August 31 2012

The Perfect Storm (a.k.a. How I Lost Those Last 10 lbs)

By Guest
160 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!

Female, age 45, 5’ 2”

Starting weight: Flirting with 130 lbs

Goal weight: 120 lbs

Current weight: 117 lbs

I’ve always eaten a  fairly  “healthy” diet (according to the latest conventional wisdom) and exercised regularly (cycling, hiking and BodyPump™twice a week), but as the years were going by my weight was creeping up. I was still at the high range of “normal”, but I was puffy and didn’t feel like my efforts with BodyPump™ were showing.

In April 2011 I stumbled upon Mark’s Daily Apple. It just clicked for me. I adopted the Primal way of eating immediately and had no trouble giving up grains and sticking to the 80/20 rule. In 2 months I had lost 5 lbs without even “trying”. My husband was skeptical.

In June 2011 my husband was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was in the hospital for 6 months. I stopped working and was by his side the entire time. This would have been an easy time to abandon the Primal lifestyle, but it was just what I needed. A little project to keep my mind busy. I read everything I could…books and online about Primal/paleo. My food choices were limited at the hospital cafeteria…hard-boiled eggs and bacon for breakfast was easy. For lunches and suppers I usually walked to a grocery store to hunt and gather. It gave me a purpose and reason to get out of the hospital, move slowly and clear my mind. Despite the stress of the situation the Primal Blueprint kept me sane and healthy. I continued to lean out and people started worrying that I wasn’t eating. I told them I was eating more than usual, but they didn’t believe me. My staples included avocados, mini cukes, cherry tomatoes, berries, tinned sardines and salmon, nuts, full-fat cheese, smoked chicken thighs, liver pate, coconut water, coffee with heavy cream, dark chocolate and plenty more! My occasional treat…good quality vanilla ice cream (and it’s still my weakness).

My husband had a stem cell transplant in November 2011. I’m thrilled to report that he has completely recovered from his illness. He’s back to work and we’re cycling again. Although he thinks I’m a little extreme on following “the cult”, he’s totally supportive. He’s even started to adopt some of the Primal ways (although it will be a while before he gives up his muesli for breakfast before work and his sandwich at lunch). Between us we have 3 “normal weight” teenagers. I feed them healthy meals at supper time, but for the rest of the day they make their own choices…often not very smart ones. As they get older I hope they become more aware of the connection between their diet and their health. In the meantime,  I love it when they ask me, “Is this Primal?”

Stephanie Turner

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160 thoughts on “The Perfect Storm (a.k.a. How I Lost Those Last 10 lbs)”

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  1. This is so inspiring because it is succinct and no nonsense. I am so glad to hear that you weathered a hard time in your lives, and now it is back to great!

    1. What leida said!

      I have to “let go” with my little one’s food choices when she is elsewhere, too. She likes what I feed her at home and that’s good enough for me.

  2. You look great!

    The tone/definition/tightness of your arms is impressive! (arm flab is the bane of my wife’s existence)

    Of course the ab definition is awesome is well.

    Good for you, and kudos for not using the stressful period as an excuse to bail and eat ‘comfort foods’. Truly an inspiration for me.

  3. Wow,looking good Stephanie! Your results are inspiring and reading about your ‘hospital diet’ is making me hungry. I hear ya on the vanilla ice cream.

    Wishing continued good health for you and your hubs.

  4. Wow, you had great results.

    It’s amazing how much diet influences your health, weight, and fat composition… even when you are working out and exercising very rigorously. Carbohydrate loads cause insulin secretion, which then goes on to increase adiposity.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. The non believers spur me on. As you know the proof is in the pudding or in this case “the primal”.
    Your results speak for themselves. Good job!

  6. What a great story, congrats on your transformation and for your husbands health. My wife (age33) is also a cancer survivor….it was one of the hardest things we have ever gone through as a couple but it brought us much closer together.

    Your transformation has been incredible…I am a bit frustrated as I have been eating 80/20 now since April and I have stayed pretty true to it..sometimes more that 80, sometimes less…but I really haven’t seen any weight loss. energy levels up..yes, sleep patterns better..yes….over all well being better…yes but no weight loss yet. I am sure it will come as I stick to it better and really concentrate my efforts.

    Congratulations again to you and your husband!!

    1. Hi Dan,

      Just a thought, but it might help your weight loss if you go 100% for a period of time, say 30 days. For especially insulin resistant people (me) or people with food sensitivities (me, again) 20% non primal foods is too much for me to lose fat. Perhaps try getting rid of dairy to see if that helps? Also try tinkering with your carb intake – perhaps really cutting down on carbs (even primal ones like fruit and sweet potatoes) will help. I had been primal/paleo for a long time and didn’t really lose a lot of weight. It wasn’t until I went low carb (<30g/day) that my body really stared changing. Just my two cents! 🙂

      1. I will add my own experience as evidence to Susie’s suggestion regarding dairy. Being insulin resistant, I found that kicking the dairy was what I needed to finally lose the weight. (Not to mention that I felt much better as well.) 🙂

      2. I concur, and did something similar to Susie but shooting for under 50g per day. Also, it may help to move sweet or higher carb foods to later in the day if they stimulate cravings. If I have fruit during the day it makes me ravenous. If I have 1/2 portion (non-berries) at night after dinner, although I rarely do (mostly berries if at all), I sleep off the cravings and am able to start clean again the next day. I still eat about 1/2 an ounce of dark chocolate most nights, regardless. This simple change re-started weight loss for me after months of plateau following 80/20 with a little fruit. I go off program less, am less hungry, and consequently I have to start over less. 80/20 doesn’t work for me, more like 90/10. Went down about 10 lbs in roughly 10 weeks and I certainly wasn’t perfect in adherence, but I didn’t fall off the wagon and roll down the hill the way I would before, either.

      3. Right on– my carb intake is under 20g’s a day and I feel great. I am a meat, egg, bacon, and turkey burger consumer.

        I often find that, as Mark suggests, eating only when truly hungry, IF and not eating in the evening Work for me and helps my exercise routine of running sprints, boxing, and starting Tuesday– STANDING AT MY DESK!

    2. Hi Dan,

      I’ve heard that muscle weighs more than fat, so as you lose fat and gain muscle, you won’t lose weight. Stop using the scale and let the mirror and your clothes tell you how you’re doing.

      1. thanks for the tips every one…i think it just takes more commitment by me and a real dedication to some more exercise….thanks all

        1. Muscle does weigh more than fat; Dr Atkins says that a tape measure round the waist is more reliable than scales when it comes to measuring improvement in leanness.

      2. Um, muscle weighs the same as fat….
        You mean muscle is more dense than fat, and takes up less space than a pound of fat….

        1. For the same volume, muscle does weight about 5X as much as fat. For example, a liter of muscle will weight about 5x as much as a liter of fat.

        2. Good answer, 2 lbs of feathers = 2 lbs of steel
          It is as stated above, based on volume

      3. Or a Dexa scan or a Bodpod test or a tape measure 😛

        I’ve gotten a Bod Pod test for free…though in my current area the closest one is 45 mins away. Not sure all locations offer free though mine was at a school.

    3. I didn’t lose weight eating regular primal, but I’m eating semi-vegetarian primal with lots of fat, and I’ve lost 20 lbs. I had been doing Atkins off and on for ten to fifteen years, which kept my weight steady, but I never lost weight, and I think I just overdid the protein. My body needs a rest.

      1. (That was a reply to Dan who’s not losing weight.) And I should add that semi-vegetarian means I’m getting my proteins from eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds, and then having meat or seafood two or three times per week.

    4. Perhaps you need to up your work out, get in some more variety. I suggest Robb Wolfe’s Paleo Solution book as a compliment piece to Marks. He has lists of suggestions for variety in work outs. He also explains plateaus and lack of weight loss. There are great recipes as well. Stay strong! you should start seeing results. Maybe move down to 90/10.

  7. Stephanie, what an amazing story! You look terrific, and I’m so glad you feel it, too.

    Thanks for sharing how this primal way of eating helped you keep it together during a tough time. I’m so thankful your husband is doing well.

  8. Wow, you look amazing, I weighed myself at 117 this morning after my 30 day paleo challenge, but I don’t look nearly as toned, very impressive!!

  9. Ha! It’s funny how friends and relatives always worry about your health when you go Primal and start losing weight.

    I can’t count the number of concerned, delicately-phrased questions I got from family members (especially my mother) when I went from 215 to 160 in a matter of months… And they never quite believe you when you tell them you feel healthier than ever. 🙂

    1. I’ve gotten the “your too skinny” comment from family too many times. I finally told them that I am going to start responding with my own “help

    2. I’ve gotten the “your too skinny” comment from family too many times. I finally told them that I am going to start responding with my own “helpful” suggestions such as “you’re looking a litte big there, you could probably stand to lose about 20 lbs” Shut them up pretty good!

    3. Indeed. It’s a sad state of affairs when people become so used to weight gain that they question the health of someone who is of normal weight. I guess obesity has become the new “normal.” It’s everywhere you look.

      1. So, true. I get the don’t-lose-anymore-weight thing and I’m smack dab in the middle of the doctor recommended weight range for my height and frame. I think I could still stand to lose 7-10 lbs though I’m not going nuts over it.

  10. You look fantastic! And that is wonderful news that your husband has recovered! You are an inspiration to those who think they can’t stay Primal in a stressful situation. Grok on!

  11. “I feed them healthy meals at supper time, but for the rest of the day they make their own choices…often not very smart ones.”

    Ha! Amen, sista! I have a couple of those. 🙂 I, too, hope that one day they will remember what their mom taught them way back when.

    But back to you. You look ten years younger and those abs are very impressive. Immense kudos to you for managing the crisis by deepening your commitment to Primal and keeping healthy to help your family. You could so easily have gone the other way. You are an inspiration for many right there.

    1. +1here too, I have 3 nearly young men in my household who think I am a bit cracked. I only dish up primal evening fare, don’t buy cereal products of any type, so if they want them they have to buy them themselves. I usually bury the bread in the bottom of the chest freezer to make it harder to get to. If they eat breakfast at least it has eggs and bacon in it, and like you, I just have to be patient and keep modeling good health thru great food and mindful living.

  12. What a difference 10 or 13 lbs makes! You look like a ninja warrior now, congrats!

    1. Funny you say that. I do a lot of electronics projects as a hobby. Not long ago the guy at the local Radio Shack told me I looked like Bruce Lee, and asked me how I got this way.

      He had actually heard of Paleo, and was using some of our strategies to keep off weight he had lost after an appendix surgery. After our conversation I believe he has become a wholesale convert.

      Everyone wants to be a Ninja. Only some have the mental discipline to do so. In that way it is a fitting metaphor for paleo.

      Grok on!

  13. Ninja warrior! Totally and that is awesome! Great story Stephanie. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Great story. And I’m wondering if going Paleo helped your overall mental attitude in dealing with so much stress. Congrats!!!

  15. Great story and so inspirational. I’m at almost the exact place height & weight wise where you started. Seeing your after pictures my first thought was – “Wow! That’s what I could look like!!” Thanks for sharing your story and giving me the visual I can use as my inspiration!!

    1. +1 I’m also in the same place height and weight-wise. Very inspiring to see the possibilities. Your photos and story may end up posted on my fridge for that daily kick in the pants 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  16. That’s wonderful lady!
    You look very young for a 45 year old.
    Now and then a good kind of ice cream is also my weakness.

  17. Wow you look great. I’m like you in the before pictures, getting lots of exercise, taking a Pump + Abs class, sprinting, all that, but I eat Primal and have been for a year now, and still can’t lose that last 15lbs.

    1. Just a thought-take a look at your stress/cortisol science and how it can limit your progress. Robb wolfe ‘the paleo solution’ might be your answer.

    2. Drop the Pump and Abs classes and keep the sprinting. You’re giving your body mixed messages.

      Long, moderate pace workouts will trick your body into selectively burning any available sugars and carbohydrates. Sprinting will keep you in fat burning mode.

      Also, you can try moving breakfast back a few hours. Extending your overnight fast will give you some extra fat burning time.

      This worked well for me. I’m 37 and was challenged by those last 15 lbs too.

  18. Amazing. I’m 41, 5’2″. My starting weight was 130-ish. I dropped to 120lb and then found Primal Bluerprint..in April 2011. I have since seen 108lb but my body maintains a 110lb average. i can’t see my abs, though. Not enough exercise. You look amazing and so happy to hear hubby is 100%. Note to self: check out BodyPump!

    1. Read the post again. BodyPump was what was not the thing that got her there. It was the thing that was stalling her progress. Quote:

      “(cycling, hiking and BodyPump™twice a week), but as the years were going by my weight was creeping up.”

      Long, moderate pace workouts trick your body into selectively burning carbs and sugar. You have to leave the old paradigm behind. These types of workout programs do not work at burning fat or building lean muscle.

      The last few lbs are always the litmus test for whether or not you have truly broken yourself from the old, flawed ways. They won’t get you there…

  19. Did you change anything else besides going Primal? IF, calorie count, carb cycle? Do you lift weights? Sorry for all the questions, I’ll admit that I’m skeptical that “only” switching to Primal foods got you down to such leanness and visible abs. And in the interest of full disclosure, I am a 47 y.o. female who switched to Primal eating around the same time you did, I lost about 5-6 lbs. of fat, but am now following Leangains which includes IF, to see if I can move that stubborn abdominal fat. Eating Primal and not tracking calories/macros just didn’t do it for me.

    1. +1 Please let us know your exercise routine or if you tried IF to get such a great cut look. I am at a similar place where I only need to loose a couple more lbs of fat to achieve my desired look but I am finding it difficult to do so.

  20. Eating primal helped me loose the initial 30 lbs, then we reached a plateau that lasted 6 months until we started a calorie-restricted diet.

  21. You look fabulous! You and I are the exact same height and weight. When you’re only 5’2″ it’s easy to feel “puffy” and not see the cut defined muscles we work hard for!

    Great news about your husband! Here’s wishing you, him and your kids great health!

  22. Stephanie, you are inspiring. I hereby resolve to get my bicycle out Saturday evening, check it over, air up the tires and dust off the cob webs. I will ride it Sunday!! That will kick start my riding habit again. Thank you for sharing your story. You look fabulous!

  23. You look amazing! For all of you calorie counters out there; I’ve counted calories for the last 10 years. I’m 51 yrs, 5’6″ and 155 lbs. I’ve not been able to get below that weight for the last 2 years, in spite of keeping cals at 1200/day and exercising. I’ve ditched the calorie counting and have been following primal plan for 1 week now. I’ve changed my gym routine as well. So, I hope I will have as much success as so many of you have following primal living.

    I’ve also found myself going to the grocery store and “hunting/gathering”. It’s fun!

    1. I lost 10 lbs very quickly when I went primal then stalled for 2 months. I just broke through the plateau by INCREASING my calorie intake by eating more fat! I was very surprised, it kind of happened by accident. When I stepped on the scale I expected to be up 2 lbs but was instead down 2. Try increasing your calories with good fats and see what happens.

      1. Yeah same here. I got on the scale today thinking I would be up – I have been eating more fat because I have been so pressed for time this harvest. Its hard to scarf a huge salad in a tractor/grain truck/combine as opposed to some cheese and cucumbers, frozen coconut oil cubes – the calories were way up and I was 4pounds down.

        1. Thank you for the info. I will definitely try increasing my fat consumption.

  24. Holy smokes!!! iT seems as if those were 2 completely different people. Great job!

  25. You look great! Glad your husband is doing well. Have a great weekend, everyone.

  26. I am very moved by this story as I was not as fortunate when the love of my life was fighting cancer. Instead I was depressed, became quite sedentary and gained a lot of weight. I have just started the Primal way of life and envy that you had it as a support when you were your husband’s caregiver. It would have been wonderful to have as a distraction, and to take care of me, as you did!

    1. Did you lose your love to cancer? I hope not, but if you did, I’m sorry for your loss. (hugs)

  27. You look so much younger in the ‘after’ shots. I love it! You are telling my story…

  28. Great news about your husband! and you look great! Just what I need to get me over that ‘just one more day of dairy’ excuse lol… I’m sure I’d enjoy cycling a lot more once I get that power to weight ratio down too. Thanks for sharing your story! 🙂

  29. Congratulations! I always find it helpful to see the amount of time from start to finish! I often have to remind myself that it is a process and even if my body composition doesn’t change as quickly I would like, the key is to not put in the towel! I have to remember to look at things in terms of months rather than days!

  30. Inspiration I need for my last 10 lbs, too!!! Thank you, Stephanie. You look so happy and so strong. Your children are lucky to have such role models as you and your husband.

  31. Congratulations on your primal success, and joy on your husband’s recovery!

    Your story reminds me that times of stress aren’t best relieved by throwing health out the window. While studying for the bar exam this summer, I was so stressed out, and I looked for relief in the nearest, cheapest source: sugar. At 5’6″, I’d primaled myself down to 133, but sugar and bar exam pushed me back up to 145. It’s been a month since the exam, and that 12 pounds is still hanging around, annoying me and bringing its own stress. I’ve learned my lesson!

    1. This is too funny. I was contemplating whether to include the pre-bar exam primal hiatus in my earlier post about tweaking my diet to make it work better. I took California in July. So much fun! Haha. You?

  32. Wonderful story! I know having something like Primal to focus on in times of stress can be very helpful…something positive in a sea of uncertainty. And I’m so glad to hear your husband is back on his feet…this is a feel-good story all the way around.

  33. I love this transformation because it is the relatively small amount of “thick” or “chubby” weight, those last 10 or 15 pounds that stop us from looking just the way we want to, that exasperates so many people. And you lost it, at 45 no less, and it made such a difference!!! I love the change in your arms especially!!!!

  34. and congratulations on your husband’s triumph over illness !!!!

  35. Wow, Stephanie! You’re looking great! I’m getting there a bit slower than you, but am getting there. I can fit into an old skirt that I thought I would never fit again.
    I totally identify with the kids not following. I do cook them eggs and bacon for breakfast so at least one meal a day is sorted. I’m not going to force them to my way of thinking – it must be a choice. At least one day when they’re older, they’ll remember what a difference it’s made in my husband and my life – he’s lost more than me and he doesn’t even exercise! His heartburn and indigestion has disappeared and my digestion has also improved.

  36. Great transformation. Your arms and stomach look lean and defined. That is not easy to do so congrats.

    Eating at the hospital must have been tough. Hospital food is not exactly the most nutritious food out there, there are some exceptions.

    Eggleston hospital in Atlanta offers good healthy choices. I was able to get a piece of grilled chicken and a salad.

    Matthew Beavers

  37. Wow! What an awesome transformation! I find your story particularly encouraging because you are my age with a similar height and starting weight. I thought the flab on my arms was a genetic trait that I had to live with, but look at your arms now! Unbelievable. 🙂

  38. You look amazing! We have the same height/weight but you clearly have more muscle. Are you still doing body pump? Congrats on a healthier you and a good report for your husbands health!

  39. So happy to hear your husband has recovered! amazing story! and I am extremely happy to read about another wonderful mother who doesn’t feel guilty about allowing the kids to make choices at their age. I have 2 teen boys at home and have become frustrated worrying that they will not be healthy as an adult because I can’t get them to see the primal or paleo way yet. I am relieved to know that I am not failing as a parent of teens. In the end, they will come to understand my reasoning and hope they will adapt a healthier lifestyle at least 80/20!
    and btw- i need to have those abs of yours!

  40. Very nice! You look awesome. Question: are you still doing the same workouts as before, or did you change your exercise routine with the switch to primal?

  41. Great story–even better that your husband fully recovered! I am working on my last 10 lbs and this morning weighted in at 167– only 7 from my goal.

    Keep primal and stay healthy and never, never let the naysayers influence you!

    Bike on!

    Pastor Dave

  42. You look at least TEN years younger.. And how wonderful your DH made a full recovery. So happy for you. Hugs all around. Judy

  43. Wow Stephanie, you look like Zuzanne (previously from body rock tv site)
    Amazing !!!

  44. I love hearing that your kids ask “Is it primal” – that means that the info is sinking in.

    I remember being a kid and KNOWING things were bad for me, but just not caring. The stuff my mom was yammering about, though, stuck with me – and in my later years, you better believe I remembered those things she told me. Funny how we come around 🙂

    I’m sure your kids will totally appreciate the hard work you’re putting in for them. Maybe not today, but one day!

  45. If your husband’s leukemia/metastasized cancer ever comes back, he should try a ketogenic/zero-carb diet. That and some chemo will destroy it, as long as he still has a functional immune system.
    Cancer cells, due to the warburg effect, can’t burn anything but glucose and its fermented by-products. This is extremely inefficient and cancers need loads of insulin (and insulin-like growth factor), as well as carbs to keep them fed and multiplying.
    They have their mitochondrias shut down because otherwise the mitos will kill the host cell once they receive tumor necrosis factors released by white blood cells.

    When they scan your body to see where the cancer is, they use an irradiated chemical that functions just like glucose… because they know the cancer will gobble most of it up – they need to to survive. This is why cancer is a disease of civilization

    Neurologists were able to slowly reverse end-stage brain tumors that were unresposive to chemo by doing this… not that you really need a study to show you this works – this is basic chemistry/cellular biology. Basic logic and critical thinking is all you need (same reason why no one ever bothered to do a double-blind placebo-controlled, peer-reviewed study on the effectiveness of parachutes)

    intermittent fasting and eating more Omega-3 can also help.

  46. Hi everyone… sorry I’m just getting to this now. I was so suprised to see that I was Mark’s success story today. Thank you for all the very kind feedback! As for the questions… “Did you change anything else besides going Primal? IF, calorie count, carb cycle? Do you lift weights?” ANSWER: I do not count calories or carb cycle. I have recently started IF’ing but really just as an experiment…I’m not trying to lose any more weight. As for my workout… I do Body Pump twice a week (religiously) with the heaviest weight I can lift with proper technique. 6 months of the year my husband and I bike approx. 100 km per week but it’s not what I would call chronic cardio. We bike at a fun pace…it’s really more play! Stephanie

    1. What is Body Pump? Sorry if I missed what that is somewhere?

      Also have you read Body by Science. That is a great workout book and Doug McGuff supports Paleo/Primal.

      I loved The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living/Performance as well.

      1. Body Pump is a Les Mills program/class workout offered at Goodlife and Nubody gyms. It’s an hour long total body group weight lifting class done with barbells. The routine is set to great upbeat music and the class is led by an instructor. They change the routine every 6-8 week (not sure) to keep it fresh and challenging. I am not an official spokesperson for Body Pump just a huge fan! I’ve tried using the machines at the gym but I get so bored!I have nightmares about they stopping the class… I’m really addicted!

  47. Well done to you Stepheanie,you look fabulous. Do hope my arms can reveal themselves like yours have! And great news that your husband has recovered. My husband has chronic illness & I have spent lots of time at the hospital over the years. But his last 2 week stay was the first after I went primal. The hospital cafe has “healthy food” but not much primal food. I cooked roast meat, or slow cooked primal stew so I had something healthy to eat at night all week, and did’t have an excuse to buy junk at the hospital or on the way home. I reckon it helped me cope with stress better too.
    What a great example you are setting fort those teenagers of yours. Congratulations.

  48. Wow, you look great! And younger (always a bonus!) Congrats on your success and on your husband’s recovery 🙂

  49. Love this story! Fantastic how you were able to latch onto Primal in such a difficult time of your life.

    Bravo.

  50. When a family member of mine was dying, Primal got me through healthy and strong. I’m sure I would have become sick on the SAD. You look like a fresh 25 Y.O. HOT, I might add!!!

  51. I keep looking at your photos and it’s amazing. What an accomplishment. And I’m so happy your husband is better.

    You are straight out of ‘Kill Bill’ and I bet you could kick Uma’s butt.

  52. “[…] I continued to lean out and people started worrying that I wasn’t eating. I told them I was eating more than usual, but they didn’t believe me. […]”

    LOL I can totally recognize this! My soon-to-be mom in law keeps telling me I should be careful, I’ve lost too much weight already as she tells me… I keep telling her that I eat plenty of protein and vegetables, but it doesn’t sink in!

  53. Isn’t it amazing how much youth you can reclaim with a few simple choices

  54. Stephanie – amazing! You look fantastic. I’d love to hear what the “more” is in your diet. What does a typical day look like for you? Glad to hear your husband is doing well, too.

    1. thanks again everyone! the staples I described in my story were the things I ate while my husband was in the hospital…easy, little prep work, single serving for the most part. Now that we’re home I love to prepare more elaborate meals. I’m a member of a CSA (community sponsored argiculture) program so get a bounty of fresh veggies and a dozen free run eggs every Monday. I’d say I consume at lease 80% of the produce myself and my goal is to eat it all by the next week and NEVER let anything go to waste. Steak on the barbeque is a favourite but we also love beef and chicken liver.

  55. I hope I wasn’t the only one that hoped she meant ‘mini cakes’ instead of ‘mini cukes’ 😀

    I learnt something new today!

  56. a typical weekday would be
    BREAKFAST: 2 cups of coffee (with heavy cream or blended with virgin coconut oil). 2 eggs fried with fresh sage OR a whole avocado. I also take a shot glass of kefir every morning.
    LUNCH: usually a) large chicken souvlaki salad from the “food court” in our local city market(with hot sauce of course) OR b) a piece of salmon with a side salad and a large peppermint tea.
    SUPPER: meat and veggies. Occassionally a glass of dry red wine and a couple of squares of dark chocolate or a small serving of fruit.
    SNACKS: I rarely snack between meals or in the evening but if I do it’s a) handful of almonds b) a tin of sardines with mustard c) left over raw or cooked veggies d) a chunk of good cheese.
    TREATS: my rare treats are approx 20 plain pringles or a small bowl of ice cream or a small cookie. In the past I tried some primal/paleo baking recipes… I never felt they compared to the “real thing” so I decided that if i’m going to induldge it would be a true indulgence.

    1. Sounds like Bulletproof coffee. Do you use Upgraded Coffee? I’ve been thinking about trying that.

      It sounds great but 18.95 for 12 ounces is a good amount. I will also need to buy some kind of grinder for the beans and a coffee pot.

      I’d love suggestions for a good cheap pot and grinder if anyone has any.

        1. Thanks Jonathan. I think bulletproof coffee is made with raw grass fed unsalted butter which I cannot get in Canada. I guess coconut oil is a variation on the idea. I use certified organic beans roasted close to my home. I buy my beans pre-ground. The package is vaccum sealed and comes with a little valve to let all the air out after you open it. Pretty nifty and tasty!

  57. What a great story. I’m so happy for your husband’s recovery and your before and after photos are great.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  58. That was indeed an inspirational story with very inspirational before and after pics.

    Congratulations on your husband’s recovery.

  59. I had the same issue for months following primal.I lost a few inches but nothing on scale. I kept my carb in take below 40 and ate no dairy. I then went and had live blood analysis done (google it). I was told my body isn’t processing fat or protein. That my hormones were shot ,i was retaining alot of water and all this was causing an inability for my body tolose weight. So i have begun taking alot ofsupplements to heal my body still eating primal with some added dairy. Hopefully it all helps. Already i feel immensely better in two months, way more energy, chronic migraines gone and much more. No weight loss yet but more inches. I wanted to share my story because its an aspect to weight loss on primal that i have yet to see here. Hopefully i will have success story in 6 months and can be a missing puzzle piece in someones journey on primal.

    1. Karen… it must be comforting to know that you may have identified the problems! good luck and keep us posted.

  60. Awesome! At times I think, maybe it’s my age or that I’m different. NOPE…it’s just being dedicated and knowing that it’s a long process. It’s a lifestyle.

  61. This is an awesome story. Thanks so much for sharing. My mom has the mentality that she is too old in her late 40’s to do anything physical, because she gets “out of breath”. I think it’s so sad and such a shame that she thinks that. I’m 28 and have been primal for around 3 months, but my biggest motivation is to be the opposite of my mom at that age – and your story has given me more inspiration!

    1. Stephanie R. You are very lucky to have found Primal at an early age and it’s such a shame that you’re mother feels that it’s too late for her. I’ve always felt young and I plan on cycling, hiking and lifting weights the rest of my life (they’ll have to pry that barbell out of my cold fingers lol). Have you heard of Ernestine Sheppard? She’s my role model!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OR-6y-8-nM

        1. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 Ernestine Sheppard is an amazing woman!

  62. BodyPump instructor here! Going Primal is helping me out so much in my teaching!! I’m lifting heavier and have more energy during class. =D

  63. First, it is wonderrful that your husband made a full recovery! It was refreshing to read that you did not abandon your eating plan. Most Americans would have. I am a fitness instructor and it is hard to get folks to get out of the “all or nothing” mentality. We are either working out, or we are not. We are on a diet, or we are not. Again, congrats for sticking to your own eating plan even thought you were in a challenging time of your life.

  64. This is an inspiring story. I’ve been researching ways to eat healthier and just discovered this blog.

    I find myself gravitating more to fruits and vegetables. I’ve been eating alot of fish this past week, but I don’t crave red meat like I used to. Perhaps I’m

    Looking forward to learning more from you. Thanks!

  65. You’re so lean it looks like you lost more than just “those last 10 lbs.” You look great!

    1. Thanks Deanna! You pile 13 lbs of butter on the table and image that on my 5’2″ frame…it had nowhere to hide! That being said, I assume what’s happened is that I lost more that 13 lbs of fat and added some muscle. When I started leaning out it was the inspiration I needed to push myself and lift heavier at the gym because I was finally able to see those muscles that I’d worked so hard for. They were there all along just hiding… I’m much stronger since going primal. I don’t know the science behind it but have to beleive that a high protein diet is conducive to building muscle.

      1. …high protein and low protein-destroying adrenaline/epinephrine from no longer having to deal with reactive hypoglycaemia (and 99% of overweight people have to deal with low blood sugars at least to some degree from a broken carb metabolism)
        Perhaps the reduced inflammation also helped…

  66. first, congratulations on your husband’s recovery.

    second, WOW! you look like a completely different person. i’m sure you feel amazing too.

    well done.

  67. My wife at age 45 said she can’t lose her “pooch” because she’s past that. Thanks for the pictures and story that it can be done! I finally got her to give up her morning oatmeal in favor of eggs with spinach, we’ll see if it makes a difference!

  68. Just back from holiday in Itlay – ever tried to be primal in Italy? But managed to stay clear of pasta :-)) and stories like this have motivated me to get back on track. You look great and I want your stomach – now!!! Well done.

  69. That’s amazing. Well done. I like a story with a happy ending 🙂

  70. We are soul sisters! My husband was just diagnosed with Leukemia in May 2012 and I too had just started primal and struggled to find options in the hospital cafeteria. I haven’t been as diligent as you and your story is exactly the motivation I need right now. Thank you! I hope to be a success story one day with your same good news that my husband is cured!

    1. dear Missy… so sorry to hear about your husband’s diagnosis. I hope that your story has a happy ending like ours. Everyone’s different…eating primal helped me cope but another person might find it more stressful. One thing I can say for sure is that it kept me healthy and by his side in a time when his immune system is low. Had I caught a cold or other bug that they would have kept me away from him. Keep us posted on how you and your husband make out

    2. If your husband still has a functional immune system he can go zero-carb/ketogenic and starve his cancer while feeding his immune system… cancer cells won’t be able to handle the immune response, much less chemo without their sole fuel source.
      Cancer cells must deactivate their mitochondria to disable programmed cell death; without doing this they wouldn’t stand a chance in hell against your immune system.
      But without mitochondria, cancer cells cannot burn ketones, fat, or even glucose combined with oxygen/cellular respiration – they must rely solely on glucose fermentation.
      This is an inefficient process and means they can only burn sugar and its fermented byproducts… to compensate cancer cells will put up large amounts of insulin receptors and as they constantly multiply, they never become insulin resistant; they always gobble up all the carbs you feed them.
      This is why cancer is a disease of civilization – our whole bodies, the entire function and biology of multicellular organisms hinges upon programmed cell death. Without cell suicide, all the cells in your body would rebel… they’d be pissed that brain cells gobble up excessive amounts of energy while only gonad cells get to spread their DNA… The fact that cancers can survive long enough to kill us is a freakish anomaly of modern carb-laden, insulin-spiking diets.
      Cancer cells and white blood cells are fighting a cold war, a tonnage war against each other. Cancer cells are inherently disadvantaged as they can’t burn fat/ketones.
      Why would you want to throw a banquet feast for your cancer by feeding it carbs and insulin-like growth factors? Especially as this can also suppress your own immune system.
      Mike Eades blogged about a study on ketogenic diets stabilizing/slowly reversing end-stage brain tumours in patients that were no longer responsive to chemo (basically at death’s door)
      But the basic science of this stuff is sound; you don’t need to read a study as much as you need to understand basic cellular biology and biochemistry to understand this…
      Even radiologists use irradiated molecules that mimic sugar to detect cancers – they know the cancers will gobble up the fake sugar before any other cells get a chance to…

      Look up the warburg effect…

  71. Congratulations, Stephanie! Your story is inspiring, you look amazing, and so happy that your husband is doing great!
    I’ve been primal for a little under 2 years. My husband is completely on board, and my 15 year old is, as well. He was my pickiest eater, who refused all vegetables. Now, he eats everything. I soak kale in coconut milk and then stir fry it in coconut oil…..both my 13 yo & my 15 yo think it’s amazing. I think it just takes time, allowing them to try things, but also refusing to buy certain things. I got to the point with my 13 yo daughter that I just won’t buy the stuff she wants me to buy. So, she has to try what I cook….and guess what? She likes most of what I make…..it’s amazing how much better veggies taste cooked in fat. 🙂

  72. Stef, you said that you arent satisfied with paleo baked goods. Have you ever tried Raweos? They are soooooo good. I cant help but splurge the $7.50 every time I see them in the store and all the ingredients are paleo.

    PS, For those that have sensitive stomachs like I do, or for those that just want the most nutrition out of coffee, look into cold brewing tea and coffee. I do cold brew both coffee and tea. I find that it tastes the best, it has way less acidity that you get from heating coffee or tea. And its gonna have more of the antioxidants etc that coffee and tea has. Mmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm!

  73. I rejoice in everyone’s success stories and the determination/self worth they all involve. I am 70yo and when I look around my apartment complex I see obesity, depression and illness that I don’t want in my senior years. I did the Atkins years ago but had forgotten the success until I read ” WHY WE GET FAT. . .”, then followed up with Mark
    Sissons wonderful website. I have been following a high fat/low carb (20) plan for a month, but have only lost 2lbs. My energy level is lower than I would like, so I am gradually increasing my exercising (walking/stretching-2 lb weights). How does one measure(?) 80% fat/ 20% protein? My carbs are usually lower than 20, with meat,salad greens, veg,some dairy. I am going to continue, as I believe in this, so any suggestions are welcome. Thank you and I am happy to be part of this group.
    shirleyjeanne

    1. Shirleyjeanne. At 70 you’re very smart to be joining the primal movement. It’s never too late and I’ve found it’s a great community!

      Regarding your questions “How does one measure(?) 80% fat/ 20% protein?”

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting that 80% of your diet should be fat. To clarify… when I talk about the 80/20 rule what I mean is that 80% of the time I eat “real food” that is primal “approved” and the remaining 20% I indulge in foods that would be considered non-primal (like a piece of bread/ white potatoes/ rice/ pasta/ cupcake/ice cream etc…)The idea behind the 80/20 rule is that you don’t have to be “perfect” and trying to be “perfect” causes stress which is not good!

    2. It is very key that you don’t mix your 80 and your 20. You don’t want to eat 80/20 within the course of a day. Otherwise there is always carbs for your body to burn and it will selectively burn them first. If you’re not noticing an increase in energy level, this is likely what is going on.

      Try going 8 days primal then relax for 2 (at least once, so you know). You may find this works better. Also, try to make your exercise as intense as safely possible for your age. Even if this just means jogging in place. These two things should start a snowball effect for you. Typically the older you are the stricter you have to be on these core principles. But it will work if you commit to them.

  74. Stephanie,
    You look amazing and are so inspiring me!!
    What kinds workouts do you do?
    Your arms and abs shredded!
    Glad to hear your hubby has recovered.

  75. Great story! Glad all is well! We did BodyPump a couple of times in my police academy, it was a nice workout!

  76. GEEZ! You are ripped. Congrats on your transformation and your husband’s recovered health.

    You’ve got lots to Grok on about. Don’t let me keep you…

  77. Wow, nice guns and guts! You really leaned out there! SO glad to hear your hubby is well again and I wish you and the whole family continued great health!

  78. Very inspiring story I would encourage you to research and try Lugol’s iodine for your husband, it is extrmely powerful for anti cancer support and promoting overall health. Lugol’s and coconut oil are my favorite supplements.

  79. Well Done you, you look fantastic. I hope I look that good in 15yrs. And well done you for sticking to it during the hard times and also living with those that don’t follow it, call it a ‘cult’ or are total skeptics and think it nonesense without really giving it a go themselves..ok now I am just talking about those around me haha!!! it isn’t easy but you just give me more inspiration and like you said some people just take longer to make the changes

  80. I’m officially inspired. Thank you for sharing your success story!

  81. Stephanie your arms are absolutely great!I am dreaming to get to that point!
    I’m 37 when I started I was about same weight and same height as you, now I’m 119 lb . Mostly I was eating right, but recently decided to tone my body. You are inspiration for me, especially the way you mentioned about your kids 🙂
    How long does it get to get those arms? It seems like I’m missing some key……I jog once a week for an hour, go to gym 3 times a week , but it seems like notting is changing. Any advice?

  82. Amazing journey, Stephanie! So happy about your DH’s recovery too. I’m fairly new to PB and find your pictures truly inspirational. Now I feel like whipping out my barbells!

    Happy New Year (it’s now 2014)! 🙂