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

My Healthy Lifestyle Was Killing Me

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!

Amidst all of the holiday parties near the end of 2010, my BMI tipped from normal to overweight. Concerned that at age 52 my luck might be close to running out in evading the type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease that run in my family, I decided that it was time to lose weight. I’ve never had a major weight issue, but 20+ years of treatment for endometriosis, the onset of menopause, and 20+ years of living the suburban, increasingly sedentary life with an obese spouse had finally caught up with me. I set a realistic goal of losing 20 lbs by April of 2011.

I’ve never believed in “diets” since I have seen what happens in the overwhelming majority of cases – follow the “diet,” lose weight, back to the same-old-same-old, pack on more pounds than before. So I decided to be sensible and follow conventional wisdom. By instituting sustainable changes to my diet (counting calories, adding more healthy whole grains, less fat, less junk food) and a manageable exercise routine (worked up to chronic cardio!), I met my goal. By mid-April 2011 I was down 23 lbs and 2 sizes. Woo hoo! I should have been ecstatic, but I knew I had a problem.

I’d lost the weight, but I was feeling weaker and had experienced a couple of really scary incidents of severe diarrhea which lead to incapacitating dehydration compounded with hypothermia. I had to be rushed to the emergency room twice over a two-month period. After numerous tests and consultations between my GP and the ER doctors, the diagnosis both times was stomach virus. Great. They were clueless.

The second incident had been worse than the first. By the time the paramedics arrived (quicker than the first time) my veins had already started collapsing and I was non-responsive. I didn’t feel too confident about surviving a third bout. I learned to become aware of the initial signs of dehydration and was able to manage it by drinking ridiculous amounts of water (12 – 16 glasses a day!) supplemented with Gatorade. There had to be a better way. Of increasing concern to me was that over the next three months I dropped another 10 lbs without trying, and started developing sagging skin – a sure sign of muscle loss. Being small-framed and with a family history of osteoporosis, this was not good.

Somehow I stumbled upon MDA. As I started reading, a lot started making sense. The exercise portion was a lot like what I did as a kid. Having grown up in NYC with no car in the family, my feet were a basic mode of transportation. Sprints were how my friends and I got to elementary school (had to wait for mom to catch up to cross the street), lifting heavy things was how we got groceries home and up the stairs, and let’s not forget going up and down stairs (2 or 3 steps at a time weighted down with books in Jr. and Sr. high school) in the train stations, as well as regularly climbing 2-5 flights of stairs to reach family members’ and friends’ apartments (elevators were not an option).

After reading The Primal Blueprint (the only “diet” book I had EVER purchased), I came to the realization that my “healthy” lifestyle was going to kill me, literally! I must admit that even in spite of that, I had a lot of trepidation about going without the grains and legumes and increasing my fat intake. I had no problem dropping processed foods because my dad didn’t consider anything out of a can or pre-frozen to be “food,” and my mom made the distinction between real food and party (i.e. junk) food. For over 50 years I had eaten oatmeal or cream of wheat as part of my healthy breakfast almost every day. Breakfast without grains just did not seem like it would fill me up. Being of Caribbean ancestry, rice and beans had also been lifelong staples. However, on July 23, 2011, I decided to give this Primal thing a try for a week. One week later I was down another 3 lbs, but, in spite of my husband’s concerns about my “anorexia” – no worries – I was also down one full size! Using one of the online body fat calculators, I estimated that my body fat had gone down about 3%, which correlates well with the 3 lb weight loss. Over the next few weeks I took a few forays back into the world of SAD foods, because who the heck was this Mark Sisson guy to deprive me of my old comfort foods. I quickly discovered that what Mark had to say didn’t matter because my body was saying the same things loudly and clearly.

After 5 months of having said goodbye to the “healthy” whole grains and legumes, embracing the fats, dropping the chronic cardio, exercising less (but more effectively) and playing more, I lost a total of 6 lbs. Almost a year into my Primal journey, I’ve regained all of the weight that I lost since I went Primal. What has left me and all that have seen my transformation dumbfounded, is that from July 2011 to now I dropped from a size 4 to a size 0 while with a net weight loss of ZERO pounds!  Let me summarize that – I dropped 36 lbs and went from a size 8 to a size 4 following conventional wisdom. I’ve dropped a whopping 0 lbs and have gone from a size 4 to a size 0 following the Primal Blueprint.

More importantly, I’ve noticed that a lot of nuisance health issues that I had attributed to aging and/or had for so long that I accepted them as “normal,” are gone. To name just a few, the achy shins and joints, compliments of power walking (I read that it was easier on the joints than jogging, lol!), are no longer achy. I no longer feel like I am going to pass out if I don’t have breakfast within the first 30 minutes after I wake up. I no longer need to constantly pack snacks for my mid-morning and mid-afternoon hunger pangs/shakes. I no longer get in a foul mood when I’m hungry. I don’t drink anywhere near the amounts of water I drank regularly when I was constantly fighting dehydration, nor have I had a need to drink Gatorade. I have more energy than ever (I was anemic from childhood until a couple of years ago). Spicy foods no longer mess up my stomach. That stuffed feeling 10-15 minutes after a meal is gone. My pipes no longer leak.

My Primal journey continues as I try out different things and continue to learn how my body wants me to live. At age 53 I am stronger, leaner, more energetic and feel healthier than ever. Thank you, Mark, for teaching me what a healthy lifestyle really looks like.


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. Amazing story for Friday inspiration! You look amazing and what’s more important is that you feel and perform so much better than before. I’ve been following the paleo diet for the last year, and it’s been the same story. I haven’t gained/lost any weight really, but I am more lean and toned than I ever have been. And I keep getting stronger in the gym. And I’m still wearing the same jeans that I wore in high school. Thanks for sharing your story to inspire others!

    meaghan wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • Thanks!

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • Congratulations, Myra. I am Jamaican, I never had a weight problem, but have fibroids (enlarged abdomen), my skin doesn’t look so great anymore. I used to be “semi-vegetarian”, I prefer savory to sweet. I only have cravings close to menses. I think I may give this way of eating a try. I have been reading alot on “sacred foods”. Need to get back to them. Again Congrats. Any pointers would be appreciated. Peace

        Lisa wrote on January 16th, 2013
  2. Way to go! What an amazing change.

    It is amazing how the positive external changes are mirrored if not exceeded by the internal ones. It goes beyond the infatuation with ‘appearances’ that drives so much of our society.

    Anders wrote on August 10th, 2012
  3. Wow! You look awesome. As someone a similar age (late 40s) I particularly appreciate your story and how you look and feel. It drives me MAD when I see people in the media talking about women as though they were ‘over the hill’ in their early 40s. Thank you for telling your story.

    Alison Golden wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • word!

      craig almaguer wrote on August 11th, 2012
    • Hah yeah…. I keep being told by a friend that if I get to my goal weight I’ll be ugly and skinny (even though I never was when I was at that weight at a younger age) because I’m “getting old”… I’m only 39!! It’s not as if I’m 65 ;).

      I still consider myself YOUNG and I’m always a bit horrified by this idea that at my age I’m practically “getting old”. lol.

      Fiona wrote on August 11th, 2012
  4. Thanks for sharing your story Myra! You look so healthy now! I too haven’t lost much weight on the scale, but have definitely slimmed down since eating primally. Amazing how that works.

    Katie wrote on August 10th, 2012
  5. Amazing! You look wonderful! Did you determine what was causing your stomach issues? Was it gluten?

    Shara wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • Gluten is the primary suspect, but since I dropped it before anyone suggested a test, I don’t know that for sure. I dropped the grains before I dropped the legumes or dairy and the changes were almost immediate.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
  6. Thank you for sharing, this is such a cool story. Congratulations on your hard work and relentless pursuit of health… you knew it was out there and traversed the forest of health knowledge (the good and the bad) to find what worked for you best. Awesome!

    Jenny wrote on August 10th, 2012
  7. 53!?! I want to be 53 NOWWWWW. I love your summary of the body composition effects. What a great Friday feature.

    Joy Beer wrote on August 10th, 2012
  8. Thank you for sharing your story, Myra! I’m 53 myself. Could you tell us more about what kinds of exercises you do?

    Alice wrote on August 10th, 2012
  9. Myra, that is an amazing story! I love the success stories from women who are my age or thereabouts. (I turn 50 in less than a month.) I am curious as well about the gluten aspect. Do you think that had anything to do with the chronic diarrhea? You look great. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Gwynn wrote on August 10th, 2012
  10. Shoot, I think we cross-posted or I didn’t see your response. Can gluten intolerance come up that suddenly?

    Gwynn wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • I don’t think it came on suddenly. I’ve had recurring GI issues for years, generally attributed by doctors to stress, stomach virus, fried foods, fast foods, etc. Nothing was ever serious enough to warrant extended medical treatment, but in retrospect I think it’s been the same issue all along. My lactose intolerance appeared to come “out of the blue,” but again, once I gave up lactose I realized that the symptoms had been building up for a while.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • I’ve read that up to 29% of people produce anti-gliadin antibodies in response to wheat gluten an immune response but that their symptoms are typically sub-clinical so they either don’t get seen by a doctor for it or diagnosed correctly.

        Great story, by the way!! GOOD ON YOU for taking your health seriously, doing your research, and sticking to it until you found what actually worked not what you were told works. And, you look healthy and fantastic!! I hope I look like that at 53! That was a really interesting thing you said about body composition. I had no idea a change could be that profound without the scale showing lower poundage as well.

        Tina wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • It’s actually about 83% of the people whose GI immune system reacts to the presence of gluten not 29%…

          mm wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • I too am noticing the same thing. I’ve been primal for 2.5 months. Dropped 10lbs the first 2 weeks and nothing else since. But, within the last 2 weeks I’ve noticed and been getting compliments that I look thinner and I suddenly can fit into a size 10 (from 12)! My body composition is definitely changing. I’m happy to see this phenomenon confirmed as I wasn’t sure about what was really happening. Thanks for sharing!

          Ara wrote on August 11th, 2012
        • Actually it is 29% of people who are asymptomatic, who have no symptoms of celiac disease that produce the anti-gliadin antibodies in response to wheat gluten.

          ashana wrote on September 7th, 2012
      • My mom and a friend of mine both had alarming instances like that. Both of them were taking Prozac at the time, both incidents occurred after they had taken Lactaid and then consumed dairy, and both of them had the “episodes” dismissed by their doctors . My mom had it happen twice, the second time she was alert enough to figure out what was coming on but the first time I found her semi-collapsed in the bathroom and had to call an ambulance. Scary stuff!

        Amy wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • Amy, that is scary. The second time I had to call a coworker from my cell phone because I didn’t have the strength to get to the phone a few feet away. By the time she ran into the break room less than a minute later I could barely speak.

          Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
  11. Good on ya!

    Jessie wrote on August 10th, 2012
  12. Myra – great story! I am curious if your “obese” spouse also went primal? Thanks for sharing.

    John wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • No. He has a slew of weight-related health issues and is still listening to his doctors/CW in spite of the results.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • So sorry to hear that. I wish my spouse would change also. Especially after seeing the changes I have gone through being primal/paleo.

        JM wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • wow! u mean to tell me that even after seeing you all’s remarkable physical transformations AND drastic health improvements, the spouses STILL are NOT convinced? wow.

          shelly wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • Just goes to show how much CW has a hold on people!

          Lizzy wrote on August 11th, 2012
  13. Wow-this is fantastic. I’m getting close to 50 and I’ve been primal for about a year. While i haven’t enjoyed the weight loss you mention, I have stabilized at healthy weight and I feel great.


    Jana Miller wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • I’m with you Jana. Here’s to Fab at Fifty

      Amanda wrote on August 11th, 2012
  14. Myra, thank you so much for sharing your story. It gives me a lot of hope to see “50 years young” women making such positive changes in their health and well being and body composition. You look amazing! Thanks for the inspiration!

    LizzyF wrote on August 10th, 2012
  15. Myra, I am so impressed and inspired! Thanks for sharing your story. Getting yourself to a state of vibrant health with a primal lifestyle while your spouse clings to CW is beyond brave and a commitment to self care that I hope to parallel someday.

    yoolieboolie wrote on August 10th, 2012
  16. Myra, this is a terrific success story! Congratulations!

    Jackie Kessler wrote on August 10th, 2012
  17. Wow! You are a hot mama at 53! Every week I pray for a success story of someone like me (menopausal, history of SAD diets and chronic cardio, etc.) and today here you are. I have been struggling with trying to be consist with PB/paleo by myself and stories like yours and other women on the forum are becoming the key.
    You go girl!

    Deb Thomas wrote on August 10th, 2012
  18. Myra, I am curious about the dehydration – my 18 yo son seems to have a problem with this type of thing every once in a while (not to the serious extent that you did, but he seems to get dehydrated kind of frequently). He eats fairly primal, but he does tend to eat like, well, a typical teenager – sugar, pasta, bread, etc., but he is very lean. I’m wondering if you have discovered a correlation to what you were eating to the dehydration, or if it is another condition you have been diagnosed with that PB is helping with?

    Kariberry wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • The cause of the dehydration has never been officially diagnosed beyond “stomach virus” since doctors thought it was brought on by the sudden diarrhea and not drinking enough fluids. I don’t think they took seriously the amount of fluids I said I was consuming on a regular basis. Within a week of eliminating the grains and sugars, the thirst and dehydration were gone for good.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • Diets high in dry – non fruit and vegetable – carbohydrates cause dehydration because every gram of carbs binds with 2 grams of water pulled from everywhere in the body, so much so in fact that large high carb meals eaten just before bedtime can cause imbalances in cardiac electrolytes sodium, potassium and magnesium which disrupt cardiac electrical signalling (electrophysiology) and can cause atrial and ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac death.

        From Wikipedia re Fatty Acid Metabolism:
        “Fatty acids, stored as triglycerides in an organism, are an important source of energy because they are both reduced and anhydrous. The energy yield from a gram of fatty acids is approximately 9 Kcal (37 kJ), compared to 4 Kcal/g (17 kJ/g) for carbohydrates.
        Since the hydrocarbon portion of fatty acids is hydrophobic, these molecules can be stored in a relatively anhydrous (water-free) environment.
        Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are more highly hydrated. For example, 1 g of glycogen can bind approximately 2 g of water, which translates to 1.33 Kcal/g (4 Kcal/3 g).
        This means that fatty acids can hold more than six times the amount of energy per unit of storage mass. Put another way, if the human body relied on carbohydrates to store energy, then a person would need to carry 67.5 lb (31 kg) of hydrated glycogen to have the energy equivalent to 10 lb (5 kg) of fat.”

        cancerclasses wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • From Home Remedies Pro dot com:

          “Bangungot or sudden unexpected death is a condition observed by people living in Eastern Asian countries. Bangungot is a term which means “bad dream” or “nightmare” is originated from the Philipines. It is a silent killer that mostly affects men. Although this condition has claimed many lives in East Asia, it is still rather uncommon among the western countries. In Eastern Asia as well as South East Asia, cases are more common among people who are in their adolescence and adulthood. Despite the deadly condition, these people still do not know how it occurs. Some believes that sleeping right after eating rice causes the sudden death, and this is one reason widely believed among the people living in the Philippines.

          Bangungot Prevention

          Several medical specialists from Japan, China as well as other Asian countries have indicated that eating noodles before sleeping is one of the most common causes of this problem. It isn’t the noodle that kills the victim, but the dehydration caused as a result of eating noodles. By eating these foods (and also alcoholic beverages) could create an electrolyte imbalance in the body thereby causing the body to lose water and dehydrates. Hence, it would be advisable to avoid eating noodles right before going to sleep. Take at least two hours for the body to digest the noodles before bedtime. In addition to that, studies have also found that going thirsty when going to bed is also a bad idea. It can also trigger bangungot when your body dehydrates during the 8 hour sleep cycle. So, better forget about the frequent bathroom trips as a result of drinking too much water before hitting the sack. Drink at least one or two tall glass of water before bed is advisable.”

          cancerclasses wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • In German, giving someone a noodle is an idiom for shooting him in the head.

          P.M.Lawrence wrote on August 11th, 2012
    • My son suffered with periodic bouts of uncontrollable vomiting, dehydration, hand tetany (cramping) for years (age about 7-16). Nothing seemed to trigger it or relieve it. The only thing that would bring him out was a brief bout (about 1-2 hours) of iv saline. As you can imagine, it took a long time for us to figure that out. As he got older, he could feel it coming on and head it off with immediate Gatorade. He is now 23 and hasn’t had an incident in about 8 years. Very scary-especially the first few times. Once we were traveling in SE Asia and he was couldn’t hold anything down for about 10 days-looked like a skeleton. Dangerous for the kidneys. He was/is very lean and otherwise healthy. Now I am wondering if it is going primal would be beneficial for him. Thanks so much for this post.

      Grace wrote on August 12th, 2012
  19. Oh!! And you look awesome!! 😉

    Kariberry wrote on August 10th, 2012
  20. Great story Myra, and encouragement to the many of us who are right behind ya age-wise! 50? Who’s scared of turning 50?!

    Finnegans Wake wrote on August 10th, 2012
  21. Great job, Myra! I wonder if you could share a typical day’s menu. I feel that I have the fitness aspect down, but the weight loss continues to elude me. Thanks!

    maddieaddie wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • I’ve always been a big breakfast eater and have always consumed the bulk of my calories between breakfast and lunch. I’ve never particularly cared for dinner. With that said, this is what my typical daily menu looks like:

      Breakfast – Some type of 2 or 3 egg, bacon, vegetable (spinach/mushrooms/onions/peppers/garlic) concoction (“muffin”/omelette/fritatta) on a bed of greens topped with guacamole; a handful of berries; coffee.

      Lunch – 6-8 oz. of meat with a side of green vegetables and/or squashes and a salad. Berries & nuts (sometimes sprinkled with shredded coconut) for “dessert.”

      Dinner – An apple with almond butter or
      a couple of squares of dark chocolate and a handful of macadamia nuts.

      I keep a good stash of primal goodies around for the days when I am more active and get hungrier.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • Hi Myra,
        Thanks for the post. I appreciate the menu…I have a similar breakfast and boy do I feel it if I miss it! I have little fruit though, and nuts rarely but the eggs and veggies ‘concoction’ had me smile because that’s what I call it too! Whatever veggies i have (cut, grated, chopped, raw or cooked) and leftover bacon, chicken or whatever meat lying about, in the pan and scrambled up with our duck eggs or made into omlette. YUM!!!
        Many thanks for the post.

        Michelle wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • Hey, sorry to butt in when I wasn’t asked but, for myself, weight loss goes out the window when I eat too much fat. I still can eat a goodly amount, well more than one would on a low fat regime, but it’s easy to go gonzo on the stuff since it’s a lot of calories by volume. 2-3 spoonfuls of coconut oil with stevia, cinnamon, and pecans look so small and harmless! I pay for it on the scale the next day, though.

      Tina wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • I appreciated your comment maddieaddie. Same for me. :)Or any treats which I try to eat only a leetle bit of (every day) :)

        Psh wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • Good for you Myra! Gee, I look at what Myra’s eating and I have way more fat and protein! While I lost inches at the waist, I haven’t been losing the weight…after 1 1/2 yrs Primal, I’ve only lost 5 lbs! I actually gained 6-7 lbs doing whole cream initially! Tina, I think I’m gonna drop the coconut milk, coconut oil, whole avocados, and temper the 3 eggs with less bacon and maybe less meat for dinner (I only do 2 meals). I’m 5’4″ and 47. Thanks for sharing your meal day – that’s the part I love to hear. Exercise is Primal for 12 minutes every 7 days. With CF, I have to pace the body wt. training a lot.

        Sandra Brigham wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • I think you should cut down on a few of them, but you don’t need to cut all of those. Everyone is different and for 2 years I have been heavy on the fat and protein side. You are already only eating two meals. Why cut your protein with dinner? Add green leafy greens and veggies instead and maybe less fat during the day, but don’t cut them. If you want this for life, don’t go for a quick fix by cutting your fat. Plus… stay off the scale. 😉 If you are working out you are gaining muscle and changing your body composition. If I got on the scale I would hate my number, but my size is exactly where I want it. Scales only depress you. 😉

          Tracy Seman wrote on August 11th, 2012
      • No worries, Tina. I’m glad you are sharing your experience too since we are all slightly different. My weight goes up when I have several consecutive non-primal days. When I was on vacation earlier this year I gained 3 lbs. in 10 days, probably a combination of eating too much and less primally. The excess weight was gone within 4 days of returning home.

        Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
  22. Awesome inspirational story Myra, my wife and I are about 3 to 4 weeks into primal and she is having struggles. I am going to share your story with her, I know it will help her seek the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks again.

    Preacher wrote on August 10th, 2012
  23. I love Fridays on MDA. Especially this Friday.

    Susan Slattery wrote on August 10th, 2012
  24. what a great post! thanks for sharing your inspiring story!

    Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy wrote on August 10th, 2012
  25. Myra, you look great! :)

    When I went to Primal eating, I quickly also went to strict paleo eating (Primal minus all the neolithic foods) because over a short period of time, I found that I couldn’t eat dairy or peppers or garlic (and a bunch of other things) without consequences, and then I realised that those symptoms had always been there, like you found. It’s amazing what a thick layer of grain-induced inflammation and mucus will hide.

    Imogen wrote on August 10th, 2012
  26. Myra, what a great testimony! Thanks for sharing

    Julie wrote on August 10th, 2012
  27. Love, love, love this success story! Definitely confirms my belief that one is never too old to change health for the better. Middle age does not have to be the end of the trail. You look fantastic, Myra, and–I am sure–feel even more so!

    Marianne wrote on August 10th, 2012
  28. Myra would you mind sharing your height and weight? I’m curious as to what a Size 0 is.

    oxide wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • 5’4″, 115 lbs.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • Oh no…I’m 4’11”, headed down to about 105 (cw 123) and when I get there I am going to have to wear kids clothes! I remember when I was 98lbs and a solid size 0. The vanity sizing these days is getting out of hand.

        Hayley wrote on August 12th, 2012
  29. We need more girls like you to be able to look up to.
    I also would like to know more about your works.

    Debi wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • Not big on workouts — mostly I play. I love to walk and hike and live in a great area to do so (plenty of sidewalks, hiking trails and hilly terrain within 100 feet of my front door). When I’m in the mood, I play in the children’s playgrounds (several of those around too). At home I generally have some type of dance music on and I dance as I do household chores. I also do my own landscaping and yard work. The only “formal” things I do are yoga and Zumba once a week. I’m trying to throw in Crossfit a couple of times a month, as long as it doesn’t interfere with socializing. Basically, I don’t let exercise get in the way of my social life.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • Oooooo! I love that you just move like a human! 😉 I don’t like workouts either, and my insistence that they are not a natural human activity has been met with much resistance (the very rare time when it is even a topic, that is). I also just dance through the day, do occasional yoga and qi gong, and otherwise, my life’s chores require intermittent heavy lifting (child-lifting, water hauling, etc…), squats (woodstove tending, tidying), lots of bending and plodding along at a leisurely human pace, and whatever else happens to be necessary.

        I don’t think our ancestors consumed vast quantities of food to fuel unproductive body exertion. It just doesn’t make sense. I think they moved as they needed to, and the result was a body that looks like ours, so the same plodding with variety of speed, movement and timing should produce an optimal condition for each body. The trick in modern society is of course to move through the day rather than let the machines do *all* the work. Some, sure. But not all. :)

        Imogen wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • LOL! I quickly figured out that, as you put it, moving like a human is excellent exercise. Driving around my neighborhood I noticed that all of the landscaping dudes were buff. They eat off of roach coaches and don’t make enough to pay for a gym membership. I didn’t see any sense in paying someone else to work out in my yard while I paid to work out at the gym.

          Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • +1 on the “workouts” – why pay someone else to do your yardwork, and then pay for a gym, when you can do both. Plus, doing the yardwork gets you outside for fresh air, sun exposure & Vitamin D production, and moving your body in natural ways vice a treadmill or elliptical – awesome!

          Dave wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • Excellent story, results and encouragement.It would be fun to have you for my neighbor. :)

        Psh wrote on August 10th, 2012
  30. Your story is awe-inspiring Myra! Thanks for sharing it. As an African-American woman it feels great to read your story as part of the continuing testimony of Primal lifestyle successes. You’ve given me inspiration to make my transformation (in progress) part of MDA too.

    sgl wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • Looking forward to seeing it. You go girl!!

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
  31. Hi Myra,
    My experience is very similar to yours. I’ve lost about 20 lbs eating primal, but my body composition hasn’t changed as dramatically as yours. I’ve lost weight every where except the lower abdomen and hips. I wonder if you could tell us a little more about your work out.

    Patty wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • I’m genetically small-hipped, so I’ll leave this one to someone better suited to answer (sorry). My problem area had always been the belly, which also runs in the family, but that was the first area where I saw the biggest difference by eating primally.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
  32. Holy guacamole, what a great story- inspirational! Thank you so much for sharing.

    BonzoGal wrote on August 10th, 2012
  33. Myra,
    Congrats! Your story is awesome.

    You mention the Carib. That pic looks like Palm Beach Aruba. Are you Aruban? (I live there, thus my curiosity. 😉

    brent wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • No, the picture was taken on Prickly Pear, Anguilla in the BWI. My ancestory is from Puerto Rico, Cuba and Jamaica.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
  34. Great story Myra! I am glad you shared your story because more people need to hear that they control their health and not the pharmaceutical companies and doctors.

    Hassan wrote on August 10th, 2012
  35. I love your emphasis that the numbers on the scale didn’t change but the numbers on your clothes did. ;D You look fabulous! I hope you are as much a health-inspiration for your family as you are for us!

    cTo wrote on August 10th, 2012
  36. What a great story! Thank you for sharing, Myra. Women take note – weight isn’t the number you should be worrying about. The scale lies! I have lost a dress size since last year and I weigh between 3-6 lbs more now. My waist shrank from 32″ to 29″ in that time. Take your bust/waist/hips/arms/thigh measurements or if you can, use accurate bodyfat measurements to measure progress rather than screaming at the scale.

    Sharon wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • Sharon, you’re absolutely right! I’m so glad that I measured myself and used an online body fat calculator before I started, because within a week I lost 3 lbs. I was trying to hang on to the weight I had at that point. The only thing that kept me on the primal journey was measuring myself after one week and using the same body fat calculator. Realizing that my weight loss correlated closely with my change in measurements made me realize that this stuff could actually work. I had to drop the fat and heal before my body could start rebuilding.

      Myra wrote on August 10th, 2012
      • Yes, if it wasn’t for the tape measure I would have been very confused. I lost 7 inches at the waist and more inches everywhere else. I was wearing stretch pants size 10 which I think must really be a 12 or 14. I’m down to a size 6 (squeaked into a 4 at the store) but only down 5 lbs. I know I regained all the muscle I had lost and lost a lot of fat; but I’m just not losing the remaing fat as quickly as most people do. 47yo, 5’4″ started at 139 or so and gaine 6-7 from cream. Ditched the cream and am now down to 134.5 and stalled for 3 wks now. So frustrating. But your post is a good reminder of how the fat is coming off even though the scale is not moving. Need to let go of more dietary fat me thinks.

        Sandra Brigham wrote on August 10th, 2012
  37. Great success story Myra! I’m a 60 year old male and have been living the Paleo lifestyle since March dropping 44 lbs and feel amazing. 60 is the new 40 when following Paleo!

    John wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • That is great! And 50 is the new 30?
      Love it.

      Anke wrote on August 19th, 2012
  38. Holy moly! I can’t get over how great you look! I loved your success story. Zero weight loss but oh man look at you! I also love the part about the end of those aches and pains. That’s been my experience, too!

    Diane wrote on August 10th, 2012
  39. Great story Myra, and awesome attitude! As a 46 year old(turning on the 31st this month) yungin, I admire those that have taken their own health in their hands(as have I) and said NO to CW. Keep up the great work, and Rock out with your Grok out:-)

    Dennis wrote on August 10th, 2012
  40. Nice work Myra. And thanks for the additional comments concerning what you eat and your movement/play. You look radiant! I too am 53 and having been mostly Primal for 9 months I notice I am leaner and more toned and my clothes fit more loosely. I have lost weight (about 10 lbs) but that is not the point so much as FEELING better! Here’s to a lifestyle that keeps us feeling well and whole.

    lanz wrote on August 10th, 2012

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