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

Why Fear May Be Blocking Your Primal Path (and How to Overcome It)

Getting healthy. It’s an admirable, enviable endeavor, you think. In fact, it’s what you’ve wanted, maybe desperately, for a long time. And then you came across Primal. You’ve been convinced for a while now that it’s a good guideline for how to live—reading the blog, maybe trying a Primal-friendly meal now and then. You’ve even read a book (or cookbook)—or two. You have the knowledge. You have the interest. Maybe you even feel a fire lit under you by a recent diagnosis, an additional medication, or an added 10, 20, or 50 pounds. The next logical step would be to put a Primal plan into action, right? Take it on, make it happen. Change your life for the inconceivable better. But, for many of us, that’s where fear rushes in to gum up the whole process.

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From Float Tanks to Silent Retreats: Why Are People Looking for More Extreme Forms of Sensory Deprivation?

I’m thinking about a Philip K. Dick story, never published, perhaps never put down on paper or even imagined. In this story, which might only exist in my mind, the world is awash in sensory stimuli. Bright lights, flashing signs, an endless cacophony. A world of quick jump cuts. It’s like the Khaosan Road at 11 PM, standing on a Los Angeles overpass at rush hour, or living inside a Youtube video. Imagine your first night in the Amazon, only instead of insects and birds and other creatures, it’s horns and conversations and alarms and drunks and car doors and rattling manhole covers and ringtones. In the world of this story, silence is a premium. To escape from your senses, you need to pay up.

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What Is the Experience of Awe and Why Does it Matter?

I camp mostly for the stargazing. Everything else is important, of course. The campfire, the smoky bacon, the muddy coffee. Trees, fresh air, endless trails. All great. But what I look forward to most of all is slipping out of my tent on a dark, moonless night, finding a clearing in the trees, looking up at the sky, and realizing that light from a star that shot out a hundred thousand years ago is only just now hitting my retina.

That’s awe.

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How Defining Moderation Can Help You Reach Your Health Goals

We’ve heard it a million times: “Eat a well-balanced diet with everything in moderation.” After all these decades of clear failure, it’s a hazy cliché still delivered by physicians, dietitians and nutritional “experts” with earnest assurance. The same goes for exercise and stress. Moderate amounts of stress are okay, moderate cardiovascular work is good, etc. We accept the concept of moderation so readily, I think, because it sounds so rational and simple. If we follow common sense, moderation suggests, we’ll be fine. But if it were that easy, most people would be healthy—and statistics on the rising rates of obesity and chronic illness tell us otherwise. So what’s the problem?

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The Health Paradox Paradox

A paradox is an observation that contradicts a previously-held assumption about reality. But assuming the observation is true, a paradox isn’t really a paradox. It’s not the new observation that’s wrong or faulty or misinterpreted; it’s the assumption that contradicts reality and needs reworking. The history of science is littered with paradoxes that dissolved when previously held assumptions were modified under the weight of new observations. The health, fitness, and nutrition spheres are rife with presumptions, conventional wisdom that pretty much everyone—from authorities and experts on down to laypeople—holds to be true. But we’re finding that these presumptions are increasingly challenged by the steady onslaught of new observations. Some of the most notable presumptions include but aren’t limited to:

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Humility: A Primal Virtue with Modern Value

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about my leadership post earlier this year—particularly from people who connected with the humility aspect. It’s a characteristic I think most people would agree is in short supply these days, but most of us still admire it when we see it. In truth, little in our culture today encourages a humble disposition, and I think that’s a relatively new development. More than ever it seems to be the loudest, boldest, and (often) most obnoxious voices that garner our attention. Brashness somewhere along the line became an asset rather than an irritation. We’re told we need to do more, be more, have more, “fight” for what what we presumably deserve, and push our way to the front if we want our good in life. Put yourself out there, talk yourself up, and—above all—look out for number one. Is anyone else exhausted by these instructions? The key (and related) question of the day, however, is this: what would Grok have said about this social shift?

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