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

Almost 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. I am an emergency medicine physician and have been delighted with how much energy I have and how little coffee I have been drinking after starting to eat a primal diet. my trouble is I work nights and I work allot. Im having trouble finding primal snacks besides nuts that I can eat on the run. I generally dont like to eat big meals while flying from room to room to see patients. I need some finger food and something easy / quick. I would love some suggestions. my go to used to be dried edamame, crackers etc..

    Emily wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • High quality, no nitrate beef jerkey might be good.

      Protein shakes are also quick. Get a magic bullet blender.

      An apple’s a good, relatively low glycemic load snack as well.

      Skateman wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • I work nights too, in the lab (ugh). I just bought a hard-boiled egg cooker for $20. It is great because you just put the water and eggs in, set the timer for the desired level of doneness, they cook, and the timeer goes off. It has helped to actually eat hard-boiled eggs rather than believing I would somehow find time to make them.

      Mom wrote on November 16th, 2011
  2. My wife and I both have cancer. She has been battling hers for 6 years and me for 2+. My life is to provide her comfort and be her caregiver. I have repeatedly told my doctors that their job is to keep me alive longer than my wife.

    They have had their battles with this. Surgery has failed, radiation has failed and I am out of curative options. The only thing I have left to try and arrest it is Hormone Therapy. For men this can bring a nasty set of side effects along with it. Instant weight gain, bone density loss, fatigue, heart issues, growing moobs and well you get the picture. My next appt with my doctor is in March. So he has given me a 6 month pass of HT and I knew that I had to get into the best shape of my life before traveling down that path.

    My tipping point came 6 weeks ago when I was talking with one of my fellow cancer buddies. He told me about PB. In 6 months he had lost 39lbs, dropped 4 out of 5 blood pressure meds, dropped cholesterol meds, is no longer pre-diabetic and his doctor had to take him off of heart regulating meds because he couldn’t get his heart rate up for working out. And he said that at 69 he was in better shape than he was at 40.

    So I have been here for almost 6 weeks, devoured everything I can read about PB and am seeing successes by the day in how I feel and look. Additionally there is much about eating PB that is in concert with many things that I have read towards controlling cancer.

    I have everything to gain and not a damned thing to lose. The proof will be in March when I am retested. But I know that I will be here for a long time to care for my wife.

    Thanks Mark and thank all of you who participate on the forum for your support. I have asked more than my fair share of questions.

    sonny3 wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • You just made me all misty-eyed. Thanks for sharing your story.

      Susan M. wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Stories like this are so inspiring for me, so thank you. My fiance started on the PB right before his diagnosis for lymphoma, but the chemo was too much for his already weakened immune system. It’s strength like this that makes me crave to pick up where he left off and carry through with it for him.

      I wish you the best of luck, but you won’t need it. I know you’re going to do it!

      L.S. Engler wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • You go Sonny. Beat that sh!#! :)

      glorth2 wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • Wow, what an inspiring story. Keep up your optimism and energy. Is your wife giong primal as well? Maybe it could help her, too?

      Gydle wrote on November 16th, 2011
  3. My tipping point was over two years ago. Through many failed attempts to shake my college football weight I was hopeless. I was following all the nutritional recommendations I found in health magazines, with minimal success. I ran across an article about Mark in a magazine. His nutritional concept just seemed to make sense to me. Due to my intrigue in the subject, I purchased the Primal Blueprint. From there the rest is history. I have never looked back, because the concepts I learned didn’t fail me like the rest.

    Erik wrote on November 15th, 2011
  4. My tipping point was when the prescription for seborrheic dermatitis stopped working altogether. For years I was filling presciptions for either a topical cream or oral sterroids. Both prescriptions slowly became less and less effective until to point they became useless. Every dermatologist I went, I have seen many over the years, always claimed the same thing. No change in diet will help. They were all wrong. Once I switched to Primal all signs of seborrheic dermatitis are gone. Curing this condition means so much to me, it is not all about vanity. Walking around with flakey skin all over my face (had it really bad) most of the time was affected all of my day to day interactions with other people. Most people will avoid “David the Lizard King”, and that is lizard king in a bad way not the Jim Morrison way.

    David wrote on November 15th, 2011
  5. 05.02.2011 I was sent to the hospital in an ambulance with a severe infection in both my fallopian tubes (salpingitis). I am married and a faithful woman (and so is my husband), so it did not come from Chlamydiabacteria…The doctors said “shit happens” ,but could not tell my why, just that a bacteria within my body had suddenly “turned on me”. I had extreme pains and ended up with surgery. Today I know why it happened! At that point I was 33 years old, underweight, depressed, had anxiety, was always tired and had cronic stomach pains and diarrhea (stomach problems has been a part of my entire life since I was a child) I was so used to feeling crappy, that I didn’t know of anything else! I thought it was normal. Told myself “every parent with a small child is tired all day long…”. My diet consisted mostly of chokolate and sweets, combined with lots of HC like pasta, rice etc for dinner. Evenings were mostly spent snacking and eating more sugar. Everybody always told me; but you are so skinny, you are so lucky you can eat all the chokolate you want! I beleived them!
    Anyway. The hospital stay was my turning point. I hated it! I have never been to a hospital and had surgery before. I have never felt so bad as I did those 4 days, and I decided there an then that I would live my life in a way that would prevent this from ever happening again!
    When I came out I spent days an hours in front of the computer, and found low carb eating + superfood. MDA is really the last piece of the pussle. This is just right. I know it in my heart. Today I am almost never tired, energylevels sky high, NEVER stomach pains anymore, never headache, no moodsvings, no panic attacs and no anxiety. I am just a bit sad that I didn’t find out before. But again; my turning point didnt come until it came. I love my new life, there is no turning back. Thank you, Mark!!

    Camilla wrote on November 15th, 2011
  6. My tipping point was when I got divorced and realized when looking in the mirror what I had done to myself. I’m 48 with an almost 4 year old and I need to be healthy to watch him grow up.

    Susan M. wrote on November 15th, 2011
  7. Mine was 7-1/2 years ago at 47. I was not into doing anything. A year earlier blood revealed cholesterol (CW) at 265 and weight at 220. (I am only 5′ 9″) Dr. was conservative (a rarity) and advised me to try diet and exercise. A year later, 7-1/2 years ago, my weight was 225, highest it had ever been and cholesterol was at 285!
    I was very depressed and took the rest of the day off. Ran across a book accidentally left out. It was only book that made sense. Started on a strict balanced diet (Zone) and tried Fish Oil. Dr. had prescribed lowest possible dosage of Zocor for only 90 days. (Again, a rarity a conservative CW Dr.) After 45 days lost Zocor at hotel on a business trip. Decided to continue diet and Fish Oil. At the 90 day check-up cholesterol was down to 204 and weight was down to low 200’s. That was my tipping point and my point of permanent renewal. Last fall I started exercising, albeit CW, lost most of remainder excess pounds, but did not quite feel right. This past summer ran into a natural chiropractor while paddling. She told me about MDA, which fits right into the way of thinking I had come to, and was a natural extension beyond the Zone. I was already convinced about Coconut Oil, despite Dr. Sears (Zone) opposition to. And the exercise aspect of Primal felt more natural, no more tied to a gymn 3 days a week.

    John Pilla wrote on November 15th, 2011
  8. There were two tipping points for me.

    I had been trying to get rid of an excessive 20 pounds for years. A couple of years ago, I went into to have my two bottom wisdom teeth removed and the operation went badly. I was bedridden for two weeks and couldn’t open my mouth to eat solids. I lost a stone in a fortnight.

    That got me thinking. I couldn’t figure out how I had lost so much weight while bedridden in such a short space of time. Yes, I knew that, obviously, I was not eating anything, but still … it seemed odd. I hardly ate much anyway.

    The the second point was that I started to menstruate twice a month. I went to the doctor who told me “it happens to women of my age”. I was only 34 at the time; and I just didn’t buy that excuse.
    I started doing a lot more activity and as part of that new regime, I went to Spain for a week and stayed in a tiny mountain village where I realised I didn’t seem to get very hungry — and it stuck me it might have been because I had been eating so much more meat and fat than usual.

    When I got back, I was looking for information about it … and found MDA. As soon as I read the Primal 101, I just “knew”. It was like a lightening flash through my head. I had eaten a conventionally healthy, but practically vegetarian diet, the carbs were the only thing it could be.

    Seven months later and I have lost 28 pounds, my cycle is normal, I no longer feel tired, and I have stopped going grey. My nails are like iron, my skin is illuminous and I no longer have anxiety.

    Alex Grace wrote on November 15th, 2011
  9. I had two tipping points. The first was reading Good Calories Bad Calories. I’m sorry Mark, but compared to GCBC, PB and 21-day TBT sound like the ramblings of just another diet guy. (to be fair, compared to GCBC, EVERYBODY sounds like rambling diet guys.) That book hit me with just too much critical thinking to deny his arguments.

    My second tipping point was watching Fathead. After GCBC I was cutting most grains, but when I found MDA I discovered that I had to cut ALL grains to see an effect.

    I’m a bad test case because I’m classic skinny-fat with no major health problems except a pooch lower belly and feeling like a weakling. I don’t expect to impress any friends with dramatic results, or even to feel better. But even after two weeks (I’m on Day 16) I’ve lost two pounds and some depression has lifted. I can’t exercise yet because of some tendonitis, but I try to walk 2-4 miles each day.

    oxide wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • I should add that what REALLY was the tipping point was coming to MDA and thinking “I’m not gonna argue with a 58-year old guy with an 8-pack.” Within a couple weeks I had a fully primal pantry.

      oxide wrote on November 15th, 2011
  10. Ugh…not hit the tipping point yet entirely. Just ending a 27 day cleanse to jump start things.

    This section was really hard to read because you described me and my life to a T – “Thrust yourself into situations that you instinctively shirk from.”

    I go to work, come home from work, go to work, come home from work. The gym freaks me out. Too many people, but I know I need to. Definitely isolated with zero friends after leaving ‘church’ 8 years ago.

    Thank you though – I am open minded and working on it all. It’s nice to read everyone’s stories.

    resonnant wrote on November 15th, 2011
  11. My first tipping point was last January when I was in the emergency room for a health problem that has since been resolved. Anyway, they did a CT scan while I was there and the scan showed a cancerous tumor on one of my kidneys. The MD wanted me to have immediate surgery, but I’ve always been into alternative stuff so I told him I wanted to wait and see what I could do for myself. I’ve always exercised, taken supplements, and followed what I thought was a healthy diet. A while back I was vegan for 10 years. Then learned about the Zone, added meat back in, but was still eating whole grains, watching fats etc. I felt better for awhile, but it didn’t last. I just didn’t feel good. I had almost no energy and had trouble working up enthusiasm for anything. I had read, I think on, that cancer’s favorite foods were gluten and sugar. When the Dr. diagnosed me with kidney cancer I went off wheat and sugar cold turkey. Three days later I woke up and said “Oh, my God. I’m back.” My energy was off the charts and my joy of living was back. Then in March I found MDA and the Primal Blueprint and easily gave up all the other grains, gave up cooking with olive oil and went to lard (delicious!) butter and coconut oil with pleasure. I’m eating the skin on chicken again and the fattier cuts of meat because I like them, I’m not excersizing to exhaustion any more and feel SO good. I dropped fifteen pounds after going completely primal, most of it from around my gut. I’ve gone from a size ten pants to a six and am thrilled with the way I look. A supplement that I have recently added to my anti-cancer arsenal is iodine/iodide as per Dr. David Brownstein. I know iodine is supposed to be very scary to take because CW says we all get enough in our salt and food. Not so. Brownstein’s book “Iodine: why you need it, why you can’t live without it” convinced me. I feel even better since. As for my cancer, the tumor has grown very slowly, but it IS still growing. I have finally let the Dr. talk me into surgery to remove the tumor (hopefully not the kidney!) the day after Thanksgiving. He keeps talking about how fabulous I look and what great shape I’m in. I’m sure he’s surprised I’m even still alive! I think following a primal/paleo lifestyle is responsible and has been the most profound thing I’ve ever done for myself.

    Island Girl wrote on November 15th, 2011
  12. My tipping point was when I had to play the main lead in a student film project. I knew I needed to lose weight but I was in denial on how I looked physically. It wasn’t until I saw my ROLLS of fat on screen, over and over again. From that point on I have been doing my best to live primal. I’ve had some slip-ups, but for the most part I’ve Grok’d on :)

    Barefoot Runner wrote on November 15th, 2011
  13. A few months after my 1st daughter was born, I developed eczema- on my nipples! Along with nursing this led to the skin literally disintegrating. Fast forward 3 years- finally got it mostly managed with no gluten, no dairy diet. (I was committed to nursing and had to use steroid creme for a few years.) Then I realized that all the processed GF substitutes gave me similar symptoms. Came across MDA and finally quit other grains a few months ago, while 6 months pregnant with my 2nd daughter. Found I could add butter to my diet :) Also avoid nuts, tomato sauce and strawberries. Successfully nursing a 9 day old baby right now, and nearly fit into my pre-pregnancy genes!

    Kathy wrote on November 15th, 2011
  14. I’m reaching my tipping point. I might already be there, but other things, unfortunately, do not give me the ability to focus on my Primal Transformation entirely just yet. But I get a little winded going up three flights of escalators when they’re shut off at work, which is not a good sign…

    I was originally going to go primal with my fiance, who had taken an interest and was doing a much better job than me at it, but his health had different ideas, his lymphoma finally hit, and he didn’t make it through his second month of chemo. -That- was a HUGE set-back for me, on so many levels, but I’m finally getting ot the point where I think I can get back on track. So it’s not just my own health, but just the fact that I know he’d be proud once I’m not only at my tipping point (which I’ve just about reached), and finally somewhere in my life where I can make it finally happen.

    I know I’ll get there, and hopefully some day soon! When things change that drastically, you have to pick up one day at a time, but the full primal transformation is definitely on my list in the near future! Until then, I’m making little steps to get there a little quicker, too.

    L.S. Engler wrote on November 15th, 2011
  15. I was thinking this very thought this morning. I’ve read both of your books and I lurk on this website for months now. I’ve flirted with what needs to be done for days or sometimes only hours. This morning I was berating myself, wondering why the heck I just don’t get off the fence and jump in.

    And this will REALLY help. Knowing that I can set myself up for the tipping point makes it feel like I can do this. I can work towards a meaningful change, not just going through the movements.

    Michelle C wrote on November 15th, 2011
  16. Hm. I had two tipping points, because I yo-yo’ed pretty hard on the way here.

    The first was years ago, while I was reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I came home late one night and grabbed some Carl’s Jr. on the way. In the bag was a promotional metal dog-tag that said, “Burger Slayer” and encouraged me to go online and join their Burger Slayer army — so we could discuss our mutual interest in dying early, I guess? Anyway, this just tweaked me into an outright *fury*. I was 90 pounds overweight at the time, and lost 50 on Pollan’s “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.” advice (not Primal, but not a bad start either.)

    I’m not proud of it, but with 40 pounds to go I lost the path. I fell back into bad habits and the weight piled back on. But I told myself, “You’ve got this figured out. You can fix it anytime. You just need to do the work.” And I slid and slid and slid. I got plantar fasciitis and began to feel broken-down at age 35. So I hopped on the scale last Xmas for my usual New Year’s resolution and, well, I wasn’t 40 pounds overweight anymore. I was 97. No fury this time, just horror — bone deep horror and tipping point number two, at your service.

    The same dear friend who got me to read Pollan put me on to the Primal Blueprint. Now I’m right on the verge of a healthy weight (all I want for Christmas is…) People I’ve known for a decade who have only ever seen me obese want to know how I did it. And reading this I suddenly realize that *I* might turn out to be somebody’s tipping point someday.

    Now wouldn’t that be a heck of a thing?

    King TL;DR wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • I bought a cup of mocha recently from McDonald’s and on it, it said, “Celebrating Season’s Cravings.”

      Are they taunting me?

      toaster for sale wrote on November 18th, 2011
  17. My turning point came when I was pushing 273lbs. Last March I came across a Readers Digest that had the article in it about Good Calories, Bad Calories, and I decided to start on the Atkins Diet. I had been looking for Atkins recipies on line and I seen some of the MDA video’s on you tube. Then I went to MDA site and have been reading and learning ever since. I have lost 30lbs. and have been holding at 240 and recently I have been trying to get it together with some of the exercises. The cupboards are empty of the grains, and have been using the Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals cookbook. Even though I’m at a standstill with the weight, I have been noticing the shift in body composition, I have lost a couple of clothing sizes and have had to pull out some of my clothing that I still had in smaller size. I have hypothyroidism and have had to let go of some of the dairy, butter is OK, as is heavy cream. I have recently been trying recipies with coconut milk. I stumble sometimes, but I redirect myself back on tract with the Primal eating habits…Just feeling good from eating that way.

    Brenda Living Primal wrote on November 15th, 2011
  18. Many tipping points.

    Fat. Thin. Fat. Thin. F#@% me, there’s gotta be a way out of this cycle. I ran 60 to 80 kilometers a week and got thin. Screwed up a knee, stopped running, BLAM! Fat again.

    Joined sparkpeople. Weighed food. Counted calories. Lost weight. Slacked off and BLAM! Fat again. There has got to be a better way.

    Tried Atkins. Low carb. Started weighing food. Counting carbs. Lost weight. Thought, I can do this diet for a really long time, but is it healthy? Started researching. Found MDA. Damn this makes sense. Effortless weight loss? Can that be true?

    Started eating Primal. Stopped counting calories/carbs and weighing food. Put away the scale (sure…I break it out every other week). Started putting on muscle.

    Tipping point. I am NEVER going back.

    Mike wrote on November 15th, 2011
  19. My tipping point was when I realized that at my 30s I didn’t have a meaningful relationship with a female because I had low self esteem with my weight.

    I started to diet and exercise last year and lost weight but it was a struggle and I felt like crap. This summer I started Atkins and just a few months ago I came across this site and I’ve been primal (well 80% primal) ever since. I’ve lost 50lbs since last year.

    Eric wrote on November 15th, 2011
  20. Interestingly, my tipping point was when, after doing everything “right” (eating whole grains, etc, the whole 9 yards), my kids ended up with cavities in their teeth. Not just a couple, my just-barely-five year old daughter had 7 cavities filled. SEVEN. The dentist kept asking me about how much sugar she ate. Then, a few months later my nearly 4 year old son had a couple cavities found. Again, I got the head shakes. Seriously, we ate WAY less sugar than your average american (BY FAR), and we stuck with healthy “whole grains” and daily oatmeal… which after reading a book about WAPF style tooth healing I realize was a really REALLY bad idea for teeth. Anyway, it was at that point I realized, hey, my husband has an autoimmune disease which is kept in control by high amounts of fish oil and cutting out gluten, and my kids have holes in their teeth from the whole grains we eat… maybe it’s time to make a change. That’s when I went grain free (aside from the occasional bit of corn – I’m human!) and realized that my anxiety and depression symptoms go away when I cut out the gluten and come back for several days when I even have a couple bites. In the past two months since I made that decision, I’ve lost about 8 lbs. Incredible! I’ve never lost weight when dieting regardless of if I was SERIOUSLY cutting calories and working out hard or just cutting back a little. The “normal” recommendations just never worked for me. I wasn’t huge, but I was just barely overweight for my height. It’s just crazy. I can’t see ever going back to fat and anxious… And we have yet to see what happens with my kids’ teeth, but hopefully it’ll help with that, too…

    jenna wrote on November 15th, 2011
  21. Thanks for this article! I think that the doctor’s office could be a tipping point for some people, but many doctors are reluctant to say much to patients until they think it’s time to prescribe medications. Especially for women, that might not happen until after menopause.

    For me, the tipping point that brought me to primal was desperation. I was miserable and willing to try anything. I was even willing to consider the radical proposition that fats were my friend and grains were not! I’m so glad I did.

    SweetPickles wrote on November 15th, 2011
  22. Mine was 12 days ago, Thursday, November 3rd. I literally could not stop eating Halloween candy. I compulsively ate almost 2 bags of Fun Size in 3 days before I was so disgusted with myself I knew I needed help.

    I’ve known for a long time that I have a love-hate relationship with carbs. Carbs controlled me and I wanted off the sugar high/sugar crash rollercoaster while I still had my “health.” I’ve done yo-yo diets, multilevel marketing cleanse programs, P90X, you name it. I couldn’t stick to anything because I couldn’t control my carb portions. Plus I hate conventional exercise.
    I dropped 12 pounds on an 11-day cleanse to fit into my wedding dress in September 2010, proceeded to become very depressed, and gained 25 pounds in fits and spurts since then. I was down to 3 pairs of pants that I could wear to work (I had to do laundry twice a week) and I hated myself and lack of control over what I put in my mouth.

    So back to that fateful Thursday. After dumping what was left of the Halloween candy off at a co-worker’s desk, I started researching quitting sugar addiction online, which led me to Potatoes not Prozac, which led me to Paleo, which reminded me of the Primal Blueprint, which I had heard about from two different friends but I thought they were crazy. This time, I was desperate. I downloaded the book immediately and knew as I started to read it that it all MADE SENSE.

    I’ve lost 8 pounds since Saturday the 12th (the day I officially gave up grains and legumes) and I’ve never eaten so healthy, had so much energy or felt so good! My pants are starting to fit again, I’m gently working out regularly (only if it’s fun!) and have energy to spare. And the best part: I kicked depression’s @ss without meds! Yeah!! I can’t wait to see where this takes me. My goal is to wear a bikini in public for the first time in my life! :)

    Cgirl1 wrote on November 15th, 2011
  23. I’ve had two tipping points:

    One was pre-pregnancy, when a friend of mine very kindly said, “You’re not allowed to complain about being fat if you’re not going to genuinely try to lose some weight. I know you can do it.” For the first time ever I lost weight, a full 50 lb which I kept off until getting pregnant.

    Post-pregnancy, it was deep meditation on what it would mean to live “this way” forever. Never wearing the clothes I wanted to wear, never being part of certain activities, never enjoying another photograph of myself, ever again. A bunch of “nevers” scared the crap out of me.

    LongWalker wrote on November 15th, 2011
  24. My tipping point was May 2010. I had come down with atypical walking pneumonia, as well as a sinus infection. I was tired of being sick, tired of getting 3-4 serious sinus infections a year.

    I’d put my cat on a grain-free diet earlier that year and it had made a *tremendous* difference to both her coat and her energy levels.

    While I was sick I was surfing the Internet and I ran across the site, “Know the Cause” which led me to MDA. Since my cat had done so well going grain-free, I figured, why not try it?

    Within two weeks all my seasonal allergies went away. I lost inches — at least half a ring size, 4″ off my waist, etc.

    This last year, instead of being sick about once every 6 weeks, I’ve only been sick 3 times. I can’t begin to describe how amazing that is.

    Thank you Mark for helping me find such amazing health.

    rozska wrote on November 15th, 2011
  25. Here’s a tipping point for you: conceive a child.

    That was mine. Unfortunately, though my flesh was willing, my mind was ignorant. I stumbled through all sorts of nonsense before I found this blog. And then everything made sense almost overnight.

    When you discover the primal lifestyle, I strongly suggest you go whole hog from the get-go. Not 80/20; not cheating on the weekends; but as close to 100% primal as you know how to get. Rip the band-aid of your old lifestyle right off.

    That will minimize the discomfort of breaking old habits, and maximize your health results. After a week, I felt better than I had in years. After a month, better than ever before in life. With such results, I have never been tempted to return to old ways. And the rewards just keep on building.

    It can work for you just as it did for me!

    If you want a word of encouragement from somebody who’s been there, helpful folks are all around on these forums. I too would be happy to lend you an ear. Feel free to contact me at the email address on my blog.

    Timothy wrote on November 15th, 2011
  26. The tipping point for me was watching Lustig’s “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” youtube video. It was nearly instantaneous, over that single hour. Of course I was sort-of looking at a change, before that, or I wouldn’t have taken that much time to watch it. But that video – it all made sense. I stopped eating sugar – weaned myself over about a month and a half, while reading and researching further. And then I landed here, where that change made sense across the entire food spectrum. The weight I lost came off with amazingly little effort (other than the obvious, of course) – but no calorie counting or food weighing or logging, while still eating at restaurants and friends’ houses (just being selective in what I ate there). No change in exercise (I was already working out regularly – at the gym for an hour three times a week, and chasing a child the rest of the time: skating, bowling, bike riding, playing – that hasn’t changed all that much.) My energy is through the roof, I feel great, I have curves now where I had lumpiness before, and I am more alert. I don’t have food cravings or headaches when I miss a meal. I could go on and on…
    I want to add that weaning myself from sugar felt like kicking an addiction. Many times I bargained with myself. I would tell myself that I could live without it (candy bar, soda, whatever) for one more minute, and then another. Then an hour. Sometimes I caved and ate what I craved, but after I managed to go a few weeks of being mostly clean, it got much easier. Now, a year later, I still see desserts as if they have a special radioactive glow – they draw my attention. But I can pass them by – it’s just not worth the effort to eat a piece (again, kind of like going on a drunk – it’s just not worth feeling like crap afterwards, and going through dt’s all over again.)

    Carla wrote on November 15th, 2011
  27. I’m new to Primal, but in the past have lapsed out of motivation because my health and weight have been *good* my whole life; and because a lot of sugary foods are delicious.

    I’m looking for improvement with Primal, and thinking of the future, but I’m 6’1″ and have never weighed more than 78kg (172 pounds). I haven’t had any chronic health issues except short sightedness.

    I’ve enjoyed what I’ve learned and applied so far, but there seems to be less info on what improvements one can expect when starting from a relatively healthy point. I don’t have 50 pounds to lose, or high blood pressure, or lack energy for sport, or an irritable bowel. My “before” is not a big motivator so far.

    Mike wrote on November 15th, 2011
  28. When I was 25 I put on a huge amount of weight. For the next 20 years I tried all versions of CW, because we all know that ‘fad’ diets are bad! A few years ago I went on a all inclusive trip to China. After 2 weeks of eating large amounts of fantastic food every day I lost 14lbs. That’s a physical impossibility according to CW. It was enough to start me questioning. I found initial success with low carb and now tend to be primal most of the time. Definitely no wheat either.

    Jo wrote on November 15th, 2011
  29. My tipping point? Coming up on 53 and my doc said I needed 2 types of medication: blood pressure and cholesterol. I said, “Nope,” and decided to act on what I had been reading. No grains, no sugar. After 4 months I have no need for medication. Yes, I’ve lost about 35 lbs but my motivation is health and that isn’t a number or a date; it’s a life time endeavor.

    Thanks, Mark and those of you who contribute to MDA.

    Jim McDonald wrote on November 15th, 2011
  30. My tipping point wasn’t arriving at a bad/dire place but at a very positive one: Realizing that I am worth IT.
    (pls define the ‘it’ as you see fit)
    I had already lost over 100 lbs following CW and SAD but the insidious side effects of both had started slowly swallowing me again. I had a clear moment of, “This isn’t working anymore and I owe it to myself to find out why. I am worth the time/effort.” That time/effort lead me to the PB and no, there is no going back.

    Melinda wrote on November 15th, 2011
  31. I was breastfeeding my second baby and started loosing more weight than I had gained during the pregnancy. Wanting to keep the momentum going and loose that 50 extra pounds I had gained in the past 15 years, I found a slow-movement strength training facility and personal trainer who introduced me and my husband to Primal Living. So far we are down 20 pounds each and gaining muscle, just by cleaning out the pantry and changing the food we bring into the house (and one 20 minute workout per week.) Now we just need to work harder on fun physical activities, and make eating out more rare.

    Maggie wrote on November 15th, 2011
  32. Tipping point for me must’ve been when my television broke :) So i compensated by surfing on the internet all day long while reading information about health and bodybuilding(that’s what i was always into, but never got “time” to educate myself). Seriously, if my tv never broke, I’d still be watching late night conan o’ brien instead of having my evening workouts done. Having adequate diet pushed me forward of course.

    srsbsness wrote on November 15th, 2011
  33. For me it was definitely a visit to the doctor for a complete health check up. I went just for a regular check up, I was 28 then, and found out things about myself like I had borderline tryglycerides, I was far more overweight than I told myself I was, I had PCOS.. and all this while I thought I was just merrily chubby, but healthy nonetheless. A health check up is definitely a must do for those who need that extra push in the right direction.

    Aloka wrote on November 15th, 2011
  34. My tipping point was when a person said to me…your child is very healthy (i.e. FAT), same as you.

    Wanted to punch his lights out, but I thank him now!!

    Fatless Formula wrote on November 16th, 2011
  35. In my case, the tipping point was slow but sure in coming…When I noticed I had severe bloating, digestive issues after grain and refined carb ingestion, a friend suggested I be tested for Celiac Disease…I was positive I had when the diagnosis was that I was NOT Celiac…I was shocked, frustrated and depressed, as I had noted that avoiding grains kept me feeling good and not having to think about weight…I felt good in my skin…When I listened to the doctor’s advice about going back to whole-grains and gluten “since I had no clinical PROBLEM” with them I immediately began to bloat, have joint pain and put on weight..Finally, I found MDA and the Primal Blueprint…and everything makes sense again..I realize now that I do not need to be celiac to be affected by grains..and that it is important to listen/pay attention to your body and the messages it sends to you..Optimum health?..with the Primal Blueprint and Mark’s fantastic blog…for me it feels like the present..

    Donna wrote on November 16th, 2011
  36. I didn’t really have a tipping point, as such. It was more like a repurposing of my efforts!

    I have always been pretty fit and healthy (luckily), but when a friend told me she was starting a primal diet in August this year, I got really interested. I then lost days to MDA, bought the blueprint, and haven’t looked back. Most of the 10 laws, I was doing already – it was the diet itself that was the revelation.

    I didn’t have to reach the bottom to start my way to the top – discovering primal was more like a lightbulb being switched on…

    Keith wrote on November 16th, 2011
  37. I was in High School and my belly started to grow. My energy levels were down and I decided to do something about my health.
    I played a lot of basketball in Junior High and the first two years of High School, but since I’ve turned lazy, the quality of my life decreased. I got back on basketball and added resistance trainings to my regime.
    It has been 3 1/2 years and I’ve realized that fitness is a life long commitment.
    I hope you guys get that too.

    Paul Alexander wrote on November 16th, 2011
  38. Simpler yet: If you are old enough to be able to tell the difference between what’s good for you and what’s not, you know what to do. Get on with it.

    Txomin wrote on November 16th, 2011
  39. For me, I knew I had a slight weight problem for a few years, (30-40 pounds over weight). I had been “trying to lose weight through exercising but nothing was working until my father commented on my big weight gain when I was approximately 26 or so (30 now), I was soo unbelieveably angry with him and myself. He put it bluntly but that triggered a powerful emotional response. I got very angry, I went and joined the gym and got extremely eggressive with barbells/cross trainers/went balls out at whatever exercise I was doing and lost like 20 pounds in the space of 3 weeks. For me I still channel that anger now through my workouts it helps me lift heavier, run faster, do better than previously. When i’m annoyed about something and/or stressed about work, I know i’m gonna have a pretty intense workout that I will just own that barbell! Anger is the way to go to keep me focused when I need to make gains whether that be people doubting my ability, just need a kickstart sometimes!!

    Gareth wrote on November 16th, 2011
  40. Mine was the old “sick and tired of being sick and tired” way back in my late twenties. I lost a hundred pounds. After raising a family, years later, I was back in that place, dxd with diabetes, scared to death of turning out like my relatives and my DOCTOR suggested low carb. The light bulb turned back on. I’m doing it with whole foods and resistance exercise this time. MDA is a wonderful guide.

    Carol wrote on November 16th, 2011

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