Success Story: Winning a 40+ Year Weight Battle
Today I’d like to share a letter I recently received from an MDA reader. After all these years, I am still blown away when I receive testimonials like Kelly’s. If I’m being totally honest, this one made me a little emotional. I hope you find it as uplifting and inspiring as I did!
Good Morning Mark,
I’m writing today to share my success story with you while expressing my deep gratitude. Your books, interviews and blogs have helped me to accomplish something I wasn’t quite sure was possible – losing 75 pounds during the premenopausal phase of my life. (Sorry if that is too much information, however I’ve read all of your articles on this life stage for women, so I know you get why it is relevant!)
Not only was I facing menopause, but I had rollercoaster-weighted my entire life. Back in April, I decided to change my eating habits. We were emerging from the COVID pandemic, and I was shocked to realize the weight I had gained would preclude me from fitting into my summer wardrobe.
About a decade earlier, I had followed a paleo diet suspecting I had hidradenitis suppurativa. I read The Hidden Plague by Tara Grant and adopted the paleo lifestyle for several months in order to identify the food trigger that was causing my leaky gut and, therefore, my skin condition. I was successful in my mission and also managed to lose 40 pounds in the process. While I have been able to prevent HS flare-ups ever since, I inevitably gained the weight back when I resumed eating processed foods. So, this time around, I started by googling paleo and found you in my online searches.
I bought your books, I subscribed to your blog, I followed you on Facebook. Two Meals a Day was life-changing for me as everything you talked about was science-based and just made sense. Avoiding processed foods, industrial seed oils, etc. coupled with IF has completely transformed me – mentally and physically. From April to August I lost 75 pounds going from a size 18/20W to a size 8.
Along the way, you were right by my side whether you knew it or not. I can remember meeting a friend at a Chinese restaurant, and while I was waiting in the parking lot for her to arrive, I googled “Mark Sisson Chinese food”. I wanted to know what you would order if you were me. The information I found was so supportive with the answer being there aren’t many great options but stop stressing about it because the stress is worse than the potential slip-up.
I did compliment your eating philosophy with exercise. Back in the 90s I fell in love with a cardio workout from Kathy Smith, so between that and her walking podcasts (JFW), I manage to work out daily. But sometimes I’ll remember your Primal philosophy of lifting some heavy things, or doing a quick sprint, walking barefoot, or holding in my abs while I drive, so you are with me then too. I watched your interview with Kathy Smith and was in my glory as I am so grateful to each of you.
Your flexible approach, constant support, encouragement and fact-based science broken down into layman’s terms will serve me well for years to come, so I just wanted to say “thank you.” Yes, it took determination and commitment on my end but you gave me the tools to be successful. For the first time in my life, after a battle with my weight for 40+ years, I say to myself: “I can totally live the rest of my life like this.” As you know, that will be key to keeping the weight off and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What I haven’t mentioned yet is the sense of pride I feel because after studying your theories, I have become super intuitive. I know what to do, it is just second nature – almost automatic. Once you understand how our bodies were made to function from an ancestral standpoint, it all becomes super easy. I am now in tune to my circadian rhythms, I have a new appreciation for feeling the sun on my skin, I have no issues asking what type of oil restaurants use to prepare a meal, I make sure I get good sleep every night, etc. It feels good and my quality of life has skyrocketed. Because of you, I am armed with the information I need to make the correct lifestyle choices.
While I don’t share my story about metabolic flexibility with everyone, I do hope I can inspire others who may look at having to lose 80 pounds as an impossibility, or too big of a hill to climb. Or, the mom who is career-focused, has to run a household, prepare multiple meals for picky family members and can never seem to put herself first in order to make positive changes. Or, the premenopausal woman who has attempted to get healthy multiple times but it never seems to work. You see, I can relate to all of these people, I’m her….and I did it.
Thank you again for all you do.
Thank YOU, Kelly! Stories like yours keep me going.