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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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March 04, 2016

From the Struggles of SAD to the Ease of Primal

By Guest
18 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!

real_life_stories_stories-1-2I 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.

before shots

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.

Yahav

after

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18 Comments on "From the Struggles of SAD to the Ease of Primal"

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Noconago
Noconago
8 months 28 days ago

Great job. Congrats. I still forget how much ‘off the charts, even’ energy Primal has given me. It’s so normal now. Thanks for the reminder.

diane
diane
8 months 28 days ago

kol hakavod!

Yahav
Yahav
8 months 28 days ago

Toda!

jack
jack
8 months 28 days ago

“What’s interesting about my personal success story, however, is that I truly feel I put in a minimal amount of effort.”

So true. One of the true secrets of the Primal lifestyle.

Personally, I’m at my best weight ever, in the best shape ever, eating all I want, and the weird thing is I feel like I’m not even trying.

Elizabeth
8 months 28 days ago

Such a great success story and so true! Eating and living primal really is easier than counting calories/carbs/fat and spending hours working out. I eat food I love and have plenty of energy to stay active. It seems too good to be true but it is true! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

Whitney
Whitney
8 months 28 days ago

Awesome! Great work!!

Joey
Joey
8 months 28 days ago

Yasher koach! You look amazing and happy!

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
8 months 28 days ago

Great read great story … and might I add about that last picture … wow.

Laura
8 months 28 days ago
I was guilty of calorie counting also. Yes, it does work, but only for a while. I have a B.S. in Foods and Nutrition and diabetic parents, one of which is deceased (type 1), so counting calories came naturally to me. I’m not exercising at all right now; this is a particularly stressful year. But already, just by cutting out grains and dairy, I’ve lost 3 pounds. You look awesome! More importantly, I’m sure you have so much more energy. Mark’s program isn’t complicated, which I think works for so many people. Congratulations to you! I need to get off… Read more »
HillyM
HillyM
8 months 28 days ago

Great work. Gotta love the extra energy that comes with a healthy diet, plus you look fabulous to boot. Nice!

Caroline
Caroline
8 months 27 days ago

You look amazing! It’s great to hear about your energy and fun activities.

G
G
8 months 27 days ago

You are beautiful! Good job!

Pam
Pam
8 months 27 days ago

Congrats. You look great. Great story.

Carri B
Carri B
8 months 27 days ago

Your story made me smile! My favourite quote:
“Sometimes we feel guilty because everyone makes it seem like being healthy is supposed to be difficult. Primal taught me otherwise!”
When we’re doing what is best for our bodies, it should feel natural and energizing, not difficult and draining. You hit the nail on the head with that one!
Keep up the inspiring work, young lady!

wildgrok
wildgrok
8 months 27 days ago

nice short and to the point story, congratulations, lucky guy in the pic !

BJJ Caveman
8 months 27 days ago

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!

Vollie Stone
Vollie Stone
8 months 23 days ago

When I saw SAD on the title, I thought it was about Seasonal Affective Disorder and diet. It wasn’t, haha!
I suffer horribly from SAD and would love to know more about diet and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Gwen
Gwen
8 months 20 days ago

You both look so beautiful but also so strong and fit. Very inspirational to this senior, overweight diabetic. Thank you for sharing.

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