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!
I’ve been thinking about submitting my success story for a while, but held back because it wasn’t super dramatic. I didn’t lose 100 pounds or reverse diabetes. But I am more confident, energetic and adventurous than ever as I approach my 50th birthday, and it all started with upgrading what I was putting into my body.
I’ve always been relatively healthy, and I give a lot of credit to my family. Despite growing up in the 1970’s, there was no Tang or Tab served at 110 Glynn Lane. My mom bought organic bread from a local bakery, and fresh produce from a co-op. Some of our meat was even grass-fed since my grandmother lived on a wonderful farm.
It was because of the farm, however, and the fact that some of the animals I knew by name ended up on my dinner plate, that I became a vegetarian at the age of 11 or 12. I read Diet for a Small Planet and learned to combine various carbs to get enough protein. I stayed away from most of the fake meats but ate plenty of pizza and ice cream.
I was never a naturally athletic kid and was totally intimidated by sports since my gym teacher made fun of me. But I was active so weight was never an issue.
I had a different issue, however, which was acne. It started in my early teens and just never quit. I was on every possible prescription med, up to an including Accutane not once, but three times. It would clear my skin up for awhile, but it was dry and peeling.
I also always had digestive issues, which was diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. Oh, and I had some blood sugar issues too. So I was basically eating carbs all the time, which I now realize was what triggered the digestive stuff.
Fast forward to my early 40’s…nothing really changed. Still slim and in pretty good shape, but still plagued by acne and digestive stuff. And still an ovo-lacto vegetarian, eating fish from time to time. I read one of Carol Alt’s books about raw food and was hooked. Almost overnight I became a mostly raw vegan.
I soaked seeds and nuts and drank green smoothies like crazy. I discovered coconut oil and lots of good stuff that I still use and love. I also ate tons of dried fruit. This raw thing had to be the answer for my skin…I was putting so much good stuff into my body.
Unfortunately, my skin got worse. Nothing like severe cystic acne in your 40’s. The digestive stuff worsened too…despite being now painfully thin, I was bloated and uncomfortable. Some mild, underlying anxiety became pretty extreme. I was a hot mess. It couldn’t be what I was eating, right?
It was an article by Dr. Mercola that finally got my attention. He said cutting grains, dairy, and sugar could clear my skin, as long as I got plenty of high-quality protein and non-starchy vegetables. I started by adding pastured eggs. I cut out all the dried fruit and soaked and sprouted grains. Eventually, I started adding some grass-fed beef and wild caught fish.
My skin improved literally overnight. I could feel the inflammation subsiding each day.
I’m not sure how I first found MDA…I was always following links to different health related websites. But once I found it, I was hooked. I loved Mark’s direct but entertaining approach, and I felt like I had found a real community, even though it took me years to post a message!
So what makes me a success story? Well, I changed my diet because I wanted to clear my skin, and nothing else had worked. But there were more and more successes along the way. One day I realized that my digestive issues were a thing of the past. And the anxiety…gone, as my brain was getting the high quality saturated fat that it needed. Because of my interest in health and nutrition, I enrolled in the health coaching program at IIN. And that opened my eyes to even more. I finally saw that it wasn’t just about eating the right food and exercising. There was so much more—spirituality, career, and relationships all affect our health.
As I feel better and better in my own body I keep growing and changing. The girl who was intimidated in gym class now loves trying new things like indoor rock climbing and stand-up paddle boarding. I’m the first one to join in on silly pool games or a mechanical bull competition.
This new found confidence and fun-loving attitude led me to do something that I had been thinking about for years. I started a blog to share my love of healthy living in a fun, playful, and sometimes slightly inappropriate way. I love showing women how they can feel happy, healthy and hot by making some simple changes to what they put into, and on, their bodies. I talk about food, beverages, cosmetics and travel, along with goofy commentary about popular music and what I am wearing.
I am having a blast doing this, and love when I hear from women who are feeling better than ever after following my tips.
I want to say that there is nothing inherently wrong with being a vegetarian or vegan. It works for some, and it’s much better than following the standard American diet. But I can truly say that at 49 I look and feel better than ever in so many ways, and it all started with following a Primal lifestyle. Thank you to Mark and the entire MDA community for providing a wonderful forum that really brings people together.
People often ask me what I eat. My days starts with a huge blended green drink, some of which I save for later, and coffee blended with coconut oil and collagen peptides. Later I’ll have pastured eggs over veggies if I’m home, or raw nuts and an apple if I’m out working on my blog. Lunch is a salad or leftover veggies with protein. Sardines are a favorite. Dinner is a small portion of high-quality protein and lots of veggies. If I want carbs I have sweet potato, but I usually don’t. Treats are dark chocolate pretty much every day and a glass of wine or two on the weekend. I love what I eat and feel great.
My story is not over. It is just beginning. Now that I have completed IIN, I would like to complete the Primal Health Coach program next. My blog is continuing to grow as more and more people jump on the happy, healthy and hot bandwagon. I plan to write some ebooks in the same fun, playful style, as well as offer some actual health coaching so I can work more closely with people. I also plan to write The Happy, Healthy and Hot Guide to Life, which will be published by Primal Life Publishing.
Thanks for reading!