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Inspiring Readings: The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation by Mark Sisson

April 5, 2012

This book changed my life.
That sounds really dramatic and self-righteous, but really, the diet and exercise changes I’ve made (and that have inspired me to start this blog) since I read this book, have impacted almost every aspect of my life in a positive way. Now, I’m completely happy with my physical appearance, I sleep like a baby, I have finally been able to develop some muscle (have always had that body-type, you know,  skinny, lanky, and with arms like chicken legs), I lost the last 3 pounds that were stuck on my belly, and all stomach/digestion problems after eating (being extremely bloated, stomach aches, etc) have disappeared.

It’s hard to summarize the concepts of the book, because I really want people to read it themselves so that they get it, like I did. But basically, the author, Mark Sisson, emphasizes clean editing (no processed food, no added sugar, no preservatives), eliminating grains from your diet completely, and eating lots of protein, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. It’s as simple as that.

There is another aspect that had a really big impact on me as well: Sisson’s view on exercise. Previously, I would run 5-6 miles 2-4 times a week. As a child and teenager, I was a ballroom dancer for 15 years. I played tennis at least twice a week for 8 years. Basically, a ton of cardio. I always thought it was ideal! I was healthy, and in great shape. But now that I’ve read this book, it all makes sense: my knees hurt now, even after a walk in the park for 30 minutes. Running makes it even worse. I have worn down the little muscle I had, and made it harder to gain muscle today. Sisson calls it “chronic exercising”. It’s damaging for the body, and we are fooled by Popular Belief and the media to believe that all this is good, the more the better! Rather, Sisson focuses on the kind of exercise that was performed in the Stone Age. Of course, exercise back then wasn’t exercise; it was something you did to survive. For instance, if a bear chased you, you ran for your life. If you needed a large stone or a piece of wood, you lifted and carried it yourself. So, the message for exercise is simple: 1. Lift heavy things. And 2. Sprint, once in while, and not for very long. I translate this to a word I know from my running years: interval training. I started lifting and working my muscles. The results are astonishing!

Sisson outlines every aspect of this lifestyle in a simple way, it all seems so obvious when you’re done reading. But he also uses biology and many many studies to prove what he is saying. That’s why it really inspired me to make some changes.

Sisson is a former distance runner, triathlete and Ironman competitor. Today, he looks back at his former occupations as damaging for him, and encourages the lifestyle he has now, rather than the one he had back then.

If you’re looking to make positive changes in your life, I truly recommend reading this book first. It will give you insights about the biology of your body, and hopefully inspire you to help your body stay healthy and live longer.

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