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

Three Generations Living Primal

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!

I have been on some kind of diet since 1988 – over ½ of my life. NutriSystems, Optifast, Weight Watchers and all kinds of fad quick weight loss diets in between. Obvious now but not then – none of them worked permanently. The sad thing is when you actually look at the numbers – the weight I was at in 1988 is very close to my goal weight now. If I only knew then what I know now, but to quote Lion King (and hopefully as I continue to lose weight both versions will apply):

Pumbaa: It’s like my buddy Timon always says: you got to put your behind in your past.

Timon: No, no, no. Amateur. Sit down before you hurt yourself. It’s “You got to put your past behind you.”

The past… my daughter, my mom and me in December 2010.

So January, 2011 is recording every calorie in and calorie out and struggling to lose all the weight I had gained – once again. Browsing I came across Mark’s Daily Apple for the second time. The first time I read the information a few years ago I just couldn’t imagine living with no grains, legumes, sugar – how could a person do that in this day and age. But this time for some reason it really clicked. I started with what I could gather from the website and bought the book that week.  It was like someone turned a light on for me. I couldn’t believe all the misinformation I had been given for so many years. Yet at the same time was so excited that there was some hope to be able to lose weight and not struggle and not be hungry, tired, grouchy and frustrated! So I began and lost weight quickly at first and then slowly, but am still losing (35 pounds so far) and my life has truly changed. I know most people come looking for a solution to weight loss – me included. But amazingly I think the health benefits that I have seen will be the real factor that makes this a way of life forever! I didn’t begin with any huge issues. I have never been on any kind of chronic medication. I have had some very obvious things happen that affect my daily life: sleep improvement, improved afternoon energy, constipation gone, chicken skin disappearing, cracking elbows and heels gone. Ladies listen up – these last two things just amazed me because I really thought that it was just me getting older – my regular plucking of those pesky old lady whiskers is now basically non-existent and the cough, sneeze, jump-induced leaky bladder is gone.

As I am inclined to do – I researched, read, researched and read. I kept seeing things that I knew other members of my family would be interested in. My daughter – 18 at the time – had her first semester in college under her belt. A belt she had mentioned a few times she would like to lose a few notches off of. I had tried multiple times over the years to get her to join in my “healthy eating” but to no avail (thank goodness). She was just never interested in diets or the information I was trying to share and I knew better than to push a teenage girl! So as I was reading I came across a testimonial about animal allergies and felt this was something she would respond to. She had recently rediscovered her love for horses but it was making her so sick to be around them. When I say sick, I have to give you a little of her background. She was never a healthy child. She has suffered from allergies, asthma and eczema all her life. After several hospitalizations during her adolescence we thought we had the asthma “under control”. She was taking Advair daily and a breathing treatment at least once a day if not more depending on the season. In addition to the asthma, the eczema affected her daily as well. This was not your typical small patches on her hands and feet. She basically had all over eczema – we had seen several specialists and she even resorted to sleeping in damp pajamas during really bad flare ups. So when I read about a reduction in allergies, I shared the information with her. She said she would try anything to be able to be around horses without Benadryl and inhaler in hand. I gave her the guidelines and she started immediately. Within 1 week she was able to go to the horse barn without Benadryl! Thankfully it worked so quickly, because she was sold. Since that day in February she has lost over 50 lbs. But again – the forever factors are so much more than that. She has reduced her Advair dosage and usage, both in half. She has packed her nebulizer away – no more daily breathing treatments! Her eczema is now only on her hands and feet and as long as she doesn’t eat any neolithic agents of disease (we haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly which one causes her flares) they continue to improve. She has bought her own horse, which she rides, grooms, feeds and loves on as often as she likes!

My mom, unlike my daughter, has always wanted to know what I was doing “this time” in the weight loss world. She was always willing to listen and give it a try. The thought of having no grains or sugar was a little harder for her to jump into but after a couple of months of watching my family’s success she decided she and my dad could give it a try. I suggested she just give it 30 days and see – what could it hurt. Well here we are 6 months later and she tells everyone she meets how much better they feel! She is 65 and has lost over 30 pounds – and is under 150 pounds for the first time in many, many years. Not to harp but she has had those forever factors too! She has gone off her blood pressure medication, diuretic and statins. But her big wow is truly the improvement in her knee. She had knee replacement surgery 4 years ago. Since then, it never felt completely healed and was always swollen. Well – she can jog! Jog – I just shake my head in amazement every time she says it.

Although I don’t want this to turn into a mini-novel I have to give hats off to the wonderful men in my life as well. My husband, son and dad also jumped on board. Combined they have lost over 40 pounds. They have a list of health improvements as well. Some of which include: eased chronic indigestion, no more snoring or mouth breathing, major reduction of gas (and let me tell you with a 14 yr old boy this is huge), and ease of arthritis pain.

I can’t believe 8 months have passed with my family eating this way. I can’t believe 3 generations combined have lost almost 120 pounds. But more so I can’t believe I can sit at a restaurant and not have to argue myself through a whole meal not to eat the bread, chips, pizza or pasta! Our family is definitely still a work in progress and we have some weak moments but overall we are living the Primal life and loving it! Thank you Mark for changing all of our lives and hopefully giving us many more years together!

Success in progress… my daughter, my mom and me!

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. What a great story! You look fantastic!

    So good to hear the nebulizer is packed up. My asthma completely disappeared about a year ago thanks to eating Primally – and what a difference it makes!

    Suz wrote on November 4th, 2011
  2. Wow, you all look fantastic! And what a great family – all willing to try it, gung-ho and open-minded. Definitely a family trait there methinks!

    As you indicate, we confuse dis-ease with aging. Isn’t it wonderful how we can turn those years back? Congratulations!

    Alison Golden wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • +1
      Absolutely fantastic!

      Misabi wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • This is an incredible story. Congratulations to you all!

      Abel James wrote on November 4th, 2011
  3. Ouch! My jaw just dropped and hit my desk! Wow! What a transformation!

    Peg wrote on November 4th, 2011
  4. This is inspiring. I want my parents to try this lifestyle, but I haven’t brought it up yet because they are so ingrained in the SAD that I don’t think they will respond to it. Maybe I’ll show this post to my mother. She’s been trying to lose weight for as long as I can remember, is on blood pressure medication, and broke her leg last winter and still has pain. This may just convince her!

    Jackie wrote on November 4th, 2011
  5. Love, love, LOVE! You go, girls!!

    Anne wrote on November 4th, 2011
  6. Amazing! It’s so nice to hear an entire family can embrace making smart choices…you guys should get an award for that one!

    Chris wrote on November 4th, 2011
  7. I hear their thoughts on how it took them a few times to start paleo/primal.

    The whole lifestyle took me at least 3 times reading MDA to hop on board.

    It’s the CW HWG mantra. It’s got us all like zombies following the masses.

    Joshua Tenner wrote on November 4th, 2011
  8. Remarkable. Keep us up-to-date in the Success Stories portion of the forums.

    Mark wrote on November 4th, 2011
  9. This is too awesome. I know this will help some of my family who suffer the same horse related problem! Maybe this will help push them over that sugar laced edge!
    thank you so much for sharing.

    Robert wrote on November 4th, 2011
  10. Awesome x 3! You each get one:) Success story Fridays are like bacon… it’s super satisfying and never gets old.

    Chris wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • +1!!

      Thanks for sharing this awesome story..

      Patty wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • haha i don’t think there is a better way to describe “success story Fridays”

      Becca wrote on November 4th, 2011
  11. “She basically had all over eczema – we had seen several specialists and she even resorted to sleeping in damp pajamas during really bad flare ups.”

    That is so sad, and I am happy to hear it’s far, far less of an issue. This is one of the best Friday stories I’ve read. Thanks for sharing and continued luck to your family.

    AlyieCat wrote on November 4th, 2011
  12. Remarkable family-wide transformation. Well done and congats.

    Svend wrote on November 4th, 2011
  13. Congratulations ladies! I love how these changes in diet and lifestyle can result in the halting of otherwise lifelong symptoms. Keep inspiring each other and us with your success!

    podunk primal wrote on November 4th, 2011
  14. I love reading the stories about people going OFF of medications. I think that’s a better proof of Primal than weight loss.

    A couple years ago I convinced 60+ mom to cut down the carbs. It took her a few tries to really do it, but she finally did, and lost 20 pounds. Mom asked to go off statins and the doctor okayed it as long as the weight stays off. She still eats bread and pasta, but I can see her taking very small portions and thinking about every bite. Small steps, I guess.

    Nowadays, when I see someone eating candy and pasta, I have the exact same reaction as I do when I see someone smoking or dinking. I think: I feel sorry; you’re slowly killing yourself with that pasta, but I don’t want to argue with you because you’ll get “defensive” just like the smokers do.

    oxide wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • I love this story too. I have particular concern about people eating non-primal foods as well. One group that seems untouchable is the church where dessert seems to be given the wink (as opposed to alcohol or smoking) when it comes to health. Its even celebrated. I want to reach out to these people and tell them that they are not doing what God intended them to do with their bodies and that is the source of a lot of misery which they attempt to drown with socialization. Anybody else?

      Mia wrote on November 6th, 2011
    • Tbh I’m more okay with smokers than grain eaters, since the smokers know it’s unhealthy.

      Sofie wrote on June 13th, 2012
  15. What a great story. Very inspiring. Keep it up!

    ChocoTaco369 wrote on November 4th, 2011
  16. What a geat success story-you guys rock! If only I can convince my asthmatic, allergy laden friend to give it a try …

    lunasma wrote on November 4th, 2011
  17. Wahoo!!! I love that there is a multi-generational success :) and in such a relatively short time!
    so proud of you!

    peggy wrote on November 4th, 2011
  18. Wonderful! I have a friend with severe mammal allergies, including horses, whom Ive been encouraging to give primal a try. Maybe this story might help encourage her. :)

    cTo wrote on November 4th, 2011
  19. You girls look amazing!! And may I just say, you must be very persuasive to convince everyone around you to give it a try!

    Spincycle wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • Who wouldn’t listen to such beautiful ladies!

      Robin wrote on November 6th, 2011
  20. Truly awesome and inspiring story!

    As a lifelong asthmatic myself I’m hoping to get the improvements your daughter has.

    BeccainSC wrote on November 4th, 2011
  21. Wow! What an amazing transformation! You and your daughter look like sisters!! Congratulations!!

    Julie wrote on November 4th, 2011
  22. Tremendous story! It sounds like primal living has brought your supportive family even closer together.

    As you said, so many people start this for weight loss. I did too. But weight loss is only one ingredient in the cornucopia of health that awaits. Things you thought were non-negotiable — bum knees, chicken skin — fix themselves as if by magic. Our bodies work miracles when we give them what they need.

    When you reach your goal weight, I am certain you will look and feel healthier and happier than you did in 1988.

    Congrats and respect to you all!

    Timothy wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • +1

      I never thought I could feel so healthy!

      Robin wrote on November 6th, 2011
  23. Congratulations to the whole family. What an inspiration.

    Diane wrote on November 4th, 2011
  24. I want to see this year’s Christmas pics of the three of you together!

    I am likely to begin proselytising soon among friends and family — not for the weight loss but for the health benefits. Stories like yours are fantastic selling points! Thanks so much and continued success to all six of you!

    Chica wrote on November 4th, 2011
  25. Life changing stories like this, helps fuel my will power.
    Thank you for sharing

    CRO-MAGNON wrote on November 4th, 2011
  26. It’s wonderful to see families having primal success.
    While my family enjoys my primal cooking, they won’t even take a look at these success stories, and see no reason to give up their grains and sugar. Meanwhile, they have serious health problems that their prescription meds have not resolved.
    Living with the health problems of loved ones who refuse to change is not easy. Thanks for a great story.

    Mo wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • +1, Mo. I wish I could publish a family success story….not going to happen soon, I’m afraid.

      Hopeless Dreamer wrote on November 5th, 2011
    • I wish I could get my family on board to. Even though they want the primal cooking, they refuse to give up and continuously ask for chips, pop, pizza, you know the drill. I don’t buy it, so they go out and buy it instead. I feel your pain. It is hard living with them, and there whole family is like that, so when I go over to family events I bring my own food. Having the family support would go a long way, I am so glad for her getting her family on board now I can only hope mine will eventually do the same!

      rdzins wrote on November 7th, 2011
  27. Way to go in sharing your success with your family! It’s so cool that you’ve been able to inspire them to change as well – that’s what it’s all about! Amazing how the chronic issues just seem to melt away. Congratulations! Grok on!

    Nick wrote on November 4th, 2011
  28. Wow Awesome Story!!!
    My story is so much like yours, I to got my daughter my mother and my sister to try it. We all have lost weight and feel much healthier. I have lost 20 lbs since Aug. 3rd. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story.

    crzy88 wrote on November 4th, 2011
  29. You ladies are an absolute inspiration – what a transformation – you all look incredible. And your daughter got the horse too – what a lovely ending!

    Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us. Friday stories like yours keep the rest of us primally focused!

    Debs wrote on November 4th, 2011
  30. Thank you all for the wonderful words of encouragement! It has been absolutely amazing. I do hope that our story can help those looking for some kind of healing miracle take a step in this direction. I don’t post often but I lurk constantly and have been so thankful for the information shared- couldn’t have done it without this great website!

    donna wrote on November 4th, 2011
  31. What a wonderful and inspiring story! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    Monica wrote on November 4th, 2011
  32. A Three-Fer – Woot!!! You gals look great – thanks for sharing.

    This also shows us that the best way to change others is to be an example.

    Hillside Gina wrote on November 4th, 2011
  33. You look fantastic! Thanks for sharing your story.

    Susan M. wrote on November 4th, 2011
  34. Wow what a fantastic story!

    Erik wrote on November 4th, 2011
  35. My son also had all over eczema and staph infections. It has entirely disappeared after moving to sunnier climes. Prior to that, we kept it mostly controlled by limiting his intake of high nickel foods: oats, figs, chocolate, hydrogenated oil (NI catalyst), baking powder, nuts, legumes and anything processed and acidic. Even found cooking in cheap stainless pans (say, tomato sauce) would cause a flare. Thought I’d throw that out there.

    Son can now eat chocolate, but I think the extra Vit. D he gets, plus being away from the moldy east coast, and a more primal diet, has made the difference.

    Loved the story–you all look great!

    Kate wrote on November 4th, 2011
  36. I love this! I started PB in April and now I too have my mom on board, as well as 2 of my sisters ( one of which is a physician..woohoo) as well as one of my brothers. We are seeing similar progress in our family and the others are starting to take notice. GREAT NEWS!

    beccahi wrote on November 4th, 2011
  37. Wow. You ladies totally rock!

    Your story brings to mind something I just read. According to Zen wisdom, we’re all creators. When we do things like share good information with each other and give each other guidance and encouragement, we’re creating part of each other’s success. That’s what’s happened with you three, it seems to me.

    Here’s a great story of something that happened today: I was in a tiny, independent bookstore in Manhattan (one of the remaining few). I was the only customer in the store, until a woman walked in, asking the proprietor for The Four Hour Body (which the store didn’t have). I very quietly took her aside and asked her whether it was a new approach to nutrition and fitness she was looking for. “Yes,” she said, and someone had told her that she “absolutely has to buy The Four Hour Body.”

    I asked her if she wanted something very sensible and straightforward. “Yes,” she said again. So I suggested that she look instead to Mark’s Daily Apple and to Mark’s new book. I briefly explained why. She thanked me and said she would.

    If she follows through, then I suppose I’ll be a small part of her success (and Mark will be a huge part).

    All good, you know? :-)

    Thanks for sharing your story. Great work, all around!!


    Susan Alexander wrote on November 4th, 2011
  38. Mark:

    I’m thinking you should update your “Start Here” page to include your new book. I know it’s pictured in your header, but first-time readers might miss that, and/or want to know what the difference is between your first and second book, so they can decide which one to order first.

    Susan :-)

    Susan Alexander wrote on November 4th, 2011
  39. Great, great story! How wonderful that your whole family got onboard. What a delight it must be for all of you. I can only dream….still, you have strengthened my own commitment to sticking with primal–it obviously works! As for those pesky whisker/leakage problems for us women of, uh, A Certain Age, I thought I was just imagining that they were fading for me, but thanks for the confirmation that it DOES happen:-) Keep up the good work, ladies–and gents!

    Marianne wrote on November 4th, 2011
  40. I LOVED your family’s story!!!!

    plainjane wrote on November 4th, 2011

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