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.