One-Year Progress Report: How Paleo Changed My Life


Left: January 2012, approx. 205# | Right: February, 2013, approx. 175#

I love success stories.

It’s always thrilling to see others who have managed to turn some aspect of their lives around and reach a goal, such as losing a certain amount of weight or fitting back into their high school prom dress.

I guess I have my own success story, though at this point, I’m merely at one singular point in this journey I’ve started. I wouldn’t even call it a half-point, even though I’ve lost 30 pounds since this time last year, and have about 30 to go until I reach my “goal weight.”

No, I don’t think it’s a half-point. I’ve come a long way from where I was a year ago, but my journey won’t be done once I lose the last 30 pounds. In the spirit of every major lifestyle change, the journey is never really complete; rather, you reach milestones and progress your way through the ups and downs, forever.

I’d like to share some of my progress through Paleo with all of you out there. Hopefully it will inspire some of you to make the leap for yourselves.


 In January of 2012, I started out as overweight (approximately 205 pounds), mildly depressed, frustrated and consistently tired. I tried exercising for an hour every day at the gym while restricting my calories, and probably lost around 5 pounds in the process, but wore myself out before much progress came and stopped going after about three months.

Winter 2012

All the while, I was working toward completing my BA in English at the U of MN, and found myself buried under piles of Shakespeare, Bates and Kincaid. It made it hard to focus on my health.

Josh and I would order pizza two or three times a week and hole ourselves up in our closet-sized apartment, which we were renting from an older woman with a crotchety cat and too many things. The winter dragged on and I kept searching for a solution to my weight problems.

In April, I discovered /r/keto. At first, the thought of abandoning wheat and sugar terrified me. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I couldn’t bring myself to believe that everything I’d ever been told—fat is bad and whole wheats are good—was a lie. 

However, as I researched more and dove deeper into keto, I became more convinced that I had to make the leap. For my health, for my mind, for a last-chance grab at something that might actually help me.


In June, Josh and I packed our bags and moved from MN to CO. I kept losing weight and managed to get myself down to 175#. I was ecstatic.

As the summer dragged on, I became more and more slack with my eating. I started drinking more beer and, after Josh proposed to me, I felt too busy to keep tracking my food on MFP.

Eventually, I landed back at 190#. I realized that I didn’t have all the time in the world to fit into a beautiful wedding dress, and that I needed to act fast to lose the weight in time. I started strategizing, and found that it was time to start taking my health more seriously.

It was at this point that Josh and I made our slow transition from Keto into Paleo. I started training harder, faster and longer. I got sick, I got hurt, I got frustrated and tired and couldn’t figure out why my weight loss would stop and start so often.

I fell, and I pulled myself back up—over, and over, and over again.


Today, I stand at 5-foot-6 and weigh 175 pounds. 

When I started my weight loss journey back in January of 2012, I weighed around 205 pounds. That’s a loss of 30 pounds.

Winter 2013

I went from a loose size 18 to a cozy 12.

I went from hours of monotonous elliptical work at the gym to intense plyometric training done in half the time.

I can do push-ups now. I’ve never been able to do push-ups before. I can also do Rock-style sit-ups.

When I flex my abs, I can feel the six-pack beneath the remaining fat. 

I have a long way to go. Unfortunately, I was too embarrassed in 2012 to take my “fat” measurements, so I’ve got little comparison beyond what I see in the mirror and what I see on the scale. This can make it hard to see the real “measurements of success,” even if the face staring back at me is slimmer.

But I’m happy with where I’m at. Paleo has given me a new sense of power. I finally feel in control of what goes into my body, and the kind of output I’ve got in my daily life. I don’t feel unsure about what I should be doing or eating. Food no longer scares me like it used to. Instead of wishing myself slim, I’m willing myself strong.

And that, my friends, is what makes all the difference.

6 thoughts on “One-Year Progress Report: How Paleo Changed My Life

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