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 Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
Primal eating was not a reality for me for a very long time, I did not even hear the words until I was 27. But flash back to when I was 12-years-old, and had just found out that I was 203.2lbs. I remember that number so clearly because of how hard I sobbed that day on the scale at the doctor’s office. When my 8th grade self saw that I had crossed in to 200+lbs, I immediately I lost any self worth. Media in the 90s made it clear that being fat was social destruction and meant that you were “less than.” Living in this culture of perfectionism, I continued to eat and cope with my “imperfections” with sugar addiction and exuberant amounts of terribly processed foods.
Upon entering adulthood, the word “nutrition” alone made me uncomfortable as I did not have any real understanding of what it meant. I was taught and believed that all fat was bad and grains were healthy for my heart, that carbs were evil but these “magical” grains were somehow exempt. When I moved out at 17, I weighed 300lbs and felt miserable. My diet consisted of lunchmeat sandwiches, egg salad, coffee and fast food. I hated my body and avoided mirrors.
I decided that I wanted to make a change. Over the next several years I took the “beat my body in to submission” approach and paired it with diet plan after diet plan. I even took diet pills (now recalled) until the side effects were too much to for me to excuse. I ended up losing 60lbs of weight but at the cost of my adrenal health. I traded in the sugar for coffee and was not sleeping nearly enough for how hard I was working and training.
In 2011, I met and married my wonderful husband. He had previously been a physical trainer, and he helped teach me a lot of what he knew. It helped a lot to understand what he shared with me, but we both still had questions about the science of nutrition and biology. Over the next 6 years, together we sought out the answer for our health and wellness concerns. One of the first sources we came across (after watching ALL the food documentaries ever) was your website. That year, I attended Paleocon online and felt like I was drinking from a firehose. We almost immediately became as primal as possible in our eating and also in our lifestyle and exercise. We both experienced the amazing results. Aside from losing weight and feeling stronger, we noticed our skin and digestive issues were much improved. We were also thinking more clearly, and our sleep was much improved.
In 2015, I gave birth to my son, and over the next year I gained back all of the weight I had lost. Postpartum depression and anxiety encompassed my every day, and I began to spiral in to unhealthy eating once again. By 2016, I was nearing 300lbs again and felt so ashamed of myself. I began to go to therapy regularly and was diagnosed with CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I began working diligently with my therapist to unpack the trauma and my body responded with anorexia nervosa, which can be a side effect of addressing trauma.
I did not have a dysmorphic issue, however. At the time, I was averted by any food and my throat would restrict if I attempted to swallow. After some time, I wasn’t able to to eat meat due to digestion. However, sticking to a primal way of eating at the time is what kept me out of the hospital when it was difficult to eat. I chose soft foods, and the blender was my bestie. My ability to eat improved, and my diet since then has mainly consisted of all organic Coconut Oil, Ghee, Avocados, Eggs & Sweet Potatoes and other vegetables and some fruits.
I have continued therapy and have stayed dedicated to the same diet with the occasional deviation from my favorite bakery that offers paleo/keto options. Over the past year, have watched my weight plummet (with my Dr.’s supervision) very quickly. I stand here now today 158lbs, and my mind is still catching up with the reality of my transformation. I lost over 100lbs this year.
The combination of therapy and sticking to a primal lifestyle has led me to where I am today. I am still getting to know the woman in the mirror, but I am thankful for where I am every single day. Thank you, Mark, for providing us with a launching pad for our primal journey and for being a constant resource of information and encouragement. You are a part of my success story.
The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.