October 05 2012

Primal Persistence: Staying the Course Through Life’s Ups and Downs

By Guest
133 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!

Hi, I’m Rio. I’m 29 years old and I’ve been Primal since October 2011. I’d like to say that since then I’ve lost 25 kgs (55 lbs) and have a visible 6-pack. However, that for me is not the case. My story is still successful, but it is more a story of persistence.

I’ll start with the usual. I’ve been overweight my whole life even though I was an active child/teenager/young adult. Mum used to put “healthy” food on the table with a few treats on the weekend, but I was still painted with the “big girl” label. Unfortunately, the healthy food consisted of bread, pasta, potatoes and grain-based snacks. I started Weight Watchers when I was 12 years old. I was 72 kilos (158 lbs). Since then I feel like my life has been a perpetual cycle of “feeling naughty” and depriving myself. I have tried the weird and wacky diets (such as the soup diet) and more depressingly the CW “eat healthy and exercise” diet. I worked my butt off at the gym, ate low fat, and calorie-counted to within an inch of my life, and still I never saw the numbers I hoped for. I gave up time and time again, only getting heavier at the end of every attempt. I felt like a failure. At the end of 2010 I was 87 kgs (191 lbs) (I’m only 156 cm (5′ 1″)) and felt huge. I was also due to get married in April 2011. I always thought that my wedding would be the time when I would finally lose the weight and I thought up until now that my early attempts hadn’t worked because I didn’t have the ultimate motivation. I so wanted to be a thin and beautiful bride, so I hopped on the “eat right and exercise wagon” again, and again I was disappointed and devastated…I was, after all my efforts, going to be a chubby bride. My wedding was a wonderful day, because I married the love of my life, but I’ll always look back with a tinge of regret over my size.

In August 2011 after returning from our honeymoon and ballooning yet again to 87-88 kgs (191 to 193 lbs) and feeling miserable and fat, I thought to try a different approach and booked in for 12 Hypoxi sessions which were incredibly expensive (around $700 for 12 sessions). Hypoxi treatments consist of cycling gently for 30 minutes with your lower body encased in a pressurised chamber which applies and releases pressure as you cycle. The theory is that the pressure mobilises your body fat into the blood stream, so that you can magically cycle it away. Far fetched? Kinda. The Hypoxi team set you up with a list of suggested foods to “eat and not eat” which consisted of eating good fresh food and avoiding refined carbs and potatoes 2 hours after a Hypoxi session. I thought I’d better follow the eating plan since I was paying so much money for the treatments. Surprisingly, I lost a good chunk of weight and centimeters around my body and looking back it was really my first introduction into the Primal lifestyle – low carb and gentle exercise (compared to the approaching-chronic-cardio exercise regime I was used to). Not convinced it was the Hypoxi treatments that caused the weight loss on its own, I started to research low-carb diets when someone posted a link to Mark’s Daily Apple to a Facebook page I am a member of. Once I started reading the articles and information on your site I was instantly hooked. I downloaded The Primal Blueprint and devoured it in a few days. I started eating Primal and my energy levels improved instantly…I couldn’t believe it! I’d gone from being tired and listless all day (falling asleep on the couch around 8 pm every night) to bounding out of bed in the morning and not feeling tired until 10 pm that night, with none of lethargy through the day (which I had started to think was “normal”). With little effort I lost 5 kilos (11 lbs). I felt great!

Since those initial 5 kilos the weight loss has been slow, but still on the decline. I’ve lost about 15 kgs (33 lbs) and 17 cm (7 inches) from my waist since my initial Hypoxi session. My measurements are also still decreasing. What is more amazing is that the shape of my body is changing. I’ve lost 10 kgs (22 lbs) before on the “eat healthy and exercise regime,” and sure I got smaller, but my body shape didn’t change all that much. This time my waist is visually smaller, nipped in at the sides, arms, and legs.

However, three or four months ago I had a “Primal stumble.” For some reason (winter perhaps?) my sugar and carb cravings came back. I got depressed and I got “angry.” Oh my, was I angry…..at life, at my husband and at my stupid body for not responding the way I wanted it too (why hadn’t I lost all my weight?!).

After the 5th serious fight with my husband (which seemingly seemed to start over nothing) I knew something had to change. I knew that the actions and attitude that I was portraying was just NOT me! So after doing some research on how I was feeling, two weeks ago I did two things. I started CrossFit (my exercise had dropped to nothing during winter), and I gave up the birth control pill. I am now 14 days no hormones, and I am finally starting to feel like myself again. I can’t begin to describe the effects giving it up has already had on my mind, my emotions, and my libido. As for CrossFit…I love it! It has the structure I need, with the freedom to work within and push through my own limits and boundaries.

I often felt frustrated reading other people’s success stories, and think, “why did I not lose 20 kilos in the first 6 months and get ripped abs?” But then I have to stop and think what I’ve gained. I’ve gained health. I’ve gained energy like I never could have imagined. I’ve gained my happiness back. And I’ve gained a healthy body that bends and twists and lifts and runs.

If I were to offer any tips to the Groks and Grokettes out there like me, it would be to keep going. This thing is for life. It’s not a quick fix and not many people (outside the community) get that – I can’t count the amount of times people have said to me “what do you think will happen when you go back to eating normal.” Well, I am eating normally, thank you very much.

Another thing that helps me stay sane is having a fantastic support network around me. My husband Scott is sometimes-but-not-100%-Primal, but very supportive. I have a fantastic friend/personal trainer who is passionate about Primal/paleo nutrition and lifestyle, and a great friend who is also living the Primal life and lifting heavy stuff. It is beneficial to have people to bounce ideas off of, to ask for advice about what worked for them when this or that happened, and to generally glow in the awesomeness which is the Primal lifestyle. What is even better is that I’ve now managed to convince my mum and my sister to adopt the Primal principles. I’m so happy that they too are now on the track to being healthy and happy.

So in the end, being Primal for me so far is not about what I’ve lost….rather what I’ve gained (health, energy, an inner glow). And I couldn’t be happier.

Rehanna


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133 thoughts on “Primal Persistence: Staying the Course Through Life’s Ups and Downs”

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  1. What a great story! I love your attitude. Mind if I borrow some?

  2. Rehanna, love your last photo, you look so happy! Congratulations on your life change, your new figure, and your new health. And you are not the only one who cannot take hormonal BC. Spent my 20s in a clinical depression and never figured it out until my daughter got on them and went crazy.

    1. Hormonal BC started my weight gain at age 21. For some reason, the hormones mess with my set point. The same thing happened with both my pregnancies. I wish I could do ’em over on a Primal diet to see if a different diet might have better protected me, but too late now.

    2. Same here, spent my late teens/20s in a depressive haze. Thought it was just me, because the doctors said it wasn’t the pill so keep taking it. I finally figured it out for myself. Hormonal birth control does a nasty number on my mental health, libido, etc.

    3. Thanks! I am happy!

      I’m now 32 days no BCP and I still have my ups and downs, but I feel myself again and it’s such a relief. I hadn’t noticed how much I’d changed until I quit it and i wish I’d done it sooner!

      1. You look amazing i think you are little hard on yourself your progress is great, thats alot of weight to lose!! The dam birth control pill i gained so much weight as a teen and went crazy from it! I stopped taking it lost all the weight by the time i was 19 and have never gone back to BCP since. Now I would love to make a few suggestions, I highly suggest taking a supplement called “her Energy” by Brad king. you can get them in the states althogh its a canadian product i do believe you can order it on http://www.vitacost.com Take 3 pills 3 times a day. What this does is binds to bad estrogens in the body from birth control and pulls it out. I know many women coming off birth control will lose weight from this as well just feel so much better. Speeds the detox of BCP whch can take a long time to recover from. take the whole bottle like instructed. then do another bottle with taking just 3 a day. As well i would highly suggest having your hormones tested through saliva testing. it is usually a missing key for many women trying to lose weight. hope this helps! I have an on going fascination with hormones and weight loss myself. what also worked for me was the very contaiversial “hcg diet” but gotta say it worked like a dam and i have kept the weight off for 2 years!!! Because your eating well already you would have lasting results with it as well!! Any questions feel free to ask.

    4. I can’t do hormonal BC either. The first one I tried made me suicidally depressed within 2 cycles of taking it. Fortunately I also noticed that I felt a little better as soon as I took the ‘sugar pills’ each month, so I just quit taking it… and within 48 hours I felt normal again.

      So I tried a different one – which gave me migraines. And my GP gave me anti-migraine drugs to counteract the side-effects of the BC drugs, at which point I just thought “What the? I’m happily married, there are other options for BC, and if they fail, a baby would not be worse than this catalogue of side-effects. What on earth am I doing?”

      Happiness 🙂

      We use Fertility Awareness and have had 4 planned pregnancies and no surprises 🙂

  3. Hi Rio. Thanks for sharing. As much as I love the Friday success stories sometimes they leave me bummed out (because it feels like everyone’s so freakin’ perfect!). I appreciate your realistic viewpoint – everyone’s gonna stumble but this thing’s for LIFE 🙂

    1. Absolutely, and that is the sentiment that helped me push through my struggles.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story, Rio…I can completely relate. After starting a minimal carb diet in May 2011, I went Primal in May 2012. The scale hasn’t gone any lower since then, but the changes to my body have been incredible. On those days when I get down on myself and fixate on how I’d like the number on the scale to be 20 lower than it is, I remind myself to be proud of what I’ve accomplished; that I’m doing right by my body and in time it will all come together.
    You look incredible in your ‘after’ photos, so happy and content. Keep it up! 🙂

  5. Wow – well done! You look fantastic!

    I totally understand the frustration when you read the more extreme success stories but you fail to magically drop 6 dress sizes overnight.

    The results are very obvious to everyone else looking at your photos- even if you don’t notice day by day as you get slimmer and healthier.

    Have a gold star for your acheivements so far – this is just the beginning of a long and healthy life!

    1. Thank you and I agree! Here’s to a happy, healthy and long fun filled life!

  6. Seeing someone having a great time on an outdoor adventure like you are in that last pic is more inspirational to me than a photo of ripped abs.

    1. 100% agree Alice, having a defined six pack isn’t my definition of success, but living a life that’s full of fun and energy certainly is!

      Well done Rio, think there’s a song named after you;

      “Her name is Rio, and she’s totally Awesome”…

      … ok, I better ease off the beetroot juice

        1. I’m so with you guys! Rio, I love love love your motivation to be the best YOU not just a physically different YOU. That is what made my primal moment, the knowledge that our mental state is really a major sign of health… not just those pesky abs which will or will not show one of these days! (come on kale, work your magic!)

          So happy and proud to be in a community that supports you for your own journey. It’s exactly the kind of place I want to be!

  7. You have a wonderful attitude and have gained so much. Keep going and you will reach your goals

  8. You just spoke for everyone! I can relate 100% to the ” this is not me” feeling when you stop working out and trapse into sugar land. So great you have to mental strength to stay at it, and roll with life. You are a great example.

  9. Rehanna,

    You’re a great inspiration and a paradigm of how to keep things in proper perspective. My vanity is made more evident every time I look in the mirror and think I’m wasting my time because I’m not seeing exactly what I want to see. The recollection of where we have been and the realization of where we are presently is an exercise worthy of our daily attention. Well done.

  10. Fantastic story Rehanna. You nailed it on the head — what is important is what you have gained!

  11. I don’t have a visible six pack going on either, but I still feel like this is worth doing and then some. It will be interesting to see if the weight comes off once you are off the pill for awhile. I think my problem is I get busy and only do 80/20 most of the time.

  12. I am so thrilled for you that you have found Primal this early in your life!! I have spent the last 26 years of mine fighting my body at every turn and never really living in it. Primal has been the same kind of dramatic feeling but not really dramatic looking success story. I’m down about 15 pounds, but feel and look so much better!! Keep it up, Girl!!

  13. When I was younger I was overweight and I went on a low-fat diet and used to run a lot. I lost a LOT of weight and managed to keep it off for about 3-4 years. Then it all came roaring back and I gained more weight than ever. I could never get myself to lose weight and keep it off.

    Since going low carb and then primal I myself have not lost a significant amount of weight like the success stories of others. However, I do enjoy not being as hungry and not having to snack all day. My weight loss has been very slow, but I keep in mind that this is a lifetime commitment and so it may take a while.

  14. Rio, Your story is a breath of fresh air.
    I can relate, I’ve only lost 5 lbs, but have gained energy, health and a new lease on life. I’m also looking for my abs, in time I hope, we both find them.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  15. Thanks for your story. It’s good to know that there are regular pepole out there who are primal too.

  16. Rio,

    Two things in your story really jump out at me and made me want to respond. The first is your observation that your body shape is changing as a result of the primal diet. I have noticed the same thing and have wondered if I was going crazy. I now have a waist for the first time in my life, as you mentioned, and I also have fat where, as a woman, I am “supposed” to have fat…i.e. hips and bottom. Not an overabundance, but enough to finally give me the womanly shape I always lacked before. It’s amazing how this happens just from a diet. I attribute it to hormone regulation.

    Which brings me to the second point, birth control. I just made the decision this month to give it up, and I am so happy I did. I think it was my final stumbling block on the road to weight loss, gaining energy, stabilizing mood, and controlling my blood sugars. I can already tell a difference.

    Your story reminds me so much of mine and is a great encouragement! Thanks for sharing, and good luck as you continue your journey!

    1. Thanks and good luck to you too! We definitely seem to have similar stories and its refreshing to learn I’m (we’re) not alone!

  17. Anyone can see that you are doing wonderfully and look great. There’s a huge difference from where you started.

    I am 58 yrs old, let me give you some advice because at your age it’s not so obvious. A year in a lifetime is nothing! You will continue to have success with this, be patient with yourself. Introducing Crossfit into the mix is really going to step things up. Six months or a year from now you will be amazed with yourself and with many happy and healthy years ahead of you. This is the smartest thing you can for your future, vitality is the key to all happy lives. Great job, great attitude, congratulations.

    1. Well said: “A year in a lifetime is nothing!”. It’s far too easy to forget this today. We live in a world of instant gratification and expect, and usually get, everything NOW. Being patient is key as is seeing it from the perspective of what you’ve GAINED instead of just what you’ve lost (carbs/comfort food, weight). Something we could all benefit from remembering.

      1. Agreed, I’m learning that now! Patience is defiantly something I’m working on!

  18. What, no pics of you dancing on the sand? 🙂

    Just what I needed to read today. I’ve been frustrated on and off by my lack of progress which leads me to give up and feel horrible and bake a loaf of bread and eat the whole thing with lots of peanut butter on it, then get depressed and re-resolve and resolve again to live Primal for a few days until I fail to see any scale movement or body composition changes…it’s a vicious cycle.

    So glad for your success, Rehanna. Thanks for sharing your story and for giving me some much-needed perspective and motivation.

    1. Give me another year of CrossFit and ill send one in! Never give up, if you stumble, assess why (maybe write it down, including how you feel mentally and physically) and then move on….it gets easier, trust me! Just don’t give up!

  19. Awesome story! Congrats on all your success. To me things like happiness, energy, and glow are the bigger measures of success and are what will continue propelling you forward. It feels good to feel good! Keep it up

  20. Thank you for writing this. There are so many things I can relate to: “I feel like my life has been a perpetual cycle of “feeling naughty” and depriving myself.” I’ve never been overweight but believe it or not that’s me, too. And I’m still there in many ways. I also relate to the anger phase – Why can’t I kick these damn cravings? Why does liver make me gag? Why is this so hard for me?

    It’s frustrating when everyone is so upbeat about how easy it all is and how effortlessly good they feel – I still feel tired most of the time and sick to death of eating meat and eggs and veggies and all I want to do is put a cookie in my mouth. Food for me is very emotional; somehow bone broth and kale just don’t do it. At all. I keep hoping it’ll change, but… Thanks for your post. It helps!

    1. What about fat? It’s important and easy to come short on if you’re not careful, since most meat sold is with most fat removed. Try putting butter / coconut oil / animal fat on everything. To me, fat really makes a difference.

      1. @Gydle: Fat, worked into my daily calorie count, is what keeps me from feeling sorry for myself. I rarely get the “munchies”, which are hard to resist. I’ve finally lost a few pounds and a couple of inches after a long stall!

        Rehanna, I commend your great attitude!

  21. 55 lbs in 12 months! That’s losing over four pounds a month or a pound a week. Sounds like some real progress to me!

  22. I’m in the same boat at this point (although I haven’t been super strict with my diet when it comes to a few things, like popcorn…). I haven’t lost any weight (I’ve actually gained some, or so the scale at the office tells me), but I have enough energy nowadays to ride my bike to and from work, workout after work at the gym, and still have a few hours of energy left when I get home to build a fire, split wood, cook, clean, etc. My clothes are fitting looser, and my body shape is starting to change somewhat, so I don’t consider it a failure at all. I just really need to get a fabric measuring tape to start counting my inches to actually have some sort of a measure on my success (thank you, quantitative brain)!

    1. I wish I had measured myself at the beginning of my journey instead of weighing myself. Those demon scales really don’t tell the full story. Thanks for this story, I can relate, as I have only lost 12 kilos, and have largely stalled there in the last 4 to 5 months. So I am refocusing on all the gains, and they are so many, no GERD, seasonal allergies,, dry skin gone, inches gone around my waist, headaches gone; the list is longer than the weight loss. We are all different, there will be different shapes out there in the primal community, and I think that what has gone before and the damage it has done is definately a factor. I am now focusing on life, gut health, feeding my family real food, playing with our new puppy and enjoying the approaching summer down under. Well done Rehanna, you look fabulous and your life is there to be lived!

  23. Lady, you are HOT! 😀

    Good for you for pitching the Pill. I am convinced that messing with our hormones is one of the dumbest things women can do.

  24. I love the success stories on Fridays, and this one is awesome. Not only do you look great, you look like you FEEL great! Continued success on your journey.

    1. I have 5 pairs, including a silver sparkly pair (my going out vibrams) and the limited edition Australian flag version 🙂 I’m hooked!

      1. I haven’t seen the sparkly silver ones! Wherever did you get them?? I do have the Australian flag version though… I couldn’t resist when I saw them on the site. Boy do I get some looks when I wear them though!!

        Anyways congrats on your success so far! Like you I’ve lost a few kg pretty quickly, but weight loss has slowed right down (I still need to lose about 15kg more). I’ve also just started CrossFit! It’s an awesome workout, and I already feel some changes happening.

        1. I got the silver ones in the vibram store in Milan when we in European earlier this year…they may sell them on the vibram website though? 🙂

  25. Rehanna,

    Way to go! That’s an awesome story and I’m glad you are enjoying your successes–I too have had moments where I break my good habits and fall into old comforts, and I immediately find myself short-tempered, groggy, and just not the same person. Having a support network online and with a few choice friends helps me keep it together.

    Cheers!

  26. Hi, Rehanna, what a great story! My experience has been like yours–long persistence, health improvements, and no six pack! My husband and I have conceded that we’re not going to have photogenic bodies, but we are healthier than ever, as we near age 40!

    1. Nice work! It’s never too late to start feeling good. My mum is 55 and started primal this year, she’s looking and feeling great!

  27. Never being satisfied with what you can actually become but always happy with the progress and loving who you are.

    Congrats.

  28. And to follow on, I’ve had difficulty with emotional eating, too. I’m realizing I need to address some of the inner issues behind all that, and face discomfort and boredom in life, rather than fill it with food. A book called Full-filled addresses this really well. It doesn’t address nutrition or what to eat, but does talk a lot about loving ourselves, motivation, self control, living life NOW, not when we have “better” bodies.

  29. Thanks for such an honest story. Perfection is rare-many of us will never have a six pak or look good in a bikini, even when we achieve a healthy weight. Striving for health and mental wellness, feeling strong and vital-that is success! Love the sparkle of vitality you exude.

  30. I really needed to hear this today. Your story is so similar to mine, and it gives me hope that I’ll be able to continue to see health benefits as I continue to enjoy a Primal way of life. Thank you!

  31. Rehanna– You know– the only six pack I may ever have experienced as a six pack of beer. But being primal, healthy, happy and with more energy than 90% of pastors my age– Primal is tops- Great work– keep it up.

  32. You have been, are, and will be lovely! And with such enjoyable wisdom! I loved your observations and story.

  33. Shaming thin women is not an improvement over shaming fat women.

    1. I agree with the sentiment. Every woman is different, and its something I’ve struggled with my whole life. With my broad shoulders and ample booty I’m never going to be a size 8, but those same qualities give me the opportunity to back squat 70kgs (and rising) and I’ve had many naturally slim girls ‘wish they had my boobs and curves’.
      Every woman is different and beautiful and what matters is health and vitality!

    2. Don’t be afraid of commenting! I think a lot of women are just hurt by the current trend of calling curvy women “real women” and implying that thin does not equal womanly (I guess a backlash against the pressure to be slim in society?!).

      I know you weren’t trying to imply that “real” women have to have curves, but many slim women are constantly being bombarded with the idea that they’re not womanly, so it’s easy to interpret someone’s words negatively (or as anti-slim) when that wasn’t the intention!

  34. I find this post to be one of the most motivating I’ve read here on the site. Sure, it’s inspiring to read about the “I got so ripped” success stories, but I appreciate Rio’s honesty about her journey. The pounds don’t just melt off for everyone. Truly inspiring and a reminder that health is the goal over a six-pack any day.

  35. Thanks for sharing Rehanna! Your story strikes a chord with me – I appreciate the encouragement today!

  36. I hear ya about the BC. I tried it for a while for my PCOS, before deciding I’d rather be fat than smaller and insane. 😀

  37. Gentlemen….break out the rubbers and give these beautiful women a break! Sounds like birth control pills are for the devil.

  38. Well done! It’s always inspiring to see a Friday Success story that I can relate to. In that last picture, your health just shines through.

  39. Rio,

    Great story. I especially like your answer to people who basically ask what will happen when you quit your ‘diet’. Primal isn’t a diet, it’s a way to live.

  40. I loved your story! I feel like I can relate so much! I’m, currently, 20 weeks pregnant with my second child. I am not 100% primal like I was before I got pregnant, but I am doing the best I can to stick to primal as much as possible. I am still seeing good things happen with my body along with a very steady and healthy weight gain. Anyway, I loved how “real” and relatable your story is. You look amazing!

  41. I love your story. You nailed it!!! I had some great weight loss in the start 88+ pounds. Then hit a plateau where I’m not gaining or losing weight, but far from being where I should.
    Finding an exercise routine that works for me is my net step. Perhaps the weight loss will start again or I might just feel better. Who knows. Looking back on it losing so much weight without really exercising only shows how much the diet works.
    thanks for sharing I so needed this post.
    Tree Bee

  42. Yes yes yes! Breastfeeding and natural child spacing! Say no to hormonal birth control (and keep those secreted artificial hormones out of our water supply) and use your intelligence to observe your body’s built-in fertility signs. What a great complement to nourishing your body with healthful foods close to their natural state. And congratulations Rehanna on your successes and your insights!

  43. Awww I love this story! I really like what Rehanna wrote about persistence. My parents have always told me that persistence is the key to getting places in life(even with brains and natural ability, no-one can get to far if they don’t persist) and it sounds like Rehanna is onto this aswell. I really admire her!! 🙂

  44. Great article. As I have struggled with trying to find the right lifestyle around how I eat, all these comments about starting low carb sound more realistic for me instead of going full-on primal. My life is just too stressful right now. So: minimize carb intake, eat as little processed food as possible, cut out most grains and legumes, eat my meat and veggies and MOVE!!

  45. I love your story. It is true and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  46. I’ve never sent in a reply although I always find these stories inspirational. But I have to let you know that you look great! I wouldn’t worry about the scale. it’s obvious that you are healthy and happy. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thankyou very much. The scale is definitely now staying firmly in the cupboard

  47. Rio – Great story and wonderful attitude! You are inspiring. 🙂

  48. Wow! I’m so overwhelmed and incredibly touched by all of your kind words. I never thought that my story would resonate with so many. Keep strong and Grok on 🙂

  49. How gorgeous are you!!! Congratulations on finding out what is right for you and sticking to it! I too relate to your comment “I feel like my life has been a perpetual cycle of “feeling naughty” and depriving myself.” And for me, I have only lost 9kgs in 9 months, but have lost 16cm off my waist – didn’t have a waist before, but do now! And also your comment about “I am eating normally thank you”! Yes yes yes..I hear ya’

    You look happy and full of the joys of life – and I am motivated by Friday (well Saturday in Oz) stories once again. Thanks. 🙂

  50. Congrats on your success! You look wonderful in the after photos, and so happy!

  51. Thank you for sharing your story, Rio. My granddaughter has been lamenting her lack of weight loss. She’s been primal for several months, and as an athlete has the exercise part perfect. This will be reinforcing for her to see that it’s not the same for everyone, as our bodies are all different. Her normal more closely resembles your normal. Timing is perfect! Thanks!

    1. Happy to help, encourage her to keep going! Every body has its weight loss sweet spot…it’s now up to our minds to accept it…also I found gauging my ‘weight loss’ though the fitting of my clothes more gratifying than using the nasty scale which I now don’t use… 🙂

  52. Thanks for posting this! It’s just what I needed to hear. I also don’t have a huge weight loss to boast but the change in my body has been amazing.

  53. You look fantastic! Way to stick with it. Laughed out loud when i read, ‘so what do you think will happen when you go back to eating normally again?’ Ha, I get that comment a lot too.

  54. Well done. You look great and your attitude is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  55. I love the Line:
    “I can’t count the amount of times people have said to me “what do you think will happen when you go back to eating normal.” Well, I am eating normally, thank you very much.”

    We are normal, its the rest of them who are deluding themselves 🙂 Congrats and keep on keeping on!

    1. Agreed! I heard the other day that Australia is congratulating itself because sugar consumption is down from 56kgs per person to 43kgs per person per year….if people saw that much sugar graphically they would be shocked…

  56. Pure awesomeness. I’ve so much respect for what you’ve achieved.

  57. Hi, Rehanna!
    You have no idea of how much I needed that sort of advice! Congratulations, btw! 🙂
    I, too, am that kind of person that wants results NOW and this kind of attitude is making my transformation to primal living difficult. But reading your post is making me think again about health benefits, patience, being content with myself and determination required to feel and see results of primal living. So, thank you for sharing and good luck to you! 🙂

  58. You look ridiculously good. It can be hard to see it, but you are a new person from person to person. Well done, and do NOT get hard on yourself!! You are healthy and look amazing!

  59. Just want to add my two cents to the making thin women feel bad comments… Im one of those “lucky” girls that went primal (100% for 6 months, no cheating) and lost significant weight. Nearly 30kg fell off me in a fairly short time. I don’t have abs, (yet) and want to lose more of my body fat, even tho people of “normal” weight seem to love calling me gaunt and skinny (Im not). I really feel offended when Im told I look too thin, I dont go about telling chubby people they look too fat. I worked hard to lose my weight, being 100% primal was a bit step, and took significant dedication. Yes everyone’s road is different, but keep that in mind it’s DIFFERENT not better or worse. Let’s not label people less of a woman because they don’t have breasts or hips or so called curves! I am now a B cup which is crazy small.. but I am still female and I do have feelings. Less grand sweeping statements relating to body shape and type and more encouragement! We are all gorgeous and deserve a high five for eating well and living and loving life eh?

    1. Word. And notice men don’t react in the same way to other men’s stories and ripped pictures, except to say, “Whoah, awesome, dude, high five, etc!” We need more of that attitude in girl-ville – all-around high-fives!

  60. Congratulations, you look terrific!

    I will make an email signature out of this part:

    ————————-
    If I were to offer any tips to the Groks and Grokettes out there like me, it would be to keep going. This thing is for life. It’s not a quick fix and not many people (outside the community) get that – I can’t count the amount of times people have said to me “what do you think will happen when you go back to eating normal.” Well, I am eating normally, thank you very much.
    —————–

  61. Hi,
    I new at this I’ve only been on the primal diet for just over a month,my whole family is now on it. My husband started first three weeks before the rest of use. I am finding it very hard, I am over 50 and have a lot of health problems depression is one of many. My thyroid is by biggest I guest. It’s hard because my husband has lost over 20 lbs, I am happy for him but it is hard to see and hear others have lost lbs. but I have moved the needle on the scale except to move it up a little. I haven’t notice much other change but after reading everyone’s comments I try and keep a positive attitude and start a journal on measurements and feelings, and continue to read these stories and maybe it will help.
    I am glad you have had such success. I will try to follow your example. Thank you all.

    1. Hi don’t despair 🙂
      One month is nothing, and men loose weight much easier than women (yes, agreed, it is not fair, but it is true). But the results are worth it. Relax, have a closer look at what you eat, and don’t be discouraged by a temporary plateau. I am 60 and I am now in the best shape of my life (and have only been primal for 2 1/2 years approx). You will remember this time in the future and will tell others: I did it, no big deal 🙂

  62. Good stuff. By the way, if you were wondering why the Hypoxi people recommended low-carb, it’s because you can see “instant success” switching to low-carb because you can drop ~10lbs in water weight in a week or two (and, of course, then get into that nice 1-2lbs/week weight loss zone, but they probably wouldn’t know that ;))

    Sometimes your certain genes can make weight loss harder than others, and it’s hard to kill fat cells once you’ve made extra of them at some point (they can only shrink so much, then they can take a while to commit cellular suicide). Don’t stress about it too much, because if you’re exercising properly and eating paleo, you may not lose weight because you’re gaining muscle that’s offsetting the fat decrease. And as you lose more, the slower it gets. Eventually, you’ll look in the mirror one day and be like “hey, I don’t need to lose any more”. Good luck 🙂

  63. This was nice to read – as someone who also experienced a huge boon from going primal a few years ago, and is currently currently at what must be the bottom of a slip in motivation (80/20 becoming 50/50 or 40/60…). Need to make sure this isnt’ a sprint, or even a marathon…it’s life.

  64. What a great way to write about this…while I love the “look at me NOW!” stories which seem to happen so fast…it’s not my story either. This is was a logical step for a major health concern. The exercise hasn’t entered into it enough to really start building muscle yet. But whenever I start to feel like I’m “doing it wrong”, I look in the mirror at the body changes (I have a waist again!). I check in with my brain and feel the new lightness and energy that working towards health has given me. Then I feel a lot like you, certain that I’m doing just fine….and that this is for life, so I can give it awhile to work it’s magic!

  65. Hi rio, I normally read lots of posts and don’t respond, and I love the sat (yes another Aussie grokette) inspiring posts. Well done rio. What you didn’t comment on is also the unseen benefits of primal eating. The fact you are switching of genetic traits that may have caused you to get diabetes or cancer etc etc…I’ve been primal since may, and haven’t lost a lot of weight but gained many benefits. I probably don’t need to lose a stack but I’ve always wanted that lean cut look with a six pack! Ha but I’m not giving up cause I know this way of living is good for me in so many ways. Well done. Lets get rid of the cw and make this primal cw!

  66. Keep on, Rio!
    It takes time for the body to heal and regenerate. It’s a journey, so enjoy the ride. 🙂

  67. Ah hormones! Wonderful things. I only used BC for a few years in my 20’s but now in my late 40’s and coming up to menopause I’ve certainly noticed hormonal swings and roundabouts. I’ve tried the progesterone only pill and three different types of natural progesterone creams in an attempt to keep my cycle fairly regular. Both the synthetic and natural progesterone led to mild depression. Even the natural stuff can throw you totally out of balance. Primal is helping with weight loss and energy, but still hasn’t made a difference to my fluctuating cycles.

  68. Thanks for sharing your story, Rehanna, it really speaks to me as another non-ripped Paleo devotee. I love this way of eating for the energy it gives me and because I no longer have my post-lunch blood sugar dips that used to kill my afternoons. I now have the energy to go all day without the urgent need to nap. That’s my first prize! One day, when I have a sculpted abs, that will be another prize.

  69. After growing out my teen/early 20s lifestyle of junky, processed and fast food I grew up, learned a LOT and started becoming way more health conscious and driven. The start of a family really drove this desire home for me. I started this journey to healthy eating by switching to more organic/all natural foods. Slowly I started cutting out the boxed organic foods learning that while they’re better than boxed non-organic foods some, I really needed to move out of the middle of the grocery store and into the sections that boxed it all in. I’ve caught onto making fresh fruit/veggie smoothies and more homemade meals for me and my family. Now I’m at the point where I’m ready to make the next step in my diet by “choosing” a specific diet path ie. paleo, vegan, vegetarian, etc. This is where everything becomes very unclear to me. Every diet has its claims of being the best with all this intriguing research and facts why. Red meat is bad for your heart, dont eat meat period…vegetarian? Cooked food looses its nutrients…raw foodist? Dairy is bad as well as meat…vegan? Grains are bad…paleo? And each diet dispells what the others use to make their claims…beans are incredible foods say the vegs, no they’re not say the paleos. Grains are bad here, not there. Dairy is bad here not there. Even FRUIT can be bad, but than I’ve learned of people who call themselves Fruititarians. Please help shed some clarity on this for me, and why the diet you choose is and the facts you use for its credibility

    1. @ Melissa,
      I would do what Mark suggests and do your own experiment. Try primal/paleo (or vegan or raw foodist or whatever) for at least 21 days. Journal what you eat, how you feel, what you measure in weight and size. Then you decide how you want to proceed from there. Easy-peasy!
      Rae

      PS Rio way to go!!

  70. I really really REALLY needed to see a success story like this one. Rio, your background is so similar to mine, and what’s even more exciting for me is we have the same body shape. I’ve seen so many success stories on here, and each one of them are incredible. But when you really connect with that one story, it is so motivational. Your story gave me that extra little kick that, Yes, this will work and Yes, keep going and don’t stop. Thank you so much for sharing!

  71. Your transformation looks pretty spectacular to me…. Well done! I “fell of the wagon” about 3 or 4 times before I finally learnt the lesson 🙂

  72. Thanks so much for your story. Going Primal isn’t always as easy as a lot of the success stories make it out to be (not knocking any success storie- they’re always brilliant). I’ve fallen off the wagon at least three times. Now I have my wedding as a very good motivation. I loved your story.

  73. Congrats on your success! It is always inspirational and amazing reading all these real success stories!

  74. Congratulations, Love your attitude & you look amazing! The pill was at least 50% responsible for the final 100 pounds I gained before getting off my ass and going primal, and it took nearly a year off it for my system to reset. The scariest thing ever is how it crosses all your biological signals!! I always “listen” to my body, but chemical birth control made that impossible!

  75. It is always important to remember that primal/paleo isn’t about how you look in the mirror as much as it’s about how you feel in your heart and mind. I want to live my life, love my wife, and have a blast. I love how I look, and so should you Rehanna, but you made the great point that that’s not what really matters! Keep going 🙂

  76. Not sure if this has already been mentioned in the comments, but I’ll still say it:

    The Fertility Awareness Method/Natural Family Planning kicks butt.

    The book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler is the best book you can read to free yourself of that horrible, terrible birth control pill. Just check out the reviews on Amazon on that book. I’ve given away my copy to three of my friends and use it regularly as a reference manual. It’s a thick book.

    I began the pill when I was 11 years old just to clear up my adolescent acne, which, in retrospect, was probably aggravated by my processed diet. I also started taking it again 3 months before my wedding, and the weight gain + complete lack of sexual desire by the time I got married were NOT worth it. I love knowing how our bodies work and feeling empowered by monitoring my own cycles! The less I support Big Pharma, the happier I am.

    Rehanna, you seem like such a wonderful lady! I commend you for all of the big changes you’ve made, including getting off of the pill. Please don’t feel badly about not looking the way you wanted to for your wedding. I have had those same feelings too often. The important thing to remember is how you and your husband felt about each other when you got married. There’s no use in holding onto any negative feelings about your image at the time. I don’t know if you retain bad feelings like I have or not, but if you have, I just wanted you to know that people love you for who you were then as well as you who are now!

    Thanks for writing your story, sister!

  77. This is the first time I’m responding to a success story, not because the others weren’t inspiring but because I see a lot of my own journey in yours! Your story was incredibly engaging and enlightening.

    There are so many people that have such determination with going Primal and it seems that they never slip up, which makes me feel like a bad Primal person because as a former pastry chef I still have my moments where I say to myself I WANT CAKE. I feel, as you put it, “naughty” and slapped myself on the wrist for not being more disciplined. But this is a life journey, not a quick fix.

    You’ve inspired me to consider going off birth control again. While I use the nuva ring, which is fairly low in all the hormones, it’s still extra hormones that might be impeding my body. Extra food for thought!

    Thank you for your wonderful and down to earth perspective. Health is paramount, with vanity coming second.

    I do want to suggest one exercise that’s changed my body composition and has worked wonderfully with going Primal – T-Tapp. It encourages not overdoing exercise as well as healing from the inside. I’ve lost 40lb with it and it continues to change my body as you never quite perfect the form. I think it goes well with a Primal lifestyle. I think you might find it interesting! 🙂

  78. Great story! Thank you for sharing. I love your comment about, “I am eating normal, thank you very much!” I feel the same way often. The reactions of people around you can be frustrating when they do not understand or relate to eating clean, fresh foods. My co-workers are always curious about my lunches, often compliment that they smell/look good, but then they make excuses that they just don’t have the time “to cook like that.” Um. Not hard people. Just takes a little re-training. I also love that your success is not about what you’ve lost but rather what you’ve gained. Congratulations. 🙂

  79. Great story and even greater outlook. I sense that you see that the ‘victim mentality’ so widely present in society, drove your many stumbles and backslides. Your newfound ‘Own it” attitude comes through loud and clear and I, like you, believe that this is what will ultimately get you to the goals you seek. We all believe in you and want to see you get there. And you will. Best of luck to you.

  80. Great story – good for you! I’m the same – have been paleo for nearly a year and see a personal trainer 3 days a week and whilst I have lost 10kg (which is a lot for me as I’m 5’1″ and weighed 60kgs when I started) and my shape has changed, I’m not ripped and firm – I still have ‘padding’ over my body! There are muscles underneath, I can feel them, but no six pack to be seen! But, like you, I look and feel better, happier, healthier. Keep up the good work!

  81. Hi Everyone,
    Just a quick note to say that while i have not replied to every comment, I have read each and every one of them and are totally blown away by how encouraging and supportive everyone is.

    I no longer feel alone in my struggles and am humbled by the many compliments i have received.

    Every person has their own struggles and what i’ve learnt is we mustn’t compare ourselves to others, but draw strength and learn from their experiences

    Cheers
    Rio

  82. I love your story. And your outlook on what you’ve gained. It is beautiful. Congratulations!