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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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June 14, 2013

I Am Now the “Healthy Guy”

By Guest
101 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!

Dear Mark,

I was never concerned with my health, my weight or my looks. I joined the Marine Corps in 1998 weighing 190 pounds and left boot camp at 165 pounds. I quickly gained back about 15 pounds and sat at 185 throughout most of my Marine Corps career. During this time, I exercised a lot but didn’t really restrict my diet very much. I had a high body fat percentage even though I was making weight requirements. When I injured my knee and could no longer keep the Marine Corps PT pace I began to gain weight. I left the Marine Corps in January of 2002 weighing 200 pounds. I quickly began eating junk that I had not allowed myself while in the service. By the time my wife and I moved back home to Mississippi in 2003, I was weighing around 250 pounds. I got a job working in corrections when we moved back. The hours, stress, and lack of time to exercise caused my weight to bloom to an all-time high of 315 pounds. I wore a size 48 pants and a size 3XL shirt. I spent 8 years in corrections. Six of those years were in a supervisory role. My blood pressure was regularly at 190 over 95.

Gabe - 2010

Gabe - 2011

In 2012, I decided to leave corrections because it was killing me. I didn’t have time to spend with my family or my church. I was unhealthy, stressed, and grossly overweight.

Leaving corrections gave me the opportunity to enjoy social media, which was a security risk before. When I got onto Facebook, I found and friended a former Marine Corps buddy of mine, Seth Williams. Seth told me that he’d had a life changing experience with this new lifestyle he had discovered called the “caveman” diet. He gave me this website, marksdailyapple.com.

At first I was very skeptical. I have seen so many “lose weight” schemes that I had become jaded. I was wondering where the hook was, or the catch, or the money making trap. But I had come to a point in my life where I wanted to change. I wanted to hit the “reset” button. So I went to MDA. And it seemed very very simple. It fit totally with the lifestyle I wanted to have. I always enjoyed meat and veggies and never really loved bread and pasta. I didn’t want to believe how easy it sounded.

I started at the end of June 2012, with the diet change. I stopped eating bread, fried stuff, sugar, and legumes. I stopped going to the gas station for chicken and chips. I stopped eating fast food completely. Because I was trying to lose weight, I began watching the amount of carbs I took in. I fasted through breakfast and lunch a couple of days a week. The only thing I refused to give up was Coke Zero.

After a week, I began to have to cinch up my belt. At the end of a month, I couldn’t keep my pants up and had to punch holes to make my belt fit. At that point, I began to exercise as well. When I started, I could only do one single push-up. The rest was done on my knees. I began to work out doing pushups and sit-ups every other day.

In September 2012, I had to buy a new wardrobe because my clothes were all too big. I was wearing a 36 pants size at that point and a size large shirt. By Christmas 2012 I had dropped below 200 pounds. My stomach had gotten so used to small portions of meat and veggies, that when I eat more than I normally do, I feel sick. I can’t handle large portions. Even the thought of eating bread is revolting to me now. Now I weigh between 185 and 190 pounds. I am in a size 34 pants and a medium size shirt.

Gabe - 2013

I have introduced more carbs into my diet since I have begun to level out my weight. I cheat on the diet every now and then, with some sweets (about once a week), but still stay away from grains. I have not been working out as much as I want to. I still have some fat that I want to lose and the Primal lifestyle is the way to do it.

I ran 4 miles last weekend up hills near our home while my 8 year old rode her bicycle. That was something I could never even have imagined doing a year ago. My blood pressure was 126 over 76 when I checked it last. I can do 40 pushups and over 100 crunches. I feel better about myself, the way I look, the way I feel, and the way I live. To top it all off, I was able to fit into my Marine Corps Dress Blues last week. I am now the “healthy guy”. Everyone has been asking me how I did it. I always give them the MDA website. MDA changed my life. Thank you, Seth, and thank you, Mark!

Gabe - 2013

Gabe

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95 Comments on "I Am Now the “Healthy Guy”"

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Sheena
Sheena
3 years 11 months ago

WOW!! What a transformation! I really look forward to these stories every Friday, and this is why…
Your story is very inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

Aaron
Aaron
3 years 11 months ago

Gabe i totally know the feeling when i first started career in Corrections i was 190 I was on the Prison’s version of SWAT ran 2 miles a day with a couple of 7 mile days. Then I to promoted and gained almost 80 pounds. I was recently turned on to the primal bluebrint by a partner of mine and I have lost 27 pounds since April 1st. Congrats on your weight loss!!

Alison Golden
3 years 11 months ago

Very impressive, sir! Love the photo with the pants. Great job.

Jacob
Jacob
3 years 11 months ago

Awesome job, Gabe!

Thank you for serving our great country!

Joyce
Joyce
3 years 11 months ago

Awesome!

Tim from New York
Tim from New York
3 years 11 months ago

Way to go, Gabe. I’m guessing the reduction in stress after leaving corrections was a big factor in your getting healthy. What a great first step. And I can relate to punching holes in your belt. It’s a great feeling.

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 11 months ago

Ahhh, the beauty of punching holes in belts instead of the walls out of frustration…great job Gabe!

Grok Korg, Jr.
Grok Korg, Jr.
3 years 11 months ago

+1 on the belt thing.

Luke
3 years 11 months ago

Wow I was literally shaking my head thinking “unbelievable” at the 3rd picture. Well done! Great story!

leida
leida
3 years 11 months ago

Wow, sent to my hubby for inspiration, hopefully. Love him, but worry about his weight. Fingers crossed!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 11 months ago

Gabe, great effort and results! Are you an Oath Keeper?

Richie
Richie
3 years 11 months ago

At first I thought that said “Oat Keepers” and chuckled. Then I read about “Oath Keepers” – no chuckles. Scary stuff.

George
George
3 years 11 months ago

Incredible transformation, big time props to you.

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 years 11 months ago

Congrats Gabe! Your transformation is awe-inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story!

John
John
3 years 11 months ago

Great job Gabe! Good for you. That’s an impressive transformation in a short period of time.

redsnapperuk
redsnapperuk
3 years 11 months ago

Congratulations Gabe!!! Well done and I too love the pic of you in your big trousers!!! I just love Fridays!

Vishnu N S
Vishnu N S
3 years 11 months ago

Great Stuff. Happy Tears of joy!!

Jothi
Jothi
3 years 11 months ago

It’s nice to see a fellow Indian on this website. 🙂

KariVery
KariVery
3 years 11 months ago

That is awesome!! And I for one would love to see a pic wearing the Dress Blues 🙂

Mark Geoffriau
Mark Geoffriau
3 years 11 months ago

Way to go Gabe! I live in MS too and changing attitudes is tough down here. Keep up the good work!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
3 years 11 months ago

You look great Gabe! I loved your story, from one push up to 40! Very inspirational 🙂

Marc
3 years 11 months ago

Very inspiring transformation! My son also works in corrections and his size is similar to what yours was. It is a stressful job.

W. J. Purifoy
W. J. Purifoy
3 years 11 months ago

You’re my hero!!!

Anders
Anders
3 years 11 months ago

Dude! Looking good!
Boy, it is like you turned the clock back a decade on those before/afters.

Rob
Rob
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you for your story Gabe. I’m betting that your daughter thinks you are the absolute greatest person on this earth. A huge high five, well done.

David
David
3 years 11 months ago

Congrats on your transformation! Very inspiring… Thank you for your service!

Tom
3 years 11 months ago

Congratulations on such an epic transformation.

My favorite thought about your situation is that you are now in the position to pass on what you have learned. Most people will never listen to someone preach unsolicited about making these sorts of dietary and lifestyle changes. But when they see your success, they will naturally be inspired to try for themselves.

primalpal
primalpal
3 years 11 months ago

awesome, just awesome…

Jeff F.
Jeff F.
3 years 11 months ago

When you can fit two of you in your old pants, you know you’ve made a significant change!!! The best thing is that you’ve made yourself the best dad you can be. Great job!

Bayrider
Bayrider
3 years 11 months ago

Outstanding!

Over 100 lbs off in about 6 months? I’d say this lifestyle suits you! You look super fit now. The Marine Corps could take a lesson from you in this respect.

Parick
Parick
3 years 11 months ago

Great job. RTR!!

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 11 months ago

Now that’s a 1 year transformation at it’s finest. Grok on Gabe.

Rhonda the Red
Rhonda the Red
3 years 11 months ago

Way to go from a Mississippi girl now living across the state line in Alabama! I love reading these posts! You look great and I am so glad you feel great!!!

glorth2
glorth2
3 years 11 months ago

Ooh rah!

Marcel
Marcel
3 years 11 months ago
Sounds similar to my life in many ways. Lifted heavy and constantly in high school and was very strong, but had packed on a layer of fat from a diet of Mountain Dew, Taco Bell and Snickers bars (how I was ever able to life the insane amounts I did is a mystery now, if only I had known about good nutrition back then!). I joined the Army and left 4 days after graduating high school. Boot camp made me drop about 30lbs of fat and I was ripped as well as strong, but quickly gained back about 15lbs and… Read more »
Moshen
Moshen
3 years 11 months ago

Yours is an outstanding Friday Success story. Well done!

Linda A. Lavid
3 years 11 months ago

Yikes.We all must come to THE DECISION. That is to say, get educated and take the plunge. You are a shining example. As an aside, for thirty years, I’d envy those people in the grocery store who had real food in their carts. Now I only shop the perimeter and that person is me.

JennF
JennF
3 years 11 months ago

What a great success story! Kudos to you for recognizing that your job was contributing to your ill health and doing something about it! That takes courage. Your changes are amazing and you must be thrilled to be able to be such a great role model for your family. Congratulations!

Rey Olivo
Rey Olivo
3 years 11 months ago

Wow!! You are a inspiration Gabe!! I know Gabe from when we used to work corrections together. To see him now and how much he has changed is very encouraging. I proud of you Gabe and keep up the good work bro! Semper Fi!

Darleen
3 years 11 months ago

What a wonderful way to start my weekend. And what a GREAT job! Way to go.

Diane
Diane
3 years 11 months ago

Great Job! What a wonderful gift you’ve given your daughter…a fit healthy dad.

Judith
Judith
3 years 11 months ago

Wow! You do not even look like the same guy. Congratulations!

Shary
Shary
3 years 11 months ago

Gabe, you look terrific. Once again, it’s all about making the right food choices. Exercise helps with overall health, but when it comes to losing weight, it’s mostly about the food we eat.

alex ham
3 years 11 months ago

Great job Gabe

Gerri
Gerri
3 years 11 months ago

Awesome! Congratulations on your success and thank you for sharing your inspirational story! And yes, thank you Mark! Best blog on the web!!!!

Rick Nelson
Rick Nelson
3 years 11 months ago

You, sir, are my new inspiration…

Kamila
Kamila
3 years 11 months ago

Great job! You look fabulous!
Jealous here. 🙂

Sandy
3 years 11 months ago

Gabe, you look fantastic and fit! What an inspiration you are. Who’d have thought a good-looking skinny guy was hiding in those “before” pictures. 🙂 I agree with another commenter, I’d have enjoyed seeing a picture of you in your dress blues. Thank you for serving, and thank you for sharing your story.

John
John
3 years 11 months ago

Outstanding job! Congratulations.

On a personal side note my body type and results are a mirror image of you.
This really does work!!!!

kate
3 years 11 months ago

what an inspiration! I love these stories.

Stu
3 years 11 months ago

Get it Gabe! Amazing transformation and an inspiring story! Keep up the good work.

P Diddy
P Diddy
3 years 11 months ago

holy canoli!!!

THAT is truly impressive.

James
3 years 11 months ago

Nice work, Gabe. Grok on!!!

Mike Troy
3 years 11 months ago

Nice job! Congrats!

AndoverAmazon
AndoverAmazon
3 years 11 months ago

You look fantastic! Congratulations! (And thank you for your service!)

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