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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 15, 2013

It Will Pass and I Will Be Stronger

By Guest
171 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 have been completely Primal for just over a year, and working towards that for almost three years. It has changed my life from feeling like I was living in an unlit and windowless room, to really participating in life and finding fulfillment. It’s been that dramatic.

I was an active, healthy kid with a good diet until I was twelve. My home life became very unstable. I was moved around a lot, and lived with several different relatives and attended different schools. It was hard on me. I was a very introverted kid to begin with, and I didn’t make friends. I read books and did homework and ate. I quickly became very sedentary, and very sad, and I had access to a lot of processed, sugary foods that my mother had never kept in my childhood home. I was given a lot of autonomy over my diet, and I quickly became addicted to these foods.

Lindsey through the years

By the time I was 16, I weighed 240 lbs at 5’7″ and I was extremely depressed, bulimic and very unhealthy, with bad skin. That was the year I was also diagnosed with PCOS, an explanation for my painful, irregular periods and other symptoms. I tried to lose weight by restricting calories, but when I was depressed I would care less about my long-term health than my need for something comforting to eat. So I would binge, and feel guilty, and purge, and my bulimia got worse.

Lindsey through the years

By the time I was 18 and living on my own, I was very sick. I was binging and purging more or less all day long, sometimes close to ten times a day. I remember feeling very scared the first time I threw up and had blood start pouring like water from my nose. I was more scared to stop throwing up, though. I wasn’t having periods at all, but occasionally I would go to the bathroom and find that there was nothing but blood in the toilet. That scared me, too.

When I was 20, living alone and in college, my depression and bulimia continued, and I also started drinking, alone, most nights. The nights I didn’t drink alcohol, I would do other drugs. I also started smoking. Once I was intoxicated, I would go out for a walk, alone, in my very bad neighborhood at three in the morning. I would occasionally get bursts of energy, and in one such burst, I got a new roommate, a new job, and I joined a community group. Then I was assaulted by someone I thought was my friend. I felt like my depression was a black hole sucking me in, that my life would just feel worse and worse until I died. I wanted so badly to die, but I was afraid to kill myself. I was hoping, I think, that the world would take care of it for me.

When I was 22, I had another one of these moments when my depression lifted. I bought a gym membership this time. I started going all the time, I would use the gym sometimes, and run on the treadmill. I wanted to know what to do at the gym, so I was looking at lots of online resources. I found nerdfitness.com, and through them, I found Mark’s Daily Apple. I remembered that a customer at my old job had, a couple of times, mentioned that he ate a caveman diet, but I hadn’t cared to look into it at the time.

When I did read about eating like a caveman, it resonated with me. I had started learning how to cook, and I was enjoying it, so the idea of a diet made of whole, unprocessed ingredients appealed to the chef in me. I love reading about science, so the more I read, the more it appealed to me, and the more Primal principles I started to apply to my own life.

I found that not counting calories and not throwing up was nerve-wracking. I gained weight at first, started purging again. I stopped weighing myself. The better my diet gets, the less I get an urge to binge. With no binging, I don’t purge. I slip up once in a while, but those incidents are getting further and further apart. I also got a physical job that I love: working in the produce department at the grocery store. I lost a lot of weight. My high weight was around 290 lbs, and now I weigh between 155 and 165 lbs.

Lindsey - Happy Birthday!

My depression started to lift even more after I eliminated grains and sugar from my diet. Within 3 months I could feel a major shift. I no longer had long periods of apathy and hopelessness interrupted by the occasional “good month.” I now feel very calm and still inside. I feel tethered, and even when I do get sad (because it’s got to rain sometimes), it no longer feels like I’m getting sucked into a black hole of depression. It will pass, and I’ll be stronger.

I am stronger. I get stronger all the time, and calmer, and happier. That’s what keeps me doing this caveman gig. I’m so strong, in fact, that this spring I’m leaving on an adventure, I’m going to walk across the USA, from my home on Vancouver Island, to my parents’ home in Connecticut!

Thank you for giving me the tools I needed to save myself.

Lindsey - 25

Lindsey

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171 Comments on "It Will Pass and I Will Be Stronger"

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Meesha
Meesha
3 years 6 months ago

All I can say is wow!! You are one strong woman. I am so happy for you!

sommer
sommer
3 years 6 months ago

Thank you for sharing your story. It gave me the chills to know that i can do this too..

Groktimus Primal
3 years 6 months ago

Food (especially the wrong foods) can be like a drug that you’re never allowed to fully quit thanks to that pesky problem of continued living.

JennF
JennF
3 years 6 months ago

What a powerful story! I wish you nothing but success for you in all of you endeavors. You deserve it!

Alison Golden
3 years 6 months ago

You go girl! What a fantastic story. Congratulations and go conquer the world. It is waiting for you, Lindsey!

Alison Golden
3 years 6 months ago

I also want to add that apart from the fantastic success you’ve had, I think getting a physical job was a really smart idea and your transition (not counting calories and it being nerve wracking) is a aspect of this lifestyle change that is often overlooked. We need to be more aware of it in order to manage it better if we this kind of experience.

Lindsey
Lindsey
3 years 6 months ago

I agree, Alison, it’s a hard habit to break, and a big source of anxiety for a lot of us.

Heather
Heather
3 years 6 months ago

So is weighing yourself each day. I still do, I just can’t shake a habit of a lifetime. Lindsey your story is chilling, good on you for pulling yourself away from the abyss. No one is joining the dots between the processed diet on offer and the mental health of our population. Congratulations I am in awa of your achievement 🙂

Ganeesha
3 years 5 months ago

I hid my scale out of immediate reach under the bed at first.

Melissa
Melissa
3 years 6 months ago

I am reading this at work, and I need to stop myself from crying. Your story is amazing! What a journey you’ve been on (and continue to travel)!

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 6 months ago

Yes, this was the first time I had tears reading the Friday success story! Amazing story Lindsey.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
3 years 6 months ago

+1

Jenn
Jenn
3 years 6 months ago

me too! – so moving 🙂

Jen
Jen
3 years 6 months ago

Ughh….I can’t help but cry reading this. Even though I’ve never experienced depression, reading your story gives me a glimpse at how lonely and dark it must have been for you. I hope you feel empowered now because you look SO happy in the last picture. I’m so proud of you!

Rebecca
Rebecca
3 years 6 months ago

You are such a strong woman and so inspirational! I’m about 8 months on Paleo. I’m hoping I get a 6 pack like you by the 1 year mark! Unbelievable transformation. I am so inspired by you as I too have pcos. Paleo has completely gotten rid of all associated problems.

What is your work out routine?

Lindsey
Lindsey
3 years 6 months ago

I’m so glad your PCOS is under control!

I do most of my “working out” at my job, which has me walking about 10 miles a day and lifting about 10,000 lbs over the course of the day. Other than that, I tend to get really into one activity, like sprinting or Pilates, for a few weeks at a time, and then move on to something else. I like trying new stuff. I also have a chin-up bar in my kitchen doorway, and I do push-ups on the stairs.

gwen
gwen
3 years 6 months ago

Hey Lindsey, I’m also from vancouver island!!! reading your story here today really moved and inspired me and I want to thank you for it. I wish you all the best 🙂

Lindsey
Lindsey
3 years 6 months ago

Thanks so much! Go Team Van Isle! I’m in Campbell River…for 49 more days 🙂

wedward
wedward
3 years 6 months ago

Wonderful to see you come out of your shell and into the cave! You look great!
Grok on!

Peter
Peter
3 years 6 months ago

That’s one hell of an ambitious walk! You going just through the states or cutting through Ontario on the way?

Lindsey
Lindsey
3 years 6 months ago

I’m thru-hiking the American Discovery Trail ( discoverytrail.org ), so I’ll just be in the states this trip.

Peter
Peter
3 years 6 months ago

Fair enough then 😉 It would have been nice to meet you if you were passing through the bottom end of ontario. Either way it’s nice hearing your amazing story! Good luck on your journey!

I’d love to connect sometime- On the forum I’m under the username Ecks and I keep a regular journal on the forum.

Peggy
Peggy
3 years 6 months ago

*tears of joy*!!!!!!!!!!
The last picture says it all.

Alexander
3 years 6 months ago

Hooooooly crap was along the lines of what I was thinking.

300 pounds to six pack ! Somebody give her a medal

Lindsay Coleman
Lindsay Coleman
3 years 6 months ago

+1
Amazing transformation, Lindsey- great job! You look soooo happy and solid inside now. Yay!

Alexandra
Alexandra
3 years 6 months ago

+1

Patrick
3 years 6 months ago

Yes, quite amazing. I wish you continued success! Please post regularly during your walk.

NJ Paleo
3 years 6 months ago

Wow, Lindsey, what an amazing story! It’s so sad that you had to go through all those years of pain, and most of it due to the “foods” you were consuming. But it’s wonderful that you found the right path to health and happiness!

Melissa
Melissa
3 years 6 months ago

+1

Molly
Molly
3 years 6 months ago

Keep on walking!

Beverly
Beverly
3 years 6 months ago

amazing story – you should be so very proud

Fritzy
Fritzy
3 years 6 months ago

“Holy shit.”

Those were the words that audibly came out of my mouth when I saw your after pics. Seriously, awesome work, not only on improving your diet but improving your outlook. Way to go!

Luke DePron
3 years 6 months ago

Haha I wasnt sure how Mark felt about swearing but I literally just said the exact same thing!

Congrats Lindsey it’s like a brand new you, sounds like your going to have quite a journey ahead of you with that walk! The mental health improvements are always the coolest!

William
William
3 years 6 months ago

+1

Anne
3 years 6 months ago

Happy 25th, Lindsey! What a great story!

Susie
3 years 6 months ago

Amazing transformation! Love that smile in the last pic – you can just tell you’re loving life.

Lindsay
Lindsay
3 years 6 months ago

Reading this was like a punch to the gut. I have a lot in common with you — at least the Before side of things. Your After is an inspiration, and something I’ll save to work through tough times. Congratulations on your success, and thank you for having the courage to so candidly share your story.

S-piper
S-piper
3 years 6 months ago

Same here. With the exception of certain details, she could be telling my story.

You’re an inspiration Lindsey!

Miki
Miki
3 years 6 months ago

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Kathleen
Kathleen
3 years 6 months ago

Happy Birthday! A Votre Sante!

Merky
Merky
3 years 6 months ago

you have done an amazing thing. I got goosebumps reading this story and am trying not to cry at work. I am so happy for you. Thank you for sharing your story <3

Chelsea MW
Chelsea MW
3 years 6 months ago

Congratulations on your awesome transformation. And thank you for not being afraid to share the details of your purging days. People need to know how scary that can be and how it damages the body.

Primal V
Primal V
3 years 6 months ago

Lindsey, what a story! To come from such a dark place back to a happy life. There are so many good things to look forward to in life. It’s a lesson for us all not to believe we can’t improve our lot in life – how we feel is in our control more than we might think.

BTW you’re looking awesome these days – you rock girl!

ErinFS
ErinFS
3 years 6 months ago

Such as inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing!

Judith
Judith
3 years 6 months ago

Like others, I was teary reading your story. Love the phrase – It will pass, and I’ll be stronger. What a great mantra. Keep a blog so we can follow your journey. I think your life will hold amazing things for you. Grok on and stay primal!

Kathy
Kathy
3 years 6 months ago

+1

Ellen
Ellen
3 years 6 months ago

You are one strong woman. A great song for your walking journey is an old Motown one. Look up on You Tube, Edwin Starr’s “25 Miles.”

Anders
Anders
3 years 6 months ago

+1

Anders
Anders
3 years 6 months ago

Damn fine.
Compared to the journey you’ve been on, the walk across the continent should be a piece of (primal) cake!

Jenny
Jenny
3 years 6 months ago

wow, good for you for embracing life, and then gradually making lots of changes to take care of yourself better! it’s great that you feel much more solid and stable, and great that you can MOVE and adventure!

James
James
3 years 6 months ago

Congratulations! Good to see that you found your way. Sounds like quite a journey.

Decaf Debi
Decaf Debi
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t think I’ll stop smiling for a week after reading this. Amazing job! I’m so happy for you.

Ken Harbour
3 years 6 months ago

Thank you so much for showing the awesome power of transformational living ….I hope you find much more enjoyment in the future. Heal well!

AustinGirl
AustinGirl
3 years 6 months ago

Congratulations!! You look amazing on the outside, and you can tell that you feel darn fabulous on the inside too!

DeftTitan
DeftTitan
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t normally respond to these stories as I read them, but I feel compelled to today.

The health and emotional issues you faced seem scarier and more severe than anything I can relate to. I am enlightened by the pain and suffering of such disorders, and inspired by your story and your success.

Fantastic work!

spayne
spayne
3 years 6 months ago

+1

Grokesque
Grokesque
3 years 6 months ago

Congratulations on such an amazing turn around in your life story! I’m always surprised on Fridays – who would have thought so many different stories/problems/lives could all be so dramatically helped by PB? Or that so many lives can be damaged by the wrong foods?

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 6 months ago

The smile and the eyes are the same, but everything else is different! You look great, and from the sounds of it, feel great too. Awesome and inspiring.

Stormy
Stormy
3 years 6 months ago

Way to go, Lindsey! You rock!

Shary
Shary
3 years 6 months ago
Lindsey, what a beautiful person you are, and what an inspiration for those needing to lose weight. Your photos make me smile. I lost 20 pounds over the last two years just by eliminating sweets. More recently I began to suspect that I’m gluten sensitive and eliminated all grains, sticking with protein, lots and lots of mostly low glycemic veggies, and a small amount of whole fresh fruit. The result was downright astounding. I lost another 18 pounds without even trying and got rid of my IBS problems as well. I recently started adding a few of the starchier veggies… Read more »
Red
Red
3 years 6 months ago

AMAZING! And like others, I am sitting here at work trying not to cry! What a moving transformation! From the valley of hell you walked out to tell the tale! You, woman, are an amazing survivor!

Rhonda the Red
Rhonda the Red
3 years 6 months ago

I am another trying not to cry at work! I am so proud and happy for you, girl!! Way to rock that 25th birthday! Love your story and your beautiful smile!

Siobhan
Siobhan
3 years 6 months ago

What an inspiration you are, Lindsey! Thanks for sharing your story. I will be forwarding this to several people I know who might just benefit from hearing it. Best wishes for the future, have a great life, and be sure to check in here from time to time!

adina
3 years 6 months ago

incredible. the strength to do what you’ve done is amazing, and you look gorgeous! to life!

Gwen
3 years 6 months ago

SO inspiring, and congrats for being YOU! Good luck on the walk! Will you be blogging about it?!

Laura
Laura
3 years 6 months ago

My heart goes out to the younger you. I am an eighth grade teacher, and I have many students who I think are traveling that same sad path, moving around to different homes, too much autonomy, and eating pure crap. Even the school food is 100% USDA certified SAD crap. I am so glad that you found a new path, and I can only hold out hope that some of my students will get there someday too. Congratulations!!!!

Mitch
Mitch
3 years 6 months ago

Wow, awesome story. I wish you continues success.

Share your story….there are far too many young women going through the same thing you did-but they do not know how to escape.

Adriel
Adriel
3 years 6 months ago

I got a little choked up reading this. Thank you for sharing your story, it can be very meaningful and helpful to someone who needs to know they aren’t alone! Good for you!

Bayrider
Bayrider
3 years 6 months ago
Your beautiful smile there is wonderful to see. Clearly your spirit is becoming as fit and strong as your body now is, you are an inspiration to us all. You should take a great deal of pride in your outstanding accomplishment! I know how difficult dealing with depression can be, you have done a wonderful job of beating it down and taking charge. I have always kept very physically active in my life as that’s been the most effective way to ward off the propensity to depression. Keep moving and stay vigilant, these battles do tend to recur. You have… Read more »
brandon clobes
brandon clobes
3 years 6 months ago

wow thats awesome you look great!

Sarah
Sarah
3 years 6 months ago

good on ya girl! 🙂

catherine
catherine
3 years 6 months ago

like like like!

Marianne P.
Marianne P.
3 years 6 months ago

Good for you! So inspiring!

nereid
nereid
3 years 6 months ago

wow…WOW!!!…wowwww….I am lost for words…wow…
your story really puts me to shame..but you have inspired me so very much…you look stunning!!could you share with us what your daily food intake looks like now compared to what it used to be?

Lindsey
Lindsey
3 years 6 months ago

My eating was pretty awful before, lots of candy, crackers, sugary frozen food and chips, fast food, pizza.

Now I eat tons of eggs and bison, I’m lucky enough to have a bison farm a few minutes down the road from me, and lots of salmon, I live in a fishing community. Whatever veg is in season, I’ve learned lots about that from my work. I love all kinds of squash, and a little fruit. Lots of coconut products, as well.

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