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!
I can’t tell you how much I feel like a Primal success story although my before and after photos wouldn’t reveal a thing. You see, I haven’t lost a pound, not one. And I didn’t really need to, but I desperately needed a change.
A little backstory:
I am a stay at home mom. Three years ago, my husband began his graduate degree. He had also recently started a new job with no base salary. (He worked for 100% commissions.) Our two children, at the time, were ages 5 and 3. And then my brother-in-law moved in with us. My stress level went through the roof! And my health took a nosedive. Sleep was not a priority; it was usually just an afterthought. My weight, which has been the same number for the past decade, wasn’t sitting in the same places. And while my husband swore he didn’t notice, I did.
The worst part was the way the stress affected my overall health. I was getting chronic yeast infections. Chronic. Get one, clear it up, and repeat. The first couple times I tried treating it over the counter. Then I tried the doctor. Then I tried another doctor. It was affecting things in the bedroom too. My not feeling well made two of us unhappy.
I was also getting these weird bumps inside my nose. I thought they were pimples or something because if I washed my face or blew my nose they would hurt so much. But the doctor told me they were staff infections. How does that happen!? Maybe if you’re a habitual nose-picker with dirty hands, but for the rest of the population (meaning anyone over the age of six) what could possibly cause that? I had to coat cotton swabs in Neosporin and stick them up my nose. That was fun. NOT.
And overall, I just felt blah. I didn’t have any energy. I got sick or colds frequently. I felt rundown. My immunity was definitely compromised. But, I just figured it was the season of life we were in: small children, graduate school, career building, etc. I kept holding on, thinking eventually things had to get better.
About a year and a half into this awkwardness, I had my first awakening. I was referred to a new doctor who, in addition to treating my (current) yeast infection, told me he wanted me to try doing Sugar Busters. Not as a form of weight control, but to try to rid my body of additional sugar that could be feeding the yeast infections. This was something new: I had a doctor who not only treated me, but believed I could do something to help myself and encouraged me to do it. I felt empowered. I bought Sugar Busters that day and began my “new life.” Only, it didn’t work. I was at it for a year because I didn’t want to “quit” before it could work. (Plus I was desperate; chronic yeast infections are not fun.)
I still felt like the doctor was onto something though. I felt like there must be a way to take my health into my own hands if only I could figure out how to do it. I began to read more about nutrition, more specifically, to read about challenging conventional wisdom and the Standard American Diet. I was beginning to form my own ideas about what nutrition could mean for me.
It was at this same time that my sister began going Primal with her husband. She would call me and say, “I really think this could work for you.” I was skeptical to say the least. OK, I was ready to challenge the powers that be, but give up grains? ALL of them? Really? What would I eat? What would I feed my family? My sister’s only question to me was, “What do have you to lose?”
I bought a copy of The Primal Blueprint and read it in a few days. It made so much sense! Just reading and following your 10 Primal Blueprint Laws is transformative! And sleep is one of them! Oh, how I missed sleep. My husband was so busy I really had to lobby for more sleep, but he quickly saw that it made quite a difference to both of us! Getting him on board the food train didn’t take much convincing. Steak, bacon, eggs, avocados. I think his exact words were “H***, yeah!” He never much cared for all the “wheat poop” I used to serve him anyway. (Yes, those are his words for “whole grains.”)
I’m a much better cook now! I don’t think we ever realized how bland and tasteless pasta, bread, and breading can be. We buy grass fed beef and joined a CSA. My kids are trying and eating things I wouldn’t have expected young children to like (such as kale and salmon). The kids devoured Shawarma Salad. I made a bone broth stew from lamb necks and my son licked the bowl! My daughter’s favorite breakfast is your Sausage & Egg Breakfast Bites. I make them for her every week. And I don’t feel at all guilty giving them to her like I used to over Pop-Tarts and sugared cereals.
But here’s the success! I have been Primal for just over 6 months now and I haven’t had a yeast infection since we started! My nose? It’s just a nose, no weird bump things inside. I haven’t lost a pound, but guess what? My weight is all back in the right places. You wouldn’t see the difference with my clothes on, but I know it because of how my clothes fit! (My husband has lost 10 lbs. without even trying and would like to lose about 10 more. Totally doable.) My energy is up! I have learned how to listen to my body. I know what will give me energy and what will zap it! My husband loves eating a breakfast that fuels him until lunch or beyond. No more munchies in the office at 10 AM. I feel better and more in control of things now than ever before.
I love reading Mark’s Daily Apple. My favorite post was the one about which 10 foods you would take on a trip to Mars. You inspired me to try salmon skin. I’d always peeled it off and thrown it away before. “Bacon of the sea.” I love it! You are so helpful, and thought-provoking, and encouraging. I love the way your readers respond to one another and encourage each other. And your wife is gorgeous, by the way! (As if you didn’t know.) My husband is pretty stoked that if we continue with this lifestyle I’ve got a good chance of looking like that in my 50’s!
I’m not sure if my story is as inspirational as those who look like they have had a total body makeover, but I have transformed my body! It’s just in ways you can’t see. I feel like a success! I think that’s what counts. Grok on!