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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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November 02 2018

The Primal Worldview Changed My Life For the Better

By Mark Sisson
14 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!

Mark Sisson encourages you live a really enjoyable life. I did not think it was difficult to stick to the Paleo Diet. I was 50. I found Mark Sisson and Loren Cordain on YouTube. Soon I would be buying cookbooks and enjoying my health. It sounded true to me and I jumped on board.

I had been constipated for 40 years. Both my parents were constipated their whole life. I had believed in All Bran and Raisin Bran and healthy muffins. My mother taught me to bake bread in my teens. What a joy, it could not be wrong. In high school an instructor recommended “Diet for a Small Planet.” A few years later in college I became a vegetarian. Many of my friends were vegetarians. It was obvious that we did not need to kill innocent animals and eat them. I ate beans and rice, tofu and vegetables, peanut butter and beer.

Around five years after college I visited an acupuncturist for muscle pains. He suggested that I eat meat and fish. So, for the next 20 years I would primarily be vegetarian but would eat meat and fish. About this time I would eat a breakfast cereal in the morning, a sandwich and potato chips for lunch, and for dinner it was often pasta followed by Ben and Jerry’s on the couch. Beer and wine were being consumed for fun quite often. I did not think that any of this was bad for my body. I ignored or made up other reasons why I was constipated and having chronic pain.

Chronic pain. I injured my knee skiing in my late 20s. No surgery, only rehab. I thought it would heal. Knee pain lasted for years. Wore a support on it for a long time. Got it needled by acupuncturist. Took pain relief. Other chronic pain areas developed, like both wrists and both elbows. Used supportive strapping aids on these parts for years. It felt like the muscle was pulling away from the bone. I figured it was my active lifestyle and normal. I wasn’t sleeping that well, since I would wake up with pain in the arms. The thought that my pain came from food was never considered. It was misery. It went on.

I was changing my diet before The Paleo Diet. The first change was dairy. I went dairy free to help my sinus issues. Then I tried gluten free to help my sinus issues. Sugar was still off the radar, as I was eating gluten free cookies, breads and pasta. I laughed off my coffee and donut at 10 a.m. and M&Ms at 3 p.m. Years went by. It was in 2013 that I changed.

It was one moment on YouTube. Then another. What do you mean a Paleo diet? Click, Click, Click. I went to thepaleodiet.com and read what to eat on the Paleo diet.

Mark Sisson was thoughtful and understood what was going on. I couldn’t get enough. Primal became my diet. I owned it.

I mainly started eating more vegetables. Breakfast had been cereal and now became eggs, bacon and vegetables. Lunch went from rice and beans to meat and vegetables. Dinner became big chicken salad.

I became regular and have never turned back. I felt great. Chronic pain went away. My biggest worry had become a hip that I thought would need replacement in the future. The inflammation slowly went away. It seems to be fine.

Weeks before going Paleo I was planning on buying spray on salad dressing to lesson the amount of oil. Now at 57, I happily use Primal Kitchen® dressing and pour it on heavily. What a sea change.

I’m thankful that I am not addicted to sugar anymore.

I’m thankful for beautiful movement of Taoist Tai Chi.

I’m thankful for Eckhart Tolle for the awareness of gaps between thought.

I’m thankful to Mark Sisson and the whole Paleo/Primal worldview that changed my life for the better.

[Final photo] Six months later.

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14 thoughts on “The Primal Worldview Changed My Life For the Better”

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  1. I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to deeply know many of my patients that abstain from red meat as well as other animal foods. One thing is for certain, the world needs more caring people… the world needs more people that make such conscientious decisions, with such principle-centered compassion, and such regard for all walks of life. I have no doubt that this, in part, is why I’ve developed such kinship-like bonds with many of my vegetarian patients… patients that have become wonderful friends… friends that I deeply care about. This is why it breaks my heart to see the devastating consequences of abstaining from our most basic nutritional needs… the critically important fat soluble vitamins (A, D & K — especially MK-4 because it is what fuels the body, down to the mitochondrial electron transport chain but it is also involved in creating the vitamin K dependent proteins, activating specific genes and making testosterone (and other hormones)) and others.

    My husband shared your story with me because he knows that this is a tender topic that I struggle with daily. Thank you for sharing it with the world and inspiring hope!

    Barbara Johnson, DDS (Liver King’s wife)

    1. Now I know who is the REALLY smart person in the marriage! Sorry Brian, gotta call em’ as I see em’. 😉

      1. There’s no disputing that, my friend — but — she’s so much more. My wife is the smartest, most beautiful, most caring person that I’ve ever met. She’s the most incredible mom to our savage boys… she’s my best friend and she’s my soul mate.

        The second best part is that she pretends to get excited about our weekly date-night which includes bow shooting and dinner for 2. Are you kidding me… who deserves that (not me)!

    2. I see this every day in my patients as well and it is incredibly frustrating. But, I’ve had a few over the past year tell me about how they have cut out sugar and grains, or for some just cutting out processed foods, and have lost weight and feel better than ever. I’m hopeful others will see the improvements in their health and be inspired.
      And, thank you to your family for the supplements you make and the help your husband has given to me via emails. Other than a psoriasis flare that started 2 days ago, I feel like different person than I did a year ago. One thing I wasn’t planning on as a benefit of your supplements was not being cold all the time. I am currently sitting in my deer stand in half the layers I wore last year and I’m not freezing!

  2. Great story … short and sweet and to the point … and nice transformation! FWIW I’ve tried to read Eckhart Tolle but his teachings are a little too obfuscated for me, Krishnamurti also can be challeging to absorb. Don Miguel Ruiz, Alan Watts and Mike Dooley are my favorites of that genre.

    1. I love Alan Watts! He’s simply delightful. Got my first book of his in the post yesterday, but first I have to finish Primal Blueprint. 🙂 Or maybe I can read them at the same time. Readers’ problems …

  3. I’m curious if your sinus issues resolved. Was there anything specific that helped. I have cut out dairy, had multiple sinus surgeries and still battle nasal congestion and chronic sinusitis.

    1. After going Keto and supplementing, the sinus issues disappeared and I was on prescription drugs.

  4. Is it just me or are we missing days of MDA blog entries?

    1. Mark’s Apple Every other/few days?

      Just kiddin’, but really. I hope everything’s okay.

    2. No, it’s not just you. This story was from Friday and this is Monday. Very uncharacteristic. Maybe Mark is having trouble with the website.

      1. Hey guys, thanks for the concern. The bees and I did some content shuffling and just started a new blog schedule last week. Here’s the new lineup we’re trying:

        Monday: Weekly Link Love (a beefed up version of the former Weekend Link Love)
        Tuesday: Regular article
        Wednesday: Regular feature
        Thursday: Article related to food prep or nutrition (or a recipe)
        Friday: Success Story
        Weekend: No blog posts but the Sunday With Sisson email goes out to MDA email subscribers

  5. This is a wonderful story!!! I am so glad for you! You have done a great job of optimizing your life.