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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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April 15 2019

The Primal Blueprint Is For Life!

By Mark Sisson
11 Comments

It’s Monday, 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!

Most of the people whose amazing and life-altering stories appear on MDA are submitted by people aged 50 or younger. Here is one to inspire not only you “young puppies” but hopefully “geezers” like Mark and me. I am the same age as our fearless leader Mark Sisson, and while my story and my life have gone totally differently than Mark’s [I was never a triathlete or even close], the end result is just as rewarding!

My name is Lloyd and I am 65, and in the best shape of my life – almost. In my late 20’s I smoked 2 packs a day and drank two or three mixed drinks every night – and I sported a 42 inch waist. A neighbor convinced me to start running [he ran marathons and weighed like 140 lbs.]. I started running 2 miles a day around a golf course in the neighborhood and ran a very slow 10 minute pace at first. I really liked the feel of the endorphins kicking in and I took to exercise for the first time in my life. Fast forward a few years and I was running 8 miles every day, rain or shine, in around 55 minutes. I had lost weight, but was still eating poorly, whatever my wife put on the table, and often second helpings.

Then we had a freak snow and ice storm, and running was out of the question – for weeks. I was used to doing something physical late in the afternoon so I bought a beginner set of weights and got hooked on bodybuilding. Even after the streets were passable, I kept lifting and soon joined a gym.

I didn’t realize this because I was a neophyte, but the gym I joined was very hardcore. Incandescent lights, bare floors, hard rock music, all guys, chalk flying, grunting and screaming everywhere, and lots of the members were on steroids. No, I never partook, but I did start lifting very heavy weights, and found I could. By two years later, I was very strong and about as big as a natural guy could be. I loved lifting heavy weights and having big muscles. I received a lot of encouragement from the other members and many gave me diet tips as they could see I was serious. The diet? Low fat, high protein and lots of carbs. Some days I ate almost 5-6,000 calories a day and had a 34 waist. At my peak I weighed about 250, with very low body fat. But I was in my 30s. As we age, a lot of things change.

Year after year, I trained the same way, and ate the same way, but by my mid 50s I could see changes happening – my weight was staying the same, but my waist was getting bigger. So I started doing a lot of cardio, all high-intensity, close to my max heart rate, big puddles of sweat under my exercise bike at the gym, and no weight loss!

I was really discouraged, began doing internet research, and I found MDA when it was pretty new. I bought Mark’s first edition of The Primal Blueprint, and it all made so much sense, I dove in 100%. No cheat days, no 80% 20%, I was all in. I started this new eating style at [you’ll love this] at a Thanksgiving Day buffet, lost 2 pounds the first day and about 25 pounds in a few months. Blood pressure went down, bad cholesterol down, good cholesterol up, my doc was amazed, as he was ready to put me on a statin.

I maintained the weight for years until Mark started talking about Keto. Once again, I went all in immediately [I had been eating Primally for so long that I passed Mark’s “test” with flying colors]. I also started using the myfitnesspal app to keep track of my food and nutrient intake. My goal was to lose another 10 pounds and get to 215, but it was so easy, I ended up as low as 204 and I have stayed within a few pounds of that for about 18 months now.

Like Mark, I stay right on the edge of ketosis, some days I might have 60g of carbs, but most of the time, under 40g. I also have found fasting for 24 hours easy to do with my travel schedule and about half of the time, with the exception of coffee and maybe a piece of cheese, I eat nothing until dinner. And I am NOT hungry!

Just one thing more I want to add. From all the years of heavy lifting, I have had back surgery, two total shoulder replacements, and one hip replacement. Yes, I am a poster child for getting rid of old joints that don’t work well anymore.

During each recovery period, I had to stop lifting and curtail cardio, which by the way is now mostly elliptical limited to 75% of my max heart rate. Because of my primal eating style, even sitting around with little to no exercise other than PT] while recovering from surgery, I never gained weight!

So am I a huge fan of Mr. Sisson and this lifestyle? Absolutely! It works, it’s not hard, and it’s for LIFE!

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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11 thoughts on “The Primal Blueprint Is For Life!”

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  1. You’re looking great, thanks for sharing your story! In the 1980s, I also joined a hardcore gym, not knowing any better. I timed my visits so there would be the fewest people there when I worked out. I didn’t get support, I got catcalls.

    It’s much better now in gyms. The local one here ignores me, which I love love love! People only make eye contact when necessary and are really nice when communication is required. Times have changed so much. I’ve had a different effect from “heavy lifting” – my back improves and so do my shoulders, they stop hurting. I think my pain is from muscle spasms though, so that may be the difference.

    They tell me it takes 1-3 years to recover from Celiac disease. So we’ll see. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll write a success story too. First I have to succeed at regaining my health. Thank you for inspiring me and for speaking to the older generations.

  2. Loved your story Lloyd, and howled at you starting PB during Thanksgiving Buffet and coming out swinging. Imagine you had a few strange looks and family offering up the potatoes and gravy. Coming up to 50 myself and the weight rooms in Canada in the 70’s sounded similar to your description. Total dungeons with a few Arnold pictures on the wall.

    Thanks for sharing and continued success in your journey!

  3. Lloyd,

    Thanks for sharing your story! Primal/Keto works at any age, and you are living proof of that. You look great and have a positive mindset. So awesome to hear that you didn’t gain any weight even when you couldn’t work out. I’m 52 and have been Primal and Keto for years…never felt better. This lifestyle is so adaptable and really works.

  4. You’re an inspiration, Lloyd! I’m in my early 60s and determined to stay healthy and fit as long as I can. I’ve been primal/paleo for about 6 years, but last year began slacking off a bit. Getting back to 100% has been harder this time around. Your story helps me remember the WHY. Thank you! Wishing you many great years to come!

  5. Excellent work! I am 60, and have been Primal for 3 years, keto for about the last 6 months. I am struggling to get back to my pre-menopausal level of fitness. The diet and lifestyle help, but I have a lot of work to do to recover from the 2 years of no bicycling and no running that resulted from the muscle cramps and bladder spasms that came with menopause for me… It is inspiring to see others in my age range that are using this health information to improve their lives!

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. Wish for your continued success!

  7. It’s much better now in gyms. The local one here ignores me, which I love love love! People only make eye contact when necessary and are really nice when communication is required. Times have changed so much. I’ve had a different effect from “heavy lifting” – my back improves and so do my shoulders, they stop hurting. I think my pain is from muscle spasms though, so that may be the difference.

  8. Great story! And it sounds familiar! I remember the first gym I joined…big dumbbells, lots of plates, a few racks and benches, concrete floors and pics of Zane, Mentzer and Arnold. Luckily, I stopped the heavy benches, squats when the first signs of issues started cropping up.

    Are you describing the six meal/day approach that is still advocated by many nutritionists, etc., when the weight issues started? Sounds like the approach dating back to the early 80s which was resurrected by Body for Life.

  9. Hi Lloyd. Its nice to hear from you young fellas. I’m seventy seven, and still hanging in there. I wrote my story a couple of years ago under “I now have plans out to ninety.” I think I may have been a little conservative. I started to build a boat about then. It should be ready to launch next month. It is a painter’s boat. It has a big open cockpit for plain air painting, a wheelhouse for shelter and making tea. And a fore cabin lined with cushions for snoozing in down times. You gotta have plans…