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!
I want to begin by thanking you so much for what you are doing to help people, and for such an impeccable website and thorough information. I enjoy being a part of the community and gleaning so much good information every day!
I have always been conscious of what I put into my body. Conscious, not strict. I have never smoked a cigarette, and I haven’t eaten fast food in probably 10 years. I also managed to stop drinking soda a while back. But, like everyone, I made plenty of mistakes (I also still make them – but, ya know, slightly fewer now). Unfortunately, the majority of those were from being mis- or un-informed. Though some of them were just from being human and hungry!
As long as I can remember, I had allergies: to cats, dust, plants, changes in weather, stupid people. I also, even though I have never been obese, had very high cholesterol. And, of course, I was prescribed medication. The military was adamant about those wonder-drugs we all know as statins. Bouts with depression, upset stomach and heartburn, frequent illnesses, etc., were all met with medication. But I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time, and was determined to find out why that was. I tried to be healthy and improve myself as much as I could. I exercised when I could and ate well when I could, eventually going organic to minimize chemicals in my body. I felt a bit better but was still unsatisfied; something wasn’t altogether right. At one point I finally decided to get rid of medications and really clean myself out. At the same time I had gotten into “juicing” (vegetables, not circa 1980s steroids). This cleanse changed my life. And cleanse is the right word.
Such a big change to your body and lifestyle can be potentially dangerous, so I was careful to ingest as much information as I could to make sound decisions. I was also looking into the vast amount of information on the Paleo diet and “living primally.” I immediately cut out grains, sugar, and dairy. I weaned myself off medications slowly. I began by adding freshly squeezed juices to my diet rather than fasting. This made it easier to slowly reduce the “bad stuff” rather than going “cold turkey.” But even then, the change to my body was noticeable. To be honest, I felt fairly terrible for a little while. But then… then it all changed. Suddenly, I felt better. A lot better. I was reading similar stories all over the Internet about people experiencing the exact same thing (hello, Mark’s Daily Apple). Eventually, my workouts showed vast improvement and I felt like doing more (hello, CrossFit). I was energized and strangely, not getting sick… at all. I wasn’t terribly strict with the diet, but the few times I ate “badly” I paid for it. That realization really cemented the idea that my food was such a major factor in my health and that my ideas about food were terribly misled. My life improved drastically in many ways. I became sharper mentally, and as my body became stronger and more to my liking aesthetically, I became happier emotionally.
At this point I started ribbing the hell out of my friends and family. Like an evangelist, I spread my “gospel.” And guess what happened? Well, actually, I was met with a lot of resistance! But it didn’t stop me and, lo and behold, others around me began enjoying the same benefits. Friends and family eventually came around. I found it helped not to push people, but rather give them the information and/or the means to get it (hello again, Mark’s Daily Apple) and let them figure it out on their own. My mother, who had struggled with high blood pressure for three decades, felt a little faint. She went to the doctor to find her blood pressure was too low. Because of her medication. Her doctor was astounded (yes, her doctor, of many years, was astounded that changing her diet lowered her blood pressure… nobody’s perfect). I, several family members, and many friends have now come completely off of all, or most, medications. We are much more fit, much more energetic and productive, and will probably enjoy many more years of life than we would have previously. It has been almost two years for me and – I know this seems improbable, but – I have not been sick, or had any allergic reactions… at all. Not even a sniffle. Well, maybe a couple of sniffles… but then, nothing. My immune system is no longer suppressed by the intake of toxins! I fight off any hint of illness before it starts. And this is someone who got sinusitis and/or bronchitis a couple of times every year. (Disclaimer – please do not adjust your medication without a doctor’s approval. Also, I am not claiming these results are possible for everyone. We are all different.)
Since then, I have continued to research health, fitness, and nutrition. I have really tweaked my diet and exercise to a place that is very near optimal for me. I even suffered a pretty serious injury and recovered faster and better than anyone – myself – thought. People come out of the woodwork and ask me about food and exercise because it is obviously such a prevalent part of my life. I converse with members of MDA in the forums and comments and with others elsewhere. I see information like this all over the world making changes in people’s lives. And those things continue to change my life.
The Primal Lifestyle is not a fad, nor a “diet” that “really works.” It is simply one of the best possible ways to be healthy: the way we were intended to sustain ourselves. People like Mark are doing what they can to help people feel better, look better, BE better! I am not selling anything. I don’t know Mark personally. I stand literally nothing to gain from sharing this with you. But I have done a LOT – and I mean literally hundreds of hours – of research on this, from seemingly endless sources. But I kept coming back, or ending up, on this site. Mark really covers his bases, provides links, and is very open about everything he does. Can’t ask for more than that. In addition, I have gotten a Certification in Personal Training and a Fitness Nutrition Specialization (from NASM, not a fly-by-night virtual diploma mill). And, finally, I have lived it and experienced it for myself. My only goal here is to, hopefully, help you achieve what most of us here have or will soon enough. To be as healthy – and ultimately happy – as we can be.
Good luck to you and here’s to your HEALTH!