384 Days of Primal: Focusing on the Process to See Results

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!

Hi Mark,

I’ve been Primal now for over a year. I came upon The Primal Blueprint when searching for resources on paleo dieting. Little did I know that I would find a whole lifestyle that would gel so well with my understanding of the human body.

My initial reasons for going Primal were that I was starting a family. I was studying Medical Nanotechnology at University and was working as an orderly at the same hospital my wife had been working at for 15 years. We were recently married and expecting our first child. Of course, my first child arriving during my mid 30’s made me sit up and think about my health. My initial thoughts had been, “I’ve never smoked, drank or done drugs, so I’m very healthy. I’ll last past 100 easy”. However, what I was seeing every day disturbed me.

As an orderly, the only thing you can offer patients is some comfort through a basic chat. What had disturbed me was the fact that I was talking to a great many people who had renal problems, cancer, etc., and swore blind they’d been following health guidelines as given to them by our government (Australian) and their doctors. At first I thought that they were obviously lying or delusional. However, when it occurred time after time I began questioning. I also began listening to my body and understanding that even though I had a job where I was walking 20,000 steps a day pushing beds and wheelchairs, I didn’t feel fit. My body ached, I injured easily and got easily out of breath. This was strange to me considering that I was following what would be considered a very healthy lifestyle.

So my search began in February 2011. By March 2011 I had read your book, joined your website and was living Primal. The transition for me was no issue. I had been trying to NOT live this way my whole life, so letting go of the reigns was incredibly easy for me. I had no low carb flu even though I was a carb machine prior to PB. I’ve transitioned back into IT (my previous career) as I needed a better income for when bubs came along. So every lunch I walk 4 km to get in my slow movement. I’m known in the office as the guy with the funny looking shoes (VFF’s) who’ll walk in any weather.

I brought a home gym. A Force USA Power Rack that I’m absolutely, insanely happy with. I stick to 3 workouts a week. It’s hard. I want to lift every day, but I force myself to do just the 3 sessions. Sprinting is proving difficult to fit in with bubs here now and another on the way. But I’ll slowly introduce it in.

I feel insanely fantastic. It’s sickening to others! I eat my fat-heavy Primal lunches at work and everyone shakes their head at how I got so lean eating that type of food. People always ask me how I did it, then their eye’s glaze over when I tell them. I don’t mind. More meat for me!

Previously I had been told that I could never jog again due to shin splints. Well, I went for a jog a few weeks ago. 2.7 km in my KSO’s. It was the first time I had jogged for any length of time in over a decade. I couldn’t believe the result. The whole jog felt super easy, my breathing was the easiest it has ever been and that’s including when I used to play rugby. The results were amazing and my shins didn’t even get a twinge. I’m not interested in making jogging a part of my normal routine, but it’s nice to know the capability is there when I need it.

Probably the biggest benefit though is that I always have energy for my family. I get up early, get bubs breakfast ready, do a full day of work with my walk in the middle. Come home, clean and sometimes cook. Feed bubs, play with her and bath her, then put her to bed. Then Mon-Wed-Fri I’m out in the shed lifting heavy weights. The amount of work I get through now makes me feel so bad for all the lost years when I had low energy and motivation. Our second pregnancy is taking it out of my wife, the exhaustion has really knocked her about. She’s been on bed rest in hospital for 6 weeks and it looks like she’ll be in there for 6 weeks more at least. Having enough energy to step up and take care of my family the way I have wouldn’t have been possible before Primal.

Although my goal was health, I was keen in watching my weight and waist size. I got so skinny at one point that my wife’s family held a mini-intervention for me during my father-in-law’s birthday party. I proceeded to tell them that I was eating plenty of food. Then I grabbed a little bit of fruit salad, and a massive stack of freshly whipped cream and said, “Try and keep up now!”

My biggest piece of advice to others would be to work the process exactly as PB sets it out. Forget the results for a year. I’ve charted my entire year on PB in an Excel spreadsheet and have some charts to share. I thought these would help people more than a photo of me. You can see from the charts that weight loss was anything but linear and consistent. Remember, this whole time I just worked the process. No real tweaking. I see a lot of forum posts that are along the lines of “It’s been 2 weeks and I’ve hit a plateau”. No, you haven’t. See my charts.

Pure Weight Loss

You can see from this chart that the weight loss was anything but linear and consistent. I tried to measure my weight as often as I could under the exact same conditions everyday. In total I lost about 30 lbs, but then you’ll notice the number go back up around the 273rd day. This was just after I got my Force USA Power Rack.

Body Fat %

I measured my BF with Tanita Body Fat Scales (impedance). I measured as often as possible under the same conditions (when I arrived home from work). You can see my body fat drop quite dramatically. It currently sits around 18%. However, I use the standard setting. If I use the Athlete setting, which I probably should now, it says my BF is 10%. But either way, you can see the reduction is quite dramatic.

Lean Body Mass

Probably the most telling chart of all. It didn’t change too much at all during the whole process. People kept telling me that eating this way would reduce my muscle mass and I’d rebound later with more fat. I would like to know how long I keep having to prove them wrong before they finally get it.


This is probably the most amazing chart to me. I haven’t had a 34 inch waist since high school!

To finish up I’d just like to thank you for putting all of the information together into an easy to follow lifestyle. That’s no easy feat and you and your team have nailed it. It’s made a massive difference in my life and I thank you for it.


Shane Roelofs

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122 thoughts on “384 Days of Primal: Focusing on the Process to See Results”

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  1. “It’s sickening to others!”
    Hahaha, I love being the one rubbing butter on my beef while someone with weight issues chokes down some bullshit whole grain fiber bar and a weight loss shake.

    1. “rubbing butter on my beef”

      Trying to get that picture out of my mind 🙂

      But I totally laugh too when I’m eating bacon and eggs (double portions thanks) in a diner and the poor people around me are wondering WTF!?

        1. As my kids say “Dad is great! He gives us yams and steak!” (with apologies to Bill Cosby)

      1. Hahaha, I should have known better than to word it that way.

    2. Hahahaha this feels like me at the cottage we rented with friends for new year’s. A bunch of health nuts, one of whom is actually doing a PhD on some “healthy living” type of topic – don’t ask me for the details. She almost screamed when I went ahead and ate most of the pound of bacon we cooked up for the gang (since the rest of the people felt guilty eating even one strip), but had no problem serving everyone a bowl of sugary fat-free yogurt with granola and a few stray berries, all slathered in her family’s maple syrup.

      Those are the types of people who are almost impossible to argue with… so I just take pleasure in eating my nice delicious fatty meal while they struggle to maintain their weight doing everything “healthy” under the sun.

      1. Hilarious. The proof is always in the pudding. When we’re at the pool and my girlfriend’s “China Study” diet uncle sees my abs and then my dinner of meat and butter, I think he started to rethink his life.

      2. I’ve been reading all the comments and I’m very new to PB and I can’t believe this is all true, because I love the food, feel better, and I’m never hungry. Really enjoy your story and congrats on the success

    3. This made my day. It’s the best. People think you’re some type of super human: “How can he eat that?!?”

      And then they’ll give you the tried and true (and I really hate this):

      “You just have a fast metabolism.”

      Nice work with the excuses, people!

      1. Nah, the one I get is the ‘It’ll catch up with you eventually.’ There’s no defeating that logic, I can have great tests and an ecstatic doctor for years and I’ll still hear it… I can’t prove a negative. But the reality is that you have to live for you and I have to live for me. I’m not a crusader out to stick my nose in other people’s business. I’ve been there… as they say on the old maps: This way there be dragons.

        1. I hear this too–“oh it’s because you’re young–this kind of eating will catch up to you.” I’m 40 for god’s sake. If it was going to “catch up with me,” it would have started doing so 15 years ago. Of course people saying this might be partly attributable to the fact that I look 10 years younger than I am (in other words, I look like what a 40 year old is supposed to look like–our standard for “normal” is what’s skewed, not my metabolism or lack of oxidative damage.)

          As Mark points out, staying lean and fit does not mean starving yourself and spending hours on the treadmill. It can easily be accomplished by getting enough food to feel comfortable and staying as physically active as feels good for you. It still doesn’t matter how much I explain this, though; to same people I will always be considered a huge deviation from the norm. So few people stop to think that maybe our idea of “normal,” and what constitutes a health lifestyle is so skewed.

        2. I’ve heard it all too. You eat all wrong your going to die of a heart attack. I’m 55 years old and never had a six pack. Till I went primal. I got up to 210 lbs. I’m now holding steady at 175 and I feel like I eat more than I ever did. Paleo rocks. Other people just don’t understand it. Grok on

  2. Charts! Yes! Thanks for sharing with us data-nerds. You are so right about sticking with it for a long time, and just letting your body play it’s natural course. Time heals so much!

    Way to go, and congratulations on the family. How exciting!

    1. Yeah I wish I had the wisdom to chart everything when I started going primal a year ago. I feel like most things have levelled off now but I should probably start keeping track of some metrics for posterity’s sake.

      1. Great to hear from a fellow Aussie! I hope all goes well with you wife’s second pregnancy, she must be going bonkers stuck in hospital for that length of time. It’s nearly been a year for me and I agree abou the continuum, over time I am making progress, but I feel that it takes time to heal systems that have been traumatized by decades of SAD guidelines. This way of life still amazes me, everyone is struggling with full blown colds around me, and I have just an irritated throat. Thank you for sharing,

        1. Yes, go the Aussies. We actually had an article in last weekends paper about Paleo that cited MDA which almost caused me to spit up my coffee – laced with butter and coconut oil. However we are still infants and immature about it over here with references to grunting and dragging women round by the hair in our caveman loincloths.
          Lets imagine if we took all the nutritional advice our friends and families gave us over the years. Actually, lets not. Back to my meat and butter.

    2. +1

      I love the charts. I am charting my weight, and a couple of measurements to keep track of my weight loss journey, but I only have 2 months worth of data, not a whole year! I mean… wow!

    3. I loved the charts too. My husband and I measured and weighed ourselves too. It’s nice to see that it’s not linear and that it is meant to fluctuate, whether it be body fat, weight, waist size, etc.

      We have put our 15 year-old cat, loving named the BFC (Big Fat Cat), on a raw food diet and have tracked her weight loss. In 6 months of eating only raw food, she is down 4 pounds. Pretty impressive. She only has 3 or 4 left to go until she is a healthy weight for her size.

  3. Shane, Great story. Seems as if the PB came easily for you. That’s awesome! Keep up the good work! and hey, why not put in a stand up desk in the office!


    1. Thanks Max. I’d love to do a stand up workstation but I work for a government department. They’re not too open to change unfortunately. I find my walk at lunch does the trick though. When I miss it I definitely don’t feel as good as I usually do.

    1. Hi Moshen,

      At first my wife was of the “eye’s glaze over” variety (love you babe!). But she’s coming around. SLOWLY!

      She’s Italian and was raised on pastas and breads. She’s also an excellent cook so she was very disappointed when she realised that a lot of the recipes she knew were now on the no go list. But we’ve experimented with new foods and modified some existing foods and we’re doing really well. She makes an amazing chicken boscaola with leg fillets!

      At the start she was concerned about my cholesterol so I got it checked 6 months in (62HDL, 84LDL, 27Tri, 205 total!) But who’s counting? haha.

      I have read many threads on the forum about partners not coming along for the ride. I was definitely of the opinion of lead by example and she’ll follow if she see’s the benefits. But even though I never tried to push Primal onto her there was tension. Mainly around misunderstanding over what is and isn’t included in the PB lifestyle. It would frustrate her if she’d prepare something or buy something and I’d say, “OK, I’ll eat it, but give it a miss for me next time because it has ‘insert appropriate nasty here’ in it”

      But she’s so supportive it’s helped me make the transition 🙂 She even brought me the new Primal Cookbook that’s out. The food in there looks amazing so I can’t wait to get in the kitchen (OK, she’ll be doing most of the cooking as I’m a bit of a disaster in the kitchen).

      1. I too used to do lots of Italian style cooking;now almost nil…doesn’t even appeal. Diet change is not quick, a gradual dropping off grains, pasta, and seeing the difference in the way you feel, more energy, better digestion. 90% plus primal is much better than the grain filled average diets.

        1. I guess I’m lucky. I’ve never cared much for pasta or rice dishes. Homemade bread used to be my downfall, but I’ve pretty much lost interest even in that. The real trick has been trying to get the two guys in my life (hubby and son) to stop eating so many grain products. I don’t cook that kind of stuff at all anymore, but that’s what they order when we eat out. (Sigh)

      2. My wife is a great cook, and it was hard to give up on some of her great recipies. I never asked her to completely change the meals she served, just suggested she make less grain-type food since I wouldn’t be eating it.

        Coincidentally, our eldest daughter had gone gluten-free because of health issues, and felt so much better, my wife tried it too. And she felt better herself. So while she hasn’t gone paleo, she is at least open to cooking non-traditional meals. And we don’t have bread or pasta meals any more, aside from the occasional gluten-free attempts, which are easy for me to leave alone.

        I don’t know if or when she’ll try paleo – but she’s been grumbling a lot about how I’ve lost a noticeable amount of weight while she has not. I don’t say anything… let her come to it herself. 😉

  4. Success such as yours and all of the other success stories are worth celebrating! Great job and may your future primal endeavors be just as awesome! Keep it up!

  5. I love this story. I too get crazy looks for wearing my VFF’s to work and I just started the stand up desk and now they really are looking. Congrats on following the plan so closely, this proves tough for some.

    1. I made waves when I raised my desk to standing height. My boss got wind of it, nearly stormed in, looked at it, then said, “what’s the big deal about?! I might do this to my office!”

      Now everyone in his building have adjustable-height workstations.
      [big, fat grin!]

      Oh yeah, everyone keeps commenting on how I wear socks at my desk. (and yes, I checked with others – no foot odor… 🙂

  6. “My biggest piece of advice to others would be to work the process exactly as PB sets it out.”

    Ahhh, there it is again. The ones who go all in over a long time get amazing results. Thanks for the charts, and for the encouragement!

    Thanks, too, for “bubs”. Just found out I’m getting a new “grandbubs!”

  7. love the graphs! last year, i marked on my outlook calendar to take measurements (and shirtless pics) the first weekend of each month. keep them all in a neat little folder on my desktop. when taking measurements, i usually flip thru the prior monthly pics and data. it does help motivate, and better yet, reminds me how far i’ve come, which is important when not seeing immediate results.

  8. Great work, I’m 6 months behind you and chartless but must say having maximum energy to enjoy time with family is the biggest upside of going primal.

    You only live once so why waste time being tired!

  9. Suggestion for everybody – when people ask you how you lost weight or got healthy, why not loan them a copy of Mark’s book instead of explanations? Whenever one mentions eating meat, less carbs (grains etc.) they only hear “Atkins” and their ears deafen and their eyes glaze over. (Not that there is anything wrong with a whole foods version of Atkins)

    Shane, is your wife primal also? Great idea sharing your graphs -illustrates the progress very well.

    1. I wonder the same ‘is your wife primal’?

      My daughter is at 28 weeks and has felt appalling throughout her pregnancy, she’s not Primal and has piled weight on. Intuitively I know she would have had a much better time if she’d eaten our way. She won’t listen though.

      1. That same situation is coming down the pipe in a year or two for me. My girlfriend (we don’t seem to get married quite so much here in Quebec) has seen me live primally for over a year and still isn’t latching onto the idea. She “tried” it for a month at the outset and didn’t lose any weight. She also didn’t do any of the required learning to even have an idea what she was or wasn’t doing right. It’s tough when people you love stubbornly refuse to at least do the learning portion. If for some reason the reasoning doesn’t make sense to someone, that’s fine… but not bothering to look into it when it works for most other people is just sad in my opinion.

      2. I had a primal pregnancy with my son and I was one of the few moms I know who had no heartburn, foot swelling, excessive weight gain or high blood pressure, and only one day of bad “morning” sickness. And what did I eat right before the morning sickness? Fried chicken!! I don’t know if following the primal blueprint is 100% to thank for an easy pregnancy, but I know it helped.

        1. Unfortunately I think the morning sickness portion is luck of the draw/genetics. I am currently pregnant and paleo but did have morning sickness for about 10 weeks. But I’ve had no health problems and am definitely on the low end of the weight gain spectrum based on what is recommended… And I definitely agree that diet has a lot to do with this!

      3. Hi Keida and Johannah,

        My wife isn’t Primal. Yet 😉

        I think diet has a lot of affect on pregnancy, but having said that, my wife was CW during our first pregnancy and it was a walk in the park compared to this time. We’re older parents (mid-late thirties) so I think that is playing a bigger role in our difficulties.

        I hope your daughters pregnancy gets better Keida 🙂 Hopefully once your new grandbub is here you’ll be able to slowly bring her around. Lead by example and hopefully she’ll be drawn to follow. Fingers crossed!

    2. I did loan my original book and never got it back. I am okay with it as long as the books stays in motion and is not sitting idle, collecting dust.

      My family noticed my weight loss and health up tick, coupled with me politely declining their SAD foods. So I gifted several copies of TPB to family members including each with a PB cookbook. I included the cookbook so now when I turn down their SAD foods and eat what I bring, they won’t keep asking what can I eat. Funny. It’s been over a year and still no PB dishes when I visit and they still ask.

      Can lead a horse to water…

    3. Great point Johannah. I simply say “Primal” and refer them to Mark’s website. It ain’t your mother’s atkins diet…

  10. I just give them the website! All they need to get started… great job, great story, thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Awesome story very inspiring. Love the graphs.:-) Congrats on the family!

  12. Love the graphs!! A couple of questions for you Shane:

    1) Did you do any sort of workout/strength training before you got the Force USA Power Rack?

    2) Is your wife Primal?

    Thanks and great story.

    1. Hi John,

      I’ve been lifting weights since the age of 13. I was never huge or ripped or anything like that. I just love to lift. So in getting the rack I definitely knew what I wanted and made sure it suited my style of exercising. It has really turned out to be an amazingly good buy.

      A few things that I noticed with PB and exercise was that lactic acid didn’t hit me so hard, I didn’t need anywhere near as much warm up and I’m nowhere near as injury prone.

      I wouldn’t put that solely down to the diet portion of PB, but it does play a big part. Getting the right amount of sleep, slow movement etc all adds up to allow you to push yourself during those weight sessions and not injure yourself.

      Yeah, my wife isn’t Primal unfortunately. Hopefully soon 🙂 After she reads all my responses 🙂

  13. I know what you mean about people tuning out when you start to explain the lifestyle to to them.
    I was out last night and had 3 ladies tell me they “wish they looked like me.” One was addicted to coke (the soda), another was on weight watchers and the third was a strict vegetarian. I tried to lay out what it takes to put your food in order, but they just couldn’t fathom giving up artificial sweeteners, not counting points/calories or giving up bread! The vegetarian (jokingly) told me I’m an animal killer! Guilty. Not sure who I’m quoting here but, “If God didn’t want me to eat meat, then why did He make it taste so good!?”

    1. I have the tuning out problem in my family! I discuss books, reference pub med articles, send them links, I get a blank stare. So I gave up, and now they just get slogans!

      Grains give me pains, it’s bacon that I’m makin’!

    2. Definitely been in the same situation. It’s hard starting the conversation with vegetarians most of the time because I get so into it, but after reading The Vegetarian Myth I feel like I’m doing an injustice by not mentioning it. I just make sure they know I’m in no way supporting industrial meat farming techniques, and that we still have a lot in common (fresh, good quality, sustainably sourced food). Lately, it’s been fun just chatting with people who also give a shit what they put in their bodies. At least they have some conviction about it.

    3. Isn’t that why there are animals? We don’t keep them for pets and long term methane production. Man is at the top of the food chain and there is no coincidence that we thrive on meat. We are supposed to. We didn’t get these beatiful sets of teeth for biting through bread or vegetables.
      As for the 3 ladies, I wonder who will develop problems first – if they haven’t already got them, the vegan or the soda and artificial sweetner junkies?

    4. lol This is so frustrating. Especially since I don’t bring it up, I just answer people who ask me a question of diet/health. Once I mention WAPF or Primal, they tune me out. Or if I’m lucky, they’ll engage me but tell me I’m wrong.

      I actually notice this tuning out of new ideas is pretty universal. I’ve worked with startups to staid/large corporations, and new ideas are shunned everywhere.

      1. I’ve battled this from the start. Easiest way is to tell people that you only eat real food…like Jack LaLanne said, “if man made it, don’t eat it” – pretty much sums it all up. The hard part is explaining that grains are ‘man made’ lol – especially for people who do not understand evolution (let alone monocots vs dicots) – going around advertising that I take down 6 tbsp of butter before noon will probably never convert anyone…telling them I don’t eat anything w/a label on it is more persuasive.

  14. Great job!

    KSO’s rock! Hoping to get back into mine one of these days (getting back at it after two foot injuries over the last 22 months). I just started Primal myself about 8 weeks ago. Down 19# and had the best blood work results EVER! I take photos and weigh myself once a week. Got about a “4 1/2 pack” so far and I’m eating like a king!


  15. A fun read! I hope your wife gets through her bed rest without incident and starts feeling awesome as soon as humanly possible.

  16. Has anyone seen the video making the rounds on FB touting Paleo authors being fat and vegan authors being lean? They conveniently leave out Mark Sisson and Rob Wolff

    1. Not to mention 95% of the people you see in those pictures from PrimalCon… it’s rare that you get so many healthy, happy looking folks in one place at the same time! This doesn’t look anything like the scene at your neighbourhood hipster vegetarian cafe…

  17. Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your story! I love your comment about how eyes glaze over when you try to answer questions. I like your answer, more meat for me! I try to avoid questions like the plague because I can’t stand trying to explain myself to people who don’t really want to listen in the first place.

  18. Thank you Shane I really needed to hear that. I have been primal for 3 months and have quit losing weight. I was so caught up in the weight loss and not what was truly happening. People comment all the time about how much weight I am losing (when I’m not) and I have gone down another pant size. I guess I couldn’t believe I was getting skinnier if the weight was not going down. I’m 47 and have focused too long on the numbers. Thank you for helping me to focus on the health benefits instead of the numbers.

    1. Hi Rachelle,

      You’re welcome! That’s exactly what I was hoping the charts would do for others! It’s amazing how your body changes shape isn’t it? To think that our previous lifestyle was causing our body shapes to morph into something they weren’t designed to be is mind blowing.

      Something I didn’t include in my story was that I had a trendline on my Weight and Body Fat% charts. MS Excel allows you to add one with the click of a button and I found it was pretty decent at predicting where I was headed weight wise. After a couple of months of data it was heartening to see the trendline project out a year and tell me I would be XX lbs on this date, XX lbs on that date. That definitely made it easier during those times when, for whatever reason, I felt like I wasn’t achieving anything.

      Good luck on your primal journey! Sounds like you’re doing an awesome job so far 🙂

  19. Congratz on success and encouragement your story will provide others

    Getting close to a year myself and have had very similiar experiences. Definitely recommend adding the sprints and/or Tabata sprints occasionally for people that are physically capable.

    Certainly made a difference to me.

  20. Great story and as a fellow data geek, I love the charts! Your story is fabulous!

    Congrats on baby #2 and best wishes to your wife!

  21. I turn 54 today and feel better now than I did at 30. Your success is quite an inspiration. It’s a great reminder that the plan will work as long as we follow it. Great job and congratulations on the new baby.

  22. Congrats on a great transformation. I had a similar experience with the vibrams. Went from shin splints that kept me from even walking fast to no shinsplints at all.

  23. Thanks for sharing! (And Congrats!) This was a great read for someone like myself who’s new to Primal. I’ve been eating Primal for about a month and a half and I’m already feeling so much better and have dropped a little weight. But best of all, my long-lost energy is starting to return! My analytical side loves the charts … And I think it’s a great way to help one ‘just let go’ and let the body figure it out the first year.

  24. Thanks for putting together your story. As a fellow Aussie I was starting to think maybe weight loss doesn’t happen as fast as it does for my American/ Canadian friends but reading your story has really inspired me to take stock of the peripheral impacts like my improved digestion and improve energy and happy mood levels. As your graphs show the weight loss will come in time if I continue the journey. Inspired!

  25. Oi! What’s with the pounds and inches?! You’re not the only primal Aussie! 🙂
    Good work on your amazing transformation and all the best with baby no 2.

    1. haha, sorry Leah. My spreadsheet is in KGs. But since us Aussie’s are so used to seeing lbs and inches on US websites and doing the conversions I thought lbs would be a good option.

      It’s good to see so many Aussie’s are Primal BTW 🙂

  26. Great story. I also used to work in the medical field for a company that manufactured a clinical diagnostic. As such we had several MDs on staff, as well as many self proclaimed ‘health experts’ and a company wide wellness program. Yet the net sum of all of these was lazy, lethargic workers, too self righteous to ever see the error of their ways. The fact is there is a huge amount of misinformation out there in the medical establishment, and the more time you spend around healthcare professionals, the worse advice you get.

    The difference with my experience was that I had 2 partners. My boss, who swore off all gluten and carbohydrates (after discovering it aggravated her daughters autism symptoms), and a fellow libertarian friend who embraced any means by which to be totally contrarian.

    Over a period of about 6 months we each lost 20+ pounds. Maybe the best 6 months of my life, since the first 3 featured lots of comments on the ‘unhealthiness’ of our food choices, followed by 3 more months of DEAD SILENCE! My boss’s transformation was most exceptional as she was what most people would call “skinny” to begin with. 20 lbs lighter she was stunning and the envy of women half her age. My contrarian buddy, who was in his mid 50s lost 30 lbs, going from 195 to 165 and looked 15 years younger. I too lost 30 lbs going from 186 to 156 and earned the nickname “skinny”. You’ll never see an office full of doctors so unwilling to offer their opinions as we saw at the 6 month mark. Priceless.

    Thanks for the story. I never get tired of seeing amazing results coupled with a great story about how another person stuck it to the experts. Best of luck with the bubs, and good luck being the “cool dad” now that you’ve recaptured your youthful energy. You and your family deserve it. Cheers!

    1. “You’ll never see an office full of doctors so unwilling to offer their opinions as we saw at the 6 month mark.” Love it!

    2. I hear you about the “healthcare professionals”. My wife’s friend is a nurse and ghod bless her for doing that work – but wow is she intolerant of deviating even one little bit from the party line! My wife doesn’t even discuss vitamin C/D, or herbal supplements, or healthy diets with her any more. The craziest thing is that this woman is constantly getting sick, has a bad back, bad knees, kidney stones, liver issues, the list goes on and on. Yet she obediently takes the poison the doctor gives her and submits to multiple surgeries, while refusing to consider any other alternative.

      It makes me kind of sad, actually.

  27. “then their eye’s glaze over when I tell them”

    Isn’t that the truth…I have given up trying to “inform” people…they just refuse to listen.

    1. Yeah. The exact same thing happens to me all the time. I think it happens when I mention ‘no bread’ or ‘no pasta’. That’s a bridge too far.

  28. Oh yeah- another Aussie here. You’ve convinced me to start graphing. I can’t believe I haven’t started before this! Excellent story!

  29. You know, it is quite disheartening to repeatedly be asked “how’d you do it?” and have them say “oh I couldn’t do that.” I don’t understand people who don’t care enough about themselves to look into things and actually research their health. Not just primal principles, but everything.

  30. “Intervention”…..ok I’ll eat some “badness”…..fruit and fat! Lol……Comgrats Shane;-)

  31. “I would like to know how long I keep having to prove them wrong before they finally get it.”

    I loved that line. Great story and great advice. Patience. Well done Mate.

  32. As a fellow Aussie I support and salute you!

    I don’t have exactly the results or metrics like yourself … but the waist measurements definitely. I remember putting on the trousers to a tailor-made suit in Dec last year for a party only to find that … they fell to the ground! Much like those weight loss commercials where the couple stands inside the two legs of the trousers. And to think that only 12 months earlier I had worn them tight. From 40 to 32 in twelve months.

    Love your testimonial and your PB efforts. It encourages me to write a testimonial too.

    1. Hi Craig,

      Start writing 🙂 I’d love to hear your story!

      How satisfying is the Waist thing?!? I had given up thinking that I would ever have a slim waist again. I had lost a heap of weight at other times in the past, and even been the same weight as I am now. But the Waist was always there. Then you hear the comments from others, “That’s just your body shape, you can’t do anything about it” and you kinda give up. Then PB comes along and you’re down to your highschool size again 🙂

      1. After 16 months primal – and three babies – for the first time in my life I find that jeans that fit around the legs are too big around the waist. I’ve ALWAYS been an apple shape before.

  33. I wish more people in the medical field would question the validity of the advice being given, instead of the veracity of the people doggedly following that advice (and getting sicker!)

    I appreciate the weight rack info too- my hubby keeps talking about setting up a home gym when we move, and the one you are using will fit the bill nicely. They owe you a commission. 😉

    Congrats on your success, and the upcoming Bubs #2. 🙂

    1. Thanks Lady Grok!

      You’ll love the weight rack! Hit me up on the forum if you have any questions on it (sroelofs).

  34. I tracked my weight every day while doing P90X last summer (not that it’s very Primal, but anyhow), and my inches every week. Graphing out those measurements definitely helped me in the long run! Seeing where my body was heading overall, where it started, and the daily/weekly fluctuations helped me understand what my body was doing/going through when I hit a “plateau”.

  35. It is very encouraging to see long term results. It’s hard to be patient and not try to mess with or tweak things often. Knowing that a permanent lifestyle change to primal can continue to reap benefits for a long time is motivating. Thank you for sharing!

  36. Congratulations on your wonderful transformation and new family. It’s great to hear from an Aussie too. The glazed over look is so common with the primal lifestyle. My mum used to do the same thing until I convinced her to try it and she lost 10 kg. Now she can’t imagine living any other way!

  37. Thanks for all the kind comments everyone. It’s humbling that you find my story an inspiration and for some, a confirmation that you’ll eventually get the result.

  38. I hear you on the feeling of all that time ‘wasted’ before you found your energy. I’m having similar feelings at the moment. I’m a few months into primal living and feel like I’ve woken up from a 20 year slumber. Congratulations on your regaining your health and energy.

  39. Oh wow, another primal biomedical nanoscience engineer with shin splints. Maybe you’re my long lost twin. All the best!

    1. How awesome is Nanotech!?! I had to put my study on hold for now while I support my family but I am so keen to get back into it. It’s funny, we follow a lifestyle that bases practices on human kind’s ancient past yet we’re interested in a field that promises to lead human kind in to he future. Too cool!

  40. Thank you! I plateaued after 2 weeks (it’s been a month). I was going to start tweaking but decided not to after reading your story. I will take the walking more seriously though. Haven’t been doing that…

  41. Good onya Shane – awesome story. Love your graphs too (in kilos/cms please). And yes that glazed over face is a common response for me to. I start by saying “no grains, no preseravites or artificial foods”. If I can keep their attention that long then I tell them Paleo. I keep emailing people Mark’s website, but who knows who reads it. And I am 53 and thought the days of having a waist were long past me – “oh yeah, as women get older your waist just thickens up” Pffff in 5 months I have lost 9cm (I think, my trainer has the figures) off my waist and have had to dig out some belts to hold up my jeans. Oh yeah!!!!! And my daughter saw a great idea recently. Get some business cards printed – red on one side with a list of “no go” food, and green on the other with a list of “gimme more” food. Just hand those out when people ask what you can eat!
    Thanks for your story Shane…..hope all goes well for you and your expanding family…..

    1. I love the business card idea!! I would add Mark’s website to it 🙂

  42. Gday fellow Aussie,

    well done mate. Great idea with the charts, I would have liked a before and after also tho! Im girly, I like the visual stuff.

    Im a year primal too, and while I didnt do the charts I do weigh myself daily, and write down kgs. My only reason was to lose weight though as I didn’t care about my health (strange but true). Nothing could be further from the truth now!

    Lost nearly 30kg. But the bonus of weighing daily for me, was that I really learnt what my body was doing. It got to the point where I could tell to the tune of 100g what weight I’d be and more importantly why.

    Even though I don’t get a period (IUD) I know when it’s “that time” due to my weight gain. Up to 2kg.

    I also know my bowel movements schedule, (up a few hundred grams) usually means I will go the next day! It’s crazy, but it’s true!

    Cheating can raise the scales by 500g but it goes away within two days or less by getting back on track.

    Fasting drops 1kg about a day after.

    I know my body very well.

    I keep preaching Primal, sending everyone to Mark’s site or to my own little fbook group. (60 of us on there now).

    I can’t bear to be silent.

    Congrats! and may I add, weighing daily is not for everyone. Do it with caution as daily fluctuations can be really hard to bare when they go up up up and you feel youre doing everything wrong!

    I recently tried on clothes that were a very small size, and noticed my body had changed shape significantly and yet weighed the same. I was wearing a size 8 jeans, and a size 6 top. I used to be a 16 pants and 14 top. (Aussie sizes) So I am an advocate of measuring and graphing AND weekly photos in the same clothes, until it’s unreasonable (ie they fall off). Also the underwear shot is priceless once you’ve lost the weight and want to remind yourself..

    Ok I think my post is longer than the original!


  43. Congrats Shane, for the results and for the great job at recording such accurate data.

    You mention Australia, are you living here (Aus) now and if so where are you?

    (Brisbane, Australia.

  44. Thanks for sharing your story. The graphs were a wake up call that I am indeed progressing ( even when the scale goes back up for no reason)and that I need to just ” trust the process” and not waiver from doing PB. Thanks & congrats!

  45. well done Shane from another fellow Aussie. I’m now 10 1./2 months along and my weight picture is exactly like yours, a sharp loss, slow ramp down, long level patches (I am in one now) but a steady trend downwards.

    I have dropped 4 1/2 pants sizes and 3 top sizes and still shrinking.

    I swim as my chosen exercise – 6 days a week most of the year and 3 days a week now it is colder. Don’t have any electronic scales as I had 2 sets and the subtropical humidity killed them – annoying and expensive.

    Keep up the good work!

  46. Yes, thank you for sharing your incredible story and for keeping those charts! Wow. The greatest thing (for me) was hearing about your energy level – thumbs up!

    Congrats on your new little one who is set to arrive-best of health to your wife 🙂

  47. Thank you for sharing! Also if you want to work out 5 days/week theres a good program over at MuscleHack. I’ve done it for 6+ months while eating paleo/low carb and it worked great.

  48. I’m glad to hear that your shin splints are better. I have been battling with stress fractures from shin splints. I’m hoping going primal will help with some of the pain! Thanks for sharing your story!

  49. Okay, folks, I really need some advice if you’ve got it. I keep loosing weight, and I wasn’t terribly fat to begin with. My BMI is about 17 now, and I’m NOT starving myself. I eat eggs, something for lunch, a huge primal dinner, a piece of dark chocolate every day, wine etc. Never had any foodissues, and like having a ‘waif’ figure now EXCEPT – I’m definitely loosing muscle. My muscles were always puny, but I could do five pushups on my knees. Now I can do two, and I feel like a weakling. I freeze all the time, and I start to look like an old woman. I’m probably approaching menopause, but still, the lifestyle seems to have hastened this development. How do I build muscle and get to look and feel strong again? I haven’t trained much ever, but neither more nor less with paleo.

    1. Try supplementing with whey protein in 8oz. of organic milk a couple times per day. Increase your training to 3x per week. Heavier weights and not too many reps. Work on building your strength, setting a baseline in basic exercises like bench, shoulder press, squat etc. and then adding small amounts of weight each session.

    2. Look at the “How to Gain Weight and Build Muscle” article on this site. It’s under “Top Posts” on the right side of the page (towards the top).

  50. Thanks for sharing this! I have been at this for several months but have my whole family joining me – mum, dad, hubby and daughter. The scale says I have only lost 10 lbs (and I think someone stuck chewing gum on it as it is not budging) but everyone comments that I look like I have lost a ton of weight. Down two dress sizes actually so your charts were very helpful. The energy is a definite plus. My biggest gain? I can drink coffee again after having to give it up for five years! Love this stuff…

    1. LOVE coffee Jill! I have it with cream now, no milk 🙂 Real coffee too, not instant. I found that I don’t get the caffeine withdrawal headaches with real coffee.

  51. My colleagues was “horrified” when I took 1-2 tablespoons of blend coconut/olive oil with meal.