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!
Growing up I was always very energetic and athletic but had a very high metabolism so weight gain was never an issue. Really didn’t start gaining weight until I moved to Florida 5 months before joining the military. I joined the military in 2007 when I was 21-years-old and at this point had gained some extra weight. For the Air Force I believe the cutoff for a height of 5’10 was 191 lbs, and I remember my recruiter putting me on the fat boy program a month before joining because I was within 10 lbs of that cutoff. That was a very high weight for me, I don’t ever remember being more than 150 lbs before then. I got out of basic training at 21 years old in worse shape by a mile then I am now.
From 2007-2012, I was dating/married to my now ex-wife. During that time I reached a max weight of 205 and dealt with depression strongly. At one point in late 2010 early 2011 I was doing a good job of working out one hour a day during lunch at 5 times per week. These were the typical body part focused 3 set of 8-12 reps with 1 minute rest. Never saw much gain but I did feel better. Well during that time we moved from Texas to Utah and my schedule changed and I quit going to the gym. After a year and a half in Utah I ended up getting divorced. The first month I found out about the divorce I lost 30+ lbs, mostly related to stress but coupled with the gym again. As before, these gym sessions were one body part focused with the same sets/reps but now were anywhere from 90-120 minutes a session, 6x per week, and even occasionally twice a day. It provided my main goal, to have a good looking body. What it also provided was two shoulder surgeries from lifting too heavy. At the peak of this time frame I reached 165 lbs but steady weight was closer to 185 lbs. I had access to some of the best gyms for free and also time from work to make it to the gym which really allowed an ease of fitting fitness into my schedule.
June 2014 rolls around and I am moving on from military life to a regular job. My new job as a mechanic has me on the road quite often, averaging 3-4 days per week away from home. I tried to keep fitness into my routine but started to struggle keeping a steady schedule with it always changing. Eventually I gave up on working out again and promised to eat right and do little things. Well in December of 2016 I weighed in at 195 during my doctor visit. Remember the scene from The Simpsons where Homer is gaining weight on purpose to be able to work from home and he is weighing himself, gets upset because he hasn’t gained any weight then Bart points out his belly on the towel rack? He makes a noise like ooooooh ooohhhhh my, noooo nooooo. I did that when I saw that weight. I have been there before and refuse to go back.
I made the typical New Years resolution to get back into shape and blah blah blah. I just kept making excuses. I travel and it’s so hard to find time…you’ll find it if you want it. I can’t get a good workout in 30 min…bullcrap. I’m swamped on time let me just get some Wendy’s…I no longer miss that greasy goodness.
Come to April 26th. At this point I have worked out 2 days in a row and made a promise to myself to continue. What happens next, I believe was the key moment in this transformation. I was getting dinner and having a drink at the Hilton Garden Inn bar. This gentleman sits a few seats down and I’m just in awe. He’s in great shape and has on his companies shirt so I safely assume he is also a road warrior. I asked him how the hell he stays in such great shape. Long story short, that post-it note with Mark Sisson Primal Life is still hanging on my fridge.
I read the 21-Day Challenge and I took it. No carbs, the “correct” food pyramid, the slow steady walks, and the quick but heavy workouts. I thought you know what this might work let’s do this. Within one week I dropped 6 lbs, the second week an additional 5 lbs, and at the end of the third week I lost a total of 17 lbs. I was amazed.
The quick results were amazing! The longer effects seem to be better. When travelling I always select the highest floor of the hotel and never touch the elevator. At the airport I will walk around and listen to music before I sit, the flight is for sitting. I eat to my heart’s content but only meat, fruits, veggies, and water. I carry one 50 lb cable with me when travelling to make sure I can always get a workout in. And I haven’t worked out for more than 45 minutes in one day since I started this. But I think the thing that affected me the most and for the best was spending 15 minutes a day outside and 15 minutes having fun. Traveling allows you to quickly hole yourself up in a room and not want to come out and that was being passed onto my personal life.
Not everyday is easy, some workouts are better than others, and you tried your best but you couldn’t do it. Those are my excuses now. I feel better now then I ever had. I’ve been happy with my physical look in the past but still battled depression. I am complete now. I feel great physically and mentally and that has been a tremendous positive in not only my life but my son’s also. He is almost 3 and has repeated “daddy is happy” so many times in the last two months, and nobody taught him that. I am able to thank you for setting these ground rules for this lifestyle, I hope the gentleman from Hilton Garden Inn in Tifton, GA, reads this and knows that I also thank him for introducing me the Primal life!