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Posted By Mark Sisson On December 15, 2012 @ 12:38 pm In Health,Success Stories in the Making | 3 Comments


In the Making – 12/15/12

Age: 23

Kaly’s Goals: “To stop being so afraid of my body that it gets in the way of the things I want to do – to finally perform publicly and enjoy every second I have on stage! (I’m a teacher by trade, but my greatest love is dancing.)

Starting weight: 247 lbs
Goal weight: 200 lbs”

Update – 04/12/12: “Since the before picture I am officially down 35 pounds! Checking in right now at 212.7. Plateauing a bit, but have turned my focus now from taking care of just my diet to also improving my exercise habits. I’ve always been active, but in a lot of the wrong ways – I enjoy pushing myself to my physical limits, but I tend to do so ALL THE TIME, so that my recovery period is either a lot longer than it should be or not at all. I’ll be buying a pull-up bar here this weekend and starting the SimpleFit body weight exercises routine at level one. In my mind I’m starting again, with a new goal of 20 more pounds and one real pull-up!

I have plans to spend the month of November in Costa Rica this year, and have started looking at bathing suits to buy before the trip (it’s early, I know, but I’m a picky shopper). Hoping that the next picture will be of me actually wearing one.

Oh, and the jeans I’m wearing in the “during” picture? Those are the same jeans as the ones I’m wearing in my “before” picture. They literally fall off! I keep them folded up on a stool by my dining table, to remind me of how awesome this journey is, and how awesome it’s going to continue being. Grok on, everyone!”

Update – 07/05/12: “These few months since April have been filled with firsts, bests, and benchmarks:
Yesterday I ran a 9:11 mile – not a big deal for some people, but still my fastest ever recorded run. (My last PR was 9:51, in high school in 2005).
I can do a set of 15 push-ups easily.
I can see my biceps!
I leave my house on a regular basis without wearing any make-up.
I wake up – naturally – between 5:30 and 6am every day, and feel well-rested.
I normally go 14 – 16 hours of fasting per 24 hour period, and do not feel ravenous or “hangry” when meal times roll around.
And to the numbers: this morning I weighed in at 206.2 lbs, more than 40lbs lost since the beginning of the year, and only 8lbs away from my last recorded “lowest” weight, which was when I was in 8th grade, more than ten years ago.

But those same months have also been filled with struggles. It’s easy to maintain a positive outlook when you’re sloughing off five pounds or more a week and seeing near immediate results in the mirror. When things slow down, when you have to start experimenting with macro-nutrients and workout times and IF-ing and a hundred other things – that’s when it gets difficult. I plateaued around 210-212lbs for almost all of May, and became very frustrated: I was doing everything I’d been doing, I’d even added a body weight lifting workout and was getting more daily activity, yet the weight stubbornly REFUSED to keep coming off. I got worried, thinking that maybe paleo living was just something else that would eventually fail me. On a psychological level, that kind of doubt can be very damaging.

Two things kept me committed. The immediate personal benefits of what people have been calling the “paleo lifestyle” continue to appeal to me, not from any health or fitness perspective, but because they just make me happy. Barefoot walking/running, excuses to get outside and play, shameless indulgence in things like bacon and full-fat cream in my coffee, spending hours lying in the sun with a book on my balcony, these things give me joy. The second piece of fuel for the continuation of my paleo journey actually came from a community I only recently became more deeply involved with, called Nerd Fitness. The people there were not only on similar journeys to the one I was on, they had just as much raw enthusiasm as I did plus a supply of stubbornness that I had no idea what to do with. Their encouragement, camaraderie and support have helped me to continue going strong, not for the sake of the numbers but for myself. And the crazy thing is, it worked – I kept at it, and slowly but surely, the weight’s started to come off again. I made a bet with my little brother that I’ll be under 200lbs by the end of August. I think I’m winning!

So to the people who’re just starting: welcome to an amazing adventure. To the people who feel like they’ve lost their motivation: you didn’t lose it, you just misplaced it, and if you keep going, I promise that you’ll find it again. Find a community to support you, realize that you’re not just losing weight but creating a healthier, longer, more joyous life for yourself and those who care about you. As for me, I’m looking forward to waking up every day just a little bit happier than the last, just a little bit faster, a little bit stronger, a little bit more excited about the awesome things I’ll have a chance to do in the future. I used to think that running a 9 minute mile or weighing under 200lbs would be impossible for me – now, I’m pretty sure there’s not much that’s really impossible.

And hey, it’s only July. We still have six more months to make 2012 an absolutely fantastic year.”

Update – 12/15/12: “I can’t believe that it’s almost been a year since I submitted my resolution with the rest of the “Success Stories in the Making” crowd. It’s been so cool (and motivating!) to see people progress from one month to the next. But I’m proud to report that my success story has been MADE.

The attached photo is me in Costa Rica at 196lbs. It was like a primal candy land, down there – whole days spent walking on beaches, playing in the water, doing yoga, munching on fresh fruit and playing with fire. As a bonus, for some reason, the mosquitoes didn’t take much of a shine to me, though they seemed to love my sugar-burning friends. Paleo blood chemistry triumph!

And, like I said at the beginning of the year, I wanted to have the courage to dance in front of people – I finally got up the guts to fire dance publicly! I performed in two fire shows during my time there, both great successes.

I’m now home for the holidays for the first time in two years, and my friends and family back in New Mexico can’t stop complimenting me. Yesterday I enjoyed clothes shopping for the first time ever! I would love to submit photos and a bio as a primal success story, because living primally has definitely changed my life. I was at 267 and a size 20 at my heaviest, and if you’d told me that by the end of 2012 I’d be less than 200 and squeezing into size 10 pants I’d have called you a liar. Yet here I stand, size 10′s and all! Next stop: 185 and a 250lb squat.

Thanks so much, blessings for the holidays and a happy new year!”

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