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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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August 04, 2017

I’m a Lean and Mean Endurance Machine!

By Guest
23 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!

So, a little bit about my background: I am a 44-year-old former Marine, who worked as a police officer in Buffalo, NY for about twelve years. During that time, I obtained my B.S. in Criminal Justice, and then my law degree, all while working full-time. I entered the practice of law in 2005, and I’m still plugging away.

I initially became interested in weight lifting/body building when I was a Marine and police officer, but that all took a back seat during law school, due to working full-time. I was in the worst shape of my life during this period, and really didn’t get back into gear until about 2009, when I started running.

In 2010, I did my first half marathon, and then in 2013 my first full marathon. I entered the world of triathlon in 2014, and I’ve never looked back. I often tell people, that if running were equated to cocaine, then triathlon would be crack! Sorry, police humor, I guess! I did my first half-iron in 2014, full distance IMs in Muskoka (2015) and Boulder (2016); with many half irons, olympic and sprint distance races scattered throughout.

Keith_BeforeI found MDA/PB through Primal Endurance; which I picked up as an audiobook last September for a business trip. I originally grabbed it because I’m always interested in new training methods and techniques. Little did I know, it would change my life in such profound ways. At first, the diet stuff sounded far-fetched; eat lots of fat to get skinny—right!!! However, the more I listened, the more it made sense. I am a big believer in evolutionary adaptations as it relates to biological attributes (i.e. “Born to Run”—our evolution as hunter gatherers). So, the idea that the diets of our ancient ancestors certainly did not contain the crap found in the vast majority of the SAD diet today makes complete sense.

The other thing that really caught my attention was the Primal Endurance declaration: “Why do so many endurance athletes have excess body fat?!” Yes—why??!! I trained my tail off between 2015 and 2016 for back-to-back Ironman races, and yet raced both events at 167lbs (off season I was usually about 175lbs). By the way, 167lbs was the lowest I had ever been since before I graduated from high school; and before Primal Endurance. When I finished the book, I made a promise to commit to the PB/PE diet and training right after Thanksgiving weekend (for obvious reasons).

Keith_AfterFast forward to the present. I am a 150lb lean and mean endurance machine. I’ve already set a new bike PR twice at the half-iron distance, and have my eyes on a new half marathon PR and half iron total PR this fall. I broke a toe a few weeks ago, so I haven’t been able to really see the results of my training in the run. I can say my overall pace per mile at heart rate has dropped significantly since last fall, so I am optimistic.

Most importantly though, is that I feel amazing; both mentally and physically. I feel light on my feet, and mentally sharp (kind of important in my line of work!), and I don’t have those old post-lunch sugar crashes, where I want to crawl under my desk and take a nap. I owe it all to Primal Blueprint and Primal Endurance! I’ve attached two pictures as demonstrative evidence; the first is from last December (about 178lbs), and the second was taken back in May (about 152lbs). Wow!

Mark, thank you so much for this gift of lifestyle and fitness. I have spread the word through my triathlon club, and “converted” a few people already.

For anyone reading this that may be on the fence: Take that first step and change your life! It may not be easy, but you have everything to lose (weight & poor health), and everything to gain (good health & endurance)! Isn’t that worth it?

Sincerely, Keith Vona

Keith_Vona

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23 Comments on "I’m a Lean and Mean Endurance Machine!"

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Nicole
17 days 5 hours ago

Awesome story! I am envious as I have not been able to make the principles work for me, but I have other problems to solve for first. Hoping to get a sub 2 half marathon at some point in the next year. Kudos.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
17 days 5 hours ago

Impressive results!

Flossie
Flossie
17 days 4 hours ago

Is loss of one’s body hair a common side effect of paleo?

Saga
Saga
16 days 13 hours ago

I wanted to make that joke too 😉

Troels Rasmussen
Troels Rasmussen
17 days 4 hours ago

I’ve been wanting some bit of knowledge to help me get a fuller beard, but looking at your pictures, amplifying my Primal commitment might not be the solution. But, judging from the pictures, you’ve come to look younger.

Andrea
Andrea
17 days 2 hours ago

Many swimmers shave hair off to improve swimming speeds. And yes he looks much younger and stronger! Fantastic!

Liver King
16 days 4 hours ago

The answer to a fuller beard is the testosterone metabolite DHT… Google “how to raise DHT” and you’ll find some very interesting, well written articles. It’ll also make you strong as hell!!

Zoltan
Zoltan
13 days 5 hours ago

Well, if you are over 40, you will actually want to *reduce* your DHT levels – mainly to avoid the issues that stem from an enlarged prostate, but as a side effect, you’ll actually experience *more* hair growth and an *increased* total T and free T when you slash your DHT levels.

Liver King
12 days 5 hours ago

Totally agree with you… if you’re estrogen dominant and/or if you have a tendency to convert testosterone to estrogen (which is a huge percentage of our population). Good point!!

Agree to disagree on the hair / beard growth… I’m of the camp that DHT is the most potent androgen in our body. I’ll take higher DHT, in the context of “normal” estrogen (20 to 30 pg/ml) any day at any year.

NOTE: always a good idea to monitor PSA and estrogen.

Elizabeth Resnick
17 days 3 hours ago

I’ve often wondered that about endurance athletes…I see so many people that are dedicated athletes, pounding out the miles every day, and still hang onto a lot of body fat. The whole eat fat to lose fat thing seemed so counterintuitive to me, but it totally works. I love success stories like this, since it’s about so much more than losing a few pounds. You are mentally sharper and “lighter on your feel.” I always look forward to these Friday success stories!

Adam
Adam
16 days 16 hours ago

I sometimes think the worse thing they did was name the nutrient “fat” as it scares people off straight away.

Nocona
Nocona
17 days 3 hours ago

“Light on the feet and mentally sharp”. That;s it in a nutshell. Congrats!

Meg
Meg
17 days 3 hours ago

Awesome!

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
17 days 2 hours ago

Wow, impressive and inspirational / motivational, thanks Keith!

Liver King
17 days 2 hours ago

Amazing story!! Lots of carryover for the crossfit athlete too.

Just want to emphasize just how revolutionary the Primal Endurance book is… for those not familiar with the Maffetone method, look into it!! It’s a total game changer not only for endurance athletes but for crossfit athletes looking to improve capacity.

Kelly
Kelly
17 days 1 hour ago

Great stuff Keith (fellow Buffalonian) 😉

Kelly
17 days 1 hour ago

Great stuff Keith! (Fellow Buffalonian) 😉

Vanessa
Vanessa
16 days 23 hours ago

So well done Keith!

Suzanne
Suzanne
16 days 21 hours ago

I rather like the furry teddy bear look.

Judith
Judith
16 days 8 hours ago

Great story, thanks for sharing!

Colleen
Colleen
13 days 23 hours ago

Thanks for sharing this great story!

Katie
12 days 21 hours ago

Wow, you look ten years younger! Congratulations on your lifestyle changes. It must be so fun to be utilizing fat as your energy source.

Michael
6 days 11 hours ago

Congratulations!

A really great achievement. I am 44 years old & top in shape. Age is only a number. Nutrition & Sports, as well as little stress, are the key to a healthy body & lifestyle.

Best regards from Germany/Berlin Michael

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