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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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March 20 2015

I Couldn’t Believe the Sudden Switch, Everything Suddenly Became So Easy!

By Guest
44 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!

real_life_stories_stories-1-2My weight has always been something that I have struggled with. From a young age I had a very love/hate relationship with food. As in I loved eating it and hated when it was gone. Due to this I was a very large teenager. After college, I decided to lose weight and I managed it… but I was eating barely anything, running three to six miles a day, Thai Boxing twice a week, gym five times a week and having two personal training sessions a week. It just wasn’t sustainable. As soon as I stopped all the “Chronic Cardio” I just piled the weight back on.

Over a year passed and I was heavier than ever (roughly 120 kg/18.89 stone). Just before Christmas I went to visit my sisters. My sister Nikk (your biggest advertiser over the pond I should imagine, may as well be a rep) introduced me to your book, The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. One night over dinner she went through all the principles and what it entailed. She lent me the book and on my merry way I went. Over the next couple of days I couldn’t put the book down. I made it my New Year’s resolution to follow the 21-day reprogramming guide to get to 85 kg. And I did. From the 1st of January, I was Paleo. The first week wasn’t the easiest because I was used to having takeaway three to four nights a week and eating whenever I could during the day.

After the first week I couldn’t believe the sudden switch, everything suddenly became so easy. I wasn’t getting hungry and I felt better. For exercise I used to run a lot but unfortunately, with my weight being so high, I was prone to shin splints. So, I took the book’s advice and started walking after dinner. Headphones in, off I went. Before long I genuinely enjoyed the walks and started walking everywhere. My car became redundant apart from work and back.

Once I started realizing that I was losing weight at a rate of knots, I started weighing myself every day. I was loosing between 0.4 and 1.1 kg a DAY. Could this be right??? YES. I am really happy to report that at the moment of writing this I am 85.6 kg. I’m hoping to be my target weight by tomorrow… or the day after at the latest. And the best thing about this whole experience??? It’s so easily sustainable. I don’t have to devote hours and hours to training, and I am loving the food.

richard

Thank you to everyone involved in the book and my sister Nikk, because it really has changed my life.

Richard

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44 thoughts on “I Couldn’t Believe the Sudden Switch, Everything Suddenly Became So Easy!”

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  1. Congrats! You look great 🙂

    I wish my neighborhood was more conducive to walking. We don’t have any sidewalks and the sight distances right in front of my house is non existent so it’s pretty dangerous. I still walk my pups, but it always makes me nervous.

      1. Yes I do! But the little hill in front of my house creates a blind spot no matter what. I usually jog that part, but my 10 year old dog isn’t much for running these days so I end up basically dragging her along lol.

        1. I live in Canada and from October to April it is too cold to walk outside. I walk using the Leslie Sansone walking videos, they are fun and easy to do in a 4 by 4 foot space in front of your tv. In fact i love them so much, I downloaded one onto my phone and last week when i was stuck at the mechanics for 3 hours waiting for my car, I went into the bathroom there and did a walk video with my earphones on! if you youtube search her name you can find tonnes of videos there to try out a 1 mile up to 5 mile walk video 🙂

  2. Boom! Love it.

    BTW Warrior Dash tomorrow for me. Two years ago couldn’t jog for 10 seconds.

  3. Congrats, Richard. You look terrific!

    “…Everything suddenly became so easy.” I’m glad those words are the headline for today’s story. People periodically post comments here indicating they know the drill and read the articles, but they haven’t yet embarked on a Primal lifestyle for whatever reason. An 80/20 or 90/10 Paleo diet IS easy, much more so than other diets. In fact it’s almost effortless, and for many of us the weight has melted off unbelievably fast. I hope today’s article will serve as encouragement for those who frequent MDA but are still undecided.

  4. I’m curious…does anyone else ever get pangs of fear that they are eating the wrong diet? I’ve been eating this way again for the last 3 weeks with no cravings and lots of energy (and inches lost!!) but I get so much push-back from my family that I get scared I’m doing harm. They’re all convinced that unless I’m either vegetarian or vegan that I’m going to drop dead from all the (glorious grass-fed) meat. I should mention that my family is all in the medical profession in some way. I’m just wondering what others think. Thanks.

    1. I definitely did in the beginning. It takes a while to “deprogram” yourself after a lifetime of conventional wisdom. Even once I was fully convinced of the science, it took me a while to use fats like lard or coconut oil without wondering if, maybe, everyone was right and I was killing myself after all. But after a while the fears go away, because you just can’t discredit your own experiences!

    2. A couple of ideas…

      Most if not all of the healthiest, longest living groups of people are not vegetarian or vegan.

      Remind them that factory-farmed animals are not equivalent to pastured animals, so any scary research about CAFO meat does not apply to you.

      Research traditional diets of the people in your ethic group…go as far back as possible. My ancestors were eating seafood, reindeer, fermented fish, homemade cheeses, sauerkraut, unprocessed oats, etc.

      Speaking of which…how about including seafood in your diet in addition to eating meat (not saying you aren’t eating seafood, but it wasn’t mentioned.)

    3. I’ve been eating like this for years, even without the grassfed, and I’ve never been healthier. I had the “natural high” feeling too. It’s awesome!

    4. I’ve been living this way for 4 years now, and i’ve lost track of the number of doctors, nutritionists and assorted health professionals that have told that the eggs/meat/fat are going to kill me. Of course, they are all at a loss when I point out to them that my blood lipids have improved significantly (borderline problem to what problem?), I had strong diabetic symptoms (although not yet considered diabetic) which have disappeared, my blood pressure went down to where it was in my 20s (I’m 56 now) and I am more muscular than before menopause. When you get your next physical, compare your results to your pre-primal one and see the difference. It’s tough to argue that.

      1. Exactly, that’s what put any doubts to rest for me. Yes I felt great, lost weight, was more energetic and happy. Then I had a routine physical with a standard blood panel done, after only 7 months primal eating the improvement in every category was remarkable compared to the prior years results. No sane doctor could argue with those results!

      2. But have you lost weight? I have been at it for a little over a year now. While I lost a few pounds in the beginning (4 or 5), I can’t seem to lose any more. I am a 53 year old female so I know weight loss is difficult, but it seems like everyone else just has pounds fall off of them without even trying. I was consuming full-fat dairy, mostly in the form of greek yogurt but also some cheese and milk. I have recently cut that out except cream for my coffee, and also cut eating nuts down to almost none. Trying to keep carbs around 50 a day for the last couple weeks. I don’t have a lot to lose but would like to lose SOME. Quite discouraging.

        1. I think many of us peri and menopausal women are struggling on the weight loss front. Stress is probably the biggest factor and that comes in many, many forms. For instance going too low carb for this group can be registered as a stressor for the body and trigger it to fat store, also disrupted sleep will increase cortisol and have the same effect. It’s a very complex area and I think it’s fair to say that generally speaking the 40-50s ladies switching to Primal/paleo have to do a lot more personal trial and error to see what works.

        2. Vicki, I agree with Kelda’s comment below about low carbs and women in our 40s and 50s. I noticed that you say you don’t have a lot of weight to lose. How have you determined how much weight you need to lose? Are you putting on muscle? Have you lost fat? I started paleo for health reasons (see My Healthy Lifestyle Was Killing Me on this website) and lost 5 lbs and 2 sizes in the first 6 months. Since then I’ve gained 20 lbs., but remained the smaller size. Interestingly, my current weight is only 5 lbs more than when I was 12 or 13, post puberty, but pre medical opinions, marketing, peer pressure, teenage foolishness, etc.

          If you still feel you need to lose some fat, you might want to consult with a functional medicine doctor in your area to see if you have any other underlying issue that your regular doctor is not seeing.

        3. Weight/fat loss requires a calorie deficit in order for your body to tap into fat stores. There’s nothing magical about the foods in a primal diet. Any diet/exercise plan will work as long as calorie expenditure exceeds calorie intake. Obviously it’s best if your diet is based on whole foods but you can still lose weight even if you include grains, legumes, dairy or sugar. Fat loss is simply a numbers game no matter how much primal folks want to deny it.

          How fast you will lose it will depend on how large that calorie deficit it. 3500 cal=1 lb. Just do the math. You can choose to get the deficit from food or exercise or both. Cardio is the most efficient way to burn calories in a short time.

        4. “I don’t have a lot to lose but would like to lose SOME. Quite discouraging.”

          I find that people (ESPECIALLY menopausal women!) who “don’t have a lot to lose” don’t tend to lose much at all on primal/paleo/low carb. This is because our bodies need fat and hold on to some. The vanity weight on the scale may not agree with what our bodies try to maintain as homeostasis.

          The most important thing is your health. I lost 75 lbs, and would like to lose 20 or 30 more, but it’s not budging. However, I feel GREAT, all skeletal pain is GONE, my health markers are wonderful, I’m able to do so many things I could not do before. I would not trade how great I feel for a starvation diet just to lose vanity weight.

          Weight does not “just fall off” us menopausal women. But I’m grateful that I’m not gaining weight and feeling great. If I ever lose those vanity pounds, it will just be a bonus.

        5. I have never replied to a post but felt compelled when I saw “53 yo female”. I too am 53 and have struggled with weight loss. I have however seen a huge benefit in inches lost. I started my paleo journey about a year and a half ago and have lost only 20 lbs thus far, most of which came off painfully slow over a year with some up and downs mixed in. I, like so many, ate too much at times and binged on certain foods (almonds were out of control). I try to maintain carbs around 50gm and no more than 70. I have started to carb refeed a bit and worked some on portion control which has resulted in a few more lost pounds and lost inches. I do know that I feel better than I have in 20 years with more energy and vitality than I thought was possible. I think if you listen to your body and stick with the program things will continue to improve and results will occur.

        6. I hear you Vicki. Perimenopusal has made it near impossible to lose. But I feel so much better primal and have muscle I never used to have. Got to figure some of the fat has turned to muscle. High dose good tumeric and reversatrol finally helped me to shed some pounds (18) but I have plateaued the last month. I heard about that on the woman’s weight loss seminar and have been wanting to ask Mark about his thoughts on tumeric. The claim was it helps with inflammation so prominent in women our age. Yoga and deep breathing to decrease cortisol from stress has also helped. Good luck.

        7. I see that quite a few woman over 50 have been slow at loosing the weight. Yes, it is true that some loose a large amount of weight fast but I am not one of them.

          I am a 58 year old female and changed my life by becoming primal 8 months ago and will continue. I have lost 43 pounds and 4 sizes so far and will continue at a slow rate of 1 pound per week. I do not want the slow weight losers to be discouraged.

          Everyone is different and if the pounds aren’t dropping off, then please read Mark’s books again. I missed so much the first time I read the books and just had to laugh at myself because really it is so easy to be primal. Retraining your brain is the hard part.

          For women that are menopausal read Dr. Jade Teta’s book Metabolic Effect. It is amazing how much the hormones effect your system and he explains what is necessary to get the metabolism active again. I have to admit I eat primal but have added the workout portion of the book to my schedule.

        8. I recently did the online Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge on the new Vimify platform (check it out it’s great, vimify.com). Mark’s coaches for us were Vanessa and Adam Lambert BTW.
          Anyway I wasn’t losing weight even tho last time (Spring) I was strict primalI did lose weight. People (peers) on the challenge with me pointed out that perhaps I was eating too much protein for my size. And, sure enough, I went back to MDA and looked it up and you can make glucose out of protein if you eat too much of it especially small people like me. I am a post menopausal female too BTW. Anyway, then I broke my leg so things have been weird but I did go back and compare my protein intake last spring, when I was losing weight, to my protein intake in Jan/Feb. and sure enough, it was a lot lower back when I was losing weight. So, now -as soon as I can stand on a scale 😉 and move around a little more- I will see if that was the problem.

    5. We are all going to die. So if the way you are eating gives you the body composition you want, you feel good, and your markers are within range then LIVE! Enjoy it so that no matter what gets you in the end you can look back and say you did what seemed right. Stressing over who is right or wrong is really just stress. 🙂

      1. Been on here for 2 yearsish; I have amazing results which I’ll proudly submit someday. I am the Primal UK queen! Just love this comment! xx

    6. Hah, never listen to a vegan. Primarily because veganism is a diet founded on the idea of moral purity. It’s not a science based diet as far as metabolic or nutritional concerns go. So most of the vegan literature is shame based and centered around demonizing non-vegan choices. So arguing with a vegan is like debating religion. It’s a no win situation because a faith based system can’t be reconciled with a science based system.

      But as far as going against conventional wisdom, I sympathize. I’ve always eaten at least four eggs a day my entire life ( I’m 48 now). So you can imagine the warnings I’ve had to endure. It took a lot of confidence to stay the course as everyone – literally everyone – eating for eggs a day was crazy.

      The science has now shown what my body told me was true all along. Eggs are awesome and heart healthy.

      Oh, and I’m a vegetarian as well (28 years now). But I never encourage people to do it if they like meat and meat makes them feel good. Vegetarianism will just make them feel weak and grumpy. But if you don’t really care for meat, or meat makes you feel lethargic or creates digestive problems, then sure, try vegetarianism. It may be a better fit for you.

      1. I agree – a lot of vegans seem to be so caight up in their own self-serving idealism, they miss the big elephant in the room which is that the human race is detroying the earth, and they are human, thus the best thing they could do if they truly beleive in their cause is to remove themselves from the earth

    7. A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt comes to mind:

      “Do what you feel in your heart (and in this case, your body, cravings and energy) to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.”

      Grok on!

    8. You can focus on “this is working really well for me,” and not suggest you are questioning what works for them. And also that the weight is a risk factor in itself, and you are taking care of that one.

  5. Way to go. That’s about 265 lb. down to 175 lb. in two months!
    Wish I could lose weight that fast. But I continue to make progress so no complaints, and feel so good that I wouldn’t change a thing.

  6. Congratulations! I am barely on day 40. Yes, definitely smaller and not bloated. It is easy. I too am grateful. Thing is, I am smaller, but only lost like 10 lbs, but much smaller. I do need to buy smaller clothes, but I am so busy all the time work and college I haven’t done so. Maybe because I think, I will just balloon up again. Part of me is in disbelief. I am liking this too.

  7. I also have dealt with the possibility that there may be a “downside” from my change in diet. I concluded that if, after experiencing relief from a number of issues normally considered part of aging, losing 35 pounds, having my doctor say “I don’t expect to see you in here in the next year unless you break a bone”, and feeling BETTER than I have in years, I fall over dead: What a way to go!

  8. I like that you said that primal was easy to follow. I agree. Every “nutritional expert” that lists all the different diets people are following these days always say the primal/paleo diet is too difficult to follow long term. I say bunk to that!

    BTW, you owe sister Nikk, big time.

  9. It’s definitely simple but far from easy. At least for me. I’m a 47yo female starting to experience mild “hormonal changes”. If I stray above 50gms of carbs per day I gain weight. I just started reading Keto-Clarity by Jimmy Moore and am considering a more aggressive approach. At the very least I’m going to start watching my protein intake more carefully. I think gluconeogenesis might be a factor. And I’m going to decrease carbs to 20-30gms. Again, not easy…

    1. Remember too, the exercise component of the primal blueprint is critical for sucess

    2. Ara,

      I am a 44-year-old female who has started to experience some “hormonal changes.” I also have arthritis, rosecea and thyroid problems. I have also had chronic GI problems since I was a little kid.

      I have been on the Paleo diet now for about 10 weeks. I’m down 21 pounds now but struggled in the beginning. I followed the program and cutting the garbage was not that difficult to do (after the initial sugar crash). The weight simply didn’t come off the way I expected it to and I was SO tired all the time. I found I could sleep ten hours and still be sluggish.

      I picked up Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s book “The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body.” I also bought the related cookbook. When I cut the nightshades, nuts and eggs everything changed and the weight has been falling off and my energy is back on the rise. Her book has a great section on sleep and how necessary it is for healing to occur after years (in my case decades) of abuse. I am still sleeping more than typical but I am not sluggish throughout the day like I was in the beginning.

      Because I had an autoimmune response to these particular paleo foods, I still had the inflammation in my body and the weight just would not come off. Maybe a similar change might be helpful for you.

  10. Yay Richard and Nikk! Way to follow the advice of your sibling, Richard, that has to be almost unheard of. Good work.