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...Tell Me More
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!
In our Primal Community, most of us are looking to get back to our roots and thrive as our ancestors did for millennia. We work diligently to realign our lifestyle while still functioning in a high-tech world.
We recognize the conveniences that many have succumb to, yet we choose a different and sometimes more difficult path knowing that it’s the right thing to do.
I didn’t always live the way I do now.
As a child, I was raised in the vast suburban sprawl of Southern California where I logged plenty of hours in front of a television watching mindless shows and playing video games. My diet consisted of sugary breakfast cereals, corndogs, and greasy fast food.
All of these meals were full of the trifecta that leads to obesity: cheap grain, sugar, industrial oils, and not to mention, factory-farmed animals.
I was relatively sedentary up until high school, when my heavy weight and 6’5” stature became a hot commodity for the football team. I played offensive line and was encouraged to gain even more weight to increase my effectiveness on the field.
One of my coaches actually encouraged our linemen to make PB&J sandwiches each morning using an entire loaf of white bread. We were told to eat the loaf of PB&J’s throughout the school day to ensure that we kept weight on.
I never tracked my macros back then, but have since estimated the break down to be close to 60% carbs, 25% protein and the remaining 15% fat made up of vegetable oils in the “food” I was eating. I was an athlete but I was not healthy and didn’t realize how bad it was until many years later.
Despite my less than nutritious diet, I was still performing at a high enough level to earn a full Football Scholarship to Northern Arizona University. I reached my peak weight there as I packed on muscle and ate like a king in the student dining halls.
At that time, I reached my max weight of 308 pounds which consisted of dense muscle coated in a layer of fat from years of being on the Standard American Diet, aka SAD.
After I hung up the cleats and helmet for good, I continued to eat as if I was in the middle of a “two-a-day” workout without actually exercising.
Once I noticed the muscles under my layer of fat had atrophied, I panicked. I applied the pseudo wisdom of calories in, calories out and bought a triathlon bicycle and started training my butt off. I rode 150 miles a week, ran 20-30 miles, swam with U.S. Masters Swimming groups, and trained in the gym.
I would neurotically track my calories and do simple addition and subtraction, then eat all the junk I could while maintaining the deficit I thought would lead to significant weight loss. I thought a calorie was a calorie and knew nothing of the complex hormonal systems that make up the human body and the responses to each food at varying times.
I did lose some weight but never got below 285 pounds while competing in triathlons. Despite my oversized stature, I managed to place fairly well and won the Clydesdale Divisions more often than not. Even though being King of the Clydesdales felt good for my ego, my goal was to be fit and healthy.
After a few years of flogging myself on my bike to make up for the cookies I devoured, I knew I had to change how and what I was eating. I constantly felt subpar in my focus, mood, and energy levels.
I went to Google and started experimenting with all sorts of fad diets. I tried being pescatarian, vegan, and even dabbled with juice cleanses in hopes of getting my ideal body. All of my attempts were torturous and yielded short term results with a high likelihood for major relapses. I was never satiated after a serving of tofurkey and I was ravenously hungry after my morning juice (can you say sugar bomb?)
I knew something still wasn’t right.
I went back to Google and luckily landed on a Mark’s Daily Apple blog and found something that made so much sense to me. I decided to follow a strict Paleo Diet and hesitantly ate fat after years of being told how bad it was for me.
At first, I was afraid that I was enjoying food too much and that I would balloon back to the heaviest version of myself.
After a few weeks, I no longer had to eat multiple meals to keep my energy stoked and I was finally feeling satiated. I had a laser focus that felt like nothing I had ever experienced.Weight loss became effortless and my performance at work improved exponentially. Many of the other ill side effects of being overweight dissipated as well.
I spent 25 years of my life overweight and unhealthy and knew that it was something I never planned to revisit. After finding the Primal Lifestyle, it took me under a year to lose 100 pounds. At 26 years of age, I weighed 207 pounds and wanted to spread the word.
At the time, I was employed by Thomson Reuters in a sales job working with law firms and attorneys to enhance their businesses. As anyone in sales knows, 80% of success comes from the relationships you form with individuals and if you have a good product, the rest takes care of itself.
I found that every one of my clients wanted to hear about my journey to health and wellness. They asked for my guidance on how to replicate my results. I started receiving pictures of menus and daily food journals from the top lawyers in the country asking for my advice.
These attorneys would spend the majority of their time talking to me about lifestyle changes and at the end of our call, they’d purchase our products.
I had so much fun coaching them but never thought of it as a viable career.
Recently, my wife and I decided to leave the hustle and bustle of Southern California as well as the security of the corporate jobs we had and move to a slower part of the country. We moved east in a reverse manifest destiny and landed in the amazing mountain town of Spearfish, South Dakota. Without the cushy job, I wanted to take my chances on entrepreneurship and work on my passion of helping people reach their ideal selves.
I found out that the Primal Health Coach Institute was training people to do what I had been doing for years but in a more official capacity. I had to sign up and take my passion to the next level.
The course guides you through an amazing journey of wisdom that Mark, Brad, and the rest of the Primal Team have been sharing for years. I learned so much in so many areas and they all tied back to a Primal Lifestyle. I discovered epigenetics, biochemistry, behavioral science, and even lessons on how to run a coaching business.
Since launching my own health coaching practice, I have been able to help a broad spectrum of people in my community. I have assisted in families kicking their sugar addictions, reduced a Type-2 Diabetes patient’s insulin intake by 80%, and trained two medical doctors to enhance their lives as well as their future patients’ lives.
I have big aspirations to help Mark reach his goal of helping 100 million people and I look forward to sharing my plans with all of you.
My biggest takeaway from the Primal Health Coach Institute and other sources is that everything we do is interconnected. Each decision we make has an effect on the world and its our responsibility to be conscious of that.
Each time we buy a product, we cast a vote to advance the planet or keep the status quo. I educate my clients on the multifaceted benefits of buying grass fed beef or bison and how it keeps the prairie full of native grasses instead of row crops of corn or soy. I also bring to light the importance of supporting local farmers and how that advances our effort to decentralize food and enrich your local economy.
In helping 100 Million people, we can truly mend the fissures in our system and heal our planet.
I admire the foundation that The Primal Blueprint has set and I want to help be an agent for change in this direction.
Thank you all for your small daily contributions that advance this movement.