What 5 Weeks of Living Primal Looks Like

It’s Friday, which means success story time. Today it is my pleasure to share Dorene’s story. She went Primal on January 1st, not long ago, but as you’ll see from her pictures, sometimes five weeks is all that’s needed to see change.

If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the MDA community please feel free to contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!

Wowzers, my body is changing!!! I’ve done the low carb thing for 10 years on and off but not the Primal way…

The first time I did Atkins, I lost 20 lbs. Like I was on crack.

I think I was Primal without realizing it. I ate burgers, no bun, shrimp in garlic butter sauce, bacon, eggs and basically only meat. Very few veggies. At the time I was 28, surfing 4+ hours every day (playing), waiting tables (walking), no car (more walking), and lifting weights.

I gained the weight back a couple years later (bad eating habits never die if you don’t change your lifestyle). I tried to lose it again using Atkins, but I would binge on pepperoni, salami, cheese, more cheese, diet cokes, weird Atkins bars, pork skins, ranch dressing and basically low carb crap. I would lose the water then stall out. Or I would lose a few pounds, then cheat. I cheated because I felt crappy eating all that dairy and processed crap and I would crave fruit and carby stuff. I thought maybe I had made myself immune to low carb living by eating that way for so long.

I finally found the Primal way of life through CrossFit last year. The CrossFit I went to actually recommends Dr. Cordain’s book. I read the book and tried to change over but since I was eating low fat meats I was always hungry and my portions were huge. I would eventually end up cheating because I was always hungry. Then I was introduced to this website by a friend who told me this was much easier because Primal wasn’t as strict.

So finally, after researching and reading the posts, I went Primal on January 1, 2011. I cut out dairy (trigger food and I over consume), coffee, and limited fruit and nut intake. I have lost 10 pounds. My scale occasionally will say I’m 129 and I haven’t seen the 120’s in about 10 years. I’ve always been very active with yoga and paddling competitively and still couldn’t get below 132. Now my clothes are too big, muffin top is gone, I look toned, my stomach is going back to its flat self and the best part is my cellulite is going away. Cheeee hooo!

Though, I haven’t been perfect. I probably ate more fruit in the beginning than I should have, too many nuts at times, a few cheat days when friends were in town including late night grilled cheese sandwiches and fries after a night of drinking. One dinner party, I couldn’t resist the dessert… a few too many 80% chocolate bars and one incident with too much ice cream. The difference is, when I cheated I didn’t feel guilty; and the next day I continued with my Primal way of life. Before, that would have ruined me. One day would’ve turned into a week, maybe a month, or even a few months of cheating. I would gain weight with the mindset that “tomorrow I start my diet, so let’s binge today!”

This is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and this has changed my thoughts on food. Last year I spent too much money going to the doctor trying to figure out why I felt weak, dizzy, low energy, depressed, moody and tired all the time. Since changing my way of eating, I have so much energy. I don’t need coffee and I look forward to the gym and my long walks. I also notice what the scale says doesn’t mean sh#%. I lost 6 pounds the first couple weeks, then, according to the scale, gained that back the 3rd and 4th week but my clothes were big and I was definitely smaller. I hid my scale so I wouldn’t freak out. I think it was the new muscles making my scale creep back up. Last week I weighed my self and low and behold it said 129.5 I’m starting to buy new clothes because some of my things are too big.

About me : I’m female, 38, fairly active and definitely cheat a li’l bit. I rarely eat dairy (I use it as a cheat meal). No more processed meats like salami (also a cheat meal). Almost zero fruit because I’m trying to lose weight. I walk 5 miles about 4 times a week and lift weights about 3-4 times a week (not CrossFit, can’t afford it). Lots of beach time (live in Hawaii), walk to work and around town. I don’t do sprints (yet). I do yoga a couple times a week. I hope this helps anyone that may be struggling. Ignore the scale, listen to your body and try to eat real food. Grok on!!


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202 thoughts on “What 5 Weeks of Living Primal Looks Like”

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    1. I do, and believe me some of the most beautiful women in the world are here…

      Good for you Dorene, Aloha FBI.

  1. Wozers Dorene!! You look fabulous! I moslty just tinker with primal eating(eat way too many carbs)but you’ve inspried me to go at it full tilt. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  2. WOW! You have the body that I thought was never attainable for me, but when I started this I was closer to your before picture! You have given me a lot of motivation, definitely going to cut out the dairy and fruit and add in more walking.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Ditto on this. My “before” body is almost exactly like Dorene’s, and we have similar levels of activity. Knowing that I could get to that kind of “after” has motivated me anew… gotta cut the dairy and fruit once and for all.

      You look awesome, Dorene!

  3. Great story 🙂 just ate a big plate of spinach with some cheese and feel guilty about the dairy now! hehe

    1. I think maybe there’s a little too much fear of dairy out there. MDA considers it a grey area. I’ve never had a problem tolerating dairy. Just listen to your body. If you feel bad when you eat dairy, then avoid it. If you don’t, then do whatever you like. But please don’t attach guilt to real honest food. And never substitute a non-dairy fake industrial product for real food. As long as you eat real,unprocessed food, guilt is a silly response.

  4. I compliment you, Dorene, for your change and success. You look stunning.

    I only wish you had provided photos from January 1st 2011 and not April 27th 2010. And before I sound too creepy: It’s in the EXIF-Metadata of the photos 😉

    Is there any chance you could change that?

    Best wishes regardless,


    1. Trust me I looked exactly the same on January 1st as I did when I took those photos. Which is why I didnt re-take new ones. I also didnt expect such dramatic results or realize the results were as dramatic till I looked at the photos side by side. My motivation to really do this, this time was my health. I had tried several times before and like I said it’s been 10 years since I was able to motivate again to really do it. Thanks for all the compliments. If I can do it trust me so can you!!

  5. Amazing! And it looks like she shed a lot more than ten pounds!!! Amazing transformation and HOT body.

  6. Very enjoyable article, full of helpful details. Great going, Dorene!

  7. Dorene,
    You look absolutely lovely and I hope you are super proud of yourself! Can I ask how tall you are?

  8. You look like you could be in your 20’s…you look fabulous with a body to die for! I started Primal eating last month and my weight has been all over the place, yet my clothes are falling off…glad to see I’m not the only one!

    Keep up the great work 🙂

    1. Yeah, I was a bit surprised at the age but then I’m 36 and get mistaken for mid to late 20’s all the time. It’s the melanin I think.

      1. Not necessarily. I’m a lot paler than she is and I still get pegged for younger. (I’m 37.)

    2. Im genetically blessed with looking a lot younger than my age. No one believes I’m 38. I believe it’s no stress living in hawaii and having a job I love that has helped also.

      1. wow you really don’t look 38!!!! you look MY AGE! I am 23 now and would die to have your body! You are looking awesome! I have started PRIMAL today…YOU did inspire me to start this Primal lifestyle Dorene! Congrats!!!!

  9. Hey Dorene,

    You look great and I bet you feel even better. I have to ask though, why did you give up coffee?

    1. I gave up coffee because I wasn’t doing dairy, sugar or sugar substitutes. All of which I need to enjoy my coffee. I found after giving up coffee that I really didnt need it. I like the flavor so I will occasionally have a decaf.

      1. Coconut Oil is great in Coffee.

        Funny Atkins and Fit for Life are the only “diets” I have ever done. I re- read an old Atkins book I had – it is amazing that when I did Atkins it was a lot like the way you did it, with all the unnatural foods high in nitrates.

        I also wasn’t exercising – but I did have a pretty active job.

        The other things not so great about Atkins, were the Chemical Sweeteners, and all the Soy products, most GMO, as well as not being that great for Guys, or our Thyroids.

        The book I have is the last He wrote and in that He was advocating heavily on Organic Veggies and Grass Fed Organic meats – Funny how all that was off my radar back then. He does have a lot of Positive things in the diet as well.

        I did go mostly raw last December – with meat/fish once a week.

        The last time I did a blood test was while I was on Atkins ( with lots of processed junk) – After going most raw/real foods – my Cholesterol and Lipids were about 10% better this time (both times about 3 months) – I felt better a first – but really lacked sustainable energy – Yet I always missed the bread, now once a week I will have a slice of “Daves Killer Bread” – all organic with 21 nuts and seeds and organic. Usually 1 or 2 slices a week with some raw tahini and raw sesame seeds on that.

        I am debating going primal – it is much more expensive ( IMHO) since grass fed and wild meats are more expensive.

        When I did Atkins It was with the cheapest meats I could find CAFO (i.e. $.99/lb hamburger/ Chicken/ $1/dzn eggs)

        Perhaps I just need to add in more IF, or larger portions of Vegetables and smaller portions of meat.

        1. The bars are Atkins Nutritionals, not original Atkins stuff. Get his 1970s-era book. I found it at Goodwill. You will be amazed how Primal it is even with the artificial sweeteners being allowed. Which, he used to limit them to so many packets a day. And of course you don’t *have* to eat the stuff.

          You don’t have to eat grass-finished meats to go Primal. I was reading another blog that tends to sympathize with low-carb and paleo and they had a list of common meats and their PUFA content. There’s actually less difference between grass-finished and grain-finished beef than there is between pastured and feedlot bison, and chicken is downright ridiculous. So if you get by on the beef you would be pretty OK. Also, WAPF says that saturated fat has an omega-3 sparing effect, so you wouldn’t have to supplement that as much either.

        2. “Also, WAPF says that saturated fat has an omega-3 sparing effect, so you wouldn’t have to supplement that as much either.”

          What do you mean by this? I’m curious because i eat a lot of beef and not always grass-fed.

        3. Living in hawaii where everything is so expensive I buy most of my meats from costco the majority of the time. Right now I cant really afford the organic grass fed. Maybe one day. I just do what I can and eat the best I can with my resources and it seems to be working fine.

        4. Dana;

          What are the stats on the Omega 6 content in conventional vs organic chicken?

        5. Coconut oil? I don’t know about that but I tried coconut *milk* in coffee and it’s *SPECTACULAR*.

      2. Coffee made from freshly ground locally roasted beans has a complex flavor without any harsh bitterness that needs to be masked with sugar and cream. If you don’t miss coffee, no need to restart the habit, but I enjoy starting the day with a small cup of half-caf and sometimes an afternoon treat of decaf.

      3. Thanks for your input on coffee. I am in the process of giving up coffee—when my last 6 filter are gone then I’m switching to tea with honey. I LOVE coffee but with it goes sugar and dairy. I’m not sure if I am lactose tolerant so I really want to eliminate all dairy at least for a while.

        As a pre-present to myself, I am purchasing this really cool Breville tea pot so that it’s my “official” I’m full tilt going the proper direction. To me, this is the start of another great adventure. THANKS for the inspiration!!!

  10. you look great! You experience is sort of like mine. Lost weight on Atkins when I did it the first time about 20 pound. but then gained it back during the ‘add back some carbs’ phases where you can chose low carb products and low carb bread etc. Now I have been pretty strictly primal since November 2010 and I also use dairy(apart from butter) as my rare cheat.
    Congrats, very inspiring photos

    1. What I like about Atkins is the way you can find your level of carb tolerance. I was thinking I might try it in a more Primal style but with adding more servings of veggies and nuts and berries rather than worrying about ever dealing with grains again, except maybe on a cheat day (and then probably not wheat–I miss rice a lot more).

      Sugar-Free Sheila’s been pretty successful with Atkins and she sets herself one free day a month. I think that’s a pretty good system. I wouldn’t be completely “bad” on a day like that, though–too much sugar would make me sick.

      1. Yes Atkins was good. But I like the ‘purity’ of primal. I mean just cut out grains entirely. Eat real food. Don’t use artificial sweeteners (like splenda). It just makes it easier IMO.

      2. Dana,
        Can you share the website you mentioned above, with the common meats and PUFA contents? I would really appreciate that.

  11. Amazing results Dorene. I started Dec 29th myself with some good results over 12 pounds gone and clothes are fitting bigger. However, I haven’t been watching my dairy intake (cheese is my vice). I look at your results and think “HOT” 😉 and after that I think “maybe I should cut back on the cheese more”.

  12. Dear God,

    If this woman is single I will start to believe in you again.


  13. Thanks for the story! You look amazing! I just started Tim Ferriss’ “4 Hour Body” Primal diet, and I lost 5 lb in a month. In the last week, I’ve gained it all back +1 lb. 5’5″, 169 lb (as of today; I was 163 lb last Friday). Funny thing is, my waist is still the same measurement it was last week. I’ve done Crossfit for 2+ years, and am fairly strong… I needed to read this to get encouragement to KEEP GOING and maybe my body is changing in ways I don’t see just this second.

    1. I was doing Tim Ferriss’ 4HB recently, but found my body reacted really poorly too it, mainly due to “cheat days” and beans, beans and more beans. I think true primal is much more a HEALTH (with a great side effect of body fat loss vs. 4HB which has much more focus on size… Getting MUCH MUCH better results after reading Primal blueprint…

      1. I didn’t do well with it either – cheat days turned into cheat (read binge) weeks. I do much better simply cutting it out a la PB.

        1. My weight increased by 8lbs in the first 2 days, by simple eating all of those beans. Then it took me 1 week to lose what I gained after my cheat day. And man oh man, those binge days were hard to kick and get back on track. I gave it 2 weeks, then went back on PB.

        2. I had the same problems–with binge days (and the beans).
          I wound up gaining a significant amount of weight but
          now on PB I am back to where I started and then some. I did get started on kettlebells though, which is great, although I didn’t start to see results until I did PB.

          Doreen thank you for sharing!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing stories like this! They are so inspirational.

  15. Dorene, you look lean and muscular and beautiful. Great job! I am 62 years old, have lifted/cycled/walked for 20 years, and eaten ‘mostly’ paleo for the past 5 years. Could not lose my 10-15# spare tire. Two weeks ago, I began eating *absolutely* nothing but meat/fish/poultry/eggs/vegetables and have lost 8#. Still drink my espresso, though 🙂 Eating primally works!

  16. I am going to send this to some of my girls, I’m sure they will find your story (and your bangin’ bod) inspiring!

  17. YEA DORENE! Just did a post over at DaiaSolGaia compiling a whole lotta success stories from Mark and around the web – check it out – get inspired!

    (pinged this one too!)

  18. So what do you usually eat a typical day?
    More interesting than what you don’t eat 🙂

    You look awesome btw…


    1. Breakfast turkey burger (i like the taste better than hamburger) cooked in coconut oil with 2 over easy eggs and avocado or 2 scrambled eggs with 4-5 slices of bacon or scrambled eggs with spinach and turkey sausage.
      Lunch- Salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and some kind of meat. dressing olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
      Dinner- Usually ribeye steak or pork chops with a salad, spinach or zuchinni and lately brussel sprouts cooked in bacon fat.
      I dont eat a lot of variety I’m not that creative and dont like to spend the time. Usually season with only salt and pepper and sometimes I just eat meat cause Im too lazy to cook veggies. Once in a while I will make spagetti squash with tomato sauce and italian turkey sausage. YUMMY!

  19. Way to go, hottie! Your story is an inspiration to many. Keep it up and Grok on!

  20. **applause**. well done.

    off with my fruit binging. i eat about 5 a day. and i eat too many nuts.

  21. You look fantastic! Thanks for sharing your story.
    I seem to be a freak of nature – everybody is having these great results and I. just. stay. the. same.
    I started on Jan 5 – have lost about 2 lbs. Cheating has been very minimal.
    But I am grokking on…

    1. hang in there, Polly, some of us just have more stubborn bodies…. i may not be as thin and fit as i’d like, but eating this way definitely makes me FEEL better!

  22. 38??? I had to go back and read that again. When looking at the photo, I though early 20s.
    Fantastic job!
    I’ve got a lot of fat to lose yet, and I do eat too much fruit on occasion, for sure, and probably a few too many 90% chocolate bars, as well.

    My food obsession is pretty much GONE though with this lifestyle, as well as 18 pounds since Jan. 3.

  23. Thanks for sharing. It’s wonderful to see another success story and a female success story! I’ve been paleo since Jan 1 and lost 8kg thus far (17.6lbs).Still a long way to go since my starting point was a lot higher than yours, but I’ll get there.

    1. @LIZ:
      I did this last June/July, and lost 17 pounds in 8 weeks. Won’t get into falling off the wagon and having it back over me several times, but will say that this time, that isn’t going to happen, especially after reading
      Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, and learning the real science behind this stuff.

      I started at 222 on Jan. 3 of this year (I’m female, 5’6″) and am not going to stop. I passed my 8 week mark from last year, so it’s all good!

      1. Your stats are almost the same as mine! I’m about three pounds heavier than you right now. I used to run about 130 in the summer, 135 in the winter and I’m medium build so I carried it well. I haven’t seen the other side of 200 since 2005. 🙁

  24. Awesome results! This mom-of-three is hoping to join your ranks soon! It seems to be a slower journey for me but I love the inspiration!

  25. Wowzers, indeed! You look amazing, and this is just the motivation I needed – thank you!

  26. Is there a non-creepy way to say “Yummy!!”? Yikes, you look awesome. Congrats, and keep up the good work!

  27. Amazing! And very inspirational, since we share very similar body shapes/types. I’m cutting out the cheese!!!! lol

    1. Ditto to what DTinLA said! Thanks Dorene you inspired me to get seriously focused. Your changes are amazing and a real life role model (I’m four years younger, same height, and now think maybe only 10 more pounds to go instead of 20-25). Grok on! 🙂

  28. Your look fantastic!

    I just started CF 3 weeks ago and primal 2 weeks ago. I’ve now lost 16 inches and right at 3 pant sizes. Still have a little way to go to get to my goal.

    However, I really wish I would have taken before pix like you did. I had no idea how well this would work! <3

  29. You look great, and I really needed this inspiration today. I started CrossFit 2 months ago and am up 6lbs from muscle gain and am discouraged about my weight. I gave up dairy this week, so hopefully that will help me too! Good job!!

  30. Dorene, great job! Reading the comments I see that you have motivated more than a few readers (add me to the list!). You’re to be highly commended! I’m going to tear a page out of your book and (finally) go dairy-free and see what happens. I make so many excuses for cream (what do I put in my coffee?) and cheese (it tastes so good!), but perhaps I will be better off without it. I will keep my coffee, but I will drink it black as the night…

    I just wish I lived in Hawaii and could swim and paddle every day! You are a lucky gal…

    Keep up the great work Dorene!


    1. I posted earlier about coffee without cream or sugar, but in case you missed the post, have you ever tried coffee made from freshly ground locally roasted beans? The taste is soooo much better. Give yourself a few days and see if your tongue doesn’t acquire an appreciation of black coffee made from good quality beans.

  31. Doreen – WOW! i’m in day 6 of i guess what you’d call primalish 🙂 before i ate whatever i wanted but avoided gluten and wheat. Now i eat lean meats, veggies, no dairy apart from 2 coffees a week (compared to 2 a day!) nuts (yes im probably ODing on these a little too much) and fruit. My guilty pleasure that keeps me going is a small glass of wine. After seeing your results i may cut out the wine to just weekends! Great inspiration 🙂 hope i look like you in 4 weeks time 🙂

  32. I do pretty well with dairy in my diet–I wouldn’t want to overdo it because it’d make me feel stuffed and sick more than because it’d make me gain. But I can see where Atkins bars and the soybean-oil-based salad dressings would be a problem. I would like to get to the point that we are totally done with soybean oil in this house. (We still have some commercial salad dressing around, and I don’t make my own mayo yet either.)

    I don’t even mind sausages or pork rinds but it depends on how they’re made. The plain rinds are pretty harmless but you want to keep them to a minimum because pork tends to have higher PUFA content, especially the CAFO variety (grain really screws up an omnivore’s fatty acid profile). Sausages can actually be a good source of organ meats if you can’t stand those by themselves. I found a summer sausage that had beef heart in it. As long as it’s not overloaded with sugar it’s not bad once in a while.

    Atkins bars are soy city though. I got a few in the mail today, dunno why they mailed me another starter pack (they sent one last year), but they have, and it had three bars in it. Those things are candy bars, they shouldn’t be everyday snacks. I don’t even buy them anymore.

  33. Wow! Great job! Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration!

  34. Wow, you’re looking great, Dorene! And those photos are really motivating. Thanks for sharing.

  35. You look fantastic …healthy and happy ..just what ladies should aspire to look like .. 🙂

  36. That’s your five week result! Wow, you look so fine, girl! I can only imagine how you’re going to look in another five weeks. Congratulations Dorene! Keep it up!


  37. Fantastic job! Your frame is very similar to mine and I have trouble losing from hips and thighs. You’ve really inspired me to keep on at it.

  38. Congrats. I also did really well on Atkins when I was much younger but somewhere along the line i just got too busy and was eating fast food crap while running my teenager all over the place. when I tried atkins again it just wasn’t cutting it. Hopefully this will work better for me. No matter, I’m convinced i need to do it for my health anyway. I definitely needed to get away from the chemical sweetners. I’ve kept some dairy though, cream in my decaf. 🙂

  39. sigh…. ok ok i’ll cut out the cheese and wine already :-p

    You look great! Thanks for the motivation 🙂

  40. Great job!!! I started on Jan. 1, 2011, too. Down 19 lbs. (had some cheat meals in there, too). You look great and congratulations on a great start!

  41. Dana,

    It is not so much the grass finished as much as it is the Grass Raised. Which we bought a 1/4 side of beef a year ago, that was grass raised. After the Butcher it was about $2.50 a pound, I don’t care for the anti-biotics the hormones, as well as the treatment of the cows in CAFO. ( So I guess that somethings are still reasonable.)

    Yet it is the other meats that get expensive.

    We have four Chickens – so I have a source of Pastured eggs when I want them raw – I get cage free Flax feed for cooking (boiling and scrambling in Coco Oil).

    But the Wild Salmon and Bison and true free range birds for eating – I want them as natural as can be. I don’t do pork or shellfish or Ostrich.

    Reading some of the Blood type diet – I am Type O which does best on Meats and Veggies and Fruits with limited or no grains and dairy. When I went mostly raw/real foods last fall – I 95% got rid of the grains and dairy. I have a little now and then and I felt a ton better.

    Now I think I will go Primal keeping the same 95% but with raw dairy and just sprouted (Juiced wheatgrass) grains.

    I am already kinda of Primal – In Januray I started sprints with Dr. Mercola’s Peak 8. It is awesome – I have never been a big fan of Chronic Cardio – I was always happiest with just 20-25 minutes of Cardio until the endorphins (2nd wind) kicked in.

    The funny thing after adding sprints in – I have to really work a lot harder to get my heart rate up for Aerobic exercise – it was either the Anaerobic Sprint cardio or the fat loss that really lowered my heart rate and BP.

    I know that the PB is only one Sprint a week where as Peak 8 is up to 3-4x a week. While I love the Flexibility of the PB – I do better on a consistent regular schedule – So I guess that it is finding out what my body does best with.

    I know that I do best and feel best on a low/control carb than when I am not.

    The same story with Atkins – is that I would drop about 25-30# and then plateau around 190# and gain it back with adding back in the carbs – then eventually fall off the wagon completely and not get back on –

    I do like having a “free day once a week” – but I usually follow it up with Olive Leaf / Oregano Oil / Pau D’ arco or other to kill of any of the extra sugar monster’s (yeast or bad biotics in my gut that thrive on Carbs or extra fruit sugars).
    I have found that this helps kill the sugar cravings and getting back on track. Then following up with a good Pro-biotic. 12-24hrs later.

    I think that I have gone as far as I can on the raw/real foods – I think it is time to stay on the real foods and go Primal with real foods and add back the meats. I think that getting back into ketosis is the only way to burn off that stubborn fat –

    Even though I was only eatting about 4-6% of meat/fish a week since December.

    I was never really satiated, I was always kind hungry – even with tablespoons of Coconut oil and gobs of raw nuts. The only thing that really made me feel full and not hungry was a Vita-mix full of blended high fiber veggies – it did help some with the blood sugar – but I hit a point of diminishing returns – my weight drop kind of halted ( I dropped 25# then hit the wall) – I think that my body knew that – I was not taking in the same amount of calories so it slowed the metabolism down to match the calorie intake.

    I think that Ketosis with IF will allow me to burn off that stubborn belly fat.

    Then once I reach that goal – I will see if I can find the right Veggie/Meat ratios to maintain.

  42. Incredible!!! I’ve been 100% primal for since the end of December 2010 too and I’ve lost 10lbs and had to buy all new clothes because nothing fit. Your pictures make me wish that I had taken “before” pictures.

  43. Dorene – you look fantastic!! Nice job girl!

    I hope to have results like yours – with your “no cheese” inspiration I might just get there!

  44. You look stunning, woman! You are proof that primal living does a body good. Lucky you, living in Hawaii, where you can be a walking advertisement for primal health all year round.

  45. You look amazing!!! Living in Hawaii and eating healthy is definitely hard to do…when I visit all I want is the local unhealthy/processed food =]

  46. I too am interested in what you eat every day. I limit fruit to one piece per day. I’ve been playing around with Primal/Paleo for several months now but can’t seem to lose like I did before giving up my oatmeal and eating fat free dairy, and limiting fats to 3 tsp of olive oil per day….I was eating chicken then and maybe 1 grassfed burger a week with bun.

  47. First off, CONGRATS! You look absolutely amazing and are definitely going to be my inspiration. Bookmarking this post for sure 🙂

    Secondly…You do not look 38! I pegged you to be about 24/25. You’re gorgeous.

    Keep up the fantastic work 🙂

  48. First of all: Congratulations!!! I wanted to ask you what are your snacks as you mentioned not eating fruits or nuts? I feel like those are the only primal snacks besides veggies.

    Thanks and keep it up!

    1. I’m kinda weird I will eat meat for snacks if Im hungry. I have the pre cooked chicken in the fridge or I will cook up some bacon. I also will cook extra meat and keep in the fridge for when Im hungry. Sometimes I will eat half an avocado. I cant buy nuts I eat toooooo many. I dont really snack too much. (unless Im pms’ing then I’m just hungry all day) Im very active so Im usually out and about and not able to snack. Just home for meals.

      1. You cook bacon as a snack? Using Rachael Ray’s highly acclaimed late night bacon recipe? 🙂

  49. I’ve been Primal since Jan. 1. I probably eat too much fruit, but so far I’ve lost 37.2 lbs – my goal is 100 lbs (first goal). So fruit isn’t hurting me. My main “cheat” is rice, since I work out in the field a lot. I try and find a Vietnamese restaurant, where everything is real fresh. I usually have the grilled fish over rice plate. I worry about having too few calories, so I don’t worry about the rice. I feel better than I’ve felt in years and the weight is flying off!

    1. That is awesome Dennis! Now that is inspiration! I wish the pounds flew off me that quickly. Keep up the hard work!

  50. I too would like to know what you eat… A typical day. And you look great! Keep it up. You inspired me to give up the CHEESE! Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh… bye bye!

  51. Thanks for showing all women that PB can work for us as well as the guys. I am very impressed with your results and wonder if a 52 year old can get those abs! I am 5’2″ and even a small weight loss looks like a lot. Keep up the great work and post again in the fall!

  52. Awesome success story. A definite inspiration to millions around the world!

    You are very damn lucky you live in Hawaii!

  53. She is an attractive woman, no doubt. But that is not what “5 weeks of Primal living” looks like considering the first shot of pictures is in April of 2010 and the second set current. That is a way larger gap between the dates than 5 weeks.

    1. Actually that really is 5 weeks of primal and exercise. Those pictures were taken in April but I looked exactly the same when I started Jan 1. As I wrote, I paddled competitively for 3 years (which is all core, shoulders and back work) and also was doing lots of yoga for 4 years and have always worked out on and off throughout the years sometimes with trainers. I definitely think a lot of that muscle was hiding under a layer of fat. I’ve always been very active and live in Hawaii where I have lots of fun in the sun. Trust me if I can do it anybody can. Everybody that knows me knows I love me some food. My ex husband used to tell me that I shouldn’t eat more than him cause he is 6’6. If I didnt live such an active lifestyle I would’ve been a lot bigger.
      I’m so happy to have motivated and inspired all of you. All your comments motivate and inspire me to keep on going. I’m hoping to post some even better pics in the near future. We only live once why not look the best we can while we can and get the most out of life. I feel great and the better I feel the more great things keep coming my way. I still cant believe that is me in that after picture. I take pictures daily to see if I’ve reverted to the 1st photo.(then I erase them haha! I’m afraid someone will find my camera with all my self photos) I hope to make more progress this month and have some new pictures. This month I will be focusing on sprints and trying to lean out my legs and get those abs to really come out. I’ve NEVER had stomach muscles showing before so I wanna go with it and see what happens. This is so new to me I didn’t know my body could look like this. ALOHA!

  54. WOW, you look hot! My favorite part is that you said your cellulite is going away. I will be so happy if my cellulite goes away too. =)

  55. Wow, you’re hot, not to mention very young looking for your age. Keep up the good work.

  56. You definitely make me want to get “primal,” if you know what I mean…

    Nice work. You look great.

  57. Very nice and thanks for sharing your story – what an inspiration!!

  58. Awesome job! Congrats…I can’t wait to see where I’ll be in 5 weeks…just started 2 days ago…Grok on!

  59. Thanks! You’ve done amazingly in such short time and you’ve just inspired me to quit the carbs and go cold turkey.. literally. 🙂 Grok on!

    1. If the before pics aren’t of Dorene, then it must be a heavier twin because although the woman in the first pic is heavier, the overal proportions (small back, high somewhat wide hips, long legs) are the same. Too bad MDA cut off her head in the first pics.

      1. I cropped my head out of the picture after I took it in case someone ever saw it, I didnt want them to know it was me.

        1. Lol Dorene you are too silly! I felt the same way with some of the body shots ive taken of myself in recent years. Is think oh god this would be humiliating if these were “leaked”. I looked like humpty dumpy with my pear shaped lovehandle middle haha. I’ve lost a good amout, but I’m not there yet. Hey btw your before pics r not bad at all.:-) still very attractive imo. And wow 38….I would have guessed….23? Beautiful and gorgeous!! I just finished reading the Primal Blueprint. Great book and I’m so embracing this lifestyle!! I’m going to share a success story, before and after pics, some measurements, my typical meals, training, my journey and whatever else u guys wanna know. Great inspiration and story Dorene!! Keep it up!!

  60. Thanks so much for telling us how you eat. I’ve been feeling like I shouldn’t be eating as much as I’ve been eating, but it seems like we eat pretty similarly (when I’m not under a sugar attack). You’ve definitely motivated me to keep at it and put DOWN then sugar and back away!!

  61. You look amazing. Obviously,like all of the guys are saying, your body is rocking. But, as a girl, I also see how healthy you look. You have a “glow”. I am just starting on my primal journey and was having some problems-always hungry and craving carbs. Now that you have posted your daily menu I am seeing why. I am not eating enough fats. Thank you for sharing that with us, it is very helpful!!!!!!
    Congrats on your success and changing your life for the better. You are truly and inspiration.

    1. Starting sprints this month. Did my first sprints last week and I will be doing some tomorrow.

  62. Dorene – you look fab. Thanks so much for sharing your story and inspiring us!

    A few questions (if you happen to read this). I’m trying to lose 30 pounds to reach my ideal weight. My health is depending on it (I have Type II Diabetes) and I’d also like to get pregnant in the next year or so after I get healthy!

    1. What’s the difference between Primal and Atkins? I thought they were very similar so I must be quite ignorant even though I have the Primal Blueprint book! YIKES! By the way you’ve described it, seems like with Atkins there’s a heavier reliance on nitrite based foods (cold cuts, sausage etc.) which I DO know is not allowed in the primal way of eating. Is there anything else I should know about?

    2. If you don’t drink coffee anymore, do you drink tea or another form of caffeine? Did you go through caffeine withdrawal?

    1. I read the Atkins book about 10 years ago. He lets you drink diet sodas and fake sugars. I dont remember if he lets you eat processed meat or if I just did that on my own. Just try to eat clean. I never primalize any food. I dont know how to cook very well so my foods are pretty simple and not covered in sauces. Basically meat and veggies. Usually cooked in coconut oil. I only use olive oil for my salads. I think for me consistency in eating and working out is what ultimately got me to where I’am. Goodluck to you.

      1. oh, I drink green tea and this flavored pineapple and strawberry tea I found at whole foods. No caffeine with drawls. I only used to have 1 cup of coffee in the morning that I rarely finished.

      2. Very helpful, thank you so much. And I also love tea and often brew loose leaf white tea and flavor it with lemon, so maybe I could stick to that to help me overcome coffee withdrawal! 🙂 Thanks again!

      3. Very helpful, thank you so much! And I also love tea and often brew loose leaf white tea and flavor it with lemon. Maybe that could help me overcome coffee withdrawal! 🙂 Thanks again!

  63. Heck, I’d be thrilled to have your before body. You soooo don’t like 38! You give this 41 year old hope.

  64. Aloha Dorene! You are awesome! I am 4 weeks Primal today and this past week was not the best one I’ve had. I was ready this morning to recommit and put forth a better effort. I came across this (missed it on Friday) and feel inspired to keep going. Of course, you have the pleasure to be living my dream in Hawaii. I am freezing where I live and do not enjoy the outdoors this time of year. I can only keep hoping we get to live in HI one of these years, or at least somewhere with the climate I love so I will be more apt to take advantage of Mother Nature’s offerings. Keep going! You are doing great. Can’t wait to see an update. And hopefully one day my story will be on here.

  65. You do look fantastic. Wow! …but am I the only one that doesn’t believe that this was only a 5 week transformation?

    1. Great Job Dorene.

      I believe that a 5 week transformation is possible. With the right foundation, My wife, after 3 pregnancies, and Hypothyroid after treatment for Hyperthyroid.

      She is also Asian is 5’0 she had plateaued at 145 for close to a year – despite 4-5 hours in the gym a week with circuit training and Aerobic/Cardio.

      In January she sort of went Primal she got rid of most processed foods and carbs from grains (i.e. Rice) with occasional cheat day’s.

      Yet she did change one thing in the gym – We started doing Sprints – after reading about Dr. Mercola’s Peak 8.

      She dropped 16# and three size’s from a size 12 to a Size 6.

      My wife and Dorene look like they could be sister’s. My wife will be 45 in May but people guess her age to be about 30.
      Kid’s do age you a little, that and 17 years of marriage to me.

      I think that both of the transformation were built on great foundations – lurking below the flab that hid muscles and a toned body.

      Yes, I do think that a five week transformation is possible. Yet I think that results might have taken 4-6 weeks longer if they were couch potatoes to start with.

  66. Aloha indeed! You have completely inspired me. I started paleo/primal at jan and have been doing great but your results are awesome. I am going to focus on keeping it clean for the next 40 days or so. I am going to bookmark this to remind me what is possible. Keep up the good work.

  67. The smile tells the whole story. Beautiful, awesome job! Great inspiration for a Monday morning.

  68. Dorene –

    How often do you surf (if you still go)? Been trying to find a good balance between weights and surfing for about a year now.

    And what…no spam??

    1. NO SPAM! I do love it though. I have’nt surfed for about a year now. I used to surf all the time for hours a day. When I lifted and surfed (10 years ago)my back was quite muscular. Too much according to my boyfriend at the time.

      1. Haha..Why not?! Spam is the premier bacon equivalent. Oh well, surf’s been crap since summer ’09 (south shore, anyway).

  69. You look wonderful. Keep up the good work. I’ve been doing the LHT workout for a few weeks, and move around much better. I feel stronger, too. Now, to lose this weight so I can see the sixpack…

  70. Thanks for sharing!! Although I have WAY more weight to lose then you did,I identify with your story. You have inspired me to keep on and to make it my lifestyle.

  71. I’m new to this concept and I have to say that I’m skeptical. I wish that Dorene had included her face in the “before” picture, because I don’t believe it’s the same person.

  72. i’ve read that grass fed and conventional meats have essentially the same amount of omega 6’s, it’s the omega 3’s that are higher in grass fed. so if you can’t afford to buy grass fed, you can supplement omega 3’s to offset the higher 6’s. personally, if i’m buying conventional i also try to buy lean cuts and/or trim fat, because that’s where all the toxins accumulate.

  73. Fabulous! Congrats Dorene on your quick success! After having two kids in the last 4 years my body has become grossly mis-
    Is there any possibility you can post a weekly menu plan for me to follow? I tried Bistro MD, but the food is not that good and ingredients are questionable. I tried the Hollywood Cookie Diet, but it made me get sick. I feed my kids a WAP diet, but only gain weight if I eat it myself. Anyone heard of Weston A Price? Or the “Nourishing Trafitions” cookbook?
    Would be marvelous if you can list what foods you are when & portion sizes! Thx!!!

  74. Thank you for sharing your progress! It serves as an inspiration for others.

  75. Can you do a protein drink? Like Mark’s whey? I’m off dairy too and thought I was pretty primal, but not really looking like that YET! I want my cellulite to go away. Would you mind sharing what an average couple days food might look like for you?

    1. I’m a horrible cook so my meals are very simple and I eat the same things almost everyday. Which is how I like things simple. Breakfast 2 eggs( cooked in bacon fat or coconut oil) 4-5 slices of bacon or 2 eggs, turkey burger ( i like the flavor better than hamburger) with avocado. Sometimes I eat pork chop and eggs cooked in coconut oil.
      Lunch salad with avocado, cherry tomatoes and meat olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing I make or just meat.
      Dinner usually rib eye steak, fatty cut of pork chop and sometimes short ribs. Yep these really are the only meats I eat at home. Sometimes I will make with spinach, salad or lately brussel sprouts. Or again sometimes just eat the meat with nothing.
      I’m not cutting out vegetables on purpose this just happens to be how I like to eat. I season with salt and pepper only. No fancy sauces and no paleofying (sp?) recipes. Cant do nuts I eat way to many. I do love my chocolate though. I try to only get the 90%. I keep frozen fruit that I will ocassionally eat if I get a sweet tooth but find it better to eat at night because if I eat during the day it makes me more hungry.
      So basically I eat just meat and some vegetables. When I get to maintenance I will probably add more fruit cause Im just not a veggie person. Hope this helps. 🙂 Good luck!

  76. Can you drink protein supplements like whey? Would you mind sharing what a couple days food might look like for you? I want my cellulite to go away…

    1. I have not done any protein shakes yet. I will be trying Marks protein as soon as It gets to me. Hope fully soon. I have a class starting soon and I will be very busy for 6 weeks so I plan on using the shakes since I will be too busy to cook. I will let you know how it goes. I have a feeling I will drop some weight during this time since I tend to eat a lot less when I’m busy. Only down side is I wont have time for working out. So I really need to watch what I eat.

  77. You can raise your own grass fed beef or go in with some friends and buy one from a local rancher. Just make sure it is on grass and not in a feedlot being fed corn and grains. One of the perks of buying from a rancher or raising your own is you can have it cut and wrapped the way you want and you know exactly what you are getting.

  78. WOW! I am so motivated NOW! THANK YOU! please share some recipes with us (“,)

  79. Lost 10 lbs in five weeks with cheats along the way, clothes falling off. i need to lose weight but my doctor and i are focusing on one thing get me off 3 cholesterol meds with primal diet and berries, weight loss will be the side effect, off 2 so far 🙂

  80. Hi There. I am exactly where you were. I am using Cordain’s book, The Paleo Diet and am doing all low fat meats. Please tell me what you switched to to make it work for you. You didn’t say what you used for guidelines, books, etc. Can you email me at [email protected] ?

    I feel like I am failing and just started 2 days ago.

    Thank You.


  81. Why did you give up the fruit? I am curious because I have about 10lbs to lose and I eat a relatively clean diet,but am struggling with getting rid of it. I currently eat fruits…probably too much. I thought PB says fruit is okay?

  82. This has really inspired me to just cut out dairy and eat limited fruit and nuts. Its really hard when your going primal, because those two things seem to be my fillers when I am cutting out carbs. I had been eating a sourcream dip with my veggies which was kinda my cheat( sad face ) okay I will give it up. I think you look absolutely amazing and hope I see results like you, and feel as if I have the same amount to lose or tone. Do you have FB? Can you add me? I would love to talk more and get more tips one on one if you have some free time 🙂 🙂

  83. Hey I also have another question, when you cut out all dairy, almonds, how do you get your calcium. Do you take a supplement or just eat a lot of brocoli and bussel sprouts? And is that enough…cause I read that my age (26) woman should be intaking 1000 mg of calcium a day. 1/2 cup spinach is around 115 and brocoli is only 35 for half a cup.

  84. Also did you cut out anything else, like red wine or dark chocolate?

  85. Dorene you look amazing, thank you so much for sharing your story and for posting your pics, I am now convinced that Primal is the way to go.

  86. So I have implemeted these strategies for about one month. I have been cutting back my nuts and fruits. I have completely cut out dairy. I cheated a few times in between(but that is normal and moderation you have to still listen to your needs) I have went from 168 5’9 to I just weighed myself at 153 today 🙂 🙂 Its amazing what 15 pounds lose can do. I feel amazing having cut out dairy. And I honestly don’t miss it. I think my body thanks me too. I have been eating all organic, and non medicated meats. Also I have snuck in drinking alkaline water 🙂

    Anyways, when I first read this post I was scared of the change, but realized that I really want to feel good. These small changes were a little tough, but worth the exploration of the needs of my body.

    Thanks for the motivation!

    1. Hey Danielle-

      This question is for you because you followed Dorene’s tips after asking a lot of pertinent questions and said you lost 15lbs in the first month but that was last year. How are you doing now?

      Hope to hear from you!

  87. Also its really cool to see your body start to form to its natural state. And makes you feel, wow… do I really look like this… its a sure a beautiful journey to balancing yourself and really finding your true identity 🙂 Exploring your body is the first step.. at least it was for me… So many other good things have come out of this…. starting within, it all starts to fall into place from there… I feel that is where true happiness lies…

  88. Wow! My Jaw dropped when I read you were 38, thats amazing you look like you could be 24 or something! Nice.

  89. Dorene,
    Thank you for posting! I am so inspired. You look incredible!
    It’s so encouraging to see how you reshaped your body. (I’d be curious to see what your bodyfat ratios were and are now.)
    It’s super helpful to see REAL PHOTOS of women, front and back, without photoshop. I fear we are beginning to forget what a real, fit body looks like.
    Thanks again for reminding me how great I could look and keep us posted!
    Auretha Callison
    Image Coach, Sexy Stylist!

  90. Aloha Dorene,

    Hawaii in all it’s beauty has so much to offer. And yes being from the islands myself and the amount of luaus and family get togethers add up on the pounds on the body. Thanks for your story and it got me pumped for primal living. Been on it for 8 weeks and lost 17 lbs. Had a bad week but ur article is very encouraging!

  91. Dorene, You are so beautiful and look so healthy! Great inspiration!

  92. ohhh dorene
    i keep re reading your story every time im about to sabotage my discipline
    my obstacles are similar to the ones you used to have
    and I know that staying off the dairy and nuts is the way to see results for me as well
    hope you doing great these days

  93. dorene!
    totally inspired and yes the dairy must be off the menu for me too
    hope you doing great these days!!!

  94. Great! I just went primal 3 weeks ago… and I think your (and other’s comments) about dairy nailed it for me. I’m dropping the daily yogurt (or two). I think that is holding me back. Thank you for reinforcing that idea.

  95. Wow Doreen! This is motivation to keep going, almost 4 months in and my physical transformation hasn’t happened as quickly but my mental one has. Clear head, loads of energy and generally happier. My day to day food looks like yours maybe my fat component is too much? I’m eating nuts everyday so today I’m having a nut free day! I’ve ditched dairy a few weeks ago do hopefully in another month I’ll see some more physical results! My husband is now primal with me and as of yesterday he too has ditched dairy. Well done Doreen, send some sunshine over to Australia please! I’m jealous! Regards Di

  96. You look amazing! I secretly believe I could have as dramatic results if I would quit cheating with dairy and chocolate and alcohol and potatoes. I mean, who am I kidding – do I want results or do I want to eat all the junk?? 30 Days…here I come!

  97. just saw this success story, you were hot before the Primal!!! now you look amazing, great job!

  98. Dec 2013…Please do provide a status update. Have you hit a wall or are you easily cruising with the primal lifestyle? Side note…there is a new book called Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter. He emphasizes to stay far away from grains and carbs high on the glycemic level as chronic inflammation is a major contributor to dementia/Alzheimer’s. Dr. Perlmutter is a board certified neurologist…

  99. Wow! I’m inspired! I’m looking down the barrel of 40, 5’4” and carrying the excess weight if having had 3 kids in two and a half years. I’ve lost weight with Primal before but I am staggered by the difference dairy could make. I thought giving up cereal was hard. Dairy might be a bridge too far but I think I have to try.

    Please keep posting update photos. I’d love to follow your journey. And move to Hawaii!