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

Contest: Share Your Success Story

The Prize:

Another pair of Vibram FiveFingers! If you’ve read Mark’s Daily Apple at all in the last few years, you probably know how much I love these things. The winner will get to choose their favorite men’s or women’s style and color.

The winner will also receive a Primal Essentials Kit (Primal Flora (probiotics), Vital Omegas (omega-3 fish oils) and Vitamin D) – the three supplements just about everyone should be taking in my humble, completely unbiased opinion.

The Contest:

The 30-Day challenge is just beginning, but I know many of you have seen amazing results going Primal leading up to the challenge. Weight lost, muscle built, complexions cleared, even meds kicked. Now’s the time to share it! This means you have the opportunity to show the rest of the community who you are and what you’ve accomplished. In the process you’ll inspire thousands of people to take control of their health just as you have. I don’t know about you, but I get a kick out of that.

So for this contest I want to hear your story. Write it up and include a photo if you can. Including both pre-Primal and post-Primal pics is even better, but not required. Don’t worry if you’re not a chiseled Adonis. This isn’t a “who’s the most ripped” contest. Whether you’ve lost 100 pounds over two years of Primal living or you’ve simply managed to kick that diet Coke habit, just tell me what going Primal has done for you. I’m looking for interesting and personal tales. Details about your health history, how you found MDA and the Primal Blueprint, what has worked and what hasn’t, what differences you’ve seen in how you look and feel, and anything else you think readers might be able to learn from and you’re open to sharing are welcome. It doesn’t have to be a thousand word diatribe, but hopefully more than a couple paragraphs. Feel free to be creative with your story format, too. Remember, good stories usually have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and honesty is king.

I’m sure many of you have thought about sending your story in, but just haven’t gotten around to it. There is no better time than now. I’ll be featuring reader stories throughout the 30-Day Challenge and beyond, so get yours in soon!

Email me your story along with any pictures and use the subject heading “My Primal Story.”


One of the most memorable stories published on MDA: The Unconquerable Dave. If you haven’t read it, do it now. You won’t regret it. YAWP!

See all Success Stories published as Friday blog posts here. Many other Success Stories can be found here.


From the United States to the United Kingdom and from New Zealand to New Delhi everyone is eligible. No restrictions.

Additionally, everyone that has submitted a Success Story to Mark’s Daily Apple since the last 30-Day Challenge is automatically entered to win, so don’t worry if you emailed me just a few days ago. You’re entered!

The Deadline:

September 21, midnight PST. One week away!

How the Winner Will Be Determined:

An executive decision will be made to determine which stories and accompanying photos get published on MDA. The winner of the Vibrams and the Primal Essentials Kit will be chosen at random from those that are submitted.

To track all the contests visit the 2011 Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

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 been waiting to submit mine until December, after having been primal for about a year, but I think I’ll submit it early now!

    Mandy wrote on September 14th, 2011
  2. I have been waiting for some magical moment to share my story too. Is now the time? VFFs do inspire…

    Crunchy Pickle wrote on September 14th, 2011
  3. I already have a pair of Vibrams. Alas, they rub a blister on the heel of my left foot.

    Jan wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • That would indicate you have the wrong size. VFFs can be tough to fit – and depending on which model you have they can “stretch” a bit with wear.

      Ldubbs wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • I already have a pair too, but I plan to do a ton of running and hiking in them over the next few months, so they’ll probably be worn out soon anyway!

      Have you tried wearing toe socks with them (such as Injinji)? They help a lot. I still get a blister on the very front of the ball of my left foot when I go on longer runs or hikes, but I think it will get better once my feet toughen up a bit. The socks add just a little bit of padding, too, without detracting from the barefoot feel. I’ve found them on Amazon and in a couple of specialty hiking and running stores around town.

      Mandy wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • I also get blisters on the heel of my left foot from my VFF’s. Horrible ones! I went out and bought very thin toe socks and it solved this problem for me, though the combination does make me the center of attention everywhere I go. (I think there might be socks designed for wearing with barefoot shoes but they’re pricey so I just went to my local Target.)

      Lisa wrote on September 14th, 2011
      • What model do you have? I found that the Sprints tend to rub at the Achilles quite badly, maybe the Classics too, but my Komodos and KSO Treks have always been perfectly comfortable.

        Eryn wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Try some nu-skin on the heal. Mine were that way at first but a few applications of nu-skin allowed them time to stretch and my feet to adjust. No issues after a couple weeks.

      Ham-bone wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Which model did you try Jan?

      Eryn wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Had this problem. It means they’re a half size too big :-( Don’t dispare! Get yourself some toesy socks. They sell them at any store they sell vibrams or find them online for way cheaper. Sure I can’t go from walking to the water immediately, but for my daily walks in the sun they are great and my feet/lower body now never hurt after even my longest shifts

      Gino wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • I had this problem with my VFF Bikilas for the first few runs and yes I think they are half a size too big (I am a girl with broad feet so went for the smallest men’s size like I normally do in trainers – perhaps the women’s would have been better). I read on a forum someone had washed theirs in the warm machine cycle which had shrunk them a bit. So I did that and they did shrink a tiny bit, enough to make a difference.

      Blister-free at the moment but might get toe socks for the winter for warmth.

      Pineneedles wrote on September 15th, 2011
  4. I don’t have a weight loss story but I should be able to find time to write my success story as I do have one. I have vibrams but thy have a few holes in the toes so I could use some more! And, I am low on probiotics and my fish oil is about half full.

    I’ll do it!

    Primal Toad wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • I don’t think all stories are about weight loss!! Healthy lifestyle changes mean more to me personally. That’s why I wrote my story, weight loss was part of it, but the fertility changes I got were amazing!! Everyone’s find awesome benefits to this change!!

      Joanne wrote on September 15th, 2011
  5. I still have a long way to go before I can really call it a “succes”. Would like to try those Vibrams though!

    Anna, Fair Flavors wrote on September 14th, 2011
  6. Wow… Unconquerable Dave blows my mind! Thanks to Dave and all the Grok-ers out there who share their story :) Your inspiration is much appreciated.

    Lauren W. wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • I think Dave’s Story was by far my favorite!!! He is still my inspiration!! And I am a 31 yr old girl!! LOL He rocks!

      Joanne wrote on September 15th, 2011
  7. Who was the winner of the vibrams on the 1sr contest??

    Bruna wrote on September 14th, 2011
  8. Why don’t they call them Vibram Five TOES?

    JO3_H wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Ha, that’s a really good question that hadn’t crossed my mind!

      Peter wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Vibram is an Italian company and in Italian, “dito” is the word for both finger and toe (the only difference is that toes are called “ditos del piede” or “fingers of the foot”). My guess would be that the name FiveFingers is a playful take on this language difference.

      Chase wrote on September 14th, 2011
  9. It’s too bad the vibrams are cut for people with short stubby toes.
    Mine are long and the second toe is much longer than the big toe.

    I tried them on at REI the other day and it’s a No-go for me :-(

    They are were extremely comfortable though, besides the long toe.

    Arty wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Vibrams just don’t fit my toes either, and they are pretty “average”. I think my bunions pull the fabric in weird directions.
      I just got a pair of VIVO barefoot runners & am liking them! no separate toes, but still that “barefoot” feeling. the insert is removable for washing or leaving out if wearing socks…

      peggy wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • this is good to know! my second toe is longer than my big toe too! I may have to try them on first to see but this is good information :)

      Lexxy wrote on September 14th, 2011
      • You’re supposed to measure from the longest toe not the big toe.

        Lowkey wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Different models and different sizes have longer toes, and more adjustable fits. As a huge advocate for the VFFs as well as an owner of a Morton’s toe (second toe is the longest), I highly recommend trying a few before giving up!

      Eryn wrote on September 14th, 2011
  10. My transformation is still in process. Already 20lbs down from Aug 1, feeling much better and being much more active but there is a long way to go. As the compliments come in and the results build, my resolve becomes stronger. My success story will come for the 2012 challenge. Thanks for all the help Mark!

    DesertTomte wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Nice! Way to go! Look forward to the full story :)

      LADYHORN wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Wow! Amazing progress!

      Anne wrote on September 16th, 2011
  11. Those orange/black KSOs pictured above are the ones I’ve been rockin’ for 2 weeks now! Grok On!

    Ham-bone wrote on September 14th, 2011
  12. If Five Fingers aren’t working for you, Look in to the new Altra Adam or Eve! I’ve got a pair and honestly, for me, they surpass the Five Fingers.

    Justin Hooker wrote on September 14th, 2011
  13. Okay, submitted! As CrunchPickle stated, VFF’s do inspire! Dave is a tough act to follow, but I gave it a shot. :)

    Jim C. wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • Sorry, Crunchy Pickle.

      Jim C. wrote on September 14th, 2011
  14. If only I had an inspiring story! I am looking to improve my overall health esp. mental health, but I’m only 2 mos in. My story so far is probably inspiring (depression and the battle with psychotropic drugs and such), but it’s only recently that I’ve started to feel much better and I don’t think it would help that many people with such subtle changes.

    namelesswonder wrote on September 14th, 2011
    • You might be surprised. It can be the little changes that really resonate with someone who is in the same boat you were/are. Give it a shot!

      Jenn wrote on September 14th, 2011
  15. Hmmm I would love submit but I think it would premature. I have lost 10 pounds but I still have a ways to go to be considered a success story maybe next year?

    Lexxy wrote on September 14th, 2011
  16. I’m dyin’ for some VFFs!

    dani wrote on September 14th, 2011
  17. Yeah, I think I’m going to have to put my story down on the interwebs then… :)

    Joel wrote on September 14th, 2011
  18. I also have Vff’s, but for work I bought some merrell barefoot shoes the other day. Vibram makes the sole on the particular pair that I bought. This might be an option for those of you who can’t do the toe shoes.

    Laura wrote on September 14th, 2011
  19. I would feel like a success if I could get my husband on board,even part way. he wont even give up his morning pastry-and he is on diabetes and cholesterol meds!! My personal success seems so hollow, if my family is still sick!

    Hopeless Dreamer wrote on September 14th, 2011
  20. Wow to Dave. That’s it, just wow.

    Two years ago I went primal without knowing there was a name I could call what I was doing. I felt amazing. Then I went back to “SAD,” in more ways than one, and having just taken a leap the past few days with the challenge (after months of lurking), I doubt there’s anything successful to report by next week. Still, I’m aiming for my own “wow” story by this time next year.

    Lorena wrote on September 14th, 2011
  21. My VFF’s broke the other day. I’ve had them almost a year wore though the soles because I wear them so much. I’ve been one sad girl ever since then.

    I haven’t been all primal very long. It’s always been a goal of mine to be a success story up here. I’m motivate to sit and write my story out. Even if I have to let it sit until the challenge is almost over to give it accurate results. hmmmm…..

    Holly wrote on September 14th, 2011
  22. I have the VFF classics and the Bikilas. Walking in the Bikilas is more comfortable. Next pair I will buy will be the Bikilas LS (with laces you can get perfect fit).
    I use the classics to go to work as my regular shoes, one set of bikilas for workouts outdoors (I workout barefoot on the gym) and the other bikila pair is to leisurely walk in the weekends

    WildGrok wrote on September 14th, 2011
  23. ok i’ll work on it. so many fat friends (excuse me, truth…truth, you can’t handle the truth) , none care. only those who seek the truth, will know the truth, and the truth will set you…healthy. Im at my wits end…cast not your pearls before swine. i’d love to buy the world a coke…what ever!!! Sorry, bad day. I’m ok now.

    Dasbutch wrote on September 14th, 2011
  24. There are alternatives to VFF. If anybody here has read “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall(or I recommend it if you haven’t read it) Huaraches are another minimalist style shoe. There is Luna Sandals and Invisible Shoes they have a website which I’ll share below.

    I haven’t used Luna Sandals, but I have used Invisible Shoes they are good, and the material is the same type of material that is used to make the VFF. The owner/founder is Steven Sashen and he also the wore VFF, but like some of you expressed in your comments, his second toe was toe big so he came up with this idea.

    You can order the materials and make your own shoe your self( and he has videos for that)or you can send in tracing of you, both of which is cheaper than buying VFF, if cost is an issues. He has much more details on his website.

    Luna Sandal’s website

    Invisible Shoes website

    I hope that helps!!

    Steph Myres wrote on September 14th, 2011
  25. These shoes come close to being perfect footwear, but there’s a horrible ommission… the shoes are made out of non-conductive material! There’s incredible health benefits available when you ground yourself to the earth, but wearing non-conductive shoes prevents this connection. That’s why walking barefoot feels so good. A small metal conductive plate on the sole wired to the inside of the sole where it would make a connection to your skin would have fixed this flaw.

    Stan wrote on September 14th, 2011
  26. Well, darn. I just ordered a pair. My Bikilas should be here tomorrow. Look forward to all the new success stories anyway!

    LADYHORN wrote on September 14th, 2011
  27. Just started in august and i have already written my success story and submitted it!! For those of you who are waiting i would just do it!! YOu never really know who you will be inspiring!! And, funny that VFF’s are the prize because it was just last week that my husband and i were in this shoe store playing with these and mocking them saying they look like they were flippers , laughing and flopping them around telling eachother that we will never wear those silly looking things,and here i am just cant get them out of my head and i want some so bad now!!!

    Athena May wrote on September 15th, 2011
  28. Check out my brother Scott’s success story. He’s been an inspiration for the whole family, and more!

    Bob Ewing wrote on September 21st, 2011

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