It’s Not About the Number, It’s About Feeling Good

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!

real_life_stories_stories-1-2As you know only too well, I’ve been meaning to write this story for the longest time but never got around to doing it, but I finally have so here goes!

I have included two sets of pictures. The first two (below) are from before I started my fitness journey and I had not yet discovered Primal. These pictures were taken in January of 2013 when I weighed in at 195 lbs. Previously I was 225 lbs after my pregnancy and in a slump for the longest time but did not have the courage to take pictures at that size. I did start on the unhealthy track of HCG therapy and while this might not have been the best nutritional decision of my life it did in fact serve one purpose. It lit the fire! The weight was pouring off but at 195 lbs it all stopped working. This was when I made the decision to join the gym.

shannon before

When I signed up for the gym, I also signed up on to track my food. I discovered very quickly what I was doing wrong in terms of portion sizes, sugars and carbs. This made me change those aspects of my diet, which was a drastic improvement over previous years. It took a few months, but the changes that were taking place in (and out) of my body, were very clear. Not only was the weight coming off, but my skin started to clear, my left knee which I had surgery on at the age of 15 was no longer hurting, I didn’t need to wear my knee brace any more during workouts, I was becoming happier and my mood swings were disappearing, and finally, I was gaining some self confidence. Since I was a small child, my self confidence and general self love were pretty much non-existent. I always had a few extra pounds that I was walking around with, but I certainly wouldn’t say I was fat. However, I was always taller than everyone else and had a much larger frame. My adult height is 5’10”.

About six months after I started the gym, I stalled at 165 lbs. Then I discovered your wonderful site and dove head first into a primal lifestyle, which is what helped the remainder of the weight to come off. Within a year I had surpassed my goal weight of 155 lbs and actually made it down to 144 lbs. Looking back at those pictures now, I can see the weight loss, but also the frail and bad postured body I had punished for so long.

After the initial weight loss, I decided it was time to start a lifting program to work on building up some muscle tone. I found the Strong Lifts 5×5 program and started slowly with that. My body worked its way up to 155 lbs and eventually back to 165 lbs where it stayed for awhile. Up until the end of 2014, I was still around the 165 lbs mark but decided to switch up my workout program again to get a bit more definition on what I had already built.

I’ve been doing CrossFit now for just over six weeks (pictures below) and I’m enjoying the challenges it’s bringing me. My gym classes in the past two years had not really changed much, so throwing in CrossFit has been just what I was looking for. These days I’m around the 170 lb mark and thinking it’s not so bad to be here. Initially I was very worried about gaining any more weight, and truthfully I don’t want to gain any more, but I do realize it’s not the number, it’s about how my body works for me and how I feel in it.

shannon after

What this site has done for me is immeasurable in most ways. I’ve gained so much self confidence that for the first time in 11 years, I’ve been able to walk down my beautiful Barbados beaches in a bikini. I’ve been able to buy shorts and not worry about what others will think about “the fat chick in those shorts.” I’ve been able to go out with friends and take pictures without having to worry about if I look good or not. Mirrors are okay now and I don’t find myself avoiding them at all costs.

I’m still working on a few demons, but they are slowing being kicked out one by one. My husband and daughter have been immensely supportive, as has the rest of my family. I’ve still yet to convince anyone else to go all out Primal, but I have been able to encourage better food choices in most of those around me. The truth is that this journey never ends and I’ll continue to learn more from your site everyday. Thank you for your dedication and your wisdom. All of your hard work certainly has not been in vain.

Grok on!


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24 thoughts on “It’s Not About the Number, It’s About Feeling Good”

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  1. Love your story. Congrats. You look fabulous and sound just as good as you look. I am a similar size and went from 225 to 195. You have motivated me with a vision of what the next 25 pounds will do both externally and more importantly internally. Thanks for sharing.

  2. What an awesome story!

    “it’s not the number, it’s about how my body works for me and how I feel in it.” This is such a hard thing for so many, especially women, to grasp!

    Congrats Shannon!

  3. Wow! You look very fit and healthy! Congrats and thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you all so much for your kind words. It’s almost surreal to see the story up on the website, but I do hope to continue to inspire those around me!

  5. This is what every Friday story needs to look like. It’s honest and it shows what is really possible rather than best results possible. You look at these before and after pictures and you can say really nothing has changed in 2 years but that doesn’t matter she feels good and is healthy and that’s all that matters. Looking at before and after pictures and always watching the scale just makes you miserable.

  6. Sorry Ron Burgandy- I have to disagree. I can see what has changed from the before to the after photos. Shannon’s posture has changed immensely to my eye, and I think some of that comes from working out and good nutrition, and some of it comes from the feeling good part. Now she looks taut & strong, before she looked curvy and slumped. Completely agree though with the philosophy that the improvements in how you feel are the most important improvements you can make.

    Go Shannon – you look fabulous. I am always telling people that the biggest change for me has been how I feel and how my body functions – the weight loss is a secondary bonus that happened to come with it.

  7. Oh my gosh I think the before and after pics look SO incredibly different, you can see it all! Great story!!!

  8. Hi Shannon, not sure how old you are but in the first photo’s you look doughy and middle aged and in the second you look young, fit and vibrant. Fantastic work & keep working on those around you. Start the ripple!

  9. I agree Patrice. There are enormous differences in the two sets of photos. A fit healthy body is shining in the second set.
    As a 5’10” woman, I empathise with the focus on numbers and congratulate Shannon on her change in mindset as well as physique.
    I am inspired to do better, thank you!

  10. Love Friday’s for all these inspirational life stories.

    You are quite right. It is not a numbers game but how good you feel inside.

    When you do, it all shines on your body, your life and everyone you meet.
    (and everyone who reads your story)

    So Shine-on, Shann-on.

  11. What an inspiring story for the rest of us who wants to lose weight! Keep it up! Keep inspiring and motivating us to also achieve what you had achieved!

  12. I love this! I’m half an inch shorter than you and we have similar body shapes. I really fall down on the strength training side of things and there’s no Crossfit gym near me, but you’ve inspired me to add something into my routine. You can definitely see the difference between the before and afters, and you do look younger and more vibrant!

  13. Awesome story!
    I am also 5’10” but with a thinner frame and when I gain 15 lbs I feel awful.
    I also hang around the weight you posted 150-160 lbs.
    This weight seems to be normal for us taller gals.

    Glad you found MDA and are happier in life!
    Rock on.

  14. You look fabulous! It’s all about how YOU FEEL! Everything else is just noise (albeit loud noise at times) and will just make you stronger. Keep up the great work!

  15. You’ve done well. Fair dinkum, you look like Elle MacPherson in that bikini.