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...Tell Me More
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!
When I was very little my sister and I were allergic to literally everything – meat, egg white, honey, nuts, etc. We were also constantly ill and I was really overweight for a child. My mother put us on a diet that we were eating, mainly fruits and vegetables because we were allergic to most other things. We started exercising and practicing the Buteyko breathing method which was the only thing that would calm our coughs. We got better and our allergies disappeared. We grew up and we slowly forgot about this healthier lifestyle that actually saved us.
I come from Bulgaria, a beautiful picturesque country that has one big fault – a complete obsession with being unhealthily skinny. Since the beginning of my teenage-hood I have been badly experimenting with my body through the constant change of my diet. I tried The Balanced Diet, which was not too bad but I had to measure my food to the gram for every meal and this made me paranoid about the sizes of portions. I have also tried The Protein Diet which allows only white meat the first week. After that vegetables such as cucumbers are included but fruits, nuts, fats are strongly forbidden. I even tried The Cabbage Soup Diet which literally made me sick because it was so awful. I also tried not eating anything while I was at school from 7am till the evening. After all that bouncing from diet to diet at the age of 18 I was suddenly less than 50 kg (110 lbs). I am 172cm tall (5′ 7.5″), had zero amount of energy and was constantly ill.
The summer after that I wanted to go back to normal eating but my body was so used to not eating properly that it refused to be fed anything. I spent the whole summer vomiting because my stomach did not accept anything I gave it. Slowly I got better and started eating again. However, one thing stayed with me forever due to all of these diets – constant stomach pain. At the age of 21 the pain got so bad that I had to do some tests and discovered that my gall-bladder was getting irritated by something and was jumping up into my stomach causing the pain. The doctors told me that it is caused by some kind of food that I can’t tolerate. They suggested to stop eating raw tomatoes and cut out the black pepper. This helped a bit but still the pain would come from time to time. I knew I had to change my life and find out what was causing all that stress to my gall-bladder.
I was 22 when I first discovered the real food lifestyle that eliminated all the artificial ingredients and tolerates only wholegrain products when it comes to grain products. I felt a bit better and had more energy than before. However, the pain was still there from time to time and I gained some weight because of all the wholegrain products that I thought were very good for me. I started noticing that my stomach hurt just after I had eaten something with grains in it, but I did not really do anything about it.
During a lunch break at university my sister told me about The Primal Blueprint. She stumbled upon the Mark’s Daily Apple website while she was researching if eating one apple a day was truly healthy or just a myth. She told me what the idea behind all of it is and how this is not a diet but a lifestyle. It was very important that everything on the website is scientifically based and not just the opinion of yet another diet guru. After all the diets I had tried, what did I have to lose? So I gave it a try.
I remember the day when I emptied all my kitchen cupboards and threw away every bit of grain I had. I felt alive! I had energy for everything, I was not falling asleep constantly anymore and the pain was completely gone. I reached 63 kg (138 lbs) and I have stayed like that ever since. This was the first time in my life that my weight was completely stable and not fluctuating all the time. I used to have problems with spots on my back before, but not anymore. I used to be ill and have colds every several weeks, but no more! It is incredible to feel great and who would have guessed that the path to healthy life was bacon! I know the Primal lifestyle works because when I occasionally decide to have something with wheat in it if I am on a holiday, all the problems come back even after one bad meal. I am happy I listened to my sister and now we both experience the advantages of gluten and grain-free eating. I do not miss anything and in fact I don’t even crave or like these products anymore – bread, pastry, cakes, they all taste bad now, unless I have made them myself at home using real, good products.
I have lived in UK for 5 years now and I have realized that many people have similar problems, but they either don’t know what to do about them or are just scared to change their whole life. I have a close friend who had problems with hair loss and constant hunger. After months and months of me telling her to try the Primal way she agreed, and now her hair is perfect. She doesn’t feel hunger and she feels happier and better than ever before. This is why I created a Primal website for the UK – Primal Yum (Facebook). I want to show people that food can be great and even much better when artificial ingredients and grains are omitted. Life can be good and we can be healthy. Why would you willingly choose to be ill?