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 have been on some kind of diet since 1988 – over ½ of my life. NutriSystems, Optifast, Weight Watchers and all kinds of fad quick weight loss diets in between. Obvious now but not then – none of them worked permanently. The sad thing is when you actually look at the numbers – the weight I was at in 1988 is very close to my goal weight now. If I only knew then what I know now, but to quote Lion King (and hopefully as I continue to lose weight both versions will apply):
Pumbaa: It’s like my buddy Timon always says: you got to put your behind in your past.
Timon: No, no, no. Amateur. Sit down before you hurt yourself. It’s “You got to put your past behind you.”
So January, 2011 is recording every calorie in and calorie out and struggling to lose all the weight I had gained – once again. Browsing I came across Mark’s Daily Apple for the second time. The first time I read the information a few years ago I just couldn’t imagine living with no grains, legumes, sugar – how could a person do that in this day and age. But this time for some reason it really clicked. I started with what I could gather from the website and bought the book that week. It was like someone turned a light on for me. I couldn’t believe all the misinformation I had been given for so many years. Yet at the same time was so excited that there was some hope to be able to lose weight and not struggle and not be hungry, tired, grouchy and frustrated! So I began and lost weight quickly at first and then slowly, but am still losing (35 pounds so far) and my life has truly changed. I know most people come looking for a solution to weight loss – me included. But amazingly I think the health benefits that I have seen will be the real factor that makes this a way of life forever! I didn’t begin with any huge issues. I have never been on any kind of chronic medication. I have had some very obvious things happen that affect my daily life: sleep improvement, improved afternoon energy, constipation gone, chicken skin disappearing, cracking elbows and heels gone. Ladies listen up – these last two things just amazed me because I really thought that it was just me getting older – my regular plucking of those pesky old lady whiskers is now basically non-existent and the cough, sneeze, jump-induced leaky bladder is gone.
As I am inclined to do – I researched, read, researched and read. I kept seeing things that I knew other members of my family would be interested in. My daughter – 18 at the time – had her first semester in college under her belt. A belt she had mentioned a few times she would like to lose a few notches off of. I had tried multiple times over the years to get her to join in my “healthy eating” but to no avail (thank goodness). She was just never interested in diets or the information I was trying to share and I knew better than to push a teenage girl! So as I was reading I came across a testimonial about animal allergies and felt this was something she would respond to. She had recently rediscovered her love for horses but it was making her so sick to be around them. When I say sick, I have to give you a little of her background. She was never a healthy child. She has suffered from allergies, asthma and eczema all her life. After several hospitalizations during her adolescence we thought we had the asthma “under control”. She was taking Advair daily and a breathing treatment at least once a day if not more depending on the season. In addition to the asthma, the eczema affected her daily as well. This was not your typical small patches on her hands and feet. She basically had all over eczema – we had seen several specialists and she even resorted to sleeping in damp pajamas during really bad flare ups. So when I read about a reduction in allergies, I shared the information with her. She said she would try anything to be able to be around horses without Benadryl and inhaler in hand. I gave her the guidelines and she started immediately. Within 1 week she was able to go to the horse barn without Benadryl! Thankfully it worked so quickly, because she was sold. Since that day in February she has lost over 50 lbs. But again – the forever factors are so much more than that. She has reduced her Advair dosage and usage, both in half. She has packed her nebulizer away – no more daily breathing treatments! Her eczema is now only on her hands and feet and as long as she doesn’t eat any neolithic agents of disease (we haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly which one causes her flares) they continue to improve. She has bought her own horse, which she rides, grooms, feeds and loves on as often as she likes!
My mom, unlike my daughter, has always wanted to know what I was doing “this time” in the weight loss world. She was always willing to listen and give it a try. The thought of having no grains or sugar was a little harder for her to jump into but after a couple of months of watching my family’s success she decided she and my dad could give it a try. I suggested she just give it 30 days and see – what could it hurt. Well here we are 6 months later and she tells everyone she meets how much better they feel! She is 65 and has lost over 30 pounds – and is under 150 pounds for the first time in many, many years. Not to harp but she has had those forever factors too! She has gone off her blood pressure medication, diuretic and statins. But her big wow is truly the improvement in her knee. She had knee replacement surgery 4 years ago. Since then, it never felt completely healed and was always swollen. Well – she can jog! Jog – I just shake my head in amazement every time she says it.
Although I don’t want this to turn into a mini-novel I have to give hats off to the wonderful men in my life as well. My husband, son and dad also jumped on board. Combined they have lost over 40 pounds. They have a list of health improvements as well. Some of which include: eased chronic indigestion, no more snoring or mouth breathing, major reduction of gas (and let me tell you with a 14 yr old boy this is huge), and ease of arthritis pain.
I can’t believe 8 months have passed with my family eating this way. I can’t believe 3 generations combined have lost almost 120 pounds. But more so I can’t believe I can sit at a restaurant and not have to argue myself through a whole meal not to eat the bread, chips, pizza or pasta! Our family is definitely still a work in progress and we have some weak moments but overall we are living the Primal life and loving it! Thank you Mark for changing all of our lives and hopefully giving us many more years together!
Success in progress… my daughter, my mom and me!