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

What 5 Weeks of Living Primal Looks Like

It’s Friday, which means success story time. Today it is my pleasure to share Dorene’s story. She went Primal on January 1st, not long ago, but as you’ll see from her pictures, sometimes five weeks is all that’s needed to see change.

If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the MDA community please feel free to contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!

Wowzers, my body is changing!!! I’ve done the low carb thing for 10 years on and off but not the Primal way…

The first time I did Atkins, I lost 20 lbs. Like I was on crack.

I think I was Primal without realizing it. I ate burgers, no bun, shrimp in garlic butter sauce, bacon, eggs and basically only meat. Very few veggies. At the time I was 28, surfing 4+ hours every day (playing), waiting tables (walking), no car (more walking), and lifting weights.

I gained the weight back a couple years later (bad eating habits never die if you don’t change your lifestyle). I tried to lose it again using Atkins, but I would binge on pepperoni, salami, cheese, more cheese, diet cokes, weird Atkins bars, pork skins, ranch dressing and basically low carb crap. I would lose the water then stall out. Or I would lose a few pounds, then cheat. I cheated because I felt crappy eating all that dairy and processed crap and I would crave fruit and carby stuff. I thought maybe I had made myself immune to low carb living by eating that way for so long.

I finally found the Primal way of life through CrossFit last year. The CrossFit I went to actually recommends Dr. Cordain’s book. I read the book and tried to change over but since I was eating low fat meats I was always hungry and my portions were huge. I would eventually end up cheating because I was always hungry. Then I was introduced to this website by a friend who told me this was much easier because Primal wasn’t as strict.

So finally, after researching and reading the posts, I went Primal on January 1, 2011. I cut out dairy (trigger food and I over consume), coffee, and limited fruit and nut intake. I have lost 10 pounds. My scale occasionally will say I’m 129 and I haven’t seen the 120’s in about 10 years. I’ve always been very active with yoga and paddling competitively and still couldn’t get below 132. Now my clothes are too big, muffin top is gone, I look toned, my stomach is going back to its flat self and the best part is my cellulite is going away. Cheeee hooo!

Though, I haven’t been perfect. I probably ate more fruit in the beginning than I should have, too many nuts at times, a few cheat days when friends were in town including late night grilled cheese sandwiches and fries after a night of drinking. One dinner party, I couldn’t resist the dessert… a few too many 80% chocolate bars and one incident with too much ice cream. The difference is, when I cheated I didn’t feel guilty; and the next day I continued with my Primal way of life. Before, that would have ruined me. One day would’ve turned into a week, maybe a month, or even a few months of cheating. I would gain weight with the mindset that “tomorrow I start my diet, so let’s binge today!”

This is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and this has changed my thoughts on food. Last year I spent too much money going to the doctor trying to figure out why I felt weak, dizzy, low energy, depressed, moody and tired all the time. Since changing my way of eating, I have so much energy. I don’t need coffee and I look forward to the gym and my long walks. I also notice what the scale says doesn’t mean sh#%. I lost 6 pounds the first couple weeks, then, according to the scale, gained that back the 3rd and 4th week but my clothes were big and I was definitely smaller. I hid my scale so I wouldn’t freak out. I think it was the new muscles making my scale creep back up. Last week I weighed my self and low and behold it said 129.5 I’m starting to buy new clothes because some of my things are too big.

About me : I’m female, 38, fairly active and definitely cheat a li’l bit. I rarely eat dairy (I use it as a cheat meal). No more processed meats like salami (also a cheat meal). Almost zero fruit because I’m trying to lose weight. I walk 5 miles about 4 times a week and lift weights about 3-4 times a week (not CrossFit, can’t afford it). Lots of beach time (live in Hawaii), walk to work and around town. I don’t do sprints (yet). I do yoga a couple times a week. I hope this helps anyone that may be struggling. Ignore the scale, listen to your body and try to eat real food. Grok on!!


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. Strong work! You’re looking fantastic!

    freewaydiva wrote on March 4th, 2011
  2. Awesome results! This mom-of-three is hoping to join your ranks soon! It seems to be a slower journey for me but I love the inspiration!

    Crunchy Pickle wrote on March 4th, 2011
  3. You look amazing girl!

    Jase wrote on March 4th, 2011
  4. Wowzers, indeed! You look amazing, and this is just the motivation I needed – thank you!

    Marci wrote on March 4th, 2011
  5. Wow Doreen! Great job! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Molly Bean wrote on March 4th, 2011
  6. Is there a non-creepy way to say “Yummy!!”? Yikes, you look awesome. Congrats, and keep up the good work!

    wilberfan wrote on March 4th, 2011
  7. Amazing! And very inspirational, since we share very similar body shapes/types. I’m cutting out the cheese!!!! lol

    DTinLA wrote on March 4th, 2011
    • Ditto to what DTinLA said! Thanks Dorene you inspired me to get seriously focused. Your changes are amazing and a real life role model (I’m four years younger, same height, and now think maybe only 10 more pounds to go instead of 20-25). Grok on! :)

      Jenn wrote on March 8th, 2011
  8. Your look fantastic!

    I just started CF 3 weeks ago and primal 2 weeks ago. I’ve now lost 16 inches and right at 3 pant sizes. Still have a little way to go to get to my goal.

    However, I really wish I would have taken before pix like you did. I had no idea how well this would work! <3

    Tifanie wrote on March 4th, 2011
  9. You look great, and I really needed this inspiration today. I started CrossFit 2 months ago and am up 6lbs from muscle gain and am discouraged about my weight. I gave up dairy this week, so hopefully that will help me too! Good job!!

    Brandi wrote on March 4th, 2011
  10. Dorene, great job! Reading the comments I see that you have motivated more than a few readers (add me to the list!). You’re to be highly commended! I’m going to tear a page out of your book and (finally) go dairy-free and see what happens. I make so many excuses for cream (what do I put in my coffee?) and cheese (it tastes so good!), but perhaps I will be better off without it. I will keep my coffee, but I will drink it black as the night…

    I just wish I lived in Hawaii and could swim and paddle every day! You are a lucky gal…

    Keep up the great work Dorene!


    Rob wrote on March 4th, 2011
    • I posted earlier about coffee without cream or sugar, but in case you missed the post, have you ever tried coffee made from freshly ground locally roasted beans? The taste is soooo much better. Give yourself a few days and see if your tongue doesn’t acquire an appreciation of black coffee made from good quality beans.

      Sonagi wrote on March 5th, 2011
  11. Doreen – WOW! i’m in day 6 of i guess what you’d call primalish :) before i ate whatever i wanted but avoided gluten and wheat. Now i eat lean meats, veggies, no dairy apart from 2 coffees a week (compared to 2 a day!) nuts (yes im probably ODing on these a little too much) and fruit. My guilty pleasure that keeps me going is a small glass of wine. After seeing your results i may cut out the wine to just weekends! Great inspiration :) hope i look like you in 4 weeks time :)

    Kazza wrote on March 4th, 2011
  12. I do pretty well with dairy in my diet–I wouldn’t want to overdo it because it’d make me feel stuffed and sick more than because it’d make me gain. But I can see where Atkins bars and the soybean-oil-based salad dressings would be a problem. I would like to get to the point that we are totally done with soybean oil in this house. (We still have some commercial salad dressing around, and I don’t make my own mayo yet either.)

    I don’t even mind sausages or pork rinds but it depends on how they’re made. The plain rinds are pretty harmless but you want to keep them to a minimum because pork tends to have higher PUFA content, especially the CAFO variety (grain really screws up an omnivore’s fatty acid profile). Sausages can actually be a good source of organ meats if you can’t stand those by themselves. I found a summer sausage that had beef heart in it. As long as it’s not overloaded with sugar it’s not bad once in a while.

    Atkins bars are soy city though. I got a few in the mail today, dunno why they mailed me another starter pack (they sent one last year), but they have, and it had three bars in it. Those things are candy bars, they shouldn’t be everyday snacks. I don’t even buy them anymore.

    Dana wrote on March 4th, 2011
  13. Awesome inspiration!

    Jen wrote on March 4th, 2011
  14. Wow! Great job! Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration!

    DT wrote on March 4th, 2011
  15. Wow, you’re looking great, Dorene! And those photos are really motivating. Thanks for sharing.

    George wrote on March 4th, 2011
  16. You look fantastic …healthy and happy ..just what ladies should aspire to look like .. :)

    simodalcais wrote on March 4th, 2011
  17. Looking PRIME…or is that PRIMAL.Well done!

    george henley wrote on March 4th, 2011
  18. That’s your five week result! Wow, you look so fine, girl! I can only imagine how you’re going to look in another five weeks. Congratulations Dorene! Keep it up!


    Frank wrote on March 4th, 2011
  19. Fantastic job! Your frame is very similar to mine and I have trouble losing from hips and thighs. You’ve really inspired me to keep on at it.

    Indiscreet wrote on March 4th, 2011
  20. Great Work!! Grok on!!!!

    The Real Food Mama wrote on March 4th, 2011
  21. Congrats. I also did really well on Atkins when I was much younger but somewhere along the line i just got too busy and was eating fast food crap while running my teenager all over the place. when I tried atkins again it just wasn’t cutting it. Hopefully this will work better for me. No matter, I’m convinced i need to do it for my health anyway. I definitely needed to get away from the chemical sweetners. I’ve kept some dairy though, cream in my decaf. :-)

    bbuddha wrote on March 4th, 2011
  22. Hottie!

    Ryan Denner wrote on March 4th, 2011
  23. sigh…. ok ok i’ll cut out the cheese and wine already :-p

    You look great! Thanks for the motivation :)

    Kristina wrote on March 4th, 2011
  24. Great job!!! I started on Jan. 1, 2011, too. Down 19 lbs. (had some cheat meals in there, too). You look great and congratulations on a great start!

    Rick wrote on March 4th, 2011
  25. Dana,

    It is not so much the grass finished as much as it is the Grass Raised. Which we bought a 1/4 side of beef a year ago, that was grass raised. After the Butcher it was about $2.50 a pound, I don’t care for the anti-biotics the hormones, as well as the treatment of the cows in CAFO. ( So I guess that somethings are still reasonable.)

    Yet it is the other meats that get expensive.

    We have four Chickens – so I have a source of Pastured eggs when I want them raw – I get cage free Flax feed for cooking (boiling and scrambling in Coco Oil).

    But the Wild Salmon and Bison and true free range birds for eating – I want them as natural as can be. I don’t do pork or shellfish or Ostrich.

    Reading some of the Blood type diet – I am Type O which does best on Meats and Veggies and Fruits with limited or no grains and dairy. When I went mostly raw/real foods last fall – I 95% got rid of the grains and dairy. I have a little now and then and I felt a ton better.

    Now I think I will go Primal keeping the same 95% but with raw dairy and just sprouted (Juiced wheatgrass) grains.

    I am already kinda of Primal – In Januray I started sprints with Dr. Mercola’s Peak 8. It is awesome – I have never been a big fan of Chronic Cardio – I was always happiest with just 20-25 minutes of Cardio until the endorphins (2nd wind) kicked in.

    The funny thing after adding sprints in – I have to really work a lot harder to get my heart rate up for Aerobic exercise – it was either the Anaerobic Sprint cardio or the fat loss that really lowered my heart rate and BP.

    I know that the PB is only one Sprint a week where as Peak 8 is up to 3-4x a week. While I love the Flexibility of the PB – I do better on a consistent regular schedule – So I guess that it is finding out what my body does best with.

    I know that I do best and feel best on a low/control carb than when I am not.

    The same story with Atkins – is that I would drop about 25-30# and then plateau around 190# and gain it back with adding back in the carbs – then eventually fall off the wagon completely and not get back on –

    I do like having a “free day once a week” – but I usually follow it up with Olive Leaf / Oregano Oil / Pau D’ arco or other to kill of any of the extra sugar monster’s (yeast or bad biotics in my gut that thrive on Carbs or extra fruit sugars).
    I have found that this helps kill the sugar cravings and getting back on track. Then following up with a good Pro-biotic. 12-24hrs later.

    I think that I have gone as far as I can on the raw/real foods – I think it is time to stay on the real foods and go Primal with real foods and add back the meats. I think that getting back into ketosis is the only way to burn off that stubborn fat –

    Even though I was only eatting about 4-6% of meat/fish a week since December.

    I was never really satiated, I was always kind hungry – even with tablespoons of Coconut oil and gobs of raw nuts. The only thing that really made me feel full and not hungry was a Vita-mix full of blended high fiber veggies – it did help some with the blood sugar – but I hit a point of diminishing returns – my weight drop kind of halted ( I dropped 25# then hit the wall) – I think that my body knew that – I was not taking in the same amount of calories so it slowed the metabolism down to match the calorie intake.

    I think that Ketosis with IF will allow me to burn off that stubborn belly fat.

    Then once I reach that goal – I will see if I can find the right Veggie/Meat ratios to maintain.

    Yoni wrote on March 4th, 2011
  26. Incredible!!! I’ve been 100% primal for since the end of December 2010 too and I’ve lost 10lbs and had to buy all new clothes because nothing fit. Your pictures make me wish that I had taken “before” pictures.

    Amber wrote on March 4th, 2011
  27. Fantastic results in such a short time! I love this way of life :)

    Primal K@ wrote on March 4th, 2011
  28. Dorene – you look fantastic!! Nice job girl!

    I hope to have results like yours – with your “no cheese” inspiration I might just get there!

    Stacy Tyler wrote on March 4th, 2011
  29. You are my inspiration!!

    xj wrote on March 4th, 2011
  30. You look stunning, woman! You are proof that primal living does a body good. Lucky you, living in Hawaii, where you can be a walking advertisement for primal health all year round.

    Sonagi wrote on March 4th, 2011
  31. You look amazing!!! Living in Hawaii and eating healthy is definitely hard to do…when I visit all I want is the local unhealthy/processed food =]

    Tori wrote on March 4th, 2011
  32. I too am interested in what you eat every day. I limit fruit to one piece per day. I’ve been playing around with Primal/Paleo for several months now but can’t seem to lose like I did before giving up my oatmeal and eating fat free dairy, and limiting fats to 3 tsp of olive oil per day….I was eating chicken then and maybe 1 grassfed burger a week with bun.

    Pensguys wrote on March 4th, 2011
  33. First off, CONGRATS! You look absolutely amazing and are definitely going to be my inspiration. Bookmarking this post for sure :)

    Secondly…You do not look 38! I pegged you to be about 24/25. You’re gorgeous.

    Keep up the fantastic work :)

    Julia wrote on March 4th, 2011
  34. Congrats! Very inspiring!

    Vicky wrote on March 4th, 2011
  35. First of all: Congratulations!!! I wanted to ask you what are your snacks as you mentioned not eating fruits or nuts? I feel like those are the only primal snacks besides veggies.

    Thanks and keep it up!

    Cristina wrote on March 4th, 2011
    • I’m kinda weird I will eat meat for snacks if Im hungry. I have the pre cooked chicken in the fridge or I will cook up some bacon. I also will cook extra meat and keep in the fridge for when Im hungry. Sometimes I will eat half an avocado. I cant buy nuts I eat toooooo many. I dont really snack too much. (unless Im pms’ing then I’m just hungry all day) Im very active so Im usually out and about and not able to snack. Just home for meals.

      Dorene wrote on March 4th, 2011
      • You cook bacon as a snack? Using Rachael Ray’s highly acclaimed late night bacon recipe? :)

        Sonagi wrote on March 5th, 2011
  36. I’ve been Primal since Jan. 1. I probably eat too much fruit, but so far I’ve lost 37.2 lbs – my goal is 100 lbs (first goal). So fruit isn’t hurting me. My main “cheat” is rice, since I work out in the field a lot. I try and find a Vietnamese restaurant, where everything is real fresh. I usually have the grilled fish over rice plate. I worry about having too few calories, so I don’t worry about the rice. I feel better than I’ve felt in years and the weight is flying off!

    Dennis Baker wrote on March 4th, 2011
    • Wow!!! good for you!!! Good job!!!

      Cristina wrote on March 4th, 2011
    • That is awesome Dennis! Now that is inspiration! I wish the pounds flew off me that quickly. Keep up the hard work!

      Nomad1 wrote on March 4th, 2011
  37. I too would like to know what you eat… A typical day. And you look great! Keep it up. You inspired me to give up the CHEESE! Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh… bye bye!

    susie wrote on March 4th, 2011
  38. Thanks for showing all women that PB can work for us as well as the guys. I am very impressed with your results and wonder if a 52 year old can get those abs! I am 5’2″ and even a small weight loss looks like a lot. Keep up the great work and post again in the fall!

    Sally wrote on March 4th, 2011
  39. Awesome success story. A definite inspiration to millions around the world!

    You are very damn lucky you live in Hawaii!

    Primal Toad wrote on March 4th, 2011

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