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
Grandmothers, teenagers, men, women, people of all fitness levels (from athletes to lifelong couch potatoes now turned modern day Groks); people all over the world are going Primal and taking control of their health. On this beautiful Memorial Day in sunny southern California I bring you another collection of Primal Blueprint Success Stories. Take a peek at what other Primal Blueprinters have achieved, drop them a few kind words of gratitude in the comment board for sharing their stories and pictures, and then make this the first day of the rest of your Primal life. Grok on!
(These real life stories make the work I do with Mark’s Daily Apple all worth it. To know that people are taking the words I put out into the digital ether to heart and enacting meaningful change keeps me going each day. If you’d like to share your own Primal story with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community email me. Many thanks in advance.)
Part Time Primal
My journey into getting healthy began in October of ‘08. After a checkup at the doctor’s office where my weight was ~290lbs and BP was 160’s over 100’s, I was told I needed to return after a fast to get blood work done in an effort to see if I needed cholesterol medication. She had already decided I needed blood pressure meds but wanted to see the complete picture before prescribing them. Naturally, being the pill-scared person I am, I skipped the follow-up appointment and continued eating myself into oblivion… otherwise known as over 305lbs, no exercise, and a diet full of toxins and inflammatory junk. Besides, who could honestly expect me to fast for AT LEAST 16 hours before a doctor’s appointment!?
– July ‘07
In February of ‘09, while busy spending my life in front of the computer using the stumble toolbar; I stumbled upon the Daily Apple site. The page loaded quickly and had something I could read right away, which, if you know about stumble, is the key to getting someone to stay on your page for more than .2 seconds. I found the idea of eating fats and cutting out grains to be pretty crazy, but the site didn’t look like it was trying to sell me something, I didn’t have to sign up to read anything, and that Mark guy seemed to have a good flow to his posts. I clicked ‘like’ on the bar and moved on for the night. Every few days I would come back and read more. It soon became more about ‘how’ I could implement the blueprint than ‘if.’ Almost 2 months later, after reading through the archives and learning as much as I could, I decided to give it a 30 day try. That was my way to excuse it to the people in my life, and to be honest, I’d given far crazier ideas much longer tries in the past.
– January ‘09
I started Primal in April of ‘09. My initial carb flu lasted for about 6 weeks, which is waaaaay longer than it needed to, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around eating that much fat! Subsequently, I would crash every week or so and binge off all of the awful processed junk my body was used to. When I finally embraced the “Need sweet, feed fat” concept, I got out of carb flu and into weight-loss proper. By early June, I was down to the 260’s, and by late June, the 250’s. After all of the success, I got lazy and content with what I had done already. I went back to eating the Standard American Diet until the August Challenge came around. I dove into the Challenge month and stuck to 80/20, exercised, participated in the forum, kept a food log, all of it, and I reaped the benefits! By September, I was down to 240 and feeling great again. Again, I got a little lazy and a little content, but this time added a bunch of stress to the mix. I strayed back to SAD for several months, though somehow managed to maintain my weight/size.
– April ‘10
April of ‘10 was fast approaching, and there was a movement on the forum to start an impromptu challenge month. I decided to join and get back on track. I took my before pictures, set up a new primal journal, set some goals, and I was off. I managed to stay 100% food-wise during the entire month AND kept up with exercise. During the challenge, I also cut out dairy, which is one of the best things I’ve done for myself since getting rid of grains. I went from 237lbs at the start to 222lbs. For the first time in my life, I got some muscle definition! Most importantly of all, I experienced and understood just how Intermittent Fasting functions and the effects it can have.
– May ‘10
Overall, I’ve been primal for a little over a year, but have only actively been doing it “the way you’re supposed to” for *maybe* five of those months. Even without doing math, that’s less than 80/20, but I’ve still seen amazing results. My guess would be that it was full on in high intensity bursts rather than half-assing it the whole time, but I am proof that it can be done even if you tend to fall off the Primal bandwagon. I’ve gone from squeezing into a 2XL shirt down to comfortably wearing a Large. My pants were a tight 38 or 40, now a loose 36 or well fitting 34. I have TONS of energy all the time, my blood pressure is under control, and I don’t want to pass out after a flight of stairs. One thing is for sure, if it wasn’t for Mark and the Primal Blueprint, I would be in a sad state of health. If not for the amazing, knowledgeable, friendly, and supportive members of the forum, I would have succumbed to all of the nay-sayers. And I don’t think many people can say this, but Stumbleupon effectively saved my life. I’m so happy and grateful to have found the Daily Apple and everything it brought into my life. Thank you Mark and everyone here for helping me get Primal and create a life I can live, not just survive!
I’ve been eating primal since about 7/1/09, I’m 53 yrs old, 5’10” , I started at 195lbs, 25+% body fat. My diet has been 90% primal since reading the book, we do have the occasional helping of rice and a piece of chocolate every now and then, but for the most part my wife and I have tried hard to stick to it. As of this week I way 175lbs, body fat approx 10%. I feel great, and I’ve pretty much lost all cravings for grains. Have always been a big chip, cereal, whole wheat bread guy, not anymore and I’ll never go back.
I train in Martial Arts (Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido) 5 days a week, about 45 min – 1 hr a day. Some cardio, some core , some resistence. Not exessive my any means.
Thanks Mark, I have never felt better, with a very little effort I could get my body fat into single digits. I don’t have a before pic but here’s an after.
Thought I’d give you another update, I reached my goal, back to my college days weight of 170-172lbs. I’m not obsessing about numbers but I’m down over 20lbs since the start 11 mos ago, I was in good shape then but I’m in great shape now. You probably don’t remember cause you get so many e-mails, but I’m 53 yrs old. I’ve never felt better. If I wanted to get real picky still have just a bit of loose stuff around the waste , but not much. You can’t turn the clock back but you have proven to me that you can slow it down.
Thanks again and I’ll give you my last update when I hit 1yr in.
Jerry H. – Abilene,TX
I know you must get hundreds of these, but you’ve made such a huge difference in my life, that I couldn’t resist chipping in! I want you to know how much good you’re doing for just regular people like me, my husband and my daughter. This is going to catch on because it’s right and it works!
I have been eating primally for about six months now, and my life has improved dramatically. I’ve never really had a weight issue in the past because I’ve always been active, and ate the “healthy” conventional wisdom diet. I’m 5’8” and weighed 145 to 150 lbs, so I wasn’t winning any swimsuit contests, but wasn’t doing too badly. The last 5 years or so though, I started to steadily pack on weight. I developed an overuse injury in my legs from running, and after surgery was not able to run as much. Then I got a stressful job and couldn’t get to the gym several times per week for the hour or hour and a half that I was used to. I moved to the suburbs and stopped walking to work. Then I had a baby and my mother got sick at about the same time, and my weight peaked at 190 pounds! The scariest part was that I knew my weight was totally out of control, and I didn’t see how I would stop gaining. I was scared. The worse I felt, the more sweets and carbs I ate, and the more I ate, the more I craved. I was exhausted, stressed and depressed from taking care of my daughter and my mother and felt like I couldn’t afford to exercise myself weak to get rid of the extra weight. Pregnancy had messed with my immune system as well, so that after my daughter was born I developed inflammation in all of my joints and in my eyes of all things. My doctor put me on strong anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs) and sent me to a specialist who did some tests and told me that I had all the symptoms of a disease that would curve my spine within about 10 years. The only treatment was to keep taking the NSAIDs until I was a candidate for surgery. I was devastated. I had gone from being healthy and active to facing middle age with a crippling disability. Thankfully my husband had purchased the Primal Blueprint and read it without telling me. He started eating scrambled eggs for breakfast while I ate yogurt and granola. Then he started losing weight – he’s now down 30 lbs. I was worried that he was ruining his health, so I read the book and immediately went 100% primal. Within about 1 month of going primal the joint pain went away almost entirely and I stopped taking the NSAIDs. Now, not quite 6 months later, I’ve lost 24 pounds with no effort whatsoever. I’m nowhere near my goal yet, but I know that I’m going to get there. My weight and my health are back in my hands where they belong. I’m feeling so much more positive and in control, and the better I feel the more I do to take care of myself. I’m very excited to get your Primal Fitness book! My daughter who is now 20 months old is eating mostly primal food too and I don’t know how to thank you. You’ve made a tremendous difference for me and my family. I’m trying to spread the word, but not many people are ready to listen yet. This frustrates me because the kind of inflammation I experienced after my pregnancy is classic with grain sensitivities. I hope your message reaches everyone that wants to hear it, because everyone deserves the chance to cure themselves with food before having to resort to drugs or surgery. Thank you thank you thank you for the work you’re doing!
I just wanted to write in to tell you about my first three months since going Primal. I started back near the beginning of February and weighed about 180 lbs. At 5′ 10″, with a waist measurement of around 33, I wasn’t that overweight, and most people couldn’t believe I weighed 180. I suppose I carried the weight well, who knows. Within fourteen days I had dropped eight pounds of fat and who knows what else. I’ve noticed a great increase in my energy levels. My sleep cycle (when permitted by work and school) has evened out. Additionally, my mood has generally been positive as a rule. As of now, I weigh in comfortably at 158 and am still dropping a pound or so every couple weeks. I’ve been working out, focusing on functional strength and conditioning and have noticed a great increase in my strength, explosiveness, and cardiovascular ability. I also notice that the primal way of eating really fuels the body in every way necessary when doing these types of workouts. I recover quickly and am hardly every sore or tight.
I don’t have any body fat measurements for you, or any blood levels or anything like that. All I do know is that when I went to the university clinic a couple days ago to get checked up, my pulse was a nice even 50, and my blood pressure was something like 109 over 80. From my understanding, those are good numbers! My favorite thing about this lifestyle is that the results come naturally, with minimal extra effort.
I have attached my before and after pictures as proof of my gratitude to your teachings. I am using these photos to help me when I try to spread the primal message. They can be quite effective to the naysayers out here! I am now and will always be grateful to you for deciding to spread this message as it is saving the lives of many people and will hopefully continue to do so.
I found your site about 2 years ago and have completely changed how I look at food and at exercise. After reading your book, I was able to talk the husband into hunting and for the last 2 years we have eaten mostly wild game. (Still get bacon and salmon from the store.) Our freezer holds elk, antelope, deer, goose, duck, wild pig and trout. Last year I also hunted and shot my first antelope. Hunting is an amazing and humbling experience. We have a garden and compost in the back yard. I get local eggs. I no longer eat grains, the husband still does some. I even learned to make italian sausage from ground goose.
I did not have a lot to lose but wanted to get healthier. I went from 125 lbs to 104 at the lowest but maintain 108. I’m 52 this year and feel better than I have in years. Unlike most of my peers I do not take any medications. I used to run a lot (half marathon x1), lift weights (but not heavy ones) way too much. Currently I lift every 7-10 days and can squat 90 lbs and deadlift my own weight. I take lots of long walks and occasional sprints. Our local park has lots of trees to run in and out of and I like to pretend I’m being chased. Like everyone else on this site, I sleep better, feel better and am stronger than I ever was when I was bodybuilding/running/eating SAD.
Your site and your book started my journey to health and I send people your way all the time.
Thank you for all you do. Your site and your book really changed my life.
If you’re new to Mark’s Daily Apple and the Primal Blueprint and want to learn more start with these links:
The Primal Blueprint 101 page