From One of My Lowest Points to the Best Shape and Health of My
Mark’s Daily Apple
by Mark Sisson: How
to Deal with Common Primal Stumbling Blocks
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!
ago I was 30 years old, 5' 9", and hovering around 210 pounds.
I had consistently high blood pressure and cholesterol in the neighborhood
of 250 (I know cholesterol numbers should be taken in context, and
the context wasnt good). I was a veritable garbage disposal
for any and all kinds of food at all hours of the day or night and
never had any interest in reading the labels on what I was eating.
I worked at a bar and consumed $50-$60 worth of beer and shots almost
every day, smoked cigarettes, smoked pot several times daily, and
sporadically (but still consistently) used cocaine and painkillers.
It goes without saying that my sleep schedule was nothing short
of catastrophic. I always was suffering from heartburn, and frequently
gagged or even vomited from something as innocent as a bad smell
or heightened stress. Living in Vail, Colorado, I owned all the
outdoor gear I could get my hands on, but my poor health and destructive
lifestyle prevented me from truly enjoying any of it.
time, I met my girlfriend at the aforementioned bar. Although she
was nowhere near the drug-using mess that I was, she was involved
in the same late night party scene and was a regular drinker herself.
Shortly after getting together, we decided to dedicate ourselves
to living better lives. It was surprisingly easy for me to make
the commitment, because for the first time in my life I truly cared
more for someone else than myself a motivation Im sure
youre familiar with.
to start going to the gym together and not to eat after 8:30 PM,
although we didnt really make any changes to our diet. Hey,
it was a start, right? I began spending an hour almost every day
on a stationary bike, watching every second tick by, staring at
the TV, and hating every minute of it. Even so, I began losing a
considerable amount of weight (given where I was coming from, how
could I not?) so I kept at it. After all, Ive always had a
fairly high tolerance for discomfort, and I felt that if I let up
even a little bit I would slip back into the life and body I was
trying to leave behind. I had no idea how I could keep it up though.
summer, I dedicated myself to getting on my mountain bike and riding
it up mountains for hours at a time, everyday. I also started swimming,
eventually working my way up to 4000 meters a day. While this was
considerably more fun than sitting in the gym staring at a clock,
and I discovered a surprising level of endurance within myself,
it definitely became a compulsive behavior. Nevertheless, the weight
continued to come off at what became an alarming rate. My appearance
was approaching what I would call scrawny, and my skin remained
undefined, pale, and pasty, probably due to my continuing to eat
cheap Chinese food and Marie Callenders pot pies. I still
felt a ton of pressure to sustain this enormous load of cardio,
and was worried that I couldnt.
a year of that, I was browsing through a bookstore and my girlfriend
pointed out Laird Hamiltons book on the shelf. Id always
been an admirer of his sheer presence, physique, and skill as a
waterman, so I decided to buy it. The section on food was an eye
opener for me to say the least. In addition to exposing me to information
and opinions on food additives, nutrients, local and whole food
eating, and supplements, it also introduced me to Paul Chek, who
as we all know has VERY thorough, strong opinions on diet, exercise,
and life in general. I instantly became more of a label reader,
and tried to implement both of their workout strategies. This led
to a lot of standing around at the gym, occasionally interrupted
by weight lifting. I found this boring, and both Laird and Paul
are such genetically and physically talented animals that it didnt
seem realistic to me. That old defeatism reared its head again,
and I continued with the obsessive, endless riding and swimming.
diet definitely was helping with the appearance of my skin, and
the swimming gave me more definition, but I was getting even more
scrawny and tired looking, replete with sunken cheeks and dark circles.
I still worried that if I didnt keep up the intensity, I would
get fat again. Given that I foolishly believed that I was working
out enough to eat as much as I wanted, I was probably right.
the rest of the article
October 1, 2011
© 2011 Mark's Daily Apple
Best of Mark Sisson