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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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January 22, 2016

Going Primal Transforms a Family of Four

By Guest
113 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 am a 43-year-old man who was an intravenous meth user for 18 years, in prison three times, jail 18 times, and homeless. I was saved from my drug use and criminal life, but I had become depressed. I became reclusive and began to eat myself into obesity…topping the scales at 315 pounds. I had absolutely no energy and was completely useless to my wife and son. The example I was setting for my two-year-old son was an unhealthy lifestyle. Unless I changed my habits, and he continued to eat what I was serving him, his health would suffer.

I was eating fast food, processed food, cereals, boxed foods, canned foods, juices, sodas, etc. Out of concern for my well being, my cousin, who has been living the paleo lifestyle for years, introduced me to Mark’s Daily Apple for more information and direction on eating paleo. What I read made sense, and I took it on 100%. I was amazed at not just the weight loss, but at the enormous increase in my energy. Over time my depression lifted.

david2

Using nutritional information from Mark’s Daily Apple in combination with my workout routine, I was able to lose 140 pounds and gain lean muscle in 15 months. My energy level is remarkable. Bed at 8:30 p.m. and up at 3:30 a.m.I am a personal trainer for others, and I care for my two sons and my wife, so my days are always jam packed, and I never fatigue.

david 1

My 33-year-old wife is following the paleo diet guided by Mark’s Daily Apple, along with her workout routine, and has lost 170 pounds.

When I first began this lifestyle, my two year old son weighed 72 pounds and was at risk for diabetes, had respiratory problems and was obese for his height and age. He is now four years old, weighs 53 pounds (right on target for his height and weight), his blood results are all within normal range and his health is perfect. The pediatrician asked how he lost 20 pounds, because they never recommend for children to go on a diet. However, they were amazed that his blood work was perfect even with his weight loss. We talked to the pediatrician about the Paleo lifestyle and recommended Mark’s Daily Apple. They were absolutely amazed and said they had never seen this before.

It is a common belief that the Paleo lifestyle is too costly. However, we are a family of four and are currently living on the salary my wife makes as a waitress. To say we are poor is an understatement. Paleo is not a diet for us, it is a lifestyle and a mindset change. Sodas, burgers, chips, candy bars, Starbucks, packaged, canned food, etc., are costly! Now, what I am not spending on unhealthy food, I designate that same money to PALEO foods. It works out financially to be the same, but so much better for your life!

Mark’s Daily Apple was my go-to source from the start and that will never change. Mark’s Daily Apple has helped transform, inside and out, the man you see before you. With Mark’s Daily Apple I began feeling a difference immediately, seeing a difference within two weeks, and hearing from others the difference they were seeing in me within a month of changing my eating and exercising habits.

I would say good luck, but if you follow Mark’s Daily Apple, luck has nothing to do with the changes you will experience.

David

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113 Comments on "Going Primal Transforms a Family of Four"

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Noconago
Noconago
8 months 5 days ago

David, thanks for this truly inspiring story about you and your family. No excuses no matter what. A great lesson for those that think they can’t do Primal on a budget.

David
David
8 months 2 days ago

????????

Mo
Mo
7 months 29 days ago

David is my nephew and our family can proudly claim over 10 people living the Paleo life. It’s contagious! I love you, Dave, and I’m so proud of the man you’ve become.

Jen
Jen
6 months 17 days ago

This is such a great story! Gives me hope that when one leads by example, so often others will follow.

Nick
Nick
8 months 5 days ago

Oooooweee this was a good one! It’s always fun to read Friday’s stories, but I just loved hearing about how your kids are benefiting too. Way to go!!! So much props for making the changes you did.

Chris
Chris
8 months 5 days ago

Wow! Thanks for sharing your amazing transformation.

Erin
Erin
8 months 5 days ago

You are an inspiration and a huge kick in the a$$ for anyone who thinks it’s too late to start over. Thank you.

Long tall sally
Long tall sally
8 months 5 days ago

+1!!!! Smashed it all round….

jack
jack
8 months 5 days ago

Poor and paleo is my story too. It’s actually easy. I buy the cheapest of everything, no grass-fed anything for me, and the results are still awesome and I’ve never been happier.

That part about lifting depression is worth noting. The mental improvements of a low carb life are also awesome.

Way to go.

Kiara
Kiara
8 months 5 days ago

Ditto, when money permits, I buy higher quality foods. But when I need to make choices about foods based on money, I go with meat and vegetables, as cheap as possible. Cheap whole meat is still better than the drive-thru

Teri
Teri
7 months 15 days ago

Same here. After reading MDA for a couple of years, it was a comment by another of us “poor folk” on the forums that inspired me to go primal, doing the best I could within a limited budget. That was 3 years ago. Yes, the results are still awesome, physically, mentally and health-wise, and I agree that even cheap whole meat is still better than the drive-thru.

Groktimus Primal
8 months 5 days ago

What a turn around!

Brooks Rembert
8 months 5 days ago

David,

What an amazing story. I’m so glad you were able to break the drug habit and found a healthy lifestyle. Very inspiring.

I discovered MDA about four years ago and eating primal helped me in almost every aspect of my life as well.

Congratulations again and thank you for sharing.

Lucy
Lucy
8 months 5 days ago

That is the most inspiring story, on every level, that I have ever read. What a truly amazing person you are.

Jamie Fellrath
8 months 5 days ago

David, you are a wonder. You’ve taken a tough situation and turned it into a positive one. And you’ve done it while teaching the world about taking on a problem head-on, ignoring (or even using) the past to create motivation for yourself.

I am very impressed with you and your family. Nice work!

Lucy
8 months 5 days ago

Te super felicito, es muy inspirador en todos sentidos, convivo cerca de gente con esas adicciones tan destructivas, comida y drogas y lo que tú lograste es de titanes. ¡¡¡Congratulation !!!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
8 months 5 days ago

Powerful and to the point. Nice transformation.

Anthony
Anthony
8 months 5 days ago

Freaking awesome!

Angel
Angel
8 months 5 days ago

took the words right outta my mouth!

Julian
Julian
8 months 4 days ago

Yep!

Grokesque
Grokesque
8 months 5 days ago

Well done David – what an inspiration! Keep going!

Jessica
8 months 5 days ago

Congratulations on 1. Kicking your addiction and 2. Finding your Health! Your story is very inspiring, and I’m sure you will continue to improve your own life, your family’s life, as well as the lives of others. Great work!

Whitney
Whitney
8 months 5 days ago

Awesome! Great work David!!

Amber
Amber
8 months 5 days ago

Truly amazing. Brought me to tears.. You are an inspiration!

Primal Pam
Primal Pam
8 months 5 days ago

Great story. One of my favorites. Sounds like your wife should have a success story too!! Maybe next week.

Lisa Wolfe
Lisa Wolfe
8 months 5 days ago

I agree! I look forward to reading her story.

TF
TF
8 months 5 days ago
This is an awesome story! You said your family eats paleo on a small budget just fine, is this because you buy regular supermarket meat? I can understand how eating paleo is affordable shopping at regular grocery stores, but I just can’t make myself buy meat from those places. I get the cheapest meat at Whole Foods, still grain fed, but I know the animal’s are treated well. And even buying the cheapest meat there is still pricey for my budget… If other grocery stores had more information about how their animals were treated I might be able to buy… Read more »
TF
TF
8 months 5 days ago

animals*

Travis
Travis
8 months 1 day ago

Don’t buy into the hype. Most of your beef is raised by conscientious, hard working, animal loving farmers who understand that the land, the animals and the environment are their livelyhood. This garbage about the use of antibiotics is just that, garbage. It costs money to give unnecessary medication, why would they do it. I can’t speak for the pork or poultry. Most of them are raised my massive corporations in confinement barns, with little regard for anything but the bottom line.

Maureen
Maureen
7 months 29 days ago

Hey, TF! Try Sprouts for grain fed beef. It’s so much cheaper than Whole Foods.

TF
TF
7 months 29 days ago

I had to Google that. Doesn’t look like they have any stores in NC. Thanks anyway, though!

David Piano
David Piano
4 months 19 days ago
FYI as far as supposed grain fed chicken , no steroids , treated well etc etc please understand that companies only have to meet limited requirements to be able to say GRAIN FED , healthy , not abused etc etc . All be it is better than say hickmans but if you want total purity and non abuse of animals there’s only one way to do so and that’s buy some land and raise ALL your own meats , veggies , fruit etc etc . But yes , there are the lesser of all evil stores such as sprouts ,… Read more »
Mark N
Mark N
8 months 5 days ago

WOW. Great work. I am impressed. it is amazing how the body can heal it’s self, if given the chance to, to get back the feel good hormones after addiction is really cool.
Keep it up Man.

jill
jill
8 months 5 days ago

Wow. Straightforward, simple, powerful. Great story – thank you !!
You look great and I bet your wife and child do too!! 🙂

Lisa Wolfe
Lisa Wolfe
8 months 5 days ago

David, you are right. Luck had nothing to do with it. Very inspirational! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

Heather
Heather
8 months 5 days ago

Inspirational stories are the norm on Fridays, but yours truly goes far deeper than that. Anyone who has the fortitude to conquer a drug addiction and make the choices to change their life (and I mean ALL of it, not just your nutrition) the way you have deserves to celebrate themselves! Keep sharing your story so others know they can overcome! I am thrilled for your children, and for those whose lives you are bound to change with your story. God bless you all!

Jennifer L.
Jennifer L.
8 months 5 days ago
Wow. I have to say your history sounds similar in a lot of ways to some of my family members and some of them never found their way to change. My 20-year-old cousin (way back when we were 20), grew up with a dad in similar circumstances as your son (where he was starting off), ate all kinds junk food, soda and whatnot and had parents that were using drugs/over-weight/in and out of jail/etc… and he was shot and killed over a drug deal gone wrong at 20. My uncle (my cousin’s dad)–in and out of jail all his life,… Read more »
David
David
8 months 2 days ago

????????

Paul in Australia
Paul in Australia
8 months 5 days ago
To put it in the Great Australian Vernacular ‘Good onya mate’. In all seriousness if you want to turn your life around for the better, then you have to start of with the basics and of these the most important is that, you are what you eat. We really do need more stories like this to expose and debunk the processed food industries lie that ‘Healthy eating is for the well to do’. I know well from my own experience that all you need are the simple basics that you can buy in the greengrocery and meat departments of any… Read more »
Pop
Pop
8 months 5 days ago

David, you are now living “the good life” with you wife, children and your health! Keep going down that path and more good things will follow. Awesome job so far!

Mark:

A scholarship for the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification program is highly recommended for David!

How about it Mark? What a boost to his personal training and coaching endeavors!

Thanks!

HelenP
HelenP
8 months 5 days ago

+1

Sandra
Sandra
8 months 5 days ago

+1

Noconago
Noconago
8 months 5 days ago

+1

Debbie
Debbie
8 months 5 days ago

+1!

Pure Hapa
Pure Hapa
8 months 5 days ago

+1 yeah!!

Sparrow
Sparrow
8 months 5 days ago

Yes please Mark, I would love to see David receive a scholarship for the PBEC program…. what an absolutely inspiration he is to the PB lifestyle.

Surely, if a vision of reaching people who make a difference in ‘their tribe’ is your goal Mark, then David is certainly a candidate !!!

Well done David, your journey into the PB lifestyle is awesome!

Erin
Erin
8 months 4 days ago

+1
Do it, Mark! If this man isn’t worthy of it, then no-one is!

Tricia
Tricia
8 months 4 days ago

+1

David
David
8 months 2 days ago

Thank you so much

Colin
Colin
7 months 29 days ago

+1

Helen
Helen
4 months 26 days ago

+1!

Amber
Amber
8 months 5 days ago

My favorite success story thus far. Congrats on your happiness and renewed health David.

Colleen
Colleen
8 months 5 days ago

This is a story that brought tears to my eyes. I think David would be a great interview on Mark’s podcast (if willing) to talk about his transformation. You really had two powerful transformations and I wonder how they compare. What does one think when their 2yo is 72 pounds? I’m happy for you and your family . . . what a great story!!

David
David
8 months 2 days ago

Thank you for your kind words

Becky
8 months 5 days ago

That is an incredible story. Thank you so much for sharing your transformations with us. And thank you for bringing up the cost of Paleo versus the cost of junk food. It’s amazing how much less you need to eat when your body is getting the right nutrients.

Laura
8 months 5 days ago
I went on Mark’s site just now to look up resources for pastured meats, something that’s a stretch for our family budget. My plan was to skip commenting today, and get down to the business of placing an order for bacon, which I might still do. But when I saw and then read your success story, not only did my eyes fill with tears, but I felt the need to thank you for your inspiration. I just received two of Mark’s books in the mail this past week, and even though I’ve been low carb and mostly no grains for… Read more »
Kamila
Kamila
8 months 5 days ago

A.h.mazing. Keep up the good work.

Cathy Johnson (Kate)
8 months 5 days ago

What an inspiring turnaround for your whole family! You ROCK.

Karo
Karo
8 months 5 days ago

Wow.. Tears all the way over here in Scotland. What a fantastic, inspirational story.. This is by far my favourite! Well done to you for all your achievements.

HillyM
HillyM
8 months 5 days ago
Love your work David. You are living proof that people can change their lives for the better, even when the odds look to be stacked against them. You can be very proud of your achievements. As for the cost of paleo food, my thought is that with the money I save on all the highly processed, over packaged foods I used to buy, it really doesn’t cost me an awful lot more to eat this way. I have to admit we don’t have kids to feed any more, and that makes it cheaper. But I find that I need less… Read more »
Gregg Frank
Gregg Frank
8 months 5 days ago

David,

Congratulations to you and your family! Thanks for making the world a better place by creating more health, happiness, and extending your knowledge to others! 🙂

GROCK on! 🙂

Elizabeth
8 months 5 days ago

Wow, what an inspiration! And so great for others to hear that you are doing it on a budget, since that is something people use as an excuse all the time. It takes work and planning to buy and prepare real food but so worth it for the results you can achieve. Thanks for sharing your success! I look forward to Fridays.

John
John
8 months 5 days ago

What you did is amazing and inspiring, David! It gives me hope and motivation that I can do the same. Being financially insolvent has always been an excuse for me to not to change my way of living and eating.

I’m well on my way now, at about two weeks into going Paleo/Primal and reading stories like yours always inspire me. Great job, and thanks for sharing your wonderful accomplishments!

David
David
8 months 2 days ago

It’s a mindset . Good for you

Susan B.
Susan B.
8 months 5 days ago

Wow. I think this is the most dramatic story I’ve read on MDA. Congratulations, David, on the awesome changes you have made in yourself and your life.

Julie
Julie
8 months 5 days ago

The most amazing story I have ever read! Thank you.

PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
8 months 5 days ago
I’ve been Primal and following MDA for several years. Like others here, the Friday Success Stories are always a favorite, but your story has to be the best one I think I’ve ever read anywhere – not just on MDA! Your story needs to go world-wide. Rather than thank you for posting I think I’d rather thank you for having the guts to be yourself and come out of a not-too-pleasant-scenario.From what you’ve said, your wife/children deserve their own success stories as well! Please continue to encourage others through your example. I feel honored to have been able to read… Read more »
David
David
8 months 2 days ago

Isn’t it amazing what GOD can do when we let Him ? ! Bless you too

Amy
Amy
7 months 22 days ago

Amen! So happy for you. May you be filled with his joy!

Thomas B.
Thomas B.
8 months 5 days ago

“I had absolutely no energy and was completely useless to my wife and son. The example I was setting for my two-year-old son was an unhealthy lifestyle. Unless I changed my habits, and he continued to eat what I was serving him, his health would suffer.”

He did it for his family. What a man.

James
8 months 5 days ago

Incredible and inspiring story. Grok on!

Patricia
Patricia
8 months 5 days ago

Wow! Just wow!
I wish you and your family continued success.
What a story!

HealthyGuy
HealthyGuy
8 months 5 days ago

What you have accomplished is something very few people could do. Your resolve to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, then lift up your family, is a remarkable story. I’m freakin’ blown away dude … this needs to go viral. David keep knocking on doors, someone is going to give you a chance to use that inner strength and discipline that stoked your amazing transformation to help their business to succeed.

Vanessa
Vanessa
8 months 5 days ago

Well done David and thank you for writing a story that so many people need to read.

Kay
Kay
8 months 5 days ago

+1 for a scolarship!
Fantastic “rethinking” of things, and for getting everyone else in the family on board as well.

Tanja
Tanja
8 months 5 days ago

Awesome story, David, you really touched me with it. You can really be proud! Thanx for your cousin too!! That was a live safer!

Beth
Beth
8 months 5 days ago

Beautiful. I am so impressed that you changed not just for beauty standards, but for your family. You quite literally saved your son’s life. I see so many families in states like yours was & it makes me so sad. I want more people to know there is hope. Thank you for sharing your story.

David
David
8 months 2 days ago

Thank you and not only has my family gotten involved my wife has lost 175 pounds and my 4 year old son has lost 18 pounds . Awesome life

Carla
Carla
8 months 4 days ago

David,

What a truly inspiring and heart warming story! You should be very proud of yourself and your family. I wish you continued success. Fantanstic!

Jess
Jess
8 months 4 days ago
I am involved in The Suppers Programs (http://www.thesuppersprograms.org/), a not-for-profit, virtually free-to-users program originally created by addiction counselor Dor Mullen to address the health issues encountered by those in recovery, particularly related to food and weight. While originally based on an addiction model, the programs now serve a wide range of people who need support making diet and lifestyle changes to be healthier. Your story is remarkable and inspiring (not unlike some of our members) but we have so many people for whom the financial commitment seems an insurmountable barrier. How did you do this for a family of four… Read more »
David
David
8 months 2 days ago
I would love to have a discussion with your group . As far as the financial aspect it’s really a mindset and lifestyle change which MDA was and is a huge part of my success . If you ever sit down and actually crunch numbers on every soda , bag of chips , candy , fast food that you spend $ on every month you’ll be amazed at how much you spend . My point is it’s all relative . If you want to spend $400 a month on foods that are literally killing you ( fast food kills more… Read more »
Annemonie
Annemonie
8 months 4 days ago

Wow, I am really amazed.
This is an incredible success story!
Congrats on your achievement/s.

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