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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. Iโ€™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 weโ€™ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 14, 2011

There Are No Limits, There Are Only Plateaus

By Guest
97 Comments

Steven is almost forty, and his story can be traced all the way back to high school. It is my pleasure to share with you Steven’s long road to Primal living and the incredible result that followed.

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

Hi Mark,

I used to be a relatively fit guy back in high school and college… constantly staying active and spending a lot of time training in Martial Arts (which I’ve done for most of my life).

Even though I was broke and ate terrible, having the metabolism of a young active guy really helped in keeping the fat off my frame.

When I got my first “real” full-time job after college I had started to put on a few pounds from eating a lot of pizza and ice cream (I admit it, I was totally lacking any and all will power). Plus, the change from not eating hardly at all to eating a high calorie “standard American diet” was not terribly flattering to my physique.

Fast forward ten years and I had ballooned up to 237lbs (yikes)… way above the “ideal weight” for my frame (I’m 6′).

And honestly, I was ashamed of myself. I hated looking at myself in the mirror. I never went anywhere where I had to potentially take my shirt off (like the beach or the pool, and mind you, I live in Southern California).

This was the breaking point! And I decided to do something about it.

Fast forward another five years…

Over those five years, my weight had fluctuated wildly. Going 237lbs to 200lbs and back up again and… you get the idea. I admit it, I was non-committal and had a hard time staying on a “healthy” diet (by normal American standards).

Three years ago I picked up a copy of P90X (yep I joined that bandwagon), and had pretty good results going from about 220lbs to 195lbs… gained more muscles and lost some body fat.

It was great, but I got burned out and got injured by over-training. I got discouraged, my weight ballooned back up to 225lbs.

Then came 2010.

I had been relatively active over the years (teaching and training in martial arts), but honestly, I’d given up on getting that “really fit” look. Plus, I wasn’t getting any younger (I’m pushing 40).

The thing is, while nobody ever said I was “out of shape,” “fat” or “chubby,” my self-image said I was. And I still avoided going to the pool or the beach like the plague.

I honestly didn’t think I could ever shed that layer of fat around my body.

And it was seriously messing with my mind.

I was eating “healthy” but unable to shed the weight or the pounds.

Seriously, I’ve read tons of books on the subject of weight loss and exercise, but I just couldn’t put two and two together.

Then I stumbled upon MarksDailyApple.com and the Primal Blueprint.

It was interesting, and different and I devoured all the material I could find on Primal living, Paleo and Evolutionary Fitness.

The ideas behind Primal completely resonated with me, and in May of 2010 (May 3rd to be exact) I decided to finally take the plunge.

I jumped in with both feet and cut out all the crud in my diet! I was proud of myself for being able to do that (considering my diet was pretty heavy on carbs).

And I felt…

TERRIBLE

I got hit by the “carb flu,” BIG TIME.

And it lasted for about two weeks. I was tired, cranky and just not an all around fun guy to be around for two weeks. But, I (and my family) endured it and all of a sudden it all cleared.

And I felt AWESOME!

By the way, when I started I was about 225lbs…

And by the end of September I was down to what many have called a “ripped” 175lbs.

And the best thing about all of it was that I didn’t exercise myself to death, nor did I worry too much about exactly what I ate from day to day.

Some days I do an intermittent fast, other days I snack all day long.

Because I had a relatively carb-centric diet I thought it would be difficult to rid the habit of eating brown rice and bread, but that proved not to be the case.

In any event, here’s a “Before and After” photo of myself:

Thanks to Mark (his website and his book) and to all the other people embracing this lifestyle! I appreciate you all very much.

And if I can have success with this, anyone can…

All the best,

Steven

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97 Comments on "There Are No Limits, There Are Only Plateaus"

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Minxxa
Minxxa
5 years 8 months ago

Nice story! Congrats!

Gorm
Gorm
5 years 8 months ago
Well done Steven! Your martial arts training resonates well with me as I too have trained in martial arts for the majority of my life. I know what it is like to fall out of shape and become frustrated by not being able to do the things you were once able to. I also did p90x and got good results but grew tired of the program after two rounds. Then I found this site and I have not looked back. I find that I am easily getting back to my college days of martial arts prowess. Keep it up and… Read more »
trackback

[…] Mark’s Daily Apple – Steven is almost forty, and his story can be traced all the way back to high school. It is my pleasure to share with you Steven’s long road to Primal living and the incredible result that followed. […]

Theresa
Theresa
5 years 8 months ago

What an amazing difference!

Kelda
5 years 8 months ago

I just love Friday’s and the ‘true story’! Congrats, that torso … ๐Ÿ™‚

Spent lunch with a friend and explained the whole Primal thing and I think she might give it a go, I shall forward this page to her! Also chatted to another person at the gym this morning, she was asking me about my weights routine, so I didn’t miss the chance to talk Primal … I saw her light bulb go on!

Grok on and have a great weekend.

J
J
5 years 8 months ago

Keep these stories coming, they’re really great for inspiration!

Well done Steve-

Brian
Brian
5 years 8 months ago

Great results, Congratulations.. What exercise plan did you follow.. Did you continue with the P90x…

beth
beth
5 years 8 months ago

i am curious on this as well.. what type of exercise plan did you follow Steven? i did p90x twice and i did insanity but now i am trying to find my way between yoga, hiking, running, some p90x beyond workouts, some insanity workout, primal Blue print workouts.. i would love to know what mix you used!

StevenR
5 years 8 months ago

No I didn’t continue with P90X… I tried late last fall, but I just couldn’t get into it. :/

I use mostly bodyweight exercises along with a few Kettlebell exercises.

/Steven

Tori Kean
5 years 8 months ago
I just want to say I am really glad that someone in the success story admitted that for a couple of weeks they felt terrible. My husband and I first started Primal in September of 2010. My husband had finally decided he would join me and he said he would do anything i told him to. He didn’t say he would enjoy it. His favorite foods were corn, bread, pasta, etc. For the first three weeks he was really unpleasant to be around. He was tired, grumpy, and he just seemed to hate life. The fourth week, he was a… Read more »
js290
js290
5 years 8 months ago

I just got done reading Dr. Rosedale’s book. Lots of good info on leptin. He also talks about a 3 week transition period to convert from burning sugar to burning fat as fuel.

fixed gear
5 years 8 months ago

I wonder if supplementing with L-carnitine (supposed to help mobilize bodyfat) would help with that transition??

js290
js290
5 years 8 months ago

Dr. Rosedale seems to be a big fan of supplements, l-carnitine being one of them. His diet (low carb from fibrous sources, high fat, and just enough protein) was designed to promote fat metabolism. The supplementation is suppose to help people with metabolic problems make that transition into fat burning.

Adina
Adina
5 years 8 months ago

Whoooooooaaaaa!
I love that the camera upgraded, too.
Really remarkable! Congratulations!

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
5 years 8 months ago

I remember seeing your before and afters on the forum. Very nice!

The body is usually the primary focus, but I’m always fascinated by facial changes. Your “before” face looks like a chubby Wayne Newton. Now you’ve got a real jaw-line!

heavv
heavv
5 years 8 months ago

LOL – I was thinking the same thing!

Great job, Steven! Grok on!

Milliann Johnson
Milliann Johnson
5 years 8 months ago

a chubby Wayne Newton…thats just cruel lol…the after shot certainly looks ripped…………..!

TrailGrrl
TrailGrrl
5 years 8 months ago

That’s it… Wayne Newton! I couldn’t think who he reminded me of. Facial changes do tell the story. People look completely different.

TrailGrrl

Brett K
Brett K
5 years 8 months ago

Steven, you look amazing. I really hope you don’t avoid pools/beaches anymore ๐Ÿ˜›

StevenR
5 years 8 months ago

I’m thinkin’ I’ll have to go to the beach more often this summer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Missy
Missy
5 years 8 months ago

Congrats! I cut out grains, legumes and most dairy Jan 3 for a 30 day challenge. I love the info here on Mark’s Daily Apple and the inpsiration.

Bobby C.
Bobby C.
5 years 8 months ago

Meh. Your before and after look about the same to me.

Just kidding. That’s a huge difference and let me offer you a huge congrats! Way to go!

bokbadok
bokbadok
5 years 8 months ago

LOL @ Bobby C

Melissa
Melissa
5 years 8 months ago

Great inspiration going into a long and tempting birthday weekend! Thanks for sharing!

Alison Golden
5 years 8 months ago

Wowee. What a difference.

Congratulations, you do look completely different. Amazing what can be achieved in just a few months.

Dean Ouellette
5 years 8 months ago

Thanks for sharing Stephen. Great job. I love the subject of plateaus and am working on notes for a post right now. Plateaus are completely different when you have the mindset of who cares I made lifestyle changes that will be with me for the rest of my life, vs the mindset of dang my diet must not be working because i didnt lose any weight this week. The mindset is everything.

Junie B
5 years 8 months ago

holy schnikes! amazing!

Nicky Spur
5 years 8 months ago

Wow — that is ripped. Looks like there’s some muscle stacked on there too. I’d be interested in what he ate each day and what he did for exercise.

Awesome change!

StevenR
5 years 8 months ago

Nothing terribly out of the ordinary for food… pretty much what’s recommended in the book.

I was pretty strict on not eating white carbs (rice, pasta, bread, potatoes etc.) and legumes.

I also tried to stay with fruits that are not too sweet… a lot of apples and avocado. (I love pineapples but didn’t eat it too often).

And no liquid carbs either… (see my long comment further down on the page).

Exercises were pretty simple. Bodyweight and Kettlebell workouts. I also did Martial Arts a couple of times per week at first (mild to moderate intensity).

All the best,
Steven

Dollface
5 years 8 months ago

WOW that is awesome, you definately look ripped, you must be stoked! Well done and keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

Betsy Chan
Betsy Chan
5 years 8 months ago

congrats:D

Will
Will
5 years 8 months ago

Nice transformation!
But why does everyone get a nice phone After going primal? Haha

Aaron (Grok Mendoza)
Aaron (Grok Mendoza)
5 years 8 months ago

haha I guess when your not buying that crap you can afford other things!

gilliebean
5 years 8 months ago

Awesome! And you got a new phone and a haircut to boot! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lizzie
Lizzie
5 years 8 months ago

Congrats! Very inspiring story and I appreciate you sharing it with us!

Michelle
Michelle
5 years 8 months ago

Awesome job! Inspiring for those of us who are just finding this site! I, too, am interested in what you did fitness wise and meals, etc.

Gayle
Gayle
5 years 8 months ago

wow! you look hot!! and after only 8 months! tremendous!

StevenR
5 years 8 months ago

I saw massive changes over the summer… from May to end of August. Check out this picture:

I’ve gained more muscle and lost more fat since then… but I was amazed at the transformation.

/Steven

Andi
Andi
5 years 8 months ago

Somebody looks like a movie star! Well done!

Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson
5 years 8 months ago

Now that I’ve got the weight down and boundless energy, I need to work on the muscle definition too – what an inspiration; grok on!

momof2groks
momof2groks
5 years 8 months ago

Wow, looking sexy!

Stephanie O.
Stephanie O.
5 years 8 months ago

Wow, he went from Val Kilmer to Antonio Banderas! And the phone got an upgrade too!

Kenny Powers
Kenny Powers
5 years 8 months ago

Congratulations man, that is awesome. I’m interested to know what you ate and didn’t eat. As Mark always says, there is no single Primal diet, but a range of different possible Primal diets and each person must find the one that works best for them. Yours has clearly worked a treat and I’m just curious what it was (and also your exercise routine while going Primal)?

Kenny Powers
Kenny Powers
5 years 8 months ago

By the way, I love these real life stories, they are maybe my favourite part of the site – so inspirational. But it would be great if people could put a bit more detail about what they ate and didn’t eat rather than just say they “went Primal”. For example, did they cut out dairy? Did they eat any potatos, sweet potatoes, etc or cut the carbs right down? Perhaps a few example meals to get a general idea. Thanks!

bokbadok
bokbadok
5 years 8 months ago

I second this motion – more details please!

StevenR
5 years 8 months ago

Please check out my longer post below. ๐Ÿ™‚

Melissa Fritcher
5 years 8 months ago

That is a happy man. I love your story and pictures!

Jill
Jill
5 years 8 months ago

I never get tired of looking at these before/afters; people look so much better and YOUNGER! The pics could pass for mother/daughter or father/son! Congrats and enjoy the beach! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jason Sandeman
5 years 8 months ago

Wow, with a cut like that, I am inspired! I wonder what the workout regime is for the MMA?

StevenR
5 years 8 months ago

I did some basic martial arts (Karate and Jeet Kune Do) for my first few months out. Since then I’ve dropped the Karate and re-started BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) since I feel a lot lighter on my feet. ๐Ÿ™‚

I did no ab specific training for the first couple of months of training. However in BJJ we do some situps and such in every class.

All the best,
Steven

sara
sara
5 years 8 months ago

oh hello!

Bob C.
Bob C.
5 years 8 months ago

Well done, Stephen! A fantastic transformation, and I am sure you have more energy than you have had in years!

Sonia
5 years 8 months ago

Steven- you look AWESOME. LOVE martial arts! I was involved in sport jujitsu, seikan karate, and kickboxing for years.

Sue
Sue
5 years 8 months ago

Looking hot.

Karen
Karen
5 years 8 months ago

Totally HAUTE !!! Congrats. You look incredible.

superdeluxe
superdeluxe
5 years 8 months ago

Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my laptop. I have my first primal crush. Your transformation is amazing. Thanks for the inspiration.

Sanjeev
Sanjeev
5 years 8 months ago

What exercise plan did you follow?

StevenR
5 years 8 months ago

No strict plan.

I just created my own based on how I felt.. most of the workouts consisted of bodyweight and/or Kettlebell style workouts.

/Steven

ci
ci
5 years 8 months ago

Wow

Paul
5 years 8 months ago

That is fantastic Steven. Great story and I am sure so many others have similar story… including myself. Although I haven’t quite got to the six pack stage yet – but your photo further inspires me. Thanks
Paul

JamieRose
JamieRose
5 years 8 months ago

O.O

… DAYUM.

fritzy
fritzy
5 years 8 months ago
Great job man! You’re absolutely ripped! I have a feeling you wont “fall of the wagon” this time. Although I was closer to eating Primal than your average American (about 200 grams carbs a day, mostly from fruits and vegetables, but some whole grains and a little sugar) I still had a transition period myself. While I had plenty of energy and an improved mood from the get-go, I never felt full, even if I ate till I was practically sick. That lasted for about 2 weeks. Now that my body’s adjusted, I can skip meals (even though I have… Read more »
slacker
slacker
5 years 8 months ago

Congrats, Steven! Wow!

Senad
5 years 8 months ago

Hi Steven. You dont look anything near 40! Great work! Keept it up. Greets from Sweden!

Vee
Vee
5 years 8 months ago

Another primal hottie!

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