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. Glad to hear you are feeling so well.

    Kate wrote on January 1st, 2012
  2. 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
  3. You look fabulous, girl! I think I may need to give this a try.

    Old Paint wrote on January 1st, 2012
  4. Great story. We eat very similarly to how you did before you started the primal diet. We are members of WAPF etc. Do you still consume the raw dairy?

    kip ortiz wrote on January 2nd, 2012
    • Hi Kip, I do on occasion still drink raw milk, maybe a glass two or three times a week. This is a far cry from what I used to consume which amounted to about four or more cups a day. I cut way back and now drink mostly water due to the amount of carbs and calories all that milk adds up to, not because I think raw dairy is bad for me. I also still eat yogurt several times a week.

      Jennifer wrote on January 4th, 2012
  5. Excellent Jennifer! Lookin’ Great! I’d say “keep it up” but it’s not hard to keep up with this. It’s just the way you eat now. It’s wonderful.

    Patrick wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  6. Congrats Jennifer! You look happy and amazing! 8)

    Becca wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  7. Go, Jennifer! You look great! It’s so encouraging and inspiring to read these stories. I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant (17 days ago!), so I was careful to stay primal and low-carb to keep myself and the baby healthy. Now that sleep deprivation and exhaustion have set in, I’ve been “cheating,” and it shows up when I test my blood sugar. Stories like this keep me inspired to re-commit to eating/living primal so I can feel good and live well, and be as healthy as possible to raise my little ones, ages 5, 3, and 17 days.

    Tenny wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  8. eating a slice or two of sourdough spelt bread with raw butter and honey is a digestive paradise and will nourish anyone. the wapf does not recommend eating a loaf of bread a day. any grandma will tell you if you need to loose weight then reduce all starches and leave out sweet treats.

    dave wrote on January 2nd, 2012
  9. Wowsers, it’s amazing that the grain and sugar were the sole cause of the problem. Most people go from SAD to PB and it’s hard to say what particular part of the diet is the most effective, but here, we know! Good on you for making the right choices and reaching your goals! You look great!

    TokyoJarrett wrote on January 4th, 2012
  10. Fantastic story, having lapsed from primal and put on 28lbs this is just what I needed to start again. Thanks.

    Caroline wrote on January 4th, 2012
  11. Wow. Great story. I’m with you on this. I am on a “one success story a day” diet and this was great. I have struggled m whole life with my weight and am in day 2 of totally paleo. I need to lose 45 pounds. I know I can do it reading these stories! Thank you

    Dana Zia wrote on January 4th, 2012
  12. Great story, well done! :)

    Just to clarify, you cannot “tone” a muscle, only make it bigger or smaller. It’s a misleading media term and I’m sure Mark has touched on it before.

    Timothy wrote on January 5th, 2012
  13. I have read a lot of these success stories, but this is the one that made me realize I should pay more attention to my macronutrients!
    I have been eating Primally, but not optimally for weight loss. Despite feeling so much healthier, I have been less committed to regular activity, partly due to the holiday season. I feel silly now being disappointed over slow weight loss, but I thank you Jennifer for the reminder that attention to the details of what I am eating in the early stages is worthwhile! I’ve just been on fit day, working out my calorie deficit and macronutrient calculations :)
    All the best to you.

    Yvette wrote on January 5th, 2012
  14. gyday mate;

    well done champion….you look great…you have a beautiful warm smile and i reckon you must be on top of the world most days….

    great encouragement!

    zephaniah wrote on January 6th, 2012
  15. Jennifer, you are an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your story. My husband and i have started paleo on January 1st. So this is day 10. Im doing this to lose weight and as there has been some reference to Crohns disease, hubby is doing this to see what difference a change in diet can have on his inners. We have not yet become disciplined with the exercise but we are walking each day. We are not having any grain. My sweet tooth is being satisfied by 85% dark choc. I feel good and do notice the need to eat less. So far so good. Thank you again for your story. I will keep reading to keep inspired.

    Robyn wrote on January 9th, 2012
  16. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am a super-pale blond myself, and hope to lose about 50 pounds and just generally shape things up, and started this program two weeks ago – I can ALREADY tell a difference, which is just amazing; also, I feel great and am not experiencing the carb/sugar highs/crashes that were so common for me — that always-exhausted feeling is already gone! Anyway, super great that you shared your real-life story – it really inspires me to keep up the good work!

    Jill wrote on January 14th, 2012
  17. MARRY ME!!!

    You Look Amazing wrote on January 24th, 2012
    • Lol! I would love to meet up with fellow grokers. Anyone can email me at jenniferk29 at

      Jennifer wrote on January 29th, 2012
  18. Beautiful, Jennifer! Both the story and yourself. You look great. I’m really interested in your success story as a fellow runner and pre-primal “healthy” (pescatarian, whole grains, no processed stuff, anti-fat) eater. I haven’t been feeling the results quite yet (4 weeks in, had probably one or two too many 80% days), and your story is an inspiring one. Thanks for sharing!

    Lindsay wrote on February 19th, 2012
  19. I Found this story quite intriguing and all i have to say is that you are a very inspirational person with your story and i hope you do well in the future.

    Ben wrote on March 19th, 2012

    Brenda wrote on May 15th, 2012
  21. You can see the health shining in your face. Congrats to you and your success!

    Helga wrote on March 12th, 2013
  22. Very encouraging!! I am in the battle now. Weight loss was never an issue for me until recently. I refuse to spend anymore time of my life over weight. Thanks for sharing your story.

    gin wrote on January 31st, 2015

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