Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
21 Nov

A Midweek Kick in the Pants

Do it!Every Friday I love highlighting stories about men and women who took the challenge and transformed their lives. Whatever their circumstances (e.g. diabetes, obesity, chronic autoimmune conditions), they grabbed hold of the Primal process and made it their own. Whether they went cold turkey or began in fits and starts, they eventually committed 100% and got the life they wanted. It doesn’t get any better than that. That’s why I wonder so much about folks who come to MDA on a regular basis but never really get so far as to implement the content in their own lives. Whether it’s information about low (or even moderate) carbing, moving frequently, standing workstations, going barefoot or relishing good natural fat, their interest never translates into action.

I’ll call them earnest lurkers. They’re regular readers and enjoy the community here, but somehow the rubber never meets the road. Sound familiar? (No need to slink back in your chair – seriously.) They enjoy what they read, but then they sort of ignore/forget about it and go back to doing the same old thing. So, they come back for more inspiration and a few more ideas. So armed, they muster up a little more resolve but then never quite get things off the ground. It becomes an ongoing passive cycle. Maybe they’re doing some parts right like surrounding themselves with positive influences (e.g. the MDA community) and learning about how to live healthily – Primally. Yet, they never really make the plunge and stay content to dabble.

You’ve of course heard the old saying about “&%@# or get off the pot.” I’m not suggesting anyone stop reading MDA or not look to this forum or other like-minded communities for support and inspiration. However, there’s a certain confusion about one’s intent if you keep coming back for something you never take on. What’s keeping you at a polite (and thoroughly ineffective) distance?

I think people in this situation often run the risk of self-identification by mere association. In other words, you can read about something for so long that you end up feeling like you’re a true blue follower even though you’re more of a passive onlooker. Although I appreciate anyone’s readership, the fact remains that the Primal Blueprint doesn’t happen by osmosis. Ultimately, it’s a crying shame because instead of nodding in agreement, you could be feeling amazing at this very minute. The PB isn’t an intellectual exercise. It’s a blueprint for living, and either you’re living it – or you’re not.

Let me say I’m not picking on anyone. The truth is, I think we all at some point in our lives need a swift kick. For whatever reason there’s a psychic blockage that we can’t snap ourselves out of. After weeks or months or years (or decades) of denial, someone calls us out in a way that first gets our dander up but ultimately shifts the ground enough for real change.

Nor am I talking about unquestioning compliance with every suggested activity.

As someone who devoutly questions authority, I don’t ever encourage obedience just on principle. (That’s why I designed a blueprint and not a regimen.) What I’m talking about is grabbing the ball and running with it instead of sitting in the stands time and again watching it go from place to place – observing other people’s game instead of pursuing your own. What’s the point, really?

At the heart of this hemming and hawing or general passivity lurk a few motivations, I believe. Sure, one can be sheer laziness: I want to show up and enjoy the community but not do the actual work. The thing is, those people eventually seem to float elsewhere over time. If you’re reading but consistently coming back, I think there’s something deeper at play. Call it self-directed stone-walling, an inward withholding from yourself – of better health and a better life.

Address whatever is going on – the nonsense about I’m not capable or I don’t deserve the good life in the same way other people do or it’s never really going to happen that way for me. Bull. Dump the self-defeating attitude. Resolve to end the self-sabotage. (Seriously, accept it for that.) Analyze it if you will, but the point is to move on even if you have to fake it until you make it. Fake the confidence if you don’t feel quite worthy. Fake the motivation if you feel (or even know) that you’re 100% lazy. Fake the self-image if you think on some subterranean level that you shouldn’t and won’t ever be thin/healthy/successful/happy. Faking it will at times hurt. It will take energy. It might even take more energy than working out and lifting the chopping knife to make yourself that Big A$$ Salad you’ve always meant to make for lunch. No matter. Work your own sense of worthiness or optimism or diligence as a muscle, and expect the same stress, fatigue and progress along the way.

So, have we cast every phantom excuse into the light of day? What’s left that’s keeping you hiding or distant? Are you willing to put it out there on public display? (Trust me, it will feel good having done it.)

By all means, read. Visit. Chat. But more than any of that, manifest. No one can do this part for you, but everything meaningful hinges on it. Make yourself a Primal plan every single day if you have to. What am I going to do today to get my butt in the game? Bring some chicken thighs and cut vegetables for lunch? Get sun over the weekend instead of sit inside? Hit the gym on the way home? Practice a mini power outage and be coaxed into a natural bedtime? Then do it. The next day, do it some more. Start edging out all the garbage that doesn’t work for you in your life and health. Come back for more ideas to elbow out more still. Nod less. Do more – today of course.

Anyone willing to admit being in the hot seat today? What’s been holding you back from taking the plunge? What’s the first thing you’re going to commit to right now? Does this ring true of your past with the PB? If so, what gave you the swift kick to get going? Looking forward to reading your thoughts… Thanks for stopping by today, everyone.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’ve learned so much from this site and over time I’ve dramatically improved my eating habits. I’ve become more aware of how foods affect my body and my mood for better or for worse.

    However, I’ve had a hard time incorporating the exercise part of Primal living. My biggest barrier is chronic rhinitis that drains the energy right out of me. I’ve been diagnosed with severe dust mite allergy combined with something called “non-allergic rhinitis” that has no obvious triggers and doesn’t respond to antihistamines. All I know is I feel better outside than inside.

    I’ve done all sorts of things to reduce my dust mite exposure and tried lots of drug and herbal treatments to no avail. I was hoping the Primal diet would help my immune system become more rational and boost my energy levels, but sadly that hasn’t been the case. It’s done other nice things for me, just not that. It seems really strange that something as small as a chronic runny nose can be so exhausting, but it is.

    When the weather is nice, I spend lots of time outside and away from whatever triggers my problems. I feel better, which means I am more active, which means I feel better, etc. But during the fall and winter months it’s a downward spiral — I have no energy, so I don’t move, so I feel even worse.

    So I lurk here looking for clues and self-hacks to try and checking the success stories to see if anyone has conquered something similar to what I have.

    jenny wrote on November 21st, 2013
    • Have you tried taking vitamin D supplements? I live in Canada, where I usually go to work before the sun is up in the winter, spend all day in a darkened room with no windows, and then leave work after the sun goes down (plus, it’s Vancouver, so it’s usually raining when I do have the time to go outside). I don’t know if it’s as bad as you, but I definitely feel tired, and very glum in the winter. Vitamin D has helped immensely.

      Steve wrote on November 21st, 2013
      • Thanks! Interestingly enough I just had my annual checkup and the labs show rockstar lipids (yay!) but a decline in vitamin D compared to the past 2 years. I’m within normal range but toward the low end.

        If anyone has a favorite vitamin D source please let me know!

        jenny wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  2. Gave it a go for two weeks, diet wise. My energy levels were zero, however, which I have since learned is quite common when you first give up grains. Just getting off the couch to drive to the grocery store felt like a tedious task. There were a couple days, however, where I was able to walk to the local playground for some chin-ups on the monkey bars. Aside from that, I felt great! Lost four pounds in two weeks. That bloated feeling in the stomach, that I always assumed was normal, completely disappeared. Joint stiffness lessened (which may or may not have been influenced by the weather, too). Then I travelled back home to visit the family, where the house is stocked full of breads, frozen meals, and all sorts of sugary/high-carb pre-packaged treats. Energy levels came back, but so did the bloated feeling and joint stiffness. I’ll be back under my own roof in a few days, and I can’t wait to get back into it.

    Steve wrote on November 21st, 2013
  3. I went the 80/20 road. Actually it’s a bit more than that, maybe 90/10.
    My meals through out the day are as primal as I can get them (grass-fed meat is just so bloody expensive that most of the time it’s normal meat)
    I do eat the BAS for lunch and in the morning it’s what ever I can find that fits in the PB guidelines.

    However, I do eat a little desert. Last week the Ben&jerries were advertised and I bought a large pack. I eat just a few tea spoons of it after dinner as an indulgence.

    However if I eat pasta, bread, ect, I will feel awful. I know I have never felt better than eating on Primal, so even if it’s offers I won’t eat it.

    Also, I wouldn’t dare to do Carbs and fat in excess. I think the combination would be worse than SAD. So it’s either eating the >150gram carbs or the high fat diet but not both.

    MarielleGO wrote on November 21st, 2013
  4. As a former lurker, I just want to express my thanks to Mark and to everyone who leaves comments. My progress has definitely been in fits and starts, and some of the posts above about pregnancy making it hard to eat Primally and babies making it hard to sleep Primally could have been written by me. It has taken me years to get where I am – totally comfortable, in a pretty Primal groove, and not missing anything at all. In those years, it was MDA and this community that kept reminding me that I could do it and I could get healthy again. Seriously – I once went through all the success stories looking for ones from moms around 40 just to remind myself that it could be done!
    What finally did it? A few months after baby #3, I started feeling absolutely terrible when I ate carbs and sweets. I am pretty sure I was on a diabetic path. Kids can make it hard to be Primal, but they are ultimately also the reason to go Primal – I want to be healthy enough to play with them and be there for as long as I can. So I did it because I was feeling bad, I did it for my kids – but I did it with the help of this community. Thank you.

    PaleoInAfrica wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  5. I’m guilty of lurking and I love that comment about self-identification by association. More than lurking though, I’m dabbling, but not in a flippant way. I’m just taking longer to adapt than others seem to. I do well for a few days, then I have a meltdown and revert to old ways. I’m lurking and trying to build up some kind of stamina. I thoroughly enjoyed the kick in the pants though, as I could definitely be taking greater strides towards progress than I actually am.

    Cheers Mark!

    Ruth wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  6. I am a lurker for sure! I could repeat many of the things already mentioned about time, stress, family members not willing to do this with me and many others. I am also very shy when it comes joining the conversations. On a positive side I have changed some of my lifestyle habits already, for example going barefoot (during warmer weather in Wisconsin), playing more with my kids, and moving more.

    The eating habits have been difficult for me. I have tried to go cold turkey with Primal Blueprint and have failed. For awhile I thought that this just wasn’t for me and gave up. Now I have learned that I need to slow down and realize this is a journey. I do much better with slow changes and babysteps. I am doing great making small changes to create good habits and realizing this is a journey not a diet.

    Thanks, Mark for calling me out and making me think about how I am making changes in my life!

    Jen wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  7. Oh dear, I have been found out….
    Serious lurker here. I have been primal most of 2010 and lost fair bit of weight, felt great and then life happened and excuses followed. I’d feel sorry for myself and “treat” myself to sweets and all kinds of bready garbage to make myself feel better (it did not work!). Then clothes did not fit anymore… – that definitely did not make me feel better.
    I was lurking for the past 6 months but recently something just clicked. I’ve been on the whole 30 for the past week and a bit and feel GREAT! I am back :)

    Ania wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  8. Lurker here, too. I haven’t implemented because…I don’t want to. No swift kick needed. There are some parts of the Blueprint that I don’t agree with. I eat legumes, for example. I hate dark chocolate and when I want a “non-Primal dessert”, I have it – which is usually 3 or 4 times a week. I am recovered from an eating disorder and restricting desserts is a huge trigger. But there are parts of it that I agree with – sleep, play, PU fats, grains, etc. I want to learn more about those things so I come here. Some might say this is the 80/20 – but I wouldn’t call myself Primal because it isn’t just about allowing myself “20%” – its more about making my own Blueprint that mixes some primal and some other stuff as well. So there is no Primal Life for me to implement, I’ve got my own going on. I appreciate Mark and this site, though!

    Jess wrote on November 22nd, 2013
    • I applaud you making your own life and solutions! My personal opinion is that you’re doing yourself a disservice by not trying it even for a week or two. I was in your shoes – I was ‘mostly’ healthy, but cutting out all sugar/grains/etc. mad a lot bigger difference than I would have guessed. The cravings for sweets and processed foods pretty much goes away eventually.

      I_EAT_COWS wrote on November 22nd, 2013
    • There really is a huge difference in implementation when you have a history of eating disorders, I can speak from experience. I do think that for some of us in recovery, avoiding the triggers is more important than adhering to any specific principle of this lifestyle. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Feeding myself enough to live is the #1 victory, all other lifestyle improvements are secondary.

      Celeste wrote on November 23rd, 2013
  9. Hi, I’m a lurker too. Dabbling with the primal lifestyle but not doing it fully, this post is as if it is meant for me. But I am going to comit to it today. This weekend I will join the forum and announce my goals. I’m not overweight but do have a list of health issues which I want to resolve plus I want to be toned. No more excuses. I will be a success story, the journey starts today. Wish me luck.

    Westy wrote on November 22nd, 2013
    • Awesome! I hope you see some quick improvement! I’m amazed at how many people feel better and see symptoms dissapear when cutting unhealthy things out of their diet. I have a list myself!

      I_EAT_COWS wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  10. I’m a lurker. My obstacle is the food I share with people not in my household of one. Perhaps I need to look harder at the recipes but what can I bring to a friend’s house that make other attendees go “Huh”? Besides a veggie tray. I don’t want the attention on my diet at a social gathering. I tend to go to a noddle based casserole like lasagna. Thoughts on food to share that doesn’t scream I eat a non-SAD diet are welcome.

    Amanda wrote on November 22nd, 2013
    • Swedish Meatballs! (breadcrumb free, natch)

      Shupac wrote on November 23rd, 2013
  11. When I found this blog last year I lurked for a week just to see what it was about. :)
    It was exactly what I had been looking for. The main thing about PB is it is NOT about self-deprivation like “diets,” regimens, and plans. For instance I know that many PB’ers still wear conventional footwear. This is fine and it is their choice, but they are really missing out. It really feels great on so many levels, just as eating PB style does and exercising PB style. So take the plunge and be Primal for all it is! You won’t be sorry.

    ninjainshadows wrote on November 22nd, 2013
    • *The “It” that I said feels great is barefoot/minimalist footwear. Woops!

      ninjainshadows wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  12. My first few months’ attempts were not met with the success I expected, so I have had to regroup and address underlying issues: digestion, heavy metals, thyroid/adrenals, sufficient sleep. I am working on baby steps right now like eating breakfast. I appreciate this post and all the great info and encouragement here–there’s a great vibe!

    Beth wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  13. “Ultimately, it’s a crying shame because instead of nodding in agreement, you could be feeling amazing at this very minute”

    Yes! I’m two weeks primal, down 6+ lbs, and today I feel amazing! More energy, better mood, and more! If you can get those things in two weeks, what’s stopping you?!

    I_EAT_COWS wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  14. i committed myself to the paleo diet hours before stumbling upon this site, all only a couple days ago (Not quite a lurker). So far, I love it! It helps working in central Africa as it is currently avocado season. Generally I haven’t found the transition very hard. I haven’t noticed any immediate benefits, but I’m willing to give it a month.

    I started mainly because I was looking for a better diet to help me look more fit. I’ve been working out most days for over a year, and I’m stronger but not yet toned. I’ve decided to add interval training to my work out routine, and compliment it with a paleo diet. I’m a fan of human evo science, anthropology and paleontology, so the paleo lifestyle definitely appeals to me!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    kent wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  15. I like to go out for drinks. That’s what messes me up. Totally healthy day, maybe even some intermittent fasting and then I get home and even if we have a primal dinner, we’ll often head out to our favorite watering hole and after a couple drinks, boom, I eat the free popcorn or worse foods like fast food. I really like the fun of going out, but I know I make poor food decisions afterward. Bottom line, it’s fun to eat and drink what you want, but obviously it derails my efforts.

    Sarah wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  16. I’ve been a fan for two years and would describe my lifestyle as modified paleo. I still eat occasionally tofu and beans, keep my carbs mainly from veggies, tubers, white rice, quinoa. But I find whenever I try to go hardcore and follow 80/20 or 90/10 and eat alot of healthy fat I gain weight! I do all the ohter stuff: sun, sleep, sex, barefeet, lift heavy things and cut way back on chronic cardio. Overall I feel mostly good but I do feel sad I cannot keep up with my mountain biking/cycling buddies anymore. I just don’t have the lungs.

    Mimulus wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  17. I suppose I qualify as a lurker, although enjoy Mark’s articles so much and truly believe that this lifestyle *works*. Nearly every day I send links to my husband with research supporting the paleo/primal lifestyle. I love hiking in the mountains in my Vibrams and splashing about, feeling the mud between my toes. I have adopted the “move slowly for long distances” mentality – I walk as much as I can, and my husband and I are both avid hill-walkers. I try my darndest (despite a ridiculous commute and horrible work hours – both of which I am changing in 2014!) to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I get sun when I can (not easy in Ireland!) and take vitamin D pills every day. I credit the Vit D with alleviating the low-level depression that has dogged me since puberty. I make most of our meals myself, including plenty of homemade bone broth and loads of veggies. We almost never eat out at restaurants, and our only major “sin” is a weekly pizza indulgence at the end of a long week – and I often make the pizza myself. My father in law is a severely overweight diabetic and I regularly lament to my husband, “if only your dad would go primal…” – I really think it would save his life.

    BUT. But.

    I would say that we eat only about 50% primal, if that, which is maybe the same as not eating primal at all. The reasons for my lack of compliance with the dietary aspect of the Blueprint are myriad, but the key issues/problems I have with fully adopting the diet part of the lifestyle are as follows:

    1) I feel really pretty good as-is. As a previous commenter mentioned “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I lost about 20 lbs last year when we moved to Ireland – just by cutting out all fast food, cooking for myself, incorporating healthy fats, and upping my physical activity naturally (walking more is part of the culture here, and the aforementioned hill-walking). I don’t have any auto-immune diseases. My skin is clear. I have plenty of energy. I’m not depressed. My monthly cycle is on track. I notice no discernable difference in my digestive tract when I eat grain or other carbs. As much as I think I could maybe feel a little bit better yet by going primal, the expense involved and spousal fights it would engender (see below) don’t make the change seem worth it to me.

    2) Like so many other followers, I have a lack of spousal support. My husband is fond of saying “soup is not a meal”. Likewise, sitting down at the table without some carbs available is not a meal in his mind. I am not so much tempted by seeing his choices on the table as I am unwilling/unable to commit even more time to making two separate meals three times a day.

    3) Affordability. I’m sorry, but no matter which way you slice it, eating primal isn’t cheap. Our budget is on a razor thin margin as it is. I only have 250 euros/month to spend on groceries for the two of us. It doesn’t go that far unless it’s padded out with (comparatively cheaper) beans, couscous and pasta. We don’t have any bad habits (coffee, cable tv, etc) to cut out that could help us increase our food budget. We don’t eat out, not even for lunch, so there are no savings to attain there. Meat is super pricey here. We eat as many veggies as we can, but we just don’t feel full without some carbs to soak up the pasta sauce.

    Despite the above, I still read MDA every day because I do think that there is incredible merit in the message Mark espouses. I think he is literally saving lives here. I look for ways to incorporate more paleo principles into our own lives on a regular basis. For example, we are moving out West (to Co Kerry, where KerryGold butter is from) in the spring. I am going to quit my horrible, soul-sucking job and branch out into raising meat animals and growing all our own veg – so that I know exactly where it all comes from. I doubt I would have been so inspired if it hadn’t been for Mark, so… thank you! I hope you don’t feel that you just can’t reach us lurkers – because you can, and have, in so many ways. Even if our grocery cart doesn’t always show it!

    Jamie Bee wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  18. I am SO guilty of this :(

    CMA wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  19. I think the key to remember about PB and also what makes it so awesome is that its just that a blueprint if you eat great and then have a candy bar 1 time last month then who cares I mean a caveman couldn’t choose what he was going to eat he just had to eat what was there. PB changed my whole lifestyle from Want but Cannot have to Can have but don’t want as soon as I started eating primal my body said hey i don’t want that junk anymore. I don’t think people that fall off the wagon sometimes are lurkers they’re just finding they’re groove. If you are a lurker though do yourself a favor save yourself from a life of horrible digestive and gut aches you’ll be glad you did.

    Tad Snyder wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  20. Reading all the replies now makes me realize that I’m not doing all that bad.
    I went cold turkey almost 4 years ago…was 100% for 2 years until I found Raw goats milk.
    It made me gain weight, made me addicted to the opioids in it, felt crappy with it…felt crappy without it and 1 year later had gained almost 20 lbs.

    I couldn’t lose the weight without calorie cutting drastically but had too many cravings and no willpower. I noticed in the end it’s still just about calories in and out…and I did non of it. Being 100% primal (+the raw milk) did NOT work for me because I kept on eating starches…which are also allowed on primal.

    Even though I never really fell off the wagon, I had gained 20 lbs and so I’ve stopped coming here for the last 1.5 years.

    About a week ago I finally had the motivation and no appetite to cut calories and I’ve lost 4 lbs so far…another 10 lbs to go.

    Atm I am following an “ancient german diet plan” called Soup, Salad and Coffee and FDH (Friss die Haelfte) which basically means Push-aways! hahahaha…
    When I’m down to my goal weight again I’ll just have to be careful with the starches and carbs in general.

    Issabeau wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  21. Ugh…neck and back issues and waiting for the MRI results. It’s an excuse though because I don’t like working out by myself. I could still walk and make changes even while waiting for results. I do have constant pain, but I work and can certainly move my body. I’m always thinking ‘I’ll start tomorrow’. I would be more motivated if I had people to work out with.

    Lastly, I could be waiting another 5 years and end up more physically impaired. Like I said, it’s an excuse and I need to kick myself in the pants…

    Christine wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  22. I was a lurker for over a year and couldn’t get past the idea of giving up bread and pasta. One particular article struck me right where it needed to and I decided it couldn’t hurt to try 30 days. The next day I went cold turkey and those 30 days have become 18 months. I am about 80/20 and the couple of times I’ve gotten too far out of balance, old health issues return to keep me in check.

    Old habits die hard and some of us take a little longer to commit! If you’re one of the hold outs, try it for 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days!!

    MJ wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  23. As I read this article I felt as though you were writing it directly to me. One of my coworkers, 4 years older than me, just died from congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and other complications. My own doctor just put me on a medication for high blood sugar in an effort to drive off type two diabetes.

    My friend has been living with a death sentence for the last year knowing that there was nothing that could be done. I can only imagine the wear and heartache that his family felt. I realized that I was setting up to do the same thing to my family.

    All that stops. I have been a poser. Reading all the books on nutrition, talking to others about primal and paleo eating habits while I continued eating like crap.

    No More. Within the next year you will be reading my success story on here, so keep this comment on file.

    Hurd Finnegan wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  24. We received four tubs of grass fed liver when we purchased our last side of grass fed beef. My partner has said would never eat it because his mother used to make him eat it. He remembers the taste and thinks it is disgusting. Interestingly, we only have one tub left as i have been secretly adding it to our chili. I thaw it and whip it up in the vitamix, then mix it in. He has said that the chili I have been making lately is delicious, It might be the pureed pumpkin, but i think it is the nutrient rich liver that replenishes his body with nutrients. I might tell him someday, perhaps when he notices that the tubs of liver are gone.

    ReggieW wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  25. I am lurking for a couple of months.
    And I did take the plunge several times. But something is not right with my jump calculations, cause I land on a wagon – and after a while fall off that wagon.
    I pick up my failure bones and get back on the cliff, lurking, getting the courage to jump again.
    I am sure that practice makes perfect, and each time I slip and fall, I learned something new. Then I get the chance to “lurk” and educate myself to do better next time. I am sure it’s only a matter of time to do the plunge and have it stick!

    Monika Ellis wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  26. Yup, definitely something I needed to hear. I genuinely appreciate this.

    I’ve lurked for a long time, and while I’ve made a number of long-term positive changes, I’ve never fully implemented for more than a couple weeks at a time.

    I have to stop thinking that I can’t do it because I have zero support, and grip the fact that the choice is mine, and mine alone. It’s not that of my vegan husband, my 400lb couch-bound mother or my diabetic father, all of whom think Primal/Paleo is “dangerous” (ironic much?). It’s also my responsibility to ensure my kids reverse the bad eating habits they already have.

    Challenging – sure. Impossible – not at all.

    Eirinn-Anne wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  27. I’m a lurker.

    It’s not an intellectual exercise… for most people. It is for me. I read a lot. I read stuff I like, I read stuff I don’t like. And I don’t usually leave a site simply because I’m not into implementing what it promotes. I usually leave a site because the writing/website quality is poor and I simply don’t enjoy visiting anymore (not an issue here).

    MDA offers a lot of knowledge, even for somebody who’s not ready to change anything. I realize this doesn’t make any sense. You’re thinking “now you know it’s bad for you, why do you continue?”. Well, smokers know smoking is bad. They still do it. Who knows why?

    So, there’s my two-bits.

    Julia wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  28. Having had a chance to read and study the previous postings here’s my take on the problems described. It’s possible I’m seeing something that isn’t there, but as I see it the problem is one of for want of a better word, ideology. I know this might sound like a bit of a stretch, but when reads of people clearly suffering and suffering badly from the effects of the Standard American Diet in such deep denial, ‘ideology’ seems to be the only word to describe the situation.
    It seems almost as if SAD is regarded as some sort of sacred trust, that must preserved at any cost.

    Paul in Australia wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  29. I lurk somewhat (say, the last ten days of each month) because I’m a grad student living at home, I’m the only semi-primal individual in the household, and when money gets tight at the end of the month, sometimes it’s grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

    I do the best I can to embrace primal living. Every possible cut to our budget was made years ago when the economy tanked, so we buy everything completely conventional and barely scrape by. Not one thing in my house is organic or grass-fed, free-range or co-opted, or anything. I truly can’t afford to spend my money conscientiously, but I can’t let that come between me and getting as close as possible to primal.

    I do have to work out primally, however, because I can’t afford a gym membership or workout gear either. Ergo, bodyweight workouts and redneck standing workstations for the win.

    Kristina wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  30. I must admit, I feel pretty depressed at the moment about Primal. I followed it pretty strictly for about a year, including 4 months with a personal trainer, and while I definitely believe in the concept and felt a lot healthier, I didn’t shift any significant weight, like maybe 2 pounds. And yes, I do have weight to lose – not a lot, but definite, visible weight (maybe 25 pounds) that prevents at least half my wardrobe from fitting and me from feeling confident. I keep trying to get back into Primal, because I know its a great way to live, but the lack of weight loss results means I’m only ever half motivated. I wasn’t a lurker to begin with – I was a motivated die-hard. But I’ve lost faith, mostly in myself.

    dgl wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  31. I am a health coach, and it has become my life’s work to help as many people as I can adopt as much of the primal lifestyle as is possible for them– as the unique individuals that we all are. If any of you need more guidance and/or support, I want to help you. Your health and happiness matter. You matter! Change IS possible. Change IS doable.

    Andie Butler wrote on November 22nd, 2013
    • Hi Andie, what sort or coaching and how? I am at the end of my tether. Even during run up to my wedding when I was 99/1 Primal and training 4 x a week with an ex marine, I didn’t shift the weight. Yes, some inches and that was good, but I was so motivated and I just didn’t get the results. My wedding was great, but if I’m honest, I didn’t feel happy with how I looked. Still just carry that extra fat, and since then put more on. Can this really be solved or is it just my body?

      dlg wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  32. I NEED this (primal)! I suffer from recurring and chronic (female) yeast, I am overweight, too. I know this works! HOWEVER 1.) I get SO INCREDIBLY DEHYDRATED! 2.) I barely stomach 50 protein… 3.) See # 1. I need your book! I am now realizing 75-80g fat may help with dehydration, as I read an old post on a MMA fighter you sponsored… I have lurked since June or July, and implemented some changes. I did “fail-eo” for a month and lost 10 lbs. :)

    JLB wrote on November 22nd, 2013
  33. One word: alcohol.

    embur7 wrote on November 22nd, 2013
    • Never drank. Just up to a gallon a day of water.

      JLB wrote on November 23rd, 2013
  34. I’ve been lurking for….3.5 years? I first found MDA back in high school but wasn’t able to do anything because my parents wouldn’t listen to anything I said and were extremely stubborn about keeping the SAD diet. Since I’ve gone to college it’s been a struggle.
    Freshman year I was in the dorms and there were not a lot of paleo options in our cafeteria. Since then I started dating someone and when I tried to go paleo he supported me doing it but wouldn’t consider it himself. He supported me by saying “I’ll eat it for you since you can’t” and proceeded to eat brownies, cake, and ice cream and various other things right in front of me and telling me how good they were. Needless to say without any real support I failed. Since then I have pretty much given up because I can’t get away from the sweets and other things because it is all he eats and every time I have tried to go paleo I get INSANE cravings.

    Ellie wrote on November 22nd, 2013
    • Proper fats made the insane cravings vanish for me. (What I couldn’t do was stay hydrated. I even tried more salt and magnesium. I am now wondering if MORE fat for fuel’s sake would slow my metabolism of the carbs meant for muscle glucogen, thus avoiding muscle cramping.) Primal is INCREDIBLE at squashing cravings. I am pretty sure there are answers for those who persist…

      JLB wrote on November 23rd, 2013
  35. Thanks Mark for this post – it really hit me hard. I’ve been lurking for several years. I’ve purchased and read both The Primal Blueprint and The Primal Connection, and I’ve adopted several Primal concepts, albeit inconsistently. I’m about 25% in. So what’s holding me back? Your post has made me really examine my fears – fear of failure and, I think, fear of success.

    Thanks for the kick in the pants.

    Byron wrote on November 23rd, 2013
  36. I’m only a quasi lurker, maybe. I have slowly been moving towards a primal diet completely unaware of Primal Blueprint or Lifestyle but bread and grains have been my major hang-up my whole life. I’m also a stress-eater (working on that). I have some major advantages in that I’m the only head of household and I do all the shopping and most the cooking 😉 and the teenager isn’t horribly picky as long as there’s some kind of meat on the table, LOL, everything else she says she can work with.

    I found MDA less than a month ago but I’m making changes, just really slowly :-( I get overwhelmed too easily and then binge on cinnamon-sugar toast etc. I have eliminated almost all sugar, so now I’m working on breads (my most frequent and abundant toxin). I haven’t decided what to work on next :-)

    It’s kinda creepy for me though, how Mark called out the lurkers (in a very nice way, I think) when he did 😉 lol

    JRbn wrote on November 23rd, 2013
  37. I’ve been reading almost daily for almost a year. I bought The Primal Blueprint on Amazon 6 months ago. I’m halfway through.

    I followed the primal blueprint for a month back in May 2013 and lost 23 lbs of baby weight that I thought I would never lose… Then I stopped and the weight loss stopped. Then the weight started to creep back on.

    Since returning to work when my son was 13 months, I’m back at my old habits of getting through the week with cafe mochas, a Friday morning “treat” of a creme donut… and then I cave and we order Chinese for takeout because there’s no time to make dinner.

    Blood pressure is back up and I gained 12 lbs in the first 2 months back at work.

    I also feel like this post was a sign. I felt so uncomfortable reading it. It also made me realize that I must sound like an idiot when I talk to people about the stuff I read on here and then they see me enjoying Halloween candy, birthday cake at work, sandwiches for lunch… oh, yeah, and watch me plump up.

    I know this was meant to be motivating, but I feel so crummy right now! :-/

    Nightingale wrote on November 23rd, 2013
  38. I am a lurker! Looking for answers to get past my current plateau.

    I have been following MDA now for nearly 2 years. I have been eating better than 90/10 for most of that time, though it took a while to ditch the occasional diet coke. I came to paleo to help with health issues- overweight, type2 diabetes, etc which were out of control.
    I lost 40 kgs (88lbs) in the first 12 months but only 10 kgs since (20lb) since. My only vice is potato maybe once a week.
    I have dropped my diabetes medication – I was on insulin + diaformin. My Hb1AC is now 5.8. I swim 3x week and move more, stand at my desk.
    I feel fantastic, and although I still have some lower back pain, most of my mobility issues are much improved. Osteo arthritis in my knee & feet now don’t trouble me much at all. I sleep well, and get outside when I can.
    I do, however have a very stressful work situation that I cannot change, though I try to manage the stress. I work 50-60 hours most weeks. ( I know I need to change this – at 58 I want to slow down!)
    Anyone have any ideas on what I can do? Thought I might look at IF?

    Aussie Sal wrote on November 23rd, 2013
  39. I’ve been a lurker for years. Still lurking, but I joined a gym a few months back that, while not actively supporting a paleo diet, they strongly lean that way. They provide dietary guidelines to follow, and even specific menu’s for those wanting more direction. I’ve not been following so well but trying to ease more into it. My biggest issues are pre-planning and preparing ahead of time. If I don’t have meals planned, cooked, etc before Monday… then I’m just rushing all week long and don’t make time for it. Hopefully that will be fixed soon, especially as I’m now completely single and picking up the pieces so to speak… thus I can cook however I want, whenever I want, and not have the passing thought “he won’t like it” to hold me back.

    Oh… and I’m an emotional NON-eater. Break my heart: I go 24 hours without food, easily, until my emotions are uncontrollable and I’m sick to my stomach from hunger and then I’m too hungry RIGHT NOW to deal with cooking… so run to the nearest fast food 2 blocks away. That was my life 1.5 years ago for a number of months and I believe that is a huge contributor to gaining 20 pounds, and being diagnosed with Type II diabetes :( I still have a problem with skipping meals if my heart is hurting, but at least I’m working now and my body needs food to get through the day and gets painfully insistent if I don’t (I was unemployed when all that happened 1.5 yrs ago thus easier to ignore).

    Shawna wrote on November 23rd, 2013

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