what they’re after; we see someone suffering. And this is what you see if you look closely at any heavy person in the general public eating SAD. They are everywhere, and they are all in pain. It’s terrible. The after pictures always show a better, happier person, someone who is getting what they want out of life, and Angela’s pictures are a perfect example. It’s amazing. Angela, Thanks for your story. You look wonderful.

    Chris R wrote on November 17th, 2012
  17. Congratulations Angela!!! Welcome to the expanding Grok family. You look GREAT!

    Paul Grosenstein wrote on November 17th, 2012
  18. SO awesome to hear of your success! Great news.

    lanz wrote on November 17th, 2012
  19. Wow- Just sat down to catch up on my MDA and read your article– very impressive and thanks for inspiring me to Grok On!

    Rev. Dave Deppisch wrote on November 17th, 2012
  20. Oh wow, you’re so beautiful! It’s great that you and your family feel so much better now. You look like a very friendly person and I hope you’ll continue to feel this great!

    Anna wrote on November 18th, 2012
  21. Congratulations on transforming your life and that of those in your family. I love that you are sharing this lifestyle with the wonderful foster children who have entered your world… What a gift! Tell Slick Rick we’d like to hear his story, too!

    Southeast.modiste wrote on November 18th, 2012
  22. INSPIRATION! Kudos!

    Doug wrote on November 18th, 2012
  23. Angela,
    You look absolutely amazing, what a transformation. :) Congratulations on taking control of your life and regaining your love for bacon

    Brianna H wrote on November 18th, 2012
  24. Hey, well done. As someone else said, you looked good before, and you’re obviously a good person, but you look great now, but the most important thing is that you feel good now, and better about yourself and you’re out there now on the road to a long and healthy lifestyle. Great commitment – adoption and chickens! I’m one of the rare UK adopters of this lifestyle, no-one over here knows about this. I was never that heavy, so it’s a way fo life for me, but me and my wife love the freedom of it!

    Paul Williams wrote on November 19th, 2012
  25. I would like to know more about your husband’s success. My son was diagnosed as type 1 diabetic only a week ago. Hospital food was 90% carbs and his BG was still high. We were discharged 2 days ago and I immediately started the whole family on a paleo diet. Already his BG has decreased, but I would like to know what to expect in the future. Thanks.

    Lisa wrote on November 29th, 2012
    • From my husbands experience, it has overall helped him to regulate his BG. The less grain carbs you eat, the less BG spikes, the less insulin you take…which means less calculating and less margin for error. He lost weight when he started eating Paleo and had to adjust his insulin intake but if your son’s starting from the beginning that shouldn’t be a problem. Being first diagnosed, your son has probably seen a dietician or will soon. My husbands experience was they told him he needed 300-400 carbs a day and you obviously don’t. Remember that there are still a lot of “professionals” that follow conventional wisdom. In the end, my husbands Dr. couldn’t argue the results he has had with a LCHF lifestyle and told him to keep it up!

      Angela wrote on December 4th, 2012

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