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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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June 15 2012

I Now Have Respect and Love for My Own Body

By Guest
216 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!

I know I sound crazy. Like, Hare Krishna, ran off and joined a cult, crazy. But this is all true, and I know it is, only because I experienced it firsthand. Am I a good example, or a horrible warning? Hopefully, if I play my cards right, I can be both.

My memories of childhood are hazy. Especially names, places, and dates. I spent a lot of time, just sort of “drifting” with the current. I remember images, and faces. And I remember being sick a lot. Not like “I HAVE THE SCARLET FEVER!” sick, but just a runny nose, and teary eyes. Since I grew up in California’s Central Valley, no biggie: seasonal allergies were legendary there. Hay fever was just assumed. The fact that it turned into sinus infections on a regular basis was just a given- right? As I got older, it would last year-round. Inevitably at the first cold snap, I would lose my voice. There was always a chalky pink bottle of amoxicillin in our fridge door, right below the milk.

I was also prone to ear infections, and vividly remember a procedure at around age 5 where they made me swallow “something that glowed” and then not being allowed to move so they could get a better idea about the bladder infections I couldn’t seem to kick.
I seemed to outgrow most of it: with the exception of the lethargy and the sinus stuff. Poor Mom knew something “wasn’t right” and dragged me to so many doctors: to have my thyroid tested, to check for allergies, and everything came up “fine”. The ENT guy finally just said, “This kid is sniffling constantly because she has teeny nasal passages, and gigantic adenoids. She might grow out of it, or she’ll need surgery as an adult.“ Great. By default, I became a chronic mouth-breather.

School was OK. I was quiet, usually characterized as a “dreamer” and by teachers who paid attention, an “underachiever.” Since I wasn’t a behavior problem, what would now probably be diagnosed as “ADD” was never noticed. I tested well, but in a noisy classroom, I had the attention span of a gnat, unless I could focus on one thing at a time. Two things I was great at: reading books or watching TV. If I was on my own playing with a friend, I was fine, but slumber parties were a disaster: all my high-pitched peers in a room together talking at once were absolutely overwhelming. I viewed these rites of passage with dread, as I knew I didn’t fit in, and my involuntary snoring was something humiliating I would be teased about later on. And I was always tired, so I’d be the first to fall asleep.

The first recollection I had of sneaking food would have been around the age of 10. Maybe it’s just that I was embarrassed to be caught at that age: I think it probably started earlier, but was written off as just being a kid. I was always hungry, and was getting “chubby”. My parents didn’t say anything about it: just implemented family walks after dinner, or I would ride my bike while Dad jogged. It just seemed to make me hungrier.

My first official diet was in the summer between 6th and 7th grade. I begged Mom to send me to Weight Watchers. Kids had been teasing me at school. I wasn’t 12 yet, so I needed a note from my doctor. I remember the scornful faces of the other kids in my group when they heard I only had 10 lbs to lose. They wanted to know just WHY was I there? They had been forced to attend these humiliating meetings, by their parents, by medical professionals. Back in the mid 80’s, there was usually only one kid at school who resembled Augustus Gloop, which was the limit of my experience until then. There they were, all gathered at Weight Watchers in an obese and resentful horde. They had 40, 50, 60 lbs to lose. To this day, I hope I wasn’t smug. I do remember thinking, in my 11-year-old ignorance, “If I ever get that heavy, I would just want to die.”

So Mom encouraged me to fill in my nutritional log. She joined with me for moral support. We went to the store together to shop for special diet food, and I learned to count – this was before points, I think they were called “exchanges” back then. I got more exchanges because as a kid, I was still growing. I checked off my boxes, and rejoiced because I could have peanut butter on my rice cakes for breakfast every morning. Which may be the most depressing food-related sentence ever written.

I lost 8 lbs that summer, writing everything down, checking off boxes, exercising faithfully. Between that and my graduation from thick glasses to contact lenses, I was evidently unrecognizable. When I went back to school, I was like Clark Kent, except my phone booth was a diet center, and instead of spandex and a cape, I had ankle-zip acid washed Guess? Jeans, Reebok hightops, and an Esprit book bag. Mom was excited not to have to shop in the “Big Girl” section, and we had gone all-out.

At my 12th birthday in November, I got a clown sundae from Farrell’s, and devoured it under the disapproving eyes of my father, who said, “You’re not going to eat that, are you?“ And of course, by the time Christmas rolled around, I ate a pizza pocket or three from the snack bar, and had gained all that weight back plus more. Mom was still packing a nutritious lunch: carrot sticks, celery, a sandwich on white diet bread with turkey breast and a slice of low-cal plastic cheese (mustard only!) along with a little bag of pretzels (lowfat!), sometimes a non-fat yogurt sweetened with aspartame and flavored with God-knows what, and a diet cream soda. I would say 50% of the time, into the trash it went. My peers could eat pizza pockets with no problem, and I desperately wanted to be like them. But metabolically, I just wasn’t. At 12, this was difficult to understand.

This is around the time I started having problems with cystic acne. I didn’t know what it was, just told dad that my ear was hurting me. I do remember the look on his face when he peered inside my ear and recoiled. The next thing I knew, there were needles and matches and alcohol and pressure and pain and blood and yelling. OH the yelling! Mostly from me.

After a few more incidents like this, my long-suffering mother took me back to the pediatrician. He peered into my ears with his trusty otoscope, and said, in his German accent: “I don’t like this. Usually, this is an indicator of outbreaks as a teen and young adult.” I sat sullenly through this, and as a gesture of pre-teen hostility, refused to let him draw his trademark duck on my arm with a ballpoint pen.

So I religiously swabbed my ears with alcohol, and tried to avoid chocolate. The acne continued, and worsened, and spread. And inevitably, every summer, and sometimes in-between, I was on a diet. Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers (multiple times), Low-fat on my own, you name it. Some of them worked for awhile, but I would inevitably take a break and get discouraged, and BOOM: twice as much to lose next time around. I remember lying in my bed, listening to my stomach rumble, and looking at the tiny pink hearts on my wallpaper in my bedroom, and just wishing. My weight became something I prayed about, a constant reminder that Something Was Wrong With Me.

As I got closer to college, and gained and lost, and gained it all back plus more, I got more discouraged. I needed to lose 40 lbs, then 50 – my parents got more concerned. Bribery: promises of money, of new clothes, of the choice to attend the private university I had fallen in love with on my visit there – they were all dangled before me. And oh, by God, I tried. When conventional methods failed, I tried to make myself throw up – and am now thankful for the fact that it didn’t work.

I was so embarrassed by my seeming lack of control over my body, of my appetite that strove to thwart me, of the fact that I constantly felt like I was starving, of my figure, which was an exaggerated hourglass that was impossible to shop for in the junior section. It was also impossible to walk to the bathroom in a TGI Friday’s without some dudebro at the bar trying to pick me up. Dad would walk me to the bathroom when we went out to eat. I was 16, and I looked like a 30 year old cocktail waitress.

This is also when the long-awaited facial breakouts started to happen. I ping-ponged back and forth from the allergist, to the endocrinologist, to the ear, nose, and throat doctor. I didn’t get any answers, but actually did lose some weight, due to the mass quantities of antibiotics I was taking, both orally and topically (I constantly had stomach acid). And then on my last checkup before college, I went to see the same gynecologist my mother went to: an old-school gentleman, who ordered my mother out of the room, asked if I was sexually active (NOPE) and gruffly handed me a prescription for birth control pills, with the instructions, “You’re a lovely girl: don’t ruin your life.” Then he added, as an afterthought, “These might help with your acne, too.”

I coasted through college. I was still drifting through life like a jellyfish, but now I was away from my family and still not technically an adult, so I had zero guidance or parameters. Luckily, I made some great friends, and learned how to fake it. I grew up: I got a little edgy. I threw parties, and went to more parties, and then everything just came to a screeching halt.

I just sort of abandoned any kind of responsibility in my life. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what happened. There wasn’t any sense of choice about it: I evidently had coasted for so long, I just traveled straight into a brick wall. I am guessing what I was dealing with was depression, although I didn’t know that at the time, and couldn’t explain it when my parents wanted answers – WHY?!! I couldn’t get enough sleep, and I stopped returning calls. I checked out.

Back to the endocrinologist. Back to a doctor, who was a friend of the family, who had been briefed beforehand. Also, a psychiatrist. My parents were frantic for any explanation. Alien abduction? Hormonal imbalance? I had only ever been marginally present in my own life anyway, and I look back at this entire time through a haze. There is no real answer. I couldn’t tell you if I blocked it out in the interest of self-preservation, but that is a guess. I was in a dark place, just drifting. I just remember the reaction of the endocrinologist the most, when he reassured me that I was normal and there was nothing wrong with me, and I burst into tears. He patted me on the shoulder sympathetically, and said, “I do not think the problem is you. I think the problem is something else.”

I moved back in with my parents briefly, realized immediately that it wouldn’t work, and moved out again as soon as I got a job. A super-cheap two bedroom apartment with a roommate was my salvation. I was half-heartedly attending a local college because I didn’t know what else to do, and somehow ended up playing swing music on the college radio station at 1 AM. This dovetailed nicely with my job doing graphics and filming the news at a TV station. I also started to “wake up” – with a vengeance. I had gone into my coma at 180 lbs, and come out of it at…I would estimate, 260. I don’t know for sure, because I refused to get on a scale. I lost some of it on my own, but the solution for the rest was to go to a “medical weight center” and they hooked me up with a pill called Bontril. They weighed me weekly and took my blood monthly, and for the first time in my life, I could wake up for work on time and lose weight, spend an hour on the elliptical at the gym every day, and clean my grout at 4 AM with a toothbrush. In the plainest sense, it was probably a lot like crack. However, my thoughts had a crazy sharpness. For the first time in my life, I had some clarity. I remember wondering, “If everyone functions at this level all the time, why can’t I?”

I met the man who would become my husband when he called into the radio station late one night. A lot of guys would call: they evidently found my 2 AM rants about Cheez-Its and my husky and congested voice strangely alluring – but he was the only one who had asked me about the music I was playing, not what I was wearing. I remember being shocked when I met him – what I thought would be just a funny story for my friends later, ended up being someone who I hit it off with immediately. We will celebrate our 10 year anniversary at the end of July, 2012.

By the time we had gotten engaged, I had gotten down to 200 lbs, which for me is about a size 12. I’d done it thanks to the looming threat of the impending wedding, my willingness to exercise like a crazed hamster on a wheel, the fact that I had no appetite thanks to chasing the Bontril Dragon, and the fact that surviving pretty much solely on reduced-fat Smart Pop microwave popcorn didn’t kill me first.

I got married. I think I gained back 20 lbs over the course of my Bontril-free honeymoon. My husband was deployed for six months, and when he got back, we started trying to start a family. And trying. And trying. Once again, after a full workup, the doctor said there was nothing technically wrong with either of us, but suggested weight loss would help with my fertility. I tried Bontril again, but it didn’t work. I tried anything and everything I could think of. We went through horrible fertility treatments. At the end, we were emotionally and financially drained. I was back in depression central, and all I could do was eat cookies and cry. I never had much direction in life, except wanting to be a mother, and this seemed like the ultimate betrayal of my body. It could not even do this, something that every woman should inherently have the capacity to do, and what I had always wanted.

Surely, this should be the motivation I needed. Motherhood was my brass ring. But the weight, which once would disappear (albeit, briefly) if I followed the rules, had begun to defy the guidelines I had so carefully drilled into myself. I would get down to a certain weight, 215, and exercise faithfully, lift weights, count every calorie – and gain. I bought a pedometer, I bought a polar heart-rate monitor, I bought a Go-Wear Fit, I tried eating more whole grains, I went to the doctor, I did the math, all to no avail. The doctor I went to actually said I wasn’t being honest with myself, and tried to explain how to do circuit training to me. Me, veteran of many gym memberships, personal trainers, and hour-long sessions on the elliptical! Pfft! But what was worse, I was getting debilitating migraines once or twice a week, crazy PMS, my acne had branched out into rosacea, and my hair started falling out! I blamed stress.

The hard-learned truth: when you eff with Mother Nature, Mother Nature effs right back with you. 25 years of yo-yo dieting and chronic cardio, not to mention a constant barrage of pharmaceutical crap in the name of health, had trained my body to hang on to whatever it could for the upcoming famine ahead. I know that now.

I was at rock bottom, and had been flailing for awhile, when I found The Primal Blueprint.

There’s a sentence in the book that details the many things gluten sensitivity can cause: Brain fog. Infertility. Migraines. Congestion. Acne. Lethargy. Depression. Those are the things I can remember. Because when I read them, I screamed, and threw the book against the wall. It was like opening a dictionary, and seeing my face. All I could think of was all the stress, the doctor visits, self-flagellating behavior, the pills I had taken and shots I had given myself and money that had been spent. Could it really boil down to this? The recurrent infections and depression and congestion and ditziness since childhood? This whole acne/infertility weight loss nightmare? Was it true that a change this simple could have seriously changed my entire life?

I just thought, well, I just thought it was me. But that long ago Indian endocrinologist, maybe he was right. It wasn’t me, it was something else. Maybe grains and sugar were that elusive “something else”?! I looked at myself, a thirty-five year old woman, who loves her technology, her smartphone, her curling iron, high heels, jewelry, and cosmetics. Underneath that sophisticated (albeit, obese) veneer, could I really be a cavewoman?

It was time to find out. I chucked grains. All of them. I cut drastically back on sugar.

Within three days, my rosacea was noticeably diminished. Within a week, my snoring was quieter, and I was waking up refreshed for the first time in years.

In two weeks, my skin was clear. I get the occasional zit, and the scars still remain, but this in itself is a minor miracle. Also, I had lost 5 lbs. And I was not constantly hungry. My eyes, which were always, always bloodshot, like I had been hotboxing in someone’s VW van, suddenly revealed that they had white sclera!

A month in, I was 10 lbs down, and I had my waist back. News flash -you typically look better and it’s a lot easier to wear clothes when you are no longer shaped like a potato. This is also when I realized that my debilitating migraines were blood-sugar related, because they stopped happening. I also was waking up in the morning before my alarm. I had amazing amounts of energy.

Two months in, I could breathe through my nose. This is still something I have to focus on, as I have been conditioned by decades of having to breathe through my mouth. Those teeny tiny nasal passages and giant adenoids? I am guessing that was chronic inflammation, even as a kid.

That winter, My “hair guru” reported that my hair was thickening back up, and no longer falling out. And my seasonal depression just didn’t happen. My husband called me a pet name, his “little black raincloud” – or at least he started to, and then he said “You know, that really doesn’t suit you anymore.” “My little piranha” also seems to have disappeared from the repertoire without comment. Thank God.

Another traditional winter hallmark: my horrible recurrent sinus infections: didn’t make any appearance. And let me tell you, I sure as hell don’t miss them. I haven’t had one since. I have a familial history of high cholesterol: While I did get a big scary number recently, my ratios are good and my triglycerides, after decades of being elevated, are nice and low.

After 6 months, I went home for Christmas, and saw a friend of the family, who asked, ”What are you doing? You look so…healthy. And happy!” And without thinking, I smiled and said, without thinking, “Thank you! I AM happy!” And it’s true. I am. Nobody is more surprised about that fact than I am. When I run into people I haven’t seen in awhile, they will inevitably ask, “What are you doing?!” And I am happy to tell them.

I almost didn’t write this because, well, I didn’t magically get skinny. There’s no “big reveal” with me wearing a crop top to show off my 6-pack abs. I do still have bad days, when I have to remind myself that skinny and healthy are not the same thing. I do occasionally get the “stink eye” from some poor deluded schmoe when I throw uncured bacon into my shopping cart. While I haven’t lost a lot of weight, I am able to eat like a normal human being and maintain. I am repairing decades of damage that I did to myself, and it’s just going to take time – and patience.

By that token, I have been spared adding another 30-50 lbs to my grand total for the 2.5 years I have been eating this way. Which is no mean feat! And I am getting stronger, and exercising more because I enjoy it now, not because it’s a chore. Life is short. I do what I love: Zumba classes, walking, riding my bike and playing active games on the Wii. And occasionally go on new adventures. The last one was going opal mining in the Nevada desert over Memorial Day weekend. My (new, awesome) doc says she will clear CrossFit when I get a little lighter. I know, you can scale, but as she says, you only get one pair of knees. Can’t argue with that.

There are so many gifts I have gotten from following the PB. My health, my motivation, my identity, the ability to buck the system and go with my gut, self-worth, and respect and love for my own body and what it can do. Hopefully, motherhood is next. All of those things are beyond price. Thanks a million, Mark, for what you do!!!

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216 thoughts on “I Now Have Respect and Love for My Own Body”

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  1. I loved this story. I can relate to so much of it – the childhood illnesses,the chalky pink medicine in the fridge, the “brain fog, infertility, migraines, congestion, acne, lethargy, depression.”

    I’m so happy you’re finding your way out and you’re doing a great thing for your fertility. Keep going, onward and upward, it will get even better. Good luck!

    1. Same here. It sounded like she was describing my childhood. It’s funny. I did the SAD with calorie restriction for 6 months and I lost weight but I FELT the same. Then I went Primal. I lost more weight (10-12lbs below my adult low!!!). I found out I DO have insulin resistance (damn genes!). But what I got from Primal was my health. I didn’t get it BACK. I got it for the first time in my life. You go, girl!!! What’s amazing about Primal is that it benefits any age.

    2. Me too. I am in tears, recognising that moment of recognition.

      Congratulations, and welcome to the real world.

      We’re about to head into winter here (Southern Hemisphere), and I’m hoping that the winter depression won’t make an appearance this year. We’ve been primal for about 8 months now and I my only regret is that I only learned about it as an adult.

    3. Wow, you’ve inspired me. I’ve been trying to get to the Primal Blueprint lifestyle and failing. I lost some weight on one month with no sugar and now I’m back to eating sugar and grains. I’m sixteen years old and can totally relate to the small nasal capacities and large adnoids… I’ve had them taken out once already but apparently they “grew back.” The acne problems… yes its there. Thank-you so much for sharing your story, I hope mine will be as sucessful

      1. TyraLeann: I am thankful, excited,(and yes, just a wee bit jealous) that you have found this info at this time in your life. I wish I had known the damage I was doing to myself 20 years ago in the name of “health.” Please give it a try. It’s so worth it! Think of it as an investment. It will save you so much time, frustration, and money down the road- not to mention your sanity and your health. Also- as you get older, you’ll look younger than your age, which is a benefit that cannot be overlooked. I hope to be reading your success story here some day. Good luck!

    4. Me too, except take out infertility and add asthma. I can so relate to “floating through life” and I am pretty sure I threw the book too. Thank you for sharing. I am not anywhere close to a six pack either, and I was thinking it must be because my body was so damaged for my whole life. Oh the wasted years. Isn’t it amazing just to not have to think about what you’re going to eat or not eat?

  2. OK, so not only is this such an awesome success story, and I am super happy for you– but you are SUCH a gifted writer and story teller! This was a really great read, and I hope you are writing in other areas of your life, because you express yourself so well, and have such a knack for bringing the reader in. VERY happy for you!

    1. I agree. I was really moved throughout the entire story. I think this is the longest success story on MDA but I read every word.

      The style and what was involved in the story hooked me in!

      1. I thought that too, and I am a technical writer and editor.

      2. You are a gifted writer and story teller! I was not only inspired but hooked though the whole story. Thanks for sharing and keep up your writing. Maybe a blog? It’d do great!

    2. I agree with Ariana–you are an amazing, gifted writer!! Are you an author, by chance. If not, you should seriously consider it.
      And, congratulations on your switch to the Primal way. It is the only way, in my book. Thank you Mark for sharing this wonderful woman’s story!

      1. I agree as I read so many familiar things in your story, I kept thinking how well it was expressed. Beautifully written. I am with you, significant weightloss, but a huge turn around in health, but i will never be skinny. Give yourself time, I think for me it’s the liver and thyroid that are slowly healing which shows, but subtly. Good luck
        Cheers

      2. Thank you guys so much. I love writing: and am glad that it shows. Writing is something I have considered in the past, but: well, you need discipline and momentum- not to mention confidence- to do it well. I have been considering freelancing for awhile, but have been too “chicken” (not to mention, preoccupied with other things!)to really give it a go. I guess I should start doing some research!

        1. Darn right you should! That was one of the most entertaining things I’ve read on this site! (alas, it was at your health’s expense, but we never would’ve gotten a chance to read about it had you never gotten out of it, so congrats!) Ditto about the sudden lack of depression/acne/lethargy once ditching the grains and sugar. I can relate to the “All this time, BREAD was trying to kill me?! Good, ‘wholesome’ bread?!”

          Signed,

          An Also Wannabe Writer of the “Maybe Someday” Variety

        2. Please do. I love Friday stories, but this was a situation where I was frankly enjoying the reading experience itself. I think you could have been writing instead about your bike ride in Thailand and I would have been delighted as a reader.

        3. Start slow.

          You say you have considered it in the past and it is pretty damn clear that hundreds of others agree with the fact that you are a born writer.

          I say hundreds because, well, hundreds are nodding there head yes to these comments but just aren’t writing it out and leaving a comment.

          Start a blog. It’s INCREDIBLY easy to set up. You can have everything set up and ready to go in just a few minutes. Adding a few plugins, etc. will take you less than an hour.

          Publish what resonates with you. Leave comments on this blog and you will get targeted traffic.

          Start small. Free write. 500 words a day. Build the habit. Post one blog post per week. Do you have 3 hours a week to start your passion in life?

          I’d love to help you get started if you are interested in starting a blog! Just leave a comment here or email me too – Todd @ Primal Toad . com.

          Check out GoinsWriter.com too. Best blog to learn how to start a writing career.

          If you really LOVE writing then you have to do this!

        4. Please do it. You have real talent! And congrats on getting healthy.

        5. Posting this from my phone- am out of town for Father’s Day! Thank you for all the encouragement. I do have a baby blog out there- if you want to do a little detective work, it’s linked on my Forum profile at MDA ( also under Lady Grok.) You can scroll down towards the end of the comments and I managed to figure out how to link my profile on a few of them- my (not updated in forever) blog is in my sig. Primal Toad- once I get back to my home base, I will shoot you an email!

        6. Don’t be chicken! You already have talent. You just need to DO it. That’s how you build confidence. Go, lady, go!

        7. Please write! You’d make a great blogger and blogs lead to article writing for bigger blogs. Wonderful, wonderful story. I was captivated.

    3. I agree. You are a great writer with a very compelling voice. As someone else said, if you aren’t writing professionally, you should consider it.

      And your story was very touching. I recognize so much of what you are feeling and what you have gone through.

  3. I love this story. Very beautifully written, and like the previous poster said, very relatable. Congratulations on your successes into Primal and keep up the great work!

  4. Great read, and really well written. You know what is an inspiring part of this story? Your parents. They didn’t have all the answers (who did in the 80s?) but from the bike rides to food journals, it sounds like they really tried their best to help you get healthy. They must be really happy for you.

    1. Seconded! Also your husband, for sticking with you through your “grumpy stormcloud” times. He sounds like a wonderful guy (and , if the picture of you guys in front of the GG bridge is any indication, a bit of a looker himself 😉 )

      1. Awww, thank you. Hehe- yeah, he’s OK. 😉 I know, right? Who would think that guy would be calling up anonymous ladies on the radio at 2AM and asking them out?!

    2. They are. However, the daughter who was mellow and went with the flow is gone, and the bossy one who is there in her place- well, it’s taking some getting used to! I suspect they are sick of me sending them email articles about how much statins suck. 😉 (They both take ’em- GAH!)

  5. Awesome story ! The journey continues for so many of us and Friday is my favorite day to read MDA and look forward to a new and inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  6. great story. and great that you aren’t concerned about your weight, but how you feel.

    i can relate. i gained and lost 40 pounds so many times that i’m now 35 and my fat cells are highly “trained” to hold on to what they have regardless of what i did. including a 1,200 calorie primal diet consisting of less than 10g of carbs per day. not a big deal as i felt amazing, no hunger, no health issues period since i went primal. and yet, it bothered me that i had screwed myself so bad in regards to weight loss.

    UNTIL i started daily fasting a couple months ago (one meal a day) which has finally ignited the weight loss. 12 pounds in two months, while adding muscle. crazy thing is, i have the same amount of calories as I was before… a BIG primal dinner of 1,200. but the hormonal and metabolic changes that come with fasting are truly effective.

    to the author: the last paragraph shows you are a very emotionally and physically healthy (and beautiful) girl with the world at your feet. but in case the lack of weight loss still ends up bothering you, give I.F. a shot. Mark did a great write up on it recently and after a year of primal living with ALL the benefits except weight loss… i am finally dropping the weight i training my body to resist so badly.

    in any case, best of luck in getting pregnant and thanks again for such an inspriational story.

    1. Just a word of caution on women and IF:
      While I also saw some success from IF,
      it may not work as well for some women (and may work against them). See Stefani Ruper’s guest post on Free The Animal where she notes in the study that the effect on insulin sensitivity occurred only in male subjects.
      Stefani Ruper Post

      Would be great to know if she tries it and has success though!

  7. Very moving story! I got all teary at the point where you realized what had been taken from you all those years. I love how real and honest you were with us!
    Jana

  8. I read this, laughed out loud, tears in my eyes, relate to the illnesses you mention, and said to self, “I just LOVE this woman!” Awesome story. I hope you get to be a Mum.

  9. It took me twice as long to read this as it should have because I spent 5 minutes laughing my ass of at “News flash -you typically look better and it’s a lot easier to wear clothes when you are no longer shaped like a potato.”
    Priceless.

  10. wow, written like you were a professional writer. almost unbelievable you got so many conditions cured by going primal. very well done. grok on and good luck with your most important goal of giving birth to a child.

  11. What a well told story! I sympathized, laughed and then cried at the end. So glad you found your way out of that nightmare of a health history.

    How have your parents responded and is your husband on board?

  12. Oh my goodness – I’m 17 and have had been breathing through my mouth for as long as I can remember! I home mine clears up as well as yours did. Thanks for the story.

    1. After reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration I’ve learned that most of us living today are mouth breathers because we have narrow nostrils. This is due to the lack of nutrition during conception and pregnancy.

      We can still breathe through our nostrils effectively with a healthy lifestyle but none of us are supposed to have narrow noses. The more wide the better.

      I learned so much from that book. It’s HUGE but very enlightening!

      1. I just finished reading Nutrition and Physical Generation as well. It’s an incredible book, and the conclusions that are drawn from Dr. Price’s research are simply invaluable, especially to current and future parents. Knowledge is knowing stuff, but wisdom is knowing what to do with it. And this book (just like Mark’s) is pure wisdom, in liquid form for your brain to absorb.

        Beautiful story! I got choked up a bit as well, and I am so happy for you in your success and happiness! GROK ON!

      2. Hey Toad, did they mention small jaws in that book? My daughter’s orthodontist mentioned low fat diets of pregnant mums and small jaws at my daughters last appointment. I’d forgotten about it until this post… fascinating.

        1. Shaun, thank you for showing me where I can read Weston Price’s book online.
          I have not been a ble to get my hands on a copy yet!
          I feel so close to Lady Grok, as I am almost the same lady! I have been a Primal girl for almost 7 months and have lost weight but it is not falling off. What I have gained is health, huge amounts of new energy, near perfect sleep, a loss of stress and anxiety, a new positive outlook on life, and now a happier husband 😉
          Thank you for sharing your journey.

  13. This is AMAZING. and reminds me so much of my own personal story. Losing yourself in a constant array of flashing pictures while the world and people around you have all the power and you’re left foggy, unclear, and desperate. Very touching story, and a great reminder that, like you said, not all success stories are ‘6 pack abs’ picture perfect, they’re even BETTER!

  14. OSH*T I didnt know there were opals in Nevada! I LOOOOOVE opals, and that sounds like an awesome adventure! I’ll have to look into that!

    Anyway, amazing story 😀 Easily one of my favorites. I was probably about ten years behind you in my own childhood journey but so many of the things you talked about rang 100% familiar. It’s so inspiring to hear about someone with a similar past pull themselves up and out and back into health 😀 Congrats!

    1. We mined in the Virgin Valley of NV (ironically, you drive past a few cathouses to get there). I would recommend camping at The Royal Peacock mine, and getting “the bucket” from Rainbow Ridge. We were probably the only group of all-lady opal miners, and it’s hard work, but we had a blast- check it out!

      1. I totally will! It looks like a bit of a hike from SF but could make it into an awesome camping adventure trip!

        1. It is a trek, but we are “neighbors” (I am in Marin, so it’s totally doable. We broke up the drive by staying overnight in Reno on the way there and the way back, and it was perfect. (Also, nice to take a “real” shower on the way back!)

  15. Fantastic story and so well written. Proof positive that there is so much more to “the big reveal” than weight loss. I wish you the best as you and your husband look to become parents.

  16. We were so so so much alike at age 10 especially the food sneaking part. I was a cat burglar about food. Nowadays I tell people that I am a recovered foodaholic. Still fixated about it, doing all I can not to give in and haunted by the past. People see the skinny me and wonder why I am vigilant.

    1. That’s like when people see you wearing a coat and ask if you’re cold. Of course not, you’re wearing a coat. You wear the coat so you don’t get cold. You eat healthy so you don’t get unhealthy.

    2. I get the same thing. I guess most people think that once you hit your “happy point” that you can just go back to the way it was before and your weight/health will be fine. But you can’t. You have to change for good. That’s why this isn’t a “diet”. Diets are temporary. I get treated a bit like a “freak” sometimes but it’s who I am now. And alway will be. Thank you, Mark, for opening my eyes to an amazing world. I’m getting healthier as I age while everyone around me is getting sicker (and fatter).

  17. THANKS so much for sharing your story! There is an entire generation of women our age who have suffered from the Low-Fat (pro carb/gluten/sugar) mantra. I just made these discoveries in the last 6 months and at first was very angry (and wanting to throw the book across the room). There are a lot of other things in your story I relate to, so thanks again for a great story. But I don’t worry about the people looking askance at me with my bacon, eggs, and meat laden grocery cart, because I’m looking at the poor saps with their OJ, sugar filled yogurt, fruit, whole grain bread and pasta thinking this is healthy and that was me only a little while ago.

  18. Thank you for your story, and Mark for posting these stories.
    When my wife was a teenager, she was prescribed obscene amounts of steroids for allergies. Immediately it puffed her up to more than double her weight and brought on the next 15 years of obesity and poor health. Just Sunday, she finally decided to begin Primal with me. These stories give me so much hope that all of her headaches and allergies and nagging issues can be solved and her weight brought back in line. I have such high hopes that the woman I love more than anything can one day have health.

    1. Joshua, your loves just shines through your words. With you by her side your wife is a lucky woman

  19. Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments! I have to admit, I was terrified to put this out there, as it is really personal in spots.

    To answer a couple of questions: My parents are still figuring it out. They have really latched onto the “gluten-free” part of the equation. Mom called last night and said she had bought gluten-free granola bars. (I know, *headdesk*) So they are adapting, albeit slowly.

    My husband has lost more weight incidentally than I have: which is a good thing, as he is the child of two type-2 diabetics, and needs to be careful. I would say he is about 60/40. He gets a desperate look on his face sometimes when I ask them not to bring the bread basket at the restaurant, but them’s the breaks! For my part, I do the best not to nag, and he has been wonderful and supportive of me.

    I’ve tried tweaking the PB several ways: VLC, IF-ing breakfast, high protein breakfasts, calorie counting, you name it. Right now I am bumping up my exercise and really watching calories and carbs. After everything I put my body through, I hesitate do do anything too crazy! I figure that as long as I feel amazing, I am on the right track.

    1. lol! like when my mom proudly told me she was making grain free brownies with pureed black beans! gak. love the parentals 🙂

      1. Amen. I had to stage an intervention and stop poor Dad from putting Wondra flour in the sauce for the short ribs. “What, even this tiny amount?!” Yes Dad. LOL- I love them both. 🙂

        1. luckily (?) she lives 1800 miles away. She’s coming for a two week visit where I ‘ll feed her properly 🙂

    2. Bingo. Hey, that whole spouse-reluctantly-goes-primal thing could have legs for many blog posts. I know I’d be interested since my sweetie is about 60/40, 70/30 but I’d be thrilled if he bumped it up a notch or two.

  20. I related SOOO much to this story. Everything, from the childhood food sneaking to the way you always felt so blah, the “brick wall” and not being able to get enough sleep (oh god I’ve been there) to the “If everyone functions at this level all the time, why can’t I?” and to how all the doctors you ever saw said everything is normal. And thank god for a realistic success story that doesn’t end with 6-pack abs. That’s not normal for a woman and I think a huge amount of us primal women are secretly berating ourselves for not being able to attain it. Thank you again for your story. I was riveted.

    1. I agree with Diane … as much as I like to read these stories, all of the “I lost a ton of weight and now look awesome” stuff can be discouraging for those of us who can’t lose weight. It’s not surprising that most of the women who have great weight loss success with PB are young. I don’t care how healthy you are, if you are overweight – especially if you are a woman – no one looks past that (and I know that’s true even in the Paleo world).

      Thank you for your story – very much appreciated!

      1. I think for most women, especially those of us who have been pregnant, yo-yo-ed, and too many other issues to even list, the goal of getting skinny can so easily eclipse the goal of getting healthy.

      2. Wow, great story! I identify with so much written here, too. As a child i was a heavy breather and my weight has yo-yo’d my ENTIRE LIFE. The first time I lost weight was in high school on Fit for Life. I was slim all through college then started gaining (really gaining!) in my late 20’s. I lost a lot with Atkins, then ballooned up again. Now I eat primal but the weight loss is going slowly, in fact I’m one of the healthiest eaters at work but that doesn’t matter to people if you still appear overweight. I’m just wondering how long the “healing on the inside” takes for a broken metabolism…

        1. Is this a topic that Mark has already addressed? I FEEL so much better now that I eat primally, but I sure don’t LOOK any better. Are there any guesstimates for long it takes an abused-by-low-fat-dieting body to heal?

        2. I think it depends on how long you’ve been dieting following CW, and how much damage has to be repaired. There is a wonderful book I am reading: “The Schwarzbein Principle” which is written by an endocrinologist, and talks about how people who are lifelong dieters can mess up their hormones and how to get yourself back into optimal balance. She’s a big believer in “real food”, and her targeted approach and dietary reccs would be easy to whittle down and fit within the scope of Primal or Paleo living. (For example, she offers grains as an option, but any starchy veggie will suffice.) That’s the good news. The bad is that it takes patience, and potentially, isn’t a quick fix. The good- if you’re already following MDA, you will be on the right track!

  21. Not much to say to this except you’re awesome and I really enjoyed reading it. I too was put on the pill by a very impatient doctor who practically threw it at me just to get me out of the office. If I could back in time and slap myself, I would.

    Well done for getting healthy and happy. Good luck with the motherhood thing – praying for you and your hubs 🙂

    1. If you manage to get back there in time, don’t slap yourself, slap your doctor!!

  22. This is a beautiful story that left me teary eyed. I really enjoy your writing. Congrats to you on your ongoing success! Hope you get to be a mom one day too. 🙂

  23. Through this whole thing, I was teary eyed as I read many parallels in our lives, and I just want to give you a hug. *virtual hug* Congratulations. <3

  24. Thank you so much for taking the risk and writing this. I really appreciate the detail as I could see myself in your story.

  25. You are a fantastic writer!!! I love your line about how skinny doesn’t equal healthy. I love the flashbacks- I was suddenly transported back to my middle school lunchroom where all the cool kids had pizza and guess jeans. I love your story and am so glad you decided to share it. With so many changes for your body to make- hormonally, emotionally, etc. I find it inspirational that you are holding on to your goal of motherhood instead of still trying to fit in with the cool kids.

    You are awesome and amazing. Thanks again so much for sharing 🙂

  26. I love these stories, but yours is now one of my favorites. Besides your marvelous writing style and tremendous progress towards physical health, your attitude and approach are inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story with us!!

  27. Congrats!!! What a great story!

    I can relate to sneaking food! I remember my grandfather always picked on me because every time he would see me…I WAS EATING. I was not an overweight kid…but I shouldn’t have been as hungry as I was all the time! In high school I ate what I wanted and I would get HORRIBLE stomach aches after lunch (cheese pizza, soda, cookies, nachos with cheese) and I could never figure out why. Now I know.

    Good luck to you!!! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I never realized until I wrote this, but the things I was sneaking? Were things like butter. And coconut flakes. And chocolate. And a bunch of other stuff, but the butter in particular was seen as weird. I guess I was just trying to be primal: and evidently, my body wanted fat! How random.

  28. I wish you luck with your husband (people really give me terrible looks when I send bread back in restaurants and so does my partner), but over it all I really hope your own personal wish will come truth.
    Weight control is about health, I don’t know if women were designed to have a six pack but the picture I see of you, happy and content, enjoying life and full of energy, less puffed up and breathing freely well, that sounds a lot as how life should be.
    Reading your story has been great, thank you for sharing it.

  29. Thank you so much for your wonderful post. I finally have read a story that sounds like my experience–at least since choosing to go Primal. I have not lost a lot of weight–not like the stories I read here. But I feel better than I have in years. My eczema has cleared up; I feel strong and healthy. I have stopped weighing myself for four months and won’t get on that “treadmill” again. I feel like a normal person and even if I don’t lose more weight, I am going to continue eating and exercising this way because it just feels right and I feel great! Thank you for this story.

  30. I have to add my thanks as well!! As yet another middle-aged female victim of Susan Powter (remember her? Stop the Insanity?) and the low-fat craze, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. I became a fat kid at 7 and transitioned straight out of Pretty Plus size 16 girls to size 13 juniors to size 16 womens and beyond. A couple of times in my life I had some success with weight loss–portion control then yeast-prevention–but when stress came calling and the wheat re-entered, the weight came back. Now I am off wheat and corn for good. Yes, the weight is coming off, but more than that I feel good again. It’s wonderful to hear a success story like yours!! Grok on, fellow cavewoman!!

  31. I so appreciate your posting this story – and am grateful that you are so brave! Like you said, there’s a lot of personal stuff in there. I showed this story to my sons who are 15 and 18. They have a pretty good mom (If I do say so m’self), who has taught them compassion and empathy. They are just teenagers (and boys on top of that) though, so sometimes they can be very harsh and judgmental of overweight people. Nothing I said to them about it really hit home with them until they read your story. I truly believe that you reached them and taught them something they didn’t understand before, and I think they have been changed by your words. Thank you for that!

    Also, as others have said, Girl – your writing! Wow! You have a gift. You sound like such an awesome person and I’m so glad you found PB and it is making you feel like a beautiful person like you should! Best wishes to you, and congratulations on what you’ve already accomplished! Kudos to the “Hub” too – I have a good one as well, and I know how wonderful that is.

    1. That means so much to me- that age especially is hard to get through to. My chubby, tortured teenaged self thanks you on behalf of the young ladies they encounter every day because- OOOoh, I have some memories of that time in my life, and they still sting. Although- that’s how I recognized my wonderful hubby when he showed up. He liked me for me- which is a blessing I am thankful for every day. Congrats on achieving that yourself- it sounds like your boys have wonderful role models. 🙂

  32. This is story is VERY long. Yet I read it all. Every single word. I guess it was really moving. Extremely inspirational.

    Millions can relate to a story like this yet those millions don’t know about living Primally. Thankfully Mark posts stories like these who reach to thousands around the world.

    Because of this post hundreds will go Primal and hundreds will be changed forever.

    Keep on going!

  33. I knew you guys here at MDA were (are) awesome. It is strange to think about how many people are reading my story. Especially because it IS so long. Mostly because- well, for me, the PB is life-changing, and for anyone to know the scope of that, you would have to know what my life was like!

    I have to head off to work- I teach, and have never been so frustrated not to have a “desk job”, because I can’t check in on the comments throughout the day! But I will go through and respond to any questions when I get back this evening.

    The outpouring of support from you guys is absolutely overwhelming. What a great community!

    1. I loved your story! It is very inspiring. I had a great GYN who told me that metformin + Clomid really helps with infertility that is unexplained (“nothing wrong”) or PCOS, because apparently the ovaries can be thrown out of whack by chronic high insulin levels. I wasn’t able to get pregnant (we did not want to try IVF, so we didn’t get very high-tech) but he had a higher than usual success rate and maybe that was part of it? We adopted a baby who is absolutely wonderful and now my infertility doesn’t even make me the least bit sad. I think you will be a great mom!

  34. I loved reading this. You are an inspiration and wish you and your husband only the best. I especially loved that you wrote this despite not having a big weight reveal. I didn’t lose any weight following primal (I actually gained) and am often embarrassed to explain to friends my eating habits even though I have no “and I lost 10 pounds!” to close my explanation. I feel incredibly healthier and stronger, and I feel like I now have a natural glow about me. Thanks again for sharing your incredible story, you have a lot to be happy about.

  35. Thank you for posting your story! Even though I’ve read PB and have been incorporating into my life, reading your story gave me a couple a-ha moments. Now I’m wondering if the sinus surgery I had just 3 years ago because my sinus passages were so small (and supposedly the cause of my daily sinus headaches), was really necessary or was it just inflammation from the way I eat?

    I’ve had trouble going totally grain-free – living with someone that isn’t on board…he supports me, but doesn’t “get it” 100%. And since he does all the cooking (to include cookies, cakes, etc.), it makes it difficult for me. But lately the more I read I’m finding one example after another of why I should do this and the stronger my resolve becomes (so this means another talk about his cooking is in the very near future). Your story is one more confirmation for me that this is definitely the way to go! Thank you!!

    1. Carol, I’ve found that for me the best way to avoid grains when I’m tempted by sweets is to make primal ones instead! I used to love baking and struggled with primal eating to begin with because I thought I had to give up baking, but finally realized that I don’t!

      I can totally be a ‘normal’ person by eating a muffin for breakfast every once in a while. Here are a few good primal baking websites:
      http://thisprimallife.com/category/recipes/desserts/
      http://untilthethinladysings.blogspot.com/search/label/breakfast

      The first is my favorite for primal baking-best of luck!

      1. One of my challenges with finding recipes is that so many of them include almond flour and I’m allergic to almonds – growing up they were my favorite nut and then one day I started having reactions to them :o(

        I’m starting to try out recipes with coconut flour or no flour at all. I know you can’t substitute coconut flour for almond or regular flour 1:1 ratio and I haven’t figured out how to alter recipes yet. I’m working on it though – I’ve found a couple things that I really like and others, well, they were a complete disaster! It’s a learning process and I’ll keep trying!

        Thanks for the websites – I’ve been doing a lot of searching on line for recipes and it’s always nice to find more!

  36. I got tears in my eyes when you started describing, symptom by symptom, all your ills clearing up when you eliminated grains. Wow!

  37. Great story! I had a question regarding you infertility issues. I was just wondering if things ever changed on that front? As someone diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” I was hoping that my move to ancestral eating might help.

    1. Well- it’s hard to say. I wish I had your email, because I don’t want to “TMI” everyone, but I will say this: My morning temps used to be 96 degrees. Not the case anymore. I used to have a short luteal phase- not anymore. And when people mean well and tell you to “just relax and it will happen”- if your body is nutritionally deficient and full of inflammation, it’s just not possible. Not only do you increase your chances of concieving eating this way- you increase your chances of having a healthy baby. Win-win! Please give it a try- and wishing best of luck and “baby dust” to you. 🙂

  38. I can relate to your childhood! I even went to fat camps! Thank you for writing and sharing this. I have found this lifestyle as simple, wonderful and a blessing.

  39. I was practically sobbing by the end of this. This describes much of my life so well, and comes right at a time when I’m feeling low.

    I didn’t have frequent illness as a kid, but the migraines, acne, fog? Yeah, that’s me.

    I’m four weeks into my primal journey and needing motivation. This helped tremendously. Thank you for sharing.

  40. What an incredible story. I was laughing and crying.

    Keep it up girl!

  41. I so relate to your story.

    I have been “dabbling” with the Primal Blueprint way of life, not fully committing; hence the no weight loss results.

    I am presently reading an incredibly eye-opening book called WHEAT BELLY by Dr. William Davis. Wheat is a nasty thing – very scarry what it is doing to people.

    I am a now total believer in Mark’s way of living more naturally, and will start applying myself! Bad food habits must be broken, and replaced with more life sustaining choices.

    Your description of your youth is my youth. Thanks for your story.

  42. Absolutley veautiful story….I’m glad to hear you have your life back.

    Keep it going!!!

  43. My childhoods was so similar it’s scary except the parts where I grew up in the 90s. I’ve only been on the primal blueprint for a couple months and I’m forced to make concessions because I live and work in a military environment, but I love the way I feel. I can relate to the haziness. Thanks for the inspiration.

  44. Your story is fantastic!! Congratulations for having the courage and strength to find what works for you..many people would have just given up. Go girl!!

  45. “…My husband called me a pet name, his “little black raincloud” … “My little piranha” also seems to have disappeared from the repertoire without comment…”

    BEST LINES EVER! My husband knows every time I cheat when my inner piranha comes out. So very glad that you’re feeling so much better – isn’t it amazing?!

  46. What an amazing story! And so well written! Thank you for sharing it and good luck with your pregnancy plans! I hope you achieve everything you wish for and more!

  47. I really enjoyed your story and found it so uplifting. I am not losing weight as quickly as I would like, but I started this way of eating to cure health problems, and any weight loss is considered a fringe benefit. You have the right attitude: health first, weight loss will follow. My arthritis and lower back pain were noticeably better in the first ten days. This is the only “diet” I have ever done that doesn’t feel like suffering, so I am willing to be patient with the weight loss. For a fascinating in-depth look at how food can affect the body and even bring healing, I highly recommend the book Deep Nutrition. You will never look at food the same way again. It even made me want to eat lIver! Hang in there and your body will repair and restore itself when given the proper building blocks of nutrients.

    1. I will have to check out Deep Nutrition- It is on my Kindle, just WAITING for me. I am so glad that you are having great results too- what the body is capable of when nourished correctly is nothing short of miraculous to me.

  48. Thanks so much for sharing! I cried when I read this. It is so like my own story. Especially the constant ear/bladder infections and acne. I have not lost a lot of weight yet either, but I feel better than I have in years. My 18 year old son started on the program, and his allergies and psoriasis have all but disappeared. I wish I knew about this years ago!

  49. Thank you for sharing your story, I love your sense of humor! I like the fact that you decided to share your story even though you don’t have six pack abs. I know a lot of other people don’t agree, but I truly believe everyone has a different weight set point. And the bmi calculation is not accurate IMO. PB is great because you will actually HAVE the energy to workout, which is really what changes body composition (for me atleast).

  50. I just want to raise the obvious point (because I don’t see it yet said) that you look wonderful right now. Not later if you lose some particular amount of weight. Right. Now.

  51. Inspiring.

    Great suff. I personally would avoid crossfit.

    Grok on cave girl.

  52. Bloomin fantastic . well done on ur honesty and beautifully written piece…
    I’m just a baby primal (3wks) but feel if i can get rid of health issues and be this weight then I’ll take that happily. You’re statement about being skinny isn’t always being healthy is gonna be my new mantra !
    Well done to you and best wishes with you’re future x

  53. I, too, mirrored many parts of your story in my own life. It’s really crazy how so many of us were/are poisoning ourselves daily with “food”. (I don’t know if wheat and sugar are poison for everyone, but it is for ME!)

    Thank you, Lady Grok, for submitting your story, and to Mark for posting it. It IS a success story!

  54. Beautifully written and inspiring story! Thank you for sharing!

    Although many people have lost significant weight from changing eating, I think it is the mental and emotional changes that really makes this a lifestyle and sustainable!

  55. Thank you for sharing the pain and your jouney of discovery. It was very exciting to read because I knew there was a happy ending coming. :^)

    I can relate to your childhood frustrations; mine were of being sugar sensitive as well as a compulsive eater. I didn’t figure it out until I was thirty. Started low carb, lost weight, became pregnant with the child I thought I could never have. Now I know it was because of the diet.

    I have been hypothyroid since babyhood, PCOS at puberty and now post-menopausal, so have always had weight issues. I keep reading and learning and making progress. Don’t ever give up or allow yourself to become complacent!

    You are beautiful and brave and I’m so glad you decided to share with us! Thank you!

  56. OMG – thank you so much for sharing your story! I agree with the others who said it was extremely well written and honestly, despite the content, a joy to read.

    To be perfectly honest, the content freaks me out a little bit. In many cases, your paragraphs were like they had been ripped out of my diary. I snorted my water onto my keyboard when I read about rejoicing to have peanut butter on rice cakes!! So much of your story (including ear-aches, acne, over-stimulation at slumber parties and having ‘only’ 10 lbs to lose at your first WW meeting – in my case it was Nutrisystem) was also my story.

    I’ve seen many of the same improvements as you have and my new ability to look at food as fuel (or as a ‘normal person’) is my biggest motivator for sticking with this nutritional bent. I still have weight to lose as well, but I’ll get there and so will you. All my best to you and your husband and I hope you get to be a mom soon!

  57. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. Although I never had a weight problem, I did suffer throughout childhood from mysterious stomach aches that progressed to episodes of debilitating abdominal pain in my teenage years (undiagnosed, sometimes requiring hospitalization and opiate pain killers) stress-related gut problems (like bouts of diarrhea before exams), acne since the age of twelve, and hay fever. I started the pill at 18 and became depressed for something like 9 straight years.

    If I had not developed diabetes following my pregnancy and birth of my child, I would probably never have ditched all the junk I had been eating. Now forced to do so to control my blood sugar, I must grudgingly admit that my ills have all but disappeared.

    Reading your story made me put two and two together on this!

  58. Thank you so much for making me cry this afternoon! 🙂 It’s the perfect storm of recognition, gratitude and post-massage toxin clearing. Keep on living!

  59. Love your story.
    Thanks for sharing it with us. After decades of injury your body is finally able to heal and recover! Like you, Im losing slowly, but my SHAPE is so much better. Wouldnt give up my new “centeredness” for any food in the world!

  60. There is a lot here I can relate to as well! Substitute really bad chronic gas (IBS I believe they call it these days) for the acne, though. It sure would have been nice for someone to suggest that the raisin bran I was eating for breakfast all the time might not have been the ideal food for me.

  61. This is the best. Thank you so much for this story. As a woman who has “only” managed to lose 25 lbs on the PB, it can indeed be disheartening to see other people who drop the other 75 I’d love to lose. What I’ve gained through this is worth so much more than those other pounds and the number on the scale: awareness of myself and my body, an affinity for REAL FOOD, a newfound of love of lifting heavy things, and muscles I didn’t even know existed. We, women especially, have to understand that our health is so much more than the stupid numbers society tells us should measure our worth. Thank you thank you and thank you again for sharing this story with us.

  62. CONGRATULATIONS on all you’ve accomplished in the face of so many setbacks!!! What a strong woman you are!I related to your story because I’ve been going to dermatologists for 25 years for rosacea and not ONE of them ever suggested eliminating grains. For most of those years I used special cleasers and applied increasingly more powerful (and expensive) topical prescription ointments twice daily. Eventually even they didn’t work and I was put on a daily antibiotic permanently. My motivation for switching to Primal eating was purely for weight loss, but my rosacea improved immediately and within weeks I was off the antibiotic and I don’t even need the topical medications anymore. The derm says it has nothing to do with grains and dismisses it as “a coincidence or something…” Really? Do conditions often just disappear after 25 years of continuously deteriorating? Drs always told me rosacea could not be cured you could only try to SLOW its inevitable progression!
    Sadly though, I haven’t lost any weight either, but I also spent many decades constantly dieting and overdoing cardio. Thank you for your encouraging viewpoint on that as well. God Bless!

  63. Wow – you are an amazing writer… you moved me… I’m so keep on going even when i don’t feel like it – it is a journey – and I can do it. Thanks for sharing – it really means a lot 🙂

  64. That was a wonderful,well written story and I want to hear more. I can relate to the haze and fog as I feel my life has been the same. I lost my father when I was in my early 20’s and since then have had no direction. When I divorced and followed a path of total destruction I hit an all time low with regard to respecting myself (food, alcohol and random men) Quite by accident I met the man who thinks I am lovely and at the same time I stumbled into Crossfit and consequently Marks daily apple. It has been the total turning point for me. I have discovered that it is 95% what goes in your mouth that matters and have been able to follow the paleo/primal lifestyle without much drama. The weekly cheat still happens but I feel happy and healthy both mentally and physically as I move through my 50 ‘s. Thank you for sharing. Carol

  65. Loved reading your story and thanks so much for sharing it. I can relate to a lot of it especially the sinus problems and the acne. I suffered from the worst acne all my life from age 9 years – age 40. I had Roaccutane treatment in my 20’s which cleared it for a few years then it came back and the treatment has left me with pain in my knee joints and my back. However, once I started low carb eating and also quit sugar about 90% of the acne cleared up. About a month ago I discovered The Primal Blueprint, quit grains and the acne has improved even more. At the moment I am trying dairy free as well and I’m hoping it will clear the remaining acne. I have also noticed that for the first time in my life I can breathe through my nose!!!!! So amazing!

    I wish you all the best with your ongoing primal journey and plans for motherhood!xxx

    1. Thank you Diane: I too, took Accutane- two separate rounds. It only worked briefly for me too! After fighting with your skin so long- I am guessing that it seems miraculous to find something so simple that works. I still am amazed by it. Good luck with your Primal journey!

  66. I am so so happy you got out of the trap 🙂 I never had these exact problems … I never ever gained weight … or had really bad skin probs but the brain fog sound very very familiar … I was doing a sport and fallen out with my coach completely … they said I waqs anorexic but I was eating down like 3000 calories a day and more … and my head was … kind of foggy … well of course I got the blame for everything that went wrong … I am actually naturally very skinny but had many other problems doctors just could not get their head around … I think I am definitely sugar and/or gluten sensitive … maybe more than the most and maybe that is what kept me very boney … but I am still on the track to try to feel great … because I never ever did 😀 😀 😀 always foggy and kind of sickly …

  67. Oh, you are lucky with your new doc – knees are precious 😉 Pick your cross fit trainer well, it is not so much about the weight but the correct joints alignment… do not compromise that and focus on good form. It may take longer but would be well worth it. Good luck!!! you sound like a very strong person 🙂

  68. WOW!! Awesome story Jenna!! You are an inspiration and your story just brought tears to my eyes.. keep it up! You are going to be an incredible mother!

  69. This was the most amazing story! Oh how you suffered all those years!!! I am so happy for you that you are doing so much better. Keep up the good work!

  70. Thank you for sharing. Your write beautifully 🙂 Probably my favorite Friday story ever.

  71. Very touching account of your journey. You look beautiful inside and out! You and hubby will make great parent’s, Lord willing.
    Thank You for sharing,and please consider writing professionally, you have great expression.

  72. Beautifully written, and definitely an encouragement. You’ve been there (where so many of us have been). The realness of your story almost brought me to tears! Thank you for writing this.

  73. What a beautiful uplifting story! I’m so happy for you that your health is finally showing through. It still amazes me how decades of imbalance in the body begins to fall away so quickly and real health shines through, given the chance.

    You really do have a gift for writing. Your story carried me along on every word.

    Congratulations! And here’s to you becoming parents soon!

  74. Good story! I have just started this primal regime and am busy trying to figure it out. My son and his family have been on this for several months and all look great and feel better! I just learned I have insulin resistance and my doctor thinks this is a great program for me. So, we’ll see how it goes! It’s not too hard to do, after I have stocked my kitchen with the unusual (for me) ingredients I need for cooking! I love to bake, especially bread so am experimenting with those primal recipes with great success. I am about to go make some primal chili….I have to figure out how to make primal saltine ‘crackers’ and have an idea on that!

    1. Something I left out- I used to love cooking. But “traditional” dieting and preparing food is absolutely torturous. Go forth and experiment: it’s so great to be able to love food and cooking again!

  75. Awesome, I grew up in the Central Valley too, based on your story about your same age (or a bit older), I never had allergies though, guess I was lucky.

    1. Awwww yeah, Fres-NOOOO! You were indeed lucky. Between pollen and pollution, at least half the people I know are snarfling and sneezing, or mainlining Claritin.

  76. Wonderful post. Like many, your health issues/story and mine are so alike. Even down to your body type, exaggerated curvy. I was also referred to as a dreamer in school, dislike crowds, prefer reading. I’m 40, and recently diagnosed celiac. My onset of symptoms occurred in a different order (oh, the horror of adult acne!), but so much of your health history mirrors mine (migraine hell!) that it only confirms my belief that primal is the way to go. I’m not really primal at the moment due to gallbladder problems, but as soon as that is resolved, I’m going back to PD. (The rapid weight loss, 10 lbs in the first week, or the high fat content with the diet aren’t helping my gallbladder pain. I feel that primal would probably help heal or prevent gallbladder problems, but right now it’s so sensitive that I just can’t do it, I tried, I really tried…)
    Anyway, I appreciate the journey of your story, and that you’re presenting yourself, and you don’t have a perfect gym bunny body yet, but you look awesome to me! I have also hovered around the 200 lb mark a few times. (you look like you weigh quite a lot less than that now!) The amazing thing is now I consider that to be a huge success for me! I used to feel that I couldn’t feel happy/pretty/sexy/healthy/etc. unless I was at my high school weight of 135. (5′ 9″) But my highest weight was 285 several years ago. 200 is a major improvement, and one I hope to see again soon. There’s something to be said for appreciating what you have, not hating yourself, doing what you can, being kind to yourself, and working towards being healthier. Weight loss and muscle tone will come with time and primal living.
    Thank you again for sharing your story and presenting a journey towards greater happiness and health!!!

    1. You have to obey your gallbladder! All that fat when your body isn’t used to it would NOT be cool. It is strange and wonderful to hear so many people say they related to my story. When you are in that position, you feel incredibly isolated and alone- and I am honored to have touched a chord with so many people, even retroactively.

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I have some news for you- Appearances can be deceiving! Since we are being real, and I basically have no secrets left, I will just lay my soul bare.

      That first picture was taken the day of my 16th birthday. I am probably between 160 and 170 there.

      Then there are three pics of my husband and I together.

      In the one with the white shorts on, I weigh about 200 (And exercised like crazy and took diet pills to get there).

      In the middle (sunset) one, I am 50 lbs. heavier.

      In the one in front of the Golden Gate Bridge- 233, after eating Primal for a year.

      Alone with the bicycle- 230, Primal for 2 years. That’s why getting hung up on the numbers is so frustrating. (OH MY GOD, I just posted my weight on the internet!)

      I am not freakishly tall (5’7″) but I am muscular under my padding, and have size 10 feet, and evidently…bones like a T-Rex. I sometimes wonder if I was meant to be taller, but stunted my growth with dieting, which is a cheerful thought.

      1. Lovely story, I really enjoyed reading it and all the comments too. You are right, the numbers are rubbish! In the last photo with the bike you look much slimmer and really fantastic!

        I wouldn’t bother with Cross-fit if I were you. Try Pilates or yoga instead. Much better on the joints. Make sure you get a good teacher though, that can make all the difference.

      2. Yet again, thank you for being so honest. Good for you! You DO NOT look like you weigh 230! The scale is very deceptive, and shouldn’t be the arbiter of our happiness or self-worth. I say this, and I try to follow this, but when I’m losing weight, I find myself overly concerned with the #s. While on PD, I was giddy to see the lbs falling away unbelievably fast, while having so much energy, sleeping well, etc.
        But then my gallbladder kicked back, and I had to ease up. I was so incredibly disappointed. I knew the weight loss couldn’t continue at that speed, but it wasn’t about that, I was feeling healthier. Soon, I will try again, but this time I will go slowly and allow my body time to adjust.
        Thank you for your kind words and support, too!
        By the way, I currently weigh 245. I know it’s not the same because my picture’s not out there, but I thought I’d try to show my support.
        Before I forget, I want to echo what many have said, continue writing, you have a knack for it!

      3. I’m with you on the gall bladder – whenever I try paleo strictly the fat overwhelms my system. The best I’ve felt has included a transition with sprouted lentils included in one meal (breakfast = eggs, sprouted lentils, and raw sauerkraut). If I go with paleo the rest of the day (especially big salad with protein for lunch) I feel great and lose weight. Lentils/beans or 2 tsp ground psyllium seed husks apparently bind with toxic bile and get ushered out of the body as waste, rather than getting recycled back to the liver. I think paleo is ideal and hope to transition to strictly eating that way, but until my body purges all that internal bile I need to help it out a bit. Good luck on your journey – and I would absolutely read a column of yours:)

      4. “bones like a T-rex” awesome line! I’m gonna steal it!

        I’m 5’3″ and certainly don’t look like I weigh 163 (although I still look, and am, overweight). I just think of myself as a very dense blonde. 🙂

        I also think I was meant to be taller, although I think my growth was stunted by chronic emotional stress. There’s something about chronic stress that seems to encourage growth patterns to be shorter and thicker (wish I could find the link to the article that discussed that … ah well). I would imagine the metabolic damage from chronic stress in childhood is very bad and probably permanent, too, which is probably why no amount of proper diet and exercise can get some people to the point where they look good naked … especially women. Just gotta focus on the health.

        Thank you for having the courage to post your weight! It’s such a relief to see a healthy woman mention her weight and it’s not 120.

  77. Most poignantly written article on the bedevillment of our lives by grains and sugars.

    Congratulations on a wonderfully written piece “-)

  78. Very moving story. You have a way with words, I must say. I also relate to the whole “brain fog” thing and finally waking up in the morning BEFORE my alarm, alert and everything.
    Kudos on your remarkable success.

  79. I, too found that I could relate to your story. I was a very quiet person, too. I loved books, I had acne, I was a bit overweight, but I have always carried it well, so I escaped scrutiny on that front. Low energy, and almost constant gas were my own concerns.

    Now that I am primal, and feeling the greater energy and focus, I find myself wondering, how would my life be different if I hadlived primal all along? I got myself tested, I have a high IQ, I have the capacity, how far would I have gone? Then I realize that my past has made me who I am today.

    On the primal pregnancy front, there’s a nice group of ladies on the low-carber parenting and pregnacy forum. They are very supportive, offering encouragement and advice.

    http://forum.lowcarber.org/forumdisplay.php?f=95

    1. Actually, I still am a quiet person, but I am light years away from the anxious, painfully shy teen that I was.

  80. This was such a great post. I was engulfed in it from start to finish. Thank you for posting.

  81. The boyfriend, who has seen me go through four years of new diets and exercise programs to no avail, is skeptical of the no-grain, no-legume, lots-of-eggs-and-fish program, especially since we’d been vegetarian-to-vegan for years. I emailed him your post this morning and he called me after reading it and said oh, it’s like you could have written it. I think he’ll take me a little more seriously – your story helps me sound a little less hare-krishna-cultish and more like someone who had to figure out what conventional wisdom couldn’t. Thank you for putting your voice to our story.

    1. All these comments, mean so much. I know how you feel- people who have watched me do one thing, then another for years and years were initially skeptical. I am so glad I could help you communicate with your boyfriend. It’s hard to put it all into words sometimes.

  82. Thank you so much to everyone who has posted so far. I am doing my best to answer questions, and hope I answered most of the direct ones I found! If you’d like to PM me, I have my profile linked now.

    So many people have said such wonderful things. I wish I could go through and address you all individually, but don’t want to sound like a weirdo or a broken record. 🙂 But I do want to take the opportunity to express how much I appreciate the time and thought you put into your comments, and all your compliments and well-wishes. These aren’t things I would typically say to myself, and hearing them from people who don’t know me IRL has been a much needed eye-opener for me. Thanks to you all for your kindness!

  83. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you do continue to write: you’re very compelling. But I may be biased as I related to your story closer than any other I’ve read. I was down the road from you in Bakersfield suffering most of the same things. I didn’t gain weight until puberty, but then bammo! And then WW camp and rice cakes. I’ve haven’t lost much weight after 1 1/2 years of paleo, but since I finally gave up cheese I’ve experienced clear nasal passages for the first time ever. And my body comp has definitely changed.

  84. You go girl! Your write with such humour and candour. I loved reading your story. You are a true inspiration. Keep writing – you have a real talent and of course, stay Primal.
    Good Luck in your endeavours to fall pregnant.

  85. Wonderful, wonderful story…have fallen off the wagon over the last few days and this has reminded me why I started making changes in the first place!! Thank you for sharing and good luck xx

  86. Wow, such a moving story, and so well-written (like others have said). So happy for you that you have discovered great health and happiness through TPB. Hope your dream of becoming a Mom fulfills itself 🙂

  87. I love that story great job congrats and welcome to the comunity

  88. Like so many others, I was moved to laughter & tears by your story. Good on you for recognising the importance of looking after yourself & feeling healthy, and less emphasis on those numbers! I too am focusing on health, and feel fantastic and also found a love of lifting heavy things (thanks Amy – my trainer!).
    My daughter is fructose intolerant – I so wish I could bring her over from the dark side to paleo, I really feel it would benefit her too.
    Good luck with the babies and do keep writing – you have a talent for it.

    1. Oh my goodness, she HAS TO. I have fructose malabsorption. Just a fairly mild case – I can tolerate the occasional tiny sliver of cooked fruit. My condition has improved incredibly since shunning wheat. I also have cholinergic urticaria, and the two conditions were feeding off each other because trying to digest things I lacked the enzymes for triggered a stress response and I was breaking out in hives daily. Since going primal-ish (still easing into it), I haven’t broken out in hives once.

      My skin has cleared up, I’m more alert, my hair is much shinier, and I have better muscle definition to boot.

      (And a shout out to all the other healthy big girls out there. I’m 5’9.5, between 175-180 and in the best shape of my life. Not even remotely fat, just sturdy. :))

  89. Ive never responded to one of these before but I wanted you to know how much it helped me. As a former overweight child I related to much of your story. For me, the Biggest point you brought to light was the fact that Primal works but takes time. It is hard to hear so many people talk about the ‘weight just falling off’ when you are working and fighting for every half pound. But, I believe the longer you ate a SAD the longer it could be until the weight loss kicks. I also have some bad days still but, my good days are so much better. Patience is not my strong suit but I do believe Primal will eventually get me where I want to be.

  90. I really enjoyed reading your story. I wasn’t an overweight child or teen but I always had allergy and sinus problems and chronic headaches and still do at 39. According to the allergist I’m not allergic to any food and my most potent reaction is to ragweed …. so why am I stuffy and itchy in the dead of Canadian winters? There is also no “medical” explanation to my constant, daily headaches. Like you, the weight has been increasing on my body. Your story has instilled in me the determination that I need to finally give up the grains and sugar.
    Thank you for sharing your story and giving me inspiration!

  91. Lady Grok — I’m a lifelong professional writer and I agree with those who said you’ve got it. You told your story not only lucidly, but with verve and style. I say GO FOR IT. You could easily write a lifestyle column.

    P.S., I too identify with spending childhood in a fog. I had both physical and “mental” problems — that I know know weren’t “mental” at all, except in the sense that it’s crazy to eat a diet that consists of total, processed, all-American CRAP.

  92. Very inspiring story and beautifully told. Thank you for sharing it!!

  93. I wasn’t sure whether to stand up and cheer, or marvel how much your story sounds like mine. So I did both! 😀 You are a talented writer, that is for sure.

    I also coasted through childhood in a daze – and have “bad” sinuses. And rosacea. I discovered awhile back that low carb made my sinuses better – but didn’t at that time make the grain association. I was also unable to get pregnant during 4 years of my first marriage… sound familiar?

    I am tinkering in IF to try to get my weight loss going again – I lost 40 pounds but have another 40 to go – and have been stalled for months. The good news being, of course, that I do feel better and at least I’m not gaining. 😉

    I am aware that Crossfit is considered the Holy Grail of the Paleo community. And the next time Groupon offers a trial for it near my home, I will probably check it out. But I could not afford the rates to do it all the time. What I have found and want to get involved in is T-Tapp.com. I just got the total system, thanks to a birthday gift card from my co-workers. And it would not bother your knees. 😉 Just a thought.

    Good luck! And if you have a blog or site you are writing to, please let us know!

  94. just wow.

    you articulated so very well your struggles and successes. you should feel so happy and empowered.

    well done!

  95. You go girl! Your story is written with such humour and candour – you write beautifully. You truly are an inspiration. Good luck in your quest to start a family. I hope it all works out for you.

  96. You’re very courageous to write so honestly. Thank you for sharing and continue to heal!

  97. There are many stories that can be related to your story but i really want to appreciate you because you have done a great job. It’s quite easy to say but really hard when it comes to act upon.
    Keep up with good spirit, health and wealth! 🙂

  98. I totally started crying part way through your story. It’s like reading my own biography. I recently was diagnosed with allergies to gluten and eggs, and I also suspect lactose intolerance, as well (although that’s not an immune reactions). I’ve cut out all of it. I’ve already noticed some pretty miraculous improvements in not even 2 weeks. Still hoping the acne will begin to clear and the fertility will improve, as well. Thank you for sharing your story!!!

  99. Wonderful story – I’m just starting out on my pb journey and this was both inspiring and a great read!! I’ve never posted here before, but I had to this time!

    (And as others have said, your writing is wonderful!)

  100. I can’t figure out the main point of your story; is it the wonders of the human body’s ability to repair itself if given a chance, the priceless fortune of having wonderful parents or the value of a true husband and mate? Sounds like all three to me. Owing to your superb story-telling skills we will now be awaiting your oficial’first book’. I would say you have done a pretty good job overall. Congratulations!

  101. Fantastic writing! I loved reading every word. Also really needed it since I feel I can relate to so much of it. I have enjoyed some of the benefits of living primally–just not weight loss. So thanks for pointing out the bright side. And for pointing out that for some of us it will just take time.

  102. Thanks for the such a great post. This is the success story of your weight lose. I am also the over weigh and i also want lose my weight. Now i will follow your tips and try to become as you body fitness.

  103. Great article. For long-term weight loss, a person should get into the habit of taking a cold bath every day.
    This speeds up the metabolism (but don’t do it if you’re sick, pregnant, or obese.)

  104. You at school sounds like me at school. And my debilitating 2-3 a week migraines vanished when I went gluten free. And yes, I am strong and happy. Still ovewrweight, but much, much more healthy with it. As you said, it will take a lot of time – and I am undoing 40 years+ bad habits.

    Glad you posted, it is inspiring. I hope you hear the patter of little feet very, very soon. And I know you will feed them Primally!

  105. Whoa… this is easily one of the best stories I’ve ever read. I wanted to cry as you were sharing your childhood, it just feels like such a shame. I’m so happy to hear that you can say those words, “I’m happy” – it’s a gift that not everyone receives!

    You have a great writing style, too! Your story was compelling and I felt like you were talking right to me. You have so much passion, and it’s wonderful to hear it coming through. Way to go. I’m sure all of your goals will be realized. This story rocks!

  106. Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came
    to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and wonderful design and style.

  107. I am really impressed with the success stories Mark has been posting. Many are not about the traditional weight loss or super hot body, but more importantly recovering health and happiness. I love that! It’s so refreshing. Keep up the good work Mark!

  108. I’m a writer too and as I was reading your fabulous post I thought “I’ve got to tell this girl she can REALLY write”. Looks like I was beaten by several thousand others! Brilliant story, beautifully written. I’m so glad you found your health and wish you well for the future.

  109. Wow. Just wow. At 23, I can relate to so much of this story. I (thankfully) did not have allergy problems and the myriad of doctors visits you had to endure, but I definitely had those feelings as kid, being just a little bigger than all the other kids in class and not understanding why they could have pizza rolls and be tiny and I couldn’t. You had me crying, laughing, and nodding my head in agreement the entire way. Not only that, but I think you’ve given me a story that I can share with my wonderful boyfriend to convince him to try going primal. He suffers from terrible allergies and asthma, doesn’t sleep well, doesn’t exercise, and has gained and lost and gained and lost.

    Again, thank you so much for sharing. I hope you know that you have touched people’s lives with this, and you can be eternally proud of that fact.

  110. I’ll meet the “OMG! That was and IS ME too!” and up you a “I’m in tears because that’s my daughter.

    My daughter is 8. When she was born, she was exclusively breast fed for six months and then we added on a super healthy diet for the next six months. She got one tiny cold at nine months old, I think it lasted two days. She was breastfed until the night before she turned four. (that is when I finally weaned each of my children, though I planned to let them self wean). Over the years, even while nursing, her diet evolved more to the SAD. I got divorced, I had to go back to work, I went to nursing school, I entered the pretty stressful field of nursing. Cereal for breakfast? Sure. Hot lunch at school? OK. And over the years she’s become progressively less healthy (duh), had her tonsils removed at four, suffered from a lot of strep, sinus infections, random fevers, etc… She’s also become progressively “duller.” She seemed a little awkard in Kindergarten, by second grade she was practically a social outcast and was physically fighting going in to the school. Myself and the special ed team at the school were testing her for Asperger’s and Sensory Processing Disorder. She’s also become progressively less active! That cold when she was nine months old? I LOVED IT! She took her first real nap EVER. She was a DARE DEVIL as a baby. There wasn’t enough world for her to trek in. (I’m crying now as I type this) Now, like Jenna, she’s really good at reading and watching TV. And math. Excellent grades. And, Like Jenna and myself, she’s blooming pretty early. I’ve noticed that some of her tops require an undershirt. ALREADY.

    My household needs to CHANGE. If doing it for me isn’t enough, I have to do it for my daughter. I’ll get her jumpstarted starting TOMORROW, but then she’ll be out of state for five weeks. We’ll have to start it all over again. But, I’m there. I can take that child free five weeks to prepare a proper environment for her return. 🙂

  111. How I can relate to your story- it could almost be mine. A year and a half ago I was dx with Celiac Disease, and for the first time discovered why I had been so sick and miserable for the last 30 years. Going off gluten changed my life! The only thing that didn’t happen was weight loss, so I recently have embarked on the Primal Blueprint, and have been struggling. Your story was so inspiring that I am motivated to get “back on the wagon” first thing tomorrow! Thank you for sharing your eloquently written tale. I hope you soon will reach your goal of motherhood!

  112. Oh, you guys! I am all…verklempt. I just checked in here on a whim, and am glad that I did. I am so touched by all your stories and well-wishes! If anyone has more questions: my regular blogspot blog is linked to this comment, I am doing my best to update it regularly. I also started a Facebook page- please look for Lady Grok, I’d love to add you!

  113. Your story is very inspiring, I can not imagine what it must be like to diet in 6-7 grade, I am happy for you. I recently began the process of getting in shape and eating healthier. Stories like yours inspire people like me who are trying to accomplish their fitness goals!

  114. Great post! Congrats on the weight loss and new healthy lifestyle! One thing I’ve found to be extremely helpful and useful as a supplement to my current diet/exercise plan is Fullbar (www.fullbar.com). Not only do their products help you lose weight, they also maintain your weight loss.

  115. Well, you probably don’t need this, given how many others have noticed and commented on your gift for writing, but that’s what I kept thinking as I read your piece — and this from someone who writes for a living. Sending tons of encouragement your way to keep on track with the PB as well as with your writing. Lots of folks with less talent than you have are doing it. Let go of those old lack-of-confidence tapes!

  116. Please start a Blog, I would follow you. It was a long read but I read every word and then shared it. You capture every part of what it’s like to be a “misfit” teen struggling with weight and other issues. Thank you for your story! You are inspiring!

    1. Oh GOD. Yeah, I used to get that a lot, to the point that I had a go-to sarcastic response about knee-pads ready at all times, and I had to accept that I will never again be able to wear a blue dress. Or a beret.

  117. I can’t believe I missed this post! When did I NOT read on a Friday!?
    Anyway, I found it when I was looking for something else today and I was overwhelmed by this story!
    To me, this was THE MOST inspirational story yet! Thank you for sharing! The fact that you don’t look like a super model or have 6-pack abs after 2.5 years didn’t stop you from enjoying all the other benefits of being primal. And you are finally enjoying your life!
    I wish you many more blessings!
    Congrats on your success!

  118. Awesome story! Thanks for sharing it. Your story has inspired me to try Primal for the first time as I have many of the same symptoms as you’ve had. I did want to ask you if you have ever had an antibody test done on your thyroid? I went for several years with the doctors all telling me my thyroid was fine even though I had a huge goiter. It seems they only go by T3, T4 tests in general which for me were fine. I finally found a doctor that ran an antibody test on it and discovered that I have Hashimoto’s an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. This might explain why you have problems losing weight, hair loss, as well as many of the other symptoms you listed. I wish you great blessings in your new life.

  119. wonderful! i too, do not have a six-pack success story but feel so good i will never go back to eating and living the way i did in the past…..i loved this success story as it shows that so many changes that happen when you go primal are internal…..

  120. Amazing story beautifully told! I laughed I cryed… I cheered for you throughout. I hope at almost a year later you are doing wonderfully and though I read these success stories to help motivate me to continue to eat primally, your story alone has meant the most to my overall phyche. I shall prevail… just like you did.

  121. I loved your story & your writing style!!!…how are you doing today?

    1. Hi Laura,

      You wrote your comment sometime in 2014- I am happy to say I am doing great, and think that maybe I should post an update. It was a rocky few years there- my hubby and I moved back to our hometown, he went back into the military, and it took awhile to adjust. But I am happy to say that after years of medical intervention, we are now parents- hilariously, by accident. Our little boy is now 7 months old, and mercifully is asleep so I have the time to type this!