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The Butterfly

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story [1] 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 [2]. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…”

I will have my one year Primal Blueprint anniversary this 13 May 2012. Going Primal changed my life so completely, that I can only compare the transformation to a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.

When I found The Primal Blueprint [3] a year ago, I was beyond desperate. I had finally admitted to myself and others that I had an eating disorder. I spent almost 37 years (since I was 9) being a binge eater. During that time, I also had several bouts of anorexia and exercise bulimia. My whole life revolved around gaining and losing 5-10 lbs. I can’t tell you how much time was spent managing my weight. This included all the time that I spent obsessing, avoiding people and life, exercising to compensate for the weight gain, manically working hard to get the weight off – only to binge again and gain the weight back. I put my poor body through hell. I spent my entire life being uncomfortable with myself. My self hatred was off the charts. I was constantly depressed.

I learned very early how to disguise my weight and how I felt about myself. It was no accident that I found a career in fashion, as I was an expert at styling-using clothing to disguise any and all perceived or imagined flaws. I never wore any fitted clothing, and if I did, it was during the few times that my weight had gone down to where I felt happy. That never lasted. Soon I would be right back to where I had started, plus a few more pounds on top of that. I learned that when I wore fantastic pieces of jewelry and/or shoes, that no one would focus on what I looked like, but what I was wearing. My entire life’s work revolved around trying to become invisible.

I am a single mom. My son will be 20 next month, and I raised him by myself since the beginning. Before I went Primal, he would express extreme frustration with the fact that I would wear sweatpants around all the time, especially in public. But it didn’t matter what he thought. I just couldn’t live up to my potential as a human being in the miserable state I was in. I thought I would NEVER, EVER break this awful pattern.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I went and got help. It only took a one hour session with an eating disorder counselor for me to feel better emotionally. After that, everything snowballed synchronistically. It was as if all I had to do was admit that I had a problem and confess it to those near and dear to me in order for my circumstances to change. The universe stepped in and soon afterwards, I discovered The Primal Blueprint [3] online. The first story I read was The Unconquerable Dave [4]. I was hooked immediately. Everything I read clicked and made sense to me. I ordered the books and began living the Primal Lifestyle. I never had to go back to that counselor.

In the beginning I doubted that it would work for me. Could I, would I, ever really love my body and myself?

The transition from a high carb diet to Primal eating was not painless. I definitely experienced the low carb flu [5] for a while. In addition, when the fat began to melt away, the toxins that had been stored there caused me to have major blockages in my lymphatic system. I also developed a Healing Crisis. But I kept going no matter what. I wanted what Dave had. I wanted what I had always dreamed of having – a great body with self confidence and self love.

Slowly but surely, I discovered which foods worked for my body (not my emotions). For the first time in my life, I was satiated. I have always loved food, but no longer looked at it from a love/hate perspective. I LOVE the Primal Lifestyle. During this whole year, I actually NEVER did ANY of the exercises. After years and years of manic biking, running, walking, etc., I just felt really comfortable doing nothing. Even without exercise the weight came off, and my body transformed. I am very lucky. I am Greek, so I have a strong body to begin with. The Primal Lifestyle is a perfect match for me. Last month I bought a set of ballet tapes and am looking forward to beginning an exercise regimen for the upcoming year.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I stopped thinking about what I was doing anymore. Being Primal is truly a way of life for me – an ingrained habit. I still weigh myself everyday, as sometimes my brain tries to trick me into believing that I am still the same as I ever was. I sometimes don’t see the new me in the mirror. My friend who is a photographer has helped me with that. He has taken some amazing photos of me, some of which I am sharing with you here. It is through those photos that I can really see the results of my hard work.

Last week I had my first date in 15 years with a guy I went to college with. We hadn’t seen each other in 28 years!! The first thing he said was how amazing I looked and that he had never seen me look that good. We had an incredible time together. I felt beautiful. Not once during the time I spent with him did I feel insecure about my body, nor did I ever experience any slight level of self hatred. To be honest, if I hadn’t been Primal, I am not sure I would have ever shown up to see him.

I am SO incredibly grateful to Mark for the Primal Blueprint and to all the others on the forum who I followed and who helped me out in the beginning. I am healthy. I love myself. I love my body. I wear fitted clothing now. I feel like a million bucks. I feel sexy. I have maintained my set-point weight.

I am no longer the caterpillar. I am the butterfly.

Thank you for letting me share.

In joy and freedom,

Monica (aka mondawg)

I met Mark in NYC at CrossFit, May 2011