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. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.
It goes like this. I married at 23-years-old (180 pounds), and my wife Joanna and I had 3 kids by the time I was 28-years-old (190 pounds). During the kids’ younger years, we did what everyone else did. Run around with the kids, taking them to this sport and that club meeting. All the while not really paying any attention to ourselves. Fast food for dinner, hamburger, hot dogs, French fries, pizza and soda at the games as we watched. Working hard at our work and bearing the stress of moving up in a growing company, again not paying attention to myself. Long hours, a lot of times sedentary at a desk behind the keyboard. All the hard work payed off in my position at the company, but where did it take me?
I then found myself at 45 years old (217 pounds), miserable and feeling terrible every day. My oldest son Bryan was 21 at the time, and he decided to go into the Army. He went away to basic training at Ft. Benning GA. When he graduated we traveled from NY to GA to be with him. This was a life altering trip for me. During this trip all the pictures that were taken of our family with Bryan fresh out of boot camp all toned up and ready to conquer the world were great. I was taken back by the pictures of myself with him and how overweight I really was. It literally scared me to death, because that’s where I felt I was headed.
When I got home from that trip I told Joanna I need to take care of myself, so I am here for our kids as they get older. I was in a bad place and the only way out was for me to take the bull by the horns and make it happen. Joanna had bought a workout program from Beach Body called Power 90 by Tony Horton. I had been so inactive for so long this was challenging for me. I started very slow and did not overdo it. I also started eating better and made this my new way of life. The pounds started coming off, I called it my “eat less move more” program. The Power 90 program was actually perfect for me as I got started, not too intense and very doable as I could modify the moves as needed.
Bryan was sent to Korea for his first tour when out of training. When he came back from Korea a year later I wanted to surprise him and be in much better shape than when he went in the Army. I lost about 30 pounds the first year. I felt so much better, and it really put me in the right frame of mind to continue this way of life. I wanted now more than ever to get in the best shape of my life. I was now 46 years young.
Now feeling better, I needed to up my game and went on to P90X from Beach Body. This is actually when I first heard the name Mark Sisson because he did a piece on the video for the Recovery Drink, which I bought a lot of during this period. I now worked my tail off every day and followed the diet plan and used the supplements. I got the results they said I would get. I went from a size 36” waist to a 32” waist and extra-large shirts to medium shirts. I was now at 162 pounds and felt on top of the world, and nothing could stop me. I lost a total of 55 pounds.
Now at 47 years young I just figured I would keep this up for the rest of my life. Boy, was I wrong! After pushing myself harder and harder, I began to burn out. I just couldn’t keep up the pace. I kept the weight off but started getting injuries that set me back, just attributing it to the fact that I was not as young as I used to be. I continued with some Beach Body programs, but I started looking for something that was more sustainable for me.
One day I was online and came across Mark’s Daily Apple. I immediately recognized Mark Sisson from the P90X program and started reading what he had to say on the webpage. I was very intrigued and ended up ordering the Primal Blueprint book. Once I got the book I just couldn’t put it down because it made so much sense to me.
I have been following the Primal way of life for over 3 years now. I am 50 years young and absolutely feel the best I have ever felt in my life. I have had so many people ask me how I lost all the weight, but more importantly how I am keeping it off. There is no doubt I did work hard to lose the weight before finding Primal Blueprint, but it is because of Primal Blueprint that I have been able to maintain my weight comfortably. Fitness became such a part of my life I decided to learn more and become an AFAA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. I still have my full time job but I have been helping friends and relatives work on their goals of weight loss. I am currently working on becoming a Primal Health Coach, I am starting Module #4 as I write this story.
A couple years ago my daughter Stephanie had twin boys, Aydyn & Jaylyn. They are my motivation now, and I am working hard to stall the effects of aging by following the Primal Blueprint. I have big plans to be around a long time for them and whoever else may come along in the future. I already have them move frequently when they come over and lift heavy things. I call them a couple of little Groksters. We have plans of building them a play area in the yard this summer. The goal is to make this play area not only for them but for all of us so we can play together and benefit everytime we go out there. So we will be calling it our Primal Playground, for kids of all ages.
I want to thank Mark Sisson for breaking the mold of conventional wisdom and showing people there is a better way. I feel like I can follow this the rest of my life comfortably and avoid burnout. Not to mention the food is so much better than anything I have ever had. We now are very creative in our cooking and food preparation. We joined the local CSA and frequent the Farmers Market just about every week. We buy pasture raised chickens and farm fresh eggs regularly, since eggs are my favorite breakfast. The last 2 years I have also raised 2 grass fed steer on my neighbor’s farm. Our freezer is full of the best meat money can buy, and it is all local farm raised.
It has been tough getting everyone in the house to be interested in this way of life but the proof is in the pudding, and I intend to keep steady and to prove the point that when you do the right things and reprogram your genes to become a fat burning beast, life can be good and last a long time. When my kids are eating their pizza and drinking their energy drinks I tell them I am going to pick your nursing home instead of you picking mine. My new line to people is I want to make it to 120, and they say are you nuts, 120 pounds! I then say no—120 years. Live Long, Drop Dead!! I know I have a long way to go, but I am going to give it my all.
Being fit has allowed me to do so many more things and has enhanced my life tremendously. My youngest Son Tony got interested in hiking and wanted to climb the Adiriondack NY High Peaks. There are 46 peaks over 4,000 Ft in elevation. If you climb them all you attain the rank of 46er. We began a couple years ago and now have 7 summits under our belts. Joanna even joined us for one, a great family day out. Once we get to the summit I pull off a set of max rep pushups. Its awesome when you feel like you are on the top of the world!
My Father at 77 years young was having knee problems and needed full knee replacement surgery. Prior to surgery he wanted to get himself as fit as possible to minimize his recovery time. I gave him my Primal Blueprint book and put him to task reading and learning about becoming a fat burning beast. Of course he had watched my transformation but was still a little skeptical about the whole eat more fat thing. Once he digested what he read in the Primal Blueprint he put it into action.
He was 185 pounds when he began, and when he was preparing for his knee surgery he was 155 pounds. He lost a total of 30 pounds following the Primal Blueprint and could not believe the energy he had out on the golf course. He traded his oatmeal breakfast and peanut butter and jelly snacks in for bacon & eggs that ended up getting him through the whole front 9 with plenty of energy to spare. Here I am helping Dad with some upper body strength training after surgery. His knee is coming along fine also. It’s amazing how they can replace parts now a days. He has a golf date coming up in April, and I think he will make it.
I one day would like to meet Mark Sisson and tell him how much I appreciate all he has done for me with this program. Maybe I can make it to a future Primal Con.
Thanks for listening to my story!!
Best Regards, Chuck Ciaccia