April 27 2012

Not Your Typical Before and Afters

By Guest
118 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’ve been debating writing this for quite some time, as I’m pretty shy when It comes to sharing personal details about myself. But if I can inspire just a single person with my story and spread the good word even a little bit more, then it’s well worth sharing. So thank you Mark for all that you do and for allowing me a platform to spread my not so typical journey to health with others.

Background

As a young girl, with a family of four brothers, food was quick, cheap, and decently healthy. Lots of big casseroles and pasta dishes, some veggies, not much meat, cereal for breakfast, packed lunches for school, and rarely any fast food. Despite a somewhat standard American diet, I was a thriving, happy, and active kid.

I took an interest in health at a young age; around 11 years old I started going on jogs to get in shape for my competitive skating team. I did an agility training camp in the summer months for many years (yay sprinting!), and figure skated between 2-5 times a week for about 10 solid years. I also managed to squeeze in soccer, softball, basketball, and tons of outdoor playing time in between it all. To say I was active was a bit of an understatement, and I loved every sweaty second of it.

By the time I hit high school I was still just as active and eating “healthy”; oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, apple and peanut butter for snack, soup and salad with some meat for lunch, big salads with some protein for dinner, with some snacking in between it all. Although I was never overweight before, I lost some weight my senior year eating this way and felt pretty good despite usually being hungry.

Where Things Went Wrong

I continued down this “healthy” eating path until it went a little too far. I slowly slipped into a vegetarian lifestyle when I moved out on my own, mostly out of restriction but also convincing myself it was a much healthier lifestyle. That, with a combination of too little sleep and too much drinking, wound up with me having mono heading into my freshman year at college. I was the thinnest I had ever been, and friends and family were concerned.

But I continued eating this way for some time. No meat, very little fat, processed snacks, soy milk, veggies, beans – honestly I can barely remember what I survived off of. I just remember being hungry, having several anxiety attacks, sleeping AWFUL every night (out of hunger), being depressed, having eczema, dry patchy skin, no period, a very slow heart rate and very low blood pressure which frightened me, and I was constantly cold… The list could go on and on. My body was at an all time low.

Here I am my freshman year in the white; my lowest weight, and lowest level of health I’ve ever been (symbolically holding a packet of Crystal Light drink mix). For about two years my body remained at a low weight and I had most of those symptoms on and off.

Turning Point

My junior year of college things began to change. After an appointment with my doctor, discussing some symptoms (GI issues) and low iron levels, we considered food intolerances. I decided to cut out gluten to see what affect it had on me, and that very day decided to add meat back into my diet, after a 3-year hiatus. It was Thanksgiving break, so no better time than a good home cooked meal to kick things off. I didn’t exactly hit the ground running with this diet, it was tough, but I stuck it out (with the typical gluten free processed foods taking a front row seat of course). But pretty shortly after, my skin (acne) seriously cleared up, the eczema on my eye went away, and stomach issues I was having were subsiding.

I started getting more into proteins, a little fat, and more whole foods as the months ticked by. I was also training for my first marathon, so I took an interest in fueling properly. Around this time is when I stumbled on MDA. I remember reading article after article very late into the night and being amazed by this community and lifestyle that I had never heard of before.

My Primal transition was a very slow one. I wasn’t totally convinced on the fat thing right away. And I was a broke college student, so grass fed beef and leg of lamb weren’t exactly high on my grocery list. But over the course of a year I made small changes, and my health slowly improved along with these changes. I completed my first marathon in 4:07 feeling great, barely needing much sugar along the way and never hitting the wall. I also pretty much quit running (long distances) the moment my foot crossed the finish line.

That brings me to this past year, senior year of college. I got into weightlifting, and Crossfitting, and hung up my running sneakers. I continue to make small changes all the time; the peanut butter to almond butter took me a while. And within the past few months I’ve gotten even more into highly nutritious foods like fermented veggies, organs, sardines etc. I work hard as a part time waitress on top of classes so I can afford this lifestyle that makes me feel amazing. I’m still learning and tweaking everyday, but my recent doctors visit proved to me that everything is right on track:

My iron levels were up, my HDL was one of the highest my doctor has seen in her practice at 89 mg/dl, triglycerides were 48 mg/dl, LDL 117mg/dl and my body seemed to naturally put back on the weight it needed to.

But beyond the numbers, I’m happier than ever and I feel alive again. My skin is great, I have amazing energy, no anxiety, no depression, core temperature is normal, regular menstrual cycle, and tamed blood sugar and hunger levels… the list could once again go on and on. I don’t claim to be perfect; I live by my own 85/15 rule that seems to feel right for my body; I enjoy drinks with friends occasionally and probably eat more sweet potatoes than you… but I’m a hell of a lot better off than I’ve ever been before.

Here I am this past winter; a healthier weight, and enjoying life. Since then, and since finding Crossfit, I’ve toned up even more, although I don’t have a great photo to share.

I’m not your typical Primal success story; I didn’t go from obese to petite, and my cholesterol was never sky high. But I hope others can find some inspiration or relate to my story in a different way. The Primal lifestyle is not always about losing. It can be about gaining too; gaining health, happiness, and yes, even weight when you need to.

I’ve been writing a blog now, KatieDid, for about a year and it follows my Primal transition while sharing my love for photography, gluten-free recipes, love of Crossfit and fitness, and everyday life. Please stop by and say hi! (oh and if you’re looking to fill a job with a recent college grad with a major in exercise science, enthusiastic about life, look no further 😉 )

So thanks again, Mark, for building up a community of such smart, enthusiastic, healthy, and passionate people; I’m proud to be a part of it!

Katie

TAGS:  guest post

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

118 thoughts on “Not Your Typical Before and Afters”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Katie, I love how “unconventional” success stories keep us focused on the big picture: feeling good and being healthy!

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!

  2. Thanks for sharing your story! I agree that it is good to hear a range of starting points– they all seem to end the same though, don’t they? Radiant health, happiness, and gratitude. Wonderful!

  3. Yes. Thanks for sharing. The beauty of this blog is that it’s for everyone. And I believe everyone who follows the primal way of life benefits in one way or another. It’s wonderful that we’re all so diverse, yet have this connection we can share,encourage,and rejoice in. Your “before” and “after” pictures will surely help another struggling potential devotee. You healthy beauty is inspiring.

  4. Hey Katie, I’ve seen you around. 🙂 I am similar to you, slim but not necessarily healthy and I am constantly looking to improve my health so I totally relate to your story. Congratulations, great that you found this so young in life.

  5. Make sure your LDL calculations were done using the Iranian formula.

    Looking great!

  6. You looked sick in that first picture, but now you look like a healthy, vibrant, and beautiful woman. Congratulations on completing the first part of the journey. Keep it up!

  7. reminiscent of Lierre Keith’s story in her incredible book, “The Vegetarian Myth”.

    a book i recommend to EVERYONE, vegetarian, primal, or neither…

  8. Great story Katie and you look amazing! Your write-up was worth it and it’s great to share such a story.

    You’ve given me inspiration to regain my healthy habits – Easter break slowed me down a bit and I had a huge sugar binge last week. Of course I feel terrible now and I have skin issues too (mild acne), but I’m getting back on track. (Recently purchased both of Mark’s books and every recipe I’ve tried has been a success! – It’s like, who needs sugar now, it taste disgusting!)

    I’m so pleased for you, as a student on a small budget I know where you are coming from, but I guess you just have to try your best. Seriously, I’m so happy for you right now, as I type this post looking at how glowing and radiant you are 🙂

    Congrats on your graduation and I wish you a successful career doing something you clear enjoy.

    Nathan

  9. Katie, thank you so much for sharing. A very close frined of mine is in the same boat you’ve been in before your Primal transition.
    I will be sharing your story with her.

  10. Your story is excellent! Not everyone turns to Primal/Paleo for weight loss (myself included), and in fact, I would argue that for many this is not the driving force. Health issues beyond the scale and waist size are usually the catalyst for change. Congratulations on finding what works for you!

    1. Christopher,

      I agree with you re: the driving force. Although I am significantly overweight, I have shifted to primal/paleo because I felt bad every day of my life. Headaches and migraines, joint pain, back pain, acne, chronic fatigue… nothing really serious, just a lot of little “blah” feelings that totalled up to misery. I have been primal about 5 weeks now and I feel so much better! I am losing weight, but more than that, I am gaining health and vitality, really a zest for living I haven’t felt since I was a child! I never was totally sold on “looks are everything”, but feeling great is a powerful motivator and supreme driving force!

  11. A young person with the smarts to pay attention to what their body is telling them and not listen to conventional wisdom – CEO’s hire this woman before you lose her to the competition!

  12. Congratulations, thanks for the inspirational story, you look radiant!

  13. Wow, Wow, Wow!! I love the Friday posts as they are always so inspirational. Love to see how well you’re doing Katie and the fact you’re blogging to get the info out there to others. Great work 🙂

  14. Katie, I think it is great that you took charge of yourself, and make the necessery changes. To many people think that having health problems is just “bad luck”…but you did not play that game, and looked elswhere for answers..Congrats!
    Milt

  15. Great job, Katie! You look amazing and even though my issue is losing weight now, your first picture reminded me of myself in high school. Way too thin and I was sick ALL the time! It took me a lot longer to find MDA, but I am glad we both did? Congratulations on the great health!

  16. Katie – Thank you for sharing your story! I love hearing about people’s amazing weight loss, but I also love hearing about how living the Primal lifestyle improves people’s health! You’re a great inspiration.

  17. I wish it was friday every day! Love these stories. Well done and good luck with your first job!

  18. Sometimes we focus too much on the aesthetics of change that the Primal lifestyle produces but here’s another example of the amazing health benefits derived from this way of life.

    Wonderful job Katie. You look great and more importantly I’m glad you’re feeling great (and the health is ever improving)!!

    Great job!!

  19. I’m glad you wrote this, Katie – your story has already inspired me! As a recent college grad, do you have any advice for staying primal for someone heading into college?

    1. I do. Put as much effort as you can into drowning out the arrogant, know-it-all mentality of the ‘academics’ you will find in large numbers there. Vegetarianism, veganism, ‘social responsibility’, etc are just a few examples of the elitist highbrow junk you will be assaulted by at all times on many college campuses. You will be told that these ideas are backed by science by ‘scientists’ who never spent a day doing real science but rather sell their scientific conclusions to anyone offering grant money. You will be told these things are morally righteous by people who live off the productivity of others. And people who pound ‘evolution’ junkscience into your head will even deny that this is the diet we evolved on for millions of years.

      College campuses are hotbeds for people looking to indoctrinate kids with limited perspective and an eagerness to expand their minds, into supporting any number of disingenuous schemes for their own benefit. I’d bet my life that much of the misinformation and disinformation that led Katie down the wrong nutritional path came from such sources. There are many competing and well funded agendas who endeavor to disingenuously shape people’s worldview to best suit their ends. College campuses are their recruiting offices and nutrition is one of the biggest ‘gateway’ topics used to do it.

      Beware the academics as you head off to college. And if your caution leads you to swear off college completely, so much the better.

  20. Your story is SO MUCH like mine!!! I’m a senior in high school. I was never very active, but was vegetarian and then vegan for a while, super skinny, no period, anxiety issues, anemic, and developed GI problems. Unfortunately mine were a little more severe (ulcerative colitis), and even primal couldn’t cure it, so I had my colon removed last summer and haven’t gotten rid of all those symptoms yet. I’m still hopeful though, and one thing that has improved is my blood sugar! I hope my story will end like yours someday soon (:

  21. Katie– what an incredible transition to the only way to eat!

    I wish all those people I know who are vegans and look pale and sickly would read your story and delve into MDA and the primal like you did!

    Congrats!

  22. WOW, what a result! you look amazing and healthy keep up the good work. 🙂

  23. This post is great. So is your transformation and your blog, that I follow on a daily basis.
    Thanks a lot for your inspiration!

  24. Great story!
    I can relate to your development, i too went through some years on an almost vegetarian diet when i started high school. That made me far too skinny. Paleo/primal has also fixed this for me + greater energy levels, no cold hands and just generally happier. Amazing what food can do to you, eh?
    I really used to think it was just ‘some stuff that went into the body’ but good nutrition can really alter your mood radically. Especially when you’re coming from a vegetarian diet.

  25. I KNEW that face was familiar! Already know your blog and LOVE it!

  26. I look forward to the Friday success stories every week and it was a joy to read all that you gained through the primal lifestyle. You have a beautiful story and you look amazing in your picture! Congrats and keep up the good work!

  27. This is a good one to send to my skinny vegan friends who have dandruff and eczema… thank you! Also, I’m loving the recipes!

  28. AHH! Congrats Katie. I already heard you’re story from your blog. But it’s so awesome to see you on Mark’s Daily Apple 🙂

  29. The Crystal Light, dorm room, and skinny arms stopped me dead – deja vu. In the late 80’s grape Crystal Light was a deep-dark purple that left a hot pink stain on everything in the dorm room, my clothes, and around my mouth, no matter how careful I was. Congrats on getting it all together so young! Wish I knew then what I know now…

    1. Apparently lots of salmon, even wild ones that are kept alive for a couple weeks after being caught, are fed food pebbles with artificial colour in them that actaully dyes the meat.

  30. Your picture is lovely! This is a beautiful story. Congrats on figuring this out so young in life.

  31. Katie – you look fabulous – well done you!

    And a great example of applying an 85/15 rule, getting all the benefits and having a great time too!

  32. No more crystal light I take it?
    You look very good, eat all the sweet potatoes you want Katie – given your activity level I think it is for the best.

  33. “I also pretty much quit running (long distances) the moment my foot crossed the finish line.”

    That’s so funny.

    Great job!

  34. Great Job! There are plenty of Jobs in the field here in Florida.

  35. Awesome. As a skinny fat person myself I really appreciate your story and empathise with many aspects. Thank you for sharing your experience and your enthusiasm.

  36. Good stuff.
    At first when I started reading MDA I skipped all the success stories, thinking I was being wiser using my internet time for other articles (after all, there’s so much to read here that about 15 months since I stumbled onto MDA I have yet to read every post), but recently I’ve been reading them and am feeling more inspired for it.

  37. You look so wonderfully healthier & happier in that second picture! Great job! Thank you so much for sharing…

  38. Great story – thanks for sharing it! Everyone has a different path and I’m sure you’ll reach someone new with your experiences. You look great and three cheers for your success! Best wishes for the future. 🙂

  39. Stunning transformation! I love that you adapted the Primal lifestyle as a young college student. You are headed down a healthy life path. I also checked out your blog, and it has made my favorites list.

    Thanks, Mark for sharing this story!

  40. Katie- thanks so much for sharing your story! I was a vegetarian for many years, so I found your post to be very relatable. I only recently started the transition to a primal lifestyle and can barely believe the difference! I had no idea that so many of my physical and emotional issues were linked to my former diet. I was so convinced in the healthiness of my eating habits that I was in denial that the problems were even there. It wasn’t until I started reading about the primal diet that I started to doubt myself. And, of course, the real proof was in the pudding – as soon as I changed my eating, I felt so much better right away that it made it impossible to ignore all the issues that my previous choices had been facilitating. So, thank you again for posting b/c it is stories like yours that help others to start down the primal path!

  41. You look so strong! Your amazing story will help keep me on track. Thanks, and keep it up!

  42. I’d just like to say that compared to your first picture, you look absolutely gorgeous now. Just, WOW.

  43. Beautiful story, Katie. You look so healthy and happy in the second pic. I too know the delusional thoughts and rationalizations that accompany severe restriction, even as a male; for a year I was a practicing vegetarian and got down to a ridiculously low weight, was tired, anemic, and miserable. I learned to love life again, and was able to regain my strength and vigor with the assistance of a primal lifestyle. Woohoo, attack life with gusto!

  44. Congratulations! Great story! You look healthy and vibrant. Many of us are primal for health, not weight loss. Keep it up! Checking out your blog right now..

  45. What I love about the primal diet is that it’s not a diet for losing weight or gaining weight exclusively, it’s a lifestyle that helps you attain your optimal weight, whether that’s a net loss or gain. It’s like autopilot for health!

  46. Great job, Katie! I bet your “after-after” pictures are even more beautiful than your Christmas smile!

  47. You look radiant in you “after” photo. Great job of getting healthy! I had a similar problem when I was in my 20’s (30 years ago now – ouch!) and wish I had MDA to pick me up then. Great to see your results:)

  48. Katie, you look beautiful! Good for you! And now I”m off to visit your blog! 🙂

  49. Totally awesome changes. You looked gaunt and unhealthy before and radiant after. Anorexia is common in young girls and I am hoping MDA and the bloggers get that a rigid diet that restricts calories to the end that absence of periods and compromised health is not the way to go. Beautiful after pic. I hope that the lack of response to this so far does NOT indicate a total lack of getting it.( Where are you MDA people?) You go girl.

    1. Thank you so much connie! There are a few pages of incredibly supportive and uplifting comments before yours also that maybe you didn’t see. I’m so grateful for everyone’s kind words.

    2. Just so you know – I use Google Chrome pretty much exclusively and for some reaosn, not all the comments post right away. In fact, some of the comments don’t post until the next day. If I want to see the latest and greatest updated commets, I log in on FireFox.

      Meanwhile, on Firefox, the comments seem to post ASAP. (I don’t use IE so can’t give an opinion on it.) Not sure what’s going on — can anyone else shed some light on this????

      1. I can’t shed any light – but I can see the comments from my Mac (using Safari) straight away, but comments are not visible from my PC (Internet Explorer) until much later. I had thought it might be because I’ve replied to posts via the Mac; my hypothesis had been that registered commenters see replies first? But maybe it is the browser? (I’ll have to try accessing MDA from the PC using Firefox…)

        1. My guess would be that MSIE isn’t **checking the BLOG itself** for the latest version (with newer comments), but is merely “serving” you an (earlier) copy that hadn’t yet been updated. By ALL means — drop MSIE…. doesn’t matter so much what you use in its place (I like Firefox, many prefer Chrome)… but MSIE is not yet ready for public use. {frown}

          (And, yes, that’s probably unfairly harsh, but I’ve struggled with (the non-standards-based and hard to use) MSIE (I’m a web designer) for a decade. HATE HATE HATE it!!)

  50. hey Katie, theres so much emphasis on losing weight these days (understandably) that people forget that you can come from the other end of the scales…you just made that point perfectly, you look amazing!!

  51. It’s just amazing what the Primal Blueprint can do for you. I’ve had to switch to an anti-inflammatory diet because of gastritis and eating primal fits right into that. I can see my health improving every single day!

  52. What a smart, beautiful young lady! I’m so happy that you gained control of your health this early in life. You’re miles ahead in the game of life and blazing a trail for others to follow. Oorah!

  53. Great story! You look awesome. I have also experienced the benefits of skin improvement since embracing Primal. Keep up the good work.

  54. What a great inspiration you are Katie! I am so glad you found your health!

  55. Thanks for sharing your story Katie! You look so vibrant and healthy in the holiday photo 🙂 Wonderful story.

  56. Hey you look really awesome now and I am happy for your transformation 😀 keep up the good work Katie!

  57. I don’t do paleo. I eat an organic non processed whole grain diet with lots of veggies, fruits, dairy and meat……and my ldl was 89 with triglycerides as 35. So I don’t think the numbers Katie reported are the ‘paleo diet’ talking. I’m sorry, but I’m not convinced.

    1. Keep it up for ten years, and report back. Your body can fight your diet for a long time before giving out.

      But, also, you shouldn’t be convinced by one anecdote (“observational study”). Try reading EVERY Friday for the past-however-long Mark has been treating us to success stories, and see if the numbers don’t become more persuasive. Then read the science, and find out why

      1. As a matter of fact, I have been reading his posts. I think I went as far back as 8 – 10 months and read almost all the posts. I’m still not convinced.
        I have been eating like for the past 30 years of my life 🙂
        I forgot to mention, I hadn’t worked out in almost a year when my blood work was done and everything was still good.
        In my opinion, eating real food, ie leaving processed stuff, is all it takes to get to being healthy.

  58. congrats! you look great and your msg is one that many young women need to hear…

  59. I’m glad you feel so much better. It’s nice to have a story based on health more than weight!

  60. its wild how different diets work for different people. I used to eat primal and had terrible acne and bad digestion until I switched to a vegan diet over 6 months ago. Now I feel like a super human!

    1. I use to eat whole grain, soy, beans……until a year & 1/2 ago. I’ve never felt better, looked better……I followed CW for 45 years, & had nothing but intestinal issues, sugar cravings, low energy & weight gain. Primal’s the way to go. It’s what the human body needs

  61. There’s no such thing as a “conventional” success story. Every one I’ve read here is very unique, and yours shows how PBP can help those on the other side of the weight issue than some of us (like myself).

  62. Katie, Thanks for sharing your story. Mine is nearly identical…it’s comforting to know we’re never alone in our journeys and we never stop learning, growing, changing, and bettering ourselves. My days are filled with new adventures, work outs, recipes, and inspiring moments. I’m a nurse and have learned to appreciate my health and wellness so much more than I could’ve imagined since beginning my career. I feel so alive everyday and feel like I could do anything. I’m running my 3rd marathon next weekend and feel better than ever. Best of luck with your adventures!

  63. Katie, you look awesome! Healthy! I’m so glad you made the change and shared your story. I’m also looking for a healthier way to live, so I’ve been reading MDA for about a week now. I’ve been thin all my life until a few years ago where I gained a lot of weight and I’ve had a hard time getting it off. But more importantly, I’ve been feeling unhealthy. Pre-diabetes, psoriasis, fatigue along with other things. You’re truly an inspiration. Checking your blog out now!

  64. Thank you for sharing this Katie! I have a few young women in my life that could benefit from hearing your story. I am going to share this and your blog with them.

    I am curious what you plan on doing with your life. I say go back to school and become a RD and change the world from the inside. We need young people like you!

    1. Thanks Ken! I’ve put some thought into going back to school for chronic disease management… we’ll see where life takes me though!

  65. Thank you for sharing.

    As an Asian distance runner living at boarding school (high school senior), I think I can also relate to parts of your experience – particularly the ‘healthy’ diet of not much meat, low fat, oatmeal, etc. as well as the low body fat/low body weight. I have been reading around on MDA for a couple of months now, but still haven’t made many changes to my diet. Perhaps it may be time to do so…

  66. Hi Katie, My story is very similar to yours; its great to see others like myself out there who have been in a low body weight & amenhorrea situation and have come out of it successfully after choosing a Primal lifestyle. Congratulations! Much continued success to you and all fellow PB’ers!

  67. Take Control Fitness has everything you need to take control of your life. Fitness Programs, Shakeology, Nutrition and more.

  68. Katieee!

    I was SO excited to see your story bc I recognized your picture from your blog right away! You should post one of your more toned ones soon. 😉 Going from a vegetarian diet to becoming Primal is inspiring, no matter how much weight you lost/gained- I think many people will be encouraged by how you’ve done a complete 180 with your lifestyle! You look AMAZING! I love your blog (and am still obsessed with that amazingly delicious, fall-in-a-bowl Pumpkin Bacon Chili)…keep being awesome!! So glad you decided to share your story! 🙂

    1. thank you so much chrissy, this was very uplifting to read. I may do some more recent pictures on my blog soon.

  69. Congrats on recovering your health at a relatively young age. Just this morning, I was listening to the news show “California Report,” where an authority was citing a prediction that your generation will be the first in U.S. history to have shorter lives than their parents due to obesity and its complications. It’s nice to know that you’ll be the exception.

  70. Katie! Your story is VERY similar to mine. Very funny! I’ve known about your blog for a while too b.c I have one but now I will hopefully stop by more 🙂

  71. I can really relate to that story – the too skinny vegetarian thing, insomnia and the anxiety attacks. Just wish I had made the changes you did earlier in my life (38 now) but its never too late to start rediscovering health as I am finding out now! People sometimes think that if you’re skinny then you’re an object of jealousy and never consider that you might be feeling awful. Paleo is about so much more than weight..its energy, vitality and happiness!! Good luck to you and keep spreading the word x

  72. I have been facing problems of motivating myself to work to afford the food I deserve to eat. Your story really helped me see that it’s up to me to make sure I get the healthy lifestyle I deserve. Thanks and All the best luck to you!

  73. I always knew ‘instinctively’ that this was how one should eat … but there is so much conflicting information out there. Just makes sense to go with your instincts right? I always felt that if God didn’t make it, we shouldn’t be eating it.
    Thanks for sharing Katie.

  74. The moment I scrolled down and saw that WONDERFUL smile and awesome bicep, my own face broke into the biggest smile myself!

  75. Thanks for sharing your story! Glad to hear you figured this out while you are still Young~! 🙂 I turn 31 on Wednesday & am paying $$$ to have a dermatology clinic systematically resurface my face after 15 years of cystic acne from not eating right. Yay No Acne! 🙂

  76. Congratulations, you look great! Thank you so much for sharing your story! This gives me hope, as I have a 14yo son who is quite skinny and struggles with heartburn. The first thing he turns to is a piece of toast when he has heartburn and I’ve been afraid seeing all these people losing weight when they go primal that he would lose weight too. He needs to gain not lose! I would love to get him off the gluten and am trying to talk to him about it a little here and there. I gotta find him a replacement for his toast though. Maybe your gorgeous picture will convince him to give it up. 😉

  77. Wow, you are absolutely glowing in the second picture! I’m so glad to hear a success story from the opposite end, seeing a skinny girl fill out and get healthy!

  78. Thanks for sharing, I know it’s hard when you’ve not got a “typical” story. I am the poster child for chronic dieting myself; my eating disorders over the last 30 yrs have wrecked my metabolism. I can’t regulate my body temp, nothing works right … and I’m still fat! I’ve just found this community, and am so happy to see everyone’s stories and their enthusiasm for a lifestyle I’ve already adopted through trial and error.

    Good for you, you’re winning!