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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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October 16 2015

No More Debilitating Back Pain

By Guest
35 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!

real_life_stories_stories-1-2“I can’t move.” I said to my fiancé.

“What? What do you mean?”

“I can’t move! My back hurts so much.”

In May 2013 I was on vacation in the Netherlands with my girlfriend. She was pregnant in the 9th month and on that vacation I proposed to her on the beach (and lucky me, she said yes).

One morning I woke up and couldn’t move. The pain was so bad that I had to roll out of the bed because I couldn’t get upright. Damn, I was 28 years old. What happened?

chris beforeI never played any sports and was always a bit chubby. When I met my girlfriend I was pretty big already. I didn’t own a scale so I don’t know my weight at the time, but it had become really bad. So after the “I can’t move” incident, we traveled back home, I immediately stepped on a scale, and had a mini-heart attack – 105 kg. Oh boy. How did I become so fat?! To make things even worse I smoked a pack of cigs per day.

Something had to change.

After Googling a little bit, I found the workout app You Are Your Own Gym (body-weight exercises only), and started right away. Man, I didn’t know muscles could ache that much! Along with this, I started to count my calories. By October 2013 I had lost around 3 kilos… but I felt sluggish and really crappy.

One evening I googled “Losing weight without effort” (or something like that), and found a link to Mark’s Daily Apple and started to read. I read and read and read. And read. Wow, could it be so easy?

Living in Germany, there was no way to go to a book shop and buy The Primal Blueprint, so I went online and ordered the book via Amazon. It arrived fairly quickly and I read the whole thing within a few days. I was convinced. This could be it!

I told my fiancé: “Honey, I want to try that out. I have to lose weight. Will you support me?” She was really skeptical but she agreed to support me. So in October 2013 I started to live primally.

The first week was pure hell. I loved bread and it was really hard to ditch the grains. I had a massive headache, my belly really hurt, and I sweated constantly. I was feeling really sick and I nearly stopped the whole experiment.

But then something magical happened – my mind cleared. It was a revelation. The foggy feeling I had my whole life was gone. I was feeling like I had a mini super computer in my head. It felt like I could think faster, clearer, sharper – it was unbelievable. The craving for bread was still there, but this new feeling in my head was so awesome that I did not think about turning back.

I trained constantly with the YAYOG app. After a few months, I started to ride my bike regularly to work (22 kilometers one way). A little bit later I moved on to the Freeletics app and was hooked. Tough workouts in a large group – awesome feeling!

So what changed during my journey?

  • I lost roughly 25 kg (55 lbs)
  • I built up some muscles. Not that much, but I can see and feel them.
  • I stopped smoking.
  • The diffused pain in my belly is gone.
  • The pain in my finger joints vanished.
  • My back pain is completely gone.
  • My physical condition dramatically improved.
  • I only eat when I am hungry – and I stop eating when I am satisfied. No sugar cravings any more.
  • … can I write this? My stamina and potency improved… 🙂

Will I ever turn back? Hell no!

There is still some remaining body-fat, but I am on my way and I don’t want to hurry. It will vanish eventually, so I am pretty relaxed.

chris after 2

Going primal was the best decision I ever made. Thank you, Mark, for everything. I don’t know where I would be today without you. Probably pretty fat and immobile. 🙂

THANKS!

Chris

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35 thoughts on “No More Debilitating Back Pain”

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  1. Great story, Chris, and nicely written. Love the side-by-side before-and-after photos. Good luck with your continuing journey.

  2. Wow, wow, wow, felicidades Chris, espectacularmente motivante, fuiste corto en tu historia pero sustancioso. Me impresiona tu entusiasmo y constancia, me motivas a seguir por esa misma ruta.

    Saludos !

  3. Wow, Chris! Congrats on your success! I’m from Germany as well and recently started to switch to a Primal lifestyle.

    Do you mind sharing some of your go-to meals and recipes? And what did your exercise routline look like? Did you continue with the calorie counting once you switched to paleo?

    Kudos from Hannover. 🙂

    1. YAYOG (you are your own gym) is a bodyweight app designed to be done with stuff you can find around your house. you can google it and hopefully you find what you need. I’ve been using it for four years now and it still continues to kick my ass. I moved my workouts to a gym about a year ago so that I could integrate some basic lifts but still use YAYOG as my template.

      1. Thanks for mentioning this! Had never heard of it but very interested. Downloading the app now!

  4. Berlin here. So glad to hear there is at least one other Primal enthusiast in the country. I don’t feel any sense of community and it is hard. Very few resources. All the more reason to congratulate you on resolving your health issues!

    1. Thanks Anna! Yeah, no real community here in Germany, unfortunately.
      But hey – we have all the resources at hand here at MDA. And also I feel that the movement is starting to grow here in Germany.

  5. I think … yes .. it is you! The ears look the same. Well done Chris. By the way, I don’t see much fat left, just a healthy body.

    1. Thanks Vanessa!
      There’s still some work to do but I am on my way. And like I wrote: No need to hurry, the remaining fat will vanish eventually!

  6. First fatherhood now on the way to beasthood. But more importantly health and vitality.

    Well done.

  7. You look like you’ve lost at least ten years – nice one! And congratulations on making the switch. Definitely worth it 🙂

  8. I’m with Vanessa, I don’t see any fat so maybe on your back? Don’t think so, just look fantastic, good work!

  9. My first thought was WOW. Congrats. So wonderful to learn this when you are young.

  10. Good for you; it looks like you lost a few years as well not just weight. But did you also loose you bodily hair? It something that best left for gym rats and body builders. Not something that Grock would have done (-:

  11. Um, what happened to your body hair in the second photo? When you lost the weight did you also lose the body hair?

  12. Great transformation, and good decision to grow the hair back, you look much better with it. And yeah, it’s amazing how many health problems suddenly vanish just by losing weight, isn’t it?

  13. Wow, that must have been tough! The bread (and beer and pastries…) in Germany is great. Congratulations.

  14. Congratulations! I can imagine the struggle of going Primal in Germany–so many pastries, breads and beer! Is your fiancée also Primal? That support is so important.

  15. awesome story, i missed the part where you asked for grooming opinions from random people though.

  16. Thats it Chris ! Saw the “back pain” remark and read your story .. Today I’m going to end my back pain .. Thanks
    jamesT

  17. This is one of my favorite success stories. Congrats to you for giving up smoking and adopting a healthy lifestyle. You must feel so much better! You are an inspiration to others. Well done!