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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 08, 2013

I Knew a Change Had to Be Made

By Guest
176 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!

On January 1st of this year my sister challenged the family to a “biggest loser” challenge. I was a little irritated since I felt this was pointed at me. I’m also competitive by nature, and so I decided to accept her challenge.

I weighed 299 lbs when I did the first “weigh in”. I was 35, in size 42 jeans, and had approximately 40% body fat. I hadn’t expressed my frustrations with my weight to anyone, but I knew my family was getting concerned with my health. As a father of two wonderful girls, and husband to a beautiful wife, I knew a change had to be made.

Heath - Before

I am also a law enforcement officer, and not being in better shape was a safety concern for me on the job. As an instructor in arrest control techniques and firearms I felt that I was not setting a good example for the other officers. I hated the fact I was becoming the fat doughnut eating cop.

Heath - January, 2012

I was eating what I believed was a healthy diet, and I felt I was active. I did not eat out much, and ate home made meals everyday. I grew up with a mother who baked bread everyday, and pastas and even our cereal was homemade. My wife remained in good shape while my weight ballooned over 11 years of marriage.

Heath - Before

Last summer I paid a personal trainer, who was a world champion grappler, to help me get in shape. The workouts were very intense, to the point of vomiting after the workout. After months of this I had lost a grand total of 5 lbs, and I eventually gave up the workouts.

One of my co-workers, Greg, a 64 year old man who looks 50 and is ripped, explained the paleo lifestyle to me when I told him about my family’s “Biggest Loser” challenge. I was skeptical since nothing had been working, but obviously it was working for him, so I thought I would give it a try. Greg gave me the Mark’s Daily Apple website and told me about getting cookbooks and other resources.

I explained to my wife the diet and I could not have asked for a more supportive spouse. She changed the way she cooked and shopped for food. We commented on the fact that our cupboards were becoming bare from the lack of processed food, but our fridge was overflowing with meats, vegetables, and other raw foods.

At the end of 6 months the family weighed in to see who had won the challenge. I had dropped from 299 lbs down to 206 lbs, and from 40% body fat to 17%. I not only had won our little family competition, but I was also one of the few that was able to stick to my “diet”. I almost felt guilty with the victory, the weight had come off quickly and easily, I ate when I was hungry, and I ate delicious food.

Heath - After

Besides the weight loss, I also experienced other benefits that I had not expected. I had experienced migraines for years, and have yet to suffer from one since going Primal. My minor hay fever allergies also disappeared. My overall health and energy levels are much improved. I had my my gall bladder taken out two years ago, and had the typical side effects which sent me running for the bathroom. This also went away. I wish I had known about the Primal Blueprint diet before I lost my gall bladder.

I have dropped ten pant sizes, and am now on my fourth gun belt. I look more professional in uniform, and I have other officers asking me how I achieved the weight loss. Two other friends/officers have lost a combined 70 lbs in two months after I convinced them to try going Primal.

Heath - After

It is cliche, but honestly I now feel that I have a new lease on life. With all the health benefits I have experienced since going Primal, I will not go back to eating the typical American diet. I look forward to continuing my transformation, eating well, and feeling young again. Thanks!

Heath

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176 Comments on "I Knew a Change Had to Be Made"

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Luke DePron
Luke DePron
3 years 7 months ago

Heath wow! What a transformation, congratulations!

Has the rest of the family that couldn’t stick to their diets given primal a go?

Heath
Heath
3 years 7 months ago

Thanks for the congrats! Unfortunately, no, but I think I’m starting to make some headway. I probably lecture them too much, lol.

Luke DePron
Luke DePron
3 years 7 months ago

Yea I know how that goes… Well you definatley set a good example and made a great case for it, hopefully they’ll come around!

mm
3 years 7 months ago

Buy them Fat Head (click on my name), it’s 1h45mins long and very good at explaining Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories + low carb + some paleo… it’ll basically show your family in a summarized but entertaining way why everything they think they know about healthy eating is wrong…

It also has some good bonus material that goes into more detail about the science/research, etc.

Wayne Atwell
3 years 7 months ago

Wow, you look like a totally different person except for the beard. Congrats!

Finnegans Wake
Finnegans Wake
3 years 7 months ago

Seriously!

Anne
3 years 7 months ago

Wow. Well done, Heath. I especially love the part about your wife being so fantastically supportive. Standing ovation for BOTH of you!

Chika
3 years 7 months ago

The support definitely makes a difference. Great to see a loving couple change their way of eating together — for the better. Awesome job!

FarrahQue
FarrahQue
3 years 7 months ago

Very inspiring and wonderful story! I am a registered nurse who whole-heartedly believes in this Primal lifestyle and I wish more of my patients would be as motivated and educated as you are instead of always wanting to opt for the bariatric surgeries. Congratulations on your success!

laura m.
laura m.
3 years 7 months ago

I encourage the Primal lifestyle. After eating primal, pasta dishes lose appeal. I never cared for breads, rolls, dressing, Danish type pastries, cereals, etc. These surgeries mentioned have bad side effects I’ve read. Starchy foods slow you down and slow digestion.

Patrick
3 years 7 months ago

Wow, your story gave me goose bumps! Nice work! I’m going to forward to my mom. This is truly life-affirming!

Rebecca
Rebecca
3 years 7 months ago

me too. I love your new lease on life

bjjcaveman
3 years 7 months ago

lemme know what works with your mom… i’ve had zero success with mine!

Alexander
3 years 7 months ago

Yep, I’ve tried on my parents too, to no avail.

What was your mom’s excuse?

bjjcaveman
3 years 7 months ago

I HATE EXERCISE! and It tastes TOO good to give up!

bjjcaveman
3 years 7 months ago

In retrospect… doesn’t sound too different from what my friends 2 year old sounds like!

Primal Rach
3 years 7 months ago

Same .. Except my dad was trying it for a while, lost some weight , was told by the doctor to keep it up, but alas, the pizza and bread quickly came back, and he doesn’t seem to care in the least, even tho I try to encourage him everyday. It isn’t easy to be patient about it. He NEEDS to do this for his health! Best of luck to all with the same issue! I wish you MUCH patience!

Sarah
Sarah
3 years 7 months ago

You can’t push someone to want to do something, they have to want to do it for themselves or they are not gonna stick at it.

Helen
Helen
3 years 7 months ago

I game my mum the 21 day transformation for mothers day. My dad sticks to it really well but my mum just can’t give up the bread or the sweets, even though she knows that she loses weight when she stops. 🙁

Tuck
3 years 7 months ago

Congratulations!

Fern
Fern
3 years 7 months ago

Wow! You look fantastic! I wish I could get anyone to listen to me about this lifestyle, mostly my Dad but that will never happen. Thanks for sharing your story!

Adam
Adam
3 years 7 months ago

Awesome work! I can relate to the gallbladder issue. I had mine out 6 months ago. I was worried about the fat intake of going primal but I have never felt better and I have lost 17 pounds in the process.

James
James
3 years 7 months ago

Nice! Congratulations.

Lulu
Lulu
3 years 7 months ago

What a stunning transformation! Congratulations!

Karen DeLee
Karen DeLee
3 years 7 months ago

Great Job, Heath. You look great, and I know you feel better.

Cindi
Cindi
3 years 7 months ago

WOW! Awesome!

Lance
Lance
3 years 7 months ago

Congratulations! Such a great success story! Like you, our pantry went bare & the fridge is now always stuffed with “real” foods ever since our family went Primal.

Congratulations again!!

Susan Slattery
3 years 7 months ago

Your beautiful wife married one sexy guy! Keep up the primal work- you look good in uniform!

Dano
Dano
3 years 7 months ago

What an ‘arresting’ story! Well done officer, well done.

Joy Beer
Joy Beer
3 years 7 months ago

+1
Agree! LOL!

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 7 months ago

Book ’em Dano! Love that you have the other officers noticing.

Sonia
Sonia
3 years 7 months ago

Lol

gibson
gibson
3 years 7 months ago

Astonishing transformation, Heath! I imagine it makes your job easier, too. Thank you for your service. Your wife is awesome and deserves a lot of credit for making such a 180 in foodstyle!

Cindy
Cindy
3 years 7 months ago

Fantastic! Your story is getting forwarded for sure. Congratulations!

Grokesque
Grokesque
3 years 7 months ago

Great success story Heath, and congratulations on the changes made. I hope you can inspire the rest of your family as much as you inspire MDA readers!

Siobhan
Siobhan
3 years 7 months ago

I can relate to the bare pantry syndrome! Many congratulations to you and kudos to your wife for being supportive and helpful. I wish you and your family many healthy and happy years.

oxide
oxide
3 years 7 months ago

I love the bare pantry syndrome!

Since going Primal, my cabinets stay much cleaner because they are free of powdery crumbly stuff like boxes of cereal or rice, paper bags of flour and SUGAR etc. Everything is either in the fridge, or in an unopened can.

Bonus: no mice or bugs. There’s nothing for them to eat.

Alison Golden
3 years 7 months ago

Wow. Great job. I feel safer already. Thank you. 🙂

“Our cupboards were becoming bare from the lack of processed food, but our fridge was overflowing with meats, vegetables, and other raw foods.” Yes! That’s how it should be. 🙂

Rob
Rob
3 years 7 months ago

Awesome job Heath! Fantastic transformation.

Susie
3 years 7 months ago

AMAZING! As the girlfriend of a law enforcement officer who has lost about 30# eating paleo, I applaud your efforts and what you do for your community.

melissa
3 years 7 months ago

WOW! Great job and tremendous transformation! Good for you AND your family.

Best wishes on maintaining your new healthy life.

Kay
Kay
3 years 7 months ago

Love the comment about pantry and refrigerator. I was just saying the same thing to my mother last weekend. Good luck to you.

Jen
Jen
3 years 7 months ago

Wow, you look great! Fighting crime and leaping buildings in a single bound 🙂 Keep up the good work.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
3 years 7 months ago

He can arrest me ANYTIME! Trump up the charges if necessary!!

Shavonne
Shavonne
3 years 7 months ago

My coworkers and I just finished a very heated arguement over whether this man’s testimony is true. They are saying it is impossible to lose over 70 pounds in less than 2 months. I’m stepping out on faith that his testimony is true. Is there a way to get someone else to verify this?

Kjo
Kjo
3 years 7 months ago

Read more carefully. Clearly “this year” was 2012.

Mike
Mike
3 years 7 months ago

He says the coworkers lost a COMBINED 70 lbs in 2 months.

Anna
Anna
3 years 7 months ago

I believe he took 6 months to loose the weight and his friend lost a combined 70 lbs in 2 months. I know the beginning sentence sounds misleading, but I think he meant last yr Jan.

HilliardJoe
HilliardJoe
3 years 7 months ago
All I can say is that I became Primal on Jan 1 of this year and have already lost 25 pounds. And this is with me barely exercising, although I have started doing the Primal Fitness stuff now because I have the energy to do it. I’m sure Heath, as a police officer, is much more active in his daily job than I am, an IT worker sitting on his ass most of the day. Put me down as believing it is possible. Both my wife and oldest daughter are trying to get me to buy new clothes because my… Read more »
einstein
einstein
3 years 7 months ago

isn’t it funny how people don’t believe in something when the evidence is right in front of their eyes, and oftentimes they deeply believe in things without having any proof at all.

Chika
3 years 7 months ago

Yes it’s so crazy. Hurts my heart sometimes.

Shavonne
Shavonne
3 years 7 months ago

Whether it is 70 pounds in 2 months or 6 months, my coworkers have issues with Paleo/Primal way of eating and exercising in general.

I believe weight loss is possible in both time frames. Who makes the rules on how fast one can lose weight? Is there a medical reason why losing weight so fast can hurt one’s health?

Oly
Oly
3 years 7 months ago

There’s a right way and a wrong way to lose weight. Eating nutrient dense food and adequate protein each day should protect lean mass and bone density. A decent amount of initial loss after getting insulin low is excess water. Then it’s a matter of getting your body to eat as much of its own body fat as possible with something like 3000 calories in 1 lb of body fat. Big guy like him, I’m not surprised. Everyone has different energy needs so what’s possible for one may not be possible for another.

Primal Rach
3 years 7 months ago

Dude, awesome job. Keep it up. Be an inspiration!

Heath
Heath
3 years 7 months ago

I started going Paleo in January of 2012, and lost 90 lbs over 6 months. I wrote this account in September and sent it in to Mark back then. I have two friends/officers who at that point had lost 70 lbs over two months between them. Hope that clears up some confusion!!!

Shavonne
Shavonne
3 years 7 months ago

That does clear it up. Thanks.

Lindsay
Lindsay
3 years 7 months ago

Wow what a brilliant transformation. It’s a ‘big deal’ to completely overhaul your lifestyle and make these changes and you should be so proud! Congrats on your awesome new look!

Stacy
Stacy
3 years 7 months ago

I believe he said he lost the weight over a SIX month period…

Kjo
Kjo
3 years 7 months ago

Read more carefully. Clearly “this year” was 2012.

karivery
karivery
3 years 7 months ago

Shavonne – yes I believe that might be impossible – but it says it took him 6 months, which I think is actually quite do-able.

Jeremy Creed
Jeremy Creed
3 years 7 months ago

Now its time for you to gain some muscle mass. Honestly you look like a skinny geek

Helga
Helga
3 years 7 months ago

You look great, Heath–lean and mean (and HAPPY)!

Elena
Elena
3 years 7 months ago

Skinny geeks are my favourite. 🙂
Besides, skinny doesn´t have to mean less strong. Or healthy. We are all cut frm different cloth.

Colleen
Colleen
3 years 7 months ago

Heath – AWESOME STORY!

You say, “but I was also one of the few that was able to stick to my ‘diet'”.

This is what kills me . . . . didn’t everyone in the family look at what happened to Heath and understand that for many (most?) this is how it is supposed to be? Why aren’t they all on the bandwagon now?

I am not surprised b/c this is how my family is but I don’t get it . . .

Amy
Amy
3 years 7 months ago

I don’t really understand the difference between people who are open minded to diet shifts and those who will look at someone’s fantastic results and go “Nah, it was just a fluke (or whatever)” It’s totally the case in our family, too, though. I’ve been low carb and then primal for almost a decade. My family is unmoved. 🙁

HilliardJoe
HilliardJoe
3 years 7 months ago

I am hoping my wife “sees the light”. She is trying to lose some weight but no where near as much as I am. She just shakes her head when she sees how much I am losing and what I am eating. It’s like she doesn’t believe it is possible so she won’t try it.

Doug
Doug
3 years 7 months ago

My congratulations! What stands out for me is that you shine as an example to others to the very real possibilities of going primal. Your story will inspire many. Well done!

Amy
Amy
3 years 7 months ago

Congrats! A fantastic story!

Sandra
Sandra
3 years 7 months ago

Awesome. And may I say thank you for your law enforcement service? You guys do a lot of dangerous work for less pay than most people would accept.

Pastor Dave
3 years 7 months ago

I love these Friday encouragers…great job!!!!

I am working on a simple loss of 15 pounds by my 63rd birthday– and have been primal for a few months now– I hope I can match your success Heath–congrats.

Sally
Sally
3 years 7 months ago

Heath, congratulations on your transformation your posture and dignity in the after pictures says it all. All the best to you and your beautiful supportive wife!

Shawn
Shawn
3 years 7 months ago

how can anyone not want to AT LEAST try this lifestyle after reading a story like this?
i have a coworker who deals w/ migraines several times a year, and i told him about all the success stories on here showing that getting rid of gluten and grains gets rid of migraines…he said it wasnt worth it for the few times a year he gets them. *facepalm*

Colleen
Colleen
3 years 7 months ago

Not to mention the “invisible” damage being done that will show up as additional chronic illness as he ages . . .

Kim
Kim
3 years 7 months ago

93 lbs in 6 months?!?!?! Are you kidding me????

I am stunned.

b2curious
b2curious
3 years 7 months ago

Sure. Why not? About 10 years ago, my husband and I both did South Beach (Primal is much easier and more satifying) and he dropped about 130 lbs in 9 months.

Jeff F.
Jeff F.
3 years 7 months ago

Heath, I can see why you’ve kept the beard – no one would believe it’s really you!!!

Seeing is believing. Great job!

Joshua
Joshua
3 years 7 months ago

Good job on the weight loss, big guy! Maybe not a doughnut eater anymore but still a tax eater.

skeedaddy
skeedaddy
3 years 7 months ago

good cop….bad cop

Rozska
Rozska
3 years 7 months ago

Great story! Congrats on your transformation. But also, thank you for your service.

Tina
Tina
3 years 7 months ago

Wow, tremendous job! Bet if you had shaved none of us would have recognized you in the after pics! (not suggesting you should shave just sayin’.) Congratulations to you and give your wife an extra kiss for being so supportive.

mars
mars
3 years 7 months ago

Congratulations! You look amazing! Thanks for sharing your story! I hope your family follows the PB too…

Caleigh
3 years 7 months ago

AWESOME! It’s wonderful to have a supportive partner. Was/are your family supportive as well? Can they not see that the primal/paleo lifestyle beats out ‘dieting’ any day of the week?

Steven
Steven
3 years 7 months ago

What a great story! When you said,
“We commented on the fact that our cupboards were becoming bare from the lack of processed food, but our fridge was overflowing with meats, vegetables, and other raw foods” it reminded me of a saying. “Live out of your refrigerator or die out of your pantry”

Laura Lee Drucker
Laura Lee Drucker
3 years 7 months ago

wow. amazing. I have only a little weight to lose but suffer all that this gentleman did…which goes to show diet alone can be a culprit for many ailments. starting blueprint today.

bayrider
bayrider
3 years 7 months ago

You’re The Man alright, that’s quite an accomplishment. You must feel like a million bucks after dropping 90+ lbs! Think of the many years you have added to your lifespan, and all of those years to be lived at peak quality and fitness.

Primal is so simple and makes our lives awesome and badass. I tell loads of people I meet about Mark’s Daily Apple and how it will change their life, the rest is up to them.

Miss Understood
Miss Understood
3 years 7 months ago

I’m so glad you discovered this way of life before you gained even more weight and your health issues became more severe. You look great!! Good job! My husband and I went Primal last January and lost a combined 80+ pounds by November. We are still enjoying this way of eating and frequently remark gleefully over getting to eat eggs, butter and steak and have cream in our coffee! We groan whenever we see cooking shows on TV where they’re promoting their dismal LOW FAT receipes!

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