Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
Last week we looked at what goes into our decisions to be healthy: the hows, the wheres, the whos and whys of consideration, of envisioning and finally of commitment. It’s a decision that puts ourselves at the core, we said.
Sometimes our path to that decision is smooth. Sometimes it’s a collection of fits and starts. Usually, it’s a little of both. Progress can come with slow, steady dedication and effort. But, oftentimes, there’s at least a few experiences when we put the pedal to the metal. Whether it’s an overwhelming, positive rush of internal motivation or the insistence of an external, swift kick in the pants, these instances of hyperdrive move us forward. And, yes, even if we lose some ground afterward, we’re changed for the experience nonetheless. We’ve felt that higher level of health, whether it be fitness, nutrition, life balance, etc. Even if we give up some of the result, we know how good it was, and mark our words, you’ll eventually crave it again and be back for more.
And, so, that’s why we embrace the fits and starts, the push that is too intense to be wholly sustainable. Our motivation muscle isn’t much different than our physical muscle. Ultimately, you have to max it out to build it.
In that spirit, we have a challenge.
We’re talking something more than a new diet, something bigger than a 5K, something broader than a new work project, something, well, other than streaking through the neighborhood. We’re talking taking on a new identity (alias not required but fun). We’re talking an experiment that lets you slip into a different life than your own. It’s a sneaky, tricky, scheming little trial that will leave you with some good stories and probably a serious sense of accomplishment. What if…you went fully “Primal” for a month? Took on the part of diehard, hardass primal man or woman?
No, we’re not talking about donning skins, killing prey and giving up indoor bathroom facilities. But it does involve the spirit of acting. In all seriousness, what if you chose to play the part of Primal Blueprint extraordinaire, certified/certifiable health nut for one full month. You’d be the person who makes no compromises, no excuses in your diet or exercise routine. You’d take on the life of others who have the energy, the commitment, the bodies, etc. No cheating – ever. We’re talking Soup Nazi inflexibility. Could you do it? Could you do it and have fun while you’re at it?
It’s summer, after all, when the weather and long days are more conducive to better exercise variety, when vegetables and fruits are cheaper and in season, when we all seem to have a happier disposition and more optimistic attitude. (Isn’t July a little more inspiring than January?) Can you think of a better time than now?
Take up your drumsticks and join your fellow Apples in this experiment. All it requires is that you act as if you are a diehard for a single month. It’s a 30-day tale (minus Morgan Spurlock) seeing how the other half (well, far few than half) lives.
The upside, the veritable beauty of the experiment (other than the alias possibilities) is that you are bound to gain new insight and perspective into the life that you’ve wondered about, even pined after. Up until now, it’s been unattainable. (Perfection generally is. But people berate themselves nonetheless.) But to pretend that perfection for one month? That might get interesting. It’s a version of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. But for a limited time only!
The key phrase here is “as if.”
All you have to do is act as if you were the person at the gym with unlimited resolve.
Act as if you can sustain Primal living 100% of the time.
Act as if you have no desire for sweets, bread, pasta and rice.
Act as if you can let the big and small stresses of everyday life slide off your back.
And don’t worry that you may not be that person. All you have to do is act as if you were. Before you know it as if may turn into I am.
At the end of the month’s challenge, you will see how you feel physically and mentally. Perhaps you’ll love every minute of it and think it wasn’t as hard as you anticipated. Maybe you’ll feel that every day was an all out struggle and you’ll applaud the return to your own version of measured balance. You may also find that your previous life contained some “vices” you don’t really need anymore. You might find that the sensible (and some not-so sensible vices) contribute to the life you prefer to live… despite the health consequences. Hmmm. Maybe you’ll need another month’s worth of experimentation to decide how you feel.
We challenge you to give it a try. At the very least, you’ll learn something about yourself.
If you’re a regular reader, consider yourself “armed” with all the knowledge and tools you need to play Primal for a month: exercise routines, menus, recipes, stress relief tips, etc. You’re ready for the experiment. The primal role is yours for the taking. Are you game?
Report back with your findings!
(Check back later for recipes to get you started on the right foot.)
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