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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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November 11, 2011

Finding the Person Within: A Mother and Daughter Journey

By Guest
171 Comments

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Once upon what seems like a lifetime ago I was the brightest thing that walked into any room. No, I was not the thinnest, prettiest, best-dressed thing in the room – but I had an aura of pure confidence wherever my feet took me. I had a brilliant mind and unstoppable will. I had overcome so many challenges in my life – growing up with addictive parents, homeless, then eventually parentless and shipped to boarding school. I was an overcomer! The key – I LOVED myself and I feared no challenge. That is until I had my first child. I feared her. She was a challenge. No more me time, lots of her time. Lots of crying and sleepless nights as I tried to figure out this girl. She was out of control and would later be diagnosed with a form of autism. Add child 2 and 3 to the mix and this momma was DONE. Always weak, always tired, 80 lbs heavier – the girl who LOVED herself now hated every inch of her being. Parenthood felt like a failure. I started anti-depressants. Got worse. Started birth control (the Depo-shot) to even out hormones. Got drastically worse. With failing energy and a soldier as a husband who was never home I cooked from boxes and drive-thrus. I continued to get worse – and so did my little girl whose struggles caused her to not be able to be in a classroom. I was done. I felt hopeless. Was this a forever thing? Would I forever be huge and tired? Would my daughter forever be the outcast? Would I be forced to put her on some horrible mind altering meds? Something had to change.

The only thing I knew that I had control to change was our diet. So I researched. From that day on, 2 years ago this November, we have not eaten fast food. We stopped eating conventional meat and vegetables and starting buying only what we could get from local farms, meat and LOTS of vegetables and fruits. Minimally processed food and nothing with artificial dyes/preservatives/sweeteners. Within 1 month my child was COMPLETELY different! Her whole life we were poisoning her without even realizing it! As time passed and we continued to refine our diet she got even better.

Mommy got better too. As weight started to drop and I felt the hazy cloud that had covered my mind begin to lift I started to see glimpses of my vibrant past! I started exercising at a local track – my first sprint I made it about 100 meters and then proceeded to use my daughters inhaler! If I were living in primal times I would be the one that died first :)! I stuck it out though and now there is nothing athletic that I will not attempt. People thought we were crazy. We were those people with the “crazy” diet that no one had ever heard about. We were mocked. I didn’t care – the proof is in the pudding (which of course we didn’t eat!). For the first time since she was school age my little girl completed an entire year in a classroom, second grade, and the thought of having to medicate her was shoved far from our minds! [*disclaimer* I have STRONG opinions that if you have a child struggling with autism/ADD/ADHD or any other behavioral problem that it could only benefit the child to re-evaluate diet. I feel like this should always be a precursor to any decision about medication. This worked for us and allowed us to forego medication. However, at varying degrees of intensity within the spectrum I understand that this may not be a “fix-all” for every child. But I will say that I fully believe that a primal, clean, diet will definitely produce results! We are not calling our grokling “cured” but instead “managed”!]

Within a year I dropped the first 50 lbs and discovered your book and MDA! I was ECSTATIC!! First, I realized that somewhere, rooted deep inside, we all have a little Grok left. What else could explain how so many things in your book I had naturally discovered on my own. My body, all our bodies, WANT to be Grok again; NEED to be Grok again! You gave me something I needed more than anything – validation! Validation that what I was doing was right. (Even recently validating why I have an instinctive need to wrestle when I am feeling overwhelmed – I knew there was something to it!) You also provide a foundation to come to when I need some tweaks and advice and a place to put most of my curiosities to rest – because 9 times out of 10, when I have a question pop into my mind, you have answered it already somewhere on MDA. My family as a whole limit grains by the 80% rule. I strive for the 100%. Lots of good fats and great meat! My husband, who we all thought was healthy other than a borderline cholesterol level, is in the best shape of his life at 32 with a current cholesterol level that is excellent and playing on an Ultimate Frisbee team! Our entire family of 5 all participate in CrossFit. We love our box and we love the community. We make lots of time for fun – from camping to canoeing to 5k mud races – we do it all! And this Mommy is more alive than ever before! Sometimes I see myself in the mirror now and I am shocked at who I am. I ask my husband if he is shocked at the change and he always says no – that this is who I always was – hidden deep within that other person. From 201, with several health issues, to 126 with 0 health concerns – I feel GREAT! I feel whole again and my little grokling feels whole for the first time! Here’s to LOVING life and Groking on!!


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171 Comments on "Finding the Person Within: A Mother and Daughter Journey"

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Jenny
Jenny
4 years 10 months ago

First.

And wow! This is exactly the inspiration I needed. My son eats pizza and ice cream almost exclusively. He is fifteen and I’ve given up. The fights we’ve had! I wish I had your commitment!

kimelah
kimelah
4 years 10 months ago

It’s not easy with teens who seem to do the exact opposite of what they’re told/suggested.

matt conway
matt conway
4 years 10 months ago

i’m sorry, i don’t mean to be harsh, but who’s buying the pizza and ice cream?

Mark F
Mark F
4 years 10 months ago

And who exactly is enabling pizza and ice cream? And for how long?

Scott
Scott
4 years 10 months ago

Wow — it’s difficult to believe that’s the same person. Way to go!

Andy
Andy
4 years 10 months ago

You are awesome.

Meg
Meg
4 years 10 months ago

I have never commented on a success story before, but you truly look amazing! Even better, you sound SO happy! Great work. We are currently working on my daughter’s diet and are really inspired by stories like this. Grok on 🙂

Crunchy Pickle
4 years 10 months ago

Yes, it encourages me to renew my efforts to feed my kids only the good stuff! Congrats, Congrats!

Daryl
Daryl
4 years 10 months ago

Great job! Congratulations on saving your children and yourself.

smokedsalmon
smokedsalmon
4 years 10 months ago

That’s fantastic. Simply fantastic. Way to go!!

Chris
Chris
4 years 10 months ago

Wow!!! What an amazing success story. I love hearing stories about how going primal is such a benefit to the children and of course the parents too;). It’s official. My day has been made. Congratulations!

Milemom
Milemom
4 years 10 months ago

Fantastic! I wish I could raise my kiddos over again… why did I ever think apple juice was suitable or necessary?

You look great…wow! More importantly, as you said, is that you recognize yourself again (the real you) and you must feel so proud to have done this for your daughter.

Well done.

deb b
deb b
4 years 10 months ago

I know, me too! And apple juice was the least of it!

Peggy The Primal Parent
4 years 10 months ago

What a transformation! You are an inspiration to families and to women. It is amazing how much the American diet can screw us up and how going Primal can fix everything.

Primal Toad
4 years 10 months ago

Can I emphasize “everything”?!

Ok, not literally… not 100%. But, as close as we will ever get.

Whitney
Whitney
4 years 10 months ago

What an amazing story! As a clinical psychologist, I try to tell all my clients to look at their diet first. Food is our #1 exposure in life – how could we not think it plays a MAJOR role in everything. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!!

Grace
Grace
4 years 10 months ago

I LOVE this comment. People only see what they want to see. We are all limited by out fast held beliefs and perspectives. I am so happy for you and for your family. Proof, yet again that we are what we choose to be, and that when we use excuses, it is because we have the potential to become more, but are not allowing ourselves to do so. Thank you for sharing your story.

Paul Alexander
4 years 10 months ago

Quite a change! This is the best example for your kids!

Patrick
4 years 10 months ago

Wow, completely awesome! I’m very happy for you. I’m getting my daughter to read this. Thank you!

Jackie Kessler
4 years 10 months ago

FABULOUS!!! Three cheers for you and your grokling!

Jana
4 years 10 months ago

Fantastic…and so happy for your daughter too.

Paleo Irish
4 years 10 months ago

Well done, you and grokling look so amazing!
It’s just great that you have given you sweet daughter the chances and opportunities that she would have never had otherwise, as well as the benefits that your whole family feel.

Tony
4 years 10 months ago

What a great post! My friend also has an autistic child. I am going to forward this post to him pronto. So happy for you and your family! Happy Veterans day as well!

Anna
Anna
4 years 10 months ago

SO well done! That’s what I call taking control of your present and future.

Jay Ogg
4 years 10 months ago
Inspirational! Keep on Grokking! I just wish that my sister would do the same thing with her daughter (and family) who has behavioral issues. My wife and I cannot wait to raise a child 100% Paleo. It just makes sense! As a parent, I believe the only thing you can do is give your child the absolute best possible chances to succeed and let them take it from there. You’re a terrific mother for saying “I don’t think so” to conventional wisdom and working on your own accord to find a way to give your daughter the best health you… Read more »
Bryce Leo
Bryce Leo
4 years 10 months ago

I find it amazing how you now look both younger and more mature at the same time! What a blessing to be able to manage your family’s health so well!

Congratulations!

Anne
4 years 10 months ago

Well done, Mom and Daughter both!! (LOVE these multi-generational success stories!)

Cheering you on for your continued success–the both of you!

peggy
peggy
4 years 10 months ago

WOWIE ZOWIE!!!
so proud of you. Even more proud of you to stickin to your beliefs & helping your daughter down a happy, healthy path withOUT medications.

Diane
Diane
4 years 10 months ago

Great story — and so wonderful that you figured most of this out on your own. Of course, now you have a whole community of support here, as well.

Christie
Christie
4 years 10 months ago

Amazing and inspiring! Congratulations to you and your family! You look great. Thanks for sharing your story. It is so encouraging!

rose
rose
4 years 10 months ago

Beautiful!

BK
BK
4 years 10 months ago

What a gift you have given your family… health and happiness and fun!

Kathy
Kathy
4 years 10 months ago

I have to ditto someone elses comment. I so wish I could re-raise my children. My daughter suffers from health issues I know are diet based. I cringe when I think about the soy formula I fed her because I couldn’t breast feed and she had a “sensitive” tummy. Oh my Lord! These stories make me so happy. I cannot not imagine how fabulous it must be to see your children thrive like that. Kudos to all of you!

Primal Toad
4 years 10 months ago

“I ask my husband if he is shocked at the change and he always says no – that this is who I always was – hidden deep within that other person.”

Beautiful!

You look amazing. Isn’t life sweet when you actually enjoy it? Isn’t it sweet to be a primal folk?

Congrats! Keep going! Keep inspiring!

Kris
Kris
4 years 10 months ago

Epic win!

Cal
4 years 10 months ago

WOW, every family member a treasure!

Thank you. 🙂

Gydle
4 years 10 months ago

What a fabulous story and what an inspiration. Way to stick it out and fight for your family and yourself.

sara
sara
4 years 10 months ago

Congrats! What a sweet little girl!

This is definitely inspirational… especially to us parents out there!

Becky
Becky
4 years 10 months ago

What a change in the pictures of your daughter! Way to go mom! As a speech therapist with a caseload of children with autism, I wish all my families could learn what you have!

Jen
Jen
4 years 10 months ago

I have a friend who has had great results with her son’s autism by putting him on a gleutin-free diet. I belive that so many behaviors we see in children can be attributed to diet (as opposed to blaming and fearing vaccinations). The next step is to overhaul our school lunch programs.

Alison Golden
4 years 10 months ago

Wow, congratulations. Your story totally resonated with me. (Made a similar switch for a similar reason 6 years ago.)

“I have STRONG opinions that if you have a child struggling with autism/ADD/ADHD or any other behavioral problem that it could only benefit the child to re-evaluate diet.” Amen to that!

Mell
Mell
4 years 10 months ago

Love it! What an inspiration you and your family’s story is!

Teresa
Teresa
4 years 10 months ago

Fabulous! What a wonderful story!

Erik C.
Erik C.
4 years 10 months ago

Giving up is never an option!! Thank you for validating this….

dave albo
dave albo
4 years 10 months ago

This is an extremely emotionally inspiring and moving story!

Jeff
Jeff
4 years 10 months ago

Great story! I’ve got two ADD kids and have been trying to push the house into a Primal/Paleo eating pattern. My results since starting down this path 3 months ago are amazing. I’m glad to see examples like yours where the solution was food rather than amphetamines.

Lorna
Lorna
4 years 10 months ago

Awesome! So happy for you and your family. Thanks for sharing your story.

Spanky
Spanky
4 years 10 months ago

After six weeks on the PB I’m getting to be as muscled and hardy a primal dude as many, but I’ve got to say–some of these stories bring me nearly to tears. What a beautifully written account of an extraordinary journey.

lunasma
lunasma
4 years 10 months ago

HOLY COW! I am newly inspired. THANK YOU!

katie
4 years 10 months ago

Huge transformation wow! So inspiring to see whole families take part in this lifestyle!

Momto3
Momto3
4 years 10 months ago

I have tears in my eyes as I type this. What a beautiful story. “I ask my husband if he is shocked at the change and he always says no – that this is who I always was – hidden deep within that other person.”
Beautiful!!

Also, thank you to your husband for serving and thank you for your support as he does. Blessings on you and your family.

Jaime
Jaime
4 years 10 months ago

Way to go! Isn’t it great to know that you and your family will be healthy for life now? Amazing transformation. I’m sure it took hard work and dedication so congratulations!!!

Kathy
Kathy
4 years 10 months ago

Ditto on the wish to have a second chance to raise my kids with the right diet this time.
The more success stories I read that credit primal/paleo with amazing health results the more I wish for some definitive studies to challenge CW so that doctors and nutritionists would start giving out sound advice. These are the people we turn to for advice on diet, and they’re telling us to eat grains!
Although no one is advocating fast food and energy drinks and the general population doesn’t have the sense to pass them up.

Nick
Nick
4 years 10 months ago

SOOOOOO Cool!!! I love stories where I see kids getting the benefits. Thank you so much for being courageous in fighting the conventional wisdom for your kids. That’s one of the biggest issues facing our country, is this rush to medicine. Never mind that we’re feeding everyone the very crap that we’re medicating against!

It’s really inspiring to hear your story – thanks so much for sharing!!!

Timothy
4 years 10 months ago

What a beautiful story, Mama Grok! Difficult circumstances are excuses for some. For others like you they are a challenge that brings out the very best.

You are a true credit to the species. I hope you inspire countless others to find their own strength!

Ted
Ted
4 years 10 months ago

Did you hear that? I just let out at big ol “WOO HOO” after I read your post. Very cool.

What strikes me here is how we don’t know the fox is in the henhouse until we go primal, quit poisoning ourselves and become empowered.

ShelleyC
ShelleyC
4 years 10 months ago

You are Awesome! Congratulations for your hard work and healing your family!

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