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
I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep
coming in. Thank you for reading!
“Aren’t you tall!” they
cooed, and they were right. I was tall at six foot five.
“And aren’t you skinny!” they chorused, but they
were both right and wrong; only parts of me were skinny, others
Skinny arms with pencil thin wrists and skinny legs with
non-existent calves were all stuck onto a torso that—in direct
contrast—was well rounded. Not massive, of course, though my
elder brother oft compared me to Mr Potato Head, but enough for me
to have a bulging gut, love handles (or should it be handfuls!) and
a chest devoid of muscle yet plump with fat.
“It isn’t fair!” I frequently told myself, staring
mournfully into the mirror, and it wasn’t! For ten
years, as one of the million UK commuters to London, I would rise
early; breakfast on toast, cycle to the train station (six miles)
walk/run/stagger from the other end of the line to work and slump
exhausted in my chair where cheap instant coffee would keep the
twin pangs of hunger and fatigue at bay until the midday refuel.
Oh, hang on, I would snack frequently…on cheap rainbow coloured
heartburn tablets in futile attempts to ease the daily bouts of
Lunch would be one
of those meal replacement shakes or couscous, followed by a session
at the gym, more work followed by my jaunt home. Prior to
getting back to the house I would collect my children from an
after-school club and scold and chide their slow walking pace home
simply because I was absolutely ravenous— desperate even, for
some food. On some days, I would leave the children stumbling in my
wake to dash across the threshold and dive into the cupboard to
cram some toast, cheese or both down my throat.
“I should be as skinny as a rake!” I would tell my
glum faced reflection. He would nod in agreement, patches
of wobbly fat shaking slightly as he did so.
“Calories in – calories out,” they told me, so I
bought smaller plates and began restricting calories to starvation
levels. My wife joined me in solidarity and together we
punished ourselves for 30 long days with tiny bowls of risotto,
meagre portions of pasta and more high sugar, low calorie
milkshakes (skimmed milk of course!). We gave up in unison, neither
of us having lost any weight.
“No Pain, No Gain” they told me, so I upped my
exercise. Mind you, I had always been fairly fit; cycling
and running were my main forms of fat-fighting, with annual half
marathons being my motivation (“You need to have something to aim
for”). But my knees were starting to hurt. In the car or cinema I
would often have to contort my body in some weird way so that I
could stretch out my legs, thereby staving off the dull pain that
would creep in after about 20 minutes of sitting. I purchased a
popular DVD workout series, the name of which rhymes with Banality,
though it was anything but! I loved the smug feeling I got when I
told friends and family of my nightly sweaty exploits on the
kitchen floor (the workout DVD, ladies and gentleman!) and I loved
the endorphin buzz and the feeling that this was it…I would
finally blast away those fatty deposits in the burning furnace of
my exercise regime.
I lost a single, solitary pound in that sweat drenched,
grueling, exhausting 60 days. I couldn’t even purchase
the “I didn’t it” tee-shirt because I wasn’t a U.S.
Even worse, my gut still hung low when performing any kind of
horizontal movement. My chest still wobbled when I ran. My knees
still hurt. My love handles still called out to be handled.
Then I found this site, and I found hope.
Within a month I had ditched grains, pasta and those popular
shakes. I ate eggs, cheese and fatty cuts of meat with large
rainbow coloured piles of vegetables. I lost weight—half a stone
in a month, and felt great.
It was as if I had been made privy to the secret!
Suddenly, health was something I could actually achieve
rather than as a result of lucky genes. I read and read
and read from Mark’s Daily Apple to Grain Belly to all of Taubes
work, and as my wisdom and knowledge grew, my waistline shrank.
My knees stopped hurting (and as a bonus people stopped staring
at me in the cinema!), and my heartburn vanished. I began walking
more—moving to take in scenery and fresh air. The family came too
and together we began to appreciate the little things.
This year I ventured into Primal 3.0 (to quote Mr.
Sisson), and in one swoop I went Keto and enrolled on the Primal
Health Coaching Course. As I write this, it has dawned on
me there are clear parallels between the two: both are scary to
contemplate, tough when you first start but incredibly rewarding
once you give it your all.
The final parallel is this: I am still not at the end of my
journey, but I am now, finally, in control and I want others to be
in control too.