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 time for another round of Primal Blueprint real life stories. Many thanks to Michael and Chuck for sharing their experiences and pictures, and congratulations to both of them for taking control of their health.
If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the community please contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!
My Primal journey began in the spring of this year when I found MDA and got my copy of the Primal Blueprint, and continues to this day. I had been following Movnat for over a year and I understood the concept of dieting, and exercising, in a way that mimics our hunter-gatherer ancestors, but had not found any tools to point me in the right direction towards a lifestyle that made such perfect sense to me. The Primal Blueprint gave me what I was looking for and so much more. I am happy to have lost weight and gained strength and endurance, but what I was not expecting was the all-encompassing lifestyle that the book laid out for me. I am healthier than ever. I can interpret the signals that my body is sending me appropriately, and as a result, I continue to do what is right for my body. The aspects of Primal living that defy modern conventional wisdom are the things that come naturally to me! I love getting plenty of sunlight and feeling good about it! I have been shocked at how mild seasonal allergies have disappeared. My whole life I have always thought: “At some point in our history, we didn’t wear shoes, and were just fine. We didn’t take anti-histamines… because we shouldn’t be allergic to the world that we live in. You don’t see a whole lot of tigers with the sniffles…” and other things of that nature.
I truly feel like I was destined to find this lifestyle (not a word I typically use, or take lightly). I understand now that to be healthy, and happy like this has been hiding right below the surface my whole life. I just didn’t have the knowledge of what was wrong, in the first place; and what was missing to fix it. Now I do!
The Primal Blueprint has helped me with another unexpected concern in my life… profession. I am 23 and have never been able to decide on what to do with my life. I always was fond of “working out” and long considered that to be an option, but then changed my mind a lot… not unlike most teens/young adults these days. Now I know without a doubt that I want to help others find their true nature, and true health, through evolution. I plan on returning to school for dietary, exercise, physiological, and psychological courses (and perhaps some business) to become very well versed in human health and fitness. I of course will gobble up any evolution classes that I find; a topic that I have always enjoyed. I also plan on becoming a certified Movnat instructor when the opportunity becomes available, and hopefully, open a gym (or something close to a gym!) that can encompass both physical activity, and diet. The Primal Blueprint has opened up more doors for me than I could see down a hallway, and I am very excited to see just where the journey takes me! I have even started my own blog that I expect to see grow as a resource within this community, as well as locally, to get like-minded people together in the midwest United States.
The personal benefits I have gained since going Primal are fantastic! However I don’t want to leave out the physical stuff. I have lost a little over 30 lbs since going Primal! I am 5′ 6″ (7″ on a good day) and weighed in at 185 lbs back in January. After just a couple of months I was weighing anywhere from 152-155 on any given day! I remember sending in a quick thank you to Mark after six weeks when I had stepped on a scale for the first time since going Primal (basically just because I happened to notice a scale in front of me). I had already lost 22 lbs(!) as well as gained some muscle back. I was so excited I had to say my thanks, and what was even better: I received a congratulatory response from Mark Sisson himself! I am so glad that Mark takes his readers health and happiness so seriously. What a great encouragement. Perhaps I place too much weight on this, but when someone who helps thousands of people with their health, updates a daily blog, runs a nutrition company, and keeps himself in good shape is able to get back to his readers within hours!!…. You know you are in great hands then! I have even been fortunate enough to have had my submission for the Workout of the Week be accepted (the Sweatstone)! I was extremely honored. As I said, if someone who has thousands of people trusting them for their health and fitness advice, then it truly means something if they are willing to put your words out there for those people to use.
To further my list of benefits: I have gotten rid of minor (but nagging) lower back pain, forgotten what heartburn feels like, my stomach seldom gets upset (not to mention less gas… but I am a guy, so it’s gonna happen!) and have had so much more steady energy every day. I used to always feel like I wasted perfectly good days, but now, I do something almost every day, and have a feeling of accomplishment to accompany that. That right there is a wonderful feeling! The only thing going Primal hasn’t done is reverse my sad, sad, little male pattern baldness that is creeping in all too soon. But that’s okay, I’m not expecting miracles!
30 Day Challenge or no, I have been wanting to write this letter for some time. Thank you Mark, and to the entire community, for so much more than there are words for. I look forward to seeing this movement grow rapidly stronger! I have no doubt that Marks goal of helping one million people take control of there health will become a reality before we can all say Grok on!
**Attached are 2 before pics (may ’09), and three afters. A nice picture of my beautiful girlfriend, Jessie, and I. A super-fun knee-boarding shot, and my submission from the Grokpose, cuz I don’t do a whole lot of picture taking, but I thought that this showed how good of shape I am in now!!
Thanks again for everything Mark!
I was always slender and never had to worry about what I ate. That all changed after I passed the age of forty. At that time I was trying hard to eat healthy but unfortunately I was following the advice of the US Department of Agriculture and the conventional wisdom. I tried to limit my meat consumption and ate lots of rice, cereal, and pasta. My weight increased steadily and it was not from muscle.
I wasn’t obese but I was carrying too much fat for my 5’11” medium frame. Using the Atkins diet my wife and I both lost significant weight. I went from 188 to 170 pounds in six weeks and kept it off for over two years. Over subsequent years however, I drifted slowly back into the standard American diet. I still thought of myself as a low carb eater but was going out for Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and eating breakfast burritos regularly. In October of 2009 I found I could barely button my pants. Only jeans, with their brass riveted button, were strong enough to contain my expanding belly. My weight had reached 202 pounds and I realized I would have to lose it or buy a whole new wardrobe. I did in fact buy a pair “fat” jeans, something I used to think only women did. My wife experienced a similar relapse.
In November of 2009 we again turned to Atkins. The weight didn’t drop off as quickly as it had previously but it did come off. After three or four months I was down to 183 but seemed to be stuck there. At that point I would have been satisfied to reach 180, happy to reach 175, and absolutely ecstatic to reach 170 which I considered to be merely a fantasy goal. It was my wife who found Mark Sisson’s site and bought The Primal Blueprint. I didn’t pay much attention at first, but as she shared information from the book, I began to read it and it made a lot of sense.
Soon Primal had replaced Atkins in my life, but I want to express my respect to Robert Atkins for what he accomplished. Like Henry Ford who didn’t invent the automobile but perfected its manufacture, Atkins didn’t invent low carb eating but he made it respectable and popular enough to gain a foothold. I’ve moved on from the Atkins diet but I believe all of us in the low carb community owe him a debt of gratitude for paving the way.
With Atkins it was all about the carbs. As long as you keep them low you can eat pretty much all you want, but it had stopped working for me. Primal helped me rid my diet of things that Atkins allowed but that were harming me, seed oils for example. I began monitoring my food intake with Fitday and found that I was over reliant on almonds, macadamias, and cheese, all of which I cut back on. Following the Primal Blueprint I began to lose weight again at a slow but steady pace.
We know how important exercise is for fitness and health. I have always exercised, walking, running (when my knee has allowed), hiking, bicycling, a bit of weightlifting, and calisthenics have all been part of my life at one time or another. The Primal approach to exercise has made a big difference to me. The variety makes it more interesting and more fun, enabling me to exercise more often and more effectively without it becoming a tedious grind. But exercise alone is not enough to get rid of excess body fat. It will only take you ten to twenty percent of the way. The rest depends on diet. I average about 50 grams a day of carbohydrates, fewer than 10 grams of sugar, and no grains except for the occasional beer (probably the hardest thing has been cutting back on the beer). I do eat butter, cream, and cheese (trying to cut back) and I occasionally treat myself to tacos from my favorite restaurant or a green chili Slopper from my favorite tavern. I guess I am one of the 80/20 crowd. It works for me.
At 57 years old I now weigh 163 pounds, well below even my fantasy goal. After only six months on the Primal Blueprint I no longer have to take Tums every night when I go to bed. The heartburn is gone and so are the colds. My wife is off her blood pressure medication and the daily dose of Pepcid she use to need. I am leaner, fitter, and healthier. I only wish I had found this all years ago. Thanks Mark.
Chuck – Pueblo, Colorado
Pictures are of me and my fabulous pull up bar from Trapeze Rigging.