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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 26 2013

I Am in the Best Health and Shape of My Life

By Guest
335 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!

Shame and disgust were what I felt when I first saw this cringe-worthy photo of myself. I am a deaf mom of three boys. This picture was taken in July 2009, five years after my youngest son was born. I was fast approaching 40 years old. I did not have a weight problem growing up as I was very active and played in several sports. It was when I got to college that I gained the infamous “Freshman Fifteen”. I successfully lost my pregnancy weight with my first son. However, more pounds creeped up from the next two pregnancies. In the July 2009 photo I was hovering between 185 and 195 pounds and by the way, I’m 5’8″. I would delete, throw it out or crop off the bottom half of me in every full-body picture taken of me. My instincts told me to keep this one and I now know why.? I love receiving your weekly Friday Primal Blueprint Success Story e-mail and always feel inspired by whoever had the courage to share his/her story. I want to share my story and help others find the magic in themselves.

Beth - July 2009

I was not much of a yo-yo dieter. Weight Watchers and the Atkins Diet were the only programs I tried. I would lose maybe ten pounds at most but the weight always returned over time. That was when I decided to take up running for the first time. I never ran in my entire life except for what I had to do as part of organized sports programs. It took me two failed attempts to succeed on the Couch to 5k program. I couldn’t follow the program timeframe. I had to go at my own pace and that meant repeating some of the weeks to allow my body to catch up. I ran my first marathon two years later. As you would see the photo below, I still had not lost very much weight in spite of running on almost a daily basis. I was always hungry and I ate more. Does this sound familiar?

July 2011, First Marathon

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005 after becoming ill with a full-blown celiac-episode overnight. After two weeks my health was not improving. I had not had any obvious symptoms prior to that and nobody in my family had celiac disease so, needless to say, being diagnosed was a big shock. I went on the gluten-free diet right away and followed it to a “T”. At around the same time, I developed year-round seasonal allergies leading to constantly recurring sinusitis. Chronic fatigue and joint pain made themselves at home in my body.

I started having major anxiety attacks out of the blue and I blamed it on peri-menopause even though I was tested negative for it. I was prescribed Xanax and I never took it. I’ve never liked taking medicine. I kept the bottle in my purse and would just look at it to calm myself down whenever I felt an attack coming up. At the same time, I was put on the allergen immunotherapy program (weekly shots) and my body reacted violently. I had suicidal thoughts and my anxiety attacks worsened. I pulled myself off the immunotherapy program after a few months and stopped taking the allergy medicine completely. I decided to live with the stuffed up nose year round. I was also having ongoing stomach pains and bloatedness even though I was religiously careful about avoiding the gluten cross-contamination. I had an endoscopy and the gastrointestinal nuclear scan, which revealed only gastritis of the stomach lining. Everything else looked healthy. My doctor prescribed Nexium for my stomach pain. I threw the prescription out when I got home because I knew he had not gotten to the root of my problem.

Needless to say, I was frustrated with all of my health issues. They were popping up out of nowhere. For someone who is a lifelong optimist I started to think, why me?

It was through a friend when I first heard of the paleo lifestyle. He kept talking about how bacon is good for you and how his health problems were resolved. I became intrigued and did my own research. I was still skeptical but I decided I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. I removed every processed food; Diet Pepsi, sugar, and the rest of the gluten free junk food from my kitchen. I ate bacon every morning. In a matter of days, my stomach pains completely disappeared. Bloatedness gone. My energy levels skyrocketed. Most of my allergy symptoms vanished. My joint pain faded away. I had a much improved skin complexion with no more acne. I was STUNNED! Who knew that food was the culprit of all those health problems I had?!?! Five months later, I decided to remove dairy from my diet for 30 days. Lo-and-behold, the remaining allergy issues went away. Even though I was tested negative for lactose intolerance, I now know I have histamine intolerance to dairy. I no longer eat dairy. I now see the importance of removing certain foods from the diet for a period of time to see how the absences of these foods positively affect your bodies. What I love about the paleo diet is that there is no calorie counting. There is no marketing gimmick. There is no requirement to pay for any diet program. The information is all right there at your fingertips with the help of Almighty Google.

Beth - Post Primal

After turning to the paleo lifestyle, I ran four marathons in five months. Three of them were part of the 3N3 Alabama Challenge (3 marathons in 3 months). The energy I gained from the paleo lifestyle made this possible without any injuries or fatigue. Then this past March, an “uh-oh” happened. I broke my foot during a mountain hike. I had to put my running on the back burner. Restlessness was getting the best of me. I had to find another exercise outlet. This helped me find Bikram Yoga. I could not run on my injured foot but I had no problem standing on it. I became hooked to hot yoga and I now go six days a week. That broken foot was a blessing in disguise, indeed. I’ve come to understand that long distance/endurance running is not exactly good for my body; putting too much stress and raising my cortisol level. I’ve gone back to running but it is not as often as I used to. I may do one marathon a year. I’m now all about Namaste-ing.

Beth - Yoga

To date after 11 months, I’ve lost a total of 35 pounds. I would love to lose the last ten elusive pounds to reach my high school weight. I am just so elated that I am in the best health and shape of my entire life. I have become so passionate about the paleo lifestyle that with the help of the friend who introduced me to it, we created a Facebook group, “DeafPaleo” to help educate and inspire others in the deaf community. I so desperately want them to become aware of the healing power of proper nutrition and exercise and to lower dependence on the pharmaceutical industry to help get them through life. We now have 612 members and it continues to grow. Because I am still learning about the paleo stuff, I do not always have the answers immediately when they ask questions. I am always asking myself, “What does Mark have to say about that?” and I resort to your website for helpful answers. Thank you for being there, Mark.

Happy Beth!

Beth

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335 thoughts on “I Am in the Best Health and Shape of My Life”

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  1. Wow! You look amazing Beth! Great job and thanks for inspiring the rest of us.

        1. I usually eat bacon/fried eggs or a bacon/spinach omelette every morning. For lunch, usually some salad with tuna or chicken or leftover dinner. I eat cucumber/tomato salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil often. For dinner, burgers, salmon patties, cubed steak, taco meat with lettuce wrap, or something like pulled pork from the crockpot. Mexican Meatza Pizza from Melissa Joulwan’s website is my favorite. What works for me is that I keep it very simple. I avoid the complicated recipes. The fewer ingredients, the better for me. For snacks, I eat beef jerky, hard-boiled eggs, coconut butter, or a handful of raisins with nuts.

    1. Beth,

      I read your story and I wanted to say also – Great Job….! My oldest daughter got me hooked on the primal diet about 3 months ago and, although it was hard I stuck with it and now I have lost 22 lbs, I feel great physically, and clothes that I was too big to fit in either not fit or are even loose. My compliments to Mark and this wonderful diet plan. Oh and yes, I watch what I eat, follow the rules of the diet no dairy, no carbs m-f and cheat day on Sunday, and I exercise. All I can say is Wow!

      Anthony

      1. Thanks, Anthony! It was hard for the first two or three months. I was missing my gluten free bread and tortilla chips so much. Now I don’t even think about it. I don’t even think of this as a diet anymore. This is my lifestyle, period. No looking back. Glad you’re feeling great. Keep it up!

  2. Great transformation, great handstand pic, and I love how your smile glows in the final picture! Congratulations Beth!

  3. Wow, just wow! This is an amazing story and totally inspiring, thanks Beth!

  4. Love, love, love this story! So happy for you, and very inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Wow, you overcame some incredible obstacles! Impressed by your persistance and congrats on getting your health under control.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Very thankful I came across this lifestyle! Best thing that has ever happened to me. Thanks, Bjjcaveman!

  6. What a great story! You look fantastic in those last photos–so happy and full of life. Quite a difference even from the marathon photos!

  7. You look so happy Beth!!!

    Thanks for sharing this!!! Amazing how far you’ve come.

  8. I agree with all the comments above! Mostly however, I love how you refused all the perscriptions 🙂
    You actually glow!

    1. Glow is right! You are so beautiful and your health radiates from you! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    2. Only if people would not resort to medicine for a quick solution. I know not all medicine is bad. Some do need it in special cases. This is why I decided to share my story to let others know. Thanks Peggy!

    3. I’m guessing +1 means “me too”. If so, +1 on refusing prescriptions. I’m just starting out. Hopefully I too will be off prescription drugs one day. And it’s nice to see yoga mentioned as a form of exercise. : )

  9. Congrats!! You look great! I’m 42 and while not full blow celiac had numerous digestive issues almost my entire life. It’s a wonderful feeling when eating food doesn’t hurt anymore. I actually have a long, long list of things that either went away, changed, came back (receding hair line and thinning crown) or got better when I went Primal. Dairy was the culprit for my sinuses, too. Commercial dairy, that is. I can enjoy the local, low-heat pasteurized pastured dairy in moderate amounts now. Even the ice cream. And don’t worry about the extra 10lbs. I think it has to do with age. A little extra healthy fat is good for middle-aged women IMO. IN a food abundant environment we shouldn’t look like we’re subsisting. A little extra fat in the right places is healthy and sexy on a woman!!

    1. *high five* Thanks, Heather! I was never a big fan of ice cream so that was not a big issue. I’ve really liked the paleo ice cream made with coconut milk, frozen bananas, and the different stuff you can put in for different flavors. Yummy!

  10. Congratulations! What an incredible journey. It makes me so happy to hear other people’s success stories. Your smile is so beautiful and glowing in the last picture. You look so happy!

  11. Congrats 🙂 You look like a very happy, healthy woman now. My mom is deaf & I’ve been trying to explain the paleo way of life for awhile….. I’m sending her this now!!! THANKS!

    1. Thanks! We’d love to have your mom join DeafPaleo! Let me know if she has trouble finding us.

  12. You are beautiful. And it bears repeating; your story is deeply inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  13. WoW!!! What an amazing transformation!!!! You look great! God I love these Friday stories. Keep up with enjoying life!

    1. Me too, on the Friday stories! We need to keep sharing our own stories so that others would be inspired to try this lifestyle. Thanks, Chris!

  14. Thank you for sharing your story! It seems like most who are overweight see pictures of themselves and think “Am I really that fat?” or “Why do I look so fat?” And that is what spurs them on to transformation. I finally realized that I could probably lose a few pounds after seeing pictures of myself. It’s crazy! You look in the mirror and think “I don’t look so bad” until you see pictures of yourself.
    Also, it sounds like you were taking Humira? That is a very frightening medication with a ton of horrible side effects. My boyfriend actually had an allergic reaction to it while taking it during his bout with UC. He is lucky to be alive.

    1. No, it wasn’t Humira. I was taking Singulair and Xyzal along with whatever they put in my weekly shots. Horrible side effects, indeed. Some people are just more sensitive than others. I was clearly on the extreme end of the spectrum on the side effects. Glad your boyfriend is OK!

      1. Singulair is a very scary drug. Most people don’t realize that a drug prescribed for asthma can have such a profound effect on your mental health. It can affect mood, memory, etc. Both my niece and I stopped taking it because of the personality impact. A great example of why everyone should be skeptical about going on any medication, especially long-term.

  15. Wow Beth. Awesome. Funny how “the Universe” works:: I had a similar experience with a broken foot. It took me away from running (how I broke it), and I got sick of the gym and took up road cycling. It totally changed my life, and like you, I actually got to the point where I had to be GRATEFUL for that broken foot! Keep it up! Amazing, isn’t it?

    1. Yep! That was the second time I broke my foot within 2 years. First time was from hitting a pothole while running. I did not get the message the first time, ha. Cheers to broken feet 😉

  16. This sounds like me. Only with out to running. I was unable to do much of anything, because of the chronic pain and fatigue. But know if I stay 100% primal I am a different person.
    Thanks Beth ,it’s nice to know I am not alone

    1. Nope, you’re not alone. So many people learned to live with the chronic pain and fatigue and they think it’s just part of life and aging. Nooooooooo! All they have to do is to change the way they eat and they’re completely different people just like you, Debi.

  17. You are absolutely glowing in that last picture! Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey.

  18. Bless you Beth– you’ll inspire many to keep going! You may be deaf but you can hear the cheers from all of us..Grok ON!

    1. Yes, I can ‘see’ the cheers and I’m deeply touched. Thanks and grok on, Pastor Dave!

  19. You look wonderful..and so so happy!! Thanks for sharing your story, yet another inspiration.

  20. Good for you Beth! I hate taking medicine either. This story can help a lot of people. Solving the root cause is the key, glad you’re helping others through your website.

    You look fantastic!

  21. Wow, I wish I could do a headstand like that. Congratulations, Beth. I confess, my heart sank at your first sentence. I think many can relate to feelings of disgust and shame. However, the feeling of elation that comes with great health can’t be beat!

    1. Yes, I do feel awesome, better than ever. I want people to know that they are not stuck with the current state of their bodies and they do not have to give up on themselves. They do not have to starve themselves on those fad diets to lose weight. This lifestyle really works. How can one resist eating bacon and eggs every morning?! 🙂

  22. 11 months?!? Beth, I’m floored. Well done!! So happy for you, and thankful for you sharing your story to inspire others.

  23. Great job! Your skin and hair look so healthy! Primal is a great “look” for you! I am working on that last elusive 10 pounds myself, but I feel so much better I almost don’t care! Thanks for posting your story, it’s just the encouragement I needed!

    1. Exactly. I have come so far and I feel so healthy. I’m not worried too much about the last ten pounds. Maybe just by not thinking about it, it’ll disappear on its own? Good luck, PaperJenny!

      1. that last 10 pounds may just be added muscle – I feel it is for me. I think if I lose any more weight I will not have any feminine qualities….just that skin and bones,dried out old lady look. ugh. keep doing what you do and FEEL GOOD, the weight becomes unimportant.

  24. What a great story! Isn’t it amazing how food can change your life? Good for you that you were refusing those medications. That’s what’s so disheartening about modern medicine — instead of getting to the root of the problem, they prescribe a pill.

    1. Exactly, NJ Paleo. I’ve always hated it whenever the doctors had the “stumped” look on their faces, shake their heads and then say “Why don’t you try this medicine and come back in two weeks?” They all have no idea. When I saw my GI doctor a couple months ago, I told him how great I felt and that all of my symptoms are gone. He said that I was the first patient in a long time who’s come to see him with good news. Told him to google paleo!

  25. Your story was very touching, and the headstand photo very inspiring for me!! I’m working on the exercise piece of this and that looks a great way to go!!!

    1. Thanks! Colleen, it’s a hard exercise piece, I agree. I have been practicing it against the wall on the carpet and working my way up to maybe two minutes or so. It helps build up your core strength until you can move away from the wall and try it in the middle of the room.

  26. Great Story Beth, very inspiring. If you really want to lose the last 10 pounds I recommend cutting Bikram to 2-3 days per week and doing what mark prescribes, Lift heavy things 2-3 days per week. I know Bikram is great, ( I’m a teacher) but it shouldn’t be your whole routine. You need core strength, you need to challenge your muscles in a different way and I bet that last 10 will float off. Remember High Intensity, short duration.

    1. Good advice. I’ve been doing some ab workouts at home as well. I do have kettlebells that I can go back to using. Would that work? Thanks, Zack!

  27. Congrats, Beth, you look fantastic! It’s amazing what proper diet and a little exercise can accomplish. People are slowly coming to realize that pills aren’t the answer, and that we’ve been nutritionally lied to by the “experts” for decades.

    I’m one of many here who has lost excess weight and found better health through a Paleo lifestyle. In fact, I don’t even think about it as being Paleo anymore; it’s just the way I prefer to live and eat.

    Some day, in a more enlightened world, the medical profession will learn to treat illness with lifestyle and food changes, and drugs will only be a last resort. There are doctors who already do this, but they are few and far between, and good luck finding one. Meanwhile, the MDA website is a better solution.

  28. You look absolutely fantastic!!!

    I wonder if you have tried raw milk as opposed to the disgusting sewage that is large operation processed milk. Raw grass fed makes a pretty good difference, especially since your Celiac, your probably getting a gluten response to the crap they feed the cows, As close as I can get is grass fed non homogenized lightly pasteurized and its delicious.

    I also agree with Zack, you need some heavy lifting and some high intensity short duration sort of thing, that last 10 with just disappear.

    1. Like Beth, I have an autoimmune disease, and although I do believe raw dairy is healthier than commercial, I react to both of them the same way. It’s not a gluten reaction. It’s a casein reaction, which is present in all milk.

      1. I was tested for lactose intolerance and I am not allergic to lactose. Is lactose the same as casein??? Dairy just makes my sinuses go crazy and I cannot have any of it. From this self-experimentation, I know I do have histamine intolerance.

        1. Lactose is the sugar and casein is the protein. You can react to either one, but generally, for people with autoimmune issues, the proteins are what get us.

    2. Never tried raw milk. I’m scared, lol. If I ever come across it and can get a sample, I MIGHT try it. Thanks, Brandi!

      1. Raw milk is fabulous, and I used to drink raw goats milk. However, after developing a case of “leaky gut”, my doctor (an alternative doctor) advised me to stay totally away from all milk products – even goats milk – as it is highly inflammatory. No more cheese, no more butter, although ghee (clarified butter) is ok. I wouldn’t take the chance. True Paleo states nothing should be consumed that comes from an animal’s teet.

        1. Gail, I feel the same way. I use ghee once in a while and it has not been an issue for me. I usually resort to coconut oil or bacon grease for cooking.

      2. I just found raw cheese (heated only for 5 minutes) from a local dairy. It tastes great and I only needed a little to get the dairy fix I was looking for.
        Your story is very inspiring and I while I’ve only been eating Paleo/exercising Primal for about a month, I’ve lost 4 lbs, no belly bloating, and no joint pain. I really thought, wow, am I getting old. I saw a glimpse of what getting older might look like (I’m 47) and was getting very upset and depressed because I certainly didn’t want to live out my next years on medications, pain, etc. I have a renewed faith that I’m going to be able take control of how the next years of my life play out. I look forward to many more Friday stories and I wish you, Beth, continued success.

        1. Thanks MamaPaleo. 47 is just a number in your mind and you can take control of what you can do for the rest of your life!

  29. Wow, you look fabulous. It’s like you have shaved 30 years off. Congratulations. I am sharing your story with everyone who will listen!

    1. I do feel 30 years younger! Well, not exactly 30. 20 years would be more like it. Thanks, Ashley.

  30. Last 10 pounds to high school weight. Lol. You mean the point in high school where you were eating all the junk you now know you shouldn’t have. Beth you have done great but lets be honest, Last 10 pounds requires a 20 lb weight loss first.

  31. I have to +1 everybody who’s commented on your glow! Health just pours off you!!! Wonderful story!!

  32. Nice! You look almost 20 years younger, good work. I’m following your footsteps.

  33. About those “last ten elusive pounds”. Mark has an expression about it. When we hit a plateau, that’s just the body saying ‘hey I like what you’ve done with the place’. Nothing to worry about. Maybe try some intermittent fasting (see Lean Gains).

    Great story. It just occurred to me some of my deaf friends may have read this. Going to ask this weekend.

      1. most deaf people in the ‘deaf community’ do indeed know each other or know of each other 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rob. I am happy where I am now. Losing the last ten pounds would be coconut whipped cream icing on the coconut cake 🙂 I have done a bit of IF but I have not heard of Lean Gains. Will look into it.

  34. Well done Beth – at the risk of sounding like an echo, you look amazing, years younger and glowing. Good luck with those last few pounds!

  35. Congrats, Beth! This is an amazing story with awesome results…rock-on! 🙂

  36. I loved your story!!! The first part hit right at home with me and running makes me want to eat more, therefore no weight loss. I run and workout so much more than the average bear and the weight is just here to stay. I am slowly coming over to Paleo and feel a lot better. Just need to kick the artificial sweetner to the curb (Diet Coke). Plus, i just read about the cortisol levels in runners this week. I also wonder if that is my issue, too. I am a distance runner…anyway congrats! Keep up the good work and loved your story!

    1. Renee … give up the distance running and over the course of the week space out long walks, HIIT and strength training along with maintaining your Paleo diet. And yes, drink only purified water, green tea, some protein drinks, maybe a cup of good quality coffee in the morning from time-to-time, absolutely positively give up diet drinks. If you do so you will notice a BIG difference in six weeks I can almost guarantee.

    2. Thanks, Renee! Running barely made a dent in my weight loss cuz I was always hungry. Did you know that weight loss is comprised of 80% diet and 20% exercise? As soon as I booted the bad crap from my kitchen and ate more proteins/fats, that was when the magic happened. What George said below is true. No more soda. I still drink about two cups of coffee every morning. Good luck!

  37. I failed to mention that I have not had one single anxiety attack or episode since I embarked on the paleo journey. All that time, I thought I was losing my marbles! It was simply from being on a bad diet; that is all to it.

  38. A very moving and inspirational story, as others have noted it seems like you now have a healthy glow and beautiful smile to go along with your slimmed down physique. I do agree with another poster that doing Bikram Yoga six times a week might be a bit much. I think you can reach your stated goal if you go check out the leangains dot com site (or read other sites where it has been nicely summarized). I first came across it from one of Mark’s posts. The grain-free diet and strength training put me in a category where I was probably in the 98th percentile for my age, but after following the leangains protocol for a couple of months I’m starting to achieve an elite fitness status, it’s pretty exciting to finally make that breakthrough. You can do things I can’t though Beth, again, fantastic story and keep it up!

    1. Awesome, I will definitely check out the leangains website. Thanks, George!

  39. I love these stories! This one in particular because I have been an avid runner for the past 3 years and just decided to dial it down and focus more on body weight exercises and yoga. Congratulations girl! You look terrific!

  40. Muy excellente, Beth. Your body responded so well and so fast, that is amazing. Congrats to you and your family. I find some of your changes are past where I want to go, however, as I never want to give up milk, cheese or the sugar in my tea. I do have the bacon dialed in though. I have had the joint pain fade away and hunger doesn’t rule me anymore. I still need to find an exercise that I do regularly besides walking, it’s not quite enough. By the way, you may not need to lose the “last 10 ponds,” your right leg is fantastic!

    1. Your not Hispanic Vanessa so please stop the racist attitude. Using another language doesn’t hyphenate things.

      1. Jeremy, I don’t understand. Please explain the hyphenate things?

      2. Jeremy I’m not sure what racist attitude you think Vanessa had, because I’m sure not seeing it. I also do not understand what you meant with the “doesn’t hyphenate things.” The only meaning I can find for hyphenate is “to connect (as two words) or divide (as a word at the end of a line of print) with a hyphen.” That definition does not seem to apply here.

    2. Thanks, Vanessa! Losing 35 pounds in 11 months did not feel so fast, lol. There were a few SLOW months where I did not lose any pounds but I was feeling awesome the whole time. I knew that it was more important to me. We don’t really have to give up the sugar completely (I only use local raw honey or real maple syrup once in a while). I use coconut palm sugar for my paleofied treats on rare occasions. By the way, I LOVED cheese. I put cheese on everything. I went through the grieving process for a few weeks. When I discovered Meatza pizza, cheese was all but forgotten!

      1. Thanks for responding Beth – I did my mourning for bread but I’m over that now and it only bothers me when I make toast for my family. I might give the palm sugar a try though.

  41. Beth, you actually grew YOUNGER! I am flab(haha not you)ergasted by your skin on your face as well in the last pic practicing your yoga(taught and rosy with fresh blood and oxygen). You seem to be the DAUGHTER of the woman in the 1st two images. NO LIE WOMAN. LOVE yourself, never doubt your possibilities in life. Look at what you have already achieved. We have to learn also, not to be fixated on (fill in the blank). In this case, numbers (weight,age,etc.). Think of everything you can achieve if that wasn’t an issue.
    Hmm…DO IT!
    I feel as though I have tears welling up inside b/c of your strength and die hard fortitude. Things come so easily for some people, but you were given the shit at times. And though it may seem like what we’re handed might be a burden, you have accepted, listened to it, and analyzed your hell into a vision of heaven. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION DRIPPING WITH PERSPIRATION!
    Work the new you to endless possibilities……

    1. Beautiful and so sweet. You’re right, we need to stop being obsessed with the numbers. I no longer feel ashamed of my before photos. It’s like looking at a different person and I’m free of my old self struggling with pain and frustration. I’M SO FREE!!!! That’s exactly why I’ve decided to share my story and let the others know about the paleo/primal lifestyle. Thank you for your encouragement, Erika.

  42. Congratulations I am so happy for you,
    you mentioned panic attacks and then I saw your reference to diet Pepsi, I found that aspartame was the reason I started having panic attacks, They lasted for about 9 months, I had to completely come off caffeine and artificial anything, I didn’t discover Paleo for years later but I’m glad I did, I have lost about 30 lbs myself, Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks, Shirley! Glad you made the connection between aspartame and panic attacks. That was no fun. You keep it up, too!

  43. Thank you for sharing! I’ve been primal for about 2 years, and your story prompts me to try giving up dairy for 30 days ( I dont eat a lot of dairy, just occasional greek yogurt, & cream in coffee) but I have a constant, year-round sniffle & runny eyes, have had for years. Plus I was interested in your experience with the allergy drugs. Good to keep in mind as I am going to have my son allergy tested soon- he has some strange allergies- cats, mango skin, sumac, and either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide- something in the new sunscreens. Thanks so much!

    1. When I was tested for allergies, I tested positive for 16 out of 28 potential allergens! Mostly flowering trees, pet dander (I’ve got two big dogs and a cat), dust, grass, and mold. I wonder if I would have the same results now that I’ve been paleo for a year. I can now mow the lawn without having to blow my nose afterwards. Please do try to go without dairy for 30 days. It may be one of the best things you’ve ever done for yourself!

  44. Beth, I absolutely love your last 3 pictures. You look so happy! The one thing I would say to the “old you” and to anyone reading this who is overweight, it’s a sad thing to feel shame and disgust toward ourselves, ever! We don’t need to be skinny to love ourselves. Melissa Joulwan (Clothes That Make the Girl) says sometimes she’s shocked at how mean she is to herself in her head, and she works on giving herself the love and support she automatically gives everyone else. I just wanted to throw that out there.

    1. Thanks Eileen! I’m a fan of Melissa Joulwan. You’re absolutely right. We do not need to be skinny to love ourselves, but it does help with our self-esteem. I was always in some kind of pain. I no longer look at the “old me” with shame like I did back then. Just a reminder of how hard and uncomfortable it was for me back then and I’m amazed at how I was able to get out of that hard place. I want people to know that they are not stuck in that place and there is a way to get out.

  45. Are you sure that is you from the rear? LOL, you are looking great..and glowing! Keep up the good work! When I gave up dairy, nearly all my cellulite disappeared. I know why they call them “cottage cheese” thighs now!

    1. Laughed out loud at the cottage cheese thighs. So true, sigh! That’s why they tell you not to eat too much cheese as they make you fat. Well, at least that’s how I heard it while growing up. Most of my cellulite is gone, too. WOOT! Thanks, Katie.

  46. Wow, Beth you look great! Perhaps those last 10 lbs are really muscle?

    Your story is another nudge that I should do a dairy free trial, especially since I had not had the experience of having allergy symptoms clear up after giving up grains. I’d noticed recently that my eczema flare ups tend to coinside with not enough sleep and/or an uptick in dairy consumption. My chronic sniffles seem to get a bit worse after more dairy. I’m just not sure yet, what to do for breakfast during the work week. My usual breakfast is a smoothie containing 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, vanilla, honey and frozen fruit/berries.

    1. Thanks! Yes, try giving up dairy for a couple weeks. Can you eat meat for breakfast? I usually eat bacon and eggs almost every morning. If time is an issue for you, you can always cook up the meats the night before and throw them with the eggs to make an omelette. Doesn’t take too long. Sometimes, I make paleo faux oatmeal with eggs, applesauce (or banana), cinnamon, and nuts.

  47. Well done, Beth. You look beautiful and seem so much happier!

    I admire your open-mindedness (to giving the PB a try) and your good work in spreading the word.

  48. WOW WOW WOW.
    That is awesome stuff. Sorry, but when I saw that last picture my jaw dropped. You are what, in your 40’s now?? Well you look like your in your 20’s in that last picture. JUST WOW 🙂

  49. Just a great story and a very likable storyteller. It’s fun to see you looking so happy in that last photo.

  50. Amazing transformation! Your story really resonated with me because my husband has a severe gluten intolerance, and he also suffers from gastritis frequently. When we switched over to paleo, the symptoms almost disappeared. We’ve been teetering over paleo and non-paleo the past few weeks and it’s amazing the difference I feel when I am being strict and really eating food that is good for me! Go figure, I know – but sometimes, it’s that basic realization that slaps you in the face. Congratulations on your accomplishment – you can truly see the joy on your face in the last picture!

    1. Thanks Cate! After suffering with pain or discomfort for so long, I do not want to go back to that place ever again. It is not often that I cheat because I remember what it was like and that helps me stay on track. You’re a good wife for helping your husband figure this out! Good luck!

  51. What a great story!! It amazes me how much younger you look in the face, comparing the running pic with the last picture. What an awesome transformation. Great work. You look young again!

  52. Great story, great smile, great work! You’re an inspiration. I love these Friday stories

    I woke up on day in the last month realizing I hadn’t taken an allergy pill in about six or seven months. In fact, I cannot remember my last allergy pill!

    And energy? Watch out! Many acquaintances, friends and family are skeptical of the paleo concept. I am approaching the point of being sorry that they are but sticking to my guns. I know that at least one or two of them at the very least would be in a much better place if they moved over to paleo.

    My moods are incredibly positive and, though it’s completely subjective, I think I became smarterized! I seem to have more mental acuity than I had prior. Definitely more focus.

    I was all over the map with weight watchers (former leader even) and south beach (which came close) and so forth. But never felt great, never was content and above all, annoyed by the gimmickry of points or calorie counting or what not.

    Thanks for sharing your story. It helps so much both to encourage me and validate me.

    1. *clicks ‘like’ on everything you said* Yes, that’s one of the few things I failed to mention in my story. Increased mental clarity. No more mind fogginess. I do not forget little things as often as I did in my pre-paleo days. Thanks for your validation, too!

  53. Great story Beth, I just shared it on my page….super happy you found Bikram yoga, it has been my passion since 2010 when it help cure my anxiety issues and 16-years old bulimia disorder!!!!! Now I’m a Pro competitor with The WBFF, and weight train along with my daily Bikram practice. I’m 42 too. Weights + Bikram + walking + great food = healthy, happy girlies!! Good luck and keep on spreading the positive message! xoxo

    1. Thanks Michelle! I’m fairly new to Bikram yoga. Been doing it for a couple months now and I can already tell a huge difference in my core strength and body definition. At least two people mentioned that I shouldn’t do Bikram on a daily basis and that I should add weights to my workout. I’ve been running, usually for five miles, on days when I could not make it to my yoga classes. Your input? One thing I know for sure is that I’m happier and healthier! Good luck with your WBFF circuit!

  54. Congratulations, you look so happy now! And you look so much younger too, that part is amazing to me!

  55. you are positively glowing and so beautiful in the after shots, I too am glad I have before shots… had to raid a friends hard drive because like you I threw and cropped all the ugly fat photos….. never been so happy to find a pic of me fat on the beach in my life…. ha ha

    Jane xo

    1. LOL. Let this be good advice to everyone else who might be reading this. Keep your fat photos as you may need to use them to inspire others. Who would have thunk that?! I sure didn’t, ha. Thanks, Jane.

  56. What an amazing journey — thanks for sharing with us. I’m an interpreter and also have celiac disease, so the minute I starting reading I felt a connection of some kind… wow, just wow!!! You look great and I’m sure feel great. Kudos on your success!!!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Feel free to join DeafPaleo. We do welcome the hearies!

  57. Beth, thank you for sharing this. Your story really struck me because this is me… sinusitis, chronic fatigue, dairy intolerant, etc. etc. etc. but I’m still figuring out how to deal with all of it. Chronic fatigue has been crippling and the possibility that I’ll never return to how I was before it (highly energetic, into sport, many many many kilograms lighter!) is depressing to say the least. I live in Hobart, Australia. Could you please give me some pointers on what to do to kick-start a primal/paleo lifestyle? I’d like to give it a try. Thank you!!

    1. Ellen, the first thing I would do is to remove all grains, legumes (including peanuts), sugars, processed foods, and manufactured drinks from your home. This removes any temptation to cheat. Eat meats, eggs, fish, chicken, veggies, fruits, and nuts only. Cook with coconut oil, bacon grease, or ghee. I don’t like to use olive oil for cooking. I prefer to use it for my salad dressing. Eat meats first before you consume veggies or fruits. I notice that if I don’t have my fats, I get hungry just like that. Fats are what keep me highly energetic. I eat a whole avocado everyday. I put coconut oil in my coffee every morning. I eat bacon and eggs almost every morning. That keeps me from getting hungry until later in the day. All of the above is what makes my day go smoothly and keeps my body happy. Check this link out. https://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/#axzz2aDbYrRl8

      You can do it, Ellen! You’d be amazed!

      1. And Ellen, if you do currently have any processed foods, manufactured drinks, etc. in your home, DON’T kid yourself they’re for someone else – because if there’s even the smallest chance of YOU eating them, the other person won’t be getting them anyway, will they? 😉

        Remember, it’s impossible to “have your cake and eat it too”! 🙂

        I see both men and women slip badly because they keep things in “for the kids” or for their partner etc., but the kids/partner never get so much as a sniff of the things because they end up being wolfed down by the person who was trying to improve their diet, in a moment of weakness, 🙁

        Anything you must keep for others, make sure it’s something you don’t like, or ask them to keep it in their room, their desk, or out of sight, or even in a locked box like a cashbox, something you can’t raid and eat them yourself. This may not be your issue at all but thought I’d throw it in as it does seem to be a pitfall for a lot of people I talk to at work and online! Good luck. 🙂

  58. Great job! I am on my second month and know of the struggles but stories like yours inspire all of us to keep it up and stay strong! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Yes, stay strong! It really got so much easier for me after the first two to three months when I finally stopped missing my favorite old foods. It takes time to train the brain. I read somewhere that it takes at least two months to change a habit, something like that.

  59. Wow thanks Beth, love my Saturday morning read! (In Australia). You are yet another example of someone who took charge of their own wellbeing, and turned their health around. If only the medical fraternity would recognise the importance of diet in our general health and stop automatically reaching for the prescription pad.

    I too have lost the “snot” – just had my first cold since going primal – reckon I blew my nose half a dozen times in a week, sneezed about the same and now it’s gone. Sore throat was the worst of it.

    And that’s not to mention my skin. I realised after about 10 months of primal that the little tube of lip balm I carry around hadn’t been out for ages and the tubes of hand cream in each room all had layers of dust on them. My dry skin only comes back if I use harsh soaps these days.

    I agree with the others, mix up some lifting with your yoga and your body will find its own “happy place” weight wise. Thanks so much for sharing your story. 🙂

    1. Yay, Hilly, on losing the “snot”. Laughed at that one. I also noticed that I no longer have rough spots on my elbows. Sooo smooth and I don’t even use any lotion!

  60. Awesome job Beth! I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophogitis in January and have been feverishly trying to figure out all of the foods I am intolerant of. It’s crazy how quickly your body turns against food – or I guess I should say it was a slow climb that I didn’t notice until a violent reaction occurred. The paleo lifestyle is definitely helpful when one tries to figure out how to eat eliminating the top 8 allergens! I’m so glad there is so much information and help online! Your story inspires me to keep searching for all of my allergens so that I can lose the bloatedness I still have!

    1. I know how frustrating that is. Just hang in there and you’ll soon figure it all out. The elimination diet is the best way to go for people with food sensitivities like us. Remove all the potential allergens for 30 days and then re-introduce one food item at a time every few days.

  61. Glow. Contentment. Confidence. Inspired. Giving. Blue skies. That about sums you up Beth in my eyes. Thanks for sharing your story!

  62. Your article made me feel hopeful that I can lose the extra 10 lbs I’ve gained since being diagnosed with celiac disease. Most of the celiacs I know have gained weight (like myself). I was about to just throw in the towel, but you’ve inspired me to try again.

    1. Don’t give up, Nikki. Just stay away from the gluten free processed foods. Go easy on the fruits and nuts. That might make the difference for you!

  63. I love these Friday stories and pictures. Motivation! Thanks for sharing your experiences. You look amazing, even with an “extra 10 lbs.” Keep up the good work and healthy choices!

  64. You are truly phenomenal! Mark Sisson is my hero. He has changed my life and so many others! keep up the great determination and spirit.

  65. Incredible recovery. You look younger than before!
    Love the headstand pic as well, too cool.
    Congratulations, you deserve it.

  66. Wow this was a very inspiring story! First of all congratulations! The last pic says it all. I have been on the paleo lifestyle for almost 5 weeks now and I have lost 18lbs so far. I have quite a bit of motivation to keep going and reading your story and seeing the pics you posted have motivated me even more! Thanks for sharing!

  67. What a story and what a transformation! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Yeah, but I wouldn’t do it again, lol. That was an one-time thing. There’s no way I would have been able to pull that off if I wasn’t paleo!

  68. WOW! I need to start taking this more seriously and pay closer attention. Beth, your experience is truly inspirational! For me? Too many prescription meds with only limited success, too many issues that I have just “learned to accept”. I am finally beginning to understand that as much I do work at eating a pretty clean, controlled fat, low cholesterol, low carbohydrate, and now lower gluten (not there yet on gluten free, but working on it!), diet I do tend to get positive results about 70% of the time from every intentional change I make in how I eat. Still have a couple problems to address/resolve and also know a couple of things – diabetes and long term hypothyroidism – aren’t likely to go away. I also know there are further changes I could make that might lead to further improvements. It just all seems totally overwhelming at times. I have already made a HUGE amount of changes in how and what I eat over the last 16 years, since a MAJOR cancer experience. I exercise every single day (well – maybe only 340/365) for at least 90 minutes, walking about 1,200 miles/year. 10 years ago I did twice that much – age is catching up with me. I pay lots (too damned much for my taste) of attention to my body and my health. And, I still have a couple of troubling and unresolved issues. GROWING OLD AIN’T NO PLACE FOR SISSIES . With my 62nd birthday only 2 weeks away I feel some justification in excusing my last “can’t quite give it up” bad habits by playing the age card !

    1. Ha. Age does not have to catch up with you; only if you let it! I zoomed on your words “controlled fat, low cholesterol” in your comment. What do you mean by that? Are you limiting your fat intake? Are you restricting yourself to the number of eggs or what? Do you know that saturated fats are good for us? We do not need to fear the fats or cholesterol as they are not the enemies. If I were you, I would completely remove all grains including the gluten free stuff. I didn’t think it would make a difference if I stopped eating gluten free breads/crackers. Well, guess what? Made a HUGE difference! Try it, Gayle, and you’ll see 🙂

  69. Hi Beth – congrats, great job! I was wondering – did you give up fruit… I live fruit, but think it may be keeping me from weight loss. Can you share a typical days menu

    1. Thanks, Sara! When I was trying to lose weight, I was eating only one fruit a day. Sometimes none. On my typical day, four strips of bacon and two fried eggs for breakfast. For lunch, a can of wild tuna mixed in with mashed-up avocado. Sliced cucumber and tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. For dinner, one or two grass-fed burgers topped with dollops of guacamole and a salad or stir fry broccoli/carrots on the side. I love salmon patties as well. Avoid nuts. I like to eat hard boiled eggs for my go-to snack.

  70. Beth

    What a great transformation story! You should be very proud of yourself! I, myself went through a 6 week experiment similar to what you did. I cut out all processed food, bought a blender and ate vegie shakes and had very small portions of meat. I walked one hour a day – every day!… and built muscle in the gym 3 days a week.

    By the end of the six week period, at 5’9″ and starting at 167 lbs I was able to get my weight down to a very healthy 155 lbs, six pack abs and very well defined muscles not seen in several years! All at the age of 52!

    Half the battle is eating health whole foods, stay away from processed foods and pasta/bread/flour and you should feel much better overall in a short period of time.

    Beth, congratulations!

    Chris

    1. Well done on your transformation, especially at your age! I love the validation and support we get from each other in this community. Thanks, Christopher!

  71. Dear Beth, Thank you for posting such an inspiring article–and for organizing and spreading the word to others, that is extremely thoughtful and important! And congratulations on such a wonderful transformation!

  72. Even raw cow’s milk has the “morphine” factor (a certain form of casein) which can cause problems for some people. There’s a book titled Devil in the Milk (from the Amazon summary):

    This groundbreaking work is the first internationally published book to examine the link between a protein in the milk we drink and a range of serious illnesses, including heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia.

    These health problems are linked to a tiny protein fragment that is formed when we digest A1 beta-casein, a milk protein produced by many cows in the United States and northern European countries. Milk that contains A1 beta-casein is commonly known as A1 milk; milk that does not is called A2. All milk was once A2, until a genetic mutation occurred some thousands of years ago in some European cattle. A2 milk remains high in herds in much of Asia, Africa, and parts of Southern Europe. A1 milk is common in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.

    In Devil in the Milk, Keith Woodford brings together the evidence published in more than 100 scientific papers. He examines the population studies that look at the link between consumption of A1 milk and the incidence of heart disease and Type 1 diabetes; he explains the science that underpins the A1/A2 hypothesis; and he examines the research undertaken with animals and humans. The evidence is compelling: We should be switching to A2 milk.

    A2 milk from selected cows is now marketed in parts of the U.S., and it is possible to convert a herd of cows producing A1 milk to cows producing A2 milk.

    This is an amazing story, one that is not just about the health issues surrounding A1 milk, but also about how scientific evidence can be molded and withheld by vested interests, and how consumer choices are influenced by the interests of corporate business.

    1. Very interesting. All those little things we do not know about and we unknowingly harm our bodies when we consume it 🙁 To be on the safe side, I’m steering clear of all dairy products. Period. Thanks for sharing this!

  73. What a wonderful success story!
    Congratulations!!
    Yoga is great exercise, and the pictures of your headstand have inspired me to try one. Yoga six days a week sounds a bit much.
    Another excellent core workout is Slackline. Have you tried it? My wife and I started two months ago, and we love it! Can’t get enough of it. I highly recommend it as an alternative core exercise. Some people do yoga on the Slackline, so it fits right in with the yoga theme. And it improves your balance in every other exercise you do.

    Thanks for the wonderful story and best of luck to you in the future!!

    1. I will look into Slackline. Never heard of it. I’m always open to trying new things. Thanks!

  74. Awesome story. Love it! Huge congratulations!!! You look great and its wonderful that you can give back to the community and help others!!!

    1. Thanks Ian! I’ve been helped by others so much during my paleo journey and I’m passing the magic on 🙂

  75. wow!
    what a wonderful change and wonderful story.

    your smile, your hair, your skin, your whole body is glowing!
    you have years to (re)live in your new life!
    🙂
    this stuff makes me want to cry!
    so happy for you!

    1. This is why I shared my story so the others would be inspired to do something to change the way they eat to improve their health and have a new lease on life! Thanks, Michelle 🙂

  76. Just another comment to say you look amazing, like your own daughter compared to pic number one, you and Mark are great examples of what hitting milestones like 40, 50 and 60 SHOULD be like for a body freed from the onslaughts of carbohydrate and various un-foods, and that’s very inspiring because I’m no spring chicken myself! 🙂

    Thanks for taking the time to share your story and photos, you really help people by doing this.

    1. Thanks, Patrick! I’m really having more fun in my 40’s more than I did in my 20’s and 30’s 🙂

  77. I always found this style of eating to be the best for those with digestive issues. Good for you for finding your way to balanced health. The elimination of diary is hard for so many…but usually the main culprit. I need to try to eliminate eggs now as I find it to be an allergen.

    I Love to see transformation…Congrats on your HEALTH!!

    Tracy

    1. Yeah, I was shocked when I realized that dairy was the culprit of my nasal allergies. I haven’t tried the elimination of eggs yet. I’ve given up dairy already so please don’t make me give up eggs, too. ha! Eggs don’t seem to bother me at all but it might be worthwhile just to do it and see if I feel any different.

      Good luck, Tracy, and thanks 🙂

  78. you said the magic words that I hear so very often “I decided I had nothing to lose by giving it a try”. Nothing else seems to drive people to the paleo or primal life style like being at that point. Congratulations to you. Namaste.

  79. What a great dose of motivation! Your story is truly inspiring. Thank you so very much for sharing 🙂

  80. I got goosebumps reading your story as I was literally reading the story of my life. It know that might sound really corny, but your journey mirrors mine so much that I felt as though it were a message for me. Thanks so much for your story!

  81. WOW! You look a full twenty years younger and SO happy!!! From one five-foot-eight-er to another, go you!!!

    I am so impressed. 🙂

  82. What a great success story!
    Made working today more enjoyable!
    Keep up the good work – be healthy.

  83. Very inspiring story Beth. Congrats on everything you accomplished so far and just keep it up! You look awesome and beautiful. I also underwent a pretty dramatic transformation through dedicating to Bikram Yoga and healthy eating. In a year and a half overall (now a little over 2 years) I lost 80 pounds and also got myself into the best shape of my life at 53. I discovered Bikram Yoga at 51 and only wish I discovered it earlier. I wouldn’t have been so “fat and 40”, lol. I don’t have the same dietary issues you do although I have a couple friends with similar challenges to you with gluten etc, but still learning to eat whole natural unprocessed foods is the key and made such huge difference in my weight loss and conditioning. The nutritional system I follow (imperfectly) advocates bacon as part of a healthy diet but I’m intrigued by your comments that seem to give bacon a major or featured role. What’s that about? Keep up the great work and keep being an inspiration to others.

    1. Wow, 80 pounds! Awesome. Shows that we’re never too old to get into the best shape we can be. Better than never 🙂

      As for the bacon comments, I just LOVE bacon!!! That’s what I usually eat every morning with my eggs. If I don’t have my bacon, my day doesn’t feel right or go the way I expect it to. Something would be amiss, lol. It just makes me feel satiated for a good couple hours. By the way, bacon is NOT my main source of protein. That’s not recommended, just to make that clear.

      Mmmmm…..bacon!

      Thanks, Mike 🙂

  84. WoW! You look amazing…10-15yrs younger!! You inspired me to begin the Paleo Lifestyle of nutrition & Hot Yoga! 😉

    1. Awesome, Jasmine. You’re going to have the best time of your life! (Don’t let the heat get to you. Give it a couple more sessions to get used to the heat. Just hang in there and you’ll be addicted before you know it.)

  85. Such an inspiring story Beth! I too have celiac and some of the same issues. I’m just starting on this Paleo journey and I’m hopeful now that I have read your story. Thanks for sharing!

    1. April, you’re going to love what this paleo journey will bring you if you stay true to the diet. Good luck!

  86. Beth, I follow Deaf Paleo on FB and I have adjusted my ways to eat healthy. I run 3 miles when I can and the biggest struggle is sweets. I have ignored sweets in the past but ever since I completed graduate school and my current job (it’s pretty stressful) – I turn to sweets, ugh. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you and you are an inspiration to others!

    1. Hi Anecia! I do remember seeing you in DeafPaleo 🙂 I suggest that you find a way to slay the sugar dragon by doing the 21-day sugar detox program or something similar. Go for beef jerky or nuts instead if you find yourself reaching for the sweets. A cup of green tea just to keep your taste buds busy?

      Let me know how that goes in DeafPaleo! I’ll look for you, ha.

      Thanks 🙂

  87. These stories make me so happy. Well done Beth!

    Also: bacon! 😉

  88. As I see in many stories, you look 10 years younger! Beautiful and at peace with yourself. I love it.

  89. Wow, Beth! I’ve been reading these stories for so long, but I’ve never commented before. Your story and journey is just amazing! You should be so proud of yourself. You look absolutely stunning and bear no resemblance to the first picture you posted. Your health is just beaming from your post-pictures!

  90. Hi Beth,
    I found very interesting your story, wow! I am agree with you, I threw the prescriptions often. I always to do the research myself on internet and I love the yoga too. I never heard about Paleo, thank you for sharing.

    Annick

    1. Hey Annick! You’re more than welcome to join DeafPaleo if you’re curious about the paleo lifestyle. You know where to find me 😉 Hugs, Beth

  91. Your face looks radiant in the last photo! It is obvious that you are much healthier, as well as thinner. Nicely done!

  92. Your story really touched me. Your happiness and spirit absolutely glows in your transformation pictures. Beautiful and inspiring!

  93. Beth,
    what a great success story!!! You are very inspiring… I am going to show this to my patients!!! you will inspire them too!!

    1. Please do!!!! I wish all doctors would share this knowledge of how eating real food from nature, nothing man-made, and avoiding processed foods would improve one’s health so much. Thank you for doing this for your patients 🙂

  94. Wow! Your glowing smile in the last picture says it all! Way to go, Beth!

  95. Just curious: when you refer to DAIRY, what exactly are you referring to?

    I’m drinking raw locally-procured sheep and goat milk and eating raw-milk cheeses. I am convinced the store-bought “milk” is a completely different animal from the raw stuff.

    BTW, kudos to you!

    1. I was not much of a milk drinker, but cheese? OMG, I LOVED cheese, all kinds of cheese! I’d put cheese on almost everything. I haven’t tried the raw-milk cheeses, but now that I’ve overcome my cheese addiction that I no longer want to look for a substitute. Maybe one of these days, I’ll try the raw-milk cheese.

      Thanks, Jan!

  96. Hey Beth — great story! Could you tell me more about how your weightloss went in those 11 months. I have a very similar body composition to you and am looking to lose about the same amount of weight, though I’m an inch taller. And, I’ve loved all the rather quick results a lot of folks have gotten, but for me, the weightloss has been markedly slower. The first month was 2 lbs and the second month 4 lbs. Definitely moving in the right direction, but I’d love to hear how it worked for you to help readjust my expectations.

    1. Sure. I started last August, almost a year ago. My weight loss throughout the year….

      Aug – 8 lbs
      Sept – 3
      Oct – 4
      Nov – 0
      Dec – 0
      Jan – 7
      Feb – 4
      Mar – 1
      Apr – 3
      May – 5

      As you can see, it did not all come off quickly. Just that first month and then January when I did the sugar detox and dairy elimination 30-day diet. I started doing hot yoga in May so that helped with the weight loss. It was a slow journey and it got frustrating at times. I had to remind myself that how I was feeling inside was more important than the scale. I recently broke up with the bathroom scale because it was just adding on the unnecessary stress on me, ha!

      Feel free to ask if you have other questions. Thanks, Lindsey!

        1. Edna, I used to run almost everyday, short runs would be between 3 to 6 miles, and then do the long run between 10 miles to 15 miles once a week. That was all I did. Run, run, run.

  97. Great article, its amazing how much better you feel when you have proper nutrition… and a little exercise

  98. Amazing Beth!!! Isn’t Bikram Yoga amazing? I just wrapped up a 30 Day Challenge and I feel amazing. That yoga glow is in full effect. Cheers to good health!

    1. Oh yes, I love Bikram yoga! You have that yoga glow yourself, too, in that profile picture 🙂 Namaste, Beth

  99. Beth — thank you so much for the weightloss numbers. I really appreciate it. I’ve done Bikram on and off for a few years and do really love it. But I moved recently and haven’t found a local studio that works with my new commute/work schedule. Plus, with all the changes (first month = diet, second month/now = working on the strength — doing a 3×5 Starting Strength regime), I’m trying to keep new changes to one per month. Next, I’m set to add in the sprints, and after that, I may re-incorporate Bikram as I’ve always loved it. If I ever get to a full standing head to knee position that’s half as good as yours, I’d be pretty stoked!

    Having the road map of someone else who has walked what I think will be a similar path really helps. Thank you so much for sharing!

  100. What a fantastic (ending) story! Thank you for sharing. This has definitely motivated and solidified all of the great information on Paleo-living.
    🙂

  101. wow Beth what an inspiring story. It is SO similar to my story, but I am not where you are yet… I just started! Am 49, overweight, tested negative for celiac altho I was so sure I had it due to constant bloating/gas, am lactose intolerant, am going thru peri-menapause, bloated all time, don’t feel well, low energy, stiff joints… have been on bio-identical hormone therapy, worked in the beginning, but now not at all, and have stopped taking it. In desperation, I went to acupuncture, and that’s where I found Mark’s book Primal Blueprint – 3 weeks ago. I have been reading religiously and have changed my eating completely. I do feel SO much better, it is quite incredible. But I have not lost weight yet, I am hoping that will come with on going eating plan and the exercise and getting my hormones back in balance. I have also started yoga, like you, and am loving it.
    Thanks for such an inspiring story. It makes me know I am on the right track. I am so happy for you. Best Yasmin

    1. Yasmin, I’m so glad you found this lifestyle! You’re going to love it, I promise you 🙂

  102. Wow Beth! I have several pictures in which I look very much like you did in your before pictures. I am working hard to become a primal success story like you!

    1. Susan, hold on to those photos. I wish you all the success on your primal journey!

  103. I was loving this story (because it is completely similar to my life) until I read the phrase “bacon is good for you”. HUH??? There is no sane person on this planet that would ever say that bacon is GOOD for you. Sure, everybody thinks it tastes great, but in no way, shape, or form is bacon good for you. I used to follow the Paleo diet until I saw how meat heavy it was, and then I started doing research into vegetarian and vegan diets and decided that those diets were so much healthier and went down the vegan path, and also cut out dairy, which is the best thing I ever did. Diets heavy in red meat and pork are what is killing people in this country. Heart disease and cancers are directly linked to diets heavy in red meats, pork, and processed meats. NO THANKS. I am plant-based all the way and feel better than I have ever felt in my life!

    1. ” NO THANKS. I am plant-based all the way and feel better than I have ever felt in my life!”

      Sure you are..for now. Give it about 2-3 years — the annoying inflammations come first. Then it’s harder and harder to fight off little colds (and big ones). Memory loss can start to creep in (vegetarians, other than nursing home seniors are the most likely to suffer B12 deficiencies.) If you decide to not listen to your body and ignore the advise about (mandatory) B12 supplements, you can also look forward to spinal column difficulties in a few years.

      You’re an obligate omnivore. You don’t get to choose what you eat. If you want long term optimal health, you’ll need to at *least* include some animal products. Traditional vegetarianism (as found in India) includes eggs, lots of butter (ghee), and not a few bugs (really!)

      What’s killing people in this country are the Doritos and all the over processed junk food. Meat is not the enemy and never was. Our “too large brains for our bodies” require the nutrient density of meat. If you’re a vegetarian for moral reasons, I don’t agree, but it’s an honest reason. There are no health reasons to be vegetarian.

      1. I take B-12 supplements at the advice of my doc, who was fine with my decision. I am not a vegan for moral reasons, but for my health.

    2. I have relatives that are both vegetarian and vegan. They are all very good at finding what they need for good health, however, they are eating pretty much all day to keep from feeling hungry. One has grayish skin, another has cancer and is getting worse even though it’s not usually a fatal cancer and another has dementia from the lack of animal fat in his diet.
      Others who have switched to eating primally from being vegan or vegetarian have become healthier and better looking. Most of them have puffy tummies from either gas or gluten issues.
      Myself, eating just a vegetable based diet left me sick and foggy in mind and sluggish physically.
      I disagree about bacon, not ALL bacon is bad. Research and you will find some is really made well and healthy.

        1. I will agree that most vegans and vegetarians eat lots of pasta and bread (I have noticed) but I have been wheat/gluten free for over 5 years now. Which makes my diet even cleaner! It’s basically fruits, veggies, seeds, and quinoa.

  104. wow amazing congratulations this is one of the best stories I have seen here, you are incredible, liked this part especially “That broken foot was a blessing in disguise”, I can relate to it. Namaste to you from a yoga addict!

  105. What a wonderful transformation, those last several photos say it all, you look positively physically and emotionally healthy! I have always believed that these success stories are as much about a spiritual and mental change as the more obvious physical changes. When you go from shame and disgust to being in the best health and shape of your life that is a breakthrough accomplishment and a singularly life altering event. The word empowerment is bandied about a lot these days but this is what it truly looks like! It’s really wonderful that you are reaching out to others with your Facebook group, that is going to bring profound benefits to those that will listen.

    I can’t tell you how happy I get when I see stories like yours, I wish they would broadcast these Friday success stories prominently in the national media, we could all use the inspiration and a positive path shown to us. Imagine if everyone got their act together like you have, imagine if all of America were to turn their body and souls around like you have!

    1. I wholly agree. The more success stories we see, the more people we reach and inspire them to improve their health. Thank you for the nice note 🙂

  106. What a great story! Thank you for sharing your journey, Beth. I have been Primal for almost a year, have lost 65 pounds and still have more to lose, and the benefits have been remarkable. You’ve inspired me to continue and share this great path! You look amazing!

  107. Wow! What an inspirational story! I have all the same health issues as you! I, too, threw my medications in the garbage (including Singulair). I’m still suffering from chronic sinusitis, and I know it’s because I haven’t yet eliminated all dairy. All of my other symptoms go away when I avoid grains. I wish our fellow sufferers would understand that it’s not just about getting rid of gluten. If you are gluten sensitive, intolerant, or full blown Celiac, you need to get rid of all grains to heal completely. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m throwing out my frozen yogurt and milk right now! 🙂

    1. Good for you 🙂 I hope that your sinusitis issues will be completely resolved now that you’ve removed dairy. In fact, I’m pretty sure it will!!!

  108. Beth –
    Congratulations! Your story is inspiring.
    I love your Standing Head to Knee pose. Awesome!
    Bikram is my favorite compliment to the Paleo lifestyle.

  109. Thank you for your story. Very inspiring. I have been struggling with 15 lbs that I keep losing and gaining. I will lose 8 lbs and then I lose my motivation and then start letting the little things creep back in. I give up before I reach my goal. I will also be 40 this year and want to prove to myself that I have the drive to get to my goal. Thank you for reminding me why I need to keep pressing on. You look beautiful. Go you 🙂

  110. You’re amazing. Very inspirational and a Yogi! I love it. You’re so positive and I Love your photos. Congratulations on changing your life, to becoming happy, healthier and pain free. I stand and applaud you. Well done my Dear. Namaste, Laura in England. X x

  111. Thanks so much, Beth! What an incredible story! I’m also 43, but am where your “before” picture is. You look so incredibly youthful in your post-primal shots… at least 15 years younger than your first picture… amazing! I’ve just started my journey into primal eating. Your story is such an inspiration to me. 🙂

  112. Wow Beth, you’ve inspired me… I know I need to commit to this diet but haven’t had the willpower so far…. hard with teenage kids in the house who crave junk food…. You look FANTASTIC!

  113. Hi Beth. I am completely new to the paleo diet. Just found it three days ago after seeing the documentary “The Perfect Human Diet.” I am 44 and a life-long athlete. I found hot yoga two years ago and am now an avid yogini. I was a vegetarian during two periods in my life, but found that I had constant headaches. I have had digestive issues my entire life, including severe stomach aches, hemorrhoids, anal fissures (sorry, maybe tmi). Outwardly, I am the picture of health, but I know that something’s definitely wrong. I am on day two of no grains, and I woke up with a horrific headache this am. I am going to push through because I really want to see if this “diet” or should I say way of life can finally make me as healthy on the inside as I am on the outside. You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story!!

  114. You look great! I love your story and I feel like I can really relate to you and the health issues you were experiencing. I had a doctor tell me, “Well, maybe don’t exercise so much.” when I told her how exhausted I was feeling.

    I read in PB that wild rice is ok. Do you eat wild rice? Still trying to see what works and doesn’t work for my body.

  115. Beth,
    WOW! You look amazing now! So alive, vital and happy! Good for you. I sent your story to my friend….I truly hope it impacts her and she gets on the Primal wagon with me and improves her fitness as you have – BRAVO !!!

  116. Wow Beth, you look amazing! You look so happy in your last photo – truly glowing! Thank you for sharing your story

  117. What an inspiring story! Thanks so much for sharing, Beth- your face glows with energy and vitality as well as your body being so alive and fit!
    I, too, love yoga and did Bikram for 1 year- 5-6/days week. Now I do yoga at home by my wood stove in the winter or outside in the sun in the summer.
    Thank you again for your words of hope- I’ve always had those last 15 lbs. lingering on my body- I am ready to start a new food journey- this is Day #1!!!
    Wish me luck!

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  119. What a wonderful story!!! This is one of the most inspiring and lovely stories I have come across yet! Thank you for sharing 🙂