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!
Several years ago I went from my 15 year career working in hospitality management and found a government job in a call centre. It was at this time I fell in love with my future wife who also worked in the call centre. I weighed in at about 96 kg at this stage and thought I was relatively fit. Though the only sport I was involved in was basketball with my mates, maybe once a fortnight.
I had never been more sedentary than when I was working in the call centre, and after having proposed to my wife six months after we met, I guess I kind of stopped putting in any effort with my appearance. My skin was blotchy and the kilograms started to pile on. I married my wife two years after we met, weighing in at 108 kg.
A couple of years later, my blood pressure was high (due to a bad diet, not being married), and my motivation and energy levels were low. My diet was terrible with fast food (an easy option), sandwiches were a regular occurrence, and I used to drink juice and soft drinks. It wasn’t until my wife got pregnant with our first child that I decided I needed to do something about my weight and lifestyle. I didn’t want to be an overweight, unhappy father. I wanted to be a fit and healthy dad with loads of energy that my kids would be proud of.
I tried all sorts of diets/fads and switched to multi-grain bread, skim milk, and diet soft drinks. I started walking, then running, and lost a little bit of weight (100 kg). My skin was still blotchy and still had some weight to lose. I got to the stage where I was running 5 km a day and went on to complete triathlons and a half marathon. I was able to lose several more kilos doing this amount of cardio and eating what dietitians would call a “healthy diet”.
In the midst of this I got really sick with the flu, but I continued to run, eat grains and sugar. I needed to do something to help regain my health. After doing a lot of research and trying shake diets, soup diets, detoxes, protein diets, etc., I came across paleo and it made sense to me. Simple as that. I started to feel less bloated and had more energy. Though I was still doing a lot of cardio, my niggling injuries and cough remained the same.
After a couple of months of eating 80/20 paleo, I stumbled across The Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple. This made more sense and what I really found to be valuable was the fact it encompasses a lifestyle rather than just a diet. After reading The Primal Blueprint and scouring the pages on MDA, I increased my healthy fats, proteins and leafy greens to basically cover everything I ate. Instead of eating fruit for snacks, I substituted a handful of nuts, boiled eggs or avocado with salmon or chicken. The only fats I cook with now are organic butter or organic coconut oil. The only meats I eat are either organic or grass-fed, which again makes a lot of sense to eat from an animal that has not been force fed something that can make it ill.
We have grown our own vegetable patch where my two girls and I love going out and eating the cherry tomatoes straight from the vine. I love making my own bone broth from organic bones to use as a snack, incorporate it into my girls meals (when I can), and make a killer ramen with kelp noodles for my wife and I. I have incorporated intermittent fasting which I thought would be difficult, but now I really enjoy the clarity and feeling I acquire after fasting for 18+ hours.
I re-evaluated my whole exercise program and now sprint once or twice a week, depending on if and when I feel like it (which surprisingly enough happens more than one might think). We live across the road from a national park and I go for many bushwalks (sometimes four per week for about 8-10 km) and really enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, the fresh air and the relatively easy pace at which you walk in the bush. I don’t feel like I am exercising at all! I often go mountain biking in the forest, and I lift heavy weights a couple of times a week.
I still work in the government call centre, but I use a stand-up work station and often go for a 3 km walk on my lunch/dinner breaks to get some fresh air. I am now maintaining my weight (90 kg) fairly easily.
Occasionally I seem to lose track of the primal way but all I need to do now is to take a moment and evaluate how I am feeling, my energy levels and my overall mojo and state of mind. These “off track moments” are brief and are occurring less and less. Something that works for me to help me get back on track is to go for a bushwalk or do a fast. I call this my “F5 button” or “refresh/reset”.
My skin has cleared up, I no longer need to find energy to play with my two beautiful girls and incorporate a lot of playing into our lives. I am teaching them how to throw a frisbee, but this has taken a bit longer than I thought it would. All I usually hear from them is, “Daddy! Kids are not targets!!”
The Primal lifestyle works for me. I talk to people about what I have done, as I get a lot of comments on how I have changed. I am proud to promote The Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple to anyone and everyone. Next year I turn 40 and I really believe that I will be in the best shape of my life because of The Primal Blueprint.
I am currently studying to be a personal trainer and have registered the business name “Primal Sweat”. I am looking at doing the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification over the next year or so, then I can help others feel better, look better and be better. I have read The Primal Blueprint a couple of times now and I am sure I will again in the future.
Thanks, Mark, you have changed my life and my family’s lives!!