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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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February 15, 2013

I Feel Alive for the First Time in Years!

By Guest
106 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!

Mark,

After one full year of Primal Living, I thought now was as good a time as any to share not only my story, but my thanks as well for where I am today.

I feel alive for the first time in years!

A friend of mine had been chirping in my ear for months about Primal/Paleo as well as her obsession with CrossFit. Her boundless energy and enthusiasm was a bit much at times, but it was nonetheless curious to me. I had spent the past few years living a high stress, sedentary, and depressed lifestyle which, looking back on now, was extremely unhealthy and setting me up for an early demise. It’s odd how easy it is to blind yourself to the unhealthy actions you take upon yourself without a conscious understanding of their effects. However, after a few emotional breakdowns and panic attacks that hit me in the latter half of 2011, my awareness became attuned to the dire emotional and physical situation I had put myself in.

So, on a whim I decided to ask my friend what she was talking about. In late December 2011, on a Saturday afternoon, she sent me straight to Mark’s Daily Apple. Five hours later, I realized I hadn’t stopped obsessively devouring everything I was reading on this site. I consider myself a fairly smart person, and as I finished reading each of the Definitive Guides, it was quite literally a face-palm moment of clarity; “This makes so much sense. How did I not understand this before now?!” Needless to say, the very next day, I decided to give this new way of life a try.

I’m 33 years old, 6’1”, and started the year at 322 lbs which was very near the heaviest I’ve ever been. I stopped weighing myself during that time, but I think I peaked around 330-340 earlier the previous year. The photo was taken last December.

Andy - Before

On January 1, 2012, the only thing I changed at first was what I was eating. I eliminated all processed foods and grains and switched to healthy fats, meats, and veggies. I continued to work long days and lead a sedentary lifestyle. However, just changing the food I was eating yielded IMMEDIATE results. Within the first few days, I felt like I was no longer living in a fog – my mind was clear – and I found myself with newfound energy. I dropped four pounds the first week, four and a half the second, and another four pounds the week after that – and I didn’t feel like I was even trying! Talk about motivation! It turns out we really are what we eat! I furthered these efforts for a few more months, and saw continued and consistent weight loss, a lack of mood swings, and crazy amounts of newfound energy. In March I started jogging a bit following the Couch to 5K program, simply because I had to do something with all the energy I now found myself with.

Now a full year into my new lifestyle, I find myself 105 lbs lighter, with ALL of my previous health issues and risks eliminated completely. It’s enjoyable to see my doctor dumbfounded and in awe of my results. The second photo was taken just a few days ago, the little guy is my beautiful new nephew.

Andy - After

I’ve completed a 5K, a 10K, and have started training for a half marathon. Now that I’ve established a base, and felt the effects of healthy living, I need to focus more on a few of the finer points of Primal Living; lift more, play more, and (reluctantly) give up beer. I’m not quite where I want to be physically, but I’m well on my way to a long and healthy life as I continue to “Grok on!”

Thanks Mark, for simply making sense and dispensing it to the masses. I don’t know where I’d be today without having found this journey.

Andy

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106 Comments on "I Feel Alive for the First Time in Years!"

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Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 7 months ago

“It turns out we really are what we eat!”

This axiom should be extended to: “We are what we digest”.

Gut integrity and individual biochemistry are big factors.

Chika
3 years 7 months ago

Love the extended axiom Ron. Health really does start in the gut!

Alyssa
3 years 7 months ago

So, so true.

julianne
3 years 7 months ago

Brain fog is common with gluten sensitivity. So many people suffer needlessly.

Gwendolyn
3 years 7 months ago

I love this quote, “we are what we digest”! I first heard it from the originator, Liz Lipski, author of “Digestive Wellness”. I’m glad to hear it again…such a great reminder to eat well!

Paul
Paul
3 years 7 months ago

Great work!! I needed to see this one today.. time to get back on track!

Rose
Rose
3 years 7 months ago

I could not agree more! I have been working so hard in the wrong areas and your story has set me back on course. Thank you for taking the time to help others and of course a minute to pat your self on the back. You look fantastic

calahmae
calahmae
3 years 7 months ago

Awesome transformation! Congrats!

Michelle
Michelle
3 years 7 months ago

Amazing results! I’m really pleased for you. I always love the bit where the doctor is ‘amazed’. What we have to remember that our MD or GP are not nutritionists and do not have all the answers. If they did, there would not be the obesity crisis there is in the US and the UK.

Thanks for sharing.

Charles
Charles
3 years 7 months ago

I think nutritionists are even worse than the doctor because their line of works consists entirely of regurgitating conventional wisdom without almost any understanding of the underlying chemistry going on. Most doctors would just say “hey if it works, it works” (after checking your blood work for cholesterol numbers and after it actually worked), while the nutritionist would tell you that omitting whole grains and low-fat, processed food products is going to kill you, even after such a dramatic reversal of health.

Becky H
Becky H
3 years 7 months ago

+1!

Erik W
Erik W
3 years 7 months ago

Yes, one nutritionist said that “the weight you lose from a low-carb diet is just a loss of water!” Looking at all these success stories, seeing the pictures and hearing of the results, you know she’s full of it.

tyrone
tyrone
3 years 7 months ago

yeah apparently were all camels walking around with 50 plus pounds of water on our backs

Encino Man
Encino Man
3 years 7 months ago

Give up beer?!?! NEVER!

Ara
Ara
3 years 7 months ago

Me too! Absolutely Never!!! I have cut way back though but there’s nothing like a cold beer after an awesome hike or day of skiing…

Tom
Tom
3 years 7 months ago

Agreed. Giving up cheap, light, flavorless beers for occasional microbrews is a good thing. Then I brew my own! 🙂

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 7 months ago

How about a cider?

BonzoGal
BonzoGal
3 years 7 months ago

Mmm, cider… Thanks Paleo Bon, now I’m thirsty!

George Brodie
George Brodie
3 years 7 months ago

Fox barrel pear cider or Crispin apple cider.

W. J. Purifoy
W. J. Purifoy
3 years 7 months ago

After four years of no beer, I found a couple of gluten-free brands at my local booze shop (I asked). They’re a bit expensive, but golly-gee-whiz, they go down so easy, and I don’t get lazy like I do with wine or whiskey. Even home brewers can make gluten-free beer.

Bryan
3 years 7 months ago

I’ve given up beer for three months, it was easier than I thought it would be, especially I’m a Wisconsin guy. BUT, I am looking forward to March 2nd, that’s the day that I penciled on the calendar to have a beer.

Kudos to you Andy…feels great, doesn’t it?!

Pure Hapa
Pure Hapa
3 years 7 months ago

You made a date with your beer? How cute is that! I like it.

Mick Dann
Mick Dann
3 years 7 months ago

Great progress in a year Andy, very impressive !
When it comes to beer I like to invoke the 80/20 rule-I try to save most of my 20% for beer 😛

Jolene
Jolene
3 years 6 months ago

i allow myself 1 or 2 beers a month & all is good. that is my real treat 🙂

Rhonda the Red
Rhonda the Red
3 years 7 months ago

You look so much younger in the after photo!!! It never ceases to amaze me! Great story!

Brent
3 years 7 months ago

Way to go, Andy. I too am struggling with giving up the fermented wheat, especially because I have been an amateur home-brewer and have all the equipment. I have used other smartphone apps, like Lift, to track habits and make those changes like abstaining from beer or getting my workout in. Keep up the awesome work.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 7 months ago

Switch to making kombucha, kefir, (if dairy is okay for you), and other foods (like fermented sausages).

RedYeti
RedYeti
3 years 7 months ago

He’s talking about beer, not eating actual fermented grsains

Mark A
Mark A
3 years 7 months ago

It was confusing because he said “fermented wheat.” The vast majority of beer is made by fermenting barley.

Either way, the toughest part about paleo/primal for me is definitely cutting back on alcoholic beverages, whatever the source.

I rationalize that at least the rest of my life is pretty healthy, so a few drinks a week aren’t going to derail me. I’m just at more of a maintenance level right now. But Andy’s story is definitely inspirational!

Paul N
Paul N
3 years 7 months ago

But Ron is bang on – make your own Kombucha, kefir or water kefir – and experiment with flavours ( i have added hops to kombucha and it starts to taste like you-know-what).

We enjoy carbonated, fermented and slightly bitter drinks – there are many ways to do that with kombucha and water kefir.

If those don’t do it for you then its time to face up to the fact that what you are really after is the alcohol….

and if that is the case, then red wine is the best way to go..

jacalore
jacalore
3 years 7 months ago

Are there smartphone apps that help one starting out on the Primal Blueprint?

TIA!

Mark A
Mark A
3 years 7 months ago

There’s a feature on my iPhone that I use when I’m trying to get more Primal. It’s called the off button. I may need to utilize that one a little more.

Happy Paleo Girl
Happy Paleo Girl
3 years 7 months ago

+1!

Andrew
Andrew
3 years 7 months ago

^Nominated for comment of the week!

oxide
oxide
3 years 7 months ago

Second the nom for comment of the week.

Jim Thrower
Jim Thrower
3 years 7 months ago

Now that was funny…and true..

jess
jess
3 years 7 months ago

Wow!! You look awesome. What an inspiration.

leida
leida
3 years 7 months ago

Such a simple and beautiful story! It is amazing how clean food just change everything!

Juli
Juli
3 years 7 months ago

+1

Luke DePron
Luke DePron
3 years 7 months ago

The power of food! Amazing man, keep it up!

Jennifer H (Metric in MDA)
Jennifer H (Metric in MDA)
3 years 7 months ago

Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

Grokesque
Grokesque
3 years 7 months ago

Wow – looking good! Well done on your amazing results. And the baby is really cute too!

trackback

[…] 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 […]… Mark’s Daily Apple […]

Judy
Judy
3 years 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing. You look great. Congratulations!

Dan
Dan
3 years 7 months ago

Dude! That is so awesome. Congratulations, and keep it up! It’s stories like yours that will inspire others and change lives for years and years. As Dave Ramsey would say, you changed your family tree. Kudos!

Siobhan
Siobhan
3 years 7 months ago

Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story!

When I visited my doc after losing 40 lbs and achieving stunning lab results, he simply said, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. You should probably be sitting on this side of the desk instead of me.”

You are what you eat – and I’m not a lentil or a bean.

Shawn
Shawn
3 years 7 months ago

and how often can drs tell their patients to ‘keep doing what youre doing’ when the patient follows the CW their dr tells them?
The medical field needs to get with it!

Mert
Mert
3 years 7 months ago

Photos tell everything. In the first one, a tired guy in 3XL outfit. The second, same guy, like 5 yrs younger, and NO chin!

Switch beer with ice cold lime soda once a week, and start lifting really heavy once a week. Then you decide to keep up or not.

Congrats encore!

Bayrider
Bayrider
3 years 7 months ago

Fantastic job my man. You are now primed for your prime years. What a great future in store for you now!

I am working on the beer reduction as well, it’s keeping the last 5-10 lbs on my waist. After watching Skyfall last night I googled Daniel Craig exercise routine. He does a Paleo diet plus Olympic lifting. Alcohol is allowed only on Fri and Sat nights. This my goal for this year, to muscle up to that killer 007 style.

Seosamh
Seosamh
3 years 7 months ago

Sure you have shrunk quite a bit and maybe lost some of your ‘presence’. But the present you get in return is greater mobility, a body that seems right and a mental clarity that is like an awakening.
It make me wonder what other blackspots we are blind to that are like a lightswitch being flicked like Paleo is for a great many people.

Moshen
Moshen
3 years 7 months ago

I’ve noticed this loss of ‘presence’ when you lose size. You do regain the presence but it takes several years. Don’t know if it’s due to people getting used to you, or you getting used to the new you.

RachH
RachH
3 years 7 months ago
I lost 30 lbs. a few years ago (actually, on essentially a paleo diet, without knowing what it was at the time–just focusing on meat, veggies, and real butter) and I never could get used to the loss of presence combined with people openly staring at me (as an introvert, it’s unsettling). I’m a 5’9″ 27 year old woman who takes public transportation in a sort-of sketchy area, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel safer and less at risk now having gained 15 lbs. back. I know I need to commit to get healthier again,… Read more »
Leslie
Leslie
3 years 6 months ago
I felt the same thing over the years, and always wondered if my inability to lose weight had to do with fearing to look like a “pushover” if I were skinny, or perhaps fear of attracting other kinds of unwanted attention. I was an introvert too. I can only tell you that getting older helps a lot, as does learning some form of self defense (I recommend “Girl Power”, even though it’s geared to high school girls, as a starting point.) The main thing it will do is give you the confidence that you do have options if you are… Read more »
Moshen
Moshen
3 years 7 months ago

I hope your doctor was encouraged to learn more. Just think, he could actually help somebody instead of just document (and prescribe) their decline!

Congratulations, it’s a fantastic change you’ve brought about.

Johnny Grok n'Roll
Johnny Grok n'Roll
3 years 7 months ago

Looking like you dropped a couple years. Great work!

Jeff
Jeff
3 years 7 months ago

Good Job Man! I’m just 7 weeks into my journey, and your path seems a lot like mine. I’m having great results too (which would likely be greater if I too gave up beer – but this lifestyle has to be sustainable, and complete deprivation would likely result in worse adherance, in my case).

Keep up the great work, and Go Bills! (I’ve tailgated in that same lot)

Kate
Kate
3 years 7 months ago

So inspiring!!! Congrats!!

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 7 months ago

Looks like you could leap and bound like a deer just by looking at your last photo. Clean, light, fluid, happy and rarin’ to go. Great job!

Christopher
Christopher
3 years 7 months ago

It’s so great to see success stories like this! If only everybody would tune-in to the PB lifestyle, we could all be so much healthier, happier, and bring about a much better world. Congratulations!

Chance Bunger
Chance Bunger
3 years 7 months ago

Friday is my favorite day at MDA – thank you for sharing your story!

Shawn
Shawn
3 years 7 months ago

i would love to send this story to every obese person i know and say ‘yes, it really is this easy..now do it!’ (in a nice way) 🙂

Pure Hapa
Pure Hapa
3 years 7 months ago

Congratulations on finding the new you – not only by weight loss but clearing your mind and having the energy to really LIVE your life now!

Jenny
Jenny
3 years 7 months ago

Good for you for taking charge, learning, and making changes! I was a near-normal weight before Primal, and after I went Primal, I also experienced the fog lifting and having more energy. Ah, it’s a beautiful thing.

Chika
3 years 7 months ago

Let food be thy medicine… Love your transformation. Great Friday success story.

Stephanie Turner
3 years 7 months ago

Awesome story Andy. Thanks for sharing!

Rod Hilton
Rod Hilton
3 years 7 months ago

Great Job Andy! An inspirational piece to end another Fantastic week at MDA. Have a awesome weekend everyone! And for the rest of us… Enjoy a weekend of night shifts! LOL
Rod

trackback

[…] Fredag, hipp hurra! Ukens leserhistorie fra Marks daily Apple er som vanlig superinspirerende! Sjekk ut denne karen! […]

James
James
3 years 7 months ago

Congratulations, man. Keep it up!

Jane
Jane
3 years 7 months ago

Great story, Love a good MAN weight loss story! Never mind the awesome health!!! I noticed your jacket size displayed in your first photo. Love that! I say to all my little followers (I have a page on FB) make sure your before pic shows you in all your glory! You will be wanting to wear your sizes on the outside even more now! Love it xo

Bald and Angry
3 years 7 months ago

Incredible story and congratulations! Your tranformation both inside and out is extraordinary. Grok on!

Robert
Robert
3 years 7 months ago

Well done young man!

Sylvia
Sylvia
3 years 7 months ago

Thanks for giving me a boost with this amazing transformation story. I have been feeling the fog from being “bad” and need to remember how important it is to eat right. Congratulations!

Joe
Joe
3 years 7 months ago

Andy, well said…took the words straight outta my mouth 🙂

Cleo
Cleo
3 years 7 months ago

Touching story. Loved it! More inspiration to start my weekend.

mars
mars
3 years 7 months ago

Way to go Andy!!!!

BW
BW
3 years 7 months ago

ANDY! Well done man. Looking great. Good for you.

sapphiric
sapphiric
3 years 7 months ago

Always a treat to see someone’s new take on life and the amazing results. Congratulations to you!

HillyM
HillyM
3 years 7 months ago

Yet another inspiring story. Congratulations for taking control of your own wellbeing and sticking to it. And thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Jen
Jen
3 years 7 months ago

Wow you look so much younger in the second photo. I like how you integrated the Primal lifestyle one step at a time. Changing your diet and starting to exercise can be very overwhelming for a sedentary person. So good for you that you did what worked best for you.

Leanne
Leanne
3 years 7 months ago

Amazing story, thanks for sharing!

Derek
Derek
3 years 7 months ago

I love Fridays to read these great stories! Awesome job man and well deserved transformation. Also, really well written. Stories like yours keep me going.

Kathleen
Kathleen
3 years 7 months ago

What an amazing story..congratulations!!

Jesse
Jesse
3 years 7 months ago

This. “Thanks Mark, for simply making sense and dispensing it to the masses.”

If the only thing we take away is the basic understanding of food and diet from Mark, then what a success story is still is! Thanks, Mark!

redsnapperuk
redsnapperuk
3 years 7 months ago

Great story and congratulations!!! You must be so very proud of yourself!!!! W00t!!!

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