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

Patience… Persistence… Promise…

dedicatedBelieve it or not, we’re rounding the corner on our 30 Day Primal Challenge! It’s been an unbelievable few weeks of stories, support and success. (If you think we’ve motivated you along the way, just know you’ve done the same for us in our work. This is why we love what we do!) Tomorrow Mark will offer the official congrats and message for moving forward. Today, however, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on the past month – your past month to be exact. Once you were here, on board, what got you through (e.g. a good friend, faith, fear, humor)? What did you find in yourself along the way? Are you looking forward yet? Every reader, as we saw in last week’s incredible posts, has a unique story, but we thought we’d tease out a few common threads. Let us know what you think.

Patience

We’re used to having it our way and having it now. Our culture is increasingly about expediency. Too many of us want the “easy button,” the quick fix, the simple pill prescription, the “after” shot when we’ve barely begun to see the “before” for what it really is. Patience is an endangered virtue these days, and our collective health suffers for it. We’d argue, however, that the Challenge – and healthy living overall – requires and fosters genuine patience.

We mean, particularly, patience with yourself and the process. It takes time and consideration to bring real change into your life. It takes patience and fortitude to direct your life through a new vision, to put into practice new revelations and routines. And that’s what the Challenge has been about: rewriting the script of your daily life – not just making some casual substitutions but patiently plotting out a whole new trajectory.

Persistence

In those tracks you’ve set a pattern of persistence. Your efforts toward consistency have been physical, mental and logistical. Sure, the 30 Day Challenge is just the beginning when you compare it to the span of a lifetime, but it’s nothing to shake a stick at either. Whether you began the Challenge with a decidedly resolute or nonchalant attitude, you’ve ended up practicing diligence, found staying power throughout these few weeks. You started the month perhaps taking up a 30 Day “trial,” but in the meantime you’ve laid down a foundation for something much bigger, more lasting.

Whether you know it or not, you’ve been through the most difficult part. As you imagine beyond the 30 day horizon, keep in mind that for most people it only gets easier from here on out. Maybe you’ve experienced some setbacks along the way, but make no mistake: you’ve worn in the grooves of a new lifestyle. Have you thought about the natural ease of staying in those grooves, the opportunity your current momentum provides? An object in motion tends to stay in motion. How about persisting? How about keepin’ on keepin’ on? Our advice: don’t backtrack and have to start all over again.

Promise

Perhaps you committed to the Challenge with enthusiasm for the finite span, the hoopla, the prizes, the extra support. But as you find yourself at the end now, consider where it’s taken you. The Challenge has, ultimately, been your journey, and you’ve likely seen a few ups and downs – but more than likely a lightening of the load over time. You’ve put in the time, the patience, the persistence, but have you noticed along the way that it’s taken less of those along the way? The ultimate promise of the PB is, of course, the health and vitality it offers. However, as many PBers can attest to, it doesn’t take long before the PB just feels like normal life. The promise also encompasses this: the patience and perseverance you pay upfront constitute an investment with continual return. Know this: there comes a time when you will find yourself just living the Blueprint instead of planning and thinking about it all the time, but you’ll be benefiting each step of the way.

Can we say it now? Thirty days is just the beginning. Maybe this challenge was the kick start you needed to create real change for your life. Don’t let up now. If you’ve seen real change in thirty days, think for a moment what you could do in sixty days, in ninety days, in a whole year. Recall the stories of other readers last week and imagine what you might have to say with a few more months under your belt.

Think of how far you’ve come in these weeks. Where do you find yourself now? Where do you see yourself down the road from your new vantage point?

Have other thoughts to add from your own retrospectives? What has the month meant to you personally? We’ll see you for the big wrap-up tomorrow!

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’m just glad to find out how many people are as enthusiastic about Primal living as I am. And the varying degrees with which people convert. I’m still at the basic level of cutting carbs and eating more healthy fats, but I’m excited to work my way up to dropping all artificial sweeteners and switching to grass fed. Grok on!

    Furious Mittens wrote on August 31st, 2009
  2. My favorite part was getting my family involved. They aren’t 100% there yet, but they started to believe me that this was the best way to live and even started seeing some beneficial changes. It was/is so rewarding to bring the people I care most about towards a healthier life. It took some time and patience to get them started, but now we are all just rolling with it!

    Jane wrote on August 31st, 2009
  3. Have not had a beer in a while, last fudge cookie I had was 8 days ago then I also lost two pounds.

    I have recommitted myself to this lifestyle, thank you Mark.

    ohiolopez wrote on August 31st, 2009
  4. It has been amazing to see the transformational stories, and to watch the superb videos extolling simple, but effective workout routines and delicious primal recipes.

    Looking back on my own progress of going primal over the past year, I’m continually struck by the huge degree to which total systemic inflammation was a part of my daily life. I can’t even conceive of going back to the grain-based, industrial vegetable oil diet I used to consume. It feels like looking back on a stranger in a strange land when I think back to my old self. I feel like I’ve divorced my old self and fallen in love with my new self. Hello new self!

    Aaron Blaisdell wrote on August 31st, 2009
  5. Well, I’ve done what I’ve set out to do (except achieve shaved-ice perfection; I’ll have to do that today), but I don’t know if I really feel transformed. I definitely feel inspired, though. This September, I will challenge myself to following Daily Fitness Solution’s workout suggestions at least four days a week.

    GeriMorgan wrote on August 31st, 2009
  6. I’m already noticing changes. We don’t have a scale in the house (yet – it’s on the way because my husband wants one now), but my blood sugar is behaving itself, more or less. I’m getting used to being full on far less food, and not feeling deprived (which still startles me!). And I’m pretty sure that I have wheat allergy and/or gluten intolerance, because now when I encounter a wheat product, my bowel flares back up. I used to have horrible IBS. It’s pretty much gone.

    We’ve emptied our pantry of pasta and canned legumes and canned corn, given it to a friend who wanted it all (although I feel guilty about that) and now there’s space for my jars of coconut oil and our bags of almond flour and coconut flour. For the first time in my life, I’m really paying attention to how food affects me. Like Aaron above, I have had inflammatory problems for most of my life; my rheumatoid arthritis hasn’t flared since the day I started this, which is a record for me. I’m thinking if I go four months without a flare, I’m going to donate my powered wheelchair to the school’s disability services department (I use a wheelchair on campus due to bad advice from doctors).

    For September, my Primal challenges will be to maintain a low blood sugar and walk at least a mile most days (which shouldn’t be hard on campus) – so I’m going to buy a pedometer. I’m also asking a friend who lifts weights to show me proper form for lifting so I don’t injure myself, and that should be happening in the next day or two, and then I can start Lifting Heavy Things.

    Thank you for this website and your book, Mark. It’s exactly what the doctor should order.

    Griff wrote on August 31st, 2009
    • I feel really bad about giving away the grainy foods too… a friend called me up needing rice and I gave her ALL of the rice I had left.

      I was SO HAPPY to learn that she needed it to absorb moisture from her phone (which her son had taken swimming with him) and not to eat. hahahaha.

      FlyNavyWife wrote on August 31st, 2009
  7. This month was a great way to concentrate on my new lifestyle more completely. I have enjoyed a month of more activity, more energy and overall better health. I am excited to keep working at it and though I know I will have setbacks, as I have throughout the month, I also know that I can overcome and rise above them. Thanks Mark and Team for challenging us to take things to the next level!!

    Kelli wrote on August 31st, 2009
  8. Perseverance. It is so important to remember that permanent change can sometimes take time. Thank you! :)

    fritchbeetle wrote on August 31st, 2009
  9. What I think this month has shown is that what seemed like a huge change wasn’t a big deal. In the past month, I’ve gotten lighter, leaner, stronger and faster, and I’ve done it without feeling deprived or feeling run down.

    I had exactly one cheat for the whole month and that was something I planned in advance, not some spur-of-the-moment loss of control.

    As much as I love bread and potatoes, I’m simply changing my thought processes towards them, and finding that I can eat well without them.

    Plus, the flexibility of meals and eating is fantastic. No pre-planning of six meals. Just eat when you’re hungry, eat the right foods in reasonable quantities, and repeat as necessary.

    I did no deliberate IF this month, but a few times, I went 14-16 hours without food and it wasn’t a big deal.

    dml wrote on August 31st, 2009
  10. Slightly off topic of the post, but I just saw this article – http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/best-packaged-foods-for-women?cat=15629.

    I found the “health claims” listed with each packaged/processed food highly amusing and thought I would pass it along. It really shows how corporations are shaping what Americans think healthy is.

    Alisa - Frugal Foodie wrote on August 31st, 2009
  11. I have always been in good health but open minded person that I am, finding out about the primal lifestyle made such good sense that I jumped right in. I can always be better, right?

    For some odd reason changing my diet from 36 years of being a vegetarian to primal has been no big deal for me. Oh yeah, except for all the grease and periodic freak outs over raw bloody meat. But otherwise it seems very easy to eat primal. Much to my surprise, I am not the least bit interested in grains anymore.

    I have dropped 7 lbs as a side benefit and am not hungry all the time as I was when I was vegetarian.

    The exercise videos have been especially inspiring to me. Since I am now working on my 70th year, I can only envy the young strong bodies in the videos.

    However, newly inspired that I am, after a hike this morning I ran up a reasonably long steep hill on the way home. I am looking forward to many more hills. I also have been jump-roping and lifting more heavy things is on my agenda.

    This month has been a win-win situation. A great marketing idea for MDA and I’m sure an inspiring and bonding experience for you all as well as us.

    I am always impressed by the intelligence, good humor and support this site and it’s members provide. Thanks all. This month has been a blast.

    Sharon wrote on August 31st, 2009
  12. I think I have made strides in the right direction. There is lots of room for improvement, but my consumption of other grains (I was already gluten-free) and sugar has been nearly eliminated. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that this was easier than I thought. The nice part is that I don’t feel like quitting. In fact, the thought of the challenge ending is kind of disappointing, but I have no thoughts of ending this journey and I look forward to adding the other components as I continue.

    Laurie Donaldson wrote on August 31st, 2009
  13. Great blog post!

    I think one thing that I am really struggling to learn in patience. It’s been a long, long, long road and there are some days where I just want to be “done.” I guess what I’ve had to realize is that I’ll never be “done.” Instead I have to enjoy my life (and my body) as it is, right now, not what it might be. It’s not perfect, but it’s better, and for that I’m blessed.

    How do you eat an elephant?

    One bite at a time.

    So goes the Primal lifestyle. Taking it one bite at a time. :)

    Diana Renata wrote on August 31st, 2009
  14. Mark, thank you so much for hosting this challenge. I was already getting into the primal way before the challenge started, but once it got rolling I was more motivated to jump in with both feet, especially with the fitness aspects.

    It’ll only get better from here, too!

    I’m ordering a jump rope tomorrow (none of the store I checked out had adult ones so I have to order it online) which I’m super-excited about, and might make some homemade primal workout equipment too. Mmm….heavy things.

    FlyNavyWife wrote on August 31st, 2009
  15. This is a great post and I too have to agree with Diana about patience. Sometimes you just want results faster than physically possible…but mentally I think it’s helpful that it happens slowly.
    The lifestyle never ends and thank god for that, how rewarding it is to live this way!

    Dollface wrote on August 31st, 2009
  16. Honestly, it’s been a bit of a frustrating month. My weight went down, then back up again (despite going to very low carb) and I sprained my ankle one day after signing up for a 15K charity race (I’m hoping to be be able to run it as it’s not until December, but I have a pain in my foot as well).

    On the plus side, my skin looks better, I do look a bit leaner and I’ve stayed away from ice cream, chocolate and other naughties (I already eschewed grains). I’ve cut carbs right down, even to the point of reducing my veggies to see if I could induce some good old fat burning ketosis. My energy is good now, in spite of this, so I feel I’ve achieved something.

    I’m off to Korea and Japan on Saturday for a holiday, so it’ll be a challenge to maintain the low carb lifestyle, but I’ll do what I can.

    Indiscreet wrote on September 1st, 2009
  17. I’ve been pretty primal since the beginning of the year anyway but this challenge has been a fun way to look at the way I eat with new eyes. I didn’t change much since I was already grain-free, sugar-free, PUFA oils free, processed food free. But I got to try some new things. I also bumped up my carbs some which made eating a bit more varied. I’d been trying to keep them under 30g for most of the year. But since I had not lost any weight doing so I decided to see if bumping them *up* a bit did anything, and I’m now more in the 50-70g/daily range.

    Still not sure of the answer since that did not cause a weight loss either. In fact I finished the month a half pound higher than I had begun it. My eating plan still continues to be the “triumph of hope over experience”. But I’ve certainly enjoyed other people’s stories.

    Debbie wrote on September 1st, 2009

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