Neil’s Goals: “This is my 50th year and since giving up smoking last New Year, this New Year I am determined to get to 15 stones, (210 lbs), the weight I was for years before getting lazy! I am currently training for a few Sprint Triathlons, I know, I know, excessive cardio, but Im bitten by the endurance bug, and Im loving the training. The down side is my poor pink body isn’t! I need to lose the weight to assist with the training, and help my knees which have seen several operations after years of Rugby and Football abuse.”
Dave’s Goals: “To feel good all the time without the highs and lows every day of the conventional diet I have had all my life. To get rid of the GERD I have had since I was 16, and never take pharmaceuticals for it again. I’m not setting a weight goal as I want to get fit and be able to see my abs and other muscles not covered in fat.”
Update – 04/23/12: “Primal eating suits me down to the ground. So far this year i have lost 30.2 pounds and I don’t feel like I have been dieting at all.(I started primal eating at the end of November last year and in total have lost nearly 50 pounds) Best of all I haven’t had omeprazole (losec) for GERD since Christmas eve last year, The symptoms dropped by about 70% a few weeks after giving up grains but stopped altogether when I gave up dairy. I still have things I need to work on – My exercise regime needs a lot of work and also I would like to get more sleep and sun (might need a new job to achieve both of these. There is still a lot of tweaking and trials I will be trying with the diet in the future (eg no nuts and nightshades, ore offal and coconut oil, fast days etc etc) but that is something I am enjoying playing with. All in all I feel better then I have in years but I am still not to where I want to be, but I know I am on the right path now. Look forward to sending in my update after 6 months.”
Update – 01/02/13: “Well a year has passed so I guess its time for a update. I love eating the Primal Blueprint diet (not a diet anymore but a way of life). I feel awesome compared to the way did when I was eating a so called normal diet. I am amazed as this is the first year in my life I have not had several colds and flu. About 3 times I had the feeling that I might be getting a cold but it never got past that stage and a few days later I would be as good as gold. I have not had any pharmaceuticals (or needed anything else) for GERD in over a year so I’m completely stoked with that. I have lost about 60 pounds since going primal and have settled at around 158 pounds. I walk between 8 and 15 hours a week and I ended up selling my car as I just didn’t use it anymore (The extra money will come in handy as my goal for 2013 is learning to fly collective pitch RC helicopters) but I still need to do more heavy lifting.
Thanks Mark, stumbling on your website near the end of 2011 has made one of the biggest positive changes in my life.”
Kaly’s Goals: “To stop being so afraid of my body that it gets in the way of the things I want to do – to finally perform publicly and enjoy every second I have on stage! (I’m a teacher by trade, but my greatest love is dancing.)
Starting weight: 247 lbs
Goal weight: 200 lbs”
Update – 04/12/12: “Since the before picture I am officially down 35 pounds! Checking in right now at 212.7. Plateauing a bit, but have turned my focus now from taking care of just my diet to also improving my exercise habits. I’ve always been active, but in a lot of the wrong ways – I enjoy pushing myself to my physical limits, but I tend to do so ALL THE TIME, so that my recovery period is either a lot longer than it should be or not at all. I’ll be buying a pull-up bar here this weekend and starting the SimpleFit body weight exercises routine at level one. In my mind I’m starting again, with a new goal of 20 more pounds and one real pull-up!
I have plans to spend the month of November in Costa Rica this year, and have started looking at bathing suits to buy before the trip (it’s early, I know, but I’m a picky shopper). Hoping that the next picture will be of me actually wearing one.
Oh, and the jeans I’m wearing in the “during” picture? Those are the same jeans as the ones I’m wearing in my “before” picture. They literally fall off! I keep them folded up on a stool by my dining table, to remind me of how awesome this journey is, and how awesome it’s going to continue being. Grok on, everyone!”
Update – 07/05/12: “These few months since April have been filled with firsts, bests, and benchmarks:
Yesterday I ran a 9:11 mile – not a big deal for some people, but still my fastest ever recorded run. (My last PR was 9:51, in high school in 2005).
I can do a set of 15 push-ups easily.
I can see my biceps!
I leave my house on a regular basis without wearing any make-up.
I wake up – naturally – between 5:30 and 6am every day, and feel well-rested.
I normally go 14 – 16 hours of fasting per 24 hour period, and do not feel ravenous or “hangry” when meal times roll around.
And to the numbers: this morning I weighed in at 206.2 lbs, more than 40lbs lost since the beginning of the year, and only 8lbs away from my last recorded “lowest” weight, which was when I was in 8th grade, more than ten years ago.
But those same months have also been filled with struggles. It’s easy to maintain a positive outlook when you’re sloughing off five pounds or more a week and seeing near immediate results in the mirror. When things slow down, when you have to start experimenting with macro-nutrients and workout times and IF-ing and a hundred other things – that’s when it gets difficult. I plateaued around 210-212lbs for almost all of May, and became very frustrated: I was doing everything I’d been doing, I’d even added a body weight lifting workout and was getting more daily activity, yet the weight stubbornly REFUSED to keep coming off. I got worried, thinking that maybe paleo living was just something else that would eventually fail me. On a psychological level, that kind of doubt can be very damaging.
Two things kept me committed. The immediate personal benefits of what people have been calling the “paleo lifestyle” continue to appeal to me, not from any health or fitness perspective, but because they just make me happy. Barefoot walking/running, excuses to get outside and play, shameless indulgence in things like bacon and full-fat cream in my coffee, spending hours lying in the sun with a book on my balcony, these things give me joy. The second piece of fuel for the continuation of my paleo journey actually came from a community I only recently became more deeply involved with, called Nerd Fitness. The people there were not only on similar journeys to the one I was on, they had just as much raw enthusiasm as I did plus a supply of stubbornness that I had no idea what to do with. Their encouragement, camaraderie and support have helped me to continue going strong, not for the sake of the numbers but for myself. And the crazy thing is, it worked – I kept at it, and slowly but surely, the weight’s started to come off again. I made a bet with my little brother that I’ll be under 200lbs by the end of August. I think I’m winning!
So to the people who’re just starting: welcome to an amazing adventure. To the people who feel like they’ve lost their motivation: you didn’t lose it, you just misplaced it, and if you keep going, I promise that you’ll find it again. Find a community to support you, realize that you’re not just losing weight but creating a healthier, longer, more joyous life for yourself and those who care about you. As for me, I’m looking forward to waking up every day just a little bit happier than the last, just a little bit faster, a little bit stronger, a little bit more excited about the awesome things I’ll have a chance to do in the future. I used to think that running a 9 minute mile or weighing under 200lbs would be impossible for me – now, I’m pretty sure there’s not much that’s really impossible.
And hey, it’s only July. We still have six more months to make 2012 an absolutely fantastic year.”
Update – 12/15/12: “I can’t believe that it’s almost been a year since I submitted my resolution with the rest of the “Success Stories in the Making” crowd. It’s been so cool (and motivating!) to see people progress from one month to the next. But I’m proud to report that my success story has been MADE.
The attached photo is me in Costa Rica at 196lbs. It was like a primal candy land, down there – whole days spent walking on beaches, playing in the water, doing yoga, munching on fresh fruit and playing with fire. As a bonus, for some reason, the mosquitoes didn’t take much of a shine to me, though they seemed to love my sugar-burning friends. Paleo blood chemistry triumph!
And, like I said at the beginning of the year, I wanted to have the courage to dance in front of people – I finally got up the guts to fire dance publicly! I performed in two fire shows during my time there, both great successes.
I’m now home for the holidays for the first time in two years, and my friends and family back in New Mexico can’t stop complimenting me. Yesterday I enjoyed clothes shopping for the first time ever! I would love to submit photos and a bio as a primal success story, because living primally has definitely changed my life. I was at 267 and a size 20 at my heaviest, and if you’d told me that by the end of 2012 I’d be less than 200 and squeezing into size 10 pants I’d have called you a liar. Yet here I stand, size 10′s and all! Next stop: 185 and a 250lb squat.
Thanks so much, blessings for the holidays and a happy new year!”
Johnny’s Goals: “Having reached middle-age, I decided it’s time to really take care of myself. I quit drinking in 2006 (not very good at it) and it is like there is a whole new and exciting life available to me now. In 2010, I read the Primal blueprint and was born again. I stuck at it for 6 months or so and the transformation was amazing; not just physically, but in terms of general well being and health. With a change of job and country, I got derailed and have got backwards ever since. At the back of my mind, I knew that it would be 2012 that would make the difference – it would be the start of the new way of living the rest of my life.
Goals for the next five weeks:
Back into 36 inch jeans
No; sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, bread, soy, coffee and eggs (long story) or alcohol (it’s a foul tasting addictive poison)
60 push-ups (only managed 12 today)
Carbs average less than 50 grams per day
By the end of the year; 34 inch jeans , 200pounds (91Kg) and a six-pack!
During 2012, I want to get as close as I can, to being the person that I can be. I want to get into the best physical shape of my life; to push the boundaries and really engage with life.”
Angela’s Goals: “My name is Angela and I’m 38 years old, 5 foot tall and 152 lbs. I’ve been trying to lose weight for over a year by running on the treadmill and weening myself off processed foods. I have made some progress losing 10 lbs total but hit a wall 4 months ago. I weighed 155 lbs 2 weeks ago when I came across your blog while researching different ways to eat and exercise. I been eating primal for two weeks now and have lost 3 lbs and have more energy.
This is the fastest I’ve ever lost weight and this 2012 challenge came at the perfect time for me. I’m committed to going and staying primal this year and get down to 125 to 130 lbs. I look forward to updating the MDA community as well as reading their stories.”
Update – 11/10/12: “It’s almost been a year since my “Success in the Making” journey began and I’m almost to my goal weight (125 lbs). I now weigh 126 lbs! Yep, 1 pound to go! My general health and energy is way better too!
My next goals:
I like to lose another 10 lbs of fat.
Tone up and get stronger.
Do at leasts 5 pull-ups.
Thanks for all you do!”
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