You asked for it, so here it is: another round of Primal Blueprint Success Stories. Emails like these are basically why I continue to run Mark’s Daily Apple. It’s all about giving people the tools and resources they need to feel empowered to take control of their health, and in many cases completely turn their lives around.
Years ago I set a (lofty?) goal for myself: to personally play a role in helping 10 million people. If you’re one of the 10 million please let me know! If the Primal Blueprint has helped you in any way email me. It could be your story that helps others make the Primal leap. Grok on!
Finding the Primal Blueprint has changed my life completely. My weight had always been an issue for me. Growing up my parents took us to fast food often, and I had unlimited access to chips, sodas, and snack food. I became obese at a very young age and was teased and tortured at school for being ‘the fat kid’. The last straw was when I 12 years old and no longer could shop at normal sized clothing stores. I vowed to myself that I would make it my goal to become healthy.
My crusade for achieving the perfect body led me through some very rough territory in the following years. Fad diets, chronic cardio, starving myself, diet pills, you name it, I tried it. Through conventional wisdom dieting and exercise I lost 35 lbs and stayed there for years. Even though most of the weight was gone, I experienced major dental problems, hair loss, migraines and digestive issues. I thought I was eating ‘healthy’ even though most foods I ate were processed ‘healthy’ snacks and frozen foods. As I began law school, even healthy processed foods were replaced with pizza dinners and sugary caffeine drinks to help keep me awake. I felt tired, stressed and hopeless. After finals I was 10 lbs heavier and miserable, I knew something needed to change.
I stumbled upon Marks Daily Apple in February 2010 and began reading everything I could get my hands on. I was ready and determined to make the change. I dove in head first and went 100% primal. My fiancé even jumped on the primal bandwagon as well. The progress came fast and I lost 6 lbs in the first two weeks. I got back into lifting heavy once a week and sprinted once or twice a week on the beach. Here it is 2 months into being primal and I am 7lbs lighter, stronger and finally feel as if I am in touch with my body. Now if I eat something not primal, my body sure lets me know that it does not approve. My hair is thicker and my headaches and digestive issues are a thing of the past. Before a workout would mean becoming a treadmill zombie at the gym, zoning out to the television for an hour. Now I sprint on the beach, carry/throw heavy rocks, climb on the jetty, and just have fun! Thanks Mark for all your doing. I know me and my Fiance are much healthier because of the Primal Blueprint.
Athena – Natural Selection
270 Days of Primal Lifestyle
It has been quite a journey so far. A chance check of my blood pressure started this trip. My blood pressure registered at 198 over 120. I knew if I went to my doctor she would tell me to lose weight, exercise and change my diet. She would probably put me on drugs that would screw with the rest of my body so I decided to see if I could lose weight, exercise, change my diet and bring my blood pressure down myself.
My research started with Dr. Jay Wortman. He is a Canadian Doctor and is the author of “My Big Fat Diet.” This program put First Nation volunteers on a traditional diet to overcome their health issues. That got me thinking.
I Googled “What did humans eat 10,000 years ago?” and fortunately I ended up at Mark’s Daily Apple.
I’ve since been to see my Doctor and my success has given me some leeway. I’m still not on drugs (medication), but I’ve been getting some systolic readings in the high 130’s and diastolic readings in the high 80’s.
I’m not cured yet… but those numbers are considered high normal… and it has only been 270 days.
Let me share some other numbers with you. I’ve always considered August 4th 2009 as my start point. That is when I started to record this experience. My weight was 234 lbs. Today I’m at 192 lbs. My waist has gone from 46 inches to 39 inches. My chest has shrunk from 49 inches to 44 inches. (Sob) I’m melting… but then it has only been 270 days.
Excluding my love for potato chips and Irish whiskey, I would have told you I ate a nutritious diet. Conventional wisdom sucks!
I have learned a lot following PB. What I am focusing on now is balance. However this isn’t the balance of supporting the different segments of the agricultural industry. Sorry Dr. Kellogg but no shelf space for you!
Balance is about balancing the micronutrients. Why do we cut out grains? Besides a list of reasons, they screw up the balance. The ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 is covered in great detail on MDA. Did you know that the western diet has also thrown the sodium to potassium ratio out to lunch? Those with high blood pressure should be aware and learn more about it.
Based on the Omega 3-6 ratio and the relationship with sodium and potassium I’m convinced that it is the different ratios that are important. I still have much to learn on this subject… but then it has only been 270 days.
I really enjoy my exercise routine. Lift heavy, sprint occasionally and walk. I’m really getting into shape and on less than 20 minutes a week. What can’t you like about that?
I started with 1 rep static holds. My bench press went from 185 lbs to 425 lbs. My squat went from 245 lbs to 575 lbs. My dead lift went from 295 lbs to 555 lbs. My high intensity training took about 60 seconds a week. (Adjusting the weights kept me I the gym for about 30 minutes but my actual time under load was under 1 minute.)
In November I changed to the big 5. These are range of motion exercises but I time myself rather than counting reps. My performance improved when I cut it back from five exercises to 3. My best increase was with the leg press. It is important to note that I was only doing the one lower body exercise. I went from 360 lbs for 53 seconds to 630 lbs for 56 seconds. My high intensity training was now taking about 180 seconds a week. I almost broke into a sweat once or twice.
I’m taking my strength and conditioning to a new level of study. It can be broken down into three parts. The first is muscle growth. This is achieved by applying techniques that through sequential stimulation causes inroading. This is micro trauma at the cellular level. If correctly applied and allowing time to adapt it will create the body to grow more muscle tissue.
The second is synaptic facilitation. As Pavel Tsatsouline puts it… “Grease the Groove”. This is about using intense stimulation to strengthen the nerve impulses to the muscles to make them more efficient. The key to these stimuli is repetition with light to moderate weights.
The third is fascia recoil. The fascia wraps our muscle tissue. It can focus energy and momentum to make us stronger. While much research is going into the fascia for curing discomfort in the muscles and joints I see it as a means to greatly increase functional and explosive strength.
The breakdown into these types of training is in its infancy. I see how muscle growth and applying synaptic facilitation to everyday life skills will greatly enhance a person’s life. Fascia recoil helps us with explosive strength. I’ve a lot more to develop on this theory… but then it has only been 270 days.
As I continue this primal trek I need to maintain what got me this far. I will continue to research and apply my newfound knowledge in balancing my nutrients… 80% of the time.
I should walk more… but I’ll continue to do my high intensity resistance training once a week. I’m presently applying the new Max Pyramid protocol. I’m doing one upper body and one lower body exercise a week. This protocol should increase my high intensity training to a maximum of… gosh… it might hit 6 minutes a week. Will I handle the shock?
I personally want to thank Mark for MDA and his book The Primal Blueprint. I also want to thank the members of the forum. You have been excellent sources of information, ideas and support.
I just love your book and website! I’ve been Primal since approx. March 5th and preparing for our city’s annual 12k race. Well, today was the race and I finished in 1hr:5mins, which is a record for me and a 8.71 minute mile, which I never was able to do before when I lived on bread, pasta and tons of sugary foods and drinks. I know that my time and my energy level during training and in the race is from adopting the Primal lifestyle. My energy levels have soared, and I no longer experience the energy dips that my coworkers and friends do. THANK YOU for all you do for everyone and a personal thanks for helping me do so well in my race and I have confidence in my performance in other races that I will do this summer.
I was born in 1966 and will turn 44 in December. I am 5’6″ and at my heaviest, I was 170 lbs. I realized this was unhealthy but did not know of a better way than what conventional wisdom taught. Every time I tried to eat whole grains and smaller portions, I would get hungry and as we know, hunger ALWAYS wins. My problem was sugar and carbs – too much of it. I wore size 34″ waist pants. Today I am 148 lbs which works out to a 13% loss of bodyweight. My latest pant size is 28″. My resting heart rate is 58 bpm. My blood pressure went from 130/80 to 105/70. You have already seen my blood work from January 2010.
My introduction to Primal Living was by way of Art Devany’s Evolutionary Fitness website (before it turned into a subscription site) when I was searching about a certain way to execute a golf shot. While Art’s information struck a chord within me, I did not find sufficient examples illustrating the implementation of Primal principles.
Researching more of this landed me on Marksdailyapple.com. Thanks to the writers and editors of this website, Marksdailyapple.com is the perfect blend of information. Detailed enough to be rich, aptly illustrated with captivating color photos yet not so academic that it is beyond my scope of apprehension. A superlative balance that is hard to achieve.
On October 23, 2009, my wife and I decided to change the way we ate and embrace Primal Principles. We now order organic produce and meats which is delivered to our house once a week. We try to abstain from all wheat and sugar. We really watch our refined carbs while freely dining on veggies and meats with fruits in moderation. Even though I am not a diabetic, I monitor my blood glucose levels to see the effects of certain foods, post-prandial changes and exercise.
If you look on my Facebook account you will find some good pictures of primal\paleo food I cook using a pressure cooker, slow cooker and cast iron pan complete with recipes:
I have friends from the UK to Australia who try these recipes! LOL.
I’ll attach some food\recipe pics (click the thumbnails to enlarge) so you have an idea what in the Facebook albums:
My name is J.J. Valdivia and I am a 24 year old personal trainer down in Miami, Florida. First and foremost, I cannot thank you enough for the impact that your book and website have made on my life. I have been Primal now for almost one year and I am in the best shape of my life! I am 5’11, 165 lbs and carry around 6% body fat. Before discovering the Primal Blueprint I hovered at around 10-12% body fat and weighed in at around 175-180 pounds. All this considering I now exercise less than I ever have my entire life! I used to train six days a week religiously. I would alternate between one day of 1 hour circuit weight training and another day of 1 hour chronic cardio. I would count each and every calorie and needless to say I was miserable. I have always been into “health and fitness” and I was convinced that I was doing everything right, or so I thought. Constant overtraining mixed with a high carb, low fat diet led to binge eating on the weekends and a continuous cycle that led nowhere. I was always starving even though I was eating 5-6 small meals a day! Not only that, but I looked exactly the same and saw no results. That was one year ago…
Today I lift heavy weights three days a week, usually no longer than 35 minutes. I sprint once a week, and I do low level aerobic activity anywhere from 2-5 hours a week. I also eat only 2-3 times a day and I feel fantastic!
I became Primal about a month after I became a personal trainer, last May. (So June of last year) The company that I work for is an amenity management company and we are contracted to manage several corporate and residential fitness facilities throughout the east coast. I was hired to work for Royal Caribbean Cruises. I work in their corporate gym and I train a lot of their employees. The first thing that I do before I start training a new client is tell them to buy The Primal Blueprint. (Well, actually, the first thing I do is explain to them that yes, what I wear on my feet are indeed shoes and that yes, I exercise in them!) I then explain to them that my style of training and my understanding of health is based upon everything that they will read in that book. If they follow what is inside, they will acheive the results they desire. I explain to them that body composition is 80% what you eat, and 20 percent training and genetics. My clients are exercising much less than the other trainer’s clients but are seeing greater results! Needless to say, there are over 20 Royal Caribbean employees that have bought the book and are living according to the Primal Blueprint Laws, each one of them with their own success story. Thank you for everything Mark. I am truly grateful for the the change you have made in my life and in those of my clients. No matter what, I will continue to live the Primal lifestyle and lead others in reprogramming their genes!