Meet Mark

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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Category: Personal Improvement

6 Reasons to Look Forward to Growing Old

As someone in his early sixties, I feel like I’m sometimes asked to be a spokesman for those in the “older” generations who are adamant (or even defiant) about staying smack in the center of life. I make no bones about my “live long, drop dead” philosophy (I even made accessories to the effect.) Numerous times I’ve shared that in some ways I’m just reaching what I consider my peak. There are days I genuinely think I’ve never had more fun, contentment and satisfaction in my life than I do right now. Unfortunately, the dominant culture pushes a different message for those of us over 50 (and definitely over 60). I’m talking about the message that these decades inevitably put us on the sidelines, ushering in an inevitable fade-out of all our faculties and enjoyments. But guess what? I’m here to tell you some good news: that doesn’t have to be your destiny. In fact, there’s a whole lot to look forward to as you grow older.

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How to Have a Civil Discussion About Divisive Issues

I made the decision long ago to slash my media intake, and I’ve never looked back. It’s not that I abstain entirely. Since my chosen professional and family obligations meant I never had a ton of time for it to begin with, I simply became much more selective. In particular, I had no patience for the irate, drama-inducing screaming matches that had begun taking over the airwaves. For years now people have bemoaned the coarsening of public discourse (and with it, general behavior), and experts have been analyzing its cause. Jonathan Haidt in his book, The Righteous Mind, is a clear example. How did we come to a place of perpetual mouth foaming? While I won’t delve into that particular swamp, I will take up the flip side of that coin today, which has been on my mind lately (maybe on many people’s minds). What primal principles can help us remember how to have a civil discussion about divisive issues?

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10 Ways to Treat Burnout (and How to Avoid It Altogether)

This year it was all over the headlines that what we typically call “burnout” just might be depression. Beyond the vagueness such wording introduced (another way to push anti-depressants?), the actual research further affirms burnout as a genuine psychological and physical experience. The study confirmed that those who suffer from job “burnout” also experience the onset of key depression symptoms, something of little surprise to anyone who’s ever been through it. Yet, as an earlier study suggests, burnout is its own animal. Symptoms are largely linked to “atypical” depression, which behaves differently and can more readily suggest situational origins. It’s something I’ve been saying for years—certain elements of the modern (unmitigated) experience promotes neurosis more than we’d like to admit. Burnout is one common example.

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How to Stop Using Food Like a Drug

You might be hard-pressed to find many people who never take advantage of the “elixir” effects food can have on us. For instance, I’d venture that the majority of us start our day with a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea. Some of us wind down after a long week with a glass of wine or a taste of our favorite bourbon. Even a small dose of sugar during times of excessive stress can lower cortisol (hence why some of us reach for an extra indulgence when things get rough). As long as we’re talking occasional or modest gratification, we can take advantage of these benefits without worry. But for some people, food becomes an ongoing coping mechanism or an unhealthy dependency to get them through their day. Where’s the line between normal indulgence and chronic “abuse” of food? And what do we do when we find ourselves sliding into risky territory?

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Why Weight Loss Doesn’t Promise Happiness

There are any number of amazing reasons to lose weight that will offer incredible benefits in the long- and short-term. You’ll be in better overall health. It’s very probable that you’ll live longer and have more vitality in those years—particularly if getting in shape was part of your weight loss strategy. You’ll enjoy more energy for the people and activities you love. You may have more or preferable clothing choices. You’ll have a better chance of kicking many prescription drugs to the curb (and save a little dough in doing so). To boot, you’re likely to experience less chronic pain and a better night’s sleep, etc., etc. All that said, let’s be clear on something: weight loss isn’t a guaranteed stimulus to your personal happiness. Here’s why.

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10 Common Primal Mistakes You Might Be Making

Most of us go Primal to solve problems created by Conventional Wisdom. The importance of whole grains and daily cardio, the dangers of dietary fat and animal protein, the primacy of carbohydrates for “energy,”—these untruths are promulgated so widely and fail so conclusively that you can’t help but look to the people saying the opposite for direction. That’s where we come in. Most of us go Primal to solve problems created by conventional dietary and lifestyle recommendations. Often these solutions involve doing the opposite of what the authorities are telling us. For the most part, it works.

Sometimes eschewing conventional advice goes too far, though. Sometimes we make serious blunders in our pursuit of Primal perfection.

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