Success Story: Always Striving

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 as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Folks, I have been grateful for every story that has come my way over the years. It’s an incredible privilege being on the receiving end of your reflections and evolutions, and they are why I’ve kept at it all these years—knowing the message and information have made a difference in people’s lives. I appreciate every single one. Amy’s story is so real; it’s not a story that celebrates attaining a body composition goal, but should be celebrated for how far Amy has come on her Primal journey. Thank you to reader Amy for sharing her story with us. 

I have been following Mark’s Daily Apple since you started the blog. Your message really resonated with me from the beginning and I loved reading all of the success stories. I looked forward to writing a success story of my own one day, but it didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen—so I’m beyond thrilled to finally be writing one now!

I was always in great shape as a kid and teen. When I went on birth control pills in college, I started putting on weight. I’d go off of them and lose the weight, then go back on and gain it again. Then came the day that I went off of them and the excess body fat stayed. I went through different diets punctuated by bouts of Standard American eating from then on, and it kept getting worse. I tried seemingly every diet there was and nothing kept my weight from going up.

success story

Somewhere in there, when I started following your blog, I went Primal and felt the best I’ve ever felt. But I didn’t lose weight, so I stopped and tried something else out of desperation. I really got into bodybuilding there for a bit and got really buff, but as I moved into perimenopause about six years ago, I kept putting on body fat even though I was eating usually about 900 calories per day and doing hour-long strength training workouts every day.

I went to three different doctors, all specializing in women’s issues, over a five-year period. I told them all that I thought I was in perimenopause and hypothyroid. Not one of them did the appropriate tests to determine if I had any hormonal problems that were keeping me from becoming fit again.

Finally, I found a nurse practitioner, Wendy, who is amazing. She told me I was subclinical hypothyroid (in the normal range on all tests but having lots of symptoms), and we later found out that I had a T3 problem. Now I take T3 and have no symptoms. I was not registering any progesterone in my body, so she said I had estrogen dominance—we are still working on that, as I haven’t quite made it to menopause yet and my sex hormones aren’t settled, but it’s better. She also told me I had metabolic syndrome, which resulted in my liver and pancreas not playing together nicely. All in all, it took about four months to clean up that entire hormonal mess… only four months! I thought it would take years.

Wendy and I credit this quick recovery to the diet and lifestyle I had established about nine months earlier. An endocrinologist I happened to talk to told me I should eat a ketogenic diet. To me that meant Atkins, which I tried many years earlier, back when it was the new great thing. I spent two months with keto flu, feeling like death. But I did some research and got back to your blog only to find you singing the virtues of keto! So I adopted a Primal-keto diet and lifestyle, and immediately felt better than I had in years. I instantly lost 10 pounds, then plateaued for six months until I found Wendy.

I believe that when I went Primal years ago and felt great but didn’t lose any weight it was because I was eating too many carbs. I didn’t realize I had metabolic syndrome and was extremely carb-sensitive. I think I would have had more success then if I had just drastically decreased the carbs, but hindsight is 20-20, right?

I still may have needed the hormone intervention to get my body back on course, too. I’m hoping that anyone reading the success stories here and following the program without the success they’re wanting will take hope and inspiration from my story. I tried to naturally get my hormones in line without success and it took medical intervention to make it happen.

I’m down almost 50 pounds in the last year following Primal-keto and doing hormone therapy as needed. I have a bit more body fat to take off, but I’m close to where I want to be. I actually see myself in the mirror again, which is glorious! I know my body so well now and feel better than ever. I’m so sold on the ancestral eating and lifestyle approach to health not only from my experience but also from being a brain researcher steeped in evolutionary theory.

success story

Now I am a clinical hypnotherapist, which is all about reducing psychological stress, and will no longer help people feel good about following ultimately hormonally unhealthy diets and lifestyles. I got my Primal Health Coach certificate and have been helping my clients reduce both psychological and physical stress from nutritional and lifestyle factors—a one-stop shop! I’ve seen many sometimes miraculous results in my clients in almost no time, reversing their labs, losing body fat that they thought they could never lose, and increasing their energy and happiness. Clinical hypnotherapy and Primal health coaching are, to my mind, the perfect combination for overall health and wellness. I love my job and am so proud to be part of this community.

Thank you for all that you have done to enable so many people like myself to take our health back and spread the good word to help others!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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20 thoughts on “Success Story: Always Striving”

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  1. Way to go Amy, you look great! I commend you for looking at different options that work for your body! We are all the same but different. Keep up the good work

    1. Thank you! We all have to see ourselves as experiments, as Mark always says. It seems like I learn something new about my body every day. 🙂

  2. I applaud your perseverance Amy! Many would have given up long before you did …. you look great 🙂

    1. Perhaps I’m just a glutton for punishment! lol! 😉 If we don’t have our health, we don’t have much, right? Thanks mucho. 🙂

  3. Thanks!! We all have to see ourselves as n=1 experiments, as Mark always says. It seems like I learn more about my body every day. 🙂

  4. A very hypnotic success story indeed. 😉

    Thanks for sharing, reading about folks like you who are determined and courageous is like chicken soup for the soul.

  5. What a journey and what an outcome! Your story is uplifting and helpful!

  6. The most interesting journeys- and the most educational- never take straight lines. The unique, complicated (read ‘real life’) path of your primal journey, I bet, will pay big dividends in making you a more effective coach.

    I have to confess when I started reading, your situation seemed so biochemically complicated and paradoxical (900 calories, no progesterone, etc) that I was expecting to scroll down to an ‘after’ picture of maybe at best a slightly buffer version of the ‘before’ picture. But enter Keto and- voila 🙂 – you look awesome.

    Thanks for sharing your story, and grok on in your primal coaching adventure!

    1. Thanks! It’s been an interesting adventure, for sure, with plenty of surprises. As much as I wish I didn’t have to deal with all of it, I’m grateful that the experiences have allowed me to more effectively help others. Grok on!!!

  7. Your story is so familiar to me, I’ve had many of the same problems with thyroid and metabolic syndrome. Mine got complicated with Celiac disease and arthritis too. I”m glad you were able to recover.

    You look great! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Angelica! I feel you – I also have mild arthritis in both hips, as well as a long-term injury in my right hip. I’m working on that now. I’m 3 weeks into a carnivore diet challenge, which I hope will help my joints, among other things. So far, so good. 🙂

  8. Congratulations on your persistence! And on your luck in finding just the right medical helper! You have won the best prize of all – your health. You look great!

    1. Thanks for the support, Marge! Yes, it’s so important to ask for help when you need it and keep asking until you find the right people to support your health goals. One thing I learned later than I would have liked: if you’re not getting the results you want from one practitioner, move on to another.

  9. Wow, Amy, just wow! These success stories never get old. Love how you persevered. Growth and success is never linear (at least in my experience.) Everything that you went through makes you that much more valuable to your clients. Thanks for the inspo!

  10. Amy, way to go! Your search to find the answers to your issues are inspiring!

  11. I had asked if I could find a Keto Coach but have
    not heard back from anyone there at your location .

    If there is a coach there or in Colorado Springs where I live, I would be so appreciative?

    Thanks so much!