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!

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

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. Aw, you’re awesome, and you look like you could be my own little sister! Please do some updates on your adventure–I hope Mark and Worker Bees would help us cheer you on!

    Joy Beer wrote on March 18th, 2013
  2. choked up reading this absolutely outstanding.

    mark wrote on March 18th, 2013
  3. way to go! You look amazing. Congrats on your lifestyle change

    melissa wrote on March 18th, 2013
  4. Lindsey,

    Your story is a beautiful one that I can relate to very much. I also have suffered with bulimia for many years, and i remember well the dark days of bingeing/purging all day long, feeling hopeless, and feeling alone. I have found a lot of relief following a caveman diet. Like you, I am not perfect and have slips, but they are very few and far apart. Thank you for putting yourself out there. I could not be happier for you and I feel more strongly than ever that I am on the right path as well…

    Irene wrote on March 18th, 2013
  5. Damn girl. So happy for you!

    your mom wrote on March 18th, 2013
  6. I love this. People so often focus on weight as the issue, but this just shows that going primal can mean so much more. Well done – I’m inspired!

    Keith wrote on March 19th, 2013
  7. Very inspiring story! This was a very big struggle doubtless, but you are an inspiration to others who wish to make changes in their life. Bravo!

    Perry wrote on March 19th, 2013
  8. Congratulations, Lindsey! You may have found the tools you needed on MDA, but you did this on your own. Great job, girlfriend! And, because you figured this out while you are still young, you have a lot of years of healthy and happy living ahead (and probably prevented some more serious stuff from setting in.) Again, you GO, girl!
    Sheryl

    Sheryl wrote on March 19th, 2013
  9. Leave that dark hole behind you Lindsay and never look back. I’ve never felt so emotionally connected to a Friday success story as I do to yours. I just want to hug you! I’m so grateful to Mark and this community for being here and saving your life, because that is exactly what happened. Take care of you and enjoy your new found freedom!

    Brooke wrote on March 19th, 2013
  10. You’re an inspiration to so many Lindsey. You showed people that the power to change is in our hands and harnessing adversity leads to greatness.

    Congrats on your transformation!

    Hassan wrote on March 19th, 2013
  11. Congratulations Lindsey, your story is nothing short of incredible. I wish you the best of luck on your walk! I also have to remark that your story should be making national news headlines: you cured PCOS, depression, bulimia and obesity in one year by going Primal. Way to go!

    Carolyn wrote on March 19th, 2013
  12. Lindsey,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m in the black pit of despair right now, and your story has given me the push I need to start going primal and reap all the benefits that comes with it. I wish you the best of luck on your walk across the US. I hope you meet cool people and have great experiences.

    Jenny wrote on March 19th, 2013
  13. This brought tears to my eyes. I know what it feels like to be shrouded in a dark place in your life, feeling like the only way to end it is suicide. And now that you’re out of it you start to enjoy the many things in life you’d never thought you’d enjoy. Grock on, Lindsey! Your story is both amazing and inspiring!

    Liyana wrote on March 21st, 2013
  14. That was inspiring! Why don’t you blog your walk and keep us informed about your feelings and experiences.

    Tom Staggs wrote on March 26th, 2013
  15. wow, great amazing transfomation… it` s example for everyone who want lose weight.

    tako wrote on April 5th, 2013
  16. You’re story is very inspiring! Congrats to you…
    And remember, Don’t be sad, be awesome!! ;)

    Jenny wrote on April 10th, 2013
  17. I think i’m gonna hug u now. *hugs* CONGRATS!

    Ganeesha wrote on April 13th, 2013
  18. Wow…amazing story, and good job!

    Michael wrote on April 16th, 2013
  19. You are so inspirational! You look amazing and happy! God bless you on your journey!

    Rebekah wrote on September 14th, 2013
  20. Wow, Lindsey! I, too, got a little chocked up reading your story. It takes a really strong person to go through and overcome the problems you have faced in your young life. But you did it! You search out information and found a better way to live – through PB, healthy eating and exercise. Hard work and perseverance bring rewards. Good for you!

    I envy your self-determined trip across the U.S. That’s quite a challenge you set for yourself and wish you nothing but the best.

    Happy Trails, Lindsey!

    Grok On!

    Darlene, San Francisco, CA wrote on November 20th, 2013

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