It’s Monday, 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 Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story—long or not so long. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!
They say if you love something you should let it go and if it comes back, it loves you too. Well, apparently excess weight really loves me because every time I let it go, it always seemed to come back! Relationships are complicated. Good ones leave you feeling refreshed and energized, while bad ones leave you feeling broken down, depressed, and anxious. Relationships with food aren’t much different.
In my twenties, I was living on my own and partying. Perhaps a little too hard, because over the course of a few years, I gained and lost over 100 pounds—often in 25-30 pound increments. I’d gain the weight, get frustrated, then attempt to lose it through increased exercise and severe calorie restriction.
This would last for a few months until I hit my goals, but it was simply unsustainable. It further pushed the narrative that in order to lose weight I would need to eat a steady diet of plain chicken breasts, salads, and low-fat yogurt while torching calories on the trails. I knew I didn’t want to do that forever.
By 2016, I was married with two young children. Between kids and our careers (I worked as a residential house painter), life got pretty stressful, and what I ate didn’t help. My breakfasts consisted of a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel and mozzarella sticks. And lunch was typically fast food or from a gas station. I would carry around jelly beans in my pocket and loved craft beer. Everyone else was overweight, so why not me too?
It wasn’t until later that year that I started to change my relationship with food.
I caught wind of the keto diet and suddenly realized that all of the modern day convenience foods I was eating were derailing my health goals. Within a few months of following a keto diet, I effortlessly lost nearly 40 pounds. (You can read more about my keto journey in this MDA post.) I learned everything I could by reading books and listening to podcasts. I even started a Facebook group where our members have collectively lost more than 4,000 pounds to date!
About that time, I began to notice ads about coaching certifications. One of them happened to be for the Primal Health Coach Institute. In the spring of 2017, after being confronted by someone close to me about my lack of “proper nutrition education,” I immediately enrolled in the program and starting my journey to becoming a Primal Health Coach, graduating in the fall.
Clients have been banging my door down to be taught how to achieve effortless weight management. Just kidding! Getting my coaching career off the ground was slower than I expected. I was still working as a residential house painter and had no marketing experience. I thought that if people knew I was a health coach, they’d simply ask to be coached!
Then I had another roadblock. My wife was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma brain tumor, and it was growing rapidly. We spent months focusing on her care and in the spring of 2018, a surgery was scheduled to have it removed. Even after the surgery, I spent much of my time and effort ensuring that she would make a full recovery, which thankfully, she did.
Despite not having the capacity to build a thriving health coaching business during this time, my yearning to have one never ceased. I continued to learn and stay active in the Primal Health Coach community and devoured podcasts and books about primal health.
In the beginning of 2019, I launched a podcast called “The Joe Health Show” featuring stories of people who have used a keto or primal way of eating to lose weight and manage chronic health issues. I also feature fellow Primal Health Coaches who’ve had their own health transformations and now help others dealing with similar struggles.
I focus my efforts on networking with other coaches and giving them a platform to share their story. My thought is that while I may not be the right coach for everyone, I can help spread the word about different health coaches, so people find the one that’s right for them.
In addition to my podcast, I’ve recently started my new “Bee Fit” Personal Health Coaching program and launched a 21-day online program called “Completely 21” that teaches the basics of healthy living decisions, from food and sleep to other lifestyle habits.
I’ve helped countless people overcome chronic health issues, reverse disease, decrease inflammation, lose weight, become more mobile, get off medications, and become more metabolically efficient runners. You can’t put a monetary value on that! Even if I never make another penny from my Primal Health Coach Institute certification, it was money well spent.
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.