Paleo Bailey: I Knew This Couldn’t Be How My Life Was Meant To Be Lived

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!

Today’s amazing success story is offered up by a special guest: Bailey Ryan, a.k.a. Paleo Bailey—health blogger extraordinaire, paleo food writer, and personal health coach. She’s joining us today to share how she found Mark’s Daily Apple, lost 125 pounds and claimed a new life in the process. Be sure to check back tomorrow, too, when she shares one of her favorite Primal-friendly recipes—a comfort food dish that’s perfect for this weekend’s family dinner. I’m thrilled she’s joining us today. 

At 22-years-old, and just 7 pounds shy of 300 pounds, I was completely miserable. I was out of breath just walking into work, had started avoiding any social or family gatherings, and was completely out of control with my binge eating. I knew that this couldn’t be how my life was meant to be lived, and I knew I would be dramatically shortening my life by continuing down the path I was on.

Mark’s Daily Apple came into my life as I was nearing the end of my first Whole30®. I had never even heard the term Paleo before. By random chance, my best friend told me about Whole30 one day, and with nothing else to lose I decided to try it with her. As we were getting closer to the end of it I couldn’t believe how good I felt. It wasn’t really about the weight at that point, as I was still almost 300lbs. I just had finally caught a glimpse of how feeling good really felt and finally realized how feeling crappy had just been “normal” for me for YEARS. 

I have been overweight since early childhood, and this had been the first time in my life I didn’t feel controlled by food. I didn’t have any idea what to do after Whole30, but I knew going back to my old habits weren’t an option. The Whole30 wanted me to reintroduce foods, but I also recognized I had way too many food issues (binge eating, lack of knowledge, compulsive tendencies) and that reintroduction wasn’t going to work for me and that I needed more time.

Again, I didn’t know Paleo was a thing at this point, so I started researching “after whole30” and “healthy grains,” because I thought things like quinoa, wheat bread and low-fat yogurt should be something I eat—again, lack of knowledge of widely accepted “health food.” Both of those searches, and many others, popped up with Mark’s Daily Apple. His words, research, and practical advice was what helped me realize I can make this into a long-term lifestyle, and I didn’t have to keep living like I had a death wish.


I ordered The Primal Blueprint. You should see my first copy. It’s got sticky notes and tabs, and I still refer back to it often. It was basically my bible my first year of eating Paleo and working to reverse some of my food issues that partly were influenced and perpetuated by the societal norms in the current food industry. It gave me a sense of community and a guide to feeling the best I could. I went from being totally in the dark in terms of how to live my best life, to educating and empowering myself to actually do so.


Since then, I’ve not only lost the weight, but I feel like I’ve been given a whole new life. I cried when I went kayaking, because for the first time ever I was under the weight limit. I can rock climb, run half marathons, travel oversees alone and hike mountains in Italy, something I never would have mentally or physically done at 300 pounds. I enjoy spending time with people again because I’ve stopped trying to shrink myself down whenever I was in a room full of people. I started treating myself like I was worth it, and now I’ve realized that I was all along.


Bio_BaileyBailey spent the last 2 years changing her relationship with food and herself. She lost 120 pounds while working 12-hour overnight shifts in a Minneapolis hospital and is now living a “whole” new life. She shares it all on her Instagram, @paleobailey and writes about healthy living, easy yet delicious recipes, and the ups and downs as she navigates finding overall wellness on her blog

Bailey Ryan | IG: @paleobailey

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