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

Success Stories in the Making: The Big Unveil

Okay, is everyone as pumped as I am for this? Ever since reader Adam proposed the idea some weeks ago, I’ve looked forward to making it happen – as the MDA 2012 New Year Challenge no less! Now the moment has come, and it’s a big one. As Challenge participant Brandi put it, “It seems like a lot of folks were looking for something just like this.” A lot is right. Readers, I’ve been bowled over by the amazing response to Success Stories in the Making. More than 400 (do the doubletake!) new and continuing Grokkers responded to the call last week and submitted their goals and photos! It doesn’t get more awesome than this, folks. The bees and I have been hard at work this past week reading and creating entries for each one in what is a whole new section for the MDA site. Today I’m excited as ever to bring it live to our Primal community.

In fact, it’s been such an endeavor that we’ll be completing the entry posts over the next couple weeks. (Be sure to check back frequently as more stories are added!) We’re working hard to make sure all 400+ get posted asap. Reading the hundreds of goals and stories folks sent in, I see that the Challenge call truly touched off something for people. It’s their time, they say, but they need to make it so. The tangible reality of having their stories and photos out there is pivotal, they said, to making it truly happen.

Most of all, I was struck by how much the community backdrop of this Challenge meant to participants. It’s not only that their goals are “public” now. It’s that they’ve chosen to share them with this particular community because they believe in Primal living and because they appreciate the unmatched support of MDA readers. As participant Lex explained, “I need all the support I can get because, until my body is proof this lifestyle works, all my friends and family are going to keep rolling their eyes at me.” Lex, we understand. We’ve got your back and that of every Challenge participant. You’re among Primal friends.

As you read through the participants’ introductions and personal goals today, you’ll meet an amazing group of people who span literally several decades. Some are students looking to get their health on track while they’re young. Others are grandparents looking to gain back energy to live well and play hard with their grandkids. You’ll even find several couples who have committed to the Challenge together! Some have been MDA readers for a while and even dabbled in the Primal principles but are looking to make a deeper commitment. Others have been going full tilt for several weeks on the PB but have continuing goals they’re bringing to the Challenge.

Some sample goals? Many participants, of course, have set goal weights or body fat percentages. Many write that they want to “look good naked.” (Who doesn’t?) Some want to have more energy for their kids. A few want to meet big milestones (e.g. getting married, rounding “decade” birthdays) in better health. Some want to beat nagging health issues or head off looming health threats. Others want to reclaim a vitality they feel they left behind years ago. Check these out….

“heal with diet not drugs”
“feel my stomach muscles”
“wake up with energy not coffee”
“appreciate my own personal power”
“to suck the marrow out of life”

How about feeling “warrior goddess strength” and getting back the “radiant, healthy, cocky smirk I used to have”?

How about this one? “I want my kids to remember their mom when they were little as someone who chased and laughed and played with them all the time. As someone who just oozed vitality so they can grow up with that same zest for life….”

Or this. “I shall NOT so willingly sacrifice sleep for homework, I shall NOT eat whatever because I don’t have time to cook (I’ll MAKE time), and I shall NOT skimp on opportunities to play because I feel there is something more important to do.”

Do these goals sound familiar? Are you thinking of your own resolutions? Does looking through the entries make you wish you’d sent in your own? Let me share the news then. I’m making Success Stories in the Making a permanent feature for MDA. That’s right. We’re kicking it off with the 2012 New Year Challenge, but it’s here to stay as long as folks are making Primal commitments and want to share them with the MDA community. That means you can submit your photo and goals at any time. Just see the instructions on the Success Stories in the Making page.

And remember that there’s more to see than just the entries. Don’t forget about Challenge participants’ personal journals! At the end of each entry, you’ll find a link to their personal journal if they’ve chosen to include one. Look for “Read John’s/Suzy’s Journal” with each entry.

On that note… Challenge participants – it’s never too late to begin one. The Primal Blueprint Journal forum is a great place to send updates, track progress, ask questions, gather support. This Challenge is about so much more than before and after photos. Use the journal to share your journey. Just be sure to send me the link, and I’ll make sure it’s included. If you have updated photos you’d like to post, send those whenever you like. (I’ll also send out quarterly reminders for photo updates as well.)

Readers, be sure to check back as more participants add their journals and updates to the site! You’ll have the chance to offer your own words of encouragement, tips for starting or continuing the Primal lifestyle, strategies that keep you going, etc.

Finally, I know many readers will offer their own accolades to our Challenge participants today, but let me offer my major kudos to each of you for being bold and brave in your journey toward greater health and well-being! In your submissions (and comments for last week’s Challenge introduction), you’ve shared your excitement, your humor, and your resolve. I was inspired as I read how each of you clearly feel the power of your decision and are excited to take your vitality to a whole new level. I’m excited and honored to share in the journey with you. Grok on, everyone!

Now I’ll turn it over to our incredible MDA community. Enjoy visiting the Challenge section, reading the stories and journals, and offering your own support for their journeys ahead! Thanks for being here today, everybody.

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. This is a GREAT idea. I started a Week Ago tomorrow and have pretty dramatic results for Week 1 which I know will slow down over time. I really am inspired by seeing other’s success as well as being part of the greater GROK community.

    Wayne wrote on January 11th, 2012
  2. Is it too late to enter the challenge? Where do I sign up?

    Danny wrote on January 11th, 2012
  3. I, too, submitted my photo, a side shot that was way too revealing of all the work I have to do to get down to my goals. My doctor is on board with me and agreed to let me get off Nexium slowly. YAY!!! Thanks to this blog, I had the desire (and was armed with the evidence) I needed to push to get off those bad, bad pills.

    I’ve lost about 4 lbs so far, but my scale is just a tool. I am going in now with a tape measure to measure myself. That’s what I’ll REALLY watch….

    PrimalPatti wrote on January 11th, 2012
  4. Seriously. The life needs a Roku channel in the worst way. Mark, really, with all the cooking videos and stuff people have submitted over the years it’s not like there’s no content for it. Consider that, please.

    Deannacat wrote on January 11th, 2012
  5. Wow, this is so awesomely perfect! Today was Day 1 of primal for me. I decided today was the day I commit without knowing about this! Ill have to get my stuff together! :)


    Rob wrote on January 11th, 2012
  6. I LOVE how positive and encouraging everyone on this site is. This is an amazing group of people just wanting to feel better, live better, function better and everyone is given the tools to do just that. Amazing!

    Melisa wrote on January 11th, 2012
  7. Oh this is so awesome!! I would totally participate but can’t exactly focus on losing weight.. at least not until August 😉
    Good luck to everyone!

    LisaL wrote on January 11th, 2012
  8. I seem to have had the opposite of “success” I’ve gained 15 pounds since going Primal about 9 months ago. Tired all the time too. I fully embraced the Primal lifestyle, defended it, and it has hugely let me down.

    Why does this seem to work for EVERYONE except me???

    Laura wrote on January 11th, 2012
    • How many grams of carbs per day are you eating? (If you haven’t carefully measured that, you might consider that…many people are derailed thinking they are eating primal when in fact they are still eating high carb diets. Carbs are so rampant that it’s hard to source ’em all sometimes.)

      DThalman wrote on January 11th, 2012
    • Hi Laura,

      Is your primal diet high in fat? I know when alot of people go primal they do up the fat which is good but they also don’t realize how much fat they are consuming and go a bit overboard. Especially when it comes to seeds and nuts. Those things are pretty fat dense. I know when I am trying to lose some weight I usually cut fat and cycle carbs.

      Frank wrote on January 11th, 2012
      • Hi Frank-
        What exactly is/or how do you “cycle carbs”?

        Sherri wrote on January 24th, 2012
  9. Wow, I didn’t think I could love this website any more, but now I do!

    Ava wrote on January 11th, 2012
  10. I am almost totally meat and fat…with VERY little veges /nuts/and other carb related items…and I have a steady weight that does not move that much at all…BUT I HAVE LEARNED a major thing in this way of life…FEMALES…DO NOT respond the same as Males do…I am active in the community at large and I PAY ATTENTION. So If you have the thoughts of being let down and not getting the results you are looking for…Your not alone!! This way is a series of steps to clean up and get stronger and above all LEARN what works for you and have the BACKBONE to give each vartiation a 30 day try out to see if does anything for you. BE the “Test Steak”..Humans are a variable species…so what works for me….probably wont work for you..pretty sure your not my size and gender and dont do what I do for a living and for muscle work. I CAN ONLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS HERE….LEARN AND DO DIFFERENT THINGS…DONT LOCK INTO THE SAME WAY AND THINGS OF OTHERS…BE YOUR OWN GROK OR GROKETTE…PAY ATTENTION AND STRIP EVERYTHING DOWN TO THE MINIMUM LEVELS..AND TRY DIFFERENT FOOD PLANS///MAKE IT YOUR LIFE…AND LIFE IS NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE…SO FIND THE WAY THAT WORKS FOR YOU..I SEND YOU..ENCOURAGEMENT/STRENGTH/ABILITTY..AND ABOVE ALL THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND THAT CONTINUED INVOLVEMENT and support from all of us will eventually help you to find your place on this path. some fols I took 1 whole year for them to figure out what worked for them…and then they saw results…1 year out of your whole life to find the way…not so bad in the long run….KEEP GROKKING!!..pretty please…you can find your ZONE..I knoew it!~!>>>

    Dave PAPA GROK Parsons wrote on January 12th, 2012
    • Papa Grok–you’re the best!!!

      tracyinbarcelona wrote on January 12th, 2012
    • Despite your intimidating all-caps, I agree! The guidelines Mark sets up on this website are a good starting point and a minimum for good health. But it’s everyone’s responsibility to turn themselves into their own experiment. A female like me with PCOS – and maybe some adrenal/thyroid issues I’m not quite sure of yet – has different problems with nutrition, insulin sensitivity and energy as the average person. In my own experimentation – as much as I didn’t want it to be true – my blood sugar and energy was much better off without fruit or dairy. I might even be testing life without nightshades soon. Turn yourself into the scientist. Some of the most basic and most important scientific discoveries were made through pure observation, not expensive gadgetry and chemicals (think Gregor Mendel, father of genetic study).

      Lex26 wrote on January 12th, 2012
  11. Sorry F5 doesn’t work for me to get the background information to fill the pages. Any other ideas?

    Pam wrote on January 12th, 2012
  12. I am looking forward to seeing the progress everyone makes, whatever your goals.

    Your a brave bunch and I am sure you will be happy with your new healthy selves. Good luck.

    Sharon wrote on January 12th, 2012
  13. Took a deep breath and sent in my picture! Can’t wait to read everyone’s success stories as we go along!

    lostAnnfound wrote on January 12th, 2012
  14. Is it too late to submit a photo and goals?!

    Kate wrote on January 12th, 2012
  15. What a wonderful idea!!! Mark, I’d say you’ve done your part for the paleo movement!! 😉

    Félix wrote on January 12th, 2012
  16. If you’re still on the fence whether to send in a picture, just take the plunge! The bungee cord won’t snap on this one. Being unfit, unhealthy and looking like “what the heck happened to YOU over the years”, fuels the excuses to avoid people, social events and even the gym. I’m on day 6 and feel pretty good. There is just something about sending in the picture and exposing yourself. It’s all business now. Game on!

    Primal D in LA wrote on January 12th, 2012
  17. I’m so excited. I usually need “something extra” to push me into discipline. This challenge is perfect. I sent in my pic at the last minute.

    Neesha wrote on January 12th, 2012
  18. BE YOUR OWN GROK>>>>stand firm>>>Its your body…DO NOT let anyone EVER tell you anything about what your trying to do here…and if they do..just let em watch the results…ya wont need words…the view will get em ..>>>

    Dave PAPA GROK Parsons wrote on January 12th, 2012
  19. I look forward to becoming healthier, happier, and a smokin hot Gramma. I’m dragging Grampa Grok along too and he’s not grumbling nearly as much as he used to. Thanks for the inspiration!

    GoLisaGo wrote on January 12th, 2012
  20. How do I sign up? Thanks!!

    Danny wrote on January 12th, 2012
  21. HURRAY!! Go everybody!!! You can do it and you will love it (says the formerly 245 lb. food addict)!

    Tina wrote on January 13th, 2012

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