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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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February 04, 2011

The Unconquerable Dave

By Guest
621 Comments

Dave first emailed me about a year ago. He had just bought the Primal Blueprint Cookbook and was seeing some real results. Occasionally I’ll get an update from him. One can really get a sense of Dave’s energy and excitement for life from his emails (often written in all caps), which I’ve reprinted below. Read on to catch a bit of Dave’s enthusiasm and spirit. It’s contagious.

If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the community please contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!

September of 2009…

March 19, 2010…

HI MARK
JUST GOT YOUR BLUEPRINT AND AM AWAITING THE COOK BOOK. WHICH I INTEND TO TRY TO ADD TOO!
AFTER 25 YEARS OF  RAISING A FAMILY AND NOT DOING  THE “GROK” ANY MORE IT SHOWED BIG TIME….
TALK ABOUT “THE LIVING DEAD”…
I’M A SUPER COOK AND BAKER AND JUST ABOUT SLAYED US ALL….LOL
IT’S BEEN ABOUT 3-4 MONTHS OF EATING AND THINKING MORE PALEO… IF I CAN’T KILL IT- FIND IT-OR GATHER IT… I DON’T EAT IT…. SO IT’S REAL EASY TO EAT WELL. JUST THINK ABOUT GROK AND WHAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY LOOKING AT. SIMPLE!… AND THE WIFE AND KIDS STILL AROUND ARE IMPRESSED WITH MY NEW ATTITUDE AND LOOK.
HAVE LOST AT LEAST 20 POUNDS OFF A HEAVY BONED HUGE BEAR FRAME…
6′-1” AND HEADED FOR  THE LOWER 200’S. I HAVE 18 “ARMS AND THICK CHEST AND THE ABDOMEN AND CORE ARE COMING RIGHT ALONG…!!!
LEGS ARE FEELING STRONG AGAIN. ASS IS TIGHTENING UP AND I’M INTO A 38 JEAN.
YOUR BODY  TELLS YOU WHAT IT WANTS, AND IT WANTS REAL AND STRONG AND ABLE.
WHICH = SMART!!… HEAD AND BODY ARE TUNING IN WELL…
TIME TO BUY NEW CLOTHES…ALMOST!

LATER BROTHER
STAY IN THE LIGHT
GROK RULES!
DAVE PARSONS

April 22nd…

40 LBS LIGHTER IN 6 MONTHS…no problem and lovin’ it!
53 Y.O.

6’1″-240LBS AS OF 4-20-10
AND STILL SHEDDING THE EXTRAS….36 JEANS…AIMING FOR 34’S.
and a solid 220 of all muscle!!!!

YOU are ONe…of MY Two INspirations!!!!

Thanks Mark…
and if you don’t get enough hugs brother…
davegrok sends hug to Mark!!!

Illumination……..so much fun to re-learn again….still…always….
Grok on

July 18th…

HI FOLKS-
OCTOBER 1ST 2009 TO JULY 10TH 2010.
FROM 280 LBS DOWN TO 210 LBS.
JUST FROM THE PALEO DIET AND MILD EXERCISE.
ROCKIN’ THE HOUSE!!!!!!
ALL LEAN MUSCLE MASS AND NEVER LOOKIN’ BACK….THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE INSPIRATION-GUIDANCE-AND ONGOING WAY OF LIFE.
DAVE

September 9th…

IT HAS BEEN AN EXCITING AND COMPLETELY DIFFERENT YEAR NOW.
I HAVE GOTTEN IN WAY BETTER HEALTH. LOST 80 POUNDS. CAN RUN AND CLIMB AGAIN. AND AM GOING ON 54 YEARS OLD. LIFE HAS THROWN THE CURVE BALLS. THE UPS. THE DOWNS. ALL THE WORK AND LIFE RELATED “FOR BETTER- OR FOR WORSE” ISSUES…YOU GET IT. BUT THE DAILY APPLE AND THE PRIMAL LIFE GOES ON…EVERYDAY. IN ALL THE CONFUSION…IT REMAINS A SOLID PLATFORM TO WORK WITH AND ON. I READ THE APPLE….EAT THE APPLE AND EVERYDAY YOU JUST MAKE IT OKAY TO BE WHO I AM…AND BE A MEMBER OF THE PRIMAL LIFE CLAN….
NO MATTER WHAT COMES ALONG…
I KNOW SOMEONE OUT THERE IS MY FRIEND AND WE THINK ABOUT THE SAME STUFF.
THANKS MARK
THANKS BEES
THANKS TO MARK’S WIFE FOR BEING ABLE TO HANDLE THIS!
YOU HAVE NO IDEA …….OF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME.
I SALUTE YOU ALL
DAVE

December 10th…

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND ALL THE CREW!!
Santa got a lot thinner!…hohohohoho!
Dave

January 3rd…

primal work outs…. your approach (WAY BETTER) and actually more of a primal way than a gym gorilla.  I have my Paleo gym of trees and rocks and stuff….

check it out…54 in a month and 6 ft and 205 lbs.
a 404 lb dead lift…kickButt!!!!
Thanks Mark

January 26th…

DEAR MARK AND ALL THE PRIMAL PEOPLE OUT THERE,
I’M NOT GOOD WITH SPEECHES SO I FIGURE IF A PIC IS WORTH A 1000 WORDS.
I WILL BE 54 THIS FEB. 8TH.
TALK ABOUT PRIMAL. THAT’S ABOUT 300…DOWN TO 200…RIGHT THERE TODAY JANUARY 19TH…AND THERE AIN’T MUCH LEFT TO LOSE…..SIZE 44 TO SIZE 34.
I REMEMBER THIS….I WAS THIS SIZE WHEN I WAS 18 YEARS OLD….I THINK I MAY BE STRONGER NOW!
GROK ON AND THANK YOU FOR THE ILLUMINATION!
DAVE PARSONS

To steal words from Walt Whitman…

“I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.”

A transformed man, arms to the sky, wearing flip flops in the snow. If ever there was an image of the verve and indomitable spirit of going Primal, this is it. Dave, today half a million people heard your YAWP. May it echo to half a million more. Grok on, brother. GROK ON!

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621 Comments on "The Unconquerable Dave"

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wilberfan
wilberfan
5 years 7 months ago

Dammit, this is inspiring as hell!! A big, manly bear hug to both of you!!

Alexis the Barbarian
Alexis the Barbarian
5 years 7 months ago

You became very strong very quickly!! It is absolutely astonishing.

Melanie
Melanie
5 years 7 months ago

WOW. WOW. WOW. Must share with many. WOW.

BestSelf
5 years 7 months ago

That’s my reaction exactly. Wow times 100.

Ned Kock
5 years 7 months ago

Easily THE most amazing transformation I’ve ever seen! And no sagging skin, which supports this theory by Ron Brown that, given time and steady fat loss, “sagging skin” resolves by itself: bit.ly/fi6Gkh.

barb
barb
5 years 7 months ago

yeah that was what struck me too – no sagging skin – amazing!

dasha
dasha
5 years 7 months ago

Wow! Perfect timing…I’m working to get my dad started on the plan. I’ll be going to his house next week to set up all the food and work with him…but I started having my doubts…then this shows up! Dave, you look just like my dad- even the beard. I’m hoping he’ll have a great after picture in a year too.

Ian McDonald
Ian McDonald
3 years 11 months ago

He looks just like my dad too! LOL

Veronica
Veronica
5 years 7 months ago

Absolutely astonished at “no sagging skin” and admittedly a wee bit jealous!

Amanda
Amanda
5 years 7 months ago

I think part of the saggy skin issue has to do with how quickly you gained all the weight. If you gained all the weight too quickly and got stretch marks, then you’ll probably have some saggy skin after you lose all the weight. The stretch-marked skin won’t “snap” back into place as easily…. Just a thought anyway!

Sonagi
Sonagi
5 years 7 months ago

I noticed that, too, and came to the same conclusion that steady weight loss combined with muscular development avoided the problem of loose skin. Given Dave’s age, this is a remarkable testimonial to the elasticity of our skin.

Dana
Dana
5 years 2 months ago

I more agree with Amanda that it’s more important how fast you gain the weight than how fast you lose it. If there’s no reason for the fat to be there then it probably doesn’t matter how fast it gets gone–what really determines elasticity is the presence or absence of stretch marks, which comes from weight *gain*.

I will probably have sagging skin when I get done because I’ve already got the stretch marks. It is what it is. I don’t need all the extra fat, though, and I don’t care how fast it goes.

Gina
5 years 7 months ago

Thanks for this link Ed. I’m thrilled to finally see this explained so well. Now I’m off to read his take on the anorexics.
Aloha!

Pat
Pat
5 years 7 months ago

who is Ron Brown? I’d like to read more on his theory about sagging skin.

billy r.
billy r.
5 years 7 months ago

Go here for Ron Brown. It also agrees with Mark:

http://www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm

“the droopy appearance of folds of skin is most probably caused by crash diets that sacrifice large amounts of supporting muscle, or lean body mass. Even less severe diets and weight loss from bariatric surgery can result in a substantial amount of muscle loss over time. Perhaps future scientific research will show a correlation between loss of lean body mass on a diet with the development of redundant skin.”

Milemom
Milemom
5 years 4 months ago

Hmm… Ron Brown was never a 5’2″ woman who had five large babies…not convinced. (But WOW… Dave, you look great and are a huge imspiration)

Kitty
Kitty
5 years 4 months ago

LOL Milemom. I know what you mean. I only had 3 large babies but that was enough to cause me problems. It has deformed my stomach muscles and I’m still having trouble getting rid of the droopy skin syndrome 😛

Jennel
Jennel
5 years 17 hours ago

Have you been able to make any progress with the sagging skin? I had two fairly big twin boys almost nine years ago and I’m wondering if there’s any hope of having a tight stomach again…

AndreAnna
5 years 7 months ago

Mark & Dave,

This made my day! Your spirit is truly contagious! I want to go run out in my 10-foot Iowan snow drifts barefoot and howl, now!

Thanks so much for putting a smile on my face!

Grok out!

-AndreAnna

Lynn
Lynn
5 years 7 months ago

I’ve done quick barefoot runs err dashes in snow. Cold….refreshing….

BenK
5 years 7 months ago

Way to go Dave.

goosef
goosef
5 years 7 months ago

Awesome results. Shows you are never too old to Grok On! Thanks for the inspiration!

TonyaL
TonyaL
5 years 7 months ago

LOVE LOVE LOVE this story! talk about motivating!!!! You Go Dave!!!

Randy
5 years 7 months ago

Just downright FANTASTIC Dave! Adding you to my hero list!!

Barb W
Barb W
5 years 7 months ago

What an incredible transformation and inspiration! Grok on, Dave!!

Justin
Justin
5 years 7 months ago

That is just an awesome post. A little willpower and determination, coupled with a dash of knowledge and information, can really go a long way. Awesome.

Rhys
Rhys
5 years 7 months ago

Dave has an awesome beard. Looks a ton better now too!

Congrats and thanks for sharing.

Jay
Jay
5 years 7 months ago

This is your ultimate self-esteem boost day Dave. Enjoy – you deserve it!

Resurgent
Resurgent
5 years 7 months ago

God Bless you Mark..!!
and Dave..!! – WOW – unf**inbelievable

Lynn
Lynn
5 years 7 months ago

I agree with the others. Awesome!

Daniel Merk
5 years 7 months ago

Wow. Amazing Dave. Amazing. GROK ON!

Art Smith
Art Smith
5 years 7 months ago

Looking good, big man.

I thought you were saying that you were 40 at first and was about to (politely) call BS. 🙂

fufonzo
fufonzo
5 years 7 months ago

Unreal! What a great story!! It must be surreal looking in the mirror now, haha.

Well done Dave!!

Erin
Erin
5 years 7 months ago

GO DAVE
Ha! I love this guy…

Poppabear
5 years 7 months ago

Excellent Dave! Your pure joy in life is a wonder to hear! Your post made me smile. You have come a loooong way brother! Excellent! (I was going to post this reply in all caps, in honor of Dave, but I restrained myself.)

Maggie
Maggie
5 years 7 months ago

WOW…love this story and the transition this man went through. Very inspiring! Side note: he really loves the snow 🙂

Stef
5 years 7 months ago

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is amazing! I’m sending this to my parents. Way to go man.

Stephanie
Stephanie
5 years 7 months ago

Oh my gosh,Dave! Your belly transformation is simply amazing. What a different life you will have now–truly “golden years”. So happy for you!

San
San
5 years 7 months ago

Whoa, Dave, what an amazing change. Congratulations.

RB
RB
5 years 7 months ago

Very inspirational! Great great work!

Debra
Debra
5 years 7 months ago

OMG!!!! I love you Dave!!!

Theresa
Theresa
5 years 7 months ago

Incredible!! Very, very inspiring. I LOVE these posts!

Will
Will
5 years 7 months ago

Amazing! I can’t really say it any other way. Dave is a new inspiration for me!

Melissa
Melissa
5 years 7 months ago

I love Fridays on MDA! The emails were truly so full of energy, it’s amazing and inspiring! Thank you so much, Dave, for sharing your journey with us!

Abigail
Abigail
5 years 7 months ago

Wow wow wow wow wow. I just buzzed through the pictures. Now have to go back and actually read about this amazing change!

Abigail
Abigail
5 years 7 months ago

On the other hand, a picture is worth about a million words in this case!

Emily
Emily
5 years 7 months ago

You should be so proud of what you accomplished! You cannot take care of others until you take care of yourself! 🙂

William
William
5 years 7 months ago

Thanks Dave. I don’t know if you have ever thought of yourself as an inspiration, but you are. But if you have a hard time swallowing that, you are definitely THE example. That bar has been set way up there, but my 35 yo fat ass is jumping for it!!! Grok on dude!!!

Sam
Sam
5 years 7 months ago

Another WOW!

Derek Weiss
5 years 7 months ago

VERY IMPRESSIVE!

Nice work and the progression photos are amazing.

Jen Duncan
5 years 7 months ago

OMG! My eyes were full of tears of joy while I read this. GO DAVE!!!
After seeing the vegan episode on Oprah this week I just had to submit this post and ask them to consider doing a show on primal. Everyone needs to know this stuff!
Dave, you have given hope to a lot of people. I know you will be blessed for all the rest of your days.

Patty
5 years 7 months ago

What a great idea Jen! My eyes filled with happy tears too.

That last picture is beautiful!

Ginger
Ginger
5 years 7 months ago

The last picture is magnificent. I love this guy!!

Kevin P Carey
4 years 1 month ago

I plan on doing my final transformation pic shirtless in the snow wearing VFFs. That last pic sum up Primal for me too.

M. Pile
M. Pile
5 years 7 months ago

Forget Oprah.

M. Pile
M. Pile
5 years 7 months ago

. . . also Dave rules.

Milliann Johnson
Milliann Johnson
5 years 7 months ago

I thought the same thing that Oprah needs to give Primal?paleo equal time.
Congrats Dave…ANY RECIPES TO SHARE??!!

rho
rho
5 years 7 months ago

Me too! I love reading the primal success stories every week, but this one is the first one that made me cry!

Moochy
Moochy
5 years 7 months ago

WOW! Unbelievable…amazing!

Jim Arkus
5 years 7 months ago

Oh man, this guys sounds like so much fun. Love it! Grow the beard back, brother!

geostump
geostump
5 years 7 months ago

Dave, that is a truly awe inspiring transformation!!! You look ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and probably feel the same! What an inspiration and you give me hope that I can look as good(in female form). Grok on, brother!!!

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Julie Mattke, poppabearscave, Daniel Merk, Potential bundle, First Cut Fitness and others. First Cut Fitness said: The Unconquerable Dave: Dave first emailed me about a year ago. He had just bought the Primal Bluepri… http://bit.ly/gQU0vS #MrkDlyApl […]

Krys
5 years 7 months ago

Frickin’ Awesome!!! Way to go Dave! Your attitude and inspiration is amazing. This is just the motivation I needed to kick it into high gear! Grok On Dave!

Paula
Paula
5 years 7 months ago

YAWP! congratulations on your success and new way of life! enjoy!!!

Brad Gantt
Brad Gantt
5 years 7 months ago

Huge respect for what you have done. Bravo! May it inspire others to do the same.

Ben
Ben
5 years 7 months ago

That brought a tear to my eye. Standing ovation.

kennelmom
kennelmom
5 years 7 months ago

Awesome. Absolutely AWESOME!

rsg
5 years 7 months ago

This guy frakking rules!

Marsha Stopa
5 years 7 months ago

Hot damn! Way to go, Dave. You’re an inspiration — and a head turner!

Justin L
Justin L
5 years 7 months ago

Dave and Mark are my heros!!! A big YAWP to you Dave!

salim
5 years 7 months ago

AWSOME…amazing story..I loved his gym..tree..rocks…i also have rocks in my apartment instead of weights and i go to park do my sprints and climb the trees there too. i agree way much better than gym..

Earthspirit
Earthspirit
5 years 7 months ago

I showed my husband this. He is now COMPLETELY on board 😀
He loves the outdoors: hiking, fishing, camping, climbing trees all that stuff and hates going to the gym. So this is gonna be a cinch!!! YAY im so happy. thanks for this story. Finally I got him to agree that he doesnt need to eat crap -especially after he ate a donut last night after dinner from the gas station (omg)and complained of an upset stomach all night.

Phyllis
5 years 7 months ago

Wow! ‘nuf said.

Nicky Spur
5 years 7 months ago

Epic — guy looks like a true wildman

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