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60lbs down and a whole lot of health

23 Comments

Written by: Sylvie

Hi Robb,

Your book and Mark Sisson’s have most definitely changed my life. I’ve lost 60 lbs with paleo but really that’s just the cherry on top.

I didn’t find this lifestyle to lose weight. I’d sort of given up on the weight front, assuming that after hitting 30 and having 3 kids there’s only so much you can do.

I was raised vegetarian, and had probably consumed more gluten in the first 20 years of my life than most people do in a lifetime.

I was not an overweight kid, but I was definitely a health disaster. By age 15 my list of diagnoses and medications were impressive: polycystic ovary syndrome, chronic amenorrhea, hypothyroidism, tonsillitis once per year, chronic allergic rhinitis, in addition to my congenital tachycardia (PAT/SVT) and Epstein-Barr virus, which reared its ugly head multiple times. Inflammation doesn’t even begin to describe it.

All this led to various heart medications and later a heart catheter ablation, many rounds of antibiotics (we’re talking penicillin in the rear end since the orals were no longer cutting it) and later a tonsillectomy, lots of cortisone up the nose and later polyps surgically removed and 17 years of thyroid medication and birth control pills every single day. My medical file was a FAT one- pun intended. Here I am below weighing at least 210lbs, possibly more. (I am 5’10”).

before

Sylvie Before – weighing 210+ lbs

My experiment with paleo came out of desperation since my thyroid symptoms were out of control despite my labs looking perfect (including testing negative for Hashimoto’s several times). The first 30 days were not easy dealing with cravings and finding the time, energy and money to do more shopping, cooking and dishes while juggling the usual madness that is a full time job and 3 kids.

It was well worth it though because I feel better now than I did as a kid. I’ve lost at least 60 lbs and I’m on no medication! My cycle is like clockwork and my blood sugar (and hence mood) are in check. Food really is medicine. Thank you for helping to turn my life around.

after

Sylvie After – weighing 150lbs

Sylvie – www.thesimplepaleolife.com

 

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  1. Tala
    April 15, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Congratulations! That’s an amazing transformation of looks, but even more so, of health. Do I understand correctly that you are no longer on any thyroid medication? And when you were losing weight, were you still on thyroid meds, and were you counting calories or just eating paleo without worrying about calories! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Sylvie
      April 17, 2013 at 9:29 am

      Hi Tala,
      Correct. I’m no longer on thyroid meds. I will write about it soon, but in the meantime, the short version is that, against my doc’s advice, I decided to take stop taking my meds cold turkey for 3 months and do a lab test just to see if my meds needed to be adjusted at all. Even though I’ve been checked countless times in the 17 years I’ve been on synthroid (100mcg/day) especially during each of the 3 pregnancies but my dose was always the same and I was just curious. Note that this is rare; synthroid is thyroid HORMONE and if you’re body has stopped making it often diet is not enough to get your gland to start playing nice again. I will still test my thyroid a couple times a year but FROM NOW ON I’ll do a more comprehensive panel, not just the usual TSH and T4 your docs ask for but rather check for T3 to T4 conversion, freeT3 reverseT3, the works! Because perhaps all you need is a little supplement to help the conversion happen. Whenever you throw hormones into the mix, whether its Thyroid, estrogen, birth control pills, etc the playing field changes entirely so I want to make sure that from now on in my body its a last resort and not a default first plan of action as it usually is in the endocrinology world. Hope that helps and thanks for your comment! Sylvie

  2. Alexandra
    April 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Wonderful story…. weight loss is great but I love how Paleo turns around people’s health… that is what it’s all about.

  3. Gabby
    April 16, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Great story!

  4. Lynn
    April 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Great story, so glad you found Robb & Mark! They have brought so much to my life as well as Chris Kresser, Chris Masterjohn, Stephan Guyenet, the Kracken, etc. So many terrific folks in this community. Keep up the good work!

  5. Sylvie
    April 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Thank you Lynn!

  6. Ken
    April 18, 2013 at 4:29 am

    I am so excited now to get the book. I’ve heard a lot about Paleo from my friends and how it changed their lives. After seeing your pictures, I am totally inspired. I am now a believer of this diet. I am going to start the change in my diet and adapt the concept of Paleo.

  7. Cathy
    April 22, 2013 at 6:30 am

    I’ve been following this blog for awhile and I have to say that the success stories such as yours really inspire me to keep going! Definitely would love to have my own success story one day!

    • Sylvie
      April 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Cathy,

      I’m so glad to hear that.

      Thank you and best to you in your journey!

      Sylvie

  8. Granola Girl
    June 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Sylvie
    I’ve been doing the Paleo diet since February this year about 95%. Lately I’ve been wondering if something is up with my thyroid. I have been on Synthroid for 6 years and have been feeling a bit off, the front throat part of my neck feels active somehow, I’m losing more hair than usual and feel general malaise. Is that how you felt? I’m from Canada and the labs don’t do T3 testing anymore just TSH. I’m wondering if I’ve gone from hypo thyroid to hyperthyroid on Paleo.. I need to go to the doc but I’m a bit stressed cuz I don’t exactly trust them much. I’m wondering if I should take half my med’s or just stop for three months like you.

    Kind of scared.

    • Sylvie
      June 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Granola Girl,

      I’m not a doc, so can’t tell you to stop your meds but I would definitely advise you ask them to test your antibodies to see if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is the autoimmune form of hypothyroidism. If your TSH is in the “normal” range but you’re not feeling normal, definitely continue your search… The book thethyroidbook.com might be helpful if you do have Hashi’s…

      Best of luck to you!
      Sylvie

  9. Mohan gokul
    June 18, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Nice story..

  10. Amanda
    July 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Sylvie,

    Your story sounds great and it really interests me because I’ve been diagnosed with the PCOS and am irregular without the pills. I also have other endocrine symptoms, skin issues etc. that is involved with PCOS. Other than a regular cycle, have you had significant reduction in those symptoms as well?

    thanks,
    Amanda

    • Sylvie- Hollywoodhomestead.com
      October 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Amanda,

      Yes, my skin has significantly cleared up although it did not happen overnight. My suggestion would be to work with your naturopath, ideally one that is in the paleo/primal scene.

      Hormone regulation might take a little time but it’s amazing how many things just fall into place by changing your diet.

      Best of luck!
      Sylvie

  11. Sophie
    August 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    When did you start Paleo and how long did it take to lose the 60 pounds? I have a four month old and I’m nursing so I’m wondering if Paleo is even possible for me to do since I do have to eat extra calories to nurish my baby.

    • Sylvie- Hollywoodhomestead.com
      October 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Sophie,

      I started Paleo a year and a half ago. My weight loss took about a year. You can definitely do paleo while nursing. There are many high calorie nutrient dense foods you can eat including carbs to ensure your baby is getting everything he/she needs.

      Best of luck,

      Sylvie

  12. Rhina
    September 3, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Hi Sylvie,

    I was diagnosed with PCOS a few years ago and whatever I do will not help with loosing weight and all the other symptoms involved with PCOS… Did the other symptoms decrease after you started with the paleo diet?? I dont want to take medication, I want to do a lifestyle change and I think the Paleo diet will be my solution, can you please tell me more about how this diet help with the PCOS symptoms?? Thank you and congratulations, you look great and Im sure you feel with better!!

  13. Sylvie- Hollywoodhomestead.com
    October 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Rhina,

    Yes, many of my symptoms completely resolved just by shifting to paleo. I am working with a naturopath currently to resolve the last lingering nutrient deficiencies I have as a result of many years of consuming nothing but wheat and soy.

    I recommend you find a paleo/primal naturopath in addition to adopting a paleo diet to help you achieve optimal health.

    Best to you,
    Sylvie

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