I’m Confident My Lifestyle Will Pay Dividends

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!

My success story isn’t one of weight loss amazement, but it’s still about an overall remake. Tyler version 2.0, I guess. My Primal path started about four years ago because I simply got fed up with feeling gross and tired. I had some friends and social media acquaintances who often touted the benefits of Paleo living and how eating real food made such a difference for them. I was skeptical. At the time, I remember being on a kick of eating more rice because I thought, “healthy carbs in large quantities are surely a good thing.” But on a Saturday morning in March of 2015 I told my wife I had had enough of feeling like garbage.

The next day I went to the grocery store on a Primal shopping mission. I loaded up on meats, fruits, and veggies with the determination to eat from those three categories for two weeks. If I didn’t like it or didn’t find it helpful, then I’d find a plan B. Well I’m still on Plan A, thank heavens. I went through the carb flu and came out on the other side intact. Yes, I had a couple of cheat moments those two first weeks, but I kept the 80/20 rule in mind and didn’t beat myself up over it. Heck, I still don’t!

Like others, I reveled in the fact that I could indulge in eating almost endless amounts of glorious meat (and fatty goodness), yet not gain weight or feel lethargically disgusting like I did when eating mounds of pasta, pizza, or other SAD foods. It was so wonderful to not count calories or watch my portions while on this new “diet” I was trying. The diet became a passion, and it became pretty darn easy. I went through the phase of telling everyone else they were eating wrong and that Primal was the only way. They didn’t all listen. Bizarre, I know. So I adapted to quietly telling the benefits of my lifestyle when asked, but I stopped shouting it from the mountaintop.

Fast forward to 2017 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Without yet knowing my preferred diet, my doctor gave a short sermon on how I’d have to radically shift my lifestyle away from a normal Western diet and avoid processed foods. When I told him of my Primal ways, he gave me a nod of approval knowing I was already on the right track. Having Crohn’s is a little scary (and many other people have ailments way worse, I know), but knowing my diet and lifestyle were already strong helped me feel a little more at ease. I still take the prescribed medication, but I’m confident my lifestyle will pay dividends in the long term helping me avoid heavier-duty prescriptions, surgeries, etc. And I now look back at my early days with even more gratitude for you and other Primal/Paleo advocates. You gave me something healthy, sustainable, and satisfying that I can use for the rest of my life.

In March of 2015 I weighed a little over 180 pounds and now weigh in around 165. I feel good, like this is what was meant for my body. Now in my early thirties, I am confident I won’t get that “dad bod” I was worried I’d someday have to face. I still eat mostly meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts and seeds. I don’t worry about missing meals or having all the food groups in that pyramid thingy. I lift heavy things and run up the hill in my yard just for a short sprint now and then. Because why not. I am not perfect – I don’t have a workout routine, I should probably eat even more veggies, and I still partake in non-Primal indulgences like beer or a half pan of brownies in a moment of weakness. Yeah, I could try harder, but I’m happy and I like this version of me. And I’m excited for the growth that might just yet come.

Thanks, Tyler

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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9 thoughts on “I’m Confident My Lifestyle Will Pay Dividends”

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  1. I have Crohn’s too. My doctor has also told me he’d like all his patients off sugar and processed food, especially foods with preservatives. I too am also on medication but diet changes have really made a difference in how I feel day to day especially my energy levels.

  2. Congratulations Tyler!

    And this is highly unusual:

    “he gave me a nod of approval ”

    Good doc!

  3. Great job Tyler, you look great and have cleared the toughest hurdle. Clear sailing ahead, don’t sweat the minor indulgences and enjoy life to its fullest!

  4. Congrats Tyler, I’m glad things are working out for you. By the look on your smile you seem to be in a great place. What’s exactly the dad bod? HAH. Congrats.

  5. Hi
    great you have found the elements of the primal blueprint beneficial. The health literature indicates that there is often a lot of stress\tension associated with Crohn’s disease and IBD. They have mixed views on whether these are a cause or result. Either way reducing stress, which is really anxiety, can be helpful in adding to quality of life. Dr Ainslie Meares was an eminent psychiatrist who developed a method of deeply relaxing meditative experience to reduce anxiety\stress. He writes that it was beneficial to persons with Crohns\IBD. So, you might want to look into that. I find Dr Meares’ method is highly compatible with the primal blueprint as it is non-religious and is really the minds own method of deep natural relaxation into calm and ease.

    1. Thank you! Yes, stress has been something I’ve thought to be a trigger or at least not helpful for my Crohn’s. That and whenever a major lack of sleep occurs, at least for me.

  6. This sounds great – except, of course, the Crohn’s. I agree with you that having a nutrient-dense, more natural diet is going to always give you a leg up for dealing with a condition like this. I have a friend with Crohn’s who has been completely managing her condition with a paleo diet and cucurmin. Of course, this may not work for you, but it is worth looking into. Best of luck!

  7. I really like stories like this that mirror my own experiences (minus the Crohn’s disease). I too “cheat” now and then (love me some craft beer). I’ve done Primal off and on (got lazy at times or traveled for work) for a few years and it worked well. Got back into bad habits and saw Mark was advocating keto (at least periodically as a reset) so tried that. I promptly lost 17 lbs, had the keto flu for a bit like Tyler, got through it, don’t waste time with breakfast any more, am never hungry, and now have amazing energy in my late 40s. Gotta love it!