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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. Iโ€™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 weโ€™ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 26 2018

My Mind Is Still Catching Up With the Reality Of My Transformation

By Mark Sisson
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 Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Primal eating was not a reality for me for a very long time, I did not even hear the words until I was 27. But flash back to when I was 12-years-old, and had just found out that I was 203.2lbs. I remember that number so clearly because of how hard I sobbed that day on the scale at the doctor’s office. When my 8th grade self saw that I had crossed in to 200+lbs, I immediately I lost any self worth. Media in the 90s made it clear that being fat was social destruction and meant that you were “less than.” Living in this culture of perfectionism, I continued to eat and cope with my “imperfections” with sugar addiction and exuberant amounts of terribly processed foods.

Upon entering adulthood, the word “nutrition” alone made me uncomfortable as I did not have any real understanding of what it meant. I was taught and believed that all fat was bad and grains were healthy for my heart, that carbs were evil but these “magical” grains were somehow exempt. When I moved out at 17, I weighed 300lbs and felt miserable. My diet consisted of lunchmeat sandwiches, egg salad, coffee and fast food. I hated my body and avoided mirrors.

I decided that I wanted to make a change. Over the next several years I took the “beat my body in to submission” approach and paired it with diet plan after diet plan. I even took diet pills (now recalled) until the side effects were too much to for me to excuse. I ended up losing 60lbs of weight but at the cost of my adrenal health. I traded in the sugar for coffee and was not sleeping nearly enough for how hard I was working and training.

In 2011, I met and married my wonderful husband. He had previously been a physical trainer, and he helped teach me a lot of what he knew. It helped a lot to understand what he shared with me, but we both still had questions about the science of nutrition and biology. Over the next 6 years, together we sought out the answer for our health and wellness concerns. One of the first sources we came across (after watching ALL the food documentaries ever) was your website. That year, I attended Paleocon online and felt like I was drinking from a firehose. We almost immediately became as primal as possible in our eating and also in our lifestyle and exercise. We both experienced the amazing results. Aside from losing weight and feeling stronger, we noticed our skin and digestive issues were much improved. We were also thinking more clearly, and our sleep was much improved.

In 2015, I gave birth to my son, and over the next year I gained back all of the weight I had lost. Postpartum depression and anxiety encompassed my every day, and I began to spiral in to unhealthy eating once again. By 2016, I was nearing 300lbs again and felt so ashamed of myself. I began to go to therapy regularly and was diagnosed with CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I began working diligently with my therapist to unpack the trauma and my body responded with anorexia nervosa, which can be a side effect of addressing trauma.

I did not have a dysmorphic issue, however. At the time, I was averted by any food and my throat would restrict if I attempted to swallow. After some time, I wasn’t able to to eat meat due to digestion. However, sticking to a primal way of eating at the time is what kept me out of the hospital when it was difficult to eat. I chose soft foods, and the blender was my bestie. My ability to eat improved, and my diet since then has mainly consisted of all organic Coconut Oil, Ghee, Avocados, Eggs & Sweet Potatoes and other vegetables and some fruits.

I have continued therapy and have stayed dedicated to the same diet with the occasional deviation from my favorite bakery that offers paleo/keto options. Over the past year, have watched my weight plummet (with my Dr.’s supervision) very quickly. I stand here now today 158lbs, and my mind is still catching up with the reality of my transformation. I lost over 100lbs this year.

The combination of therapy and sticking to a primal lifestyle has led me to where I am today. I am still getting to know the woman in the mirror, but I am thankful for where I am every single day. Thank you, Mark, for providing us with a launching pad for our primal journey and for being a constant resource of information and encouragement. You are a part of my success story.

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

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21 thoughts on “My Mind Is Still Catching Up With the Reality Of My Transformation”

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  1. Yowsa. Great transformation. Amazing journey coming back from hell, twice. Thanks for sharing.

  2. at a loss for words to fully express how impressed I am with your accomplishments & perseverance. . . WOW!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing! For those of us who have not had a linear road to health, it can be discouraging when so many of the “success stories” seem to be: they discovered paleo then BAM they were optimally healthy, so I appreciate you sharing your twists and turns ? Also, you look so fierce in your last picture!

  4. Congratulations on your transformation – you look great! – and on dealing with a daunting challenge. I enjoyed your well-written story.

  5. Wow. Just wow. What an incredible story, and incredible pictures. Thank you.

  6. Wow, what an amazing story and successful transformation. Thanks for sharing your personal journey and enjoy all the best life has to offer. You deserve it and so earned it!

  7. Favorite success story in a while. Awesome job ๐Ÿ™‚ it is nice to hear of a primal success while abstaining from meat. I’ve found recently that my digestion is better when I don’t eat much meat. How much protein do you think you get per day?
    Loved your story, thanks for sharing and good luck on your journey ๐Ÿ™‚ I too had my son in 2015

    P.S. Mark, can you switch back to the old commenting system??

  8. So inspiring – your determination to make a full transformation left joyous years in my eyes ๐Ÿ™‚ I had my story published 6 years ago on Thanksgiving and so many of these stories bring tears to my eyes… I picture what life would be like if we never confronted this path and continued down it. Your drive to get back on the path is so absolutely amazing and something that will inspire countless others. May you have the happiest of holidays this season with your family ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Wow. Thanks so much for sharing your inspirational story. If I may so bold as to say it, you look absolutely gorgeous.

  10. Wow! Amazing transformation and story. Congratulations on making the changes.

  11. Wow is all I can say. I don’t know you, but I am hella PROUD of you for never giving up and doing what you had to do to get to where you are now. #Inspiration.

  12. Very moving story, thank you very much for sharing. Healing on so many issues is hard work. you look beautiful. Lots of health for you and your primal family.

    1. Brenda, I’ll be talking more about this in tomorrow’s post, but I’ll mention here that I have an Ultra Instant Pot. Since Lindsay Taylor and I put together The Keto Reset Instant Pot Cookbook earlier this year, we went ahead and got the higher end model. Still, you really can’t go wrong with any of the Instant Pot versions. The Instant Pot Duo is probably the most cost-efficient and fits all the basic needs of home cooks.

  13. Wow. You are amazingly strong to turn yourself around like this, and to do it twice? You have my admiration. This is an enormous success and there should be 100 admiring comments here.

    That must have been a very difficult childhood yet there was a rock star living in you all those years and now here you are. I hope you find a way to reach out to young people that are obviously suffering from a lack of nutrition education. When you see an obese child it is almost certainly an adult’s fault for allowing them to get there, it’s a shame and our society doesn’t seem to care to take a stand whether in schools or doctor’s offices.

  14. You are beautiful and inspirational, thanks for sharing your story! <3

  15. Wow. I can understand why your mind is still catching up with such a dramatic transformation. Youโ€™ll look amazing but I am in awe of the inner strength, courage and tenacity that this has taken. I wish you success as you continue your journey.