September 28 2018

At 54 Years Of Age, I’m Able To Do More and More Instead of Less and Less

By Mark Sisson
37 Comments

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!

In 2011, I sold a house, “right-sized” my life, and moved to a neighboring state. It was a nutty year that eventually involved TWO moves within 6 months, a stressful daily commute that kept me on a notoriously bad highway for at least two hours a day, and, to top it all off: menopause!

After reading all of that, would you believe me if I told you that this was a good move?? Well it was definitely difficult…but also definitely worth it for the many things that I gained…

Unfortunately, I also gained 80 extra pounds over that first year and the next. Ugh!

I had always lived what I thought was a healthy lifestyle: all things in moderation, lean meats, fruit, vegetables, whole grains (hah!) and get a little exercise each day, and though I had to be careful, my weight had always stayed in a healthy range. Suddenly, my usual maintenance strategies were no longer working for me. In an alarmingly short amount of time my body grew 4 sizes! I felt weak, sick, tired, and achy all the time and I knew that something had to change.

Over the next few years, I desperately tried strategy after strategy with only a little bit of progress here and there, until 2 years ago, when I discovered Mark’s Daily Apple. My cousin (who is a runner) posted a link on Facebook one evening. I clicked over for a casual read that turned into a “Eureka!” moment, a late night reading as much as I could cram in, and – when I saw the many success stories – a renewed feeling of hope! I am a “show me the science” kind of gal, so Mark’s approach really appealed to me.

And so, I cleared out my cabin kitchen and started a new lifestyle. It was a radical departure from everything that I had done before, and I was anxious about taking that first step. My fear of fat almost conquered me, but I decided that in my current shape, eating more fat was likely no worse for me than my being obese already was, so I would try it for a few months and see what happened…

Today, I am SO GLAD that I did! To date, I have easily and steadily lost 70 pounds, and whittled 10 inches from my waist! But that’s not even the best part of this story…

Seven months in, my annual lab work revealed that my triglycerides had dropped to almost half of my previous year’s reading! My blood pressure had come down from prehypertension to a normal range as well!

These results encouraged me to continue and to double-down, adding intermittent fasting (16/8 Noon-8pm eating window) to my daily routine, and experiment with dropping grains and dairy to see what happened.

This past year’s lab results showed that I had maintained my previous health gains and perhaps best of all: I had dropped my fasting AND A1bc blood sugar numbers from the prediabetes range back to normal!!

The increase in my energy level has been amazing! I am also experiencing better mental clarity, and motivation. I got more done this past year than I had in the THREE years preceding. The fog has lifted! This happened quickly after I eliminated the grains from my diet, and I would not be surprised to find that there is a connection there for me.

Before dropping the sugar and excess carbs, I would experience fatigue, headaches, anxiety and general irritation when hungry. Now, when my body needs fuel between meals, it does not kick and scream for carbs—it quietly switches over to ketosis—using my fat reserves as fuel. Even after losing 70 pounds I’ve still got a good supply. 🙂 This means that I am able to better roll with changes to my daily schedule, and I am just generally on a more even keel throughout the day.

Chronic back and joint pain have also improved! I have had enough relief there to enable more exercise in the form of walking and some strength training. At 54 years of age, it is nice to be on the positive side of this cycle—able to do more and more instead of less and less.

My partner has also benefitted from our lifestyle change. He has lost more than 30 pounds to date! Together, we have settled into this lifestyle fully and comfortably. We eat a healthy and enjoyable rotation of our favorite Primal (and sometimes Keto) meals, occasionally trying something new as we remember an old standby that we had enjoyed previously (most can be converted!), or if something tasty catches our eye online.

We continue to follow Mark’s Daily Apple, and to read and learn more about how we can cut through the highly politicized landscape to find our own nutritional truths. I am still learning something new on a weekly basis, and we have changed much more than just our diet at this point! I ditched that job/commute, focused on building my own freelance graphic design business, and joined a working bluegrass band, for starters. 🙂

I write all of this, not with the intention of saying “look at me,” but more with a hope that my story will be an inspiration to anyone who comes across it to have a closer look at the Primal lifestyle, and see if it might be right for them. I am not a doctor or nutritionist, but I am living proof that it has certainly worked for me!

THANK YOU Mark, for sharing your research and your insights. Without your blog, I might very well still be struggling along through the fog on aching knees. Your constant research and interpretation of the science as it evolves has made you a trusted resource for us. Friends ask me all the time what we’re doing, and I immediately send them your way!

All of my newfound energy has spawned a new blog project amongst other things. We live in a tiny cabin, on an amazing farm where we are close to nature, enjoy fresh, organic and truly free-range eggs, and grow our own vegetables in the summer months. As a humble thank you to this amazing community, I have added a Whole Foods category to my blog, where I feature our favorite Primal recipes, alongside my own photography, cabin/farm life, and DIY building projects. You can see more there at https://newdreamcabin.com. We plan to continue to discover and develop new recipes, and share our favorites in that space!

Grok On everyone! Here’s to the best of health for us all!

Lynne

www.newdreamcabin.com

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37 thoughts on “At 54 Years Of Age, I’m Able To Do More and More Instead of Less and Less”

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  1. Wow, took 70+ pounds off and 20 years it looks like. Good job. You look great!

  2. Wow Lynne! Inspiration indeed! I think I’m 6 months in to actual menopause now (at 56 it’s a relief to finally be there) and at the moment challenges are tough on many fronts. Enjoyed your story and the before and after pics really give me hope. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Happy to share – these stories helped me as well when I was just starting out (and continue to do so). All the best to you!

  3. Congratulations on finding your way. You look amazing but the best part is how your health has improved. Every Friday I wait patiently for these stories and am always so impressed with the stories. I actually get a little emotional when I read them.

  4. You look fantastic! I’m 57, through menopause (hysterectomy threw me into and out and Primal eating took care of the symptoms). I’m still trying to get rid of that last bit of belly fat. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Great success story. Thank you for sharing, Lynne.

    I enjoy your blog.

  6. Hi Lynne, I’m an old bloke, so obviously slightly different experiences than yours of course, but even so I really enjoyed reading your story. I checked your blog and admire the way you are making the downsizing to a smaller cabin way of life work.
    Like you I found Marks daily apple late in life, but not too late to make a profound difference in the way I lived. I agree that if you do it right it is effortless. It just seems to flow. It also seems to help having a creative passion. Yours is music. Mine is plein air painting. My story was published here under “I now have plans out to ninety”. Six exhibitions so far this year, and I have three galleries now showing my work. Again, like you and your partner, I have just finished building a new woodshed for next year’s firewood. Congratulations on how well you are doing. You look great.

    1. Hi Ross – thanks for your kind words! I remember seeing your story last year and finding inspiration there. So great to get a new lease on life – at any age! 🙂 Glad to hear that you are finding such fantastic success with your art. And of course, congratulations are also in order on the new woodshed! Bringing in all that firewood will keep us both young – LOL!

      1. Hi again Lynne. You may recall the old joke, “Age and cunning will beat youth and enthusiasm every time.” Heh. My experience has been that as we get older our overall performance remains surprisingly constant, because we use our time more effectively. An example is whereas I would previously grind my way through the day, now I might take time out for a snooze, and return with renewed vigour. Funnily enough, I often don’t actually fall asleep, but enter a sort of deep relaxation, allow my mind to freewheel, and find myself planning the rest of the day. The next thing I leap up, and I’m back into it with new energy. For amusement, and to see some of my recent work, check my facebook page. Kind regards, Ross

  7. Lynn! I’m 52 and you are my inspiration! Thank you so much for writing in!

  8. Wonderful story Lynne. Thanks so much for sharing. At 47 I love to learn how other women are still growing and achieving so much. I’m off to read your blog now. ?

    1. Hi Gabrielle, Thanks so much for checking out my blog! There is never a dull moment here these days and I enjoy capturing and sharing our cabin life and favorite recipes. Hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

  9. I am close to your age and loved reading your story and your blog. Both are very inspirational! I would love to downsize too once my kids are moved out. It sounds like you are living an amazing and healthy life.

    1. Hi Rita! Thanks for your kind comments, and also for checking out my blog! Downsizing to our little cabin home has definitely created more “space” in our lives for healthy pursuits of all kinds! 🙂

  10. Awesome! Would you be willing to share the meals in
    Your rotation ? I sometimes get stuck on this part. Thanks md!

  11. Great job! In the pictures, you look so much younger, like your own daughter. I do find your story inspiring. I’m 55 and my weight and A1C have been creeping up the last few years and I decided today to change my eating habits. Finding this article is just what I needed.

  12. I’m the same age and have multiple health struggles. You’re an inspiration and your experience encourages me – thank you for sharing your story!

    1. Hi Barbara, happy to share and so glad to hear that you have found inspiration in my story. I have found the same in others’ stories here as well, and it is great to be able to contribute. Best wishes to you! 🙂

  13. Wow! What impressive results! You look so much younger. Thank you for sharing your story and being an inspiration for others. (P.S.I also live in a cabin in the woods…love your website!)

    1. Thanks Katie! And thanks for checking out my website as well. Nice to e-meet a fellow cabin dweller here! 🙂

  14. Lynne, you hardly look 54! Amazing transformation! Unfortunately I’ve been struggling for the past few years. I’m a bit scared as I have about 30-40 extra pounds that I’ve tried everything to get off. My father has been t2d for about 15 years and I appear to have the same stubborn metabolism. That scares me to death. Every time I embark on something this drastic I fall short. How the heck did you commit to it, and how rapidly did you see results? I’m pretty sure it’s the carbs and sugars that are the trigger. Sorry my comments are a bit scattered. I’ve got to do something because this 40 extra pounds is literally ruining my life.
    Love your blog and your adorable little cottage.

    1. Hi Nancy – thanks for your kind words, and for checking out my blog! Reading success stories like these was a huge inspiration and motivator for me. I was also seeing my blood sugar creep up and up each year, and so the threat of t2D was a huge motivation to change my ways. Honestly, once I got through the first week or so, I found things to be relatively easy and the weight came off quickly enough initially to spur me on. I personally saw good results in the first week, even though we “eased into” the new lifestyle. Cooking everything from scratch, and learning how to use new ingredients in our favorite recipes was really the biggest challenge that I personally faced. That is a big part of why I am sharing recipes on my blog – to provide some quick and easy solutions that I have found, and also to show that it is not so difficult to do once you get the hang of it! As to how to face such a radical change and stick with it? Taking it one day at a time was what worked for me. Following the 80/20 rule was really helpful: If things went south one day, I didn’t stress out about it or beat myself up, I just re-committed to do better the next day, and the next, and the next… Taking a fresh look at my before picture also worked to reinforce my commitment, and reading more success stories when I was feeling challenged. Finally, I am also personally convinced that this whole lifestyle change beyond just the food (getting enough sleep, minimizing stress, the right amount of the right kind of exercise, etc.) was key to making the process much easier. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I hope that you have been following along with the blog and enjoying the recipes, and that this finds you well on your way to achieving your goals!

  15. Very nice transformation. I just want to ask how many months after starting the paleo way of eating did you notice changes in your bp. Were you taking bp maintenance? Thank you.

    1. Thanks Marsha! That is a tough question to answer accurately because I was not measuring my BP regularly, nor was I taking anything for it (even though in hindsight I probably should have been). I started the new way of eating about 6 months ahead of my annual physical, and by that time the numbers had come down from where they had been. While losing a bunch of weight likely helped a lot, I changed a number of things in my life and not just my way of eating: I also worked on getting enough good-quality sleep, getting enough of the right kind of exercise for me, and made changes in my life to reduce stress, etc.Any one of those could have been the thing that did the trick for me, personally…