Before and After – Mikhaila Through the Ages

Here goes.

I’ve had a number of people comment, “Hey where’s your scar, that’s not a real pic of you,” or, “This isn’t Jordan’s daughter, she doesn’t have scars”, orrrrr “this diet can’t be that good, you looked good before, (or better)”.

A) Most of my Instagram pics are from after I went low carb. So yeah they look pretty good. Thank you.

B) The bikini pics are pre-baby, and low carb, so yeah, they’re going to look pretty good. Thank you.

Anyway. Perhaps these rather irritating people have a point. So here are some pictures that I don’t like, I have never liked, but do show what kind of changes my body went through when I went low carb and then carnivore. My Instagram posts are mostly from after I went low carb. So there are no photos I don’t like there. Obviously.

And I don’t have any “before” photos. Which is why I used my passport as an example HERE.

There was never a point in my life where I stood in front of a camera and took a picture of my body because I thought it would change. I wasn’t thinking, “Hey maybe I should take a  before pic as I will cure my crippling depression and autoimmune disorder. Now seems like a good time.”

I have scrounged around on my best friends Facebook and found what I have found. All untagged photos that I didn’t like, but showed what happened to my body when I went to university and survived off of beer, pizza, pierogies, and ichiban.

Here I am before shit hit the fan (the first time) – a month before they told me I might need a hip replacement (August 2008):

 

And here are some surgical pics to get that out of the way. My scars are healed now obviously. It’s almost been a decade (these photos are from 2009). They’re not obvious in photos because they’re not obvious anymore. My ankle scar was horrid for the first 4 years but now it’s faded:

 

My hip scar right after surgery.

 

My hip x-ray post-surgery.

 

My hip scar now (2018).

 

What an MRI looked like pre-surgery.

 

What my ankle looked like on an x-ray pre- surgery  (age 17 no cartilage in between the joint).

 

My beautiful but swollen ankle before surgery.

 

The next time I saw my ankle. Yes, I was terrified.

 

My ankle x-ray post-surgery.

 

My ankle scar now (2018). With some very chipped nail polish.

 

Here are pics of a skinny post-surgery teenager (2011 summer):

 

Weight wasn’t my issue then. I had just had surgery and lost a bunch of weight. I was skinny. I was still sick.

 

Swollen eyes in this pic. It shows a good before pic for the following university pictures.

 

And then university happened (late 2011- early 2012):

Then there was a LOT of the above (2012).

 

And a lot of the above (2012).

 

Here are some pics of me after I gained 30 pounds in the year after the above pics (2012 winter-2013 spring). This was just before my skin really freaked out:

 

Gallons of beer consumed nightly. Joining me is my wonderful best friend Rebecca Connors.

 

I dropped out after year 2 (2013) due to serious mental health issues, came home and upped my meat intake and lowered my noodle intake. I lost about 10 pounds after that and felt quite a bit better emotionally. Something to be said for not surviving off of beer and pizza. Some of my Instagrams are from then. This is when my skin really started to freak out. For pics of that go HERE. There were times in between with skin that wasn’t clear but was coverable with makeup. Those are the ones on my Instagram.

Makeup by @arenout again..

A post shared by Mikhaila Peterson (@mikhailapeterson) on

 

The rest (and all the bloating) came off when I went low carb (old bikini pics are from then):

The above photo was 2 months after the original elimination diet.

 

Not having fun at all

A post shared by Mikhaila Peterson (@mikhailapeterson) on

The above was a year after the elimination diet.

And after the pregnancy, my pics are from my carnivore days:

 

Now I can just link to this article when that person comments “where’s your scar” as if they have uncovered a conspiracy theory. Or “perhaps this isn’t Jordan’s daughter” or “your body never changed”. I was fortunate to figure out my issues before I seriously gained a lot of weight. But gaining 30 pounds in a year is serious enough. Not to mention the crippling depression and arthritis and fatigue and skin issues and itching.

For the most part, of course, people have been wonderful. And this was probably a necessary post. Thanks for the support! Hope this helps some people.

35 thoughts on “Before and After – Mikhaila Through the Ages

  1. Gwen says:

    From writer of When Harry Met Sally and many more novels, Nora Ephron: “Oh, how I regret not having worn my bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, put in a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re 34.” And hey why stop at 34!

    • scottie35 says:

      The same goes for men. Wear a Speedo! After the self-conscious phase wears off, it’s simply awesome. It’s like being able to lounge around in public – legally – in your undies. Toss in the occasional gluten-free beer, and life is good. 🏖

  2. Tara says:

    Awww. I’m really sorry that you had to prove anything. I hate it when I have to do that because I’ve never seen any advantage in not telling the truth. But yeah there are always those who think you’re scamming or trying to appear to be someone you’re not. And of course they don’t know you and maybe think you’re like them. Whatever, just the way it is. Thankfully they are the minority (I hope).
    Love to you.

  3. Daniel says:

    You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, you will never know how much it truly helped some of us!

  4. Liz says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I cannot afford a sensitivity test right now with peace of mind, but when I can I will give it a shot. Meanwhile ill give the elimination diet a try. I wish I had come across this when I was younger, but better late than never. Hope its helpful for me and my family too.

  5. Gek says:

    Thanks so much sharing. Just came back from a friend’s place where he said food allergies are just a fad. Suggesting it was also just in our heads. “Everything in moderation mantra, life’s got to be lived”. So tired of hearing that! Can link your article now but I don’t think they want to know…sigh

  6. JimTassano says:

    Have you seen this article?

    Glycosaminoglycans are a potential cause of rheumatoid arthritis
    Julia Y. Wang and Michael H. Roehrl
    PNAS October 29, 2002. 99 (22) 14362-14367; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.222536599
    Communicated by John J. Mekalanos, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (received for review July 19, 2002)

    Abstract
    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic, and inflammatory disease of connective tissue with unknown etiology. We investigated whether aberrant immune responses to glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), a major component of joint cartilage, joint fluid, and other soft connective tissue, causes this disease. Here we show that injection of GAGs such as hyaluronic acid, heparin, and chondroitin sulfates A, B, and C induce arthritis, tendosynovitis, dermatitis, and other pathological conditions in mice. We developed a technique by staining tissue specimens with fluorochrome- or biotin-labeled GAGs to visualize the direct binding between cells and GAGs. We discovered that inflammatory infiltrates from the affected tissue are dominated by a distinct phenotype of GAG-binding cells, a significant portion of which are CD4+ T cells. GAG-binding cells seem to be expanded in bone marrow of GAG-immunized mice. Furthermore, we identified GAG-binding cells in inflamed synovial tissue of human patients with RA. Our findings suggest that carbohydrate self-antigenic GAGs provoke autoimmune dysfunctions that involve the expansion of GAG-binding cells which migrate to anatomical sites rich in GAGs. These GAG-binding cells might, in turn, promote the inflammation and pathology seen both in our murine model and in human RA.

  7. Gerald Lang says:

    Hey Mikhaila. Just found your blog and am very impressed with your efforts. I have a few questions if you don’t mind!

    1) Have you considered the possibility that this extreme diet elimination process has been throwing your microbiome out of whack which then made you react to foods that were fine in the past?
    2) You went from low carb to carnivore, primarily due to residual anxiety after pregnancy. How did you measure the changes in your life to be certain of change between those two diets? It seems difficult to reliably gauge 8/10 happiness vs 10/10, and even more so to isolate that feeling to the effects of a diet when things like pregnancy, life, seasons, etc are at play.
    3) What are your thoughts on vegetarians that develop a sensitivity to meat? I’ve heard many accounts similar, but opposite to yours, where people go off meat for a period, eat a little, then feel bad, and conclude that meat is an unsuitable part of a healthy diet, when in fact they perhaps just induced a sensitivity due to their body and microbiome adapting to diet.

    Again I am amazed at what you’ve accomplished here, just interested to learn more. Response is much appreciated!

    • Mikhaila Peterson says:

      1) Have you considered the possibility that this extreme diet elimination process has been throwing your microbiome out of whack which then made you react to foods that were fine in the past?

      Yes I have. Ultimately I didn’t have an option. I was obviously reacting to foods in the first place or I wouldn’t have had any illnesses. When you reduce carbs you reduce the amount of bacteria that digest carbs, but there isn’t a better option. I as reacting to foods in general. It may be a microbiome problem but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

      2) You went from low carb to carnivore, primarily due to residual anxiety after pregnancy. How did you measure the changes in your life to be certain of change between those two diets? It seems difficult to reliably gauge 8/10 happiness vs 10/10, and even more so to isolate that feeling to the effects of a diet when things like pregnancy, life, seasons, etc are at play.

      While things in life can make you feel sad, they don’t make you feel depressed like a food reaction does. It feels like poison, not like sadness. I can’t be certain that next pregnancy won’t make me emotional again. It probable will but I think there were underlying food issues underneath. I think that because as soon as I eliminated vegetables it went away. That was during breastfeeding and nothing else changed. In the dead of winter so it wasn’t due to sunshine or something. It was food. I was also having arthritic symptoms, acne, and itchy legs. It’s not purely psychological. Anxiety was just the most bothersome symptom for me.

      3) What are your thoughts on vegetarians that develop a sensitivity to meat? I’ve heard many accounts similar, but opposite to yours, where people go off meat for a period, eat a little, then feel bad, and conclude that meat is an unsuitable part of a healthy diet, when in fact they perhaps just induced a sensitivity due to their body and microbiome adapting to diet.

      I don’t believe this. I think there’s an adaption period in order to digest more fat, meat, etc. But it’s not a food reaction. They’re very different feelings. People can go from vegetarian to meat eating again. And from vegan to meat eating. You don’t develop a sensitivity to meat. That being said, some people don’t tolerate pork well, but that’s not because it’s meat.

      • Mikhaila Peterson says:

        The other point is… if you survive of meat, you seem to get healthier. If you survive off of grain you get scurvy and die really quickly. All foods are not created equally, and it doesn’t have much to do with removing them.

      • Rose says:

        Question no. 3 is very intersting, how do you differentiate between a reaction and adaptation? I have noticed that everytime I eat steak the top of my mouth swells, and I also have those feelings of rage you described about nonsense (somebody is walking slow in front of me). On the other hand I’m not bloated! So how do you work this out?

  8. Kenn Macdonald says:

    Thanks for sharing the pics (shoulders back?) Amazing to see the changes. They really seem to show up in your face more than anywhere else. Glad you are on a better path Mikhaila.

  9. Paige says:

    Just out of curiosity, how tall are you? Also, do you plan to write about your workout routine at any point? Thanks!

  10. Bliss says:

    Thanks for the post, Mikhaila.
    I was vegan for 16 years. When I went back to eating meat there were no transition problems.

  11. lisa sherry says:

    Mikhalia,

    Sores, pimples and all, you STILL looked adorable. You have been through so much, and I admire your stoic attitude throughout all your challenges. As is said of smart kids: ‘they get smart early…to save time later,’ let us hope, that ‘you with a host of physical obstacles will be able to live problem-free later.’ At least, that is my hope for you.

    Hugs,

    Lisa

  12. Tom says:

    Many congrats to you for having both the cleverness and the willpower to take control of your own health.
    I’m trying to follow your diet but I’ve had a few false starts already.
    Here’s to your continued good health. Clink.

    ( actually enjoying too many toasts is a big part of my problem. ;0

  13. Dina says:

    Wow. I’m really sorry people are so stupid and you felt you had to shed light on every private aspect of your journey, but these pictures speak volumes. Thank you for sharing. And your daughter is an absolute doll!! Enjoy that little gem.

  14. Catherine says:

    Congratulations Mikhaila. I also have RA ( 23 years) and depression since I was 17 ( and Fybromyalgia) . I tried to cut out all carbs a while back after seeing the TVO interview, but am really struggling . Mostly because with being unable to stand for long or use my hands , it is really hard when it comes to cooking , and just grabbing a slice of bread is possible, while cooking a steak is not. I did change to spelt whole grain bread, which seems to be better.
    My husband also found research about drinking bicarbonate of soda – one teaspoon in water every day. For other RA warriors who might read your blog, it is really helping lower inflammation. And it does not harm.

    • steven v says:

      Mikhaila,

      What shocked my most about your photos is how strong and lean your body is when you are on the ZC diet. Also Charlotte had posted some bikini photos on the meatheals website and she also looked ridiculously strong and lean.Both of you have perfect body weight. I am 57 years old and had eaten improperly for 45 of those years. I always felt my body wasn’t at its proper weight and something was missing in my strength. Now after doing 2 weeks of the ZC diet my stomach is shrinking, definition is coming into my muscle and strength and flexibility are increasing! Crazy ride!! TY

  15. On one hand it is a bit sad that you find yourself compelled to publish your private photos to prove who you are and what you’ve gone through. On the other hand, it is encouraging to see your long-term optimistic perspective, showing how bad it was and how much better it is now. I think you are offering inspiration for many people straggling with difficult health situations, showing them that their current suffering can be reduced and their lives improved.

    So thanks for sharing. I wish you and your wonderful family a healthy life with minimal suffering and maximal meaning… /d

  16. Bliss says:

    My guess is Mikhaila could live with people doubting her story, but she shares this to help others.
    This is what we need in this world. People sharing their experiences. We have too many “experts” that are off the mark.

  17. Terri says:

    One of the toughest lessons in life for people who are decent, kind and caring is that there are mean spirited, hateful people who really have nothing better to do than go around looking down their noses at others. It’s sad and pitiful, but frustrating, as well. Some may say you should have just ignored the haters/trolls, but I think it’s good that you showed them the proof they so desperately didn’t want you to be able to provide. You’ve been through more in your short life than many twice your age and you’ve conquered so many of your health problems by being knowledgeable and highly disciplined and some will always be jealous of you because of it. Ignore them from here on because you’ve got nothing to prove to anyone anymore. Just do your thing teaching and inspiring others and loving your family. <3 <3 <3

    • steven v says:

      Mikhaila,

      I am curious on how your joints feel now after the surgery? How is your walking gait? Do you have any soft tissue inflammation or stiffness?

  18. Alessandro says:

    Hi Mikhaila, im looking up to give this diet a try, but my main concern is that I can only afford processed meat and given that it has been placed in the same group for cancer risk as cigarettes im very thoughtful about if it’s worth the risks specially as a long term food regimen, what can you recommend me?, specially for a not expensive Fat intake option.
    Thank you

  19. Bliss says:

    There’s ground beef, chicken thighs, etc.
    also, if you are not going meat only, sweet potatoes are usually pretty cheap, and they are better than a lot of foods as far as it being safe to eat the inorganic ones.
    Fats. Avocados, again, if you are not going meat only.
    Some suggestions anyway.

  20. AC says:

    Hey Mikhaila, how come your first two hip pictures show the scar and xray on the right side but the 2018 scar update is on the left side?

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