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.