My Journey

My Journey

Paris 2003

I had been fairly healthy my entire life, but had always carried a few extra pounds. When I turned 24, that changed. All of a sudden, I started experiencing allergies. Major weight gain. Depression. Acne. Itchy scalp. Boils. Missed periods and debilitating pain when they did come. Joint pain. IBS. These were all new things to me.

I saw dozens of doctors – German ones, Canadian ones, American and Dutch. Some told me I was suffering from allergies. Others made me keep a food journal and count calories. Some gave me acne medication. I was poked, prodded and bled. The one conclusion that all of the doctors shared was that I was overreacting, hysterical and wasting their time. According to them, I was just fat and lazy – and probably a hypochondriac.

I was miserable. I tried everything to lose weight, but I was just so tired all of the time. I diagnosed myself with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Metabolic Syndrome, endometriosis and depression, which the doctors then confirmed. They put me on Prozac, which made me gain more weight. At my heaviest pre-pregnancy weight, I was around 235 lbs. I am a 5′9″ female. 235 lbs is not a healthy weight. When I asked the doctors HOW to lose weight, I was told, “We don’t know. Just lose it. Then symptoms will go away.” So, Google it was.

After months of trying to find information on PCOS online, I discovered a random comment on someone’s journal that said that some women with PCOS had had success losing weight with a low carb diet. That was the only help I could find. I dropped carbs that first day. I went zero carb overnight and felt amazing. I got my energy back. Exercising became fun again. I shed 40 pounds in two months and kept it off. I stabilized at 185. I realized that my previous diet had consisted of nothing but simple, refined carbs. Thinking I needed lots of carbs for energy (thank you, USDA!) I had thought nothing of eating an entire plate of white rice for dinner, with nothing else.

Things got better – but only slightly. I started eating carbs and grains again – in moderation. When I found I could maintain my weight and pretty much eat whatever I wanted, I let it slide.

Germany 2005

I practically killed myself to get down to 175 for my wedding in April 2005. I had to go to the gym and work out 5 days a week, hard and watch everything I put in my mouth. I was still eating grains and everything was going soooo slowly. The minute I said, “I Do,” I gained 5 pounds. By the time we got back home from Las Vegas, I was back at 185 lbs and didn’t know why.

From 2005 to 2009, my hormonal issues were wiggin’ out of control. That was 4 years of hair falling out, suicidal lows, no sex drive, mysterious hives, rashes and boils. Tons of doctors and no solutions – the only help they would give me were useless tests and pharmaceuticals. I had my thyroid checked over 10 times. Each time it was fine. Google and I were on close terms, and according to it, my hormones were way out of whack (or I had some sort of cancer. Nothing like WebMD for scaring the crap out of yourself!) Because I didn’t know any better, I didn’t realize the part that insulin was playing, and instead, concentrated on getting my estrogen/testosterone levels right. Which didn’t work. Once again, the doctors had failed me.

190 lbs, July 2008

The whole time, I was freaking out for a baby. We had to resort to IVF to get pregnant, since the endometriosis had ravaged my fallopian tubes. I had a miserable, sugar-soaked, bed-ridden pregnancy and identical twin boys in January of 2009. My kids were born two months early, but I had somehow managed to gain 80 pounds during the short pregnancy. By May of that year, the scales started to turn against me. I had been somewhere in the 240s, but all of a sudden, I was gaining weight again. I was at 253 pounds and PISSED OFF because I had been told (and believed) that breastfeeding burns calories and that the weight would “just melt right off!”

My brother, who I am super proud of and who is one of my greatest influences and motivators, sent me Mark Sisson’s book, The Primal Blueprint in May of ’09. It literally changed my life. It made so much sense to me that we should be eating the way we had evolved to. I looked up the Primal/Paleo lifestyle and found a community of people who had been suffering from a lot of the same maladies as I had been but who now seemed to be completely CURED. Where did I sign up?

260 lbs. March 2009

I immediately cut out all grains and sugar, but I still didn’t have it right. I had been eating so much sugar before that cutting it out completely was unbearable to me. It was my only vice so it seemed so justifiable. Instead of Sweet Tarts and donuts, though, I ate fruit. A lot of it. And tons of nuts, too, since they are allowed on the Primal diet. I didn’t stop eating dairy, either. But cutting out grains and white sugar was having an effect. I lost 20 pounds pretty quick.

I started tweaking my diet. Way less fruit – mainly berries and the occasional apple. Whipping cream instead of half and half. Limiting nuts to once a week. More fat, fewer carbs. My palate changed. Biting into a kiwi gave me the same satisfaction that Sweet Tarts used to. Salads came alive and cooking became fun again. The Primal Blueprint allows for “cheats” if you stick to the lifestyle 80% of the time. So, I allowed myself treats from time to time but I planned them and enjoyed the hell out of them. I didn’t suddenly pack on 10 pounds if I ate something bad, because I stopped at that one thing. Instead of “falling off of the wagon,” I listened to my body and occasionally gave into cravings when they came. It became easier and easier to say “no.”

May 2009, 253 lbs.

During this time, I noticed that most of my hormonal issues were disappearing. My periods became super regular. I barely noticed them, to be honest, which was NOT the norm for me. My skin cleared up, I didn’t need to use moisturizer anymore, I was freakin’ HAPPY all the time, and I was losing weight. It was slow, about a pound a week but it was coming off. And I wasn’t really trying all that hard! The Primal Blueprint mentions that nutrition is 80% of the battle. I especially liked Mark Sisson’s take on fitness – you don’t actually have to do as much as the industry would have you believe. I also learned that most people are working out incorrectly. Hours of “chronic cardio” on the treadmill is actually having the opposite of the desired effect – people are overtraining, injuring themselves and making themselves hungry as hell. (It’s a lot easier to justify a donut when you’ve worked out hard, right?!) I didn’t have to work out hard to see results. I now do CrossFit once or twice a week, yoga once (maybe), sprints now and then and the occasional walk around the neighborhood with the kids. I guess when I stop to consider it, I probably do do more exercise than the average person – I tend to do a proper deadlift when I lift each one of my 30 lb boys and will sometimes drop down and do a couple burpees for no reason at all. I blame that on all the extra energy I now have.

I’ve just passed my two year anniversary with the Primal lifestyle. I’ve been so enamored with this way of life that I have completely changed the way I live. I’ve done tons of research, reading and studying. I had never really thought too much about the environment, but some of the stuff I uncovered – about pesticides, chemicals, hormones and antibiotics being used in the food industry – has made me change a lot of the ways I do things and I feel like I’m doing my part for the environment now. I compost with worms for the free fertilizer, I’m growing a lot of my own vegetables and I even got a few chickens for my backyard. I get 4 organic, free-range eggs a day and I don’t have to worry about them being loaded with antibiotic residue. I eat grass-fed beef.

October 2010, 155 lbs.

Mainly, I eat real, whole foods and I eat less than I did before. I’m at 150 lbs as we speak. I’m 5′9″ so I’m at my goal weight for the first time ever. I weigh less and am smaller than I was in high school! In order to lose the dreaded “last 10 pounds,” I incorporated intermittent fasting. Since my insulin and blood sugar are working properly now, going a whole day without food actually leaves me feeling fantastic and energized. I couldn’t have imagined missing even a single meal in my old life! In fact, since my blood sugar was so out of whack, missing a meal meant bouts of hypoglycemia, where I felt like shit and was a total bitch to everyone around me. That’s gone. I take 6000 units of Vitamin D a day and I’m sure that is helping towards my overall health. My depression, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis and everything else is just… gone.


I’m studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer so that I can officially start helping others, but the conventional wisdom bullshit I’ve been forced to learn is making me crazy. It’s going slow. However, my passion for nutrition and the Primal lifestyle has flourished. Mark Sisson, the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple have changed my life and I would like to pay it forward. I’ve been volunteering with the Ancestral Health Foundation, creating a cookbook and appearing on CBS News. I’ve recently appeared in Mark Sisson’s latest book The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation and will be a presenter at PrimalCon2012.

In September of 2011, I cut out dairy to see what would happen. What happened was I lost another 7 pounds, effortlessly. I’m now at 143, a weight I’d never thought I’d see.



  1. HOLY MOLY you look PHENOMENAL! :) I love this lifestyle, it’s truly amazing! I hope it catches on a lot more than it already has in the near future! It’s clearly a life saver.

  2. Wow, your story is amazing! I also suffer from PCOS and endometriosis. I was unable to have my own children due to the endo I had a hysterectomy when I was 26. I have still suffered the effects of the PCOS. Debilitating depression, crazy skin problems, and I have been over weight my entire adult life. I recently turned 35 and realized I had to make a change. I adopted a paleo way of eating and I am so excited. I have lost 15 pounds so far still a lot to go but it is a great start. I found your story today and I just want to say thank you so much for sharing. You are truly and inspiration.

  3. Hi, I’ve enjoyed reading about your journey, and I must say CONGRATULATIONS on your healthy lifestyle now and your weight loss!! I am a sufferer of HS and have been for 7+ years now, plus I am overweight and ashamed of it. I have been to so many doctors, been on so many antibiotics, and have had not 1 doctor seem to know anything about HS, other than heres and antibiotic and you need to lose weight. I am very interested in making this lifestyle change to try and help or eliminate my embarassing, painful, ugly condition, and also to help me get healthy and lose the weight I need to. However, I am very confused about what I can and can’t eat. There are so many different foods that are on the diet but ‘may’ cause this or that (FODMAPs) and I just cant put it all together and get a list of WHAT I CAN EAT. I am ready to start this change in my life, but I want to do it right and need some help figuring it all out. Do you have any info that you could give me about what to eat/what not to eat for the AID diet? I have downloaded 2 books on my kindle, but they are so all over the place (to me) when it comes to what you can and cant eat. ANY HELP OR ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE I would really appreciate it!!!

    • All of the information you need is going to be in my book. I promise you. When you’ve finished reading it, I don’t think you’ll have any questions at all – I’m doing my best to address every single issue that someone with HS has. Sit tight doll, it’s coming. In the meantime, just cut out grains, sugar and nightshades. Take it one step at a time. :)

  4. Hey Tara,

    Update on my hidradenitis suppurativa. I’ve only ever had outbreaks under my arms, breasts, and groin/buttcrack area. Before making changes i usually had at least one bad enough to be uncomfortable or painful all the time. Always had grain/gluten issues, but never was able to make changes. Last June I was really sick and since then I cannot have ANY gluten without very bad reactions. So, since I’ve cut out gluten, my outbreaks have reduced in severity by about 90%. I still get little ones occasionally, but they really don’t bother me and resolve on their own. I’m working on cutting out all grains and a few other triggers like potatoes and hopefully will get rid of all outbreaks. Thanks for your info.


  5. Love, love your story!!! :) Thank you for sharing. I also diagnosed myself with similar health conditions (PCOS, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, depression, ETC…) and doctors either agreed with me on the spot and wanted to put me on meds or said my thyroid was fine (due to the outdated blood panels they are using). I don’t care what my blood work said, I knew I was sick and something was wrong that needed immediate attention. I started gaining weight very fast (30 pounds in a year) while eating and maintaining the same lifestyle I always had been. I had always played a lot of sports and was active but out of nowhere I had NO ENERGY!! I was so sick of hearing people say you have to be in the gym for hours on end or I had to eat healthier…I was eating healthier than anyone I knew and I wanted to be working out like I always had but I felt like I was dying my energy was so low. This past February I went completely grain free. Now that I am used to not eating any grains, I am going to try to get back to eating a LOT more raw food. I have FULL BELIEF that God can heal me and raw foods is the answer. I have experimented with raw food off and on but your story as well as a few others I have read recently have really encouraged me to be more dedicated to this primal way of eating. Thanks again for sharing, you look amazing!!!! I am PRAYING I will have similar results… God Bless you and your journey of inspiring others :).

  6. love your story and you look amazing!!!

    thank you!

  7. Like you I have 65# going primal for 6 months. At 5′ 10″, I only have 60# left to complete me transition to 165# transgender female. Thank you Tara for sharing your story and inspiring us to continue being all we can be. God bless you and your beautiful soul!

  8. Great story and congratulations! I started low carb two weeks ago, not to lose weight, but as a last ditch effort to get fibromyalgia and chronic fatique under control. I’d read studies where it helped. Having nothing to lose (but pain and weight) I went cold turkey. Within 36 hrs the brain fog lifted. Within 4 days I’d say 80% of the widespread body pain was gone. I have dropped from an 18 to 16 in less than two weeks and though I am excited to finally drop some weight, I am literally afraid of carbs now. I don’t want to hurt again. Two weeks ago I had about 5 functional hours a day. Yesterday I tore out my son’s closet and began a room remodel and am able to walk a half hour a night. From zombie back to the land of the living! Yay!

  9. I don’t know quite where to start… I just did a google search including my horrendous and awkward skin condition, and I came to you. I am a Certified Personal Trainer, NLP Practitioner, Hypnotherapist, athlete and powerlifter. I’m almost in tears because, just from browsing through your info, I can tell you have gone through every single problem I am still struggling with, and no doctors are able to help me. Funny thing is that I decided I wanted to go Primal/Paleo 2 days ago too… I’m Karenina. Nice to meet you. Perhaps we should team up!

    Where are you based? I could definitely use a trainer. ;) Don’t be upset, this condition isn’t your fault. I know doctors often make us feel like it is — but it isn’t. My book will be out in a month, so that will help, and I’ll be here for questions and support. Hang in there. xx

  10. Which book would you recommend first The Primal Blueprint or the 21 Day Challenge? Your story is so inspiring and I think I can do this! Thank you for any help! ~Diane

    I guess it depends on how deep you want to go. I’m a little biased, because I started with the Primal Blueprint, but I think both books are great. 21-day Transformation has a lot of practical information in it, action items, meal plans etc. and the PB kind of lays out the foundation for everything. I’m SURE you can do this!! :)

    • You are an amazing lady! Thank you for addressing HS, doing something about it, and helping others understand and get on a road to recovery. Have not read the book yet but am completely geeked to soak up all of your insight and knowledge that was put into it! Thank you, truly.

    • Oh my gosh…I feel like I just read my life. I have a 16 year old beautiful daughter that is struggling with her weight, severe acne and other issues. She has had several allergy tests done in the past and she always shows high sensitive to wheat. I’m desperately searching for something to help her help herself. Any words of wisdom?

      • The only words of wisdom we have is to learn from our pasts so that she doesn’t have to go through the school of hard knocks to get healthy. Read Tara’s book The Hidden Plague, switch into a paleo/primal lifestye as quickly as possible, and have hope. You & your daughter are not alone in this journey. Sending positive thoughts! – Sarah

  11. I’ve been suffering HS since my 20s and like so many others, doctors have never been able to help me and I wasn’t even properly diagnosed until a few years ago. BC, antibiotics and even weekly injections (the same that are prescribed for transplant patients) have not helped and each brought their own side effects. The constant fatigue, the unbelievably painful cysts and the self-esteem destroying scars and the….well, anyone who has it knows exactly what else–it all brought my social life to a standstill. I don’t want to date, I don’t want to be intimate with anyone and some weeks I wonder how much longer I can live like this.

    When you’re heavy, everyone assumes you aren’t active and that you eat nonstop and it just isn’t true. Diet sodas are worthless, lo-fat, sugar-free, lean meat, rice cakes and yogurt. Completely pointless and just an endless cycle of depression and frustration.

    I’ve been reading about Primal and Paleo the last couple of days and I thought it might be exactly what I need. However, it wasn’t until I read this page that I actually starting feeling hope. Honestly, I was just hoping to lose some weight and regain some energy–it never even crossed my mind that this might actually help with the HS.

    Thank you and my thanks to those commenting too. Count me IN, color me excited and yes, hopeful. I miss being energetic, enthusiastic and I’m not afraid to say it—SEX! :D

    I’ve downloaded your recipe and hoping I can find the ingredients tomorrow. I’m looking forward to your book and hope it’s published soon.

  12. I am instantly obsessed with you — in the best possible way! I want to learn more. I am so inspired by your transformation. I know if I can stick with Paleo, I will not only lose weight but get my health back or at least get better. Paleo is great, supportive community that “pushes” nothing more than healthy eating & smart simple exercise.

  13. Hi,
    Your story is amazing, However I am a little confused, as my niece who has PCOS is thin, and which diet would you recommend, the paleo or primal, because I know on the paleo no dairy, but the primal has dairy and no legumes and grains. Hmmm confused, please answer or how I can contact you. Thanks so mjuch, Jackie

    • Hi Jackie,
      Not all people with PCOS are overweight. However, there is still a hormonal imbalance which is often caused by insulin resistance. Either a Paleo or a Primal diet would be great for her. I suggest researching the differences, and finding out which foods your niece may have an intolerance to. I suggest the removal of dairy, as well, as the IGF-1 in it can make insulin problems worse. Cheers!

  14. I’d love to know more about intermittent fasting. Any tips

  15. All I can say is that I’m so happy I found you. Very nice and organized site. I have suffered from weight, depression, skin issues, lack of sex drive, and…. Boils. Painful and awful. I’ve suffered from them since 1997, but the have gotten worse and worse as I grow older. Always misdiagnosed, and stupid antibiotics counteracting my depression meds led me to suicide attempt after suicide attempt. my last bout with my depression has me OFF the medicine and seeking healthier ways to stabilize myself. I’ve been doing great- except for these boils. Still no sex drive (please! It hurts! There’s “something wrong” but I don’t know what and I don’t want to make it worse.!)

    Finally I stumbled upon a blog describing my condition and having pictures that matched what I saw “down there.” Finally a name. No cure. Nothing bit reassurance that I wasn’t dirty and it wasn’t contagious.

    A year later- and worsening breakouts- I find someone who cut gluten and night shades coupled with a T cell regime that has sound relief. I thought, finally! Someone posted something other than surgery and antibiotics!

    In the comments in this blog I read about “paleo” and now I’m hooked. And I have been researching night shades and GMO type foods, which I avoid.

    I only 1 week in, but I feel great. Existing boils are healing with no new ones in site. (Seriously! I can be done with this after these three heal?!!)

    Your blog has confirmed I’m on the right track, and to keep it up! Plus, journaling my foods….. I can narrow it all down!

    15+ years on antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antibiotics. I was told 20 years ago that I would be on medicine for the rest of my life. 2 years ago I proved them wrong by cutting my “depression” meds and changing my lifestyle.

    7 days ago I called BULL on what we eat and have chosen to cut the chemicals and eat FOOD!

    Thank you for sharing your journey! It’s so awesome and relieving to know I am not (and never was!) alone!!

  16. Hi

    I recently stopped eating chicken because of my knee pain. But still my knee pain is there but started loosing my hair a lot. As you said, I have a weight gain, depression (not sure) but sad feelings, and hair loss. What should i do? please help me!

  17. I suffer from pain issues due to hormone imbalance as well. I recently went primal and have noticed an increase in my pain levels. I am wondering if its a symptom of detoxification. Did you experience anything like that?

    • I definitely had some headaches and changes in my energy level as my hormones fluctuated and settled into a more normal and appropriate range. Definitely give it at least 6 to 12 weeks to really see improvements. Good luck!

  18. I have PCOS and have a bit of an eating disorder as am v obsessed
    With what I eat and don’t eat I am
    Pretty much paleo and do 3 x HIIT a week and 2 x KB classes I go up and down in weight by like 4 lbs but only eat around 1200kcals a day:-(
    My doctor just put me on progesterone only tablets and I have gained weight through them… What I want to know is did you just eat smaller portions? And how
    Did you combat negativity because u get so upset when input weight on- my goal
    Weight is always 9st (I’m 5’8) and it seems
    To go up by 6lb for no reason sometimes
    Is so frustrating :-( I love your story and wish I could
    Get to That stage!! Thanks :-)

    I can see a few red flags. First off, you’re probably working out too much. Progesterone makes us insulin resistant, and makes us gain weight. I have never been on those tablets, so I can’t tell you what to do in terms of losing weight. I’m not sure it will be completely possible while you’re on them. I didn’t eat smaller portions – in fact, i ate more but just changed what I was eating (paleo). Your body may be in starvation mode, you’re not eating very much. Water weight can easily add 6 lbs overnight. It’s not the number on the scale that matters, it’s how you feel. I think taking probiotics may be beneficial for you.

  19. Your story is so encouraging and inspirational!! I’ve been off and on the weight loss crash diet roller coaster for my entire adult life, I have been primal for about a week and already am feeling great! Can’t wait to keep moving forward and keep feeling better as time goes on! The weight loss would be a good perk too ;)

    That’s great Lindsey! I felt a similar way when I started, this was the first thing that consistently gave me results and made me feel good. In fact, as the months flew by, all the problems, symptoms, syndromes, -itis’s etc. I had disappeared. Sometimes the weight loss is slower depending on what else you’re dealing with, but if you are consistent, one day you’ll wake up and be where you want to be. Good luck! :)

  20. wow…this is really an encouraging story……first of all congratulations… am 21yrs old wt is 47.5 kg..but i have fat around my belly and am suffering from pcod nearly two years..2yrs back i had a period for more than 15 days and also my periods were mostly irregular i.e once in two months sometimes…so went to a doctor and she gave some medicines for stopping the periods and then she put me on birth control pills…had many tests done like thyroid tests, insulin and these are normal. i really don’t like taking pills anymore bcoz i have read about the side effects…i really want to make changes to my lifestyle…is the primal blueprint the only book sufficient to follow or i have to read some other books also…and i want to know whether v can follow this primal thing through out our life easily??

  21. continuation with my previous comment…is it necessary to take any extra vitamin supplements while following the primal book…and i want to know whether the primal blueprint and the paloe diet are same or not..?? and i have gone through some reading on internet about the paleo diet n i found a website which gave the side effects of paloe diet…the link is this . i want to whether these side effects are true or not..?? and if true how to overcome these side effects?? plz help…..

    I read through that site, and it’s clearly written by someone that has no idea what they’re talking about.

  22. Wow. You have totally just inspired me. I’m at my highest weight low 180’s (because every day is different). I have known about paleo/primal and have been looking for a place to really help me start. Thanks for sharing! In the process of ordering Mark’s book and can’t wait to start the 21 day journey. I feel like it will be a fabulous start to something wonderful! A life changer!!!!!

    • Best of luck with everything. We know you can do it! Welcome to the Primal Girl World!

  23. You have given me hope back that I won’t have the rest of my life dictated by HS! Thank you.

    • We are so glad you found hope. You will get better! We are here to support you!

  24. Tara,
    I cannot wait to get your book! I diagnosed myself with HS from the web (later confirmed by Derm) last year after chronic boils in armpits for several months. On my own, knowing this is a type of inflammatory reaction and autoimmune disease- I too thought that of course I had to now adjust my diet to fight this type of reaction or strengthen the immune system. Does Paleo have ‘anti-inflammation’ benefits? It seems so with reduced grains and dairy. I was going to start with Mediterranean, but wonder if this wouldn’t be better or different for HS?
    Thank you!
    P.S. I’ve seen 1st hand how intolerant many HS sufferers can be when you suggest diet links to the HS symptoms/ disease- it’s like you’re trying to pull the doughnut from their mouth yourself. And I’m sure you’ve seen it too- so thanks for sticking with this and being such a great mentor for all us newly diagnosed, who aren’t willing to roll over and accept our fate without a fight. :)
    I need to lose a lot of weight as well and try to control stress, and so your book will I’m sure be my new favorite soon. Your results are spectacular!

    • Hello Tani, Paleo and Tara’s book have an Autoimmune Protocol and you’ll see in the book that the AIP is directly related to ‘anti-inflammation’. Read the book all the way through then make those awesome changes! We are here to support you and feel free to contact us at with more questions. – Sarah, Assistant PrimalGirl

  25. I’ve been Paleo for over 1.5 years. I haven’t lost any weight. :(
    Two quick issues for me, I have hashimotos so I need AIP resources. Resources?
    How much should I be eating? Paleo has my calories VERY low (1200) for my overweight body (190lbs).
    Please help.

    • Hi Kay, Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease and is directly related to leaky gut syndrome. I highly recommend reading Tara’s book The Hidden Plague. In it you’ll find all the resources, diet, and information to make some incredible changes in your life. Improved health starts with diet but there is so much more to it. Be in touch via if you have more questions. Sarah, Assistant PrimalGirl

  26. It all sounds amazing! My only concern is the food cost & the odd (to me) foods I’ve never eaten like asparagus, spinach balsamic vinaigrette, etc. I need something though! Saw you in the April 21, 2014 edition of First. It states your weight was 253? I’m assuming a reversal of the numbers because you state in your blog it was 235?

    Hi Shelly! I’ve corrected the page. It’s a bit confusing because my highest pre-pregnancy weight was 235, but I consider 253 my highest weight after the kids, since the scales started going up again. It’s a tough one because 235 and 253 can be easily mistyped. Sorry, and thanks for the heads up!
    Eating a paleo diet can actually be cheaper than a standard diet. First off, you’re not paying for expensive packaging, marketing, and additives/preservatives/garbage they fill in there. You get more nutritional value for your dollar than with packaged foods. You can make everything yourself and buy in bulk, also cutting down on costs. Plus – and this is something that’s rarely mentioned – you won’t have to pay for medications, antacids, laxatives, dandruff shampoo, fiber supplements, itch creams, (…trying to remember all the crap I used to buy!) etc. etc. You can either pay the grocer now, or the doctor later, I believe is the old saying. Good luck! I really hope you decide that this lifestyle is right for you.

  27. Ive just purchased your book ”The Hidden Plague” this week and waiting on its arrival. I have also begun reading ”The Paleo Approach” My HS is almost unbearable! I often cry myself to sleep because of the pain. I know its my diet thats causing these flare ups. I am exciting to heal myself and live without pain. I hope my next comment/post to express how great I feel :) I have a question… Tara looks great! and your story is inspirational. My goal is to set my HS in remisssion. Does the book give advice on scarring and damaged tissue? I have many marks (brusing, scarring, redness) in many areas. Do these ever go away?

    • HI Linda,
      I am former HS sufferer is Australia, not connected to Primal Girl in any way (except that I LOOOOVE it. For what it’s worth the scaring does seem to go away slowly, as all scars do, but I’m finding that I couldn’t care less… I’m well. No pain, no meds, no doctors, no HS. A minor flare if I get lots wrong over a few days. Compared to how I was?… Scars are no biggie. Go further than Paleo to the Auto Immune Protocol (as in Tara’s excellent book, good purchase BTW) and you’ll surely begin to improve. You’d give anything for a bit of hope, I’m sure, well there’s loads of it. Good luck, keep up the good fight, you can beat this.

    • They’ll go away slowly, like all scars, but I reckon you wont care much when you start to feel better. HS-free (as long as I am not stupid with my diet) is amazing. Just like Tara’s book.
      Good luck Linda, there is hope.

  28. I love your story and you are such an inspiration to me. I had undiagnosed Celiac disease my entire life until I was finally diagnosed at 38. Paleo has been life saving but losing weight is still difficult for me. Could you offer some tips? Did you also calorie count with Paleo? How did you approach exercise? Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Gabrielle, Can you submit these questions through our “Ask a Question” for on the right hand side of the page? We’ll add them to the que for our Q&A answer sessions. Thanks! PS. No calorie counting for me, just strict paleo, a focus on getting healthy, and moving, a lot. I’m an athlete so exercise was really important to me. I play rugby and hit the gym 5-6 days a week. Most people say 2-3 days of weight training is more than enough when on paleo. Good luck! – Sarah, Assistant to Tara Grant, PrimalGirl

  29. I tried hcg shots and an appetite pill. I was losing 4 to 5 pounds a month, even through Thanksgiving and Christmas. I thought I was doing good, but every month my Dr would complain that I should be losing more. He also said I was cheating and said that if I didn’t want to lise weight I should stop wasting my money and his time. I was so discouraged I felt like why bother. Then I saw your article in People and a website Paleo for Nerds and realized it made perfect sense. Do it naturally and drug free. I have only been on Paleo for 5 days, but I can already feel the difference. Thanks!!!!!!!.

  30. Omg I’m you! I mean you’re me! I mean… Shoot! I’m exactly where you were, except way worse &100 lbs bigger….. I’m so sad. I hate myself and I feel like I’m dying! Doctors won’t help, I can barely walk! I’m sick and tired and miserable! I am trying to do the Paleo thing (day 6) but it is hard. Having Bipolar disorder doesn’t help. I always get depressed and give up. I felt reading your story, like I had found a sister. Someone who actually could feel my pain! You give me hope! Hope has been in short supply lately. So thank you. I’m going to try and buy your book soon too, because I have HS. I say try because I have 5 kids who are eating me broke! LoL Great job! I look up to you and am very happy for your successes. If you would like a fat, unhealthy, bipolar friend…. Wait! No more downing myself! If you would like a good friend who understands where you have been, email me! Lots of love to all!

  31. That’s awesome Tara! I wanted to know how often did you step on the scale? I’m an entering my second week of paleo and have mark’s book. I have tried this diet before to not lose much weight and then became frustrated and dropped it. I’m doing this again because I realized that my problem was not looking at this as a lifestyle change. I have tried other diets just to end up with no weight loss. I even worked with a personal trainer for one year and worked out 5-7 days a week and no weight loss or muscle build up. I have no idea why but now weighing close to 300 pounds I’m desperate to get this off without gastric bypass. I have hypothyroidism too but my numbers are good with my meds I take. So moral of the story. I am where you were feeling and I get the same reaction from doctors that I must be cheating or lying. I made my own paleo chocolate which I have in the freezer in case I have a craving. I’m more prepared this time but I’m losing just a tiny bit of weight. What should I be doing different?


    • After reading several of these posts I realized I have hs which I never heard of before. I have struggled with this for more than 20 years and have scars on my face and other places. My brother suffered with this his whole life and his was much worse than mine and eventually he ended up with skin cancer around the lumps on his back . I’m so grateful to know what this is and why I can’t get rid of it. No doctors have ever diagnosed it just said it was acne.

  32. Hi Tara,
    thank you is all I can say, and to Sean Croxton whose interview I heard you on. I have suffered from auto-immunity since about 12 when I was misdiagnosed with an infection, pumped full of anti-biotics only to find I had Glandular fever (or what in the US is called Mononucleosis. My health challenges spiralled and so did the allergies, bloating, fatigue etc. As I started to want to take control of my health I discovered that sugar and yeast were issues for me with frequent bouts of Thrush and Urinary Tract Infections. I had always had lumps and what I thought were ingrowing hairs but only this year when I was major stressed did the HS really manifest. The boils were so big and so full I couldn’t even put my arms down and was starting to feel depressed as was starting to feel conscious. No sooner did one go another appeared and as you said no one to help me understand what was going on…so I started to research and made the connection with leaky gut. I cut out the gluten, sugar, yeast and dairy (which I knew a long time ago I had an intolerance to). I also started trying to manage my stress levels and – By God’s grace the boils have gone, including the lumps which sometimes used to come but not turn to full blown boils. However, your story and the information in the interview confirmed what I knew. My doctor said it sounded like HS but there’s no cure for it and you just have to manage it through drugs.

    Just hearing your story and seeing how awesome you look has given me even further motivation and encouragement to continue and even expand my lifestyle changes. I want to hear all about your move to a ‘simpler life style’. I am there, my hubby and I are considering moving and purchasing a farm. I love what you said about fewer choices lead to less anxiety – it’s about focusing on what’s really important for health and joy. I have just read Living more with Less by Doris Jantzen Longacre it’s on the same lines.
    I wish you well, God bless,

  33. Minus the kiddos I feel like I just read about my life…. Ok. I’m in.

  34. Wow, I really enjoyed reading your story (and now I realize that I recognize your picture from the Primal Blueprint).

    I just pulled that book out again. I bought it years ago, went Primal for 21 days. I didn’t lose weight that time, but it did make me fertile. After 1.5 years of trying (and failing) to have a second child I gave up. After 3 weeks of going Primal, I got pregnant (at 41).

    Now I’m 44 and I can NOT take the baby weight off. I recently read “What to Eat” by Luise Light, and what an eye-opener. 6-11 servings of grains, thank you USDA!! All based on NOTHING. ARRGGH.

    • Marcia, Try it again but just watch your calories, you must have been over eating

  35. i would pay good money for you to be my personal trainer and nutrition coach. you are a huge inspiration to me, someone who has always struggled with their weight and who recently was introduced to the Primal Lifestyle. I am trying to wrap my head around the no grain/sugar thing, and yikes its a tough change. I’m also, by allergy panel (not any reaction I’ve physically felt) allergic to eggs, which limits a lot of the Primal recipes I’ve found. It’s always a struggle, and a challenge, and I’m hoping I can adapt to the primal lifestyle and just have an easier time.

  36. Hi, I’m 25 years old and have just come across your website after doing some research on HS. I’ve been suffering from this for about 1-2years now. Tried a lot of home remedies, seen docs, had them lanced, etc. I had read in your Part 1 series that it most often presents itself during puberty, thereafter, and then slowly subsiding before menopause. I actually went through menopause at the glorious age of 19 :( I had not seen a boil until I was around 23-24. Newly married and self conscious.. Not able to find ANYTHING that would provide me with some relief. Fast forward and now I’m 25 years old, recently divorced, and have nasty,ugly boils that I’m sure will “scare” off the next man. Reading your entries have been inspiring and uplifting in giving me hope. Since going through menopause I’ve gained weight and then gained even more when I got married. I’m really eager to start the Paleo diet and hope my will power is as strong as yours. Just wanted to say thanks for putting it all out there for all of us to benefit from. I would love to talk sometime about your IVF journey. Since I went through menopause I too will have to endure IVF (with donor egg). Thanks again. I will be purchasing both books and getting started TONIGHT! Best of wishes on your journey. You’re an Angel.

    • Also, I wanted to get your feed back on laser hair removal? What have you done about the scars?

  37. Hi, I have no idea if anyone will see this as the website seems inactive, but I am trying to join the forum and I can’t seem to find a way. I just got the HP book and started eating healthy to, hopefully, put my HS in remission (I’ve been suffering for about 9 yrs). Anyone knows how to join the forum?



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