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

Success Stories in the Making: Updates and a Contest

Around 90 days ago, I unveiled a new feature for the site. Designed to motivate people into making public, formal declarations of intent to improve their health, Success Stories in the Making has by all accounts been a massive success. Something like 450 people are participating this inaugural year, which means that 450 people submitted candid photos and shared their goals and aspirations. Many of these people are admittedly self-conscious about their appearances – which is often one of the reasons they’re resolved to making the change in the first place – and yet there they are, online and uploaded for all to see. Go take a look, and prepare to be amazed at the dedication and determination displayed within.

Pretty cool, huh? Now, imagine how much cooler it’ll be once progress pics start trickling in. Imagine how much more powerful those pages will be when it’s a vast ocean of healthy happy Primal people brimming with vitality and accomplishment! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

To readers: even though it’s only been three months, the massive response means we won’t be accepting any new submissions for 2012. 450 submissions require a ton of work to organize and maintain, and we’re just not equipped to handle any more this year. Sorry.

But all is not lost!

For one, you can still make your commitment public in the Primal Blueprint Journals forum.

For two, when you get down to it, the official submissions are sources of inspiration that anyone can draw upon and benefit from. Hitting a lull in your own journey? You don’t have to wait til 2013 to join Success Stories in the Making; you can use the new search function to find someone’s story that speaks to you, that mirrors your own journey (either the one you’re on or the one you plan on undertaking), and build off of that. Do so anonymously, if you wish, keeping up with their progress and comparing it your own. Or you can connect with the person, share tips and insight, laugh, cry, and maybe even make a new friend or virtual workout buddy. Search by name or goal keyword (searching for “pullup,” for example, will show you all participants who mentioned pullups in their declaration of intent) and get inspired!

Some participants are even keeping forum journals. If they are, the link can be found on their submission page, so be sure to check those out when applicable.

To participants: it’s only been three months. Don’t fret or freak out. You’ve still got plenty of time to make it happen. On the same token, don’t lose momentum now – it’s already been three months! Whatever the case may be, I want to hear about it and I want to see it. Submit progress photos now, if you’ve made any, or even if you haven’t (if only to give yourself a nudge from behind). Heck, you may be almost to your goal already, in which case I say, “Prove it.”

When you submit a photo by email, use “Progress Update” as the email subject line, and include the URL of your Progress page in the body of the email. To find the URL of your Progress page, go to the SSITM page and use the search box to search for your first name (or whatever alias you used to submit your progress). Then copy and paste the URL of your page into the email you send me. Oh, and don’t just submit the pic alone. Give us a little update, too!

How has progress been so far?

Is it slowing down or speeding up?

What are your goals for the next 90 days?

That sort of thing. We’ll be bugging you in another three months for updates, though, so don’t feel like you have to give us one today.

I’m excited about your progress – our progress. I’ve received a few updates thus far, and, sure enough, people are moving forward and (re)discovering their health. And when you get photographic evidence of the beginnings of one of these transformations-in-the-making, it’s pretty powerful. See, I’ve fixed my wayward ways. I’ve reached a good place, as far as health and fitness go. Now, I want to see where you can take it. Your success stories drive me, and they change the lives of those that read them. Be the change you want to see in your own life, and then pay it forward.

To readers (again): how about that contest I mentioned way up at the top? You ready for it?

It’s pretty simple. Go to the SSITM page and peruse the submissions. When you find someone who speaks to you, or whose story touches you, click on their name and then leave an encouraging comment or ask a question on their page. That’s it. I’ll choose a winner by random who will receive a single shipment of the Primal Blueprint Platinum Package valued at over $200. The contest lasts 24 hours, so get to it!

Okay, I’ve said my piece, and hopefully enticed you into action. Now it’s on you, the always-impressive Primal community to do something about it!

Are you going to wait on the sidelines? (Don’t.)

Are you going to wait until you can formally declare your intent to change your life? (I wouldn’t.)

Are you going to support those that have? (Probably should.)

Are you going to look for a budding success story that sends a “thrill going up your leg”? (You had better.)

Thanks for reading, thinking, and contributing to make this place the best and biggest Primal health community around. Grok on!

Grab a Copy of The Primal Blueprint: Updated and Expanded Paperback Edition and Start Getting Primal Today!

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 haven’t got a camera, but I’m down 15lbs, 3.3% BF and 6.5″ overall. Best I’ve ever done, and it’s been super easy.

    Jasmine wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • Congrats! Keep on going!! Start a blog to inspire and help others do the same! Or at least a facebook fan page… primal/paleo folks LOVE them :)

      Primal Toad wrote on April 5th, 2012
  2. Done! Dennis resonated with me the most since, well, I have a friend who weighed a little more but now looks amazing!

    Primal Toad wrote on April 5th, 2012
  3. Though I didn’t participate in the Success Story in the Making thing, I am down 30 lbs in three months.

    No one that looks at what I eat would say that I am missing out or depriving myself. I wanted to thank you Mark.

    Ed Ryan wrote on April 5th, 2012
  4. I’m one of the SSITM. (Susie Rosenberg)

    It’s not been easy, coming back from cancer, Lyme disease, 2 major spine operations and an autoimmune disease. I’m mostly working to lose some weight and get my inflammatory markers down.

    So far, I’ve lost 10 pounds and from being nearly completely sedentary, profoundly fatigued, and desperately ill, I’m now feeling energetic, motivated, and I’m able to do a 60 minute spin class and walk briskly for 60 minutes! This is a dramatic improvement.

    My journal is on the forum. If this 56 year old, formerly very ill woman can do it, anyone can!


    Pea wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • Wow, this is so cool, Susie. The stories of disease and illness that are turned around resonate the most with me. Congratulations! Don’t you feel like you’ve discovered the key to the secret of life? Awesome.

      Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo wrote on April 5th, 2012
      • Thank you so much. I do feel immensely grateful to Mark for this incredible site and to my doctors, especially my Lyme doc and the naturopaths I’ve consulted. Between the Primal Way of Life and the herbal medicine, I continue to recover, stay cancer-free, free of Lyme symptoms and recovering from my autoimmune disease. I’ve got a ways to go but I’m going to be vibrantly well and vital!

        Pea wrote on April 5th, 2012
        • Damn Pea, you just gave me chills, the good kind:). That’s awesome!

          Chris wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • I’m going to go look you up on SSITM, Pea. That update is so inspiring! So happy for you!! :-) Grok on!

      Annette wrote on April 5th, 2012
      • Thanks for encouragement, it means a lot!

        Pea wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • I agree, turning around the effects of disease and illness are trememdously inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story Pea!

      yoolieboolie wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • I’m going to look your journal page up and connect with you more directly, Pea. I’m going through treatment for Lyme right now (thankfully after living with it for 19 years) and trying to get the inflammation under control is really difficult. I’m trying to make the switch to the auto-immune paleo protocol but it’s so hard to get rid of eggs and nuts now. I could use some inspiration and you seem like someone who will definitely inspire me. Congrats on your success so far!

      Decaf Debi wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • I wanted to read your story (because it sounds a lot like one of my clients who is “stuck” and I want to use it to inspire her). When I search by your name, Pea, or lymes – I can’t find you? Not that I expect you to know the web sites technology. Maybe someone else on a safari prowser is having the same difficulty?

      deb b wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • I did the same thing, Deb. Just search “Susie” and you’ll find her page.

        Decaf Debi wrote on April 7th, 2012
  5. This concept is going to be huge. Being able to scroll through page after page of people who the PB has worked for just might change the world.

    Ham-bone wrote on April 5th, 2012
  6. Looking at the first few pages of photos, most of those people have bodies *now* that I would give an arm for, nevermind what they look like in 3 months.

    Janet wrote on April 5th, 2012
  7. so many inspiring stories and people! I really appreciate the “search” feature to look for common threads. Great work Groksters, great work Mark!

    yoolieboolie wrote on April 5th, 2012
  8. Intemezzo ——- sorry to but in here off topic, but Google that term. OMG, now you can’t wake up in the middle of the night without THAT being a problem in need of a pill. This is just sad.

    OK, sorry to interrupt.

    Bob Carson wrote on April 5th, 2012
  9. Down from 207 to 185 in 6 weeks. Bloody easy and its been 10 months. I do not think about it anymore – I go out of my way to eat crap once in a while to keep my system “sharp” (my own pet theory). I eat more fruit and starches now without a problem. Clean real food! I stopped the insanity of worrying about food – many people have gone nuts around here.

    mark wrote on April 5th, 2012
  10. Feeling inspired – and so admire Julie and her story!

    ramsmom wrote on April 5th, 2012
  11. The State of Michigan has made it a felony to raise pigs in any way other than CAFO:

    Jeffrey of Troy wrote on April 5th, 2012
  12. I just started eating Paleoish a month ago and I am down 11 pounds. The best part about it, I have done it without feeling hungry. It is so weird not feeling hungry every two hours.

    Brett wrote on April 5th, 2012
  13. I checked in with a few people who mentioned depression and/or anxiety in their resolutions. I hope they are doing well and feeling better.

    I plan on updating my progress on my birthday (June 18th). So far, no luck with any pull-ups, but I’ve gotten a bit leaner and am feeling better overall mood-wise this year :)

    Tasha wrote on April 5th, 2012
    Hi Mark! Just found your site and this cool contest. Would it be possible to organize the SSITM 450 participants by Gender & Age? Would make it MUCH easier to peruse thru to find someone to support! I’ve come a long way by going “primarily primal” and could def. offer some motivation, but going thru 97 pages is daunting! Personally, I’d like to find a 50-ish woman – like me. (I’ve lost at least 15#s, down to ~15% BF and showing CUT! I’ve NEVER looked like this! And all while peri-menopausal – when we’re “supposed” to be GAINING weight! :o)
    (PS – I’m a reformed- literally- veg. Didn’t eat red meat for 30 years! After tons of soul-searching, clean meat-eating – and a few other tweaks – changed my life.)

    Mary wrote on April 5th, 2012
  15. Just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who posted photos and goals. YOU CAN DO THIS.

    I did Atkins many years ago and lost 25lbs in 3 months, and it was so easy. I climbed back to the starting line (doh!), and found Paleo about a year and a half ago. DId it for a month, and fizzled out. Tried again 6 months later, same thing. Last month I found Primal, and it makes all the difference.

    After a month, I’m down 10lbs, and what’s more important is that I no longer “have” to do this, I WANT to do this. I’ve even decided to go ALL the way (not just the weight I tell myself is “acceptable”, but all the way to what the charts say is ideal), which means another 30lbs to go.

    The key is this: Don’t think of it as a “diet”, think of it as your NEW LIFE (because that’s what it is). Incorporate ALL 10 “laws” including the exercise and the sunlight and the sleep and everything. Even with extra weight hanging around, you’ll already feel so much better and clearer. Then just be kind to yourselves.

    Here’s wishing you all GREAT SUCCESS! Avoid poisonous things and you’ll hit your targets in no time.

    Jeff wrote on April 5th, 2012
  16. My sister in law Georiga is on the SSITM list, and we started a blog and the primal lifestyle on Jan. 1st. We are doing this thing! I’m down 33 lbs and she’s down 23, and we’re never going back. 2 Primal Chicks, all the way!

    Shanon wrote on April 5th, 2012
  17. Wow, I kinda wish I’d had the chance to participate sine I essentially started going primal 3 months ago! In those three months, I’ve lost 30 lbs and some of that loss happened with no exercise because of a flare up of an old back injury that’s kept me out of the game in the last 3.5 weeks!

    Either way, I’m glad I found this website and the community of primal goers. It’s been very helpful!

    Dustin wrote on April 5th, 2012
  18. I am so grateful for this site and Mark’s encouraging words. I am Patty, and I have lost 38 lbs since my pic was taken on 12/26/11. Add this to the weight I lost since 9/5/11 and I have lost a total of 61 lbs. I am 53 years old, mostly sedentary due to my job, and have suffered major pain for years. The Primal Blueprint has been the “magic bullet” for me. After YEARS of STARVING myself, I have found the one thing that will allow me to live AND be happy. Remember, I get home no more than 3 days per month. I have seen these amazing results even though I eat all of my meals at restaurants in truck stops. Places like McDonald’s, Arbys, Wendys, and Subway. Look at my before pic and see how unhealthy I looked even after losing 26 pounds. I am the luckiest person in the world. If I can do it, anybody can!

    TruckerLady wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • Good job, Patty!

      Molly wrote on April 5th, 2012
  19. Wow a fellow Lyme patient doing well with this lifestyle too. Actually I’m thriving on it- Lyme just about killed me over the past three years, but this way of eating & exercising has just about erased all the lingering effects in three months. Everyone beware of Lyme and check yourself and loved ones daily for ticks. It’s prevalence and destructiveness are really down played in the medical community- especially places other than NE USA.

    Andi wrote on April 5th, 2012
    • I’m always so heartened to hear of a recovery from Lyme. People just don’t understand how it can cripple you. The Lyme was worse for me than the cancer!

      Sending you lots of good wishes for vibrant health. Grok on!


      Pea wrote on April 6th, 2012
  20. Oct 2011 to March 2012. Lost 30 pounds … size 14 to a size 6. Basically removed the high lectins foods from my diet due to inflammation issue (ALT abnormally high). Bloodwork in just 10 weeks revealed my malabsorption issues reversed. ALT enzyme lowest ever since 1987. Sleeping well, cravings gone, energy sky high! Will be on this lifestyle eating plan for life! BTW, I am 56 yrs young now! Best I have felt since I was 37.

    Delores Carter wrote on April 5th, 2012
  21. Too much beer and a bad diet got me to 200 pounds at 6 feet. After quitting the beer I started on a ‘healthy’ diet of bread and fruit. And the pounds just stayed, this was not supposed to happen :/

    Then I stumbled on the Primal Blueprint and it all just made SO much sense. I decided to take the plunge and like magic I started losing 2 lbs per week! I introduced moving slowly (at least 20 miles a week of walking briskly) and I started to feel some light leg muscle coming back. I’m now at a healthy 170 lbs wich is fine for my height and build but I am still a bit skinny fat. Recently introduced exercise and I’m feeling it, going to lift way more heavy things cause it’s almost as if you can feel your body say to you “Oh yeah man that’s the stuff!”.

    It all just feels so right and makes so much sense that this for me has become a lifestyle change instead of a diet.

    So yeah this stuff is awesome ;D

    juzzie wrote on April 6th, 2012
  22. I’m also one of the SSITM (Isabel).

    I’m not really overweight, so changing my body fat percentage to looking “ripped” will take a little longer. HOWEVER, I’ve already noticed a big change 😉

    My top priority was to improve my maladies at least a little bit. In December 2011 I suffered from:
    1) Hashimoto’s desease (under medication)
    2) Leaky Gut (and the resulting food intolerances against an uncountable amount of foods, constipation, …)
    3) Weak knees (only pain-free under medication)
    4) Depressions
    5) Chronic colds/extremely weak immune system
    6) Insomnia and the (partly extreme) sleepiness during the following day
    7) Acid reflux
    8) Myopia
    (And hip issues due to legs with different lengths. I’ll take this one out here because it’s a birth defect and Primal eating won’t make my left leg grow ;))

    I’m definitely going to submit a whole success story because writing my Primal story down would take more space than the SSITM project offers. I can only say, I’ve seen amazing results and maladies I’ve lived with for years disappeared completely. The more serious ones have improved a lot and now I’m 100% sure that I can beat them, too!! PLUS, I’m full of energy AND medication-free which is simply incredible for me (at least for the moment since Hashimoto’s is a bi%&§, but let’s hope for the best!). The source of all my problems was so simple: grains.

    Isabel wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • Congratulations, Isabel, on your amazing results! After having a painful digestive disorder I was so shocked too to find out that the solution was so simple – eliminate grains. Almost too good to be true! My mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and has started taking medication. Trying to convince her to think about ditching the grains, but alas she is too attached and still believes they are good for you. It’s success stories like yours that I hope might one day convince her otherwise. Thanks for sharing your story and I wish you continued success on your journey :)

      Josephine wrote on April 6th, 2012
      • Thank you so much for your kind answer. I really appreciate it!
        I’m definitely planning on submitting my success story in the future. I hope I will be able to give others with autoimmune deficiencies, like your mother-in-law, a guideline with it. I haven’t double-checked with my doctor yet but after having suffered from the symptoms of hypERthyroidism the previous weeks, I had enough. I don’t take my medicine anymore because I strongly suspect I’m flooding my body with extra hormones. So far so good, absolutely no problems, not even while working out (where I usually would have fainted). I actually feel even better :)

        Isabel wrote on April 6th, 2012
  23. My name is Ann and I’m one of the SSITM. This past October, right around my 50th birthday, I weighed in at my doctor’s at 254 pounds, the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I’m going to weigh myself the end of this month (after six months of eating Paleo-like) and send an updated picture. I haven’t weighed myself since October (trying to focus on how I feel rather than the numbers), but I am excited about how this is working. Friends & family members are constantly saying “You lost weight! You look great!” All of my clothes are hanging off of me. I have one pair of jeans left that don’t fall off of me, and even with these I have to pull them up constantly (the same pair of jeans that less than one year ago I could not sit down without unbuttoning and unzipping them a couple of inches). For the most part I cannot believe how easy this has been. I have enjoyed reading the Success Stories and the SSITM stories. They have all been a great source of inspiration to me! Mark, thanks so much for this fantastic site of resources and community support!!

    lostAnnfound wrote on April 6th, 2012
  24. I found the PB on Christmas Day in 2010. At the time I weighed 242 lbs and had many internal GI problems and was on the cusp of diabetes. After being Primal now for 16 months I now weigh in at 177 lbs and look and feel fantastic. In the beginning my Triglycerides were 227 now they are 62. My HDL were 34 now they are 50 and my LDL were 105 now measures 94. I wish I could post my before and after picks because they are a testimony on the transformation that Mark and the primal lifestyle has made in my life. Mark, Thank you. Sincerely, Drew

    Andrew wrote on April 6th, 2012
  25. SUGGESTION: I’ve been going through the SSitMaking stories, and those poor folks in the middle pages hardly have any comments at all. I think it’s because it’s really ponderous to scroll through all those pages. SO…to the rest of you, once you’re on the first page, go up to the URL where it says “page 1” and just manually punch in a random number in the 40s, 50s, etc to go directly to one of those pages.

    dragonmamma wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • great suggestion, you are sweet/thoughtful

      deb b wrote on April 6th, 2012
  26. it is painful to read the stories due to the formatting… Mark, can you fix? I get one word per line.

    tcb wrote on April 6th, 2012
    • cleared up with a browser switch from IE to chrome.

      tcb wrote on April 6th, 2012
  27. My progress has been slow, I have had ups and downs but I haven’t given up! I actually gained weight!!!! In part this is due to my thyroid being borderline hypo so the last three months have been strewn with doctor appointments. ( bleck!) On the bright side I have been working at eating mostly primal and have decided to limit my dairy intake, so far it has increased my energy levels which is a big plus for me. In the physical activity department I have been struggling majorly, but as of late I have been really active ( go me!), going for nightly walks and tackling Spring cleaning(killa!). On a side note I feel like I should mention that I have been suffering from depression and anxiety ( agoraphobia) which has made the last three months a big struggle for me but recognizing the issues and working on getting myself back into a state of health overall has really helped. I actually tried to take some medication for it at first and had some major issues with it so I decided to forgo the medicine and spend time outside on our balcony while taking in the fresh air for at least an hour. The sun and fresh air seem to be helping more than so called modern medicine! ( Along with sticking to primal 70 to 80% of the time) I also have been working on my anxiety issues- I don’t drive a lot and my husband usually does the driving when we go somewhere, luckily ( ahahaha) he was gone for month training ( he is in the army) and I had to do all the driving which has alleviated the depression and helped me overcome some of my biggest anxiety issues ( though I still have my “days”) who would have thought that driving could do that all that! —basically what I sent to Mark but hey figured I could copy and paste in comments too :)

    I actually could probably ramble on and on- with the anxiety and depression the things that are helping the most are the two above mentioned and herbal teas- I have been drinking a chamomile lavender tea and it helps ease my anxiety and is tasty! I think my depression is directly related to my anxiety and with agoraphobia I often become home bound. It does some real damage…I have made it a point to get out and do more. I have been going to a meet up group on weds- it is a knitting group and I love all the ladies there! They are awesome! For anyone else who is having similar issues I suggest finding a meet up that fits your style.. it was the best thing to do and has made my healing process much smoother… I also forgot to mention that with my thyroid issue I decided to buy the sea salt with iodine and so far I can tell a difference in the energy levels now if the weight would just budge!

    LexxyV wrote on April 7th, 2012

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