I was one of those “I could never…” people. My friend started the PB a year ago and talked about it constantly. I was so burnt out hearing about it, I thought he was crazy. But over the months he lost like 60 pounds and I thought, “Well, maybe it’s not all that bad.” and then I started coming here and learning about it on my own. And then it started to make sense, and didn’t sound so crazy or impossible. So I gave it a shot, and I’ve been at it since July. I have lost almost 20 pounds and am a lot happier not eating so much junk. Of course it might have been easier for me, since I’m a big meat/veggie person anyway. I’ve learned there are a lot of people out there who consider french fries with every meal an essential part of your diet. But I think if they just stopped by here once in a while they’d find out they’re wasting their time with the fries. There is so much more stuff that is SO much better!
I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now and I am sure I must be one of your biggest fans. I printed out your Primal Blueprint and posted it on the wall in my exercise room. I frequently evaluate how I am doing in each area. I love the picture beside “avoid poisonous things” HA!…McDonalds! That is hilarious! I have been all over your site, devouring the info. I just wanted to write to you to say how much I appreciate you and your generosity in sharing such valuable wisdom. I have learned so much from you. I am very grateful for the stand you take against the ‘insanity’ that goes on in our world and for speaking up with the truth, even though it isn’t always well received. You make me laugh, think, re-evaluate, work, play and commit to my goals.
I’ve got about 20 more pounds to lose to get to the weight that I think would be good for me. I’ve been working at it for 18 months and I’ve lost about 50 (built some muscle along the way, too). I’m finding it tough lately. I know I’ll get there, but it is tough! I’ve been frequenting “The IF Life” site and I think that is my missing ingredient. I’m working on figuring out what amount of fasting works for me and getting it into my routine. I’ll let you know how my progress goes. I am definitely an advocate of Primal living and spread the word any chance I get. Others aren’t very receptive though. They compliment me on my new body, ask how I did it, but say they could never do that. ??I don’t get it??
Anyways, I’ll be dropping you notes on occasion with suggestions and updates on my progress. Oh, I’ll likely also tell you how much I adore you! I wish you were my neighbor! I guess e-mail will have to suffice.
Good night from Alberta, Canada.
I can totally relate to your post. Like Mark, I’m lean & muscular, and don’t have a bloated look (non-Primal diet), “beach body” look (excessive chest/bicep work at the expense of balanced functional exercises), or hunched posture look (from a lack of core strength & flexibility). Of course, like I’m sure Mark does, I frequently get asked what’s my secret to staying so fit, healthy, lean, etc.
As a policy, I never offer unsolicited advice (although it sure would be easy–e.g., noticing the obese, with their shopping cart full of un-food while reading the latest weight-loss-program magazine cover article in the grocery store check out lines, or the chronic-cardio, hamstring bound, skinny-fat, die-hards); however, I frequently get asked what my secret is to staying so “fit, healthy, lean, etc.”. When I get asked what my current diet is, for instance, I always have to laugh, and explain that the word “diet” connotes a temporary change in eating habits–typically, until one looses a certain amount of weight, then reverts back to their “normal” eating habits. It’s all about lifestyle, and PB fits the bill nicely.
Like Mark, it amazes me to get a “I could never . . . give up wheat, refined breakfast cereals, cronic-cardio, eat fat, etc.,”, response, all the while proclaiming wanting a leaner body, stronger body, better posture, more energy, better sex life, and the list goes on . . .
Mark’s Primal Blueprint is not only easy, and works, but makes such common sense. Yes, we all have the genes we were born with, but for the most part, it’s our lifestyle that determines how they express themselves and that my friends, in a nutshell, is what it all boils down to.
These days, rather than explaining my “secret” to looking so fit and healthy, and feeling like I’ve just wasted my time, I just write down Mark’s Daily Blog and let people know that everything they need to know is on his website. Then, only after perusing his site, will I be glad to answer their questions or engage in intelligent conversation about the Primal Blueprint and how it relates to so many areas of life.
I turned 55 last week. And thanks to two years of EF, I feel like I’m getting younger.
I’m working out less and enjoying life more.
I got a book on Hatha yoga and added yoga stretch days to my week. Now I’m hooked on it.
Thank you for a fabulous website. I look forward to it every day.
And I pass it on to people whenever they ask what my secret is. People always seem to think there’s some secret diet or drug, don’t they? And yet the Evolutionary Fitness/Primal way is so simple. And delicious. We’re using your recipe for grilled pork tenderloin tonight.
Update – 08/21/09:
I have two pictures of me and two stories. The first was taken in 2005 at age 20 after I finished a big bulking session. I had spent the previous 4 years working out like a bodybuilder. I ate little to no sugar, only “complex” carbs (brown rice, baked/sweet potatoes, wheat bread, etc) and followed typical bodybuilding low-fat high-carb diet. I worked out 4-5 times/week, did steady state cardio (swimming, usually), etc. This picture is here:
Around this time, I started developing severe anxiety and panic attacks, both of which are disorders of serotonin regulation. Serotonin is largely affected by insulin and messed up serotonin often goes hand in hand with insulin resistance. You can barely tell from the picture that I had substantial musculature, because it is so covered by fat. I weighed about 175lbs and I could bench 240 and squat 300. Not bad, but not great either. A week after this picture was taken, I had appendicitis and then an appendectomy,followed by the mother of all panic attacks. For over a month, I was completely incapacitated and could only sleep for 1-2 hours each night. After months of trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, I stumbled upon the Paleo diet on Art DeVany’s website.
I dropped the “complex carbs”, upped my fat consumption, worked out less, and did less cardio.
After only 2 years of this, here’s a second picture taken a few months ago at age 22:
I weighed about 160 in the 2nd picture, and my lifts are the same as when I was 175, except that I have more power and control of them now. Panic attacks are non-existent because my insulin levels are low and regular, keeping my serotonin levels low and regular. There is much, much more to the paleo lifestyle and diet then “getting big”; it’s about physical and mental health, sustainability, and quality of life.
You’re absolutely welcome to use those comments and pictures. I’ve greatly benefited from reading your site, and I appreciate the opportunity to “give back” a bit.
I thought I would finally make good on my promise to send you some pics and a more understandable story for my Primal testimonial.
Let me start this with a disclaimer: I am no Supermike or Mark, but I have made advances in the last couple months that are amazing to me and have no doubt that my health and wellness will only continue to improve on the Primal Blueprint. I am no doctor, nor do I claim to be a fitness guru or sexy model 😉
That being said, here is my story.
As a kid, I was always very active and fit. I ran 5k’s, won several triathlons and was a successful tennis and soccer player. I got into lifting weights when I left for college and would have considered myself in very decent shape at a very muscular 6′ 4″ 245 pounds and about 12-15% body fat. I then moved to Southern Cali at ages 19 and 20 and lived successfully as a personal trainer. After 9/11 happened, I joined the Army doing what I thought was my patriotic duty. While training in the Army, I got very very sick with a laundry list of ailments including pneumonia. I was medically discharged from the army at a very sickly 188 pounds. For a couple years after this, I played around in film and television and worked as a bouncer in bars – also working the occasional odd job. Finally fed up with living check to check, starving and being permanently flat broke… I decided to join the corporate world.
This leads us to my story of deteriorating health.
A successful corporate career led to a terrible diet, tremendous amounts of stress and bad habits like smoking. The first set of pictures is from Labor day 2007. You can see I still had some of my muscle hidden under a tremendous amount of fat. I was a very unhealthy 230+ pounds and a smoker and heavy drinker. I lived on fast food and drank too much beer all too frequently.
Shortly after this, my health got even worse. I ballooned to almost 250 pounds and still got no exercise. I avoided cameras and being seen publicly like it was a disease… hence no pictures of this time. I would not allow it.
By the time I was getting married in June of 2008, I realized that I had to do something about my terrible health. I looked terrible, I felt terrible and my doctor was talking statins for my cholesterol. I am only 27 years old! I had to do something. I had already quit smoking, but this only helped me gain weight if anything. I began working out twice per day 5 days a week. This had some positive effect. You can see from the second set of pictures from my honeymoon in July 2008 that I was back down to the 230+ range but my body was shutting down and my stress was even WORSE than it was before! I never had any time! What I was doing just did not feel sustainable.
At this point I desperately reached out for help on the internet when I lucked across your site and the Primal Blueprint. It seemed almost too extreme for me at the time but I was desperate so feeling that I had nothing to lose, I went Primal towards the beginning of August 2008. I started working out less, dropped cardio for walking and occasional sprints and started eating Primally.
Lets look at now, only a couple months later. These pictures were taken just Oct 14th 2008. I am 194 pounds! My doctor no longer worries about my cholesterol. I ENJOY my workouts. I have virtually NO stress! Its amazing, I feel great! I love the food that I am eating, the workouts that I am doing, the people that I have met online. Most of all, I love how much more time I have. My wife and I get to hang out a lot more now and I can enjoy a hobby here or there or just relax sometimes! Also, my wife has lost weight and is looking great!
You know how most fitness trends and fads always have the disclaimer “results not typical”? I think the Primal Blueprint lifestyle should have a disclaimer “Results ARE typical”.
I will keep up the Blueprint as it is SO easy and update you again down the road!
Thanks again Mark,
Update – 01/09/09:
I wanted to update you on my progress. I am now 5 months into going primal. I am still going strong and loving it. I am now at about 188#’s which is pretty ideal for me. That constitutes a total weight loss of about 57 pounds.
Once again thanks for the tremendous site and all the hard work to keep it going. It is my first site I look at every day. I have for years been stumbling around with doing the primal lifestyle and eating regimen. However, your site makes it crystal clear and ties up loose ends and takes it to graduate school level with the posts on diets, recipe, workouts etc etc. I just get anxious that at some point your blog stops or you move on to a different area of your life or something like that. Say it ain’t so. Lol
Mike – Lancaster, PA
Among the researchers, gurus, doctors and coaches who offer alternatives to the establishment’s threadbare health gospel, Mark Sisson stands out. His Primal Blueprint is the distilled essence of decades of research and experience — a definite and clear, yet always achievable, approach to living that delivers satisfaction and results. (I’ve been making use of Mark’s tips and ideas for a couple of years now, and I’ve never felt better.) Mark’s website, Mark’s Daily Apple, is among the most generous health-and-fitness sites on the web: down-to-earth, fun, friendly and up-to-date, but always informed by loads of sophisticated knowledge.
What I love best about Mark’s point of view on eating, fitness, and health is that it isn’t just sensible and effective — though it’s certainly all that too. It’s that his observations and advice are embedded in a larger vision. Fitness and decent eating, Mark feels, should never be about straining to achieve the impossible. (If they are, you’ll hurt yourself and/or give up.) Instead, they should be pleasures in their own right — part of living the good life more generally. After all, if the efforts you make to be healthy don’t enhance your life, you’ll never stick with them. Mark’s Primal Blueprint pays off bigtime, not just in terms of losing weight and getting fit but also in terms of making life generally a much more rewarding thing to experience.
Hello Mark my name is Ted. I am a staff sergeant in the US Army. About two and a half weeks ago I came across MDA. I was ready for a change in my life and took what you had offered up to anyone whom would listen.
For the past six years I have worked vary hard to make it to the point I am at. I have bin to both Iraq & Afghanistan as well as a few other countries.
Long ago I was given a book called “eat right for your type” and now I follow the primal blueprint. They have some similaritys but your plan is far more comprehensive. My only goal when starting the PB lifestyle was to improve the nutrition I was getting.
Today was my first weight training day since starting on the PB plan. On ALL of my lifts today my max weight for work set increased by a minimum of ten percent. (Dead lift, bench, row, squat, turkish get-ups, and pull-up’s) I hadn’t planned on droping any weight however once I got on the scale after my workout I was 163lbs. I had bin hovering around 178lbs since joining the Army in 2003. 15 pound drop in 17 days and NO loss in stamina. Heck I’m stronger than I’ve ever bin before!
Thank you Mark and everyone at MDA!
Ted, Staff Sergeant, US Army