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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!

real life stories stories 1 2

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 icon smile 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.

before after

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.

Jennifer
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. Congrat Jennifer. Awesome results. I have been wondering if there was anyone else in the area following Mark’s advice. West Chester here.

    Mark wrote on December 30th, 2011
  2. Great success story. I like the fact you wore similar clothes for your before and after picture. keep up the good work Jennifer.

    Tom wrote on December 30th, 2011
  3. Hi Jennifer:
    I LOVE your success story!! You look awesome and I KNOW you feel sooooo good!! You are going to have a FANTASTIC 2012!!
    Tonja

    Tonja Pizzo wrote on December 30th, 2011
  4. Very inspirational story! It is amazing how getting off grains and sugar can effect fat loss!

    PaleoDentist wrote on December 30th, 2011
  5. Jennifer you look super good – Woooo Hooooo!!!

    WildGrok wrote on December 30th, 2011
  6. Congratulations Jennifer! I live in Cincinnati so it’s wonderful to read the story of a hometown girl who also follows the Primal Blueprint!

    Donald wrote on December 30th, 2011
  7. Awesome story Jennifer. I’m so proud of you!!!!!!!

    Chris wrote on December 30th, 2011
  8. Congratulations – you made it sound so easy and I guess it really is. I dumped all the sugar in my house and will start counting carbs more diligently now. Still working through the PB book – wish I had learned all this great stuff so much earlier in life!

    Brenda wrote on December 30th, 2011
  9. Great story thanks for sharing. I have hit a plateau and the part in your story about making sure one is in the proper carb, fat, protein, and caloric range is something i am going to focus on. Thanks for the share. i so love these Friday posts.

    apical meristem wrote on December 30th, 2011
  10. Well done, Jennifer. You look so happy and beautiful. There was such a little lady living inside a big one. So good you got her (you) out of there! :-)

    Susan Alexander wrote on December 30th, 2011
  11. Love this story!! Thanks so much for sharing :D It’s so nice to know that I am not alone!!

    Meagan wrote on December 30th, 2011
  12. You look amazing! I tried the primal challenge in September. I didn’t lose much weight…but it did apparently make me fertile. After 1.5 years of trying, and eventually giving up…uh, early October I got pregnant. (I’m no spring chicken either, 41).

    Funny that. Well, I won’t be seeing my skinny jeans anytime soon, LOL!

    anonymous wrote on December 30th, 2011
  13. Congrats, Jennifer, that’s awesome!! I live in Loveland, too. Do you go to Lifetime? You look familiar.

    Melanie wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Yes! I go to Lifetime Fitness! Please contact me, I would love to meet a friend and and fellow grok there!!! jenniferk29 at gmail dot com

      Jennifer wrote on December 30th, 2011
  14. Jennifer you say in the beginning you counted calories and breakdown of macros. What calorie amount and macro amounts did you aim for?

    Sue wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Hi Sue! Do you have the Primal Blueprint book? I followed the calculations exactly as Mark laid out in the book to determine how many calories and carbs I should be eating for weight loss. Based on my resting metabolism and % body fat at the time, and calculating for a 7.66/lb per month caloric deficit (which I think is the example Mark gave in the book) I was eating about 1500 calories a day. I aimed for 75 grams carbs, 75 grams protein and 100 grams fat. This worked well for me. Today, now that I am doing a lot more strength training, I eat a lot more protein.

      Jennifer wrote on December 30th, 2011
  15. I liked the part about the ice cream and being more aware of your body…that’s really what it’s all about! Great story :-)

    primalpal wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • I agree with the ice cream comment. I have started to feel that way finally with sugar. My body just hates it. Its worse than being drunk ;-)Good for you Jennifer!! very inspiring!

      Shira wrote on January 1st, 2012
  16. Great inspiration….. I am 58 years old and feel every day of it. I plan to jump on for the new year and the rest of my life… which I hope will be long. I am 240 lb… have a goal of 160….. at 5’5″. Now that is a BIG goal for an old girl. ;-)

    Vicki wrote on December 30th, 2011
  17. I thought you looked so familiar, I wasn’t surprised to see you are in SW Ohio like me. :) Way to go! I have a bunch more to lose, I’m working on catching up to you this year lol :)
    Amber

    ILovePrimal wrote on December 30th, 2011
  18. Wow you look amazing…even before, what a great smile.
    Congrats on your success. Well done, girl. :)

    Arty wrote on December 30th, 2011
  19. Thanks so much for sharing your story-you look fantastic and so happy! I’m also 5’7 and have another 30 pounds to lose. Lost about 20 so far! I also love your note at the end about the ice cream and your body’s reaction. I was sidetracked by holiday visitors and their “gifts” of sweets and felt nauseous and miserable after wards but am back on track now!

    Kristy wrote on December 30th, 2011
  20. You look great Jennifer!

    I embark on my Primal journey on Jan. 1, and will be blogging about the experience.

    Werner wrote on December 30th, 2011
    • Hey Werner, how you going. My husband and i started our Primal journey on Jan 1st as well, so i thought id check in with you. We are in Melbourne Australia. Love to hear your news.

      Robyn wrote on January 10th, 2012
  21. I’m planning on starting the Primal Blueprint after I get back from my trip. I feel like I am about the same size as you to start with, and I’m excited about what the future holds. I too come from a WAPF background…this just makes so much more sense!

    Heather wrote on December 30th, 2011
  22. Congratulations Jennifer!!!

    Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of ATTRACTIVE WASP WAISTS. ;)

    Félix wrote on December 30th, 2011
  23. Nice change! Congrats!

    Paul Alexander wrote on December 31st, 2011
  24. Terriific Job! You have inspired me to begin 30 day challenge! Thanks…

    Tony wrote on December 31st, 2011
  25. I was also into WAPF before going primal/paleo and losing the weight. IMO, WAPF is a good stepping stone out of SAD, but it has way too much focus on cheap, suboptimal, neolithic foods.

    Alex wrote on December 31st, 2011
  26. I am an 80 year old female, 5-3, 180 lbs. I WILL NOT go to my funeral this fat. Actually, I’m in excellent health, other than fat, and the funeral remark was a joke. I love reading all the coments. Keep up the good work, kids.

    Lureen wrote on December 31st, 2011
  27. It’s such a pleasure reading Mark’s newsletter and the success stories and recipes and encouragement from Mark.

    Lureen wrote on December 31st, 2011
  28. You look lovely! Echoing everyone else, your smile is radiant in the second picture. Congrats and good luck with the rest of the journey.

    PS: Coconut flour pancakes — YES.

    Lisa wrote on December 31st, 2011
  29. The before and after pictures speak volumes about the effectiveness of the paleo diet. Thank you so much for your story! I will be sharing this with others.

    Josh wrote on December 31st, 2011
  30. Congratulations, girl! You look awesome! Even more important, you look like you FEEL awesome. Good on you. :-)

    Tina wrote on December 31st, 2011
  31. Hi Jennifer! You look absolutely amazing!! Hopefully in another year I can accomplish at least some of what you have this past year! Congrats!

    Kristi wrote on December 31st, 2011
  32. Jennifer:
    “I was eating about 1500 calories a day. I aimed for 75 grams carbs, 75 grams protein and 100 grams fat. This worked well for me. Today, now that I am doing a lot more strength training, I eat a lot more protein.”

    Thanks for that.

    Sue wrote on December 31st, 2011
  33. Love your story!

    My journey into real food started with WAPF and an SCD diet for my son. But I am transitioning my family into a more primal way of eating and eliminated most grains (no more soaking/sprouting etc). I finally cut out the raw dairy/cheese for myself and do feel much better without it – my kids still have some raw milk and I do make them rice (cooked in bone broth).

    But I do appreciate all the the traditional methods of fermenting vegetables and sprouting nuts that I learned from WAPF. Especially without fermented dairy, the homemade sauerkraut has been extremely beneficial. And their stress on mineral rich bone broths and organ meats have added a ton of nutrition to our diet.

    Lisa wrote on December 31st, 2011
  34. I heart Friday Success Stories! Congrats on your success Jennifer!

    gilliebean wrote on December 31st, 2011
  35. Why are there no success stories from people that *haven’t* read the Primal Blueprint, but are only readers of the website?

    Brian Kozmo wrote on January 1st, 2012
  36. My wife got me following these eating guidelines and changed my weight routine like hers ( fierce, fit and fearless facebook group).

    I am turning 50 5’5′, weighed 172-174, benchpressing 220.

    5 weeks and even during the xmas cocktail season ( now wine, Irish wiskey and vodka – no beer) and I now weigh 159-160 and I have upped my bench press to 230lbs and can do weighed pullups with 60 pounds behind my knees.

    This eating strategy also stopped my middle of the night snezzing attacks and I no longer have a burning feeling in my elbows.

    I am lucky I listened to my wife!

    Mark wrote on January 1st, 2012
  37. wow… very encouraging – thanks for sharing!

    melissa daams wrote on January 1st, 2012
  38. Glad to hear you are feeling so well.

    Kate wrote on January 1st, 2012
  39. Congratulations, Jennifer!! Great job!

    I can relate to the ice cream thing–I’ve been Primal for a year and a half, butlast night (you know, to celebrate the new year) I had some and crashed about an hour later. That night I had trouble sleeping due to symptoms resembling restless leg syndrome–something I’ve never had before.

    Will not eat sugar like that again!

    fritzy wrote on January 1st, 2012
  40. You look fabulous, girl! I think I may need to give this a try.

    Old Paint wrote on January 1st, 2012

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