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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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December 16, 2011

Welcome Back Grok: 30 Days of Self-Discovery

By Guest
96 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 was a typical American kid that enjoyed summers, playing sports, riding bikes, camping and exploring. My inner Grok ran rampant in the beginnings of my life. As I got older, I began to fall into that same trap many Americans fall into (T.V., video games, fast food and overall sedentary life). I expressed my inner Grok less and less, down to not at all. I became overweight, less confident, and started having knee and lower back issues in my early to mid 20’s! I naturally blamed this on genetics, and was on that fast track to a life of obesity, blood pressure issues, diabetes and a dependency on a plethora of medications.

I was in my mid 20’s in a high demand corporate job that I did not like, and had no time (or at least thought I had no time, but really just made excuses) or desire for any physical activity. My diet consisted of whatever I can eat on the go, eating out, or just take home. Fast food, soda and other processed foods made up the bulk of my diet. I approached 260 lbs and approximately 30% body fat. I rarely did anything physical, and did not have any endurance the few times I tried. I made excuses when hiking with my girlfriend, and often became negative around the whole subject. My self confidence was so low that I hated hiking or other physical activities, because I did not have the energy or capability to do them. I began to develop a “why bother” attitude. I blamed genetics and not my own actions, because I have overweight parents and extended family.

There were a few things that caused me to make a change. First, someone very close to me was diagnosed and then passed away of cancer. It caused me to look at things differently and notice that quality of life seemed to be changing in America. I noticed more people were obese and diagnosed with medical problems at earlier stages in life. I looked in the mirror and realized I was headed down the same dead-end road. I was tired of not having energy and not enjoying life like I did when I was younger. I was only twenty-something, but felt much older due to lack of energy and overall vigor. I began asking myself, was I suppose to be like this at this stage in my life? How did I get here? And most importantly, did I CHOOSE to be here? I discovered answers I did not like, nor was proud of. I took the easy road in the way I ate, lived, and being stationed in a lackluster, sedentary career. I became determined to change everything, starting with my health.

I did what “Conventional Wisdom” taught me to do. I ate low fat, whole grains and worked out like crazy in the gym (chronic cardio). Initially I thought I was doing the right thing. I lost 25 pounds, but then I hit a wall. I began investing in tons of supplements (protein, fat burners, and vaso dilators). I worked out harder (which did not help my knees or lower back) and ate less, and I managed to scrape another 15 pounds off. I got down to 220 and maintained that for awhile, but was still looking for something more. Then a friend told me about this “Paleo” or “Caveman” diet. I did research online and came across The Primal Blueprint. The Primal Blueprint appealed to me because it focused on all aspects of self improvement, and not just diet.

The Primal Blueprint and Welcome Back Grok!

I began the Primal Blueprint at the end of March 2011, and I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first, because of the taboo on fat. I gave myself one month to give an honest shot at living the Primal life. If I saw no results or did not feel good, I was going to discontinue The PB. I adhered to the 10 laws and gave it my best shot. After a few days I was not feeling good. My energy level was bad and I felt hazy. I was craving carbs and sugars like mad! The PB book prepared me for this, so I stuck with it. This haziness started to subside after a few days, and had completely subsided after a week and a half. After this rough patch, I felt unbelievable. My energy level was through the roof, my appetite was diminished, and carb/sugar cravings were gone. My body was burning fat the way it was designed too. At the end of my 30 day trial, I lost another 15 pounds with ease, and became a true believer. The best part about this was that I got to eat delicious foods that I previously banned (red meat and bacon), and worked out LESS! My workouts consisted of hiking, lifting heavy things and sprinting every now and then. It also gave me the confidence to return to sports I played as a kid such as basketball, racquetball and Ultimate frisbee. I continued to lose 2-4 pounds consistently every weak with ease! I am currently at 175 pounds and 11% body fat.I never thought I could get these kind of results. I feel and look younger and have never had energy, endurance, and power like this in my life. My confidence is extremely high, and I have an overall better, more positive outlook on life. I am constantly looking for new challenges in tougher hikes and new sports. This new mindset enabled me to quit my high demand job and begin a new career in emergency medical services. It is less demanding and leaves me more fulfilled than I have ever been. My inner Grok is happy again, and enjoys what life has in store next. I recommend The PB to everyone that I know. In fact, I recently got my cousin into The Primal Blueprint. Although I constantly get people warning me of my impending heart attack or risk of diabetes, I enjoy refuting them with more accurate studies, and of course my results. My response to naysayers is, “If something as simple and natural makes you look younger, feel great and more fit, do you really think it is bad for you?!”

I would like to thank you Mark for your time and devotion, which enables all of us a pathway to a healthier and more fulfilling way of life!

Sincerely,

Brandon Fields


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96 Comments on "Welcome Back Grok: 30 Days of Self-Discovery"

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Linda
Linda
4 years 9 months ago

Congrats Brandon! Yet another inspiring story to kick-off the weekend. With holiday parties and temptations everywhere, the timing couldn’t be better.

Gilly
Gilly
4 years 8 months ago

How inspiring, thank you so much for sharing.

WildGrok
WildGrok
4 years 9 months ago

Wow amazing congratulations!!!

Becca
4 years 9 months ago

you look great! congrats on your success

Eric
Eric
4 years 9 months ago

AWESOME!! Such motivation.

Freeagent
Freeagent
4 years 9 months ago

Well done Brandon, I agree if you look, feel and perform better without tremendous effort then your on the right track.

Timothy
4 years 9 months ago

Congratulations Brandon, especially on the shift to a more satisfying career. That inspires me!

Looking at your before and after, it’s hilarious that some people are now warning you that you risk diabetes. Some people are confused!

EZ
4 years 9 months ago

I love reading these, they are so inspiring! CW is obviously wrong because America is spiraling downward at an alarming rate!

Moshen
Moshen
4 years 9 months ago

Congratulations. I still can’t relate the two sets of pictures to each other. It’s so amazing that there’s a Brandon II inside of each and every Brandon I out there.

Abel James
4 years 9 months ago

Congratulations Brandon!!!

Anne
4 years 9 months ago

AWESOME. You did all that since March?!? Way to go, Brandon! What an inspiration!

Philmont Scott
Philmont Scott
4 years 9 months ago

I am pretty sure from reading the story that he was in the ballpark of 260# at his peak (in the pictures), and that he got to 220# the hard way before switching to PB in March, and dropping the rest of the way to 175#.

Philmont Scott
Philmont Scott
4 years 9 months ago
I mean to add that this is really an inspiration to me because I am around 250#, and I would be thrilled to drop just 50#, if I could keep it off. I am in my early 40’s, so I don’t expect it to be as easy as if I had corrected course earlier in life. I want to be able to “play” by going back to Philmont Scout Ranch (pictured in my avatar) with my son in about 2015. Dropping 30# would be enough to get me there, but I am realizing how far away from fit I really… Read more »
Brandon Fields
Brandon Fields
4 years 9 months ago

I swear by this lifestyle, and that’s how you have to look at it. Follow the 10 rules, be consistent, and take it day by day. Don’t look at the weight loss as a whole, but rather tackle each day. You will find that the weight melts off. Good luck!

oxide
oxide
4 years 9 months ago

Forget the conventional wisdom that weight loss is a drawn-out battle or that our metabolisms slow with age and there’s nothing we can do about it. It is not and they do not, and we can. If the stories here are any indication.

In these stories, people routinely drop a hundred in 12-18 months, and age doesn’t seem to make much difference at all.

Look up Mark’s post on The Carbohydrate Curve.

Fred
Fred
4 years 9 months ago

I thought that looked like the “Tooth of Time!” Went to Philmont twice in the mid 70’s. Drove by the “Tooth” to show my new bride 16 years ago on our way home from our honeymoon in Red River. You will love Philmont. By all means do what you need to do so you and your son can enjoy the place. Grok on!
Fred

Sara
Sara
4 years 9 months ago

Wow, you look great! And congrats on the new career!

cTo
4 years 9 months ago

I laughed outloud at the idea that emergency medical services would be less demanding than the corporate world. Man, your previous job must have been terrible 😉 I can easily see how much more rewarding it is, though. Congrats on a new life!

Brandon Fields
Brandon Fields
4 years 9 months ago

Haha! I did not think about it like that until you mentioned that. It is less stressful and demanding in a sense that I have more freedom on shift to be active rather than be tied to a phone or desk. Also, I get to enjoy my days off rather than be on a laptop, phone etc etc. I live simpler and enjoy my time better. Thanks for the comment!

Arty
Arty
4 years 9 months ago

Wow, all that weight off in such a short amount of time, way to go!

Congrats on discovering LIFE 🙂

B. Knight
B. Knight
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing your story Brandon. It’s very inspirational!

Brandon
Brandon
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks so much everyone!! I am still doing well, and looking forward to sharing further progresses with eachother!!

Grok On!!

Sharon
Sharon
4 years 9 months ago

Now that you have put this great story out there, the pressure is on to make to through the holidays.

Your story will help us all keep on track. Thanks.

Josh
Josh
4 years 9 months ago

Fantastic job dude!

Milemom
Milemom
4 years 9 months ago

Still have the girlfriend? Is she thrilled? I think she must be. Such a big accomplishment in such short time. Great job!

Brandon Fields
Brandon Fields
4 years 9 months ago

I am still with the girlfriend. My results has her on the primal lifestyle as well. We enjoy hikes and working out together!

Justin
4 years 9 months ago

Brandon wow what an amazing story. Looks like you really changed some daily habits in your life! Congrats buddy!

Caleigh
Caleigh
4 years 9 months ago

Excellent! Very inspirational 🙂 It just goes to show that giving something a chance and taking that small step in a different direction can be soooo rewarding.

chris D
4 years 9 months ago

Great Story! Keep up the great work dude! I’m working on it myself!

Josh Fields
Josh Fields
4 years 9 months ago

way to go Brando!! Thanks for intruducing me to the diet. I am 10 lbs lighter in just 5 weeks, and I haven’t been perfect either! I love it.

Jon
Jon
4 years 9 months ago

Most “silver-bullet” diets and work-out equipment comes with a disclaimer: “results are not typical”. I think Friday success stories need a similar “RESULT ARE TYPICAL!!” statement of fact. This stuff works…big time!

Christina
Christina
4 years 9 months ago

Haha agreed!!!

peggy
peggy
4 years 9 months ago

this:
“My response to naysayers is, ‘If something as simple and natural makes you look younger, feel great and more fit, do you really think it is bad for you?!’”

yup. Way to go Brandon!!!!

Susan Alexander
4 years 9 months ago

So amazing. Well done. Your story confirms the power of the PB and what can happen when we just forget ourselves and all we think we know and TRY SOMETHING NEW. I’m a big believer in 30 day challenges – for just about anything we’re curious about – not just nutrition and fitness – but anything.

I admire your efforts – trying in the first place, roughing it through the difficult initial period, continuing on after that, and staying in tune with the obvious (i.e. that life is just better in the PB).

All good! Grok on!!

Susan

Alicia
Alicia
4 years 9 months ago

I love Fridays!

Erin
Erin
4 years 9 months ago

Me too. Fridays are the best…thanks for sharing Brandon 🙂

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[…] always look forward to Mark’s Daily Apple’s Friday success story, today’s was great, as […]

chuck
chuck
4 years 9 months ago

if he has an overweight family, i am sure he constantly hears he is too skinny. no one knows what healthy looks like anymore.

gilliebean
4 years 9 months ago

So true!

Brandon Fields
Brandon Fields
4 years 9 months ago

Some of my family say that. However, I have got some others jumping on as well. Hopefully they stick to it.

Jim Sifferle
Jim Sifferle
4 years 9 months ago

Kick ass!!! Great story and great job man!!! Inspiring!!!

Tina S.
Tina S.
4 years 9 months ago

Thanks Jim for all your support – You are the best!!!

JonMarc
4 years 9 months ago

Great stuff Brandon!

gilliebean
4 years 9 months ago

GREAT story! Very inspiring! I love your emphasis on the wholeness that you feel in all areas of your life, not just the physical. But your before and after pics are LEGIT! Congrats!! 🙂

bruno
bruno
4 years 9 months ago

damn it! Why do these photos never work for me?

It seems to just be the Success Story ones too.

Am I the only one? It seems to be all the ones linked from Photobucket.

Primal Toad
4 years 9 months ago

““If something as simple and natural makes you look younger, feel great and more fit, do you really think it is bad for you?!”

Well said and congratulations! Continue to inspire so more can get primal and live a healthy life!

SeanM
SeanM
4 years 9 months ago

Absolutely amazing. This site has given me a whole new reason to look forward to Friday!

Unamused Mouse
4 years 9 months ago

You look awesome!

Wow – a playground with a bar AND rings!! ME WANT!

a.j.
a.j.
4 years 9 months ago
Awesome job Brandon! A true inspiration. This one hit home in the career department. I constantly battle my inner Grok in order to stay in my career (software development/corporate training). I have a strong desire to have a more primal/physical job. For now I incorporate as much movement and walking into my day as I can, but wonder if a more fulfilling job is the real answer. It certainly goes against the norm these days. People (myself included) go for sedentary jobs with long commutes for high pay to the detriment of their wellbeing. Way to take the leap to… Read more »
Brian McKenna
Brian McKenna
4 years 9 months ago

Congratulations Brandon!!!

Kathy
Kathy
4 years 9 months ago

I love success story Fridays!! And this one did not disappoint…way to go!!

Ellen
Ellen
4 years 9 months ago

Awesome transformation! Well done!

Ken Lawler
Ken Lawler
4 years 9 months ago

Again with an amazing transformation!

Matt Meeks
4 years 9 months ago

Very inspiring! I also find it odd that after losing all that weight and looking the way you do, and especially with the health benefits of eating primal, that anyone would be warning you of heart issues or diabetes.

Moe
Moe
4 years 9 months ago

Some people (some doctors included) are heavily invested in the status quo, to the point that they *panic* if people they know make significant changes. Especially if those changes go against their core beliefs.

This is why you hear about family members who try and sabotage someone’s diet, or doctors who have fits over “too much weight loss” even if you still have a few pounds to go! They aren’t thinking sensibly, they are spouting anything they can think of to get you to go back to the way you were.

Carlos
Carlos
4 years 9 months ago

Such a badass man. Thanks for being an inspiration to everyone on here. You can’t dispute the sheer number of lives that have been changed by the PB.

Ivan Ross
Ivan Ross
4 years 9 months ago

wtg Brandon. What a change! You must be bombarded with compliments and questions now.

ts
ts
4 years 9 months ago

Awesome stuff!

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Tina
Tina
4 years 9 months ago

GREAT job, man! Congratulations on your new life and good health!

Jessica
4 years 9 months ago

You look amazing! What a total transformation, in look and in how you feel. Congratulations on your outstanding success! You are an inspiration. Warm wishes for continued enjoyment of the primal lifestyle for many years to come, and for a happy holiday season! Cheers. 🙂

Sue
Sue
4 years 9 months ago

Congratulations Brandon!! Amazing transformation! I, too, went from feeling very low energy, pre-Primal, to feeling just fabulous! The results speak for themselves! I’m sure you have the same sentiment as myself: I will never go back to those pre-Primal days! Thanks for sharing your success with us!

Mike Wetzel
Mike Wetzel
4 years 9 months ago

Congrats Brandon good job
Gotta love PB?
Mike

Missy
Missy
4 years 9 months ago

Way to go Brandon. And thanks for the reminder of the 30 day challenge with it’s value for self discovery. I think it’s time for another 30 day challenge and reflection on my career, one that is definitely in conflict with the 10 PB laws. I tell everyone who will listed about PB and everything paleo. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder of what the PB lifestyle can get us!

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