Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 31, 2009

Contest: What Did You Learn This Year?

By Mark Sisson
130 Comments

It’s December 31, the last day of the 2000s. It’s always fun, and often quite moving, at times like these to take a look back and remind ourselves how far we’ve come, to recall where and what we were and how and why we are different now. These exercises can seem a little cheesy, but I think they’re quite useful. Some change comes so gradually that you hardly recognize it’s occurring at all. With a little self-reflection you can acknowledge that real change has occurred, be proud of it and own it, and then commit to further personal growth.

I was inspired by this Mark’s Daily Apple forum thread. In it forum user bonesheal asked, “What did YOU learn this year?” Seeing that Mark’s Daily Apple may have played a small part in raising the consciousness of the people that responded makes the experiment that is MDA all worth it. I started MDA over 3 years ago now with the goal to, as I say, empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigatng, discussing and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be trued about health and wellness. I’m thrilled to see that people are doing just that. And I look forward to continuing to provide the resources and this forum for change.

At this time I’d like to echo bonesheal and ask, What did you learn this year? List and share your thoughts in the comment board.

I’ll be choosing one lucky commenter at random to win the Primal Holiday Package. This contest ends when the Primal Holiday offer ends – Dec. 31, midnight.

Check back tomorrow for an all new contest! Grok on!

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129 Comments on "Contest: What Did You Learn This Year?"

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lbd
lbd
6 years 11 months ago
I learned: – that I don’t have to eat every 3 hours. I won’t die from hunger. – that I don’t have to exercise like a madman to be relatively fit. – that the fats I thought were good are bad and vice versa. – that I am addicted to sugar and it’s a hard addiction to beat. – that it is better to just lead by example rather than try to convince everyone my way is the right one, especially when it comes to dispelling conventional wisdom myths. – that I am a better person for stumbling upon the… Read more »
Sam Mirabile
Sam Mirabile
6 years 11 months ago

I have learnt that the primal lifestyle has cleared my head I feel better look better sleep better have lost all my insulin issues & killed off my cravings have gone from 1 tub of ice cream a week to nothing now

Evelyn
Evelyn
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I need to chill out a little, and learn how to play again.

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
6 years 11 months ago

I learned all about the wonderful goodness of coconut products. In particular, the more coconut oil I ingest, the better I feel. I’d never had it before several months ago, and now it’s a staple of my diet.

D
D
6 years 11 months ago

No kidding? I’ve used coconut flower, but haven’t tried the oil. I’ll give it a shot.

Wendy
Wendy
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I need to be present and mindful. If I do that, everything else falls into place. It’s the mindless eating and absenteeism from activity that cause harm.
In 2010, I vow to be present in each and every moment, enjoy life, and be aware of my nutrition and surroundings. In doing this, foloowing those 10 steps just happens naturally, doesn’t it?

Kira
Kira
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I am not hyperglycemic and I learned that I can and did lose weight! Thanks Mark!!!!

Nicole
Nicole
6 years 11 months ago

That it feels good to try to run hard, even if I’m still relatively slow.

That I can still do a few pullups two months after the arrival of Baby Two and at least 15yrs after my last pullup. 🙂

Thanks for an inspiring blog!

Barbara(Blood, Sweat and Heels)
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I’m VERY sensitive to Grains and Dairy. I’ve learned that a diet of veggies, protein, fruit and healthy fat is effective AND makes me feel good:)I’ve learned that sugar is the devil.

I also learned that setting constant smaller goals is the key to accomplishing the big ones.

Happy New Year!

B

Jen Nelson
Jen Nelson
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I have the power and the knowledge to turn around my health and only eat foods that benefit my body.

Lisa
Lisa
6 years 11 months ago

Guess what?! I learned that grain free is way more fun, easier and healthier than gluten free. Yippee!

Karen Baldwin
6 years 11 months ago

This was my big lesson too! Going from gluten free to grain free simplified my life, made me lose 25 lbs, and makes me feel better overall! Thanks

Judymac
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that it was possible for a fat woman of 40% body fat to change her life and eating habits to become a woman of 18% body fat. Eat more fat, eat less cereals and feel, sorry guys, fucking marvellous!

rafiki
rafiki
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that willpower is a precious commodity.

CFS
CFS
6 years 11 months ago

So did I. Everything else I learned began with this realization.

Matt Zimney
Matt Zimney
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that growth, in all of its varied forms, is seldom painless, but always worth it.

Krys
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that it’s ok to take a nap, and that getting more sleep is vital. I also second Ibd’s comments, especially that it is better to lead by example than trying to change those who follow conventional wisdom.
Happy New Year Mark and family! Grok on!

Matt Zimney
Matt Zimney
6 years 11 months ago

Krys, the link in your name is misspelled. The p and s in spot are swapped. Just a FYI.

Krys
6 years 11 months ago

Thanks Matt! I’ve fixed it on this reply. Guess my fingers were just flying too fast! Cheers!

eastwall
eastwall
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that nearly everything I thought I knew about nutrition and healthy living was wrong. Thanks and Happy New Year!

onelasttime
onelasttime
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I need to be gluten-free, feel great eating grain-free and I can eat meat without GI issues.

Chris
Chris
6 years 11 months ago

I learned how the research, dedication and hard work of one man could create a community of supporters who’s main objectives are to help and enlighten the masses who stumble onto MDA. Way to go people! Life is great when you have what it takes to be healthy…knowledge.

SuperMike
SuperMike
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that getting older doesn’t have to mean getting old.

Anne
Anne
6 years 11 months ago

I learned not to be afraid of challenges at work and in my personal life: new job, new non-fiction writing project, new committment to anti-global-warming activism, new committment to working out and healthy primal eating. My new motto is “God hates a coward.”

Jamie Fellrath
6 years 11 months ago
– I learned that I’m very susceptible to the neural problems arising from too many carbs. – I learned that my thought processes are much clearer and I’m nearly ADD-free when I eat properly. – I also learned that carbs make my heart race and may be responsible for my high-ish blood pressure. – I learned that I don’t need to knock myself out on my bike to get a good workout each day to and from work. – And most importantly, I learned that it doesn’t take too much for me to lose 4 inches around my waist and… Read more »
Lindsay0311
Lindsay0311
6 years 11 months ago
These past few months I have learned to love myself and not compare myself to others..I still struggle with this but seeing my improvements in my workouts and the small changes in my body are keeping me going and reminding me that I AM worth it and I am strong. I continue learning new nutritional tools everyday from fellow bloggers and get excited to try new things. I also learned NOT to focus on the number on the scale. I feel better now then I did when I was 10 lbs lighter because I actually have some muscle AND the… Read more »
Adam Kayce
6 years 11 months ago

The biggest—and most far-reaching—lesson that I learned this year is that quality trumps quantity, every time.

I see it in my diet, my workouts, my interactions with family and friends, my work; everywhere. MDA has been instrumental in reinforcing this lesson over and over again.

Have a great New Year everybody!

Rachel
Rachel
6 years 11 months ago
– I learned about Crossfit and lifting really heavy things with explosive compound movements. I also learned that in order to feel good, I need to do this at least twice a week. – I learned first about paleo eating and then about the Primal Blueprint. I learned that eating a good amount of animal and other healthy fats makes me feel hugely better than my old fat-avoiding diet. I learned that I’m actually really sensitive to grains and sugar and that I feel better when I avoid them. – I learned to sprint again when the mood strikes and… Read more »
Jack
6 years 11 months ago

A billion things, but above all, I learned primal. There’s nothing more to say besides that.

Thanks Mark and happy new year!!

Chris
Chris
6 years 11 months ago
I learned that working out and not eating clean was not an option if I wanted to improve my health and my bod. I learned that having “graves disease” proves that the primal way is the only to continue my quest. I learned that you can find incredible information from sites like MDA and for that I am grateful. I learned that even I armed with this information can make my 22 year old son see the difference in his eating paten really do make a difference. I learned that everyone in a while you realize how grateful you are… Read more »
damaged justice
damaged justice
6 years 11 months ago

I learned something I thought I’ve known ever since high school: That it doesn’t matter what other people think.

Melissa Joulwan
6 years 11 months ago
This year, I learned how to eat. Not diet, not “try to get healthy”… I learned to eat. Real food. Delicious food. Powerful food. I grew up in a cooking, eating family, but in 2009, I FINALLY learned to respect my food and what it does for me. I stopped being afraid of fat, and I banished “poison” from my kitchen. My husband and I have found fun cooking together. We get local deliveries of produce and meat — our pantry is stocked with coconut oil and coconut milk and freshly-ground spices. I have a calm joy about my food… Read more »
Terry Elrod
6 years 11 months ago

I have learned that some of the “good foods” for me are really not. I have learned that excuses only slow you down from living the life you want to live and you should be kind to others at all times.

Thanks Mark

Mary
Mary
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I need to sleep more. I always thought that if I could make it through the day and function, I must have gotten enough sleep.

Now I realize that although I can function, I am not thriving. Five hours of sleep is not enough for true health.

Alex
Alex
6 years 11 months ago
As a lifelong vegetarian/sometimes vegan I learned that not only will meat not kill me – it will make me strong and healthy. I also learned that I do not need to kill myself with running an hour every single day followed by another hour of chronic cardio at the gym most days. I learned that I don’t have to be tired all the time and suffer from massive mood swings that drive everyone (including myself) crazy. I learned that it is sometimes just better to let things go and enjoy what time I have. I still have a lot… Read more »
gwen
gwen
6 years 11 months ago

since i only discovered this site and its information this year, i learned a hell of a lot. the best thing i learned, though, was that eating an entire chicken all by myself in one sitting, without utensils, is awesome.
also – the idea of the big salad, which i call the ‘epic salad’. been eating it every day (sometimes twice a day) for 8 months now and still love it, look forward to it, it helps me save money and it totally satisfies me. screw you, sandwiches and pasta.

jfarley33
jfarley33
6 years 11 months ago
I learned so much this year… The year started out with a trip to New Zealand and some amazing sight seeing and photography opportunities. Then, my wife and I had our first child in July and I learned to love someone more than I ever knew was possible. I also learned around the same time that my blood pressure was 150/105 and I had topped the scales at 200 lbs. (I’m 5′ 7″). Suffice it to say, I was shocked at how I had become absent to myself and my own well being over the years, and how it could… Read more »
Barry Napier
Barry Napier
6 years 11 months ago

This was my “Primal” year! I learned the fundamental truth about our bodies, nutrition, and how to bring all of it together with fitness to create transformational change!

Thanks Mark! You’re making the world a better place!!

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I eat more interesting food when I have some healthy constraints on ingredients and prepare it myself. Having fewer options opened my eyes to all these foods that I hardly even considered before.

Alex
Alex
6 years 11 months ago

I learned I can go for much longer than 4 hours without eating and feel really good about it.
I learned that grains and sugar make me feel pretty awful.
I learned that my job is killing me.
I learned that I need to take sleep and rest more seriously.
I learned that money really isn’t everything.
I learned that my husband is more supportive than I could have imagined.
I learned that I need to see my family more.

Sharonll
Sharonll
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that overeating does not cause obesity, but rather that overeating is often a consequence of obesity and that obesity is caused, rather, by the inability of the body to utilize the fat it’s already stored. And, that severely limiting carbs and eating healthy fats and protein can fix the problem.

shepherd
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that Crossfit, fat, protein, and green things are the true key to a happy me.
I learned that I don’t have to eat every 3 hours, or suffer from low blood sugar headaches.
I learned that Grok Rocks!

Jamie
Jamie
6 years 11 months ago

While this particular lesson has been life-long for me so far, I’ve come the farthest in 2009 in learning it: The only person I can control is me.

Dougie
Dougie
6 years 11 months ago

Amen, Jamie!

Amanda
Amanda
6 years 11 months ago

I learned about fasting this year. That despite CW fasting complemented by a good paleo diet does way more for my blood sugar regulation than 5 meals a day. Most of all though I continue to learn that following the cues of my body is the most important thing.

Sarah
6 years 11 months ago
I’ve learned that cutting high fructose corn syrup out of my life isn’t as difficult as some make it seem. Doing so has stopped my blood sugar from bouncing up & down all day long. I’ve learned that even the smallest healthy changes make a huge impact. I’ve learned that using natural products (like jojoba oil for moisturizer, a deodorant crystal, & baking soda + peroxide instead of toothpaste) work much better than any chemicals we can come up with. I’ve learned where my food REALLY comes from. I grew up on a farm, in farm country, & learned more… Read more »
Theresa
Theresa
6 years 11 months ago
I’ve learned that grains aren’t good for me. I feel much better without them. I haven’t yet learned how to completely leave them alone, though. I’ve learned that my kids are pretty amazing, even if some of their friends aren’t. There are 4 of them, all teenagers, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I’ve learned that I’m not willing to waste my time on negative feelings, people, and activities. There is alot in this world that is positive and well worth my effort. I’ve learned that my tiny dog is a complete whack-job and I don’t know what I’d… Read more »
Sharon
Sharon
6 years 11 months ago

Since I’m an eternally curious person, I have learned that this is a great website that keeps me learning something new most days. Thanks everyone.

DB
DB
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I could regularly consume raw, unpasteurized goat milk, and that I surely would not keel over from this practice.
I learned that Conventional Medical Wisdom, in which I was so carefully trained, is wrong in so many ways, and that those wrong ideas are harming countless people and costing billions.
I learned that by leading by example, we can educate and make a positive change, one person at a time.

IreScotsWelsh
IreScotsWelsh
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that at age 53, I am way stronger than I was at 20, thanks to PB & CrossFit. I also discovered the joy of cooking from scratch using locally grown & organic produce.

GotPrimal
GotPrimal
6 years 11 months ago

I learned to truly, question everything.

DB
DB
6 years 11 months ago

Oh yea, almost forgot. I learned that blood sugar issues (diabetes type 2) can be successfully addressed by eating paleo.
I learned that it’s a shame that CMW won’t teach people this.

Chris
Chris
6 years 11 months ago

Stuck in a job that left me wondering why, I learned how fast life was passing me by. I learned that I desperately need to change this, to begin to create a lifestyle that allows me to fully raise my child and live out my passions.

Realizing that I have worked full time for the last 20 years(I am only 35), while being stuck in a meaningless corp. 60-80 hr/week job was a clarion call.

kuno1chi
kuno1chi
6 years 11 months ago

I learned..

1.) That junk food is NOT my master.

2.) I’m 51—but don’t ever have to worry about getting “old”.

3.) Awesome food, hard workouts, and fun—that’s what life is SUPPOSED to be!

Thank you, Mark; Happy New Year to you and those you love <3

Mark
Mark
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that:

— I don’t have to be on the treadmill for hours
— I’m a sugarholic
— My body responds *very* well to a reduced carb way of life

Deborah
Deborah
6 years 11 months ago

I learned that I don’t have to feel guilty for not going to the gym everyday. I can get the exercise I need at home, with my own body weight and enhance my results by eating primal. My life has gotten so much better in just the last 3 months of 09. I can’t wait for 2010…bring it!

Annika
6 years 11 months ago

I’ve learned that while I thought I knew a lot about how to eat a healthy, whole-foods diet, I was wrong, wrong, wrong!

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