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

How to Find Your Personal Tipping Point

tippingpointAlmost all of our Friday success stories have one thing in common (besides the whole Primal thing): they finally “decide to do something about” their health. Something changes. Their health, their stamina, the health of those around them change for the worse, or maybe a diagnosis is made. Whatever it is, life reaches a tipping point, after which change is a hurtling inevitability, moving almost of its own accord. And as you can see from their stories, success comes rather quickly. It’s a few months, sometimes up to a year, but when you consider the immensity of an entire life of ill health, those months or that year are mere blinks of the eye. After that, there’s really no going back.

Okay, but what does a tipping point look like? What does it feel like?

The thing about reaching a personal tipping point – one that effects true, lasting, meaningful change, rather than some fleeting thing – is that it requires engagement of all your faculties. Ever been hit in the solar plexus, that spot right below your sternum? Back when I was a kid, the solar plexus was the holy grail of targets in an impromptu boxing match with friends. For one, you couldn’t aim for the temple, because everyone knows that a direct hit to the temple will kill you in a single blow, and you couldn’t uppercut the nose, because that would surely drive your nasal bone up into your brain. Hitting the solar plexus, meanwhile, left your opponent stunned and breathless. The impact was so jarring that it became your whole world. That test on Friday, the cute girl who sits next to you in math, the fight itself – all that no longer meant anything at all. You could think of nothing else but the sensation radiating from your sternum through the rest of your body, eventually moving beyond the purely physical and on into the emotional. It was wholly consuming on every level.

That’s exactly what your personal tipping point will have to do: affect you on a physical, intellectual, and emotional level. Otherwise, you’ll just talk about it, read about it, hear about other people who are doing it, without ever really making the change yourself.

The question, then, is can artificially reach the tipping point? Can we speed up the process? Can we bypass all the years of suffering, the failures, the setbacks, the proclamations of dire health from medical professionals? Can we somehow ensure a chance run-in with a former classmate who looks better than they did twenty years ago? I think we can speed up the process, if not completely engineer it. For most of us, simply “deciding” to do something out of the blue isn’t enough. I mean, everyone knows that being healthier, leaner, fitter, stronger, and free of pharmaceutical dependence is better, but is that enough to make change happen? No. Look around. People aren’t changing, by and large, regardless of knowledge. Intellectual acknowledgment of the problem isn’t the problem, so to speak.

If you’re reading this blog, and others like it, and you’re hemming and hesitating while looking for your tipping point, you’re way ahead of the curve. You may not think it, but you are. For one, you’re knowledgeable about health. Once you make the decision to embark on the journey toward health and happiness, you know what to do. You know which plan will get you there quickest and which plan will be the most sustainable (hint: it rhymes with “thymal rooprint”). You can pull up the relevant blog posts, you know which book to purchase (or maybe you already have), you know which foods to avoid and which to favor.

Second, you’ve got an open mind. In this day and age, anyone who entertains the possibility that jogging is a waste of time, saturated fat won’t kill you, and whole grains aren’t the godsend they’re made out to be is willing to entertain some alternative ideas about health and fitness. If you’re reading this blog, and doing so on a regular basis, that’s you – unless you get a perverse thrill out of reading about crazy health and nutrition ideas. And having an open mind means you’re open to change, if something comes along to force it.

Third, you know it’s possible. You’ve read the stories, seen the successes, internalized the information, and (perhaps subconsciously) gathered all the anecdotes to arrive at the conclusion that yes, rapid, lasting change is possible. Unless you think all my comments come from bots and/or paid commenters and that I’m just doctoring all these success stories, of course. If that’s so, I’m not sure what I could do to persuade you otherwise. But for the bulk of you, you know that this stuff works.

You’ve got the resources, the know-how, the open mind, and the anecdotes. It’s a big start, a necessary one, but it’s not everything (obviously). It’s not enough for everyone. Otherwise, you’d already be doing it!

So here are some suggestions on how to mastermind a tipping point:

Go to the doctor for a check-up.

I’m not usually one to tell folks to rely on the doctor to tell them how unhealthy they are, but this can be a real eye opener. Go in. Get some tests. Get things felt, measured, and weighed. Be the willing subject of stern, disapproving glances directed your way from behind a clipboard. It almost certainly will be unpleasant, and you might find out some bad news (pre-diabetic, bad lipids, high blood pressure?), but that’s the entire point. As you drive home from the doctor with the sinking realization that your health is unequivocally, objectively on the downward swing, you might arrive home a changed person.

Compare old pictures to current ones.

Remember when you were younger, svelter, and fitter? Revisit old photos and obtain visual confirmation. Weight gain occurs rather gradually. You don’t wake up with a spare tire. Rather, it slowly inflates over the months and years. Without pictures, literal snapshots in time, we might never notice how much we’ve changed or how much weight we’ve gained. Place the best picture you can find next to your worst current one. If they’re digital, print them out in the largest size you can handle. Gaze at them. Take them in. Allow yourself to be shocked, way down deep. Of course, the way you look isn’t everything, and aging, along with it’s inevitable decline, is natural, but this can nevertheless be an eye-opening exercise.

Thrust yourself into situations that you instinctively shirk from.

In order to experience sensations or witness events that might spur change, we have to put ourselves in situations that potentially contain those sensations or events. One reason why some people who get overweight or depressed or stuck in a health rut stay there and never get better is because they live an isolated existence. They don’t leave the house, they go straight home from work, they refuse invitations to go out. It’s not about lack of physical activity; it’s about maintaining a staid life that removes any potential for confounders. And when you’re looking for an event to precipitate massive change in your life, confounding variables are precisely what you need most. If you never leave the house, you’ll never catch that random glance of your own reflection in the store window from a terrible angle. You’ll never run into the former classmate-turned-fitness model who makes you reevaluate your lifestyle. So go out with friends. Go on a long grueling hike and note how far you’ve fallen. Try on clothes. Hit the outdoor gymnasium where all the fit people work out. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations that have the potential to turn your life around.

The reality is that it may be next to impossible to plan and engineer your tipping point. What you can do, though, is put yourself in a position to provoke an emotional response, and be ready for it when it comes (by marshaling resources, accruing knowledge, and keeping an open mind).

What’s reassuring about all this is that the hard part is reaching the tipping point. It’s going to be an unpleasant, visceral, jarring sensation (by definition, it has to be), but that will soon be over. And then change begins. The wild ride ensues, and you just get to guide it and let it happen.

So, readers, what was your personal tipping point? What was the straw that broke the camel’s back, leading the poor beast to dump his saddlebags full of grains and refined sugar and begin taking vitamin D supplements (cause, you know, broken back indicates poor bone mineral density indicates poor vitamin D status)? Also, what led up to that tipping point – is there anything you specifically did to make it happen, or was it just all chance?

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. Remembering that everyone has a tipping point can help us be empathetic to those who haven’t yet hit theirs.

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • I agree, but spreading the word is easier said than done…

      For me, the tipping point was simply discovering that there is something out there that works – an evolutionary approach to nutrition. There is so much nonsense and misinformation… after trying it again and again (eating whole grains, exercising more, etc.) and failing to improve health or lose weight, it’s difficult to accept the fact that self-improvement is actually possible and you ARE NOT genetically-sentenced to a chubby life. After many failures, I didn’t think that anything would actually work, and no amount of chatter or book-reading would convince me otherwise.

      …Until I tried eating like a “caveman” and it WORKED. Not only did it transform my body but my whole perspective on nutrition and lifestyle. Now I’m on the other side trying to convince the skeptics! :)

      Abel James wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • There is another reason to change – curiosity, fun, wanting to improve. I never thought going paleo would fix any of my problems, it just sounded like a tasty and logical take on nutrition. Getting better was just an awesome side effect for me.

      Sofie wrote on November 18th, 2011
  2. For me, I was already AT that tipping point, I was just looking for the path to take me away from there. I had years of buildup: hating myself, trying to make things better through CW means and ultimately failing, hating myself for failing at the methods that were “supposed to work,” figuring that the fault was all in me. I grasped for so many answers that lead nowhere.

    I had heard of paleo for awhile, but it wasnt until I found MDA and learned about PB that everything really fell into place. PB lays everything out nice and clearly, top to bottom, in ways that just kinda hearing about this “caveman diet” from my friends who were super exercise-aholics hadnt really gotten across.

    cTo wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • +1!! CW and vegetarianism failed so miserably…but low carb worked, and then PRIMAL! Like the clouds parting to reveal the light…

      Hopeless Dreamer wrote on November 16th, 2011
  3. It didn’t take much for me. I heard Mark on Underground Wellness radio about a year and a half ago and it all just made so much sense. It made even more sense when I started implementing it. The challenge now has been trying to get others, mainly my family to reach that tipping point. Maybe this article will help!

    Burn wrote on November 15th, 2011
  4. A fasciating and thought provoking read!

    Being in my mid 20s, I think that I have many tipping points ahead in my life but believe that I hit upon one yesterday when I attended a funeral of a great sportsman and loved family man in his 50s.

    As a religious ceremony of course it was a deep and spirited event. Regardless of your religious beliefs though, death is something that awaits us all. This funeral certainly prompted some self reflection and forces me to consider my own life: how it has been so far, what it will become and so on…

    I think that the most important point that I have taken away with me is that ideal that we must all try to make a decent contribution to this world whilst we are here. If being primal helps you to be a better and happier person then it is bound to be a positive thing for those around you too!

    Luke M-Davies wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • I think it does help some people. My husband died unexpectedly at age 45 and made me seriously re-think the way I had been living. Not that I was especially unhealthy, but I had a lot of expectations for myself. Primal is as much about letting yourself be human as it is about food. I think we sometimes forget about Mark’s advice to sleep enough and play, but these things make for a better, more human life.

      I wouldn’t say I had a “tipping point”. An enthusiastic friend talked me into trying primal living and out of the idea that control would somehow protect me from more random tragedy. I had lost a lot of weight when my husband was in the hospital and, at some level, felt if I stayed underweight then Trouble couldn’t find me again. That’s ridiculous, of course. Primal living helped me let go of that silly idea and I started eating, sleeping in and playing games with pleasure again. I am indeed a better and happier person, and a more accepting and flexible one too.

      Everyone dies, it’s true. Make the most of your own life while you have the chance, whatever that means to you, and don’t be afraid to use the tools you come across to do that.

      Bonnie wrote on November 17th, 2011
  5. Honestly, my tipping point was reading The Primal Blueprint. It was something that finally made perfect sense to me. Exercising for hours on end and starving myself never did.

    Ryan wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • The tipping point for me was also reading the Primal Blueprint, after having just read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, with its information on the lack of good scientific evidence and the politics behind the advice to eat a low fat, and therefore high carb, diet. The reasoning based on human evolution and physiology made perfect sense to me. Due to many concerns about the environmental and human health effects of the pesticide and fossil fuel-laden feed and the conditions of animals in feedlots/CAFOs, for many years I ate a close to vegetarian diet with lots of rice, beans,tofu, soy milk, pasta, and whole wheat cereal(only occasionally eating local chicken and meat from a co-worker and the farmer’s market and wild-caught fish). This resulted in frequently having problems staying awake about an hour after meals due to blood sugar crashes, gradual weight change that was beginning to accelerate, and digestive issues, including bloating and embarassingly frequent loud, uncontrollable and foul smelling gas. After reading Primal Blueprint about 15 months ago and realizing that these issues were probably related to my diet, I quit eating grains and legumes and, no surpise, within 2-3 weeks I no longer had blood sugar crashes, started losing weight, my digestive issues cleared up and a fasting blood test 3-4 months after the change in diet showed a large decrease in triglycerides from previous results, along with a decrease in total cholesterol and an increase in HDL. Needless to say, I won’t be going back to eating grains and legumes any time soon.

      KC wrote on November 15th, 2011
      • Oops, that should be “gradual weight gain that was beginning to accelerate” in my comment above.

        KC wrote on November 17th, 2011
    • Same for me! I stumbled upon PB at exactly the right time in my life, that I’ll call “Tipping Point B” when I write my own success story in a few months. :)

      Kel wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Amen to that!!! The Primal Blueprint helped me the same.

      Primal_Clay wrote on November 16th, 2011
  6. Turning 30 did it for me. I was heavy during my 20s (from about 22-29) and hadn’t really applied myself to loosing it in any meaningful way. 30 started looming and I realized that I’d spent nearly a decade draped in baggy clothes and hating myself. I will NOT look at 40 and regret not being the best that I can be in my 30s. Nuh uh. No way.
    I’ve been 80-90% primal for a year now. I am 19 lbs from my goal weight and literally EVERY part of my life is better than it was before I started loosing weight and changing what I ate.

    AustinGirl wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Me too!! Screw our 20’s. 30’s is where it’s at.

      LittleCircles wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • You don’t know how true that is. My 30s are over now, but they were the best years by far, way better than 20s. I envy you. Enjoy!

        anna wrote on November 16th, 2011
        • That’s great to hear! ;) I will be turning 30 next summer and I am really looking forward to it! My 20s have been rough! (put on weight and havent been able to get it off, lack of a good job, money, etc) But when I turn 30, I hope to be at least 60lbs lighter when I move to Los Angeles and begin a doctorate program, and if I’m lucky, find the man of my dreams! :o)

          RunBikeLift wrote on November 22nd, 2011
  7. Honestly, joining a CrossFit gym was a major tipping point for me. Not because of the workouts–although that’s worth a lot–but because of the nutritional and lifestyle support of the community. The CrossFit gym was the first place I’d EVER been where I didn’t feel like a freak for saying egg yolks were healthy and rice wasn’t. Or steak was good and twizzlers were bad (I know you can hear it–“but they’re fat free!!!”)

    I’m so interested in reading these comments!

    Anne wrote on November 15th, 2011
  8. I don’t recall what my tipping point was. Or maybe I just haven’t reached it yet? I heard about paleo from a fitness forum and then over a few months I started reading about it (out of curiosity and boredom) and I started to incorporate it into my lifestyle because it just sounded right.

    Or maybe my tipping point was way before that, when I first got interested in fitness, albeit, conventional fitness. I had just gotten out of a particularly poor relationship where we didn’t do anything but play video games every night and eat Taco Bell. I was always a skinny-fat kind of person, but I just didn’t feel good and the day we broke up is the day I became active.

    I guess that kinda fits the criteria.

    M wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Yup, that would be it. it does not have to be dramatic, though mine was.

      John Pilla wrote on November 15th, 2011
  9. My tipping point was when in my mid-late thirties my thyroid/adrenals/metabolism started crashing and nothing I was trying that SHOULD have worked, did. Eating 1200 calories of whole grains and meat and veggies, walking an hour a day… and still I either stood steady or my weight slowly went up. Even after taking thyroid meds I wasn’t seeing any REAL change– until I eliminated bread and dairy for a month just to see and wham-o, progress.

    I got to MDA through another website and just ran with it after that. It took time (almost two years) to correct all of the gut issues/metabolic issues and nutritional deficiencies that eating like crap had caused, but now I’m finally seeing and FEELING like a whole human being again.

    Michelle wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Michelle, I’m really glad you wrote this, because although I love reading the extreme transformation stories, it doesn’t happen that fast for everyone. I’ve been doing primal lifestyle for about 7 months, with very little weight loss to show for it. However, I FEEL much better and there are many other benefits; if I was only looking for pounds lost I might not stay with the program. I’m glad you are seeing results.

      Of course, my husband lost 20 pounds in a couple months. Our doctor is complimenting him on his weight loss yet still recommending a high-grain, high-cardio program for me. Some people won’t see it until they believe it…

      Gingerzinger wrote on November 15th, 2011
      • Gingerzinger,

        That’s my experience too. I have lost 10 pounds in the past 10 months but feel so much better. My husband, however, has lost 40 pounds.

        Yes, it’s more important to focus on the feeling rather than the scale. Initially, I have to admit the scale was more important but, I have reached my new tipping point and no longer care about it. I am grateful for how good I feel.

        BTW, my initial tipping point was gaining 15 pounds in 2 months after the death of my mom last year. After watching her struggling with morbid obesity all her life, I didn’t want to go down that same path.

        Happycyclegirl wrote on November 15th, 2011
        • I have a similar story. My tipping point was constant IBS-style symptoms and a stubborn 10 lb weight gain in the year and a half after losing my dad to cancer.

          A friend posted an MDA article on facebook and I ran with it. I’m now 5 months into eating primal/paleo, and I feel so much better. I know what I’m doing is good for me, and the research is very convincing to me. I did lose those stubborn 10 lbs in the first 2 weeks, but my weight has held steady since then (and I figure I have another 30 lbs to go). I was diagnosed with celiac disease soon after making the switch, and I know it can take 6 months to a year or more for the body to heal. I’m so grateful for the improvement in my body and mind from following this way of eating.

          Sara wrote on November 15th, 2011
  10. For me the tipping point was lying in the emergency room in New Orleans because of congestive heart failure and having the doctors tell me I also had pneumonia and diabetes. But it took a while to find the answers, some from various sources but many from MDA.

    Harry Mossman wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Mine was hearing my husband say that he was afraid that it would take a heart attack to ultimately change his way of life. Whenever either of us want to “cheat”, he reminds me that he doesn’t want to die. I’m looking forward to his next dr’s appointment. Hoping his pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesteral will all be trending towards health instead of an early grave.

      Jen wrote on November 15th, 2011
  11. I’ve been coming up with excuses on why this lifestyle will not work for a very long time now. All the while- spinning my wheels and doing absolutely nothing to make myself healthier and leaner.

    This may be the blog post that did it, man.

    Hits home.

    Good stuff, Mark.

    Tim wrote on November 15th, 2011
  12. Actually, for me just learning the truth about the SAD was enough. I had no idea. Once I read “The Primal Blueprint” I changed my lifestyle immediately. It just made perfect sense.

    Eric wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • “Actually, for me just learning the truth about the SAD was enough.”

      That’s what did it for me. I came down with rheumatoid arthritis at age 36 (i’m now 40) and was crawling on elbow and knees for a year and a half til I stumbled upon all the conspiracy facts, errr theories, about chemical ingredients and preservatives in foods, the FDA and Monsanto and found out what CW is doing to us.

      I researched about grains and found MDA…bingo!

      Arty wrote on November 15th, 2011
  13. I’m approaching Medicare age when retiree insurance will stop so my prescriptions won’t be free anymore. Plus, I got tired of sending my husband out to photograph experiences I should be having not seeing second hand.

    Linda Sand wrote on November 15th, 2011
  14. Wow…bizarre coincidence. My tipping point is today, as I might be facing gestational diabetes and need to cut out the carbs pronto. I’ve been reading all of the right books and following this blog but keep starting and stopping a billion times over. But I obviously can’t do that now.

    karyn wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Here is another website that might be helpful: http://www.blueribbonbaby.org/ Dr. Brewer has been preaching high protein for a long time to avoid pregnancy issues. Bless you!

      Cecilia wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • GD was my tipping point too,unfortunately I didnt discover PB until after my son was born. Wish I had found it sooner, like BEFORE I was prescribed Metformin!!
      Good news is that I DID find it and now feel heaps better digestively speaking.
      Mark, You GRock!!!!

      KL (almostGrok'd) wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • I had GD too, which progressed to permanent Type 2. I am still mourning grains, I know, it sounds awful. MDA is a huge comfort.

      anna wrote on November 16th, 2011
  15. Finding low carb was my tipping point. Once I could control my cravings that’s all I needed. Paleo is just icing on the cake!

    Grokitmus Primal wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • I agree with this I started out on Atkins it was great but I gained it all back during OWL.
      Primal has shown me that I don’t need grains to be happy diet-wise. And ‘low carb’ bread just stoked my cravings for grains/sugar. So I am happy to be rid of it

      gayle wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • Same here! My mom & I did Atkins together back in 2001; no surprise, as soon as we went on OWL it all came back, along with some serious digestive issues. Part of why I so easily embraced PB was my first-hand experience with the effectiveness of low-carb diets, but the idea of NEVER eating grains again is what really sold me.

        Siren wrote on November 16th, 2011
      • Grains / Atkins / OWL . . .
        Your diet is the least of your problems.

        Mark F wrote on November 17th, 2011
  16. My parents. I watched them destroy themselves with sugar. I said, “Never!”, but didn’t know what else to eat. Fast food was all I knew from my teens, and I had a gut feeling it wasn’t going to end well. I googled things like “Human Diet”, “What to feed Humans” and “Wild humans eat”, and eventually landed on PB, recognizing the polished, science-based adaptation of our original diet set to modern foodstuffs.

    So from 215 pounds down to 170 and muscular, I’ve made the change. It’s “thymal rooprint” for the win!

    knifegill wrote on November 15th, 2011
  17. My tipping point was one weekend when Mrs. Griffin was away and I was stuck in a depression down-swing.I was thinking that nothing would ever work and there was no point in even trying because I would just quit anyway.

    I was scrolling through some posts on Movnat.com and I found a link to MDA. That was it, right there. I knew that I needed to start living primally – AND RIGHT NOW! Mrs. Griffin came home to a lunatic who couldn’t wait to start living primally.

    Griffin wrote on November 15th, 2011
  18. I went to the doctor and got the same bad news I hear everytime: obese, lipids out of control, fatty liver, blah blah blah. But this time the doctor threw in one extra point, “You can’t take a deep breath because your visceral fat is pressing on your lungs.” That was it, a symptom that I not only could feel, but that had been concerning me. The next week I started the primal lifestyle.

    MonsterAlice wrote on November 15th, 2011
  19. Summer of ’99, I felt like I was letting my soccer team- my friends- down. Picked up my old copy of The Zone (hey, it was a start) and haven’t looked back.

    t-bird wrote on November 15th, 2011
  20. For me it was my approaching wedding day ;)

    Nicole wrote on November 15th, 2011
  21. I had two tipping points. The first was when I hit 305lbs as a 19 year old college kid [albeit I was a college athlete – shotput/discus/hammer]. It was my first day back from Christmas break my sophomore year. I always used sports as my excuse to be big and strong.

    The second was about a year later when I chose to stop participating in college sports so I could join an internship program for my college degree. At that point, how much I could bench or how good of an athlete I was became irrelevant. My general health and fitness became extremely important and carrying the weight around wasn’t helping. Weight isn’t equal to health, either good or bad, but it was the piece that drove me towards better health

    Great post Mark!!

    Mike P wrote on November 15th, 2011
  22. My tipping point came about 6 months ago.

    I have always known carbs were not my friends. I’ve had moderate to severe reactive hypoglycemia from a very early age. I knew at age 10 that if I had a donut or a bowl of cereal for breakfast instead of eggs and bacon, I would feel horrible for the rest of the day. So it should have been obvious that a low-carb life would be best for me.

    But it wasn’t. I was stuck in low-fat, whole grain, CW hell until I got on the scale at my doctor’s office during a regular check-up and I was almost 20 pounds heavier than I had ever been (without having pregnancy as an excuse). I had a cousin and a close friend who I knew were Paleo/primal eaters, and that led me here.

    I’ll never look back. I do NOT miss the sugar crashes!!

    Danielle wrote on November 15th, 2011
  23. For me it was my mother looking me in the eye and asking, “Are you *really* trying?” And I had to honestly answer no. But, it wasn’t until 18 months later that I discovered MDA.

    gilliebean wrote on November 15th, 2011
  24. An associate at work turned me onto the Primal Blueprint and MDA. We were just discussing yesterday why that conversation occurred. Can’t really say. He was/is an exercise fiend. He loaned me his book, I read it and decided to give it a try. Also, my 45th high school reunion was going to be happening.
    I soon realized that I was losing weight every 5 years (yes, the reunion impetus).
    I have had very few slips and follow the nutrition side of the program well. I now need to follow the specific exercises. I have always been active but never worked on things like pushups, planks, pullups, etc. I have purchased the last book and am at the point to “test” where I stand physically. The nutrition end worked so I have all faith in the exercise portion. Grok on!

    Pam wrote on November 15th, 2011
  25. I still haven’t reached mine. Mostly because my bloodwork always comes back perfect, I can run a mile now almost as fast as 20 years ago (at 40), and can actually do more pull-ups now than when in college.

    Philosophically, I think I should be primal, but I feel fine on the high carb with too much junk food diet.

    Seriously, what do I do with that?

    DH wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • soon, you won’t . . .

      Cecilia wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • There must be SOME reason you’re reading and posting here.

      Seriously, eat primal for three weeks! If nothing improves go back to your junk. You’ll never know if it works unless you try it.

      Wishing you obscene health. ;)

      Cal wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • At least you’ll know what to do if/when you DO hit a tipping point. I was the same way – I could eat anything I wanted, never gained weight, biked a lot. No one could have gotten me to give up my bagels, pizza and beer. When I got very sick (not related to diet, but it wasn’t helping) it took me awhile to find this information.

      Julia wrote on November 15th, 2011
  26. For me it was blood sugar problems in my mid 40’s. I tossed out all processed foods and grains after failing on the ADA’s dietary advice. I immediately lost 30 lbs over 4 months.
    Fast forward 5+ years. Just got my most recent HhA1C back today. 5.0! And my fasting insulin is “<2". All on no meds at all.

    Dave, RN wrote on November 15th, 2011
  27. For me it was the fact that i had a benign lump removed from my neck. I always felt fat, sick and fatigued. Mo more.

    Nion wrote on November 15th, 2011
  28. Mine was when I hit 230 (25% BF) as a personal trainer. I ate a perfect CW diet. Took all the NO-Xplode my heart could handle, and lifted weights for hours a day, and I got nothing but fatter.

    Jason wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Similar situation with me… I eat healthy and exercise, but the weight just wouldn’t come off! Hoping eating Primal will work!

      RunBikeLift wrote on November 22nd, 2011
  29. I think I’m close to the tipping point…or maybe I’ve tipped and I’m just in a refinement stage. I tried it all. CW, Weight Watchers, Atkins, etc. Even the Atkins never worked. Worked out and worked out. Nowhere. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism and CW gave me my synthetic hormones and shuffled me aside. In a recent retest, my hormone levels were fine, but my antibodies were still high. I was told “there’s nothing we can do for that”. Bullshit. So, like the stubborn person I am, I dug deeper and learned the gluten-autoimmunity connection. I went GF for a while and felt good for the most part, but the weight never dropped. Clung on to GF processed this and GF processed that.
    I started working closer with my chiro and we ran a test for gluten cross-reactivity. Found out not only was I intolerant of gluten grains (except oats), I was intolerant of all aspects of dairy, buckwheat, hemp, chocolate, millet and…tapioca. That last item was in EVERYTHING GF processed. No wonder I never got anywhere!
    She put me on a strict repair protocol where the diet was extremely similar to primal. I’ve been lurking around here for a very long time, then it all clicked. It was time to pull the trigger! So glad I did! I’m getting my DH to read the 21-Day Transformation and he’s being very supportive. This all simply MAKES SENSE! I mean, why would a protocol designed to heal the stomach follow so closely with a primal way of eating?
    I have more tweaking to do. I may be sensitive to nuts and nightshades, so more experimenting is on the way. Then I need to tackle my beer tooth…:)

    Kris wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Go check out Primal Parent… Peggy’s story is amazing and inspiring when it comes to what she’s had to cut out to keep her body happy! http://theprimalparent.com/

      Kelly wrote on November 17th, 2011
  30. My tipping point came when my very loving, but direct Aunt did a sort of mini intervention on me. She was the first person that even really showed legitimate concern for my WOE and where it would lead.

    What she did not know was I was already trying so hard to change but with all the conflicting information out there, “low fat is healthy, eat more whole grains…” you know the drill, it was way easier said than done.

    We were at a raw vegan restaurant when the intervention went down so consequently my path of knowledge started there. “Raw” led me to raw milk, which led me to the WAPF, which led me to “saturated fat is healthy” which led me to Mark’s definitive guide on the subject. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/

    It took me about 6 months of seeking to find MDA but it is the only thing that has ever made sense to me and for the first time ever I feel like I understand what a healthy lifestyle looks like and that it is indeed very attainable.

    Ande wrote on November 15th, 2011
  31. Age 45; Taking meds for high BP, Hypothyroid, high trigs, and gout. Tipping point was when fasting glucose came back high and doc wanted me on diabetes medicine.

    Spent 1 year low fat, counting cals, lots of healthy, whole grains, 60min cardio/day Result: Gained 5lbs, felt worse. Found MDA. 1 year later down 60lbs, off all meds, no gout in 11 months. Feel GREAT!

    Tim wrote on November 15th, 2011
  32. I’ve always worked out, but kept getting a little bit fatter (though also stronger) every year. About 18 months ago, I decided to go low carb – not primal, but low carb. My goal was to see my abs before I die. This had worked for me in the past.

    The weight came off so fast I feared I had some kind of terminal disease. I dropped from 205 to 175 in about 6 months (I’m 6’1″, 35 years old).

    About that time 2 acquaintances of mine in their 30s were diagnosed with cancer. One will probably die. This scared the hell out of me, so I started researching what to eat to not get cancer – a goal beyond just seeing my abs. My research eventually led to MDA and the rest is history.

    My wife is now 100% primal (back in the 120s weight wise from around 140 with very moderate exercise), and both of my sons are probably about 75% primal now and doing great.

    Skateman wrote on November 15th, 2011
  33. My tipping point happened after spending 2 months doing Insanity workouts everyday, and not losing a single pound – I was SO MAD, and I looked AWFUL. Around the same time, I happened to get very ill, and I ended up not being able to eat for about 3 days. During this period, I lost about 8 lbs, which my conventional wisdom belief system convinced me was all muscle. Once I got better, I started hitting the gym, and noticed that my strength was actually better than it was before I got sick – I could lift heavier weight than I could before. Puzzled, as I was, I took to the internet to find some answers into how it could be that I actually burned fat, and not muscle. This search landed me at MDA, among you fine people…and the rest, they say, is history. That was June 1st of this year, and is 30lbs, and 5 inches off my waist ago. Grok on!

    Mike B wrote on November 15th, 2011
  34. I read PB back when it first came out. It immediately resonated, and I knew I would pursue that some day.

    It wasn’t until two years later when I could not easily lean over to tie my shoes from a seated position that I reached my own personal tipping point.

    Another key ingredient in our family was for my wife to quit her job and be home with our young boys. This gave her added time in her schedule to focus on doing Primal meal prep. If she doesn’t make it, we don’t eat it – so this was key to getting and staying Primal at our regular family meals.

    So, for me it was a little bit of frustration at the inconvenience of extra weight and a little bit of tactical thinking and two years of reflection that finally amounted to a tipping point.

    Now, 40 pounds lighter and with more energy than I’ve had in years, I’ll never go back!

    Jeff Herron wrote on November 15th, 2011
  35. I cannot point to a “tipping point”. My DH and I had been doing “low-carb” for a while, but I had no success with weight loss. A friend recommended I read PB; I had already read Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. We still had some grains in the diet (low carb tortillas once or twice a week; sandwich and chips for lunch on Sunday). I decided to try cutting out all grains AND soybean oil, and the weight started to come off. 27 pounds in 8 months and still losing.

    But this is like almost every other major decision in my life: I cannot point to a day when I made it. DH and I slowly incorporated it into our lives. Oh well, glad we are here now!

    Denise wrote on November 15th, 2011
  36. My tipping point came on February 5th of this year. I was in my garage knocking out a few sets of back squats. I was facing a recently purchased plexiglas mirror that was bowed because I hadn’t taken the time to mount it to anything. Can you say “Fun House” mirror. In the bottom position all I could see was Gerd Bonk. Gerd Bonk is a German heavyweight Olympic weightlifter from the 70’s. Years ago I saw a photo of him squatting and he was all belly. I mean HUGE belly. GINORMOUS! And now that’s all I saw in the reflection. I can laugh now because the bowed distortion made it worse, but for someone that has always been involved in sports I was really disgusted with what I was seeing. You would think looking in the bathroom mirror would have done it. But no, it took the “fun House” mirror to put me over the edge. After finishing the last set, I was standing there staring with disgust at myself in the mirror when The Avett Brother’s song “Head full of Doubt” came on the radio. There is a line in the song, “decide what to be and go be it”. That was it, I knew that what I was looking at was not it. A friend had suggested I read 4 Hour Body, which quickly lead to the Primal Blueprint, Paleo Solution and Protein Power Lifeplan. Now down 50 pounds of fat and still dropping, I no longer fear the “Fun House” mirror.

    Michael wrote on November 15th, 2011
  37. The first shock when the blood test -from an annual checkup -showed me as prediabetic, even though i have been sugar adverse for many years. That got me to check out primal diets, which a friend had told me about 14 months prior. But still flirting with vegetarianism at that time as my wife was proudly so.

    The tipping point was worries about the constant joint pains. The doc says it’s normal after 40, but since cutting out wheat 8 weeks ago my joint pains have been subsiding.

    The pro paleo/primal arguments didn’t register with the wife until pointing out that since she went vegetarian 3 years ago, she’s put on 20 pounds. That was her tipping point.

    Dan wrote on November 15th, 2011
  38. I feel like it’s my job, as well as other bloggers out there in the community, to help others realize their tipping point. And I suppose that educating people could also help nudge them to their tipping points.

    Susan wrote on November 15th, 2011
  39. My first marriage fell apart. I caught my ex cheating on me and we tried to work it out while I sank into a massive depression. Eventually we divorced and I moved out getting a worse end of visitation than I thought. The first thing I did was buy a kegerator. Maybe not the best thing to do but I need to get numb, good and fast. Along with that I jumped into the dating pool. Also not the best thing to do. On the plus side I knew how to cook. So I went from the lunchmeat sandwiches my ex would “let” me take to work to hot pockets and pizza, etc. Eventually I decided that I was going to make lunch my one really healthy meal of the day. So I started bringing milk to work and making Grape Nuts with blueberries, strawberries, raw oats and steel cut oats in them. I felt better but I felt super bloated after eating that and I wasn’t losing any weight. So I switched to protein shakes for lunch and started dropping weight. Friends started telling me how good I looked. Next thing you know I met someone online who recommended MDA and The Zone. When I asked what I could eat for lunch, as I had no budget and no time he said “nuts and berries”. So almonds and berries it was. I’ve gotten much further now and eat salmon salads for lunch at work quite a bit. I do the whole grass fed beef/pastured poultry thing and feel great. I wound up marrying my high school sweetheart. I don’t want to say that life is perfect or that there are no struggles but I got here because I felt like I was dying and I refused to.

    Mark wrote on November 15th, 2011
  40. My tipping point is my kids. When you’re 43 and they are 5 and 6, you do all you can to ensure you’re on this Earth a long time to enjoy them and see them grow up. Thank you Olivia and Sophia for helping tip me!

    Jeff wrote on November 15th, 2011

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