Never in a Million Years Did I Think…

For anyone that’s had the thought, “Never in a million years could I…”, these stories are for you. For any athlete looking to go Primal and improve performance, these stories are for you. For anyone that thinks the Primal Blueprint is best suited for men, these stories are for you. These two female fighters are strong. Primal strong. Read on for your weekly dose of inspiration, and then get out there and break your own million year misconceptions.

And if you have your own Primal Blueprint success story you’d like to share with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I can only keep publishing these each Friday as long as they keep coming in and I know you’re out there, so shoot me a line and we’ll work out the details. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!

Erica’s Success Story

I originally got into health and fitness in 2005 to fit into my wedding dress. My size 18 wedding dress.

Never in a million years did I think that sedentary, chubby, junk-food-loving ME would ever step into the ring as a featherweight boxer. Here is the story of my journey, and the role that Primal eating played.

* * *

I had made a daring choice: I picked out a beautiful wedding gown with a halter neckline. A beautiful BACKLESS wedding gown. I was not nearly as happy with my body as I would have liked, but I had plenty of time until the big day, and I figured that if I put my mind to it, I could shed the excess pounds. I decided to get serious about diet and exercise, once and for all.

I had read that 3500 calories equals roughly a pound of fat, so I sought to create a 500 calorie deficit per day in the hopes of losing a pound per week. The simplicity was a revelation for me. I found a caloric-needs calculator online, subtracted 500 from that, and signed up for a FitDay account immediately. I also joined a gym and started taking yoga and pilates classes, both of which were incredibly challenging to me at the time.

I enjoyed the wonderful honeymoon phase of diet and exercise, where you’re starting from zero and thus progress is nearly effortless. I consumed the typical dieter’s fare: rice cakes, sugar-free jello, baked-not-fried chips and crackers, frozen Lean Cuisine meals, and so forth, staying between 1300 and 1400 calories per day. Even though my exercise regimen was very light, since I was coming from a completely sedentary lifestyle, I started to see results. On my wedding day, while I was nowhere near my ideal body, I was very happy with the progress I had made and I felt good in my gown.

I still wanted to lose more weight, firm up, and improve my conditioning. I had experienced how good it feels to make a true lifestyle change: I had more confidence, more energy, and I just felt better. I started taking spinning classes and gradually swapped out the yoga and pilates for free weights. I scaled back a bit on the carbs and added in more protein. I could do physical activity like hiking and mountain biking without getting winded, and I started to see hints of muscle definition. My weight loss plateaued at a screeching halt, but I had expected this, as I heard this it inevitably happens as you become closer to your goal.

(From a funny retro photoshoot I did at the time)

My gym offered boxing-for-fitness classes, and I thought it would be fun to give it a try. I barely made it through the first class, because I was so exhausted, but I decided to stick with it and went on a weekly basis. There I ran suicides in a sea of pink, purple, and mauve Everlast gloves, and I pawed at the heavy bag without really knowing what I was doing. I was concerned about my lack of technique so I sought out a local trainer to improve my form. I figured I’d maybe do a lesson with him once a month; from the first time, I worked with him and his other adult clients three times per week. After improving my technique, I thought it would be fun to spar. After sparring, I wanted to compete. I guess that’s how it all happened; a gradual process in which I fell in love with the sport.

Just one problem: I was far too heavy for my height. At a diminutive five feet and four inches tall, I weighed 150 pounds. As I found in the corresponding weight class, I would be up against women who were much taller, stronger, and with a significant reach advantage. My coach and I agreed that I should compete in the 125 lb weight class, known as featherweight. It was a daunting task, but I wanted to compete so badly that I was willing to do whatever it took.

Well, I just could not lose the weight. I was training hard for 1-2 hours a day, four days a week. I did everything I knew to do. I scaled back on calories more and more. I logged every bite of food that went into my mouth. I weighed all of my portions on a gram scale. I ate whole foods and stuck to a 40/30/30 carb/protein/fat ratio. I chewed celery between meals in a futile effort to blunt the hunger that gnawed at my belly. My athletic performance suffered. I tried increasing calories but I still did not lose weight.

Simply cutting calories was enough to take me from overweight to “normal”. However, beyond that it was insufficient. My body simply did not want to let go of the extra fat that it would take to make me lean and athletic.

I recalled the height of the Atkins craze when my girlfriends and I had done a two-week experiment to see if you could really eat cream and bacon and lose weight. While I had done that in high school more as a joke than anything, the ease with which I had lost weight stuck with me and I kept wondering if it was perhaps the answer for me. I had read about Lyle McDonald’s targeted ketogenic diet (TKD), where athletes consume extra carbohydrates around training to fuel their performance but keep carbs low at other times. I decided to give it a go. I aimed for a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

All of a sudden, my body let go of the fat. Beyond the initial water weight drop, I was steadily losing 1-2 pounds per week. I desperately needed new clothes, but was afraid to buy more because I was still losing weight. Almost effortlessly, I lost the last 15-20 pounds. I still counted calories, but while I maintained a deficit, a very small one was sufficient to lose the weight. I was able to consume around 2000 calories per day and still lose. This was a very nice bonus in terms of satiety and fueling my athletic performance. I took up powerlifting in addition to boxing, as I wanted to be stronger than all the girls my size.

There was a part of me, though, that was somewhat disappointed that this was the answer to my problems. In making a lifestyle change, I had come to appreciate healthy foods and proper nutrition. I hated that ketogenic diets seemed to be all about hot dogs and mayonnaise. Community support had always been a huge help for me in any of my fitness endeavors and I couldn’t find like-minded people within the low-carb communities.

Enter Primal eating. A friend told me about The Primal Blueprint and I discovered MDA. I found forums, blogs, cookbooks, and websites comprised of people who didn’t want to subject their bodies to repeated insulin surges and blood sugar crashes — but they ATE VEGETABLES!! They appreciated a great broccoli recipe! As I am an avid cook, I appreciated finding recipes that I actually wanted to cook and felt good eating.

While I recognize that boxing (and the cardio that goes into training for boxing) isn’t exactly Primal-approved, I definitely think that if you have the will to fight and the drive to compete, this way of eating certainly fits in well. While I attribute my initial stages of weight loss to a reduction in calories, getting truly lean (at least for me personally) necessitated cutting carbs as well. Low-carbing helped me lose the weight, while Primal guidelines helped me maintain optimal health.

As a bonus, Primal eating makes weight maintenance a cinch by providing simple guidelines for food selection. Weight maintenance is typically much more difficult than weight loss — statistically, speaking, lots of people lose weight but few keep it off. I have maintained my weight loss from eating low-carb for almost two years. I rarely feel deprived. I acknowledge that some people “need” their bread and pasta and would be miserable without it. But personally, there are very few things that I truly miss. Generally, the starch is my least favorite part of a given dish. For example, if I want a pastrami sandwich, I’m really craving the meat and mustard, and I couldn’t care less about the bread. I’m just as happy to order it along with a side salad, discard the bread, and eat the filling with a fork and knife atop the salad. I like a lot of high-carb foods, but I also like a lot of low-carb foods, and as long as I’m eating something that I like I don’t feel deprived. For example, I like bagels and lox, but I also like lox, eggs and onions and if I’m eating the latter I don’t feel bad that I’m not eating the former. (Side note: can you tell that I’m Jewish from the pastrami and lox references?? 😉 ). I have an easy time eating at restaurants because I can always find a protein of some sort and a salad or veggies. I’m happy to eat a burger with no bun, French onion soup with no croutons, fajitas without tortillas, Eggs Benedict over grilled tomato slices instead of an English muffin, whitefish with celery sticks instead of bagel chips, and so on. I do have occasional “cheat” meals in terms of calories, but I still try to keep them low-carb. That being said, if I really want to eat something carby, I do. However, the times when I really yearn to have that pastry or pasta are few and far between.

People often ask how I have energy to box while eating very few carbohydrates. I keep my intake around 100 grams per day, with about half of that per workout and the rest of it from nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables. I usually get some glucose prior to my workouts in the form of Smarties candy or brown rice syrup; if I have time I might have some sweet potato. I have found that this is sufficient for fueling an intense workout. If necessary I may sip a sports drink during training. I make compromises in order to support athletic performance. I run, jump rope, box, lift weights, and do plyometric circuits on a weekly basis, and I train every day. I find that as long as I eat enough and get sufficient fat, I have plenty of energy.

I don’t know where boxing will take me, as I’m still working my way through the amateurs. But I believe strongly that I will eat this way for the rest of my life.

My blog: Stuff I Make My Husband
My site for women’s Olympic boxing: Get Them There

Sylvie’s Success Story

I’ve always been athletic. Growing up at the foothills of the Colorado mountains I lived an active and healthful lifestyle from the get-go and playing sports and spending time outdoors was the norm. In general I’ve always been healthy and have been at a steady and comfortable weight since high school. My story of success with going Primal is not one of losing weight and getting healthy, but rather one of being healthy and getting stronger.

Three years ago I began training in Muay Thai, a martial art and national sport of Thailand. I walk around at about 102 lbs and when I started training for my first fight, I dropped down to 99 lbs. This wasn’t desirable as the weight class that exists is a catch weight for “110 lbs and under.” For the majority of my fights I have been outweighed by my opponent by a good 5-10 lbs (weigh-in occurs the day before a fight, so someone dropping down to 110 lbs might be 115 lbs after rehydrating and eating the next day). I’ve been told innumerable times to “just gain weight,” but it’s not that easy for me. Gaining weight affects performance – I feel slower, like training in a weighted vest, even with only a few extra pounds.  Keep in mind that gaining 5 lbs is gaining 5% of my own weight! And it doesn’t keep; I would gain a pound or two only to see it disappear two days later.

About two months prior to my most recent fight I discovered the Primal Blueprint online, after finishing “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Taubes. My brother had changed his diet through the Taubes book and I was intrigued by how uncomplicated the Primal Blueprint diet appeared to be. Initially, I was interested in gaining energy because my workouts are numerous and intense, spaced out by long periods in commute that left me drained. Within two weeks on the Primal Blueprint diet I was no longer falling asleep on the train to and from the gym and had plenty of energy for my workouts. I found that a low GI snack right before training (like half of a baked sweet potato, half an avocado and some red meat) made training even better. I took a fight at 106 lbs, which is mostly a gesture toward getting my opponent to drop weight, knowing pretty well that I wouldn’t have to worry about the weigh-in at all, but as I kept on the diet I noticed that my weight went up on the scale without me “feeling” that I’d gained weight. My husband was shocked that I’d gained and told me I looked the same, if not leaner and my trainer told me I was hitting harder than ever before.

I got sick a month before the fight and couldn’t shake it. It was just a cold and I trained through it, but my sinuses and chest were closed up and I wasn’t able to do as much cardio as I normally would have. This is, incidentally, Primal. My wind for the fight was great, nonetheless. I powered through all three rounds without gassing and I was able to stand my ground and stay within striking range because of how solid I felt in my body. I weighed in at 105.5 lbs, my highest ever, and though I was still outsized I have never felt better before, during, or after a fight. I lost on decision but ultimately I think it was my best fight yet!

My Muay Thai Facebook page: Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu – Muay Thai

My blog: 8 Limbs

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70 thoughts on “Never in a Million Years Did I Think…”

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  1. So great to see female primal success stories!! Thanks for the Friday inspiration!

  2. Thanks to Mark for putting up my story, and in particular, letting me tell it and putting it up in completely unedited form 🙂

    I’ll be keeping an eye on the comments, so if anyone has questions about low-carb/primal eating for females, boxers, or female boxers, let me know.

    1. do you have special info your website? i train in muay thai and bjj.

    2. It was so awesome to see your story here. I found your blog a couple weeks ago and was curious to know more. Now I know! great job, you look terrific.

  3. Wow… Erica’s story is amazing and SO very inspiring!! Thanks so much for sharing this — it’s made my day 🙂

  4. Erica and Sylvia,

    You both are awesome badass. And slightly terrifying, in a beautiful way. You successes are incredibly admirable 🙂

  5. These stories really are inspiring, but the thing that captured me was the wedding picture. I absolutely love how happy and beautiful Erica’s face is on her wedding day.

  6. Love the stories! We, of the overweight persuasion, usually concentrate on the benefits of this lifestyle to achieving the optimal weight from on high. These are examples of what it can do from the other side of things. Although, I’m not sure why boxing isn’t Primal, lol. I adore sparring with my husband, though it’s as much wrestling as boxing with us, and I would be interested to try it in a more organized setting with other people at some point. I do have a back injury/damage from a long time ago that I need to be mindful of when choosing a sport, but these stories have given me something to strive for on my way to lean & mean. 😀

  7. Erica. I’m in inspired! I’m at 5’3″ on a good day ;), and at 148. I’ve been an athlete since I was a kid (mainly karate), so therefore I have an athletic build but could never shake the last of the 15 or so pounds to lean up my thighs and lower midsection. You have inspired me to get off my bum and jump back into this full force!

    When you were in the process of losing weight, what was your carb and calorie intake?

    In a pinch, with minimal foods to choose from, what is your choice of “snack” to boost you carb intake/energy before a work out?

    Mark, thank you for posting 2 wonderful stories about 2 wonderful women!
    Grok on Ya’ll!

    1. I’m sorry, also forgot to ask. What about protein shakes? Yay or nay?

    2. Hey,

      I was eating about 1800-2000 calories/day when I was losing weight, but I also exercise a LOT. In the beginning stages of low-carbing, I didn’t count calories at all.

      I just posted my favorite pre-workout snack on my blog 🙂 In a true pinch I will get Smarties (pure dextrose) or SweeTarts (dextrose and maltodextrin) from a convenience store. They are the same thing as energy gels, only cheaper! In a real pinch I might eat half a Clif bar, but I try to avoid those because of the soy content. I prefer starches or dextrose (glucose) over fructose-based carb sources for periworkout.

      But for the most part, as long as I eat enough fat in my normal diet I have plenty of energy. I remember reading (and I can’t for the life of me find the study) that we only *need* carbs when we exercise at >= 65% of our max heart rate, so it’s more for the short, sprint-like bursts of energy that I like to have some carbs.

      I use protein powder more as a fun ingredient in baking and desserts, but I rarely drink shakes. I find that by eating primal, I incidentally get plenty of protein in my diet.

  8. Thanx Erica for your blog! I went through it real fast and am loving the revisions of old favorites like pizza and crab cakes! Plus, when it comes time for birthdays and holidays I’ll definately be going to your blog for sugary treat alternatives (especially for my “sugar-free” addicted diabetics FIL)!

    Congrats to both of you amazing women!

  9. Great work ladies! Love it. And hubba-hubba at the retro photo 😉

  10. I wouldn’t say boxing is, “Not primal.” I think fighting, martial arts, and self-defense have always been a part of human biology/gene expression.

    1. Hey, sorry I should have been more specific. I was referring more to the training as a whole, which (at least for the boxers I know, myself included) involves a lot of chronic cardio and exercise volume that would qualify (by primal standards) as “overtraining”. But not the act of boxing itself!

  11. This is great stuff. I have been a fan of Erica’s for months now (recipes) and I will go out and support Sylvie if she fights here in Colorado. I never thought that I would find women who fight so damned attractive. LOL.

  12. Erica and Sylvia,

    Congratulations on your successful journeys! You look absolutely radiant. In our culture that too often equates femininity with frailty, how refreshing to learn from those who have discovered their true identities as strong women.

    Your enthusiasm for your sports demonstrates that it is not enough simply to set a fitness goal and grind away at it. A person must discover the activities she truly loves. With her whole body and soul recruited for the task, the greatest transformations are possible.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  13. Great job both of you! So inspiring! I love reading the Friday sucess stories!

  14. These are very interesting stories and congratulations to Erica and Sylvie on their athleticism. Long may it continue.

    I, too, while not as tiny as Sylvie, have noticed that I’m getting smaller while gaining weight. I didn’t really believe my eyes until I read that above.

    I’m not training that hard by my standards and certainly nothing like Sylvie is but I’m trimmer and am fitting in clothes that I normally need to lose another 7 or so pounds to get in.

    Hmmm, this Primal thing really is a conundrum for CW thinking…Kind of blows the mind.

  15. I LOVE these stories! Although I have found myself at a weight-loss plateau as well, I have actually been losing inches steadily. Others would write about that but I never thought it would be true for me!

    So, don’t forget to measure yourself – it can be encouragement just when you need it. 🙂

  16. Wow, thanks everyone for the support, and again to Mark for this website and the chance to share.

    Erica, I’ve been tooling around on your blog for a month now and am doubly excited to peruse more thoroughly now that I’ve read your story. I find it really interesting, in my own journey, how using your body as an instrument in sports gives the diet/exercise obsession a different flavor. I will receive a lot of comments at my work from customers about how I “must work out” because my arms are strong, and honestly I feel weird about the comment/complement. It’s not that I don’t like how I look, but it’s more that my body is this way for a PURPOSE, as a function of the art form, rather than purely aesthetic. Take care of your body so that it takes care of you in the ring, you know?
    Also, are you doing the Gloves this year?

    1. I will be at regional open Golden Gloves as well as women’s national GG 🙂 Will I see you there??

      1. I’m in NY and won’t be in this year’s tournament, but I’d love to do it next year. Really, really wish you well in the competitions! What’s your region?

  17. Wonderful stories 🙂
    As for questions, well I just want to know how to lose weight even on primal lol. The answer to that remains a mystery to me! But it’s pretty depressing being 240lbs 🙁

  18. These kinds of transformation stories never get old…..kudos to both of you! Now, I’m off to lunch: hearing of pastrami just threw me over the edge! I heart pastrami!!!

  19. SO cool! I LOOOOOVE martial arts. I used to compete, but now I enjoy teaching children’s karate/kickboxing classes. Great job ladies!!

  20. Oh my God.. These are some inspirational stories!! Erica, you look amazing, and I love your wedding day picture as well!! As someone who is currently a size 14-16, I have never really imagined being able to get down to a really healthy weight.. I thought with my body and genes, being like a size 8 would be my ideal.. But this is super exciting, I want to get lean like you ladies!!

  21. What great stories!

    @Sylvie Re: “I find it really interesting, in my own journey, how using your body as an instrument in sports gives the diet/exercise obsession a different flavor.” I feel EXACTLY the same way. It’s interesting, I have a lot of mental issues that I have had to deal with and release (or am still working on lol!) over the years with regards to weight and body image (what can I say, I am a former ballerina, that shit sticks with you!) and in many ways I think my difficulty getting below a certain weight/size is highly influenced by by subconcious desire NOT to change my body to please anyone else. Which is why I am sooooo excited about getting invovled in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lately, it’s just a completely different animal in how I think ofmy body when I regard it in terms of FUNCTION versus AESTHETICS. It’s *also* the only time (in just starting training) where I’ve thought to myself DAMN I wish I weighed more! And this is at about 140, at 5’2″. But when you’re grappling with a guy who’s got at least 40 pounds on you, not to mention several inches, GEEZ do I wish I weighed more lol!

    1. That’s awesome. It’s weird to be so focused on weight, but in a very different way… and yet still be a western woman who is socially focused on weight and body image in a typical way. Boo and hiss.
      I’m happy to hear you feel me with this; it’s a good feeling 🙂

  22. Ladies – thank you for sharing your stories. I’m into Yang style Tai Chi – the hurting and healing version. I’ve been stuck on a plateau for almost six months, and seeing both of you has given me the kick in the butt to get moving again, both physically and eating wise.

    Keep up the good work, and thanks for the inspiration!

  23. I have huge respect for these girls who do boxing and kickboxing – guys are butt ugly anyway but girls have something to lose!

  24. Wow!!! This story is kick ass. Oops can I say Kick Ass???

  25. Awesome work, both of you! This may inspire me to finally start the martial arts class I’ve been thinking about for several years . . .

  26. Wow! Two gorgeous, STRONG, inspiring women! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Thanks for the stories ladies!! I love the Friday inspirational stories.

    @Sylvie I can totally relate to your story!! I have always been a small skinny person, and mainly started Primal because I wanted to be healthy and strong…. I love your comment about wanting your body to have a purpose, not just to look a certain way…. I want my body bo be useful as I get older and to be able to have fun and “play” without falling apart. I feel alot stronger than ever, and have lost most of my “skinny fat” and feel absolutely great!

  28. Erica & Sylvia — way to GO!!! I am really inspired, plus love being introduced to Erica’s blog and more fabulous primal recipes. I have just started a bit of boxing myself at age, uh, 60 (or so…) and am stunned at how much I love it already. Great to see that there are other “little girls” out there discovering and cultivating their inner strong primal fighter selves.

  29. Hey ladies, congrats! Both of your stories are inspirational to me. I am in the over weight camp and using primal blueprint as a way to get back to karate. My Sensei said I couldn’t get back on the dojo floor until I lost about 100lbs (gained it due to an extended illness). Seeing both of your stories is such an encouragement to me. Thanks!!!

  30. Love these stories – especially with tips on how to ‘adapt’ a Primal lifestyle for people who want to (over?)train in a specific sport. I am someone who loves to keep moving and lifting, far more than is prescribed in PB, but I don’t want to change to a typical high carb athletes diet – this has some great tips 😀

  31. Young ladies, inspiring. To put your all into a sport that snuck up on you is an amazing story. Best of Luck, thought it appears you make your own.

  32. Good job ladies, awesome stories. Love LOVE LOVE the female strength you both encompass, very inspiring 🙂

  33. Love Erica’s before and after photos. In the first you’re sitting on some dude’s lap looking sheepish. In the after, you are ripped, powerful and throwing a punch. Sweet 😀

  34. Cheers–you ladies are amazing!

    Number 2398432985892342385 to LOVE Primal living: STRONG gorgeous women celebrated, no pasty twigs here.

  35. LOVE this post! Erica, I had previously found your blog and have made a few of your recipes. I’m truly inspired after reading your story and it’s giving me ideas of how I want to write mine and submit it. I think I’m almost ready! Not only have I been working at loosing weight, but I want to be strong and healthy. Thanks to both of you for sharing your story!

  36. Hi Erica, Great story, way to go both of you!
    But I wanted to ask Erica: Are you sure about the syrup or whatever, before training? I mean – obviously you train a lot harder than I do, but when I eat something sugary like a piece of dark chocolate before training, a bit into the training I feel very, very shaky and sick, like my blood sugar is crashing.
    Here’s the kicker: If I train fasted or after a regular meal this doesn’t happen. I can, apparently, switch to burning fats or somehow mobilize a steady source of glucose from my liver or muscles or whatever.
    But if it works for you … well done.

    1. Hey,

      Well, first off, I snack on dark chocolate on a daily basis outside of training, and I never experience a palpable blood sugar crash from it. So I think it’s very likely that your body is even more sensitive to sugar than mine is!

      Re: brown rice syrup, I usually make it into little homemade energy bars which also include fat (I use cashew butter as the base) so that might help a bit. I generally get some fat before training along with carbs.

      I’m not sure what kind of training you do, but I only eat pre-workout simple carbs if I know I’m going to be doing sprint-like bursts of high-intensity work that kicks my heart rate way up, as carbs are pretty necessary at that point. If I’m just going to be lifting weights or doing a 5K run, I just eat a tiny bit of sugar (usually a single roll of Smarties or 3 SweeTarts). Also, exercise temporarily improves insulin sensitivity so carbs tend to affect me differently when I get them periworkout.

      But all that being said, every body is different and I encourage all Primal athletes to experiment and see what works for them!

      1. I don’t work out all that hard – I play recreational badminton against my husband, and while it’s great fun for both of us, I won’t compare it to boxing 😀
        I just wanted to raise the issue – the smarties definitely would make me ill.

  37. Fascinating!
    Women with muscles are beutiful.
    You ladies are simply amazing. Thanks for sharing:)

  38. am i the only one here who thinks this whole idea falls victim to a very serious naturalistic fallacy? Because Grok ate this way and acted this way, thus it is best for humans to do today? We used to eat this way, thus we should now? hmmm….any other philosophy majors in the house?

  39. Erica and Sylvie, thank you, thank you a million times over! I don’t care anymore if I lose the weight because I want the muscle. I getting stronger every day with my workouts and that’s my goal now. Lean, mean (well, true sweetness really) muscle machine. You both are so inspiring to me to just keep having fun with what I am doing and pushing it until I get what I want! Thanks, Mark, for passing this all along.

  40. THOSE ARMS!!

    Erica’s arms, in the pink shirt picture – GORGEOUS. So strong, yet curvy and womanly….very inspiring, ladies!

  41. Err… she looks a heck of a lot healthier, more attractive, and feminine in the wedding and “retro” shots than in the one below it… is it really the goal to become some kind of beanpole, flatchested, muscular type? what man is attracted to that?