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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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May 06 2009

Going Primal Helped Me Recover From Anxiety

By Guest
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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!

I have two pictures of me and two stories. The first was taken in 2005 at age 20 after I finished a big bulking session. I had spent the previous four years working out like a bodybuilder. I ate little to no sugar, only “complex” carbs (brown rice, baked/sweet potatoes, wheat bread, etc) and followed typical bodybuilding low-fat high-carb diet. I worked out 4-5 times/week, did steady state cardio (swimming, usually), etc.

Around this time, I started developing severe anxiety and panic attacks, both of which are disorders of serotonin regulation. Serotonin is largely affected by insulin and messed up serotonin often goes hand in hand with insulin resistance. You can barely tell from the picture that I had substantial musculature, because it is so covered by fat. I weighed about 175lbs and I could bench 240 and squat 300. Not bad, but not great either. A week after this picture was taken, I had appendicitis and then an appendectomy,followed by the mother of all panic attacks. For over a month, I was completely incapacitated and could only sleep for 1-2 hours each night. After months of trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, I stumbled upon the Paleo diet on Art DeVany’s website.

I dropped the “complex carbs”, upped my fat consumption, worked out less, and did less cardio.

After only two years of this, the second picture was taken a few months ago at age 22:

Keenan Before/After

I weighed about 160 in the 2nd picture, and my lifts are the same as when I was 175, except that I have more power and control of them now. Panic attacks are non-existent because my insulin levels are low and regular, keeping my serotonin levels low and regular. There is much, much more to the paleo lifestyle and diet then “getting big”; it’s about physical and mental health, sustainability, and quality of life.

You’re absolutely welcome to use those comments and pictures. I’ve greatly benefited from reading your site, and I appreciate the opportunity to “give back” a bit.

Keenan

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