For today’s Dear Mark, we’ve got a series of questions and answers related to the successful realization of your New Year’s resolutions. No matter what you’ve actually resolved to try to do, you’ll probably find something of interest in today’s post. First, I cover the eternal question everyone ponders when attempting a lifestyle overhaul: cold turkey or baby steps? Next, I give tips to someone who’s worried he’ll fail going Primal just like all the other times he’s tried to change his diet. Third, I cover how quickly a person might see results from going Primal, explaining the various determining factors as well as the best way to think about your results. And finally, I reveal my (lack of) New Year’s resolutions for everyone to dissect!
Yesterday, we shared our new year visions with each other, and we took a look at some of the resources you have at your disposal here at Mark’s Daily Apple and PrimalBlueprint.com. Today, I’d like to help you further explore your goals and motivations, and assist you in establishing a concrete plan of attack for 2014. One of the best ways I’ve found to do this is in my own life is to ask myself tough questions about my successes and failures, and to be brutally honest with my replies. In this article, I’ll suggest you do the same.
Now, this exercise must be done with some dedicated effort. A passing read through the questions while nodding only to forget about them in twenty minutes won’t get the job done. Discuss them with a friend, spouse, or loved one to make them real. Write them down on a piece of paper, or type your answers out. However you pay special attention to this exercise, give careful, thoughtful answers. This is about resolutions, but even more than that, this is about dialogue. Open, honest dialogue between your multiple selves, between the person that should be doing this or would rather be accomplishing that, and the person who does neither but desperately wants to. The resolutions will come, but expect it to take a little work. Let’s get to it…
New Year’s: it’s one of my favorite holidays – and not just because it has the best parties. It’s the concept of possibility, of change, of transformation. (You’ve heard me talk about that, right?) You see, in a health culture that seems hell bent on standing by milquetoast moderation, I’ve hung my hat on something bigger. I’d say more hopeful. Although massive change can begin any day, the message of New Year’s, I think, gets all of our attention. Even if we take a somewhat curmudgeonly, skeptical view the rest of the year, it’s hard to not be moved by the collective celebration all focused on the sole theme of conversion. It’s exactly the thrust of my mission here. I know it’s my passion and life’s work – transformation.
So, you overdid it…or just ate something that does very bad things to you. Maybe you didn’t binge per se but abandoned the original plan and now feel the pain. You ate…maybe more than you intended, maybe differently than you intended. Non-Primal foods were consumed – perhaps many of them or just a few in larger than planned quantities. Non-Primal/sub-Primal drinks were imbibed beyond the point of intention. And now the consequences are playing out. You’re stuck in a bloated, sloth-like, catatonic state. You’re nursing a major headache with every shade shut and the covers over your head wishing in a rather non-seasonal mindset that your children would take the noise to some distant corner of the neighborhood. Maybe you’ve taken up residence in the water closet. In a less dramatic scenario, perhaps you’re just pushing yourself through the day because you notice your energy is off, your digestion not up to full speed, your mood not quite as equanimous as usual. Whether you feel it was worth it or not, who wouldn’t want to reverse the course of misery itself after the fact?
Often I hear people talk about “surviving” the holidays. I read “holiday survival guides” and the like. I’ve even used the term myself in the same way on occasion. You could say perhaps the whole survival reference is purely tongue-in-cheek, but the fact is too many people do feel imposing stress this time of year. According to one sizable survey (PDF), close to 40% of us (higher for women than for men) experience stress around holiday preparations/family gatherings, financial pressures, commercial hype, limited time and food temptations (especially true for those who embrace a counter cultural diet). That doesn’t sound like much of a Primal party to me.
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