A Primal Comeback
Mark’s Daily Apple
by Mark Sisson: Is
It Primal? – 10 Foods Scrutinized
Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal
Blueprint Real Life Story from a Marks Daily Apple reader.
If you have your own success story and would like to share it with
me and the Marks Daily Apple community please contact me here.
Ill continue to publish these each Friday as long as they
keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
For most of
my adult life Ive been called many things, but skinny
has taken some getting use to.
For years I
repeatedly followed the conventional ritual of low-fat, low-calorie
dieting paired with exercise to lose weight. With each attempt I
would lose weight, sometimes as much as a few dozen pounds at a
time. However, constant hunger eventually won out over my best efforts
to eat less while exercising more (as prescribed by the calories
in, calories out mindset). I would regain the lost weight
and then some. When New Years came along, I would resolve
myself to try harder than the previous attempt. The sad part is
that each time I expected different results doing roughly the same
thing. Unfortunately, after losing and regaining the weight three
times, I quit caring about my own health, even despite my wifes
I had lost
hope that I had any real power to change or control my fate from
being anything other than desperate, obese, and fatigued. I was
becoming a model customer for the highly profitable drug, dieting,
and medical industries. Inwardly, I blamed myself for lacking the
self-discipline needed to lose and keep weight off. As I grew more
obese, I eventually had to shop for larger clothes in big and tall
mens clothing stores and catalogs. Being only 5 8
on a good day and tipping the scales north of 350 pounds at this
point, I wasnt shopping for clothes in these venues because
I was tall!
At the age
of 26, in what is supposed to be the prime of my life, I was literally
winded and sweating just walking into work each morning. I began
to see myself the way society probably thought of me at first glance:
a lazy glutton who either does not know how to count calories or
ultimately chooses to remain obese. I eventually entered into a
state of apathy about my health for the next year.
after watching my weight and health slowly deteriorate from the
sidelines, a good friend of mine persuaded me to join a gym again.
However, this time, instead of doing roughly the same weight loss
ritual a fourth time, I wanted to try something not just mildly
different with eating but completely different and unconventional.
I found what I was looking for when I stumbled onto this website
and later The
Primal Blueprint. Not wanting to wait for a hard copy, I
The Primal Blueprint onto my e-reader and poured over
it intently as I struggled to use the elliptical machine. With the
exception of maybe vegetables and water being good for people, what
I learned about Primal nutrition and lifestyle went against almost
everything I had been taught as healthy since elementary
school. Deep down, most of us want to think of ourselves as health
conscious to some degree, but much of what it means to be
health conscious is monopolized by todays conventional
weight loss advice. In retrospect, holding onto such ideas of what
health conscious people are supposed to believe and
eat was dragging me into the depths of poor health.
clear and engaging writing style forced me to contemplate the possibility
that what was lacking in my previous weight loss attempts was not
self-discipline or motivation but the conventional advice itself.
Like pulling harder and harder against a door that says Push,
perhaps what I had done in the past was working against my body
rather than with it. Instead of blaming myself, I thought, maybe
I didnt fail to follow conventional advice but conventional
advice failed me. This possibility rekindled the hope and
optimism that was all but extinguished as collateral damage during
my previous weight loss attempts.
Up to this
point, gastric bypass was becoming a looming option if I couldnt
reverse course and keep weight off. Frightened by this prospect
and a painful family history of Type 2 diabetes (my mom is in end
stage renal failure), I urgently experimented with Primal low-carb
eating right away, even before I had completely finished reading
The Primal Blueprint. I wasnt going to wait for 40
years of conventional weight loss advice to improve its dismal track
record. I needed to change now.
culinary skills or imagination, I started simple. Eggs, bacon, butter,
fish, sausage, steak, broccoli, lettuce, low-sugar yogurts, some
cheeses, nuts, and the occasional whey protein shake all quickly
became staples of mine for two weeks. I was a little hesitant to
eat bacon, eggs, butter, and steak because I was raised to believe
these were bad foods. But I took a primal hop of faith
that such foods that have been part of human history for much of
our existence wouldnt suddenly do harm to my health now. It
also helped that they happen to taste great!
After my full
two week low-carb Primal trial, limiting myself to just 25 net carbs
per day (the amount where I discovered that would keep me in nutritional
ketosis), I dropped 15 pounds. This wasnt the only positive
change I experienced. Unlike previous attempts, the blood sugar
roller coaster that I rode every day eating low-fat/high-carb, which
I had come to accept as normal, completely stopped.
I consistently had more energy, which made it easier to move more.
I rarely craved sweets as my taste buds were beginning to rehabilitate
themselves from years of abuse. I felt years younger, and portion
sizing seemed to take care of itself as my appetite was sated.
hope that I could control my health and fate soon transformed into
an implacable appetite to learn more. As I continued to lose more
weight and feel great, I devoured as much paleo and low-carb literature
as I could find. I read blogs and books by Drs. Michael and Mary
Dan Eades, Dr. Cate Shanahan, Gary Taubes, and many others; I listened
to many podcasts from Jimmy Moore. Although not Primal or low-carb
per se, I also read a lot of Michael Pollan who piqued my curiosity
about how and where my food is made. For almost a year, I would
actually look forward to using the elliptical machine just so I
could unlearn and re-educate myself about food and nutrition science
in peace. Learning to conquer my fears of so-called artery
clogging saturated fats (talk about a loaded phrase!) and
cholesterol in my foods were two of many epiphanies I experienced
as I was embracing more of the low-carb Primal lifestyle.
the rest of the article
to Lew's recent podcast with Mark Sisson
May 7, 2012
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