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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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November 04, 2011

Three Generations Living Primal

By Guest
74 Comments

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!

I have been on some kind of diet since 1988 – over ½ of my life. NutriSystems, Optifast, Weight Watchers and all kinds of fad quick weight loss diets in between. Obvious now but not then – none of them worked permanently. The sad thing is when you actually look at the numbers – the weight I was at in 1988 is very close to my goal weight now. If I only knew then what I know now, but to quote Lion King (and hopefully as I continue to lose weight both versions will apply):

Pumbaa: It’s like my buddy Timon always says: you got to put your behind in your past.

Timon: No, no, no. Amateur. Sit down before you hurt yourself. It’s “You got to put your past behind you.”

The past… my daughter, my mom and me in December 2010.

So January, 2011 is recording every calorie in and calorie out and struggling to lose all the weight I had gained – once again. Browsing I came across Mark’s Daily Apple for the second time. The first time I read the information a few years ago I just couldn’t imagine living with no grains, legumes, sugar – how could a person do that in this day and age. But this time for some reason it really clicked. I started with what I could gather from the website and bought the book that week.  It was like someone turned a light on for me. I couldn’t believe all the misinformation I had been given for so many years. Yet at the same time was so excited that there was some hope to be able to lose weight and not struggle and not be hungry, tired, grouchy and frustrated! So I began and lost weight quickly at first and then slowly, but am still losing (35 pounds so far) and my life has truly changed. I know most people come looking for a solution to weight loss – me included. But amazingly I think the health benefits that I have seen will be the real factor that makes this a way of life forever! I didn’t begin with any huge issues. I have never been on any kind of chronic medication. I have had some very obvious things happen that affect my daily life: sleep improvement, improved afternoon energy, constipation gone, chicken skin disappearing, cracking elbows and heels gone. Ladies listen up – these last two things just amazed me because I really thought that it was just me getting older – my regular plucking of those pesky old lady whiskers is now basically non-existent and the cough, sneeze, jump-induced leaky bladder is gone.

As I am inclined to do – I researched, read, researched and read. I kept seeing things that I knew other members of my family would be interested in. My daughter – 18 at the time – had her first semester in college under her belt. A belt she had mentioned a few times she would like to lose a few notches off of. I had tried multiple times over the years to get her to join in my “healthy eating” but to no avail (thank goodness). She was just never interested in diets or the information I was trying to share and I knew better than to push a teenage girl! So as I was reading I came across a testimonial about animal allergies and felt this was something she would respond to. She had recently rediscovered her love for horses but it was making her so sick to be around them. When I say sick, I have to give you a little of her background. She was never a healthy child. She has suffered from allergies, asthma and eczema all her life. After several hospitalizations during her adolescence we thought we had the asthma “under control”. She was taking Advair daily and a breathing treatment at least once a day if not more depending on the season. In addition to the asthma, the eczema affected her daily as well. This was not your typical small patches on her hands and feet. She basically had all over eczema – we had seen several specialists and she even resorted to sleeping in damp pajamas during really bad flare ups. So when I read about a reduction in allergies, I shared the information with her. She said she would try anything to be able to be around horses without Benadryl and inhaler in hand. I gave her the guidelines and she started immediately. Within 1 week she was able to go to the horse barn without Benadryl! Thankfully it worked so quickly, because she was sold. Since that day in February she has lost over 50 lbs. But again – the forever factors are so much more than that. She has reduced her Advair dosage and usage, both in half. She has packed her nebulizer away – no more daily breathing treatments! Her eczema is now only on her hands and feet and as long as she doesn’t eat any neolithic agents of disease (we haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly which one causes her flares) they continue to improve. She has bought her own horse, which she rides, grooms, feeds and loves on as often as she likes!

My mom, unlike my daughter, has always wanted to know what I was doing “this time” in the weight loss world. She was always willing to listen and give it a try. The thought of having no grains or sugar was a little harder for her to jump into but after a couple of months of watching my family’s success she decided she and my dad could give it a try. I suggested she just give it 30 days and see – what could it hurt. Well here we are 6 months later and she tells everyone she meets how much better they feel! She is 65 and has lost over 30 pounds – and is under 150 pounds for the first time in many, many years. Not to harp but she has had those forever factors too! She has gone off her blood pressure medication, diuretic and statins. But her big wow is truly the improvement in her knee. She had knee replacement surgery 4 years ago. Since then, it never felt completely healed and was always swollen. Well – she can jog! Jog – I just shake my head in amazement every time she says it.

Although I don’t want this to turn into a mini-novel I have to give hats off to the wonderful men in my life as well. My husband, son and dad also jumped on board. Combined they have lost over 40 pounds. They have a list of health improvements as well. Some of which include: eased chronic indigestion, no more snoring or mouth breathing, major reduction of gas (and let me tell you with a 14 yr old boy this is huge), and ease of arthritis pain.

I can’t believe 8 months have passed with my family eating this way. I can’t believe 3 generations combined have lost almost 120 pounds. But more so I can’t believe I can sit at a restaurant and not have to argue myself through a whole meal not to eat the bread, chips, pizza or pasta! Our family is definitely still a work in progress and we have some weak moments but overall we are living the Primal life and loving it! Thank you Mark for changing all of our lives and hopefully giving us many more years together!

Success in progress… my daughter, my mom and me!

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74 Comments on "Three Generations Living Primal"

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Suz
4 years 10 months ago

What a great story! You look fantastic!

So good to hear the nebulizer is packed up. My asthma completely disappeared about a year ago thanks to eating Primally – and what a difference it makes!

Alison Golden
4 years 10 months ago

Wow, you all look fantastic! And what a great family – all willing to try it, gung-ho and open-minded. Definitely a family trait there methinks!

As you indicate, we confuse dis-ease with aging. Isn’t it wonderful how we can turn those years back? Congratulations!

Misabi
Misabi
4 years 10 months ago

+1
Absolutely fantastic!

Abel James
4 years 10 months ago

This is an incredible story. Congratulations to you all!

Peg
Peg
4 years 10 months ago

Ouch! My jaw just dropped and hit my desk! Wow! What a transformation!

Jackie
Jackie
4 years 10 months ago

This is inspiring. I want my parents to try this lifestyle, but I haven’t brought it up yet because they are so ingrained in the SAD that I don’t think they will respond to it. Maybe I’ll show this post to my mother. She’s been trying to lose weight for as long as I can remember, is on blood pressure medication, and broke her leg last winter and still has pain. This may just convince her!

Anne
4 years 10 months ago

Love, love, LOVE! You go, girls!!

Chris
4 years 10 months ago

Amazing! It’s so nice to hear an entire family can embrace making smart choices…you guys should get an award for that one!

Joshua Tenner
Joshua Tenner
4 years 10 months ago

I hear their thoughts on how it took them a few times to start paleo/primal.

The whole lifestyle took me at least 3 times reading MDA to hop on board.

It’s the CW HWG mantra. It’s got us all like zombies following the masses.

Mark
Mark
4 years 10 months ago

Remarkable. Keep us up-to-date in the Success Stories portion of the forums.

Robert
4 years 10 months ago

This is too awesome. I know this will help some of my family who suffer the same horse related problem! Maybe this will help push them over that sugar laced edge!
thank you so much for sharing.

Chris
Chris
4 years 10 months ago

Awesome x 3! You each get one:) Success story Fridays are like bacon… it’s super satisfying and never gets old.

Patty
Patty
4 years 10 months ago

+1!!

Thanks for sharing this awesome story..

Becca
4 years 10 months ago

haha i don’t think there is a better way to describe “success story Fridays”

AlyieCat
AlyieCat
4 years 10 months ago

“She basically had all over eczema – we had seen several specialists and she even resorted to sleeping in damp pajamas during really bad flare ups.”

That is so sad, and I am happy to hear it’s far, far less of an issue. This is one of the best Friday stories I’ve read. Thanks for sharing and continued luck to your family.

Svend
Svend
4 years 10 months ago

Remarkable family-wide transformation. Well done and congats.

podunk primal
podunk primal
4 years 10 months ago

Congratulations ladies! I love how these changes in diet and lifestyle can result in the halting of otherwise lifelong symptoms. Keep inspiring each other and us with your success!

oxide
oxide
4 years 10 months ago
I love reading the stories about people going OFF of medications. I think that’s a better proof of Primal than weight loss. A couple years ago I convinced 60+ mom to cut down the carbs. It took her a few tries to really do it, but she finally did, and lost 20 pounds. Mom asked to go off statins and the doctor okayed it as long as the weight stays off. She still eats bread and pasta, but I can see her taking very small portions and thinking about every bite. Small steps, I guess. Nowadays, when I see someone… Read more »
Mia
Mia
4 years 10 months ago

I love this story too. I have particular concern about people eating non-primal foods as well. One group that seems untouchable is the church where dessert seems to be given the wink (as opposed to alcohol or smoking) when it comes to health. Its even celebrated. I want to reach out to these people and tell them that they are not doing what God intended them to do with their bodies and that is the source of a lot of misery which they attempt to drown with socialization. Anybody else?

Sofie
Sofie
4 years 3 months ago

Tbh I’m more okay with smokers than grain eaters, since the smokers know it’s unhealthy.

ChocoTaco369
ChocoTaco369
4 years 10 months ago

What a great story. Very inspiring. Keep it up!

lunasma
lunasma
4 years 10 months ago

What a geat success story-you guys rock! If only I can convince my asthmatic, allergy laden friend to give it a try …

peggy
peggy
4 years 10 months ago

Wahoo!!! I love that there is a multi-generational success 🙂 and in such a relatively short time!
so proud of you!

cTo
cTo
4 years 10 months ago

Wonderful! I have a friend with severe mammal allergies, including horses, whom Ive been encouraging to give primal a try. Maybe this story might help encourage her. 🙂

Spincycle
Spincycle
4 years 10 months ago

You girls look amazing!! And may I just say, you must be very persuasive to convince everyone around you to give it a try!

Robin
Robin
4 years 10 months ago

Who wouldn’t listen to such beautiful ladies!

BeccainSC
BeccainSC
4 years 10 months ago

Truly awesome and inspiring story!

As a lifelong asthmatic myself I’m hoping to get the improvements your daughter has.

Julie
Julie
4 years 10 months ago

Wow! What an amazing transformation! You and your daughter look like sisters!! Congratulations!!

Timothy
4 years 10 months ago
Tremendous story! It sounds like primal living has brought your supportive family even closer together. As you said, so many people start this for weight loss. I did too. But weight loss is only one ingredient in the cornucopia of health that awaits. Things you thought were non-negotiable — bum knees, chicken skin — fix themselves as if by magic. Our bodies work miracles when we give them what they need. When you reach your goal weight, I am certain you will look and feel healthier and happier than you did in 1988. Congrats and respect to you all!
Robin
Robin
4 years 10 months ago

+1

I never thought I could feel so healthy!

Diane
Diane
4 years 10 months ago

Congratulations to the whole family. What an inspiration.

Chica
Chica
4 years 10 months ago

I want to see this year’s Christmas pics of the three of you together!

I am likely to begin proselytising soon among friends and family — not for the weight loss but for the health benefits. Stories like yours are fantastic selling points! Thanks so much and continued success to all six of you!

CRO-MAGNON
CRO-MAGNON
4 years 10 months ago

Life changing stories like this, helps fuel my will power.
Thank you for sharing

Mo
Mo
4 years 10 months ago

It’s wonderful to see families having primal success.
While my family enjoys my primal cooking, they won’t even take a look at these success stories, and see no reason to give up their grains and sugar. Meanwhile, they have serious health problems that their prescription meds have not resolved.
Living with the health problems of loved ones who refuse to change is not easy. Thanks for a great story.

Hopeless Dreamer
Hopeless Dreamer
4 years 10 months ago

+1, Mo. I wish I could publish a family success story….not going to happen soon, I’m afraid.

rdzins
rdzins
4 years 10 months ago
I wish I could get my family on board to. Even though they want the primal cooking, they refuse to give up and continuously ask for chips, pop, pizza, you know the drill. I don’t buy it, so they go out and buy it instead. I feel your pain. It is hard living with them, and there whole family is like that, so when I go over to family events I bring my own food. Having the family support would go a long way, I am so glad for her getting her family on board now I can only hope… Read more »
Nick
Nick
4 years 10 months ago

Way to go in sharing your success with your family! It’s so cool that you’ve been able to inspire them to change as well – that’s what it’s all about! Amazing how the chronic issues just seem to melt away. Congratulations! Grok on!

crzy88
crzy88
4 years 10 months ago

Wow Awesome Story!!!
My story is so much like yours, I to got my daughter my mother and my sister to try it. We all have lost weight and feel much healthier. I have lost 20 lbs since Aug. 3rd. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story.

Debs
4 years 10 months ago

You ladies are an absolute inspiration – what a transformation – you all look incredible. And your daughter got the horse too – what a lovely ending!

Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us. Friday stories like yours keep the rest of us primally focused!

donna
donna
4 years 10 months ago

Thank you all for the wonderful words of encouragement! It has been absolutely amazing. I do hope that our story can help those looking for some kind of healing miracle take a step in this direction. I don’t post often but I lurk constantly and have been so thankful for the information shared- couldn’t have done it without this great website!

Monica
Monica
4 years 10 months ago

What a wonderful and inspiring story! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

Hillside Gina
4 years 10 months ago

A Three-Fer – Woot!!! You gals look great – thanks for sharing.

This also shows us that the best way to change others is to be an example.

Susan M.
Susan M.
4 years 10 months ago

You look fantastic! Thanks for sharing your story.

Erik
4 years 10 months ago

Wow what a fantastic story!

Kate
Kate
4 years 10 months ago
My son also had all over eczema and staph infections. It has entirely disappeared after moving to sunnier climes. Prior to that, we kept it mostly controlled by limiting his intake of high nickel foods: oats, figs, chocolate, hydrogenated oil (NI catalyst), baking powder, nuts, legumes and anything processed and acidic. Even found cooking in cheap stainless pans (say, tomato sauce) would cause a flare. Thought I’d throw that out there. Son can now eat chocolate, but I think the extra Vit. D he gets, plus being away from the moldy east coast, and a more primal diet, has made… Read more »
beccahi
beccahi
4 years 10 months ago

I love this! I started PB in April and now I too have my mom on board, as well as 2 of my sisters ( one of which is a physician..woohoo) as well as one of my brothers. We are seeing similar progress in our family and the others are starting to take notice. GREAT NEWS!

Susan Alexander
4 years 10 months ago
Wow. You ladies totally rock! Your story brings to mind something I just read. According to Zen wisdom, we’re all creators. When we do things like share good information with each other and give each other guidance and encouragement, we’re creating part of each other’s success. That’s what’s happened with you three, it seems to me. Here’s a great story of something that happened today: I was in a tiny, independent bookstore in Manhattan (one of the remaining few). I was the only customer in the store, until a woman walked in, asking the proprietor for The Four Hour Body… Read more »
Susan Alexander
4 years 10 months ago

Mark:

I’m thinking you should update your “Start Here” page to include your new book. I know it’s pictured in your header, but first-time readers might miss that, and/or want to know what the difference is between your first and second book, so they can decide which one to order first.

Susan 🙂

Marianne
Marianne
4 years 10 months ago

Great, great story! How wonderful that your whole family got onboard. What a delight it must be for all of you. I can only dream….still, you have strengthened my own commitment to sticking with primal–it obviously works! As for those pesky whisker/leakage problems for us women of, uh, A Certain Age, I thought I was just imagining that they were fading for me, but thanks for the confirmation that it DOES happen:-) Keep up the good work, ladies–and gents!

plainjane
plainjane
4 years 10 months ago

I LOVED your family’s story!!!!

Michele Shimizu
Michele Shimizu
4 years 10 months ago

Another inspirational story. Thanks so much for sharing it. AND you all look so beautiful and healthy.

Rio
Rio
4 years 10 months ago

What an amazing story well done to all of you.
I’m 5 weeks primal and hope to start influencing my family and friends in this new/old way of life
Maybe I’ll even show them your story
Well done
Rio

Sara Hofer
4 years 10 months ago

So awesome!!! I feel as though my family has been in a slump lately, so this is the perfect kick in the behind that we need. Thank you! I’m also going to send it to my mom who insists she’s too “old” to try something as “drastic” as going Primal. She’s 63 years young and I sure would like to stop being so dang tired all the time!

PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
4 years 10 months ago
Sara, you tell your Mom that I’m 67 years old and have been Primal for about a year and never felt better. NO statins, NO diabetes, NO nothing most of us old folks usually suffer with! I’m 5’2″ and weigh in right now at about about 110#. I walk/hike daily and exercise and have more energy than people half my age! Going Primal and giving up sugar and all grains was something I should have done years ago – I only wish I had known about it then— show her this post if you want, but she only has to… Read more »
Meagan
4 years 10 months ago

GREAT to hear!!!

ReneR
ReneR
4 years 10 months ago

What a great story!! This has to be one of the best ones yet. Tonight I realized just how hooked I am on Fridays, lol. Congratulations to you all!!

Steve
Steve
4 years 10 months ago

Great story, keep up the good work!

Helen
Helen
4 years 10 months ago

This is wonderful; just so inspiring and perfect introductory reading for anyone who wants to learn about “this Primal thing.” I’m making my list to pass the link! Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your new life.

dave
dave
4 years 10 months ago

Congrats. My wife and I are 60 somethings that started Primal 2 years ago. Then our two daughters started. And now our grandkids are Primal!! My one daughters has eliminated life long digestive issues (celiacs we think) by eliminating grains and dairy. My grandson has CF and has improved a lot by going Primal. It’s all good.

Primal Toad
4 years 10 months ago

What amazes me is how you got your family on board. That’s awesome. I think a key is to not push this lifestyle on anyone. Many of us do this because we feel so incredible but if we can, we must back off.

Live this new life and at some point, your family members and close friends will begin ask questions.

Thanks for the inspiration! I hope these stories continue to get published every Friday for decades to come…

DThalman
DThalman
4 years 10 months ago

Your daughter getting a horse really got to me…not that I’m into horses, but the way primal can allow a person to do something they really love, that’s the best! Think what a difference you have made in the lives of people you love, way to go.

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