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

Overcoming the Insurmountable

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!


I never thought I would be writing or sharing a success story. Not because I didn’t’ think there would be success, but because I am really not the sharing type. But what happened to me and my wife is important, and I want you to know. I have been telling anyone who will listen:

First, a little background. I was and still am an active person. I used to work out daily at the gym for an hour, played hockey twice a week and was an avid skier, but I was really starting to loathe my workouts. I ate well, or at least I thought I did, but I also had a sweet tooth and we had no shortage of cookies, candy and everything in-between stocked in the pantry. I would go through phases of what I would call the Atkins diet if I felt I was getting too flabby. I would cut out refined sugars, bread and pasta, but was still keen on items like Diet Coke and anything a grocery store would classify as meat. My weight and body composition fluctuated regularly.

I didn’t know I was looking for an alternative, but fortunately I found one shortly after reading Born to Run. I was doing some Google searches on barefoot running, and sure enough Mark had an article on the subject. I think I bought the book the next day and not too long after that started making some very positive changes to my diet, my exercise routine and my lifestyle because I now understood what I needed to do and WHY!!!!! And I am happy to stay I’ve not only stuck to it, but I have been a good influencer for others and that is where this story gets interesting.

I am married and the proud father for 6-year-old twin girls. Twin girls that came to us through extensive time, energy and money spent at one of the top fertility clinics in the country. My wife suffers(ed) from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is one of the most common female endocrine disorders. As you’ll find on Wikipedia and can verify elsewhere:

PCOS produces symptoms in approximately 5% to 10% of women of reproductive age (12–45 years old). It is thought to be one of the leading causes of female subfertility and the most frequent endocrine problem in women of reproductive age.

The principal features are anovulation, resulting in irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, ovulation-related infertility, and polycystic ovaries; excessive amounts or effects of androgenic (masculinizing) hormones, resulting in acne and hirsutism; and insulin resistance, often associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among affected women.

We always wanted to have another child but the thought of going through the required process – which includes a heavy load of hormone drugs and the 25% chance of twins – seemed like too much for my wife and too much for our family. We essentially made the conscious decision that we were done! Or were we?….

In Dec 2011 I was finally able to convince my wife that it was time for her to make some lifestyle changes as well. She was very aware of the positive results I had been experiencing, but lacked the understanding, as I had, to make the changes needed. I gave her my copy of the PB and the next day we emptied our house of all the “bad food” and she was off and running down the Primal path. Little did we know that the path would take us to a growing family. My wife’s menstrual cycle quickly normalized when she eliminated unnecessary grains, gluten and sugar from her diet. In March, 3 months after going Primal, she became pregnant with our third child.

We had no idea this would happen and we are thrilled (and surprised). I wanted to say thank you because you have provided us the knowledge and given a lot of guidance – making it very easy to make what seems an insurmountable change.

warm regards,

Jeremy Creed

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. My husband and I have gone primal for 5 days now, lived on sugar, and always tired, neither one of us are tired just after 5 days, have lots of energy, I’m wondering if this primal way of living will help with mene pause, hot flashes have been driving me crazy and probably my husband for 10 years

    diane wrote on September 7th, 2012
    • Hi Diane, I have been about 90% primal for the past 8 months (i am 53) and the hot flushes I had been having for about 5 years have all but disappeared. If I drink wine, I will wake up in a sweat, otherwise I don’t notice any flushes any more. Can’t say whether it is the primal diet, or it was just time they settled, but I don’t care. I do think cutting out sugar & carbs is a big influence on the ravages of hormone hell we women in the prime of our lives experience. Hope you get some relief too.

      Hilary M wrote on September 8th, 2012
  2. this is an amazing story! good luck to you guys with the new little one!

    Marissa wrote on September 7th, 2012
  3. My theory is that his wife may have had celiac disease,, which can cause problems with fertility.

    Girlfriend wrote on September 7th, 2012
  4. Congrats on the new addition that’s on the way Jeremy!!! We, too, had to use reproductive assistance to conceive our 14 month old twin boys. We’ve been primal since the very beginning of this year and decided our family is complete. After reading your wonderful story, we are going to be MUCH more careful! 😉

    Stephanie wrote on September 7th, 2012
  5. THIS IS GREAT :) Thanks for sharing!

    Meagan wrote on September 7th, 2012
  6. This is a great story! I’m amazed at the # of young women I know who have had trouble conceiving. It is amazing what some fairly minor changes to your diet can do for your health. As your family has found…it can be life changing! Congrats!

    steffturner wrote on September 8th, 2012
  7. Can Tony just stop complaining! Tony, your first comment was : what are you cheating with. That’s not positive and definitely not primal. Stay on the subject!
    Jeremy looks great and muscular and Kudos to him and his family.

    CavewomanNL wrote on September 8th, 2012
    • He is cheating and has admitted he is running high body fat. That’s OK, he prefers it that was. It’s not an insult. Maybe he is bilking up to build more lean mass, maybe he doesn’t like the vascular look, etc. whatever the reason it’s fine and his preferences. Now, some of us don’t want to look and be that fat. Some people commented back to my remarks “I like a little meat on the bones” agreeing with my comment he’s a big boy, even though they are referring to fat not “meat” as that would be lean mass ie muscle. All I wanted to know was what he was doing to keep his body fat so high on this diet that makes us very lean when strictly held to whether we like it or not. Try to stop being insulted, and be realistic.

      Tony wrote on September 8th, 2012
      • Jenni, he admitted he was a fat boy in the picture. I don’t appreciate your constant attacks. Look at his response on the main page of comments to me and the community. I’m sorry, but it looks like I was perfectly correct to assume there was some reason he was so fat. You just don’t get it, when this diet is adhered to for over a year there is no way you’ll be fat, no matter what. Just wait until your arms and legs stop jiggling and you’ll recognize this. Thanks for starting to get healthy!

        Jeremy Creed wrote on September 8th, 2012
  8. best one yet!

    Michael wrote on September 8th, 2012
  9. WOW! great story :)

    doghug wrote on September 8th, 2012
  10. I’m another person who got pregnant on a low carb diet. My (wonderful!) endocrinologist suggested it to deal with lifelong PCOS. At the time, I was over 40 and we had to go through years of fertility treatment culminating in two IVF procedures to conceive our first child. I was also put on Metformin.

    I was not trying to conceive, only to improve my health. My periods had never been regular. I was thin and active as a young woman, the weight didn’t come on until all the fertility hormones started, and by the point my endo suggested low carb I was quite heavy, with severe insulin resistance and high testosterone levels.

    Within ONE MONTH of starting a low carb diet (Protein Power–long before PB was published) and Metformin I had my first ovulatory period EVER. I had lost little weight at that point, though I quickly lost 40 lbs. And I was shocked and delighted to find out six months later that I was pregnant.

    Incidentally, while I was eating a very low carb diet, I still had wheat and other grains in my diet at the time (not so now). So I believe it was the low carb component that was necessary to normalize the metabolism–grains did not prevent me from getting pregnant (and there would be a lot fewer children in this world if grains were solely responsible for infertility). I don’t think people should be eating grains, but one commentor suggested that it was grains alone responsible for PCOS. Clearly that is not true. Women with PCOS have a (probably genetic) metabolic carb intolerance–all sources of carb in the diet must be considered.

    Dr. Michael Fox uses low carb in his infertility practice and has reported that 90% of the women with PCOS in his practice acheive pregnancy without further assistive reproductive technology. He also uses low carb to successfully treat and prevent morning sickness in his patients. But many fertility doctors are ignorant of the metabolic component (or choose to ignore it since it cuts into their profits). Many women with PCOS are still treated with surgery to remove part of the ovary (wedge resection), and may undergo expensive and difficult assistive reproductive techniques because they are not told about how effective dietary changes may be or supported to make the correct dietary changes.

    It’s nice to see the word getting out beyond the “walls” of the PCOS and infertility sites (which still contain very mixed messages about dietary intervention, IMHO).

    Janknitz wrote on September 8th, 2012
  11. Jeremy, thanks for sharing your inspiring story, especially since you’re not a ‘sharing’ guy. I just started primal a week ago. It’s amazing to learn of the variety of problems people have solved by going primal.
    Re: the body fat discussion. Coming from the world of ‘regular’ people who don’t know much about body fat %, there are many men out there who wish they could look as hot as you do in your lab/ab picture! And lots of women who wish their husbands looked like that too. Certainly our US population would be a lot healthier if we got down to your 16% body fat from where many of us are now.
    You said this is an older picture and that you’re leaner currently. Is that the goal now in the primal/fitness world? Being super lean? Or is it that eating primal makes you super lean so it’s hard to keep body fat on?
    Thanks again!

    Denise wrote on September 8th, 2012
    • In my personal case, the latter is exactly right: hard to keep body fat on; The ‘ripped’ look comes naturally, if carbs are minimized (none consumed except for green veggies) and eating from appetite only. Have to work out to keep muscle mass. Am also starting to eat some sweet potato now and then for extra calories.

      BillP wrote on September 8th, 2012
  12. I have PCOS. Which is actually how I discovered PB. When I was diagnosed I read everything I could find. As a vegan my diet was very high in “healthy” carbs. I found people having success with low carb diets but being a low carb vegetarian didn’t feel healthy. You can’t live on eggs and cheese only. Within a month of following PB I discontinued all of my medications, lost almost 10 lbs and have cleared up my PCOS/diabetes symptoms. I’ve been following PB for about 3 months. I hope someday I’ll be sharing my Friday success story! Congrats to Jeremy and his wife – great story!

    Kelly wrote on September 9th, 2012
  13. Very nice job Jeremy and to your wife. As we know it can be hard socially when we stray from what is mainstream. Kudos. Tony is just baiting the rest of you…ignore him. Sad that he needs to taint such an amazing story.

    Egan wrote on September 9th, 2012
  14. Echoed on the PCOS symptoms going away, my cycle regulated within the first two months and now I have a perfect 30 day cycle every month which is an incredible and very obvious health benefit.

    So incredible that a change in diet can do so much for you, but it angers me that no doctor seems to even have an awareness that PCOS can be controlled with diet and exercise.

    steph wrote on September 9th, 2012
  15. Blessings on you and your wife and children. God did not make anything artificial- so your natural path to health and a healthy family is wonderful!


    Rev. Dave Deppisch wrote on September 9th, 2012
  16. YEAH!!!! congradulations!!!!! Go Primal lifestyle ^_^

    B_shaw wrote on September 10th, 2012
  17. This was such a happy story it made me cry! Thanks for that!

    Having watched those close to me go through the same struggle, though in their case even IVF didn’t work, I love happy stories like this because I know how painful infertility is for those involved.

    And, on top of that, no matter the fat content…you were healthy there and on a fantastic journey. It is little steps and enjoying and loving life again that counts….

    Ursula wrote on September 10th, 2012
  18. Hey Jeremy,
    When we were up at your cottage the other weekend I noticed you didn’t touch the Bread-Pudding. I didn’t know you are full-on primal.

    That’s a great story, congrats!


    Paul Stephens wrote on September 10th, 2012
  19. Awesome story.

    James Hunter wrote on September 11th, 2012
  20. Hi Jeremy

    Great story I really enjoyed reading your post.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Good luck in the future



    kim wrote on September 12th, 2012
  21. I’m sorry Jeremy.

    Tony wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  22. You look hot!!!

    Coco wrote on November 10th, 2012

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