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

Eat This, “Eat This, Not That!”

real life stories stories 1 2For all those college kids not sure what to do about getting healthy, you’ll enjoy Matt’s story. Going Primal worked so well for him, he even started his own blog, Three New Leaves, about living a simpler, more mindful, healthier life (check out his recent series of beginner’s guides to Primal living, part 1, part 2, and part 3).

If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the MDA community please feel free to contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!

Ever heard of the Freshman 15?

I had. And I was determined, the minute I stepped into college, that I would not pack on the pounds that I’d already carried for most of my childhood. I even gave myself a lofty goal: a six pack, that holy grail of chubby kids everywhere.

I spent the next few years eating everything I thought I should: whole-grain tortillas, tuna, and a protein shake every time I stepped out of the gym. I lifted weights multiple times each week, forced myself to run miles on the track, and generally got trapped in a never-ending cycle of small, miserable success.

I’d start strong, losing a little weight and feeling like a champion, and then maybe a month later I’d be exhausted and dreading yet another trip to the gym. A few weeks would pass and the feeling would fade. I’d start pumping iron again, admiring myself in the wall-high mirrors, and then remember that I hated lifting weights every day of the week almost as much as I hated running long miles on the track. Screw the six-pack, I thought. That was way too much work. I just didn’t want to gain any weight.

But I did. I fell out of the usual workout routine, burnt out from the day-to-day exercise, and staunchly refused to eat tuna on a tortilla ever again. My weight crept up each month as I frequented more and more restaurants, but it didn’t really hit me until I saw some photos of myself without a shirt on.


Here’s one.

Freshman 15? Nope. The “senior 25″ had hit me instead. Desperate to do something about it, I grabbed a copy of Eat This, Not That!, read it cover to cover, and wondered if I looked like an idiot whenever I brought it with me into the grocery store. I lived and breathed by that book, convinced it was going to save my weight, and settled into my most soul-crushing routine yet.

I’d pull up to a restaurant, open up the Eat This, Blah Blah! iPhone app, and skim the list of things I could eat. I’d aim only for the dishes with a B rating or higher, but over time I came to realize two things: those dishes tend to suck, and that the numbers in the app couldn’t be right in the first place. I’d eat something I thought was healthy, start doubting that choice, and check the stats online the minute I got home — feeling down and glum whenever it wasn’t as healthy as I’d thought (if only I’d gone for the other salad dressing!).

And then I found Mark’s Daily Apple.

Coincidentally, I don’t even know where the Eat This, Not That! book is anymore.

I dug through the archives here, absorbing every post I could, finding for the first time that all of the information about what I was eating actually made sense. Three hours after I’d found the site, I stood up, went out, and bought the Primal Blueprint itself, completely changing my diet — my lifestyle — from that point forward.

I’ve eaten Primally for a solid eight months, now, and started incorporating intermittent fasting in the last few weeks. The first change was in energy — no more mid-afternoon slumps! The second change was in how I felt. For months, I’d been keenly aware of how my stomach bulged over my seatbelt in the car, and I’d also noticed that my favorite button-down shirt couldn’t handle my bulk.


Now, though? I feel awesome. I treated myself to a new pair of jeans, recently, and had another “wow” moment when I realized two things: that my stomach is too flat to bulge now, and that a 34 in the waist wasn’t going to cut it anymore. I needed a 29. I might have done a small jig in the dressing room.

And the last change — the most important, I think — is in how simple my life has become. I don’t obsess over calories, now, or have to consult the latest trendy book whenever I’m stepping into a restaurant. I don’t have to spend hours in the gym or on the treadmill. For the first time in my life, I don’t have to worry about my weight (and as the perennial fat kid, that’s saying something).

I just have to eat Primally when I’m hungry and walk around when I’m not. Simple as that. (And I blog about it, too. Come say hi!).

Six pack, here I come!

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.

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