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

Contest: What Did You Learn This Year?

It’s December 31, the last day of the 2000s. It’s always fun, and often quite moving, at times like these to take a look back and remind ourselves how far we’ve come, to recall where and what we were and how and why we are different now. These exercises can seem a little cheesy, but I think they’re quite useful. Some change comes so gradually that you hardly recognize it’s occurring at all. With a little self-reflection you can acknowledge that real change has occurred, be proud of it and own it, and then commit to further personal growth.

I was inspired by this Mark’s Daily Apple forum thread. In it forum user bonesheal asked, “What did YOU learn this year?” Seeing that Mark’s Daily Apple may have played a small part in raising the consciousness of the people that responded makes the experiment that is MDA all worth it. I started MDA over 3 years ago now with the goal to, as I say, empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigatng, discussing and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be trued about health and wellness. I’m thrilled to see that people are doing just that. And I look forward to continuing to provide the resources and this forum for change.

At this time I’d like to echo bonesheal and ask, What did you learn this year? List and share your thoughts in the comment board.

I’ll be choosing one lucky commenter at random to win the Primal Holiday Package. This contest ends when the Primal Holiday offer ends – Dec. 31, midnight.

Check back tomorrow for an all new contest! Grok on!

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 learned that grains aren’t good for me. I feel much better without them. I haven’t yet learned how to completely leave them alone, though.

    I’ve learned that my kids are pretty amazing, even if some of their friends aren’t. There are 4 of them, all teenagers, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

    I’ve learned that I’m not willing to waste my time on negative feelings, people, and activities. There is alot in this world that is positive and well worth my effort.

    I’ve learned that my tiny dog is a complete whack-job and I don’t know what I’d do without him.

    Happy New Year everyone!!

    Theresa wrote on December 31st, 2009
  2. Since I’m an eternally curious person, I have learned that this is a great website that keeps me learning something new most days. Thanks everyone.

    Sharon wrote on December 31st, 2009
  3. I learned that I could regularly consume raw, unpasteurized goat milk, and that I surely would not keel over from this practice.
    I learned that Conventional Medical Wisdom, in which I was so carefully trained, is wrong in so many ways, and that those wrong ideas are harming countless people and costing billions.
    I learned that by leading by example, we can educate and make a positive change, one person at a time.

    DB wrote on December 31st, 2009
  4. I learned that at age 53, I am way stronger than I was at 20, thanks to PB & CrossFit. I also discovered the joy of cooking from scratch using locally grown & organic produce.

    IreScotsWelsh wrote on December 31st, 2009
  5. I learned to truly, question everything.

    GotPrimal wrote on December 31st, 2009
  6. Oh yea, almost forgot. I learned that blood sugar issues (diabetes type 2) can be successfully addressed by eating paleo.
    I learned that it’s a shame that CMW won’t teach people this.

    DB wrote on December 31st, 2009
  7. Stuck in a job that left me wondering why, I learned how fast life was passing me by. I learned that I desperately need to change this, to begin to create a lifestyle that allows me to fully raise my child and live out my passions.

    Realizing that I have worked full time for the last 20 years(I am only 35), while being stuck in a meaningless corp. 60-80 hr/week job was a clarion call.

    Chris wrote on December 31st, 2009
  8. I learned..

    1.) That junk food is NOT my master.

    2.) I’m 51—but don’t ever have to worry about getting “old”.

    3.) Awesome food, hard workouts, and fun—that’s what life is SUPPOSED to be!

    Thank you, Mark; Happy New Year to you and those you love <3

    kuno1chi wrote on December 31st, 2009
  9. I learned that:

    — I don’t have to be on the treadmill for hours
    — I’m a sugarholic
    — My body responds *very* well to a reduced carb way of life

    Mark wrote on December 31st, 2009
  10. I learned that I don’t have to feel guilty for not going to the gym everyday. I can get the exercise I need at home, with my own body weight and enhance my results by eating primal. My life has gotten so much better in just the last 3 months of 09. I can’t wait for 2010…bring it!

    Deborah wrote on December 31st, 2009
  11. I’ve learned that while I thought I knew a lot about how to eat a healthy, whole-foods diet, I was wrong, wrong, wrong!

    Annika wrote on December 31st, 2009
  12. I have learned that our focus as a country on weight and a desire for a quick fix (usually in the form of a pill) has moved us further from what should be our real goals, strength, vitality and health. The Primal Blueprint focuses on those goals and makes weight loss a side effect.

    Dave wrote on December 31st, 2009
  13. I have learned to stop arguing with people about my lifestyle. I used to be the proverbial “bible thumping” kind of person (my bible was the Primal Blueprint), and get quite frustrated when I was told to relax .. what’s one cookie (or insert various grains/sugar/here)
    going to do? I choose to eat primal because it makes me feel good, well not good, just freaking fantastic! LOL, nuf said ..

    Jennifer wrote on December 31st, 2009
  14. I learned that there are amazing resources out there to help us on our primal path; I learned that I want to tell everyone how great it is, but that I need to resist that urge (or at least tone it down :-); and that I haven’t missed soda, sugar or flour nearly as much as I guessed I would!

    Lori wrote on December 31st, 2009
  15. And another thing: I learned that I need to keep educating myself as I cannot trust the knowledge of a doctor who is fully trusing conventional wisdom.

    Sharonll wrote on December 31st, 2009
  16. I learned that gaining a pound or two of flab per year is not inevitable, and that life without statins is healthier than life with statins.


    Ed wrote on December 31st, 2009
  17. 1. I don’t have to/shouldn’t workout 2 a day on a cardio machine every day.

    2. swiss chard is delicious

    3. heavy deadlifts are awesome

    4. I CAN live without grains and I feel and look better without them.

    Lauren wrote on December 31st, 2009
  18. I learned that you can get yourself off of blood pressure medication. I learned that I can eat healthy and enjoy my food. It has been a long journey, I am 45 and have had a weight problem all of my life, skin cancer got me onto the right track and my knowledge is still evolving. I started with a great book “The Right Weigh” by Rena Greenberg, her diet is not Primal but her methods to change the way you think about food and eating are what helped me to think healthy, I just substituted my food ideas into her methods. Then I found Crossfit, I went from only wanting to be able to walk and play hockey to wanting to be as fit as the 20 year olds! Now i have finished reading “The Primal Blueprint” and can’t stop telling everyone I see and meet to change the way they eat and to stop eating grains! So many people complain about aches, pains, stomach swelling, diseases, etc and I tell them all stop eating grains! Thanks Mark, Rena and Crossfit! I do not need a New Years Resolution as I have found you all and learned so much I want to continue to learn more about this wonderful lifestyle!

    Heather wrote on December 31st, 2009
  19. -I learned how to truly be healthy, and I can describe how it works biochemically
    -I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute
    -I learned how to operate a nuclear power plant (no, really)

    Trevor Clack wrote on December 31st, 2009
  20. i realized that i’ll probably need to rethink my retirement strategy and even the age i’m going to be retiring,..since i’m going to be living to be around 120… thanks to PB…

    I also learned that what I thought I knew about fitness and nutrition were incredibly off, but am encouraged that I am now heading in the right direction.

    Chunster495 wrote on December 31st, 2009
  21. I learned how easy it is to improve my health while enjoying what I eat and not feeling guilty about not being at the gym every day.

    Ted Demetro wrote on December 31st, 2009
  22. I learned to always challenge and think critically about Conventional Wisdom because there are so many forces that work to maintain the status quo, regardless of whether the status quo is optimal.

    Rolando wrote on December 31st, 2009
  23. * I learned that I can go for a year without rice, pasta and cereals and not miss them. Ok I still miss vegemite on toast but thats an aussie thing :)
    * I learnt that carbs are the root of all evil (I knew it couldn’t be money heh)
    * I learnt that its not how long you live, but how well you live that matters.
    * I learnt that I’m not the only one that doubts conventional wisdom.

    Heres to an even better 2010!

    Marcus wrote on December 31st, 2009
  24. I learned that I still can’t spell :)

    Marcus wrote on December 31st, 2009
  25. I learned:

    1 – I am mentally and physically stronger than I ever thought I was (thanks, CrossFit!)

    2 – Primal eating changed my life! No more GI problems! Yay.

    3 – At 31, I’ve only just begun my journey. Can’t wait to see what I accomplish in 2010.

    Jessica wrote on December 31st, 2009
  26. One thing I learnt is that you’ve got some really neat ideas here Mark – well worth a read.

    Glenn wrote on December 31st, 2009
  27. I learned that there is a wealth of information out there, but it is up to me to educate myself, never stop learning, and make the best possible choices based on what I find.

    Megan wrote on December 31st, 2009
  28. I learned that I don’t need grains to get the energy needed to workout, and function

    I learned that my body needs meat and being a vegetarian for four years was a mistake

    I learned that what I thought was fitness is a drop in the bucket to where I am now thanks to a year of crossfit

    I learned that every nutrition book I use in teaching is a waste of students money!

    Judah wrote on December 31st, 2009
  29. I learned that I am the creator of my own destiny and that I can do anything I set my mind to.

    Kate wrote on December 31st, 2009
  30. I learned that paleo will indeed change your life as well as become a way of life. I also learned that CrossFit is awesome!

    Victoria Daniels wrote on December 31st, 2009
  31. I learned that I am

    -not so busy that I can’t take care of my mind, body, and soul;

    -too hard on myself and capable of much much more;

    -never too old to learn from my mistakes;

    -able to question so called “experts” without accepting their advice blindly;

    -but one man, but capable of influencing many others through my own actions.

    Mike wrote on December 31st, 2009
  32. I learned how to put my multiple sclerosis into remission by following the Primal Blueprint!! <3

    Ika wrote on December 31st, 2009
  33. I learned that as a whole society has a lot to learn about what “healthy” is, and that everyone MUST challenge CW. Fat does not make you fat, veggies can be tasty, and meat is what we should be eating.

    John wrote on December 31st, 2009
  34. That I can see my midsection after ditching grains and dairy. I learned that I am in better shape from eating paleo than when I did marathons and trialthlons and such and had d gu stuck to my mouth every 30 minutes. That MDA and MovNat have totally changed my idea of how to stay fit. That trailrunning is hella-fun but climbing on trees and dragging a tree trunk along is pretty fun too. That Vibram Five Fingers make me feel like I am stalking a wildebeast or running like Legolas in the Lord of the Rings. Kettlebells are a great way to get strong… but the firehose and sledgehammer let everyone know that I mean business. Not only do I like to shop for clothes at Tractor Supply Co., I’m starting to oggle the tractor tires for flipping. I’ve learned to by a couple of new outfits at a time… my size keeps getting smaller and smaller. Than orthotics and medial posting motion control SUCK! Nothing tastes better than a good ribeye or filet mignon. And finally, that carne asada with extra avocado from the local taqueria is absolutely the best meal to make me feel like I’m firing on all cylinders.


    TrailGrrl wrote on December 31st, 2009
  35. I learned a helluva lot this year. I won’t enumerate them, but one thing that stands out is learning the value of always challenging myself.

    Aaron Blaisdell wrote on December 31st, 2009
    • I learned, as Socrates said, “Wisdom is knowing how little we know.”

      Thanks, Mark!



      epistemocrat wrote on December 31st, 2009
  36. I have learned to go hungry and actually enjoy it! This has freed me up from the rituals of scheduled eating just for the sake of eating.

    Shmaltzy wrote on December 31st, 2009
  37. I learned that I can eat meat & feel great after 20+ years of being a vegetarian, which is the good news. The bad news is that I’m hypothyroid & insulin resistant. But it’s great to know this sort of lifestyle is just what the docs order (though I do find I do better with a little quinoa, sweet potoato and lentils- my 20%)
    I’m so lucky to have discovered this blog and all the great folks who participate. It made a lousy year so much better!

    marci wrote on December 31st, 2009
  38. I was naive and simple in my vegan thinking. So I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about food, exercise, and nutrition. Then I spent many hours learning many complicated things about food, exercise, and nutrition. Then I finally realized that it’s all quite simple after all. Lierre Keith summed it all up for me in The Vegetarian Myth and Mark Sisson provided the blueprint for livin’ la vida primal. It was a good year.

    Thanks, Mark, for sharing your primal ways and for providing such an excellent home for us.

    John Keith wrote on December 31st, 2009
  39. 1) Light workouts, like walking my dog, are just as important as high intensity workouts.

    2) Fun workouts, like surfing, are just as important.

    3) Rest days are G-O-L-D.

    4) I’m not 15 anymore (see #3).

    5) To Mark and his readers/contributors: You’re the best!

    Mr.M wrote on December 31st, 2009
  40. I learned that my body doesn’t need sugar to run. It can run on fat as fuel. That’s been huge for me!

    gilliebean wrote on December 31st, 2009

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!