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...Tell Me More
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!
I was always chubby, never fat, but really enjoyed desserts as a kid. My parents moved to the US in the 90’s when I was a child, and our diets quickly assimilated to the local SAD diet, which included easily available pizza, deli sandwiches, anything fried, and way too much dessert.
My parents weren’t very aware of the dangers of sugar. For instance, I would drink chocolate milk in the morning while my parents had coffee, or was given cookies (dunkaroos anyone?) and ice cream every day for snacks. I still remember the blue, red, or green “juice” they would give us in school. This all led to me being a chubby kid my entire childhood. Luckily, I enjoyed karate and sports of all kinds, which helped me offset some of the unhealthy lifestyle.
This changed slightly when my father was diagnosed with lymphoma, and was told that his diet was a big factor. We got rid of refined carbohydrates in the home and increased vegetable and fruit intake heavily. It wasn’t really perfect, but it was definitely a step towards the right direction, which I believe helped my father recover. This turning point in my family’s life forced us to begin looking into how we eat.
When I reached high school, I realized something was off, because I was still chubby. There was a lot of peer pressure regarding looks and weight. I decided to look into health and nutrition purely for aesthetic reasons, and boy, it worked. I became obsessed with the whole “calories in, calories out” concept and ate around 1200-1400 calories a day in the form of protein bars, oatmeal, sandwiches, and fruit, while exercising heavily. It worked. I lost a lot of weight, but didn’t look too great for a 16-year-old, and I was obsessed to the point where I wasn’t doing anything else but tracking my daily food intake and exercise. I seemed sickly, and I never had any energy! Back then I thought it was all worth it to look great, but I wasn’t feeling well at all.
As you may have guessed, I couldn’t keep this up. Eventually, I caved in and started eating a bit more, because I couldn’t keep up starving myself. Just the slight increase in food intake made me gain weight like crazy! Eventually, I found myself 40 pounds heavier by eating the same amount of food that everyone around me was eating. I was so confused! To make it worse, I was a fitness instructor in the Israeli Army at this point, and I was not a good role model at all. It was extremely difficult, mentally, for me because I was fit but at the same time, overweight. I could run a 10k rather easily, although I didn’t look like I could. I didn’t understand.
Until, one day on guard duty, I came across Mark’s site while browsing on my phone. I still don’t know how I got to it, but when I did, I spent my entire 4-hour shift reading everything I could. It was so intuitive and so logical that I knew I had to try it! I even brought my boyfriend on board and results were too good not to share. I stopped starving myself! We started rock climbing and hiking! Every day was a day to look forward to. We are so ecstatic to be where we are today!
What’s interesting about my personal success story, however, is that I truly feel I put in a minimal amount of effort. When I was starving myself and over-exercising, every day was arduous and a struggle. With a primal lifestyle, I eat wonderful foods, create delicious dishes, exercise with so much energy, and enjoy every day! It comes so easily and intuitively! Sometimes we feel guilty because everyone makes it seem like being healthy is supposed to be difficult. Primal taught me otherwise!
Thanks, Mark, for your desire to spread free information to anyone and everyone all over the world. You are an inspiration, and you changed our lives.