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!
My story starts long before I had kids, even before I got married. I struggled with my weight as soon as I started college. It was always a game of gaining weight all school year and then losing some of it during the summer. On and on that cycle went.
I met my wonderful husband, Mike, after I finished college and came to find out that he too had been struggling with his weight for a long time. He even joined Weight Watchers when he was 19.
During our relationship, I had gotten myself down to about 145 (on my 5’1” frame). Not good, but better than the 190 I had reached when I was in college! Mike had continually talked to me about joining Weight Watchers too, and I was always reluctant to do so. I really hated the idea of counting calories. I still hadn’t joined him there when we got married in 2006. It was a beautiful wedding, but I still look back on the pictures and wished I had been in better shape!
Not too long after we got married we decided that we wanted to have kids. We knew that kids were going to be a big part of our lives and wanted to get that part started quickly. Eight months after our wedding we found out we were pregnant with our first baby! It took us four months to get pregnant, and I didn’t think too much about it.
It was a pretty uneventful pregnancy. In the last two weeks I struggled with severe edema and high blood pressure. They began to worry about preeclampsia and I was monitored every other day until I went into labor…26 hours of labor to be exact! After all the hard work we had a brand new baby boy! I was thrilled to start this part of my life.
It was about two months later when I realized that the large amount of pregnancy weight I had put on (on top of being overweight to start) had landed me back around 165 and I was standing for one of my best friends in her wedding! I bought the dress when I was about five months pregnant thinking that would help me fit into it when I was two months post delivery. LOL. Not the case. It took two people, a lot of holding my breath and praying – lots of praying – to squeeze into that dress! I did, but in my head I looked like a pig in a blanket. A fancy black bridesmaid blanket! Nonetheless, it was my first experience of feeling really bad about the effects of pregnancy weight gain.
It was about four months later that I finally gave in and joined Weight Watchers. I started that journey at 162 pounds.
I did have weight loss success with this process, but not the kind I like. Although the weight came off, it was a long hard journey and I hated counting “points”.
Even though I eventually got down to 123, if I even thought of eating “normal” or not counting my points I would easily and quickly put the weight back on.
That is were I was come the late Fall of 2008. We had moved to Minnesota from Michigan the summer before and had really been wanted to start trying for another baby. So in November of 2008 after we had finally sold our house in Michigan, we started trying. I had no idea at the time what was in store for me, or the emotions we would have to go through to have our second kid.
I did get pregnant the first try, but ended up losing that pregnancy at 6 weeks. We were very sad, but thought that it was normal. We always heard that miscarriages are very common. So we decided to chug on! By this point I had already gained 10 lbs back of the weight I had lost (not “counting points” and being sad about the pregnancy loss didn’t help).
We again got pregnant in December of 2008! We were thrilled. Yet something seem very off to me. I didn’t feel pregnant. There was no nausea, no tiredness, no moodiness. Then at the end of January 2009 I started to spot and went in for an ultrasound where they told Mike and I that there was no baby and I was going to miscarry at 10 weeks along. We were devastated. We were just getting ready to start sharing the happy news and our hopes were dashed.
Again, I put on more weight, and we waited a month before we started trying again. Finally in May of 2009 we did get pregnant. This time it stuck! But I was weighed down constantly with worry about losing the baby for the first 16 weeks.
Just when we thought we were out of the woods and the pregnancy was going well, I had to take my usual Gestational Diabetes test at 28 weeks. I didn’t have gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy, so I thought it wouldn’t be a problem this time. Boy was I wrong. I failed my 1 hour glucose test, and then really, really failed my 3 hour test. My 2 hour number was way over 200!
So for the rest of that pregnancy I stuck my finger four times a day to check my blood sugar levels. At first my “dietitian” made sure to tell me to eat according to the food pyramid, making sure to get 2-3 “carb counts” (a carb count = 15 grams of carbs) with each meal and 2 carb counts with each snack! So I was taking in upwards of 195 g of carbs everyday. And I was diabetic! This was not working. Even though she told me that carbs will raise my blood sugar here I was being told to eat a ton of them!
I realized this and as my numbers climbed on my daily checks I started to fear them putting me on insulin. This was the last thing I wanted. If that happened I would have to stick myself with a needle each day and I would have to leave my midwife care for that of a doctor. So I started to take measures into my own hands.
Turns out that decision would change mine and my family’s life forever!
We didn’t know that I had started to eat Primal, but that is what I had to do to keep my blood sugar low and even. High fat, high protein and low carb! It worked. My blood sugar levels evened out and stayed low (I even lost 6 lbs the first week, my midwife was not happy, but it must have been excess weight my body didn’t need) and I kept the dietitian and midwife happy. I never told them what I was eating. They even had me taking ketosis pee tests every other day, and I always told them they were normal, even though I was in ketosis half the time.
I felt great! Even though I had to stick my finger all the time, everything seem to be normal when I ate that way and I felt energetic and happy. Around this time my husband had started doing P90X (which was brutal and he hasn’t done it since). In watching those DVDs he was introduced to someone by the name of Mark Sisson. And that started it all…Mike ended up buying the Primal Blueprint and it has helped us change our lives for the better. We realized that the way I was eating was Primal indeed.
After the induced labor (they wouldn’t let me go past my due date with the gestational diabetes) and delivery of my second son I did have some more weight to lose. For some odd reason I went back to Weight Watchers. Conventional wisdom is hard to break down. After a few months of that and not losing much weight, my darling husband finally convinced me that we needed to go back to how we had been eating.
By the Fall of 2010, we had started to make Primal changes in our life. We had always wanted to eat a clean whole foods diet and we were making that change. It was slow at first but we were making good changes and losing weight more effortlessly than ever before.
After doing a Primal 30-day challenge for ourselves in January 2011 we really started to take control over what we were eating and how we were living our lives.
In March of 2011 we decided we must be crazy…so why not try of a third kid! As I thought about what that meant I began to fear the loss possibilities and all the problems we went through with the second pregnancy. So we decided to start trying a little “earlier” thinking that it might take a while like the last time.
Boy were we wrong! Little did we know that the positive changes we had made in our lives would affect our fertility so very much. We got pregnant the very first try! And it stuck, much to our happy surprise.
I am now 21 weeks pregnant with my third baby! Easy easy! I was tested last week for gestational diabetes since my likelihood of getting it again after having it once was very high. Well my midwife called me yesterday with the news. Not only had I passed the 2 hour glucose test…I CRUSHED IT!!!
Here are my numbers:
Fasting: 87 (needs to be under 100)
1 Hour: 137 (needs to be under 180)
2 hour: 88 (needs to be under 145)
Insert happy dance here! I will take the glucose test again at 28 weeks to make sure it doesn’t onset later, but I have high hopes now. The changes we have made by eating Primal have had so many great benefits, from weight loss, to energy, happiness and of course the ease of getting pregnant and the healthy pregnancy I am enjoying!
My story doesn’t end here. Baby #3 is due December 13, 2011. I will have some weight to lose, but this time around I am not worried about it. I know that through my eating and way of life now the weight will come off easily.
Primal has changed the way I look at my life, from normal everyday to the joys of having kids. It really has made things easier. We are all happier, my husband has lost weight and feels great, and my little Primal boys love their eggs!
I am so excited to share this update. I am 29 weeks pregnant today and as I told your readers in my success story, I had passed my 20 week gestational diabetes test with flying colors. Well, I had to take the 2 hour blood glucose test again at 28 weeks (last week) to make sure that the diabetes did not onset later, like it does with other GD pregnancies.
I am happy happy happy to report that I passed yet again with flying colors!!
Here were my numbers:
Fasting = 87 (needed to be under 99)
1 hour = 147 (needed to be under 179)
2 hour = 115 (needed to be under 140)
I am so excited!! I have gotten a lot of comments on twitter and facebook from other women, saying they were inspired by my results and fulling intend on going or staying Primal to help with their fertility issues, and with hopes to prevent gestational diabetes themselves!!
Cant’ wait to share more good news in about 11 weeks!!! Will it be a Baby Grok or Grokette??
Here is me today – 29 Weeks:
I am thrilled to up date my Success story here on MDA!! This past December Mike and I welcomed our first baby girl into our Primal Family!!! After two little boys we just couldn’t believe that we were now the parents to a girl!!
She is now almost 4 months old we are all doing so wonderfully! Mike and I have been working very hard for the past two months getting us back into living a vibrant Primal life!! Pregnancy gets us almost every time with unneeded weight gain, but as I have said before I don’t worry about it, because we know how to reset and get back on track.
My last weigh in before I had our baby girl I was 183!! Yikes!
At the start of the New Year we hopped on the scale and took our measurements….I was down to 160.2! I took a pic of that, just to have another “BEFORE” pic to keep me motivated!! Notice the sarcastic thumbs up!
Well today (4/1/12) I weighed myself and I am down to 151.2 lbs!! That’s a 31.8 lbs loss since the middle of December! I am always amazed at how easily and quickly the unnecessary weight just falls off while eating Primal and how awesome I feel while doing it. I hope to be back into my fun summer clothes very soon! I will get you all an update and BETTER picture when I get there!! I guess you could say I am still a Primal Success Story in the Making!! 🙂
Grok On Kids!!! Grok On!! We are blessed to be a part of the Primal Blueprint Family!