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

Ignoring the Naysayers

Camzin is from South Africa. When she moved to America, the Standard American Diet greeted her with open arms. Today I get to share with you her journey to overcome flawed conventional wisdom, the world of carbs, and the naysayers.

If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the community please contact me here. Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone, and thanks for reading!

Dear Mark,

My story begins when I stopped doing gymnastics as a teenager. I had practiced 20-40 hours a week for three years as a gymnast before my family and I moved to America. When we moved here there was no gymnastics facility around and we settled into an American diet of large portions and lots of carbs. I found gym workouts boring and tiresome, and consequently my activity levels also declined. I steadily gained weight over the next four years.

When I was getting ready to return to South Africa last December to visit my family, I started working out six days a week and counting calories to try and lose some weight. In the “before” pictures I had already lost around five pounds, a feat that took me three months to do. At my peak, I weighed 185 lbs. I couldn’t go for a leisurely walk without getting out of breath, which was scary since I used to be able to do six hours of gymnastics practice and have energy afterward. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t regain my original level of fitness but was able to eek my weight down to 170 lbs.

This was my increasingly depressing and frustrating story until August of this year. A friend of mine told me about Primal and I laughed at her, saying I could never do it (I used to choose restaurants based on the complimentary dinner bread they provided). But after seeing the changes that started in her I decided to “try” Primal at the end of August. When I told people about the journey I was about to embark on I received a lot of negative feedback. I was told that I was joining a cult, that this was B.S., and that I should consult a dietitian before I cut out things like processed foods. Fortunately, I ignored the naysayers and I lost about 10 lbs my first month and felt better than I had in years. I was hooked.

I then bought the cookbook and got cooking. My brother went Primal with me in September and my parents in late November. I included before and after pictures for my whole family for this reason, they are already starting to look better even after a few weeks.

Primal blew me away. When I started counting calories my goals was to get down to a size 4 (from an 8), 155 lbs (from 185), and to be a size medium. I remained a size 8, got to 175, and remained a large on this method. Since being Primal I am now a size 0 (which is loosening by the day), I weigh 135 (a full 20 lbs lower than I could have ever imagined), and I am a small or extra small in all of my clothing. My skin has cleared up and I have so much more energy now. So much so that I actually feel the urge to exercise and I find exercise fun.

I once again practice gymnastics and have the energy to hike, run, play, and frolic. This is the first winter where I have not gotten sick as well. I know that my journey has not been as drastic as some of the other success stories on here, but I am just so grateful and impressed with the amazing life I now enjoy. I cannot begin to thank Primal enough for the transformation it has caused in my life. Thank you so much. A special thanks to Anders (who submitted “Bringing Home the Bacon“) and Emma for recommending this to me. Grok on!

– Camzin M

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. Inspirational..! Grok On Camzen.!!

    Resurgent wrote on December 30th, 2010
  2. Wow, what an amazing transformation! You can tell the smile is no longer forced :)

    Carl wrote on December 30th, 2010
  3. What a transformation! I find it funny about the “conventional” wisdom. “Check with a dietician before dropping processed food.” In my experience, you’d be better checking with a plumber, because at LEAST he/she would admit they did not know, opposed to a little knowledge.
    Congrats on your journey. You look amazing! Keep it up!

    Jason Sandeman wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • Yeah, that particular sentence made me laugh hard. Who on earth would believe it could be dangerous to cut out processed food?… however did we survive before factories started stamping out food pellets for us? Heh!

      Jenny wrote on December 30th, 2010
      • You mean like the high fructose corn syrup commercials that say how good it is for you? LOL.

        Jill wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • That dietician’s other job must be with Monsanto.

      Pete H wrote on December 31st, 2010
      • Yeah Monsanto… that ominously silent but huge company that’s ruining the planet and trying to shove GMOs down our throats.

        The primal lifestyle is great but anyone else notice that as time goes on, as we become further and further removed from nature it becomes harder and harder to eat like Grok? It was bad enough that conventional produce was nutritionally depleted, now we have to contend with these anomalous GMOs on the market and who knows what they do to humans. Monsanto sure doesn’t want to know, they only care about $$$.

        If we can all help achieve one thing, let’s make Monsanto broke, send them to Hell where they can grow all the GMOs they want, Satan wouldn’t mind, just not on my planet.

        Matt wrote on December 31st, 2010
        • Let’s not forget the millions in subsidies the U.S. government pays them. You think they’d be so powerful with the massive wealth transfer?

          zoltan wrote on January 7th, 2011
  4. Camzin!!! Fabulous! AND how fabulous that you shared your new finds with your family. I love that when families jump on board because they get to share a long, healthy, happy life WITH us. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! Cheers to meet, fruit, and veggies!

    Lauren wrote on December 30th, 2010
  5. Outstanding! Congratulations to you and your family. For all the naysayers, and to modify an old adage:The proof is in the primal.

    Digby wrote on December 30th, 2010
  6. What a moving story! I can tell by your words that you are happier as well as healthier. Congrats!!

    Cole wrote on December 30th, 2010
  7. Brilliant stuff Camzin. Very motivational.

    Jeremy McMinn wrote on December 30th, 2010
  8. Congratulations! Keep up the great work…….what do your friends say now?

    Ray wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • Funnily enough they don’t have anything to say. I take their silence as an admission of my success 😉

      Camzin wrote on January 10th, 2011
  9. congratulations !!! you have done awesome !!! very inspirational .

    Jason Young wrote on December 30th, 2010
  10. Awesome job! Now, can I have your brother’s number???

    Anne wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • Only if i get her number too…

      Shawn ;) wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • He is pretty cute lol

      Nikki wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • He is definitely a hottie! But so is she now! Well done to all of you. This is so inspirational. 😀

      Vee wrote on December 31st, 2010
      • @ Nikki, Shawn, Anne, and Vee, I think that you just made our day.

        Camzin wrote on January 10th, 2011
  11. Well done. You look spectacular. I too stopped catching colds when I went primal.

    Chuck wrote on December 30th, 2010
  12. Congratulations you look so great and I love the sassy haircut!

    Ena wrote on December 30th, 2010
  13. Not as drastic?

    You’ve got an awesome body composition; you’re toned and fit; and you’re so much healthier. That’s what it’s all about.

    Congratulations. :)

    Richard wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • Exactly — while I would actually consider this a huge change, I’d say for all these success stories that you don’t have to lose a hundred pounds to feel a drastic change in your life and achieve dramatic success! Congratulations indeed.

      Jenny wrote on December 30th, 2010
  14. You look fantastic, as does your whole family! Congratulations!

    I’m with Ray: What do the naysayers have to say now about the BS cult you’re a part of? 😉

    Patrick wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • I guarantee you that now they’ve adjusted their tune to claim she’ll gain it all back instead… An understandable claim since that is indeed what happens to 99% of “dieters”. But since this is a lifestyle change she sounds so happy with, I bet they’ll get quieter and quieter with that claim over time as she continues the fabulousness. 😀

      Jenny wrote on December 30th, 2010
      • You start to see what powerful and addicting drugs sugar and processed food are, when you see the anger and frustration some people have we you tell them about the PB lifestyle. And the power billion dollor food companies have with the advertising. There’s a new Cheerio’s commercial where a guy says “Finding food that’s good for you AND tastes good is so frustrating!!” Really? How hard is it to fing an apple?

        And from my primal male brain, Camzin you a smokin hot.

        Ryan wrote on December 30th, 2010
        • Not even an apple. You’re allowed to eat *steak* in this lifestyle. What’s so onerous about that? It blows my mind to see anyone describe pretty much any of the low-carb/healthy-carb lifestyles as onerous or boring. You get to eat fat and meat and tasty stuff, what’s so boring about that?

          People are bizarre… Then again I suppose it’s like the getting-high-is-fun mentality vs. the being-clean-and-having-a-clear-head-rocks mentality. Society understands that being a drug addict is no picnic. Maybe it’s only a matter of time before they understand that about addiction to unhealthy foods.

          Dana wrote on December 30th, 2010
        • I can vouch for the anger part.
          My sister is forever trying to lose weight, she’s done Jenny Craig and low fat and all that other BS.

          I showed her this website, showed her the page on fat and she looked at it with “open eyes”
          saying that she will believe it more when I can show her a proper scientific study on the matter.

          Lockie wrote on December 30th, 2010
        • *Blush*

          Camzin wrote on January 10th, 2011
  15. Nice transformation (both body and lifestyle)!

    Speaking of SAD…When I went to my doctor about how I couldn’t lose weight on my lowered calorie diet, she gave me a sheet with a meal plan. It was the same amount of calories that I already had been eating, plus it contained a bunch of junk (frozen waffles, crackers, etc) that sounded disgusting. What a waste of a doctor’s visit. LOL, I should have spent that $30 on The Primal Blueprint book.

    Kayla wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • You should see hospital menus. My daughter was in the hospital for a few days this last fall and I was appalled at what the hospital was feeding kids. A captive audience trying to *heal.*

      Dana wrote on December 30th, 2010
      • I was hospitalized earlier this year and was absolutely appalled by the food. I was not even on any kind of diet or particularly interested in “eating right” and I still found it disgusting. Lucky I had a significant other who went out and brought back reasonably good food for me.

        Kelly wrote on December 30th, 2010
        • x2. I had a surgery (throat) and the only thing they offered during my stay was popsicles, pudding, ice cream, etc. I asked the nurse if there was anything they had that was soft without sugar…she thought about it for a while and replied “Nope.” I didnt eat anything until my wife brought some greek yogurt and blueberries for me.

          And, Camzin…yowzers! Nice job!

          Rob wrote on December 30th, 2010
        • I totally understand! I recently had my baby and was hospitalized for 6 days. I had developed an “intollerance” to dairy and gluten (which my daughter also has!) and was also limiting caffeine and sugar. Not only was there nothing but iceburg lettuce for me, a then breastfeeding mom (the anistezia (sp?) made it so we coul;dn’t form a proper latch and I had to give up when my milk ran out)! Luckily my mom had been experimenting the past few months with my new “diet” and brought me food I could eat at the time.

          Dawn wrote on December 31st, 2010
  16. Well done, Camzin! In just a few short months, to see these sort of results is incredible. You look great!

    The Primal Pig wrote on December 30th, 2010
  17. Fantastic, awesome and VERY beautiful! What an inspirational story to begin 2011! Grok On!

    George wrote on December 30th, 2010
  18. Delightful report and photos. What a gift you have given your entire family. Your father in particular looks as though he has dropped 10 years!

    Clever to have included photos of you wearing the same dress. You look fantastic.

    Pokey wrote on December 30th, 2010
  19. Love it.

    Grok on, Camzen!

    John Wong wrote on December 30th, 2010
  20. Fantastic job

    Dullahan wrote on December 30th, 2010
  21. The before-and-after of your whole family is stunning!! What a huge difference in your brother’s and parents’ faces in such a short time. So very exciting!

    Ginger wrote on December 30th, 2010
  22. YAY! How inspirational!

    Earthspirit wrote on December 30th, 2010
  23. Ya, they got more serious-looking.

    SalParadise wrote on December 30th, 2010
  24. Very HOT!

    DHT wrote on December 30th, 2010
  25. Camzin,

    You’ve metamorphosed into a stunningly beautiful butterfly. You and your whole family look absolutely fantastic and fit. Good on you! Good on all of you!

    Rahsaan wrote on December 30th, 2010
  26. I LOVE that your family is doing it, too – and the before and after pics of you all sitting there. WOW! Amazing. Thank you for sharing your story. Very inspirational!

    Melissa Fritcher wrote on December 30th, 2010
  27. I think if there is anything Mark has proved with this approach and all the success stories is that early humans must have been some hott mother f’ers………

    Jerry wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • Try reading Weston Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. You’ll come away from reading that book, and looking at the included photos, convinced that looking good is our natural birthright.

      It makes me think that we evolved to prefer pretty over ugly not because we’re shallow but because beauty is a sign that everything developed correctly. And I say this not as a hot lil number who judges ugly people–I’m not so great looking myself. My mouth’s too small, didn’t have room for all my teeth, and the ones I did have room for were crowded and crooked and it took me two sets of braces to get everything approximating normal. Type 2 diabetes and all manner of other issues plague both sides of my family and my daughter has decay in nearly all her baby teeth that can’t be explained away by bad hygiene. So much more than fat storage is riding on our food choices. It’s scary.

      Dana wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • I’ve watched enough National Geographic in my childhood to know that.

      zoltan wrote on January 7th, 2011
  28. You’re a whole new family! Your dad has a Bill Clinton vibe going on.

    dragonmamma wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • You are not the first person to say that…

      Camzin wrote on January 10th, 2011
  29. Congratulations, that’s awesome!! Don’t sell yourself short, that is an excellent story, and it’s awesome that your whole family is onboard!

    Mlkrone wrote on December 30th, 2010
  30. Wow so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey. I just start Paleo, Dec 23rd. my gift to me on my 6oth. Birthday. 1 week in down 2.1 lbs.

    Linda Marcy wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • Awesome!

      Camzin wrote on January 10th, 2011
  31. What a handsome family! (Agree with dragonmamma about the Bill Clinton vibe.)

    Congratulations on your successes!

    Wilma Flintstone wrote on December 30th, 2010
  32. This is a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it with us! Your transformation is incredible.

    That’s really awesome that you got your whole family to go Paleo as well. I’m working on that one myself. My mom is about 70% of the way there, but my sisters are in the ‘no way could I ever give up bread!’ phase still!

    Sterling wrote on December 30th, 2010
  33. Great job. You look fantastic!

    Jeff wrote on December 30th, 2010
  34. Cazmin, thank you do much for your inspirational story. You look so fit and vibrant. Your story was what I really needed to hear to get back into my healthy habits after this indulgent holiday season. Have a wonderful New Year!

    Heidi wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • Apologies for the typos, Camzen, I shouldn’t be typing on a phone!

      Heidi wrote on December 30th, 2010
  35. Thanks for sharing – I’m looking forward to many more of these stories in the coming year.
    I was 98% compliant with Primal in June/July of this past year, and lost 17 pounds without counting or restricting portions, and have NEVER felt better.
    I fell off the wagon, and it promptly rolled over me several times, but I am committed to a Primal 2011.

    Turbo Kelly wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • I could have written this post! (And I like the cup picture too). Our stories are the same…easily lost the weight, but got a bit too complacent. Now firmly back on track, fully committed to paleo living in 2011. I wish you well! And oh my gosh Camzen, you look WONDERFUL! Thank you for sharing!

      Susan wrote on December 31st, 2010
    • I threw myself off my wagon over the Christmas break but one thing about Primal, the results you do see (Yay, Camzen!) and experience make it easier to get back on track.

      GirlinOz wrote on January 4th, 2011
  36. Way to go, girl!!

    Lisa wrote on December 30th, 2010
  37. I too was a gymnast growing up, and often wonder if I could have been even better had I been eating properly… I can’t imagine the Hamburger Helper and Taco Bell did much for my body getting completely overworked. Since starting Crossfit (after no exercise for several years and a bad diet) eight months ago and going 80/20 Primal six months ago, I’ve lost 18 pounds and am in better shape than what I was as a gymnast.

    I’m particularly impressed by your inspiration to your family. Good for you! I’m still working on my loved ones, so far they are the naysayers in my life. Going so far as to tell me I look sick. When did muscles and vegetables get such a bad rep?

    Keep up the good work! Any chance you live near Oregon?

    natashia wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • California actually, but I’d love to see Oregon :)

      Camzin wrote on January 10th, 2011
  38. Bravo, I’ve been trying to get my family to do the same thing, though it isn’t nearly as easy when everybody doesn’t live under the same roof.

    Householder wrote on December 30th, 2010
  39. Great job, Camzin! I love how you got your whole family involved. Success ripples outward. Thank you for taking the time to write your story up. I have a big holiday tea to host this afternoon and I will be thinking of you as I make my eating choices.

    Alison Golden wrote on December 30th, 2010
  40. What a great success – you can really see the difference in all of you; grok on!

    Michael Wilson wrote on December 30th, 2010

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