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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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September 29 2017

My Entire Life Changed When My Nutrition Did

By Guest
21 Comments

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 never thought about writing my story and sharing it here but, I realize now my story is a crucial part of my life, business, and relationships. I share it every day and will be so happy if it inspires at least one person to take action to start healthier living.

I moved to the states from Russia in 2010. I had quite an unhealthy lifestyle back home: ate sugar, drank tons of coffee, stayed up at night,  smoked cigarettes, and I never exercised. When I moved to the US, my host family (thank God someone was so dear to influence me) made an ultimatum: I either quit smoking or I can’t stay with them. I had no other options, and quit after 8 years of chain smoking and 4 years of attempting to quit. Part one of getting healthier was done.

In the next two years, I got chubby. I never got fat, but with no exercise my muscle tone was remarkably similar to a marshmellow. I was hooked on all the new packaged and easy to eat foods. I could eat a box of Cheez-Its after dinner, my lunch was 2 huge grilled cheese sandwiches daily, and I ate cookies in between classes in college. Needless to say, I took many classes, and there are many types of cookies…

By May of 2012, I looked and felt horrible. I had acne, indigestion, migraines, high blood pressure for a girl in her late 20s. I did not gain a ton of weight, but 15 pounds extra were there for sure. I hated my body. I couldn’t run a mile since I was a child, and it usually resulted in me fainting (seriously!). I had a terrible self-esteem and never had energy. Then I had a bad breakup. One of those stab-you-in-the-back-for-no-reason (oh, was there a reason?) type of affairs.

A couple of weeks prior to that, my new friend named Mark told me about Paleo and Primal. He sent me those initial lists from the Primal Blueprint and recommended Loren Cordain’s book as well as MDA. I hit rock bottom with my health and was desperate to try something new. In fact, I was a vegetarian for 8 years at that point, and out of nowhere I started secretly getting in my friends’ fridge in the middle of the night to eat frozen, pre-cooked bacon (yuck). It was hard to “come out” but I did. And once I did, I switched to no sugar, no gluten, and no dairy.

For the next few weeks, I felt PHENOMENAL. I felt like I was reborn. I slept for 4 hours and would wake up well rested. I started running. I could run a mile, then two. Then I signed up for a half marathon and ran after 3 months of easy, enjoyable training. I worked through my other issues. Acne cleared. Blood pressure improved dramatically. Self-esteem went up. I looked amazing and felt like a queen of the world.

My mindset changed. My relationship with myself changed. I respected myself so much more and my confidence grew daily. My grades went up. I was totally rocking my life.

And then when I was not looking (of course), I met my prince Charming, who prior to meeting me lost 200 pounds on keto. Since he randomly ran into my life, and since we ate the same way we decided to get married. Kidding. It was a commonality that did bring us closer. We fell madly in love and could not spend any time apart. He enlisted in the military, and we have had plenty of adventures ever since. He kept the weight off and taught me how to cook delicious, low-carb friendly meals. Now I do most of the cooking, since the military can be so demanding, but we still keep the same high standards in our food.

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I did a fair share of not-so-primal long distance running ever since, and then switched to CrossFit, other fun workouts, playing more, and listening to my body.

Fast forward 3 years. I quit a successful corporate job because one of our mutual life goals is to help 10,000+ people to restart their lives through health. I became a Primal Health Coach in August 2016 and started my practice then. You can find me at AnyaPerry.com. I am happy to do what I love every day, and see how people’s lives change; It makes my heart beat faster and really is a great motivation every morning. I am honored I could learn from Mark and MDA so many things about the Primal lifestyle. I am now a CrossFit Level 1 coach and coach both CF classes and nutrition at a local gym. I eat low-carb and primally most of the year, and carb-cycle when I build. I have so much energy daily, and I know I am extending my life every hour by fueling my body with proper food, good movement, and positive thoughts.

Thank you, Mark, for being such an inspiration and well of knowledge for people. I will always cherish that and continue sharing knowledge with the masses.

Anya Perry

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21 thoughts on “My Entire Life Changed When My Nutrition Did”

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  1. Awesome transformation and story Anya, thanks for sharing and I wish much success to you and your husband!

  2. Well done, Anya! I especially wish you great success in your health coaching business, because it is so desperately needed today. Your own example (and that of your husband) will be a powerful inspiration for people.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Andrea! I know we are not alone and hope this story can motivate or move someone <3

  3. Privet Anya! I was very glad to read your story. There are very few Russians (friends and relatives) who can understand my choice of moving to Paleo 4 years ago. As you can imagine it is almost complete change of cuisine. That is why I was so happy to see other people from the motherland who made a complete transform.

    I wonder what did your Russian friends tell you? When you visiting Russia, how people react when they invite you to their home to find that you may not ear most what is on the table?

    1. Privyet! When I was still in college and traveled back home to visit, mom gave me looks for bringing a jar of coconut oil with me. But she respected my choices and always either let me cook or cook for me. The Older generation – grandparents – were used to me being “picky”, or vegetarian. They were happy to see me eating meat again. I guess I lucked out with my family or they are used to my quirks? 🙂

      My friends would invite me over and ask me “What are you NOT eating this time?” haha. What about you, are you struggling with family feasts?

  4. Anya Perry you have made me laugh, smile, nod my head in agreement and feel determined to keep on track. Thank you for a wonderful start to the weekend

    1. Helen, thank you so much! I am definitely glad I shared my story then!! Keep on rocking – you are doing great!!

  5. Excellent work Anya! It’s good that you have been so open to making changes.

  6. Congratulations Anya on your great success. What a great story, thanks for sharing!

  7. Yay, Anya! I’ve loved connecting with you as PB coaches and colleagues. And love finding more of your story here! A beautiful surprise this Friday – thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Dana! I am so happy our paths crossed. I am honored to know you and be colleagues!

  8. yap i agree, changing your nutrition and trying your best to eat healthy and get far from all those fast food, eat more fruits and natural juices thata will be able to change your entire life for the good.