The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate...
Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
Earlier this month, a reader posed a fantastic question that prompted today’s post. It was long, so I’ll give the choice bits rather than quote the entire thing:
Where do I start? I’d be interested in seeing your opinion on the relative impact of various primal lifestyle changes… Eating “clean” would be a 10, etc… but what about subtler things like sprinting, IF, quality sleep, sunlight, and play… So I guess I’m asking you to write on a 30,000ft level, how all these things interplay and what their relative contributions are to overall wellness.
Where does one start indeed?
The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge is over. It’s back to regularly scheduled programming, which means no more contests, prizes, call-outs, or blatantly inspirational posts meant to motivate you to greatness (instead, I’ll resume surreptitiously encouraging you to greatness). I’m going to miss it, but 21 days is about the limit for this type of thing. A challenge wears out its welcome eventually.
The best part of the Challenge is releasing contests, then sitting back and watching the content roll in. Your creativity keeps me going. Your enthusiasm sustains me. And your recipe videos make me salivate.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering 11 questions. I answer questions about nutrient deficiencies and tremors, breastfeeding on the 21-Day Primal Blueprint Challenge, cheating without apparent consequences, sun exposure without vitamin D, maintaining insulin sensitivity, going high protein, recovering from a labral tear, going 90/10 vs. 80/20, black beans vs. potatoes, why I chose to live in Malibu, and recovering minerals lost to glycogen depletion.
It’s hard to believe we’re already midway through the 21-Day Challenge. How is everyone faring? What effects are you noticing? Where have you found your successes and your stumbling blocks?
What’s motivating you right now? How do you feel yourself settling into the practices you’ve adopted since the first day? Even if you’ve experienced some wavering (that’s no reason to abandon the venture, you know), what brings you back to the center of your intention? How do you reclaim the moment?
Reclaim the moment…. A rather powerful concept. It reminds us that—at any time—we can realign ourselves with the now. Moving our attention from the past (regret) or the future (pessimism, anxiety), we claim the potential of the present. We apply ourselves mindfully. In possessing the moment, we achieve self-possession.
But let me be clear. This isn’t some mental game. This is how success happens. Now…and now. Applying mindful observation to our sensations, to the environment’s feedback, to our own string of thoughts—without getting sucked into side stories about what we should think about them—this is where self-empowerment resides. Health research concurs.
Not every challenge has to be massive. Not every action item needs to take you to the promised land of optimal health and body composition. Sometimes, you just want a writer you trust to devise a list of potential little mini-challenges, short self-experiments, and approachable action items.
This is that list. Browse it. Jump around. See what resonates. Then get moving, and make them happen. I’m partial to 1, 5, 9, 13, 19, 20, 22, 26, and 30. But I’m sure whichever you choose will help you succeed this year.
I’m a type A personality, so setting and attaining goals comes naturally to me. I desire a thing, determine the steps necessary to attain it, and follow through. It’s how I work best. Thanks to some timely comments from my decidedly un-type-A wife, Carrie, I’ve realized something: much of my advice is unwittingly geared toward people with similar inclinations.
But that doesn’t describe everyone. What about the rest of you? What about the slow burners and dreamers? The free spirits? When it comes to achieving a vision, what characterizes and organizes your process from desire to attainment?