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

Halfway Through the Primal Blueprint Challenge

The Prize:

A Portable Pullup Bar courtesy of Trapeze Rigging. I’ve been using this thing for over a year now. It’s the bar I use in my Essential Movement videos. I used them up at PrimalCon. I’ve got one at the office that has been a stalwart tool for the Worker Bees. It’s a simple design, breaks down easily into a carrying case, works great in a garage, backyard or if you want to take it to the park to add some pullups into a sprint routine. The height of the crossbar is adjustable to allow for dip exercises as well. Enter today’s contest for a chance to win the Primal workout gear.

The Contest:

It’s easy and all it requires is a little honesty. Have you been following the 30 Day Challenge? Then tell me how you’re doing so far. Give a progress report. What’s proving difficult? What was easier than you expected? Have you lost weight? Did you gain a little back after the initial water weight drop? Do you have more energy? Or maybe you’re trudging through the “low carb flu,” after making such a dramatic change in lifestyle. Maybe you quit and started over, once, twice, or eight times. In three sentences or less, tell me how you’re doing in the comments section below. Then comment on someone else’s progress report. This is a support community, so be supportive. A random drawing will be held to determine a winner.

The Deadline:

September 22, 8:00 a.m. PST. 24 hours.

Who is Eligible:

Everyone, everywhere.

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 definitely noticed an improvement in how I look and feel since the start of the 30 day challenge. It really is easy to stick to the guidelines of primal eating. As a college student though, my biggest challenge is getting enough sleep at night.

    Colin wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • As a fellow college student, I know how hard sleep can be. I find that taking a Magnesium supplement about 30 minutes prior to heading to bed really helps with the sleep quality, especially if the quantity is not quite there. Best of luck!

      Funkadelic Flash wrote on September 21st, 2010
      • Thanks, I’ll definitely have to give that a try!

        Colin wrote on September 21st, 2010
  2. Hey MDA’ers!

    I’ve attempted this lifestyle before with not nearly the same gusto I have to thrive on this time. I have greater endurance during the day, and believe it or not–more focused thinking (no lower-carb “fog” for me). This site has been a great resource and a continuing source of inspiration to always strive to be better.

    Grok on!

    wd wrote on September 21st, 2010
  3. Mark, from what I can see, there’s no knurling on this bar. 9 out of 10 times, your forearms will give out way before your back or upper arm does.

    Kris wrote on September 21st, 2010
  4. As always, it started out great, but then a weekend of a lot of energy expended came up. There were some primal snacks, but some Taco Bell was consumed, followed by (dark) chocolate and wine, which has not been finished, so it is not as bad as it could be. I’m still biking everywhere, so moving slowly often is still the major part of my life.

    Larissa wrote on September 21st, 2010
  5. I’ve been primal for about 9 months now, and this 30 day challenge was a way for me to buckle down into a no-cheat mode. I’ve done pretty well, but I am a Detroit Lions fan and have had to drown my sorrows with a beer on the past two weekends. Still doing better than my typical 80/20, so I see it as a success! I’m maintaining my weight, feeling great as always.

    Tyler wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • 9 months is spectacular! Being a Niners fan, I can sympathize with drowning of sorrows. Next time try a Nor-Cal margarit. Totally Primal!

      Emerson wrote on September 21st, 2010
  6. So far, I’ve been doing great with no worries or concern. I have been on board for about 8 or 9 months now and every day is easier than the last. Good luck to all!

    Funkadelic Flash wrote on September 21st, 2010
  7. I started my challenge about 10 days before the official start. Have lost 4 lbs and they are staying off. Hardest thing I have to admit is walking away from the occasional potato chip -otherwise am loving the way the body feels

    alysa sullivan wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Awesome job Alysa! Keep up the good work and know that an occasional potato chip fits perfectly within the 80/20 rule. It’s really incredible how the body improves on this plan.

      musajen wrote on September 21st, 2010
  8. My family has been on PB since Aug 9th, since the challenge started we have been doing very well, although we do need to get some more activity in though. My 14 yr old daughter has visibally lost alot of weight, probably at 15-20 pounds, DH and I have lost about 10 each, and my 18 yr old son buffed up, other than my son we all have ALOT to lose, so this is a long term life style for us.

    Annette wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • keep up the great work! i started the change before the challenge, but it wasn’t until the challenge that i started to include the heavy lifting. boy has it made a huge difference. there are easy ways to get active. go mall walking, park much further away than you normally would, try to get your heavy lifting in (it’ll make a huge difference in the weight loss). and btw, that’s awesome that your whole family is in on it! i’ve tried to get my parents to follow it, but no luck.

      amarie84 wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • That’s great to hear Annette! My family & I have been on PB together too & it is a great feeling to all be on the same page!

      RWVAChris wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Awesome that you have gotten your family involved. I’m still working on that challenge!

      Sam wrote on September 21st, 2010
  9. since the start of the challenge i’ve lost six pounds. i feel great and enjoy the workouts and the foods i’ve been eating. i think the best thing is the more changes i see, the more i want to tell the world and get more people into this lifestyle.

    amarie84 wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I feel the same way about telling more and more people about PB. I think I’ll put a URL of MDA on my fb page in addition to by mouth.

      San wrote on September 22nd, 2010
  10. I have not been doing well. Work required me to travel, and I used that as an excuse to slide away from being Primal. I’m back home now, so I still have time to turn things around.

    ryan wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I can relate. My journey with a primal lifestyle involved several starts/stops, and each time it got easier and easier to get back on track. Now that you know you like primal living (and how it affects you), I know that getting back on track will be something you achieve and go at with excitement! Best wishes!

      Ellen wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Even with my faltering a couple times I have felt better overall and lost. Pay attention to your body as you get back into it and you will see just how good you feel!

      Echo wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Keep at it!, I can relate as. At home it is easy to avoid things by not buying them.

      It is difficult for me at times, like being at work when there is pizza brought in for everyone.

      It is hard to resist, but giving in usually leads to me feeling like crap for the rest of the day. If I have way to much outside of primal in a day then the “old feeling of hunger” (Crashing blood sugar) creeps back in a few hours later.

      Fideo wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I can relate. It’s tough to stay on track when you’re away from your usual habitat. Good luck with the rest of the month!

      Pepper wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I can really sympathize with you, Ryan, having been in the same slide many, many times–including the last few days. However, I really hope you can connect with the good parts of being primal, particularly the part about being kind to yourself. (I guess that’s not an actual primal rule, but it’s infused in the whole approach, so at least it’s MY Rule #11.) It’s hard to move forward looking backward, so try to focus on every little primal thing you do that’s on your behalf and let go of any recriminations about the other stuff. Just keep at it and don’t give up on yourself!

      evadnefrances wrote on September 21st, 2010
  11. When I first started my 30 days, I dropped 10 lbs right away. This was in May, and I have been holding steady since. My wife saw this happen and she wanted to go primal as well. The potential problem was that she had to deliver our second daughter in July. However, upon returning from the hospital she has been eating what I am eating with no complaints and our daughter seems to have perfect health/growth (100% breastfeeding so far. I have tried to adopt more of a primal exercise schedule, and now my wife is ready to jump back in too. The only problem is sleep!

    Michael Thompson wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Ha! I totally hear you. I have a 5 month old and I’m exclusively breastfeeding. Primal about 80% of the time, so that’s going ok. But holy cow, sleep deprivation is not my friend. Hopefully some day I’ll be able to have a straight 8 hours! Congrats on your new addition.

      Sam wrote on September 21st, 2010
  12. The thirty day challenge has really just been a continuation of what i was already doing! I just love how this lifestyle just flows once you get used to it. Sarah just keep on keepin on!

    Jstrick wrote on September 21st, 2010
  13. Fortunately, I started the Primal Blue Print a year ago, so this 30 days has just been business as usual. In the year, I’m down 35 pounds from 196 to 161 (I’m 6’1″). Great energy, great food and what I’ve found was the biggest change…great sleep.

    Turling wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Good inspiration. I’m hoping to be able to sleep restfully all night long in the future….. like soon! :)

      San wrote on September 22nd, 2010
  14. I lost 10 pounds within the first week and as of this morning I’ve dropped another 4 (down to 193 from 207). It’s been almost effortless so far, but I do find it tough sometimes not to have another apple, berries or anything sweet (to off set all the savory foods) to keep under 50g of carbs daily.

    PrimALex wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Hi there, congrats on your weight loss so far! Don’t stress about staying under 50g of carbs a day, unless you have a medical reason for doing so. Remember the carbohydrate curve: the weight loss sweet spot is 50g to 100g. Enjoy the apple or berries! :)

      sf40 wrote on September 21st, 2010
      • Yeah, I know, but I have never been lean in my life (maybe at 3), so I was trying to fast track this! I guess the extra fruit can’t hurt too much. Once signed into FitDay I started obsessing about how many carbs bananas, tomatoes, etc have in them.

        Alex wrote on September 21st, 2010
  15. My husband and I have been 80/20 together now for the past two weeks.

    I am now a VFF girl adjusting to the shoes and Hub is looking for the pair he wants.

    Since going Primal, we’ve lost weight, spent more QUALITY time together 😉 and have rekindled our love for a simplified life.


    NB wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I’ve become a VFF girl too… love it!

      Victoria wrote on September 21st, 2010
      • Vff dye. they really are great way to convert!

        Anthony Chin Loy wrote on September 21st, 2010
      • Vff ftw. they really are great way to convert!

        Anthony Chin Loy wrote on September 21st, 2010
      • Lost about 20 lbs so far. More of a health addition/ weight maintenance phase. I feel great!

        Anthony Chin Loy wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • My boyfriend and I each want some VFFs but they’re all sold out at all the REIs in our area!

      Marisa wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I’ve had my VFF’s for about 2 weeks now, I love them so much, I don’t even care about the weird looks anymore. GROK ON!!

      Tim Carley wrote on September 21st, 2010
  16. In the two weeks of the primal challenge I have “fallen” twice. Once was just a one meal thing and the other was after getting sick and I faltered for 2 days, but I still lost 7 pounds during this time! The best part for me has been cooking super healthy meals that my family is absolutely loving, the meals are healthier than ever before!

    Echo wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • great job, it’s hard to get back on the wagon sometimes, but it feels awesome once you are back in the groove.

      Rreynolds wrote on September 21st, 2010
  17. I’m following the Primal Leap kit 100% and have lost 2 lbs (goal is 6.5 for the month). More importantly, my seasonal and dust allergies are gone for the first time in 15 years (I’m 39)!! Just like humanvitamin wrote, I’m experiencing better energy now that I’m getting used to being primal, so if you still have carb flu – keep at it, you’ll get there.

    Mark wrote on September 21st, 2010
  18. I’ve stopped obsessing about heart rate zones when I ride and run; don’t even wear the HR monitor anymore I just go easy and enjoy it 4-9 hours a week. I’ve been really disciplined at Lifting Heavy Things twice a week, used to be pretty haphazard. Last night when I got home my wife mentioned that I was looking really good in my cycling jersey 😉

    TBNorwood wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Its interesting to hear about the change of focus in your post. Putting that focus on primal living and overall well-being and taking the focus off of the specifics. There is something great about that.

      Graham Vickery wrote on September 21st, 2010
  19. I’ve been doing very good and making an effort with food and exercise, I cut out bread/rice/crackers, i think crackers and snacks were my bigger problem before. I fall off the wagon when it comes to alcohol though, I decided to make up for it by adding days(add a day for each day I drank) to the 30 day challenge. but i am a student and midterms are coming up which means no alcohol, so that should help!

    Annie wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • That’s a good idea to extend the challenge to make up for the drinking days!

      Patty wrote on September 21st, 2010
  20. For me this was about being healthier and feeling better. I have always been athletic and have never been overweight.

    Coming out of college and then back from living overseas on a microscopic budget, my body needed some nutritional TLC.

    It has been a little over one year now since I discovered this site and started down this path with my now fiance.

    I have lost one pant size. Gained around 8 lbs of muscle on a 5’9″ frame. I feel great. I am stronger than I was as a competitive athlete and have only lost half a step on my former speed (Sprinter/Soccer).

    Played some frisbee this past weekend and felt like a kid again.

    Fideo wrote on September 21st, 2010
  21. While I’ve been eating relatively primal for a while now, I’ve used the challenge as an opportunity to really Grok down.

    I’ve definitely lost some weight (not sure how much, because I’m not sure where I was at the start of the challenge, but I’m over 20lbs lighter than I was last winter, and feeling great.

    I’ve also bought a pair of VFFs and am in love, and have also discovered that Sprinting is fun!!

    Victoria wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Gotta love those VFF’s! Just wish my wife would let me wear them in public! :)
      Good job losing those 20 lbs!

      Primal_Joe wrote on September 21st, 2010
      • Funny I haven’t worn another pair of shoes since I got them except for my HS reunion!

        Can’t wait to start running in them in a week or so.

        NB wrote on September 21st, 2010
  22. Right about 90% know and have 5 lbs. My wife is joining me slowly but surely and she’s lost a little also.

    Primal_Joe wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Same here, my wife is also joining “slowly but surely”. It is much easyer and when you are two.

      Magnus Andersson wrote on September 21st, 2010
  23. This 30 days I started from a strong position — primal for almost a year, with greatly increased strength (20% to 30% increases since last year). During that time I did not measure anything, just eating until satisfied. This 30 days I decided to measure the carbs to stay within the recommendation and found that difficult, having to reduce the amount of fruit eaten.

    Paul C wrote on September 21st, 2010
  24. I did my first set of 10 dead-hang pullups last week and I’ve never been able to do those before. Been primal since August and I never plan on going back to CW. Next stop, MUSCLE UPS!!

    Dan wrote on September 21st, 2010
  25. I’ve been doing “OK” having a lot of trouble fighting urges for carbs, but my energy level is way up and I am starting to see some real change in my body compisition.

    Rreynolds wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Don’t forget that there are primal carbs too. It is much easier to think of getting carbs you want out of something primal like sweet potatoes, and then realizing your out of potatoes and going low carb.

      Garth Whelan wrote on September 21st, 2010
  26. I’ve made a single choice cheat, a whole 5 meat pizza, and I’m glad I did. I’m progressing on simplefit faster, with no lack of energy. And I’ve found keeping track of everything I eat helps the challenge.

    Garth Whelan wrote on September 21st, 2010
  27. I picked this month to go more toward the strict side of the diet. I’v cut all grains, legumes, sugar, dairy and cut back on alcohol. (I’d been eating dairy and taking liberal advantage of the 80/20 rule for margaritas and chips!)

    I feel great!!!! Happy to be headed into fall with lots of new energy.

    BLJ wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Good for you trying to get more inline with the diet by removing more of the “UNclean” foods. Keep up the good work.

      San wrote on September 22nd, 2010
  28. I feel on track with many of the PB laws, including “Eat lots of plants and animals,” “Avoid Poisonous Things,” and “Play.” I am having a bit of trouble with adequate sleep, sunlight and moving at a slow, steady pace. All in all a great re-set and reevaluation of the priorities in my life!

    Ellen wrote on September 21st, 2010
  29. My weight has stayed the same but I have built muscle and visibly become leaner. I now have much more time during the day since I don’t have to spend 3 hours exercising a day. And, of course I feel bright eyed and bushy tailed instead of run down and sleepy all day.

    Russell Taylor wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I know what you mean. I was speeding 4-5 hours a week lifting, and another 1-2 hours of cardio a week. I’ve halved that with the same results!

      Wesam wrote on September 21st, 2010
  30. I’ve been doing this for over a year, so I decided to focus on something that I haven’t implemented in the past. I love to cook, but I also love going out to eat (typically at least 3 or 4 times a week). So far this month I’ve eaten out maybe 3 times, and had completely primal meals every time.

    Drew wrote on September 21st, 2010
  31. I’m 6 weeks in to my Primal life and every aspect of my life has improved. I’m leaner, more energetic, less irritable, sleeping better, I could go on and on. Thanks Mark, keep up the good work!

    Randie wrote on September 21st, 2010
  32. I am a follower from Sweden and started this Primal “living” for about 5 weeks ago, I now have lost 5 kg (I think that is it about 10 pounds). I am feeling much better (always had problems with IBS befor), the energe is also better! The only thing is that I should have started this many years ago! Very glad that I found this site!

    Magnus Andersson wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Press on Magnus. As the days get shorter and the temptations stronger to chow carbs this winter and slack on different routines,remember the how free you’ve felt in these first days.

      Jack wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Good progress and glad to hear you are feeling better.

      Paul C wrote on September 21st, 2010
  33. I’m a stay-at-home mom who is still nursing her 14 month old. I have been following the Primal Blueprint since late March, for the most part, but over the last couple of weeks I have turned it up a few notches. I’ve noticed more energy and muscle tone but no weight loss, which is a good thing because I’m happy with my weight. I’m thrilled with the new found energy, every nursing mother knows that a baby can really suck the life out of you if you’re not careful!!
    I’m interested in getting some VFFs, too. I’m inspired by Victoria’s post about them, I’ve seen a few guys sporting them from time to time but never any ladies. Victoria, do you have any suggestions about easing into them?? Were you sore in the beginning??

    Ashley North wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I’ve been wearing VFFs for over a year now. They do take some getting used to. If you prefer to ease into them, then do just that! Wear them to get groceries, then take them off. Wear them to go shopping (for a longer period of time), then take them off. Then finally wear them for a whole day!

      I have noticed that when I wear normal shoes for a while and then my VFF’s my feet have to adjust to the VFFs again. But my feet are actually getting faster at transitioning!

      Alternatively, you could just go cold turkey and switch to being barefoot all the time! I suggest you buy a few pairs of toe-socks though. 😉

      gilliebean wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I wear mine just about everywhere. ( I put on “real” shoes for church on Sundays.) I get stopped at least once a day by someone asking about my cool/weird/interesting choice of footwear. I also get a lot of people just pointing at my feet without actually asking. I feel like Vibram should be paying me for all the advertising!

      JenCat wrote on September 22nd, 2010
  34. I’m a flip flop primative most of my days but watching the 30 day challenge unfold and this giant community taking part has really boosted my motivations. Im out of bed after a good night sleep, im out the door into the sun or rain, and im having a great time.

    Graham Vickery wrote on September 21st, 2010
  35. Doing great and down 6 lbs. Travel to Atlantic City was tough last week but I made it through with minimal bends in the rules due to restuarant eating. But, I still miss sugar… boo!

    Jennifer wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • You will miss sugar for a while, but after you have “reset” your normal without sugar, you will not really want it or like it anymore! Keep it up!

      Holly wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Good work! I cheat with peanut m&ms…its my weakness. Hang in there.

      Eric wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Congratulations on the 6 pounds and, more importantly, on not letting the travel issue derail you.

      marcadav wrote on September 21st, 2010
  36. Yesterday, I had a minor food disaster by consuming some grains. I don’t know why, because I’ve been feeling fantastic the past couple of weeks without them. Definitely want to continue that feeling, so I put yesterday behind me and am moving on.

    sf40 wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Rock! No reason to get upset and get that cortisol spike.

      Jake wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • When I slip it’s always with coffee and cake. I swear the office I’m in is always stocked with cake, ice-cream and/or cookies!

      Mike wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Well done! Way to recognize and move on! :)

      gilliebean wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • It will get easier over time, and you have a good attitude.

      Paul C wrote on September 21st, 2010
  37. Outside of the celebrating a couple birthday parties with a cupcake, I haven’t veered off course. Thus far, I’ve found this diet to be exactly what my body was meant. Having been a body builder for 7 years now, it’s nice to stay lean, and not just eat broccoli, chicken breasts, brown rice and the rest of what was my very restrictive diet.

    Wesam wrote on September 21st, 2010
  38. I’ve been pretty good at sticking to my diet since I went primal back in December of 09. I had been afflicted with horrible stomach pains since my ninteenth year, even took meds for ulcers at twenty years old! When I switched the pains vanished and I droped 30 lbs of fat in three months! So when the challange started up… I just kinda kept doing what I was doing. The hardest part has been a broken toe and not being able to sprint, squat, jump or even walk at a decent pace.

    Mike wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Mike,
      Way to go for sticking with it and keeping your head up despite the broken toe – those are the worst. I have a similar history with stomach pains, and also have found this diet to be extremely helpful. Keep it up!
      :) ashley

      Ashley wrote on September 21st, 2010
  39. The day before I could even start the challenge I injured myself, so rest/recovery has had to be the key focus these past couple of weeks. I have sought comfort from a little more than “a little” dark chocolate, but have been able able to start moving again and know that this “challenge” will continue long after the 30 days has passed. Moving slowly is exactly where I am right now – lifting heavy things and sprinting, well, those are a little further down the road.

    Holly wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I injured myself too, doing pull-ups of all things, and it’s been hard to make myself rest. I know I need to, but I still feel guilty, and of course the dark chocolate sneaks in! I’m glad you’re moving more now, take it easy and you’ll be back at it in no time!

      Megan wrote on September 21st, 2010
  40. So far so good! Some days are better than others, but following the 80/20 rule has helped immensely. Dropped 10 lbs again so far. Even did an IF on Saturday (though I guess religious observances don’t really count so much, but still). Grok on!

    Jake wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • Keep up the good work! IF can be a very beneficial and powerful tool.

      Ryan wrote on September 21st, 2010
      • Thanks!

        Jake wrote on September 21st, 2010
    • I don’t see why religious observances don’t count…..I think of it as a physical rest from digestion as well as a spiritual fasting time. Why not have the best of both worlds!

      Megan wrote on September 21st, 2010
      • Good point!

        Jake wrote on September 21st, 2010

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