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

I Wish I Could Shout It from the Rooftops!

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,

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

I seriously cannot thank you enough for putting the information about the Primal Blueprint on your website, Mark’s Daily Apple. You have changed my life! I am a different person than I was months ago.

My story started shortly after my sixth week post-partum appointment after the birth of my daughter in June 2011. I weighed 165 lbs. My doctor was pleased to see that I lost about 20 lbs of my pregnancy weight. I, on the other hand, was in shock. Now, this was my second baby in the past two years but I had never weighed that much when not pregnant. I discussed it with my husband and he thought that it was a good time for himself to lose some weight as well. However, since I was breastfeeding, I was terrified to start any kind of diet.

In July 2011, my husband started telling me about this “Primal Blueprint Diet.” I really wasn’t that interested and all I could think was “What, No Pasta?! I can’t do that!” Slowly, he worked me down and I decided that I could try anything for 3 weeks. Of course, I would monitor my daughter’s growth progress to ensure that she was getting enough milk. Shortly after deciding that we give it a try, hurricane Irene blew through (early August 2011) and we lost power for several days. We ended up eating everything that we had in the house. It was then that we decided that we would not replace what was not on the diet. We were going to give this a shot.

Now, originally, I was doing this to support my husband, I really didn’t expect that it would change me. Oh, was I wrong! You convinced one of the biggest critics on low carb diets, an Italian who loves her pasta. About a week into the diet, after the low carb flu had passed, I felt absolutely amazing. I had more energy, my thoughts were clear, my emotions were stable, and I was happy. I was even sleeping better! My milk supply never dwindled because of the diet. My digestion was simple, no heartburn, no stomach aches, no indigestion, everything was running like clockwork. I wasn’t craving sweets, fast food, junk food, and even pasta. I didn’t want pasta!

As for some background, as a child, I was diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycemia. I was told that I had to eat every 2 hrs to maintain blood sugar levels. I would force myself to eat when not hungry (often packaged foods) and wake up sick, so sick, every morning. I would be incredibly nauseated and have severe cramps in my legs; every morning was a battle. Then, when my blood sugar would drop because I did not eat, I would get very sick with cold sweats, nausea,  confused thoughts, sharp temper, etc. This problem… is now gone. I haven’t had a single incident while on the diet. My life is completely different.

I think this is what surprised me the most; that it not only had a physical effect on me but also an emotional and cognitive one. When I started noticing these changes, I knew that this was the right lifestyle for me and it became a journey. I will never go back to the way I ate in the “old days.”

For those who need to see the numbers, I am 5’ 4” and in early August 2011 I was approximately 165 lbs and wearing a pant size 12. Today, I weighed myself for the first time in 30 days, I weighed 118 lbs and now wear a size 4. My weight leveled out about 2 months ago. I have been working on maintaining a healthy weight and eating fresh organic food. I cook every meal at home and on the few occasions when my husband and I do go out to eat, we are the biggest food critics! We can now tell when something has been pre-packaged or covered in salt! This year, I have a huge vegetable garden and I look forward to working it daily and eating the food that I grow; nothing more fresh. Chickens may be next on my list!

When I bump into people who I haven’t seen in awhile, they are shocked at the difference. They ask me what I am doing and I direct them to your website. I have convinced several people to try it and when they find out that they love it, they share the word; so it’s spreading.

Thank you for changing my life and changing the life of my husband, my children, my best friend, and other family members, friends… and everyone who they touch. It’s spreading because it works and it’s fabulous! I wish I could shout it from the rooftops!

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. You look fabulous and your smile says it all- congratulations!! I am currently eyeing my very small back yard to see where I can plant a vegetable garden- how hard can it be, right?!?

    spincycle wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • I have a small backyard, too, and all you need is a small plot. You can get tomato cages and make things grow up instead of out. I did this with homegrown zuchinni and had a great harvest.

      Lynne wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • Small backyards are not really a problem.

        It is yards with NO sunlight to speak of, except that patch down by the road that gets car exhaust.

        Actually, I do have a couple of spots to plant that get sun and don’t get car exhumations. Not enough for good crop rotation, but enough for a few things here and there. I am going to try hanging potatoes this year.

        Of Goats and Greens wrote on April 7th, 2012
    • It’s easy and totally worth it!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • You dropped a quarter on the floor.

        Ricardo wrote on April 9th, 2012
    • There’s been several discussions here on MDA about Square Foot Gardening – using raised planter beds (usually 4′ x 4′ square) for optimal results. Google Mel Bartholomew and/or Square Foot Gardener. It’s a great way to garden whether you have a small area or even a larger one.

      PrimalGrandma wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • I’ve been using Mel’s square foot gardening principles for the past 3 years with wonderful results. There is a great section in his book addressing growing things vertically! Good luck!

        Elsa wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • Yes! The square foot garden book is a fantastic way to get into gardening. There are also so many creative (and cheap) ways you can garden with containers – the possibilities are endless. You can grow tomato plants upside down (turning them into a hanging plant) – we did this at our old apartment.

        Casey wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • Another Sq Ft gardener here to add my recommendation, too. And, you can put a small container almost anywhere. Right now I have a smallish flowerbox (about 8″ x 16″) sitting right by my back doorstep with spinach, chard and 2 types of lettuces in it.

        Jessica, you look FAB! So glad your husband “worked” on you until you tried the PB!

        Helen wrote on April 6th, 2012
        • Thanks! I love seeing all these comments about square foot gardening since I use square foot gardening as well. However, I don’t follow it word for word, I made some changes that work well for me. I do have 6 4’x4′ beds… as well as several other longer beds, and asparagus in the ground, etc etc. Did I mention that I like to garden? lol!!

          Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • has some interesting solutions for maximizing growing space for those who do not have large plots of land. I plan to start a barrel garden this summer.

      Augustus van Dusen wrote on April 9th, 2012
  2. Congrats!
    All good, all fit and all happy people! 😀

    Paul Alexander wrote on April 6th, 2012
  3. Wow you lost close to 50lbs FAST! You look stunning! Very nice waist

    Gayle wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • :) Thank you! I’ trying!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • You look great! I have issues with hypoglycemia myself, and when I stick to Primal it stays nicely under control.

        Other Kate wrote on April 9th, 2012
  4. Jessica, you totally stole my success story headline! I feel the same way. You look incredible and I’m sure you feel the same. Not to mention the fact that you look 19 again!

    You are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Jenn wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Thank you so much! I am glad you feel the same way! It’s so nice to hear encouragement from so many people!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  5. Woohoo!

    sayhien wrote on April 6th, 2012
  6. I love it! Great job with all the changes – I know how tough it can be to alter your lifestyle with little ones taking most of your time and attention. :)

    Crunchy Pickle wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Oh yes, it took effort!! But, when I saw results, it was completely worth it to me.

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • This is key, and a key difference between reducing carbs – especially grains, esp. wheat – and conventional dieting.

        Willpower is a depletable resource. When you actually get results, it engages the dopamine-reward system, which replenishes that willpower.

        Jeffrey of Troy wrote on April 6th, 2012
  7. Great story :)

    I started in January 2012 with 232lbs. Now I’m 204lbs… Thanks, Mark. :)

    Rob wrote on April 6th, 2012
  8. What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I could not believe the difference in the photos from the beach and then the newest one. You look at least 10 years younger, and nothing like your former self. Great job, and thanks again for the inspiration. As you said, it’s true! When you go out to eat, you can tell right away the difference in salt soaked foods, or packaged foods. They taste awful now!

    Lynne wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Yes! Even only been Primal for 5 weeks, I notice a huge difference and I can’t even think about going back. Yuck.

      Jenn wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Oh yes! Isn’t funny? My husband and I just don’t enjoy going out to eat anymore! lol!! But, it keeps us on the die tbecause when I cook at home… I cook food on the diet.

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  9. Congrats, Jessica! Your story is inspiring! Sharing.

    Maryann wrote on April 6th, 2012
  10. I was wondering how your husband is doing with his weight loss? Great job though! Your story makes one wonder if your Reactive Hypoglycemia, and other medical issues aren’t caused by diet in the first place. It points back to how our medical community, on the whole, avoids pointing to the diet when it comes to what causes our health to degrade.

    Guy wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • I definitely think that Reactive Hypoglycemia is a diet related illness. I wish I had this knowledge years ago! My husband is doing great. He’s lost a little over 20lbs and has dropped a couple pant sizes. I think he looks great! :) When he is ready, maybe he will send in his own story!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • You do look great, I think I need a hurricane to come empty my cupboards. I eat/live primally maybe 80% of the time but I know if I want to see and feel results like you have it needs to be more (i do feel the difference when I eat well) I only eat the bad stuff when I tired and bored or my partners cooking. He is a critic like you were and eats lots of carbs, cookies, coke zero! Itwould be so good for both if I could get him to see the “light”. any tips?

        victoria wrote on June 14th, 2012
  11. Amazing transformation and looking incredible in those skinny jeans (genes?!)

    Sian wrote on April 6th, 2012
  12. Shout away!! So proud of you. :)

    Kim wrote on April 6th, 2012
  13. Woot!! My journey is similar–I started really digging into nutrition information when I had baby weight to lose.

    Way to show us all how it’s done!

    Anne wrote on April 6th, 2012
  14. Do you count calories? What type of exercise have you incorporated, if any, into your new Primal lifestyle? And, finally, do you eat the “Paleo sweets” such as Paleo muffins, cookies etc. that you can easily find recipes to on the web?

    Pam wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • I never ever counted calories, too much work with two babies around!! I ate what was on the diet and occasionally ate Paleo/Primal sweets. My exercising consists of nursing a baby, gardening, chasing a 2yr boy, and evening walks with my family. My goal is to add in some weight lifting and yoga in the near future now that the baby is a little older.

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • That is exercise! I use my toddler to do weight lifting – she doesn’t know I’m exercising though, she thinks we’re playing.
        Great job! I made the mistake of losing my baby weight with Weight Watchers and wound up gaining it all back, so it’s coming off very slowly now that I’m paleo. Whatever, I’ll get there!

        Casey wrote on April 6th, 2012
        • I use my kids as weights too LOL!! You will get there!!!

          Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • Amazing Job, girl! :) About calories– I am currently not counting either, but not really seeing results (although I do only have 10-15 to lose, so might be slower going). I’m worried I just tend to eat too much even if it is all Paleo! How did you gauge that? Just ate when hungry, stopped when nearing full? Did you snack, or stick to 3 meals/day? I’d appreciate the input. Thanks, and again, awesome job!

        Raqui wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • Tried posting and now can’t see it. Sorry if it appears twice!

        First of all, AMAZING work! Secondly, was just wondering- with not counting calories and still seeing great results, how did you gauge how much you were eating? Simply eating when hungry, stopping when not? Did you snack or stick to 3 meals/day? I’m just asking because Im not seeing such results (although I have only 10 or so to lose) and feel it is probably because I am still consuming too much, even though its primal.

        Any suggestions for this? Thanks a bunch!

        Rachel wrote on April 6th, 2012
  15. Wow! Congratulations! You look fantastic! You will be (and currently are, I’m sure) an inspiration for many!

    Jeanne Goddard wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Thank you!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  16. Awesome story and well done!

    Arijit wrote on April 6th, 2012
  17. Wow! The transformation you have gone through is so incredibly noticeable.

    As dean would say… you made shift happen!

    Point as many people as you can to MDA. Just don’t force them! This is a challenge…

    Primal Toad wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Can anyone suggest methods they used to convince people try primal that were successful?

      Marcy wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • Rob Wolf just wrote about this the other day. I have found leading by example and going for – just try it for 30 days – seems to work.

        Jay wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • Lead by example.

        The desire for personal change must come within.

        liberty1776 wrote on April 6th, 2012
        • I agree, I feel like I am a walking advertisement. When people see me, they ask what I’ve done and I tell them. I’ve converted many people… lol! Just converted another yesterday!

          Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • I have found telling them what I eat vs what I don’t. I’ve also given them the book to read themselves. That seems to work the best. Let the person explore the science on his/her own! And of course, be an example for them!

        Sherriemar wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • I definitely suggest that people skulk around here. That’s what happened to me… I lurked around MDA for a couple months, then got the PB book from the library, and finally decided to give Primal a go in December.

        I also tell people that cutting out grains cleared up my eczema, and happens to have other great side effects (although maybe that’s cowardice on my part… telling people I try to eat like our grokking ancestors makes me feel like a crazy person.)

        ajt wrote on April 6th, 2012
        • I agree. I spent weeks lurking here before eventually trying stuff halfheartedly. Then I quit but kept lurking. Then eventually I jumped into it and have been seeing immediate results. It’s a momentum thing. MDA is kind of like a magnet that leads you in the right direction. :)

          Lurker wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Thank you!! :)
      Oh, of course, I can’t force people to try it. The person has to want to do it since this is a lifestyle change, not just a diet. However, I find that they are more willing to take that leap if they know someone who has had results… and someone that they can talk to about it.

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  18. I just can’t get over how amazing the results of the Primal/Paleo diet are. Congratulations!

    Nick S. wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Jeremy, yes it is science. You could use both inductive and deductive reasoning, using the success stories in these blogs in conjunction with what you find in “The Primal Blueprint.” There, you can find many peer-reviewed studies that may satisfy your scientific appetite. Based on your comments thus far, you have yet to do this. BTW, you are trolling on this blog that contains regular comments (in favor of the Primal Lifestyle) made by many MDs, NDs, Dietitians, and many others in the health field whom regularly monitor blood panels, study relentlessly, and even *gasp* temporarily go against the conventional wisdom/religion in order to help blaze a scientific path to true health. My suggestion to you is to lighten up on us “common-folk”, find some of these scientists and medical professionals, and converse with them.

      sixMidgets wrote on April 16th, 2012
  19. Congratulations! I, too, only became interested in my weight when carrying 30 extra pounds post-pregnancy. You look great and I’m so happy to hear how you’re evolving – homesteading! :-)

    Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo wrote on April 6th, 2012
  20. An inspiration to us all!

    Ken wrote on April 6th, 2012
  21. What a great story and a great success! I wish I had found Mark’s Daily Apple six weeks post partum, lol! I was instead directed to Jillian Michaels DVD’s. While the exercise helped take off weight I did have issues with milk production and was frustrated about not being able to balance my health and baby’s health. Congratulations on your courageous move to a healthier way of life for you and your family and friends too! Very inspiring, indeed :-) The best way to spread the word is to be a shining example, and you certainly are :-)

    yoolieboolie wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Thank you!! I would have never of known about Primal if my husband didn’t tell me. Even then I was doubtful!! :) I hope it goes well for you!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  22. Amazing!Living Primal has so many benefits. You are a wonderful example of how it works and keeps working through your joy of a healthy body and family. I know you will enjoy that garden this summer. Bravo!!!!

    Tanya wrote on April 6th, 2012
  23. Wow, you look great! Congrats!

    George wrote on April 6th, 2012
  24. I too am 5’4″ and 160 lbs. Your story has inspired me to get that weight off! Way to go!

    Jennifer wrote on April 6th, 2012
  25. Congratulations. You now look like the younger, trendier sister of the beach lady!

    Sian wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • I will be spending LOTS of time this summer at the beach… in a bikini! lol!!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Lol, how true!

      spincycle wrote on April 6th, 2012
  26. Thank you for all the encouragement and positive feedback!

    Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  27. that is look incredible.keep spreading the good word.

    mike wrote on April 6th, 2012
  28. Wow, you look amazing, and you sound like you feel amazing! Way to go!

    Nicole wrote on April 6th, 2012
  29. Way to go! You are an inspiration!

    Brett wrote on April 6th, 2012
  30. Good for you!!! Now we have to convince the rest of the US to make healthier choices.

    K C wrote on April 6th, 2012
  31. Hey Jessica,
    Great story! You really do look fantastic. I was just curious, do you guys only eat grass-fed beef? Or do you sometimes, most of the time, eat whatever lean cuts of meat they have at the grocery store? thanks.

    Heidi wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Hmm, well, we buy the best that we can. We live in the middle of nowhere so we don’t have like a Wholefoods close by. We try to buy local grass-fed meat as much as we can from local farmers. My husband’s family also raises cows and pigs so we have been grateful to get some of that meat as well.

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  32. What about your husband, how’s he doing? (I’d like to see an after pic of him, too!)

    dragonmamma wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • He is working on his success story! He’s lost a little over 20lbs himself and dropped a few pant sizes. Maybe when he is ready his send in his. :) He says I am in an inspiration to him!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  33. You look great! And I bet you feel even better! Our stories are so similar-I too started because my husband wanted to try it, and I too had amazing results! I also had baby weight to lose after having twin boys. We are in our mid-30s and we both look like we did in college, and feel even better! I also have converted many people, and I think they really believe in it when they see how glowing and healthy we are. Been primal a year and never going back. Even the boys are mini-cavemen and are doing great! Congrats to you and your family!

    Noelle wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • That’s awesome! Keep it up! My son isn’t 100% primal yet but I plan to get him there, it’s a work in progress!

      Jessica wrote on April 6th, 2012
  34. Fantastic!!!!!really well done!love readin stories like yours,mainly because I discovered Mark an Primal Blueprint through a very good friend in work,johnny mccamley,to him and mark I owe a great deal.on the 4thjan this year I weighed approx 18 and half stone(260 pound) though I am jst over 6″1 an big build anyhow,but now I am 14stone(195pound) an the difference is phenomenal!still got a bit to go,about another 1 an half stone!lovin my primal life an shall be primal till I die! Good luck an good health to you and congrats again!!

    Big Al wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • 65 pounds in 3 months??!??

      oxide wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • No, that is more like 47 pounds over 7 months. Amazing, and much safer to lose it at that rate.

        Philmont Scott wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • not 3 months, Aug 2011, thats 8 months….right?

        rwoo wrote on April 6th, 2012
  35. Very inspiring success story…Congratulations Jessica!

    primal gigi wrote on April 6th, 2012
  36. Way to go Mama!! I just live hearig stories of Mom’s going Primal!! So happy for you!! What a gift you are giving your kids!

    Joanne - The Real Food Mama wrote on April 6th, 2012
  37. Love it! Another inspiring Friday success story to head us into the weekend on an high note. Now to avoid all those chocolate bunnies…

    Linda wrote on April 6th, 2012
  38. Wow, wow, wow! A wonderful story and how great it is to hear of another person’s whose life has been changed with MDA, and who feels as fabulous as she looks! Way to go!

    Tina wrote on April 6th, 2012
  39. Wonderful story Jessica! I wish my weight were coming off a little more quickly but I suspect that years and years of yo-yo dieting on my part make my body more resistant. Good for you for working at getting your kids primal – I keep saying I wish I’d known about this when my kids were very little, it’s much more challenging once they are school-age. Congrats – enjoy those bikinis!!!

    PrimalSue wrote on April 6th, 2012

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