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27 Jun

Act “As If” – A 30-Day Primal Health Challenge

30 Day ChallengeLast 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.)

Further Reading:

The Primal Blueprint: Your Guide to Acting As If

Have you Decide to Be Healthy?

Practical Advice for Raising Healthy Seedlings

This Year: Evolve Your Resolve

The Whole Series of Eat This Today, Feel Better Tomorrow: 1, 2, 3, Intermittent Fasting, Special Occasions and Dessert Editions

More Recipes

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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’m totally three years late, but I’m gonna challenge myself to do this.

    After all, I was an acting major 😛

    Heaz wrote on June 27th, 2011
  2. I just stumbled across this old challenge, and after a month of Paleo/little-bit-of-crossfit (and a 16 pound loss!) I’m going to take this challenge starting tomorrow for the month of Feb! I’m ready!

    Heather wrote on January 31st, 2012
  3. I went Primal 3 weeks ago and have lost 12 pounds (183 – 172) and dropped one pant size. Woohoo!! Absolutely no grains. Still eating some dairy. I think it’s time to kick it up a notch and cut out the dairy as well. Thoughts?

    So, why not? Begin today.

    Dawn wrote on February 17th, 2012
  4. I just found this challenge! I’ve been toying with Primal for two weeks. I am a carb and dairy addict….I need to do this challenge.I have been doing well. I had a few days of headache, and one day of intense chocolate cravings( I really could have eaten any and all chocolate in sight if I found it!),but I am good now.

    Tomorrow will be Day 1 of 100% Primal

    Stacey wrote on April 24th, 2012
  5. I am going to do this for one year.

    Andee Kyle wrote on March 2nd, 2015

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