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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August 17, 2009

The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge: Progress Report

By Mark Sisson
359 Comments

The Prize:

The winner of today’s Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Progress Report Contest will receive their choice of any of Vibram’s four designs of Fivefingers.

The Contest:

Today’s contest is a piece of cake. Simply leave a comment in this blog post describing your experience on the Primal challenge thus far, and do it in 3 sentences or less.

How does the reality of achieving your challenge goals compare to how you thought it would be when you began the challenge? Has it been easier? More difficult? Are you happy with your early challenge results? What does Primal living mean to you?

Contest Deadline:

Midnight tonight, August 17th.

Choosing a Winner:

One comment, and thus one winner, will be chosen at random.

Eligibility:

From the United States to the United Kingdom and from New Zealand to New Delhi everyone is eligible. No restrictions.

Other Important Info:

  • Remember to use your real email address in the comment board. If you don’t we won’t have a way to contact you.
  • Multiple comments won’t get you multiple entries. One comment is enough.

To track all the contests visit The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

Visit The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge for challenge details.

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359 Comments on "The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge: Progress Report"

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Graeme
Graeme
7 years 1 month ago

Since going Primal I have more energy.I sleep better and look sh*& hot naked!

Brandon
Brandon
7 years 1 month ago

Going primal is a work in progress. Every day, every week I make adjustments. I’m finding the balance.

Ellen
Ellen
7 years 1 month ago

The Primal Challenge has gotten me off the roller coaster of carb/salt/sugar cravings! I wanted this lifestyle change to be easy (not an endless struggle) and so far it really has. Whatever the speed of my weight loss is over the long term, I now have confidence that I’m doing the right thing for my body and myself.

SullynNH
7 years 1 month ago

my goal of adding lean mass has been a tough one! I eat well all week long and regularly, but on the weekends when I am home with my wife (who is also living the Primal Lifestyle), I don’t eat anything bad, just not enough for my goals. So we sat down yesterday to evaluate what I need to do to make sure I am getting what I need so I can say I achieved my goal!

arthurb999
arthurb999
7 years 1 month ago

I’ve been eating the primal way for a couple of months now and feeling great… lost bf% w/o losing strength or muscle mass. I don’t think the challenge really made that much of a difference since I was already committed 😀

lfisher
lfisher
7 years 1 month ago

I have had great success having a reason to stay focused. I’ve stopped letting my diet go way off as I have promised myself I would be careful. On the weekends, I struggle as my life isn’t so organized, but even a bad day on the weekend is better than a good day used to be.

BestSelf
BestSelf
7 years 1 month ago

Lose 8 lbs. – started at 148, now 146.7.
NEAN(Not Even A Nibble) on sugar, starch, & grains – doing great,w/1 24-hr ‘fail’.
Exercise 5x week – No, maybe 2-4.
Limiting coffee (with half-n-half) to 2 cups per day – yes, almost daily.
Journaling daily – Yes.
Overall – not stellar but doing pretty well. Easier than expected. Losing less weight than expected.

Kazwoman
Kazwoman
7 years 1 month ago

My biggest challenge has been giving up my coffee with double sugar! Coffee with no sugar sucks! Love the energy that eating this way and working out has given me…

BarbeyGirl
7 years 1 month ago

I’m more than meeting my goals. No grains or legumes at all. Very close to 100% primal. Looking awesome and feeling great in the digestive sense, though cutting carbs from 200g daily to 150g has slammed my energy supply. Surely hope that switch flips soon!!!

Rob McBee
7 years 1 month ago

Mark, your Primal Challenge has been a great focus for my own nutrition and a wonderful tool for introducing new trainees to paleo eating and the ‘Primal’ lifestyle. I was feeling very Grok-ish yesterday post-workout as I ate wild blackberries growing behind the gym. Progress on holding a back lever on the rings is moving along, hit a new personnel record for dips, and the ol’ abs are popping out like crazy. 42 yrs. old(young) doesn’t look like I always thought it would. Thanks again for the info and inspiration.

marci
marci
7 years 1 month ago

I’ve been primal since April and have not lost any fat yet (but was recently diagnosed as hypothyroid)so that’s part of my problem. However, I have gained 2 lbs of muscle recently so that makes me a very happy Grokette! Off to the gym now so I can get better at playing frisbee this weekend 😉

Meggilizz
7 years 1 month ago

I was thinking that it would be VERY HARD but I’m really enjoying it so far! Primal eating really means freedome from dieting for me, if I want some bacon, I’m going to eat it and not worry about calories or fat content!! 🙂

Anne
Anne
7 years 1 month ago

Going primal has stabalized my energy levels (more vitamins, less insulin spiking). I have lost weight and leaned out!

Dieta Efectiva
7 years 1 month ago

It has been easier than I thought. I now have an Spanish blog where I try to explain in simple words how low carb living can help you in many ways, it is not only about losing weight, it is about felling good, and being healthier.

Low carb culture in Spain and Latin countries is not easy to understand

Jeffrey Strickland
Jeffrey Strickland
7 years 1 month ago

Its only been four days since ive started this and i still am feeling well. I’ve had to go out to eat several times, but ive had no problem finding the proteins! Just gotta work on getting my colorful green consumption way up!

russ9663
russ9663
7 years 1 month ago

I’ve tackled the toughest part, avoiding the grains in my diet, and have been primal 80% of the first two weeks. Now, on to the finer points, and 100% primal.

Bryan
Bryan
7 years 1 month ago

A dozen eggs a day, a bread strike, and HIT workouts is making me lose fat and gain muscle. primal works, im sold.

TaydaTot
TaydaTot
7 years 1 month ago
I’ve done 3 fasts of 24 hours or longer. It hasn’t been easy. Not physically difficult, but mentally. I have also had difficulties seperating myself from the media. It is all around us and it seems like if one is not consciously avoiding it it is structured to remain constant in life. This is scary for me because I am a communications major who has taken a class called “media addiction”. I am aware of the addictive qualities and the associative problems correlated with compulsive media use. Life should not be about sitting in front of a screen but so… Read more »
James Hoffmann
7 years 1 month ago
I’ve first went Primal 2 weeks before the challenge began, but to sum up my experience so far: It has dawned on me that this isn’t a temporary diet, or a quick fix, but a way to live a better and healthier life – this is a permanent change. My diet and eating has found a happy rhythm and now I really want to focus more on my fitness. The most important part for me has been understanding the biology, chemistry and reasoning behind my old flawed diet – this means that being satisfied in my weight/fitness won’t let me… Read more »
MzEllen
7 years 1 month ago

I feel better…but not much weight loss. I’ve cut grains out completely and “most” dairy (I still have yogurt once in a while).

I bought a pair of the Vibram shoes…oh. my. goodness.

There’s a learning curve for getting them on, but they are so comfortable.

Sam
Sam
7 years 1 month ago

I still struggle with carb cravings sometimes but so far it’s been great. I’ve lost about 15 pounds of fat (another 15 still to go) I’m up to 17 pullups and I’m looking forward to seeing my abs again. It’s been a good decade and I’ve missed them.

Joe B
Joe B
7 years 1 month ago

It’s amazing how much better I feel when I follow the Primal Blueprint. My energy levels are more even, as are my moods, and I feel more energetic. However, ice cream is my kryptonite, but the effects are proving less and less worth the temporary pleasure.

maranne
maranne
7 years 1 month ago

Despite my lifechanging move back to Austria, no job and being on a very limited budget I have incorporated the Primal ideas into my life and am happy about the 80/20 rule…it has been my lifesaver!
Marianne x

miriam
miriam
7 years 1 month ago

I wrote a haiku:

Day job at a desk
Aerobics teacher by nite
No longer drag ass

ccarrigan
ccarrigan
7 years 1 month ago

I just started a survival week in the hopes that is will jumpstart was has been a dismally poor primal challenge for me.
I had all of the best intentions, and the challenge started out amazingly well, but I found my old habits (binge eating and overeating) remained, albeit with healthier foods.
I think as far as progress goes, my lack of comes down to one simple thing: I didn’t set specific goals.
Knowing this I can move forward and tackle survivor week and begin anew on the 30 day challenge. I suppose progress comes in many forms… 🙂

Dan
Dan
7 years 1 month ago

I have constant energy levels, no longer do I feel tired after meals, because my insulin levels are in check. I am also getting leaner, and consequently my relative strength is getting greater! All good stuff!

orbeachic
7 years 1 month ago

It is easier than I thought to be primal. This new approach to eating has me feeling better and about 2 pounds leaner. You just need to shift your thought processes and challenge conventional wisdom.

JUPITER BOONE
JUPITER BOONE
7 years 1 month ago

All was going great untill i forgot about the “avoid trama” part, slipped on the wet grass at my friends bithday hot tub party and tore up the muscles, tendoins or ligaments in my leg,but still looking cool with my VFF’s and my cane. I hope to be wearing a new pair once i’m recoverd.
GROK ON

Brian
Brian
7 years 1 month ago

Feeling more in control! No grains (save for a light dusting of flour on a couple of meals) and only had alcohol twice (within predetermined limits).

Indiscreet
Indiscreet
7 years 1 month ago

I was fairly primal to begin with, since I avoid grains, fructose and vegetable oils, walk most days a week and shift large weights around. However, being in a desk job, and liking ice cream, chocolate and nuts a little bit too much, has left me with a suboptimal physique. I’m pleased to report that, by being stricter, I’ve dropped 1.5 inches from my waist since the challenge started, and 3lbs in the last week – oh and my butt no longer fails the pencil test (yay for kettlebells!)

Eric Mellow
Eric Mellow
7 years 1 month ago

The eating has been difficult. Barefoot running feels great. Go primal!

DaveFish
DaveFish
7 years 1 month ago

I’ve been doing great with the primal workouts. As for the primal eating, struggling to make it to 80%. My focus for the next two weeks will be on eating more primally while continuing to kill it with the workouts!

brycebolt
7 years 1 month ago

Since going primal, two big things have stood out to me. A fog has lifted off my head allowing me to be more productive, have more energy, and have a better outlook on life. The stomach problems that have plagued me for years are now gone!!!

Lori
Lori
7 years 1 month ago

The biggest change is in my awareness level; in the foods I eat and their effect on my mood, energy and health.

At the grocery store yesterday I couldn’t help notice the direct correlation between the number of boxed foods in carts and the size of the shopper pushing it!

I wish fat loss was faster, but I feel great and am very happy with my progress.

crunchysue
crunchysue
7 years 1 month ago

I feel awesome, have lost 8 lbs, and it’s been REALLY easy to go cold turkey on the grains.

I’m right on track with my 3 goals which involve protein, carbs and walking in my new Vibram FiveFingers.

I’m getting lots of good sleep, saving money by cooking more, having fun playing with the kids more, and generally enjoying life more.

Katt
Katt
7 years 1 month ago

My goals at the beginning were to continue the success that I have been making since I began Primal and to further my knowledge and compliance (so to speak). Since the beginning of the challenge, my average carb intake has gone from a range of 70-100 grams to closer to 50 and sometimes less. I have never felt better, my weight and body measurements continue to improve as I lose the a lifetime’s worth of fat.

Brian Robertson
Brian Robertson
7 years 1 month ago

Outings, birthdays, and get togethers present the greatest challenge. I’m feeling good and looking better, but alcohol remains the cause of and solution to all of my problems!

Scott
Scott
7 years 1 month ago

I’ve found that my strength is increasing while my stomach and fat % are decreasing. I have convinced my wife that Primal is the way to go and she is started on week one yesterday. I think that once she sees the light, our kids will be at least eating Primally.

Primaleater
Primaleater
7 years 1 month ago

Going primal has given me inifintely more energy and I’m making huge PRs in the gym! I feel better and am more confident. I’ll be continuing this after the challenge and making it a new lifestyle choice!

jakesmith
jakesmith
7 years 1 month ago

The transition has been easier than I expected thus far. No actual fasting, but being poor keeps my food intake minimal. Cooking with bacon fat daily has been pleasurable.

Matt
Matt
7 years 1 month ago

Since I have begun the Primal Challenge, I have to say I’ve never felt better both mentally and physically. The conscious attention a beginner Grok needs to apply to their nutritional inputs & physical outputs creates a much more aware individual. I’ve felt more in sync with my body and what it requires than ever before, and I’ve been having fun doing it!

Amber
Amber
7 years 1 month ago

I’ve learned to be more present in my eating. Conscious of what I put in my body and how it affects my energy, performance and general well-being.

jalense
jalense
7 years 1 month ago

My expectations for the challenge have more than been met. I sleep better, have more energy, am in a better mood, am drinking less alcohol, am losing weight, and am feeling fitter and firmer. Unexpected benefits have been meeting new people.

Acmebike
7 years 1 month ago

I’ve been living Primal for over a year now, but this challenge has me re-assessing and re-focussing my efforts. Better attention to detail is making for better strength gains and flexibility down the road. I think my benefits will be seen for the next 40+ years (I’m 41) that I continue to live the Primal way.

it’ll be nice to be 80 and agile, able to walk un-assisted, able to get off the toilet (!) on my own, able to walk outside, to move my body and enjoy the world around me!

lobo21nyy
7 years 1 month ago

Since starting hte challenge my Workouts have been faster, recovery faster and I have been stronger. I have also been feeling more energetic throughout the day. As for my girlfriend started the same time as I did, she has lost her allergies to raw fruits and vegetables and nuts.

Jeremy
Jeremy
7 years 1 month ago

What turned me on to the “primal” way of life is that is just that… a way of life. This isn’t a fad diet or a new fitness craze. Its simple, straightforward and if you have any common sense you know it works without all the gimmicks that seem to go along with health these days.

Scott
Scott
7 years 1 month ago

Primal living for me is eating real food, connecting with local farmers and knowing that saturated animal fat is the number one food group. Exercising like our ancestor played. It has done wonders for my health physically and mentally!

Mehmood
7 years 1 month ago
I am in medical school now and I have ballooned in size ever since school started a year ago. I have come to realize that the status quo that the medical community espouses has not been helping the patients that much, and to add, the doctors are in even worse shape too which is quite ironic. I bought the Primal Blueprint book, read it overnight about a month ago and with my medical background, I found myself nodding a lot with what Mark wrote, and by following the rules in the book to a T, I have improved my energy… Read more »
Kryz
Kryz
7 years 1 month ago
I had been doing primal before this challenge, so the 30-day thing itself wasn’t a change for me, but I have noticed that I need to push myself more. Things that would’ve been tough for me both exercise- and diet-wise a month or two ago aren’t really a big deal anymore, and this absolutely shows progress (as do the lowering numbers on the scale and being able to fit into pants I haven’t worn in 3-4 years). It also shows that I have to raise the bar and set new standards so my body and mind can continue on the… Read more »
yayaman
yayaman
7 years 1 month ago

Was one-eighty pounds,
Now only one-seventy,
Oops, late haiku post.

🙂

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
7 years 1 month ago

My challenge (to eat as many coconut products as possible) has been quite delicious.

About the only thing coconut doesn’t go well with are Italian and Mexican seasonings.

Making my coconut-vinegar, water and pomegranate juice combo ahead of time has turned out to be a disaster, as something weird and stringy has been growing in the bottom of the container!

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