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!
I honestly didn’t see this coming…. I’ve been blessed with good genetic health and energy my whole life, avoiding significant health challenges. Sure, I’ve suffered from an occasional pulled muscle or turned ankle, and over the course of a couple of years I nursed a right shoulder rotator cuff back to full capacity.
When I turned 46 years old, I started noticing discomfort in my right IT band. I had gotten back into some longer distance cardio training, and I assumed it would work itself out. It never became uncomfortable, just persistent at mile 4 or 5 of a trail run. Like many, I ignorantly blamed my age for slow declines in my health. On New Year’s Eve 2016, I joined up with two of my cousins to for a somewhat steep 6-mile hike up Frary Peak on Antelope Island, Utah.
Our conversation turned to age, energy and body weight. My cousins, Kevan and Brent, were both hovering below 170 pounds whereas I had somehow climbed from 171 pounds up to 184 pounds over the course of a few years. Given that we were all roughly the same age with similar familial traits and genetic factors, I took particular interest in our diverging body compositions. A couple of months later I had a routine physical with my family physician who attributed my mid-section weight gain to “natural aging factors.” I pretty much accepted this diagnosis.
That said, when your doctor says, “That’s just because you’re getting old” don’t believe it.
My 180-degree lifestyle change began a month later in April 2017, when I decided to support my wife in her Whole30® nutrition program as suggested by her sister and a couple of others.
Those who know anything about the program will sympathize with my discomfort in abandoning my go-to foods such as dairy, grains, legumes and sugars. But over the course of 9 or 10 days I noticed unexpected improvements in my energy level throughout the day and lack of bloating and burping after meals.
Suddenly I realized I could take control of my health, and that the natural aging process was merely incidental to my current and future state of well-being. Then, I stumbled upon a Bulletproof Radio episode where Dave Asprey interviewed Mark Sisson of The Primal Blueprint. From there I was introduced to the Primal Endurance book, along with a logical and intuitive set of immutable primal lifestyle laws.
From the book’s training recommendations, I went into a recovery phase before starting back up with a smarter Primal Cardio schedule. During this time, I had been eating mostly Whole30, and I began adopting more regular movement into my daily lifestyle along with myofascial release. Within a month I no longer noticed any symptoms of IT band discomfort or hip tension, and I remain free of these symptoms and any related discomfort to this day.
But even more importantly, my whole philosophy around aggressive cardio had changed, giving me a powerful perspective on balancing my cardio goals with long-term longevity. This enlightenment into my own health potential got me thinking about my immediate family members, each of whom has their own unique health challenges.
My wife and my mom have both battled varying degrees of depression and anxiety. My children have confronted daily challenges with social anxiety, asthma, poor core muscle tone, coordination, dyslexia, brain fog, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia and more. I’ve always been in general good health and I’m grateful for that. But as I pursued adapted new ancestral health and lifestyle habits as laid out by the Primal Blueprint and other sources, I discovered strength and wellness that I didn’t even know I was missing.
My improved energy and increased knowledge are helping me to help my wife, my children, my parents, relatives, and many others.
As a trail runner, family man, and now a Certified Primal Health Coach, I specialize in helping endurance enthusiasts discover habit-forming course corrections for reduced injury and illness through diet, lifestyle and healthy training practices.
I also work with adults who want to boost their overall energy, parents looking to transform their family’s health and companies interested in offering health-promoting programs within their business culture.
I founded Primal Utah to connect people and professionals through ancestral health community programs, events and coaching services.
A good coach helps you find your best path, discover the goals that are best for you and then, helps you stick to those goals. I love every opportunity to empower lasting course corrections in individuals, each with his or her own unique health story.
Ancestral health empowers people to live well in all aspects of their lives through sound nutrition, sleep, movement and stress reduction. I believe that healthy decisions aren’t made just once, but rather require constant evaluation and adjustment. I help people to tune into the signals that their bodies tell them, so that they can thrive from perpetual improvements.
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.