3 More Success Stories from the Primal Front

Who doesn’t love a good success story? I know I do. It’s a large part of what keeps me and this blog going day in, day out. And anecdotes matter. They add further credence to the Primal Blueprint, they have the power to inspire and they give us all a little insight into how others are living their own Primal lives. If, after reading these success stories, you’re jonesing for more, check out the success stories pages on Mark’s Daily Apple or the success stories category. And if you have your own story and pics to share shoot me a line here. Happy Friday, everyone!


I used to be a frustrated 178 pound, 5’7″ tall female. I’d had some success with programs like Weight Watchers and Alli in the past, but they were always short-lived. After awhile on those programs, I got hungry and I got tired of depriving myself of food. So I ate. And I gained weight. Even though I was logging in my running miles nearly every day, I could not lose weight without major dieting.

In March 2010, my sister introduced me to MDA. She didn’t need to lose weight, but raved about how much better she felt overall. At first I was skeptical. You know the knee-jerk reactions: “It’s not healthy to cut out an entire food group”, “Low-fat is the best way to lose weight”, “I can’t live without my Fiber One bars”, etc. Even though I doubted the Primal concept at first, I read some pages on MDA and started thinking. As a science teacher, the premise behind it made sense. Also, the success stories were compelling. I had recently gotten engaged, and thought it would be nice to lose some weight before the wedding, but I didn’t want to go on any drastic crash diets. I finally decided to try it for two weeks and see how it went.

It was amazing. Within the first week I could see improvements. I wasn’t hungry every 2-3 hours! I had enough energy at the end of the day to run around outside with my dog! And I was losing weight. I felt like I was cheating, because I wasn’t “trying” to lose weight. I didn’t measure or count anything. I ate as much as I wanted whenever I was hungry. I was very surprised how quickly I got over the cravings for grains. It was much easier than I thought it would be. I stopped running, and started walking, lifting weights, and sprinting occasionally. I started adding the occasional IF, usually just as a skipped meal.

Now, I’ve reached the six month mark, and I’m not turning back. I feel great, and I look pretty good too. I’m down to 158 pounds. I still have a little ways to go, but I’m trying to stay relaxed about it. I know that if I continue to eat and exercise Primally, I’ll get to my healthiest weight and body composition, whatever that may be.

About the pictures: The first one was on March 19, 2010. I was trying on wedding dresses, and found “the one”. The second picture is from my wedding reception on September 25, 2010.



Dear Mark,

I am an Athletic Director at an international school in Santiago, Chile; having arrived here this past July, from another school in Bangkok, Thailand. I am 57 years old (like you!), and I have been endeavoring to follow a Primal lifestyle for just over two years now. I had previously tried being a vegetarian, and then added some fish, but I did not feel much different or better. So, I started eating Primally and after the first few weeks (a tough adjustment with deleting all the grains and starchy carbs I had been eating), I began to notice some changes. I no longer would get any bloated/gassy discomfort, and I always felt “lean.” Additionally, my energy level increased and I honestly now feel like I have more energy these days than I did 5-10 years ago!

I have recently started the Primal Fitness routines and exercise suggestions, and the overall flexibility of the program has helped greatly – it is easy to adapt and modify depending on your schedule, and your overall motivation levels. Plus, I feel that I have gained a great deal of “functional fitness,” which is crucial. I also continue to use my TRX suspension trainer, and usually try to work out in my Vibram FiveFingers, along with doing various other bodyweight/core training workouts. Overall, I am feeling great as I enter my 7th decade on this planet!

My real story though, is more about helping others, which you have made your “mission,” Mark. When I started living Primally and feeling/looking better, people started noticing, and would ask me questions. I then began to spread the many benefits of this awesome lifestyle. In the past two years, I have purchased around 15 copies of THE PRIMAL BLUEPRINT, and given the book as a gift to friends whom I felt were truly interested, and would “give it a try.” I have also bought some Grok On t-shirts for some good friends who have “gone primal,” and I continue to regularly purchase some of your supplements, and recently some new Primal Fuel and the Primal Leap Kit. Reading your website daily and feeling the great effects of being Primal has really made me want to share as much info as possible with friends and colleagues. When I receive positive feedback from people, it is a great feeling – one which you experience every day, Mark!

For me – this is one of my favorites from a good friend still teaching in Thailand, as he had just returned from a summer trip to the U.S. –

Just wanted to say thanks again for changing my life. Had a great summer. Bought the FiveFinger KSOs, and working out is even more fun than before! Big difference.

Being in the states was challenging for me in terms of eating Primal. Stayed with my mom and dad, and they eat like typical Americans. Been back in Bangkok for a month now and have regained all the strength, explosiveness, and stamina that I lost in the US. Amazing how one month of eating junk can change the body’s performance.

I now feel and look great again. I have lots of energy and feel totally rejuvenated in life. I owe you so much.

Take care,

I have several other affirmations from friends and even some high school students also, but I have gone on long enough already. I often get funny looks and comments when people see my FiveFingers shoes on my feet, and many others wonder why I refuse to eat the typical “conventional-western” diet. I try to explain the many reasons, all based on research and evidence (thank you again!), but most just shrug me off and think I am nuts – including some of my own family members. Yet, this only encourages me, as I am definitely committed to staying on this Primal journey, and I will continue to spread your message to whomever I think will listen. I am convinced that this is the ONLY way to go, and I now think that my next job will be in the health-fitness profession. I agree with my friend Andrew – I owe you so much, Mark!

Thanks for listening, and as always – GROK ON!

Bob Connor


My name is Jeff Hopkins. I am 54 years old and have been seriously overweight my entire adult life. I have had many health problems due to the extra weight including diabetes, and most of the bad things that go with being obese.

The most I ever weighed (that I know of) was 324lbs. Thanks to finding Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint, Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solutions, and the Free the Animal blog, I am now a much slimmer 225 lbs.


This was taken last summer on a trip to New Mexico. I know I’m over 300 lbs but not sure how much over. Pretty sad, ain’t it.

This was taken tonight, 11/1/10. From a 56″ waist to 40″ jeans being a big big. I’m wearing size 3X shirt and shorts in the first pic and size XL in the after pic.

Quite a difference.

I won’t lie to you and tell you I lost 30 lbs and went from a 3XL shirt to a large, I didn’t. I went from a 3XL to a XL over a period of 10 months and at least 75 lbs (probably closer to 90 lbs). I also won’t tell you all my health problems are solved. They aren’t. Am I healthier and happier? Damn right I am, but I still have diabetes and take medicine for it and still have sleep apnea. BTW, losing weight rarely “cures” sleep apnea, it has more to do with the way your throat is built than your weight, but excess weight can make it worse. In my case, my pressure needs have not dropped.

I remember being told about your book and ordering it that day from you. I was desperate to change and knew if I didn’t I was going to have a slow miserable death. I remember making the deal with myself that I would eat this way for one meal at a time at first. It worked. It was amazing to watch the pounds fall off my body. I am convinced that this is the only way to live and I hope my short story can be of some use to you.

I still have a ways to go, and the going has been slowed down due to having a pretty bad spinal stenosis that is going to require surgery. I can’t do the workouts I used to do but I’m really looking forward to getting back to that after my surgery the end of the month.


Jeff Hopkins – Pauls Valley, OK.

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