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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...

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September 11, 2012

Starting from Zero

By Mark Sisson
138 Comments

With yesterday’s launch of this year’s Primal Challenge, I hope you’re all feeling as pumped and excited as I am. Whatever your biggest goal coming into it (e.g. weight loss, stress management, fitness performance), you’re in great company. Thousands of readers every year find the annual Challenge a powerful catalyst for transforming their well-being. Having made the initial commitment, we’re now on the journey itself. This is where the rubber meets the road, folks. Rush turns to focus. Vision becomes reality one day at a time. For some readers, however, staring down the path might seem especially long and arduous. The road side, so to speak, might be littered with the psychological scraps of past disappointments, long-term illness, or emotional issues. Some folks can feel like they’re starting their journey from a formidable zero.

You might be in the worst shape of your life. You might be tipping the scale at an all-time high. You might be fighting a serious health condition you never dreamed you’d encounter. You may have battled disordered eating. You might not remember when/if you ever had a good self-image. My good readers, how many of you felt this way before going Primal? A good percentage of our Friday Success Stories tell this story. An inspiring number of our 2012 Success Stories in the Making reflect the same.

In all my years talking with clients and readers, I’ve heard people often say they’re starting from zero, from rock bottom, with no baseline at all. I understand where they were coming from. Everyone is beginning this journey with a different level of fitness and health. I get that. Yet, I have never in my entire career met anyone starting with nothing. The concept defies physiological reality.

You might get winded walking up half a flight of stairs. You may have lost significant muscle mass. You might struggle to simply sit with (let alone carry) around the extra 50, 75, or 100+ pounds you’ve put on. However, your body is still made to move. It still craves it. I ran across a quote recently “If you have a body, you’re an athlete.” I’d second that. It’s feels harder to train at times, but – make no mistake – living and breathing within you is that pure physical force, that Primal Grok, that evolutionary extraordinaire. Choosing to live Primally – with the right fuel, the expected movement, the necessary sleep and sun – simply allows you to live out the full measure of that vital potential.

And let me say something else about one’s “baseline.” When beginning a journey like this, baseline is about much more than VO2 max, mile time, bench press weight, or lipid profile. Numbers don’t tell your story, and they don’t determine your prospects for success. Think for a minute about what else you bring to the Challenge. What about the motivational power? What about the emotional stamina? What about the social strength of friends, family, and Primal community? What about the force of full-on personal investment or raw will? Those count for something. In fact, those often count for everything. Your physical baseline determines the particular level you start from, but it doesn’t define the trajectory of your journey or the fulfillment of your experience along the way.

Along these lines, let me offer a few suggestions and invite each and every one of our readers to give their own perspective and encouragement.

Invest in Support

As you begin the Challenge, make sure you’re taking full advantage of the support system you have. Not everyone in your life is on board with the Primal Blueprint, it’s true. Regardless, look to those in your life who bring a Primally sympathetic or just open mindset. Some friends, even if they can’t understand why you’re eating so much fat, will support you because they want to simply celebrate any investment you make in your health and happiness. Embrace that. Open yourself to the support of folks in this community. Participate in the comment boards, join the forum, and you’ll see what I mean. Finally, if you feel like past issues like disordered eating still have a grip on you, enlist the professional help you need and deserve.

Develop Big Picture Perspective

Sometimes people get caught up in a particular goal and lose sight of the full process. Embrace daily Primal living and not just specific Challenge goals. (For some people, this might be an important Challenge focus itself.) Going Primal will get you to the destination you have in mind, but it’s not the deprivation-focused, white-knuckle experience you might be used to. Use the Challenge to transform your life as well as you physiology. Relish the myriad of benefits going Primal offers. It’s more than the weight loss and lean muscle mass. Notice the better quality sleep, the more even mood, the sharper focus, the more consistent energy in your day. On that note…

Prioritize Feeling Good (Primally Speaking) Every Day

You’re making a point of eating real, ancestral-worthy food, of adding an exercise regimen. Rest assured, you’re remaking your physiology in the process. You will absolutely reap the benefits long before this Challenge is over. But also make a point of doing something (or several things) that make you feel good today. These healthy “indulgences” can help get you through a rough day of low carb flu or unexpected stress. Relax in the sun. Relish turning in early for a full night’s sleep. (Remember what that feels like?) Share a walk with a good friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Play. Enjoy an old hobby. Take a personal retreat. Make a masterpiece dinner and savor it in real ambiance. In other words, let yourself enjoy the process. Make the Challenge an indulgence as well as an investment in yourself. And make sure you have good Primal fun every day.

Grokkers, please chime in – whether you identify with the “starting from zero” or want to support those who do. What perspective and advice do you have? Thanks for reading today, everyone. Check back tomorrow for the 8 Key Concepts you need to understand for a successful Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge.

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138 Comments on "Starting from Zero"

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Charlayna
4 years 15 days ago

I definitely support anyone willing to try something new, including myself. I’m not starting from rock bottom–I’ve lost ~45lbs over the past couple years (not with primal, although many principles were the same).

My rock bottom was May 2010 when I weighed 275lbs on a 5′ 8.5″ female frame and had almost no energy to do anything.

Heather
Heather
4 years 15 days ago

Hi

Sorry don’t know where to post my question so here goes….. I dont eat legumes with the exception of fresh string green beans as they are great in soup and with raw butter. However is this Paelo or should I be avoiding them? I’ve just started reading your book but can’t locate an answer to my question.

Bill C
Bill C
4 years 14 days ago

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/are-peas-and-green-beans-healthy/

This site has a search bar, for future reference.

fritzy
fritzy
4 years 14 days ago

Go to the search at the top and type in green beans–Mark has discussed this before–says their OK and has even included them in several of the recipes in his cook books.

Tasha
4 years 15 days ago

I think it helps to pick some smaller goals sometimes, just as a day-to-day thing. Today, I am feeling pretty down, but I am going to make myself some applesauce to try with my homemade yogurt. Not only is making my own food totally Primal, it should be delicious! It’s also a way for me to start carefully reintroducing fruit into my diet after some severe Candida issues (cooked is easier for digestion).

Ben Hirshberg
4 years 15 days ago

I totally agree about picking smaller goals! If I need to tell myself I only will do two sprints to get myself out the door, then I tell myself I only need to do two sprints. Often times momentum will pick up, and I’ll end up exceeding my goal.

Shana
Shana
4 years 15 days ago

I’m not starting from zero either, but pretty close! I’ve fallen off the primal wagon and the challenge is just what I need to get right back on board. I support everyone willing to give it a shot, what do we have to lose?

Debi
Debi
4 years 15 days ago

In Oct.of 2010 is when I relised I was not the real me. I saw a 65 year old man who had droped down to what he called fighting weight. If he could do it so could I. I did I dropped down to 118 and I no longer hert all over. I stll am not as fit as I should be. But with the challenge I am going to make stides toward being more fit.

J. Delancy
4 years 15 days ago

Every success. I took a Minimalist approach to gaining weight and building muscle some years ago. I’ve periodically dropped off the wagon, but what keeps me motivated over the long-term is having females 20+ years younger check me out as I pass. I believe the same will happen for you.

All The Best

BonzoGal
BonzoGal
4 years 15 days ago

Today I shared with a co-worker/friend my Primal diet. She was kind of surprised by the “no grains” aspect, and I thought for sure she’d say something critical… but all she said was, “Eating more fat? That sounds… delicious!”

Patrice
4 years 15 days ago

I got the same reaction from my friends… More steak and fat please… why waste stomach space with pasta/ bread when you can enjoy more tasty things!

One thing that will help anyone starting on this road is to focus on achieving just 1 thing per day. Those small successes daily are habit forming, and a great way to build to bigger things!

Gift Clumsywarrior
4 years 14 days ago

Exactly what I love about paleo.. I LOVE FAT! I’m born to eat pork belly. I knew it from the first memory I had it.

Wendy
Wendy
4 years 15 days ago

Even though I’ve changed a lot since starting paleo two years ago, I start at zero every day. I have a long term plan, but I don’t think about it too much, I try to stay focused on today. My priorities change every day, sleep, movement, food. If I ignore what I need, I get the feedback pretty quick. I’m learning how to just live and not obsess. I’m liking the result.

Liz
Liz
4 years 15 days ago
I really like this: “I start at zero every day. I have a long term plan, but I don’t think about it too much, I try to stay focused on today. My priorities change every day, sleep, movement, food. If I ignore what I need, I get the feedback pretty quick. I’m learning how to just live and not obsess.” I started eating primally about a week and a half ago and this is exactly how I feel and want to approach my days. I have obsessed too much in the past. I need to pay attention to the simple… Read more »
Gift Clumsywarrior
4 years 14 days ago

I love that quote. Thanks for sharing!

Barb
Barb
4 years 7 days ago

Thank you for this perspective, Wendy. It has been very helpful to me.

MoodyGirl
MoodyGirl
4 years 15 days ago

I was at my all time high weight on July 1st and did 30 days of “pure” Primal – no cheating. I felt fantastic and by day 30 had lost 11 lbs and it was in ALL the “right places”. I’m enjoying every meal and my new size! I still have 2/3’s of the way to go to my goal weight. To anyone starting this 21 day challenge – If I can do this, YOU can do it! Signed, a former sugar junkie

MoodyGirl
MoodyGirl
4 years 15 days ago

Oh, and did I mention? My doc took me off the Blood Pressure meds I had been taking for 15 years!

J. Delancy
4 years 15 days ago

CONGRATULATIONS! A thousand fold MoodyGirl.

Sal77
Sal77
4 years 15 days ago

That’s really the dream — getting off these meds that have come with unfit middle age (in my case). Congratulations!

Steve 'Caveman' V.
Steve 'Caveman' V.
4 years 15 days ago

I’m definitely starting from zero. Well, I’ve made serious progress over the past 45 days, but, when compared to the damage I’ve done over the past 35 years, I’ve got a LONG way to go. Although I started eating and exercising primally last month, I’m using this challenge to make sure that I continue on the right path while incorporating ALL of the aspects of the primal lifestyle. Good luck to all. Must go eat fish now.

Mike P
Mike P
4 years 15 days ago

I think the concept of ‘starting from zero’ can be a relative one. My family and I just recently finished relocating a few states away, and the subsequenty stress, bad eating, bad sleeping that accompanied that time period. I am ‘starting from zero’ now to continue to improve my health. Is today’s zero better off than the zero years back? Absolutely. I probably weight 225 [at 6’2]. I used to weight 305.

I know I am better off, but the concept of ‘starting anew’ is a powerful one and I continue to use it as life throws me challenges.

Dally
Dally
4 years 15 days ago

I read this blog via an RSS feed on Livejournal. If anyone else on Livejournal wants to connect with me as we do this challenge I’m at Gwendally.livejournal.com.

Ravey
Ravey
4 years 15 days ago
My rock bottom was 314 pounds as a 5’2″ female, not fitting into cars, chairs, bathroom stalls, airplaine seats, breaking toilet seats and no longer fitting into clothes even from the “Big girl” stores. I couldn’t tie my own shoes, put on my own socks or lift my hands above shoulder level. I sent other family members to the back of the grocery store to get milk because it was too far for me to walk. I’m now 139 pounds and getting fitter and stronger every single day. There is nothing special about me. I’m as ordinary as they come.… Read more »
Ravey
Ravey
4 years 15 days ago

For those that think that they are too far down the wrong path and there’s no way back, here’s a thought:

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today. It is NEVER too late to make a positive change.

Patrick
4 years 15 days ago

Amazing! I’m very happy for you Ravey!

TaiChiHolly
TaiChiHolly
4 years 15 days ago

That’s amazing! Congrats

oxide
oxide
4 years 15 days ago

Please please please submit a Success Story!!

Beth
Beth
4 years 13 days ago

+1

Joe
Joe
4 years 6 days ago

Great job. Wow down to 139 lbs. Awesome!! I’m really thinking of doing the primal diet now after reading this. I have had the book for several months now but haven’t stuck with it.I’m going to start the journey.

Jennifer
Jennifer
3 years 11 months ago

Ravey,
That is awesome!! I have a co-worker that we are all so worried about (fits what you had described above) and I wish there was some way I could encourage her to try something, but I feel like she really needs to want to lose the weight and get healthy and she is not there! BTW, I have been primal since May 2012! Down 30 pounds and feel amazing!

Z.E.S.T.
Z.E.S.T.
4 years 15 days ago
Hey Mark (and all others here), for 6 years I have struggled with an eating disorder. I went Primal for a good 8 months, hoping that that would help, that it would change things. Though I loved eating Primal, my mindset still became utterly restrictive and eating disordered. After adding some grains back in to my diet and gaining the necessary weight, I want to try and change my diet to what feels good for my body–but I still question if it is good for my mind. Have you ever encountered anyone else who has such a question? What did… Read more »
BonzoGal
BonzoGal
4 years 15 days ago

Z.E.S.T., I’d recommend the book “Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection” by Jessica Prentice. She advocates for a whole-food diet (based on the Weston Price Foundation precepts). She had eating disorders most of her life and writes about healing herself both physically and mentally with a high-fat, whole-food diet.

Z.E.S.T.
Z.E.S.T.
4 years 14 days ago

Thank you!

Matt Dyck
Matt Dyck
4 years 15 days ago
I reached zero on the day my daughter was born. Looking back, I was swollen and looked unhappy in pictures. I decided to make a dramatic change. While I didn’t follow Mark’s specific plan, I did follow a similar low-carb diet (as promoted by Gary Taubes). I had dramatic results.. within 2 months I was down over 40 lbs with little exercise. My teeth were healthier, I had no more gas or bloating, I had more sustained energy, I managed to lose a persistent hand rash, and (most importantly) I was no longer a grizzly-bear when I hadn’t eaten within… Read more »
alex
alex
4 years 15 days ago

In a way we’re all starting from zero when you consider the benefits even the “conventionally ” healthy get from changing this to this frame work.

If you come from thinking bodybuilders are good models of health you’ve got lots of muscle but you’re starting from zero.

If you come from thinking Marathoners are good models of health you’ve got lots of stamina but you’re starting from zero.

I’ve been studying and practising this stuff for the last two year and I start everyday at zero.

Matt Meeks
4 years 15 days ago

Thanks for the reminder that this is about lifestyle change, not just meeting big goals! I’ve been struggling with getting my eating back on track and letting anxiety get to me. Time to focus on living Primal and feeling good today, rather than on the remaining 60 lbs I need to lose.

Timothy
4 years 15 days ago
Almost three years ago, I started at zero, or close to it. It was exhilirating, because there was nowhere to go but up! I had tried to get healthy before, but didn’t really know what I was doing. The Primal Blueprint changed all that. Just live like your ancestors! This simplified everything and gave me total confidence. It wasn’t long before I started reaping the rewards, which kept me motivated to this day. Even now I feel like a beginner. And I hope never to lose that feeling! When you are just starting out, any change is possible, and every… Read more »
Sal77
Sal77
4 years 15 days ago

That’s an inspiring post, thank you.

jrVegantoPrimal
jrVegantoPrimal
4 years 15 days ago
My rock bottom was in 2005, after my father passed away from cancer, I continued with my poor lifestyle habits in excess, the same ones that took his life. As a 5’8″ small frame person who graduated high school at 150 lbs, I had ballooned up to 205 pounds of pure fat, no muscle. I had just purchased a puppy and while I was chasing her around the yard, i felt my heart start pounding in a way I had never felt before, I was short of breath, had tingling in my head, felt dizzy and though I was going… Read more »
HeyDianne
4 years 15 days ago

You have already become a fellow Grokker!
Welcome!

jrVegantoPrimal
jrVegantoPrimal
4 years 15 days ago

well i haven’t yet consumed any meat, but soon i think. so i guess i’m “gatherer grok” right now haha! one of these days, i just need to build up some courage.

Ham-Bone
Ham-Bone
4 years 14 days ago
jrVegantoPrimal
jrVegantoPrimal
4 years 14 days ago
@Ham-Bone I really appreciate the link. I read the article and almost all of the comments. Since I haven’t been on this diet for even a year, I don’t think much of it applies to me. I’m trying to think of what is causing my hesitation and honestly I can’t really identify one particular thing. But for the most part, I have actually experienced many health benefits over the last 8 months of being a vegan. Granted my previous diet consisted of daily wheat, sodas, sugars, breads, cereals, milk, cheese and meats, and by eliminating all of them I was… Read more »
Dave Heaslett
Dave Heaslett
4 years 15 days ago

Right, take it one day at a time. Now is what we have and we can make changes now. I started today with a great walk with the dog, and then a session of LHT. I feel great this am. All I needed to do was get up and walk out the door. Griz (the dog)was thrilled to go for walk with me.

peggy
peggy
4 years 15 days ago

I start every single day with walkin the dogs 🙂 Isn’t it a grand & glorious way to begin each day?

Sarah
4 years 15 days ago

I do too! Somedays I don’t feel like going, but I am ALWAYS glad I do. And my dog loves it :).

jrVegantoPrimal
jrVegantoPrimal
4 years 14 days ago

I’ve started to add in some short sprints to our walk. My pooch is getting a little old and I think the running helps her arthritis. Although sometimes she won’t follow me and gives me a funny look!!!

Alison Golden
4 years 15 days ago

Baby steps, many of them, add up to long distances. Compare progress month-on-month, year-on-year, not day-to-day or meal-to-meal.

Ed
4 years 15 days ago

I agree that we need to take baby steps for any significant life change. Jumping in feet first can cause frustration and the abandoning of promising programs and structures. When it comes to changing a lifestyle that is the only way to go!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
4 years 15 days ago

I’m down 50 lbs from my rock bottom. I loathed looking into the mirror and seeing a bloated, tired, inflammed blob; a complete 180 from my younger days. Life happens and it is really easy to make bad food/health decisions, which compound over time. I no longer use weight as a set metric, but I think I have at least another 30 lbs to before I add on lean muscle. Any one can do this!

skeedaddy
skeedaddy
4 years 15 days ago

When you do take up dumbell curls be sure to use the Ron Burgandy “count” 1001… 1002… 1003…

JackieVB
JackieVB
4 years 15 days ago
For me I learned to turn the ‘negative’ emotion of disgust with myself into exactly what I needed for motivation. It felt like starting from zero because it was my rock bottom as it were. I realized for quite a while that I was sliding into bad habits and poor health, but with all the pep-talks I had with myself and positive affirmations posted on my mirror, it wasn’t until I was truly disgusted with myself that I said “That’s it, I’m not going to let this take over my life. I’m going to live my life to the fullest… Read more »
Mamachibi
Mamachibi
4 years 15 days ago

I’ve done a 30-day challenge before and gained 5 pounds on an already 100 pound overweight frame. I SO want this to work, it’s a life I can get my brain around, so I’m putting the “but” behind me and going full on one more time.

hilarydanette
hilarydanette
4 years 15 days ago

Hey, you can do it! I’ve been Primal for 38 days. I haven’t lost any weight, but I had some lab work done and the diet change is reflected in my blood work/cholesterol. Please don’t get discouraged. There might be changes happening that aren’t reflected on the scale!

Mamachibi
Mamachibi
4 years 14 days ago

My doctor is having a COW about my lab work. It’s gotten worse and she’s pushing pills at me. Not gonna happen. So far the only changes I’ve seen are that I LIKE the food! And at my age, better to enjoy the food than spend an hour plus every day weighing, measuring and counting calories (did that for MANY years.)

Tana
Tana
4 years 15 days ago

I am also not starting from scratch, have lost 60 pounds since December eating Primal, but I have slid off it lately. My goal is to get back in the Primal eating and the heck with those who say they are concerned that I will die of a heart attack before I am 40!

DEBRAKADABRA
DEBRAKADABRA
4 years 15 days ago
The timing of this 21 day challenge is perfect to get me to refocus on healthy living. I have been all over the place lately caring for everyone else but myself. Time to refocus on what my priorities are, and the life that I want to live. To be the best that I can be also. It’s a beautiful sunny day. I have been procrastinating on exercising for 3 weeks. ENOUGH – DAY 1 of 21: I am going to start the challenge with an hour bike ride, with tons of oxygenating, with taking in the sun,and with lots of… Read more »
Lars T.
Lars T.
4 years 15 days ago

I’m 39 and in ways I feel like I’m starting anew. I’ve been Primal for a few years now, but I’ve recently quit some bad habits that will have a tremendous positive impact on my health and happiness.

No matter what it is, or from where you start, you can take a positive step.

At times I envy the folks that discovered primal living in their 20s, but there’s nothing I can do about it.

I can only measure against myself, and what progress I’ve made.
Good luck everyone!

Lars

Jen
Jen
4 years 15 days ago

Understand where you’re coming from Lars! Good luck to you too!

Kara
Kara
4 years 14 days ago

Lars,
I envy YOU for being Primal at 39!!

Signed,
Finding Primal at 60

Tanja
Tanja
4 years 15 days ago

Hi Mark. This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

Diane
Diane
4 years 15 days ago

It’s always better at the very beginning because the progress you make at the very beginning is always so much faster than when you further along.

Rachael
Rachael
4 years 15 days ago

While I’m not starting from a physical zero (by living Primally, I lost 70 pounds in the past year-ish post pregnancy – pretty proud of that), but I’m starting from an emotional zero. I’m doing this challenge to be healthier and to actually, intentionally care for myself. And, as this post suggests, this involves doing something “special” every day. This post was a good reminder that it’s not just about inches or pounds, it’s also about finding your joy and being content with who you are, even if you’re not exactly where you want to be.

Hassan
4 years 15 days ago

Another great post! For me, starting from zero means defining your purpose. If you are able to articulate your purpose and stay aligned with it, you will succeed. Its very simple but not easy and often overlooked. This simple but powerful first step propelled me to get in the best shape of my life. I gained almost 60lbs when I lost my purpose. I redefined my WHY? and have dropped 40lbs since then. I have made it my life’s mission to help others find their purpose and succeed.

fitmom
fitmom
4 years 15 days ago

Starting from zero & eating short ribs, sweet potatoes, olives & chicken, pate, tomatoes & peaches, dark chocolate, wine…then playing & sleeping? Sign me up!!

Starting from zero & resigning yourself to dry chicken breasts and yogurt w/splenda…torture. A grind.

Primal is not a grind. Its aligning your body, mind & spirit with all the stuff that makes us happy: play, sleep, amazing food. The fun stuff also happens to make us healthy. Good luck everyone!

fitmom
fitmom
4 years 15 days ago

My zero was having so many food allergies I couldn’t eat anything BUT primal: meat, some veggies, berries. Then I started feeling great. Really great. Lost 25 lbs, very slooowly, off my 5’2″ frame, but have gained a ton of good health markers. So glad I stumbled on this!

Mara
Mara
4 years 15 days ago

I am in the same state you were – can’t eat anything but primal because of food allergies (itchy ears are the worst symptom). Love hearing that things have shifted for you. Do you now eat any of the foods that you were previously allergic to?

Miss H
Miss H
4 years 15 days ago
Mara – I too have food sensitivities and allergies. I’ve been very slowly losing weight, as fitmom says. I’ve been eating Primal since January and I have one major food victory: I just got avocados back! At the end of last year they started giving me major mouth irritation (super itchy). Two weeks ago I gave them another try and I’m so pleased! I will also say that I visited an allergist who’s helping me with vitamins and supplements to heal my digestion. It’s definitely working! All those years of the SAD have taken their toll. Slowly my body is… Read more »
fitmom
fitmom
4 years 14 days ago

I eat all of them except for wheat and beans. Some, like uncultured dairy, still have negative effects (breakouts, stomachache), so I skip those for the most part. The GAPS diet is also great for healing gut health & reducing food sensitivities, & aligns nicely with primal, as a temporary measure. Good luck!

Kait
Kait
4 years 15 days ago
This challenge is such perfect timing. I’ve been slipping for the past month or so, and man, I have totally been feeling it this past week. Tired, weak, annoyed more often, unable to focus…now I know why I went primal in the first place! My words of advice would be, EDUCATE YOURSELVES, folks! I think the most inspirational, motivating tactic for me was RESEARCH! I subconsciously began making better food choices when I had the knowledge of what they were and why. It got me excited and it made me feel special [and admittedly a little superior at times] that… Read more »
Chika
Chika
4 years 15 days ago

That quote is so fitting, nice touch.

peggy
peggy
4 years 15 days ago
When I found MDA 3.5 yrs ago, I *was* at rock bottom! A year before my (then) spouse had left me AND he had been diagnosed with cancer. I lost over 25# on the doom-despair-heartbreak “diet”, leaving me at 102 on a 5’4″ frame. A yr later I had gained back that weight at such a high speed that my skin felt too tight – I was miserable & uncomfortable in my own body. A couple I knew (who were also vegetarians) mentioned “paleo” in a blog. I started the switch. Within 7 days I felt marvelous! Then while looking… Read more »
Alicia
Alicia
4 years 15 days ago
I started at 288lbs 5’5″. I am down 130 lbs by eating a primal type diet and a lot of running. I now don’t run as much and have added Crossfit. I would have to say the journey is as rewarding as reaching the goal. I celebrated every new accomplishment, like losing 10, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50…etc. pounds and adding time to my running every week. I started with jogging only 15 mins on the treadmill and then walked the rest of my work out. I challenged myself to add 5 minutes every week. It was hard, but I… Read more »
Juli
4 years 15 days ago
I got to rock bottom December last year, I was 104 kg (229 pounds) and even tho I was quite fit for that sort of size, you couldn’t see my muscles but I knew they were there. I had heard about low carb and got on to MDA by googling that and found a lifestyle rather then a diet. I remember it was a big oh Yes! moment. I followed the food part strictly, the exercise not so strictly and lost 10kg quite quickly, maintained that for a while and now have lost another 10kg so I am 187 pounds… Read more »
Ken
Ken
4 years 15 days ago

I’m one of the “in the making” types. I’ve had enormous success this year. I have one strong recommendation: get fiber every day (no skipping a day), and drink plenty of fluids. I got a rectal fissure from dehydration and lack of fiber shortly after starting, and it’s taking some time to heal. Ouch!

jrVegantoPrimal
jrVegantoPrimal
4 years 15 days ago

Been there, although it was horrible choices and diet in my college days that brought me the agonizing pain for the next ten years. In my case I had to have surgery, but it was well worth it. I no longer fear daily “duties” and have a bounce in my step again. Gotta love the human body, treat it badly and pay the price!!!

Siobhan
Siobhan
4 years 15 days ago

Started my 21-Day-Challenge by whacking myself in the knee with my sledgehammer! Luckily it was just a glancing blow. Perhaps there is such a thing as too much enthusiasm!

Joel
4 years 15 days ago
I’m at zero, got an office job five years ago. I used to build houses and had more muscle than I knew what to do with. Now I’m 35lbs over weight and no upper body mass. I do run and mountain bike ALOT and it just doesn’t help me to loose weight. I have studied primal for over a year. I had a hard time with the thought of giving up grains and beans and milk etc.etc.etc. I have read the Primal Blueprint, have the cook books, signed up for the e-mails, and hope this works! My wife is supportive… Read more »
Craig
Craig
4 years 15 days ago
I am 55 have been primal for about 6 months now. People always told me I didn’t need to lose weight but I knew better. I am tall and carried the spare tire pretty well. It is mostly gone now but intermittent cheating (IC) has stopped me from finishing it off. This 21 day challenge is just what I need to lose that last 5 pounds. Each time I am tempted I tell myself I can wait til October. I told my wife I still have a little way to go. She said, “I don’t know, your butt looks sculpted… Read more »
Chris
Chris
4 years 15 days ago

I started primal at one of my lowest points a little over 2 months back. I clocked in at 335lbs, my heaviest weight ever. The year before my blood work came back with pre-diabetes. Now that i’m on primal, i’ve already lost 37lbs (first time in 2 years i’ve gotten below 300lbs!) and feel the best i have in almost a decade.

Adrian
4 years 15 days ago

I’ve found that it’s easier to live primally by focusing on each day, rather than some future goal. It’s a lifestyle shift, after all. If I invested too much energy into getting to the end of 21 days, I wouldn’t enjoy it as much, and would be much more likely to binge on day 22 (and each day thereafter).

Gary Conway
4 years 15 days ago

I think it’s a great idea that people incorporate more elements of primal living into their lives. There is so many benefits to be gained – primal/paleo lifestyle doesn’t have to end at dietary choices.

Lisl
Lisl
4 years 15 days ago
My zero is a little different than some of you. I’m thin, always have been, but have been a “skinny fat”. No muscle whatsoever, eating like crap, no sleep, run ragged, and all stressed out. I have been working out hard (krav maga and crossfit) for about 6 years now, and finally went primal about a year ago. I quit overextending myself, reduced the stress by 10 fold, and have gotten my life back. The last remaining issue is sleep. I have lived on 4 hours of sleep since high school, and this is the toughest things for me. I’m… Read more »
Violet
Violet
4 years 15 days ago

Good timing on this challenge. I’m not at zero, but I am suffering from my summer holiday and a work conference.

I stayed more primal than not, but made some exceptions for family harmony and ate a little less well than usual because I was in situations where I was not in control of my own food for longer than I wanted to fast. The small changes here and there added up to feeling ‘off’ (and a very small weight gain – 3 pounds).

I’m looking forward to feeling great again, very soon!

Sharon in NC
Sharon in NC
4 years 15 days ago

I’m also not at zero, but suffering from being too lax. For the most part I am eating and living primal, but can always kick it up a notch or two.
I am looking forward to the next 3 weeks.

David
David
4 years 15 days ago

Starting from zero was actually a prerequisite for me…I don’t believe I would have gotten into this so head on if I hadn’t almost burned out. That event actually made me extremely susceptible to change and that is exactly when I found all this 🙂 I was on the course, but now I just dove in…and it feels awesome!! 🙂

Coll
Coll
4 years 15 days ago

I think that for me this challenge is about being focused but also remembering to breathe deep and enjoy life. I get way to intense about things sometimes and forget to play, not good at playing! I have lost 34 pounds since Feb on primal and I feel so much better. Just got to get my head straight and relax, sleep, walk and have fun in the sun… lovely thought!

Jenn
Jenn
4 years 15 days ago
I am a HUGE promoter of the Primal lifestyle. I try my hardest to bring the lifestyle to people’s attention and then when they bite, I offer support. My advice is to only do what you can handle at the time (some can handle jumping in with two feet, others need baby steps) but I encourage them to push further outside their comfort zone when making changes. My zero was having ZERO success after years of trying with CW. I was taking 3 antidepressants/mood elevators, I had sciatic issues and multiple running injuries. My chiropractor (who was working on my… Read more »
Cathy Johnson (Kate)
4 years 15 days ago
Even though I’ve been delightedly primal for a year, I’m doing the challenge because–well, it’s a challenge! It’s fun. I like stretching myself, as much as I’m able. I’m pushing 70 and arthritic, but that doesn’t stop me for a minute. I do what I can, and love it. One of my goals was to get more sun…yesterday, at home, today out at the lake, sketching with the wind in my hair and fall sun pouring down on my shoulders, knowing there was good food and fresh lemonade waiting at home. I am very, very happy with the primal life,… Read more »
Meg
4 years 15 days ago

I’m the heaviest I’ve been outside of pregnancies. 5’7.5 and 166, small frame. I am going to cheat and start 21 days on Thursday, my birthday tomorrow. Looking forward to a positive change!

Briana Myricks
4 years 15 days ago

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m starting from rock bottom. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve lost 20 pounds, from 196 to 176. I started running in March but fell off all of August. So in a sense, I’m back to square one, and back in the 180s. I need to do this for me. I need to stop making excuses and make it happen.

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