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

The Weight Seemed to Just Shed Off Effortlessly

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!

This Primal Blueprint Real Life Story was submitted a few months ago during the annual 30-Day Challenge.

I have been following a Primal Blueprint diet for the last 9 months and the results for me have been amazing! I want to share my success story with you.

One year ago I was 34 years old, 5’7″, 177 lbs and wearing a size 16 jeans. I was really not happy with myself. Other than the extra weight, I was a pretty healthy person. I had been very active with the Weston A. Price organization and lifestyle for the previous 6 years so I had already eliminated most processed foods from my diet long ago. I bought a grass-fed cow every year to stock my freezer, I belonged to a raw-milk herdshare, I diligently soaked and fermented all the grains I ate and bought all my vegetables through local farmers I was friends with. I even had my own backyard chickens. Even so, my weight had been slowly climbing over the last year and when I reached that high of 177 and really evaluated how I felt I knew something had to change.

At that time I had a very progressive friend who had lost a lot of weight recently and overcome health problems by adjusting her diet to gluten free/specific carbohydrate (SCD) and taking up running. I was happy with what I was eating, I didn’t want to change but I was intrigued by the running and the 5k/10ks she was doing so I decided to give running a try. I was never really into exercise before, I typically felt tired and unmotivated a lot but this time I wanted to do something to change. I started in September 2010 with Couch to 5K program and I fell in love with running. I felt good doing it and I continually amazed myself with my increasing distances. I completed my first 5K in late October 2010 and immediately had fantasies of myself crossing the line on 10ks and half marathons. By the end of December I was running about 4 days a week and completed my first 10K distance. I was excited with my progress, but even with over three months of running under my belt I had barely lost any weight (only 5 lbs) and I was still wearing a size 16 (maybe I could squeeze into a 14) jean.

Then I got injured. Just after Christmas, after three days of continuous running on some hilly routes, I suddenly developed an inflamed tendon in one ankle and I could barely walk for a week. The doctors said it was an “overuse” injury (I didn’t actually roll it or anything) and I needed to stay off of it for eight weeks. This was a crushing blow to my new runner lifestyle. My plans of signing up for that first half marathon in April of 2011 just went out the window. I was pretty bummed. So as I was sitting around in January with more time to think, I heard that same progressive friend of mine talk about this Primal Blueprint book she had read and how great it was. Once again I was intrigued by her description and I went and got a copy for myself.

That, of course, was one of the best purchases I ever made. I am a biologist by trade and I loved the scientific nature of the book. It made total sense to me. I immediately started following the Primal Blueprint diet as soon as I finished the book. For me, it wasn’t that difficult of a change. As I mentioned before I was already eating WAPF style (unprocessed, grass-fed, homemade, whole foods), all I had to do was quit the grains and the sugar I was still eating. I made the change and I also purchased the Primal Blueprint Cookbook for recipe ideas. For the first 30 days I meticulously counted the macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs, calories) of every thing I ate to make sure I was staying in the recommended level of carbs and calories for weight loss. It was a pain in the butt to calculate all that every day especially when you are making a dish from scratch but I really wanted to do it right.

My experience with Primal Blueprint has been nothing but positive. The weight seemed to just shed off effortlessly. I was not exercising when I started because my ankle was still messed up but it didn’t seem to matter, I kept losing. My initial goal was to get down to 140 lbs by June 2011 and I reached that goal no problem. My biggest “complaint” was that I had to buy a new pair of jeans every month because the old ones were falling off! I absolutely love Primal food! I do not miss bread or pasta at all really. I have found new and better things to eat that make me feel good. I will make coconut flour pancakes with nut butter and eggs for breakfast, homemade cream of broccoli soup for lunch, a big pot of bison chili for dinner and then have a few squares of super dark chocolate with fresh raspberries for dessert and I am in heaven. Who could ask for anything more!?

Nine months into my Primal Blueprint journey I am 35 years old, 138 lbs, and down to a size 8 jeans. In July I decided to focus on building strength and toning muscle and I kicked up the exercise. Exercise has historically not been my favorite thing, so to keep my motivation up I hired a personal trainer to keep me on track for my LHT (Lift Heavy Things) workouts twice a week. I still run maybe once a week or so but I am not obsessive about it as I once was. And it is interesting to note, now that I am doing strength training the running is so much easier to keep up with. Before, if I had skipped a few days of running I would have struggled to get back to the same distance/pace. Now, I can skip a week and it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. I can still run a 5k on the fly :-) I feel amazing and I am so happy with the changes I have made in my life. I want everyone to know that you can do it too! I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

P.S. I want to share this interesting little story… for my birthday a couple weeks ago I splurged a little and after dinner went out for ice cream which I hadn’t done for a while. I ordered one scoop of ice cream and I honestly could not finish it. I have never ever in my life not been able to finish a scoop of ice cream. In fact I have been known to eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s on more than one occasion in the past. This time I got about 2/3 through the scoop and started to feel jittery and light headed and just weird, I had to stop. I just thought that was so amazing, I can actually HEAR my body now. I can FEEL the normal physiological response to such foods rather then being muted to that response from a lifetime of consuming excess carbs and sugar. Such feedback makes me feel alive and aware and supports my belief that I am on the right path.

Loveland, OH

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. YAY! Love this story! I was the same–doing WAPF-style, eating high-quality foods but still had the sugar and grains getting to me. What a great Friday story and inspiration!!

    Lucia wrote on December 30th, 2011
  2. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story.

    Nichole wrote on December 30th, 2011
  3. What an uplifting story, Jennifer! Good job. You look happy and beautiful.

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on December 30th, 2011
  4. Congrats! Love your smile – it was beautiful before but now I see a light shining from within.

    Linda wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • You’re right. Her smile was nice before, but it’s just so BIG and happy and bright now! You can see the joy and love of life written all over her face. I share that same feeling and inability to wipe the happy-face off. Grok on, Jennifer!

      Doug D wrote on December 30th, 2011
  5. You know, it’s actually nice to hear someone who followed WAPF for so long come out against the grains. I was involved with WAPF for a long time before Primal was very popular. I was Primal back the but the WAPF people were the only real food eating people I knew so I hung out with them a lot. One of my best friends back then had two young sons, one suffering from severe eczema and the other from behavioral problems. I always used to try to convince her to remove grains. Even though they were soaked they were still problematic. But she just wouldn’t do it. She fought that idea tooth and nail. She tried every possible healing modality to no avail. Oh well. Maybe she’s figured it out by now.

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • I totally agree!!! I am deep into the WAPF stuff and do not agree with their stance on grains at all.

      Meagan wrote on December 30th, 2011
  6. Amazing story! We follow WAPF guidelines, but just haven’t found room in the budget yet to totally eliminate grains (they’re so cheap!). Your story really inspires me to do what I can to move in a more primal direction with our diets. Your fitness achievements are what I love the most!

    Danielle wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Replace the grains with what Perfect Health Diet calls “safe starches”…sweet potato, red potato, taro, maybe some white rice. They don’t have the toxins, are very cheap, and provide starch if you want that in your diet.

      Kathy wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • The amazing thing that we have found doing Primal Blueprint is that eliminating the grains/sugar has actually made it easier to budget in the healthy foods. We don’t always get pastured butter/beef/eggs but get the best we can and then supplement. What has really cut the cost is that even after a short time on this way of eating (started in earnest after Thanksgiving), we aren’t as hungry as constantly or for the sheer VOLUME of food. Yesterday, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t eaten and it was already 5:30 in the afternoon. 1 1/2 months ago my body would have been screaming for mac and cheese. No more. My DH (still has the occasional white sandwich bread, ugh)has even discovered that nitrate free uncured bacon doesn’t have the icky ‘mouth-feel’ the other kind did. The scale says I’ve only lost about 6 pounds but my figure has changed dramatically (not fully exercising yet). The ‘belly’ from just below my breasts to my hips is melting away. I’ve put all of Mark’s books on my Nook so they can be accessed from anywhere!

      Sandra wrote on January 1st, 2012
      • Our family found the same thing–that once we eliminated all the grains and sugar that we could actually afford to get the healthy foods. We just buy large quantities of it. For instance, our 1/2 cow (grass-finished) was $2.75/pound (we live in Ontario, Canada and that’s a great price). That includes all the fat, bones, liver and tongue. It’s been great. We only go to the grocery store now for cream and fresh vegetables (it’s winter so our foodshare isn’t available). I froze a lot of tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries and other items from the summer so that we could keep our winter food costs down. It really makes a difference to plan ahead.

        Happycyclegirl wrote on January 2nd, 2012
        • Hey,

          I also live in ON. Where do you get your grass-finished cow? I’ve looked around but only found very pricey options.

          Any advice would be super helpful.


          Navin wrote on October 17th, 2012
  7. Thanks for sharing Jennifer. I’m just up the road on 75 North of Dayton. I wonder if we are on the same herd share even with EAT Food For Life farm.

    Anyway, I appreciate your reference of WAPF. I’ve been following their direction for a couple years now and it really is terrific stuff. But with Crohn’s Disease I’ve found eliminating the grains extremely helpful. I also appreciate MDA providing more of a framework to go from and a different flavor of writing style (much less fear based). I certainly still use the invaluable Nourishing Traditions but with some modifications that really helps me to naturally combat my Crohns.


    Matt wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Hi Matt, yes I know EAT Food For Life very well :-)

      jennifer wrote on December 30th, 2011
      • DYT here too! There are few of us out there eh? I love Eat food for life, Dan is the best. I love putting orders in b/c Jean rocks. Their variety is awesome!

        Jen, congrats! You look great, even familiar (I thought this before I saw your locale).

        taratootie wrote on January 4th, 2012
      • Jennifer,

        I live in Loveland also, and was wondering if anybody in the Cincinnati area was following the primal blueprint life style. I just picked up the “Primal Blueprint, 21 Day Total Body Transformation” book, and a light warning from my Dr. today to lose weight. I not that much into exercise, but am going to have to do something. Can you tell me what obstacles you had to overcome when you started the primal lifestyle?


        James Moellmann wrote on January 23rd, 2012
    • I agree, MDA really comes at you with a much more positive spin than WAPF.

      Btw, hello Dayton neighbor. I visit Dan’s booth (EAT Food for Life) at the second street market weekly. :-)

      Jennifer is the first person who introduced me to WAPF and I introduced her to Primal Blueprint. :-)

      Chris wrote on December 30th, 2011
      • HI,

        Thanks for your story Jennifer.

        small world I am was previously a customer of Dan’s, the only reason I’m not any more is because I have a much closer source of milk now.

        I have tried to follow the WAPF for over 3 years now, they have been an invaluable source of information but my body has an issue with grains. Tried over the past year to stop eating grains and had great results, but got sidetracked with life circumstances along the way. So I am starting back at square one.

        Here’s to a new year to limited grains and sugar!

        Rebekah wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  8. What a great story! Thank you for being an inspiration.

    chocolatechip69 wrote on December 30th, 2011
  9. Wow I love the inspiration! I am so ready to buckle down and get started, it’s nice to see someone who was a bit bigger to start also without being extremely obese. Right now I am 195 (or so) and 5’7″ and have no idea where I should lose to. CW says anywhere from 140-160 but I haven’t seen that since HS. In HS at 120-130 I was skinny fat and very unhealthy and looked a bit odd so I don’t know where to aim but 140 looks awesome on you and suddenly sounds more doable than before!

    EZ wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • I just flipped through a women’s magazine, and the weight-loss article showed women whose “goal weights” seemed to be about 25 pounds higher than they should have been. As if finding their true weight was impossible (which, on CW, it might be). Just lose until you stop losing — it’s amazing how many hidden fat pockets there are to lose.

      oxide wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • I am 5’3″ (183lbs) and shooting for between 120 and 135. 120 was the weight I was in middle school when I stopped growing in height, and 135 was the thinnest as an adult where I was beginning to look good, no rolls of fat on my midsection.

      Halls m.d. web site has an “Ideal weight Calculator” you might like.

      toaster for sale wrote on December 30th, 2011
      • I just want to caution people against being caught up in a number, as you may be a certain weight but very fit and muscular and weigh much more than “prescribed”.

        Nini wrote on January 1st, 2012
    • I had no idea whether the author was a man or a woman until the very end of the article, and I have no idea which you are at all. But information like that makes a lot of difference to knowing whether the numbers for weight etc. are high or low, and so on. It’s best to get that information out early, for context.

      P.M.Lawrence wrote on December 30th, 2011
      • Do guys wear size 16 jeans? I thought their jeans go by waist size and inseam.

        karyn wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  10. Thanks for sharing. You look great.

    rabbit_trail wrote on December 30th, 2011
  11. Way to go Girl! It really is best just to cut out grains and legumes. And they really will not be missed. I am similar to you in that regard, I really cannot lose or maintain weight with grains. Also for me as well I have to track my food calorie intake(i use especially now that i am trying to lose those ‘last 10 pounds’.
    Congratulations to you!

    Gayle wrote on December 30th, 2011
  12. Great story. There is so much more to “proper grain preparation” than soaking, anyway. Unless you’re buying your own wheat berries, soaking and sprouting the berries yourself, drying them in your own oven, grinding them with a grain mill right before use, then fermenting them for 72 hours with baker’s yeast and Greek yogurt or kefir, you’re not doing it right as far as I’m concerned. And after all that work, why even bother. The grains just aren’t worth it IMO. Amazing progress. Keep it up!

    ChocoTaco369 wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Even with all that work, are they really harmless or just almost harmless, like how processed soybeans a.k.a. tofu is almost harmless, has almost no toxic proteins, and almost won’t disrupt your endocrine system and cause gradual brain shrinkage…

      mm wrote on January 1st, 2012
  13. I am from OH as well! Very close to loveland actually. It is great to know that I am not the only one in OH who is Primal. You look amazing!

    Emily wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • I’m from Ohio as well, around the Columbus area. I was introduced to this website from an app called PostSecret where people post secrets anonymously: one of the secrets was about a girl who wanted to lose weight.

      I’ve been struggling with my weight since I was 5. My downfall, sweets, carbs, and portion control.

      Reading all of this really gives me a lot of encouragement that a healthly lifestyle can be lived without the carbs.

      Thank you for the inspiration.

      Jennifer wrote on December 31st, 2011
  14. You are an inspiration! Way to go!

    albertasara wrote on December 30th, 2011
  15. Just look how adorable you are…congrats.

    Sharon wrote on December 30th, 2011
  16. Yay you look awesome! Congrats!!

    cTo wrote on December 30th, 2011
  17. Someone recently congratulated me on my amazing weight loss and “all my hard work.” They were pretty discombobulated when I frankly told them it was pretty effortless.
    Thanks for sharing such fabulous inspiration!

    rose wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Totally. Everyone assumes it’s due to lots of torture, exercise, and suffering. I finally had to tell a friend of mine, who was giving me way too many uncomfortable compliments, that it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise, not the other way around which is what CW wants us to think. I had a knee injury when I went Primal and couldn’t even swim. And yet, the pounds came off effortlessly.

      Karen P. wrote on December 30th, 2011
  18. Great story Jennifer! Congratulations on your transformation. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It’s always inspiring to hear about the success of others. Best wishes and have a happy new year!

    Jessica wrote on December 30th, 2011
  19. Love seeing inspiring stories! Going to do the detox workshop in January at Fuse Pilates to give that a try too, fingers crossed for amazing change to happen!

    Holly wrote on December 30th, 2011
  20. Thanks for sharing your story Jennifer. A friend just told me about Mark’s website 2 days ago. I’m loving it. Our local bookstore didn’t have any copies of the PB in stock, I’ve ordered it. I’m hoping to start living this Primal lifestyle soon… I’m a newbie but everyones comments & advice are so inspiring!
    Congrats from Canada!

    Reesa wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Welcome Reesa!! Glad to have you :)

      Alyssa wrote on December 30th, 2011
  21. Thanks for the great comments guys! I am so excited to be featured on MDA! Since September when I wrote my story I have lost another 6 lbs and another pant size, lol. I feel amazing! I have so much energy and feel happy and upbeat all the time. Thank you Mark for all your wisdom!

    jennifer wrote on December 30th, 2011
  22. You can tell the you feel fantabulous! We are incredibly influenced by outside sources, it’s luck that your friend sent you on the path of the primal blueprint.

    Congrats on your success!!!

    Caleigh wrote on December 30th, 2011
  23. I was gonna guess you were an Ohioan, as I recognized the seats and surroundings as a trip to GABP!

    I’m just right across the river in Kentucky. Great story and good luck. Hope to be in your shoes in a couple months.

    Adam wrote on December 30th, 2011
  24. Amazing job, Jennifer! Best wishes for a fabulous, primal New Year!

    Anne wrote on December 30th, 2011
  25. Really, really awesome! I can tell that you feel really great, and you are very radiant. :)

    Ariana wrote on December 30th, 2011
  26. I think she’s actually *glowing* in the after picture!! radiating health & happiness from within 😀

    peggy wrote on December 30th, 2011
  27. Also for your next ice cream ‘fix’, I suggest Clemmy’s. It tastes great and is sweetened with Xylitol instead of sugar. I found out about it from comments on this blog. It is my splurge about once a month or 2.

    Gayle wrote on December 30th, 2011
  28. Love seeing another lady success story on here. Good work–so inspiring!

    Leigh wrote on December 30th, 2011
  29. Jennifer, you look so beautiful, healthy and radiant! I’m really happy that you found this lifestyle and are doing so well on it. You’re an inspiration to me!

    Sabrina wrote on December 30th, 2011
  30. These Friday success stories are amazing! Great job Jennifer!

    Tony wrote on December 30th, 2011
  31. Rrrrowrrrr!

    Piscator wrote on December 30th, 2011
  32. Wow ~ what a difference!
    I bet you are smiling all the time now and not scared of mirrors anymore to boot!
    You make it sound easy but it still takes dedication and setting a goal and sticking with that goal ~ so you are to be commended.
    You rock or grok is better :)!!!

    Trish wrote on December 30th, 2011
  33. Jennifer — I love your new “glow”! Living proof of how wonderful going primal can be. Good for you!

    Marianne wrote on December 30th, 2011
  34. This is just what I needed to hear today. Your whole story sounds just like mine…I’m 5’7″ and 179lbs as of this morning. I have a grass fed meat and raw milk share, I follow the “nourishing traditions” basics and eat no processed food, and I’m just recovering from an overuse injury related to exercise. I’ve been trying to drop those last 30ish pounds for over a year now and making no progress. I’m 8 days into the primal lifestyle, and 6 pounds down already. If you can do it, I can do it! Thanks for the very personal inspiration you’ve given me!

    Serenity wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Wow, your story does sound very similar to me! You can do it! Just follow Mark’s guidelines – I recommend counting carbs and calories in the beginning to get you started – and it will happen!

      Jennifer wrote on December 30th, 2011
  35. way to go girl! congratulations!

    sharon wrote on December 30th, 2011
  36. Awsum!

    frank wrote on December 30th, 2011
  37. Amazing and inspiring! Just started to check our paleo in the past few weeks testing the recipes etc and have lost 5 pounds! Going all the way now!

    Friends and coworkers think I’m insane but I don’t care as I feel on the inside like you look on the outside! I finally feel like I’ve found the answer for me and it makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing your story!

    newgrokcanadensis wrote on December 30th, 2011
  38. Excellent! I only have 10 extra lbs, but I struggle to ‘believe’ it is just the tiny bit of grains & sugar I allow myself. Your story is really going to help me. Thanks!

    Cecilia wrote on December 30th, 2011
  39. Love Fridays on MDA–they keep me motivated! Congrats, Jennifer! You look great!

    Alyssa wrote on December 30th, 2011
  40. Awesome. Very encouraging

    Dan Smith wrote on December 30th, 2011

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!