I Was Blown Away That I Could Lose Weight Without Running!

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!

This may not look like your typical success story, but it’s still a primal success nonetheless! I have been blessed in that I’ve never had any illnesses or struggles with health. I’ve always been super active and that had helped me maintain a healthy weight, even throughout three pregnancies. My passion for running has always been deep and I completed my first marathon at the age of 31. I was hooked.

But with the growing number of miles, you can imagine how my appetite grew as well. I had the mindset that since I ran ten miles that morning, I could eat as much as I wanted, especially because I was eating “healthy” things like whole grain pasta, wheat bread, oatmeal, protein and snack bars, etc. I noticed that with every marathon training cycle, the scale would go up a little. I kept telling myself, “It’s okay, after my 20 miler this weekend I will drop the extra weight.” Nope. I noticed my clothes were getting uncomfortably tighter and my stomach was so bloated. I was confused because I would eat a big bowl of pasta and be hungry 30 minutes later. By this point, my weight was about ten pounds heavier than my normal, and the highest it had ever been! Most people probably couldn’t even tell, but I KNEW something wasn’t right. I felt horrible in my own skin.

As I was browsing for a new audiobook to listen to on my runs, I spotted one that caught my eye called Primal Endurance: Escape Chronic Cardio and Carbohydrate Dependency and Become a Fat-Burning Beast! I knew I had to read it, not just listen to it, so I ordered it right away. To say it changed my life is an understatement! Every chapter was describing my life exactly. I was one week out from my next marathon so I knew that wasn’t the time to make any drastic changes to my diet. I ran a 3-minute PR and qualified for Boston that Saturday, and on Monday I started the 21-Day Primal Challenge.

I cannot even describe how good I felt (except for a pretty bad headache on day two!). I followed the guidelines to a tee and saw incredible results. I lost seven very stubborn pounds during the three weeks and that was without doing any running. My exercise during the 21 days consisted of taking the kids and dog for daily walks. I was blown away that I could lose weight without running!

Needless to say, I didn’t stop after the 21 days. I have now been primal for 6 months and have never felt better. I’ve lost over ten pounds without even really trying. I love my eggs, avocados, nuts, berries, veggies, whole-fat Greek yogurt, and meat. My husband was skeptical at first, but saw my success and joined me in this lifestyle. He lost almost 20 pounds that he hadn’t even realized he’d slowly packed on over time.

I am currently training for the Boston Marathon and can easily go through the day after a run without ever feeling ravenous. If I have to wait to eat or skip a meal, it’s no big deal. I also make sure to avoid chronic cardio by keeping my easy days easy, and my hard days hard.

Thanks, Mark! Although I’m not quite ready to give up marathons, I’ll give up grains, sugar, and bad oils any day!

About the Author

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.

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11 thoughts on “I Was Blown Away That I Could Lose Weight Without Running!”

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  1. Love this kind of success story! Not everyone needs to lose 100 pounds or reverse diabetes. It’s amazing how great you feel when you cut out those grains.

  2. Love, love, love “Primal Endurance.” Love the whole Maffetone thing… Love even more that the Audible is read by The Brad Kearns. I superimposed this program over my Crossfit and strongman workouts (I loathe running). As much as I love to suffer, I like the performance results and I love feeling amazing, even more.

    Once or twice a week, I still do a Barbarian-type workout that honors the way of our ancestors. It’s the time that reminds me that there’s really nothing harder in life (at least my life) and that all other seemingly challenging obstacles will require less physical, mental and emotional wherewithal. It reminds me that our barbaric ancestors performed this kind of backbreaking work on a regular. It reminds me that this is my (our) barbaric lineage… we are descendants of the sole surviving species of genus Homo (the baddest, most barbaric mammalian predators that ever lived).

    Every one of has a success story that’s waiting to be written… it’s in our DNA.

    1. That sounds super interesting! I love crossfit and would be interested to hear more about your barbarian-type workouts. I too like the feeling of knowing that I’m in charge of putting myself through the hardest thing I’ll have to do that week, instead of having life decide that for me, lol.

      1. My unequivocal favorite workout is called “Barbarian;” it’s a wearable weight workout+ in which we honor our ancestors… it also happens to be the initiation experience for everyone that joins the tribe here at Ancestral Supplements (women do a version with 53lb implements). It’s a 1 mile drudge carrying 70lb kettlebells in ea hand, wearing a 70lb pack, pulling 70lbs on-top of a sled (w/ shoulder straps) and 20lb ankle weights. Every step is unsteady, off balance, as if trekking through shin-deep mud and carrying a fallen comrade back from battle. Shoulders and upper back remain lit up; never get a rest. Grip, grit and absolute resolve are measured in steps.

        Yeah, it’s totally barbaric… it totally garners all kinds of looks, comments and sympathy from outsiders (aka neighbors).

  3. What an inspiring story. I agree with Elizabeth that these stories can be just as motivational when they aren’t about massive weight loss. Well done and great that your husband has joined you.

  4. Most casual (non competitive) marathon runners will often eat more calories than they burn. Sure the elites will run 90-150 miles a week but most of us doing these are really only adding 10 to 15 miles a week which is about 1500 extra calories a week additional. So it’s very easy to pack in pounds. Plus the whole outdated carb loading philosophy. Yes the elites eat a ton of carbs and yes the Africans subsist on a very high carb diet but theirs is often natural and whole grain and again they are putting in 20 or more miles a day. They also eat mainly clean Whole Foods. They just eat more of it.

    1. They are great runners but also lacking muscles. Eating massive amounts of grains is highly unrecommended and eventually they all pay a price.

      1. What’s your source for this claim? I can’t find anything that indicates endurance athletes ‘pay a price’ in terms of longevity or health outcomes.

  5. Congratulations! Great story. I was exactly where you were at one point in my life. It’s amazing how great you can feel with a few tweaks

  6. This is great! Yes, you are what you eat! And I, too, used to eat all sorts of terrible stuff, and got away with it for years… Congratulations on finding the answers!