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 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!
In 2000, after an exhaustive round of tests, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Basically, I had deep and never-ending fatigue with no identifiable cause. Not knowing I had any other choice, I resigned myself to a life limited by my illness. I had to weigh each activity against how long it would take me to recover from it. Something seemingly simple, like taking a hike, could result in days of recovery time. I went from a highly active person who loved hiking and tennis to someone who had to take a nap after weeding for a half hour. In a nutshell, it sucked.
For nine years I let myself accept that my life would have to suck. Then, in 2009, I came across information from a doctor in the UK who specializes in treating CFS. She had a detailed supplement plan…and she also highly recommended eating Primally to feed our mitochondria. Everything she said made perfect sense to me, so I set about following her plan. I started taking the numerous supplements, and I gave Primal eating a try. Unfortunately, I didn’t educate myself properly about how to eat Primally, so I just gave up the bad stuff and didn’t replace it with the good stuff I was missing. Needless to say, my Primal eating ended quickly. I had crazy cravings for bread, and because I hadn’t paid attention to how my new way of eating was making me feel, I simply gave up the Primal eating. I did keep on the supplements, though, and they helped enormously! I went from not knowing if I could get out of bed in the morning to at least being able to get up without wondering if I was really sick or just having CFS issues.
Jump forward almost three years – this past March. I embarked on a food elimination plan for 28 days, just to see what would happen. After about two and a half weeks, I noticed a HUGE difference in how I felt. I actually had – gasp! – ENERGY. The brain-fog vanished. I could concentrate on tasks for long periods of time. When I got home from work, I didn’t collapse into a puddle of exhaustion on the couch. What could possibly be in my diet to have caused me to suffer from chronic fatigue for so many years?
When I started the food-testing part of the plan, I got my answer: gluten and sugar. My reaction to them was almost instant, with the return of the brain-fog, sore muscles, headaches, and fatigue. There was no way to argue with my experiment: gluten and sugar had to go! So I started researching Primal eating again. Thank goodness, this time I found sites like MDA and Balanced Bites…resources to help me understand where I went wrong the first time and how to do it properly this time.
Since March, I’ve lost about 15 pounds – mostly inflammation weight, according to my doctor – and have gone from wearing size 10/12 to size 4/6…and some of those size 6s are starting to feel big now, too!
But the best part?? ENERGY! I genuinely had forgotten what it felt like to not be in a fog of exhaustion all the time. Pre-Primal, I could manage to work a full day and *maybe* run an errand after work (I generally made excuses for myself about why I could skip the errand, though). Now? Well, here’s an example of what I did one day last week: worked all day, ran two errands, came home and took care of my cats, mowed my lawn, fixed dinner, and put together breakfast and lunch for the next day! That would have been utterly unthinkable for me 6 or so months ago. Now, it’s normal.
Going Primal has absolutely given me my life back! When I was first diagnosed, I never would have thought that my diet was to blame. Such a simple fix to make my life worth living! I do wish I’d been successful going Primal three years ago, but I am so very grateful that I finally discovered my cure. Thank you, Mark, for all you do to help people like me make amazing changes in their lives! Now that I understand what Primal can do for me, I’ll never look back.