Before and After – Mikhaila Through the Ages

By Mikhaila

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. 

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.

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.

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.


Join the Conversation


  1. 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.



  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. This is going to sound weird, but good quality 80/20 ground beef, can be eaten raw.

    2. Dear Catherine – I also have (had?) RA and fibro. I am not fully carnivore like Michaela, but a LCHF diet has been miraculous for me, in terms of reducing pain and inflammation. I am off all drugs now. I hope you can find a way of managing the diet. Keep it really simple and make big enough portions of food so you always have leftovers in the fridge. Have tins of salmon, mackerel, corned beef etc in the pantry, cheese cold meats etc in the fridge, for food on the go. It’s hard at the start but it becomes second nature. Or teach your husband to cook ;-). All the very best – I hope your suffering reduces.

  5. Makhaila, you are a phenomenal person helping so many by sharing your journey. May God bless you

    1. 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

  6. 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

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