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

It Will Pass and I Will Be Stronger

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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

    Gwen wrote on March 15th, 2013
  2. 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!!!!

    Laura wrote on March 15th, 2013
  3. 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.

    Mitch wrote on March 15th, 2013
  4. 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!

    Adriel wrote on March 15th, 2013
  5. 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 just won a huge victory and proved you’re a strong warrior!

    Bayrider wrote on March 15th, 2013
  6. wow thats awesome you look great!

    brandon clobes wrote on March 15th, 2013
  7. good on ya girl! :)

    Sarah wrote on March 15th, 2013
  8. like like like!

    catherine wrote on March 15th, 2013
  9. Good for you! So inspiring!

    Marianne P. wrote on March 15th, 2013
  10. 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?

    nereid wrote on March 15th, 2013
    • 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.

      Lindsey wrote on March 15th, 2013
  11. Hi Lindsey, wow what an inspiration you are! Congratulations on taking control of your life, you’re glowing with health and happiness :D

    I’ve had a long time struggle with sugar addiction and the depression it causes and have only this week started trying to change that (again). Your story has really given me a boost, thank you!

    As someone above said~ please write a blog about your journey, I for one would love to read more from you.

    Peace, love and continued good health
    ~Kaz x

    Kaz wrote on March 15th, 2013
  12. WOW!!! Great job, Lindsey! You are an inspiration. I’m going to forward your article to both my daughters (22 and 19) who are at school and struggling with their weight. Keep up the great work!

    Mark Cruden wrote on March 15th, 2013
  13. What an incredible transformation – both physically and emotionally. This is just outstanding. A triumph, really. Congratulations on taking control of your life.

    Emma wrote on March 15th, 2013
  14. H***Y S**T Lindsey! And good luck on your walk across the US – please keep us updated in the forums! I’m posting this to my facebook page pronto…

    Mike wrote on March 15th, 2013
  15. Very inspiring…thanks for sharing!

    jj wrote on March 15th, 2013
  16. I read this and got teared up. Good for you girl!

    Layne wrote on March 15th, 2013
  17. Great job! We have a lot in common ;)

    Josh wrote on March 15th, 2013
  18. That is a very moving story, Lindsey. I love your title and theme, “It will pass and I will get stronger,” because it’s important to be able to deal with adversity and setbacks, something you have clearly mastered. And I love your final line thanking Mark for giving you the tools to save your life. You can’t give greater thanks than that.

    Susan B. wrote on March 15th, 2013
  19. Amazing work! Definitely inspirational

    Mathew Michel wrote on March 15th, 2013
  20. Lindsey!! Amazing transformation! I too live on Vancouver Island! Would love to connect. Trying to build a “Primal” community here for people like us who feel like we are on our own in our primal lifestyle… email me at dragonfly.downs@yahoo.ca

    Janine wrote on March 15th, 2013
  21. It tickles me pink every time a success story mentions someone finding marksdailyapple.com from nerdfitness.com like me. Especially when they find it by googling “can’t do one chinup”.

    bookmunkie wrote on March 15th, 2013
  22. Lindsey!! Awesome work!! And yesss, another Nerdfitness rebel here! I found MDA thru NF too, and thusly has my life been changed. You have done such amazing work and you inspire me to keep going! :)

    Becky wrote on March 15th, 2013
  23. Lindsay – You are so amazing!
    Hope the family stuff doesn’t suck you in again. Stay happy :)

    Nicola wrote on March 15th, 2013
    • I definitely don’t want to give the impression that my family has been anything but supportive; they are my biggest cheerleaders, they just didn’t know how to help me. My relationships with them are so much better, though, now that I have fixed my relationship with myself. Thanks for the good wishes!

      Lindsey wrote on March 15th, 2013
  24. I love Fridays:)

    Thanks for sharing your very moving and inspiring story Lindsey.

    What an awesome community this is!!
    X

    Dave Groves wrote on March 15th, 2013
  25. Holy Cow. That was one of the best stories I’ve read on here, probably because a lot of it really resonated with me. I’m well on my way to submitting my own but this one was fanTastic.

    Tony wrote on March 15th, 2013
  26. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your story! I’ve had very similar experiences with the “black hole”…it’s amazing what food can do, good and bad. I’m happy you’re on the other side now!!

    Kathleen wrote on March 15th, 2013
  27. Good for you, girl. You are the best example of finding your way out of the dark and realizing that you, despite early circumstances, can create your own life with light and happiness. :-)

    Jill wrote on March 15th, 2013
  28. Lindsey,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was so inspirational to me. It shows what perseverance can do. I have been living primally for about 2 years but in a half in kind of way. The food part is easy for me but I have had trouble giving up wine. Your story has really motivated me that there are no excuses if you want something bad enough you do what it takes not matter what….Congratulations on turning your health around. You are beautiful.

    Laura wrote on March 15th, 2013
  29. How are you walking to Connecticut? Are you going to hike the American Discovery Trail?

    Thank you for sharing your story. So many women get caught in eating disorders and a lot of the time it’s the food’s fault, not a personal weakness.

    Diane wrote on March 15th, 2013
    • Yes, I’m traveling south to San Francisco and then traveling east on the ADT

      Lindsey wrote on March 15th, 2013
  30. Wonderful!

    Sarah wrote on March 15th, 2013
  31. What a transformation!!!! Congratulations on finding your inner strength.

    Bjjcaveman wrote on March 15th, 2013
  32. Wow, such an inspiring story! Beating bulimia is an awesome thing to be proud of every day. Good luck in your walking journey!

    Lauren wrote on March 15th, 2013
  33. Awesome story!!!! So many similarities to me and many others.. thank you for sharing your story!!

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

    BEST FRIDAY MDA QUOTE EVER!

    mars wrote on March 15th, 2013
  34. You look so happy! What a great story!!

    Susan wrote on March 15th, 2013
  35. I think this is the best Friday post ever.
    The best of everything to you, you certainly deserve it!

    Sandy wrote on March 15th, 2013
  36. These success stories are so encouraging, especially this one.

    Jelena wrote on March 15th, 2013
  37. Wow, what an inspirational story. You are so brave to share it with us. Thank you!

    Liz wrote on March 15th, 2013
  38. It’s like others have said – I look forward to Fridays just to read the Real Life Story of the week. Lindsey, your story easily made my week! You are testament to what Mark’s PB Blueprint truly brings forth – not just a diet change but a life worth living and celebrating. Here’s looking at you kid.

    Jeff F. wrote on March 15th, 2013
  39. Wow! Amazing inner strength!
    Lindsey, your story belongs in the pages of Reader’s Digest!

    Hilda wrote on March 15th, 2013
  40. Your inner strength is amazing! You not only saved yourself but set an example for all people who suffer from eating disorders! You are a beautiful and courageous young woman. Good luck on your hike!

    Janet wrote on March 15th, 2013

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