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Some progress report photos more and inspiration for your readers.

As you can see I’m getting more muscle mass as I eat more protein. Workout is not changed at all – still follow your nutrition and eating plan to the Tee.

Early Picture Dec 2008- weight 182 lbs

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Weight now 160 lbs

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Hong Kong
DOB 9 March 1958 (51 yrs old)
Started Primal 1st March 2009 (been primal for 2.5 months)

Rick

Hi Mark,

I’ve been following your blog for a little over a month now, love it and looking forward to the book! My husband and I went paleo/primal on January 26 of this year on the advice of his sister, a pharmacist. In the first month, I dropped 10 pounds with no problem, down from starting weight of 168 to 158. (I’m 5’ 8” by the way.) As of March 1, I started working out doing 3 days of walking/runnng intervals and basic strength training on the other 2 days, with weekends off. Since then I’ve gained back 4 pounds and have been hovering there ever since. I may lose a pound one day, but gain it back the next, giving me a net overall loss of roughly 6 pounds.

I’ve been really good with the food. No problems getting enough protein, eating lots of raw & cooked veggies, no fruit, only olive, coconut oils to cook with and butter for fat and flavor. A typical day’s menu looks like this: 2-3 scrambled eggs, 1 cup mostly decaf coffee with coconut milk for breakfast; a salad with 4-5 oz. meat; homemade olive oil & vinegar dressing for lunch; a handful of almonds around 3; 4-5 oz. meat and raw or steamed veggies for dinner. I’ll admit I will have an occasional bowl of popcorn one night on the weekends, that is my one downfall.

I’ve never worked out in my life and know as of about 5 years ago my body fat percentage was a very high 29%. I’m sure it hasn’t gotten any better and probably even a little worse since then. I’m one of those people you talk about who are thin but fat. I looked okay in clothes and have the appearance of being a healthy weight, yet I knew something was off. I was tired all the time, moody and contemplating taking antidepressants because nothing was working.

In the little over two months, since we’ve gone primal, I feel better than I have in a long time. I have more energy; I have more fun with my kids and am (almost) always in a good mood. My clothes even fit better…

Thanks much,
Sabrina

UPDATE:
It’s been exactly 4 months now since I went primal. Since I last wrote you, the pounds have been coming off a little more consistently and I’ve lost a total of roughly 11-12 pounds. I try not to pay too much attention to what the scale says because there are so many indications that my body is loving the primal lifestyle! I have more energy than I have had in YEARS. I can finally keep up with all of my 5 kids, including our 16-month-old twins, all day and even have some energy leftover once they’ve gone to bed. I love being able to actually run around and play with my kids!

The changes in my physical appearance are quite noticeable. My husband tells me all the time that he can really notice that I’ve lost fat all over. I can see some more definition, but especially in my legs which I’ve always referred to as tree trunks. And it feels so good to put on a pair of my pre-twin pants and not have that infamous muffin top! In fact, I think I’m ready for a new smaller wardrobe.

Interesting note, my 9-year-old daughter has had terrible eczema since she was very young. I asked her to try just gluten-free for 2 weeks as I had a hunch it was some kind of intolreance to wheat/grains. Well, it’s been a little over a week and already, her rashes are clearing up and she’s MUCH less itchy! My kids (all 5 of them) are used to mom fixing “weird” healthy stuff so it wasn’t a huge stretch for her but she’s super excited to think she might not have to deal with what she calls her “chicken skin” anymore!

I don’t want to go on and on, but I really can’t say enough about the benefits of eating, exercising and living the Primal lifestyle! I’ve been spreading the word to anyone who will listen! I wish you the best of luck with the book!

PrePrimal-PreTwins” – this is what I looked like for most of my adult life. Not terribly fat, but definitely not what anyone would call lean or in good shape.

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“1yearago” – in all fairness, is me only about 6 months after the twins were born, so I was still carrying quite a bit of that pregnancy weight.

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“4mosPrimalSabrina” – I had my husband take one of me this past weekend. I’m usually the one behind the camera and not in front of it and couldn’t find any recent pictures.

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Take care,

Sabrina

Hi Mark,
I enjoy reading your daily blogs, and have been enjoying the primal blueprint for years with great success…

Your information, messages, and advice on your site is an incredible thing. Everyone I talk to who wants to start eating right, I just forward them the ‘dailyapple’ link and tell them to start reading!! You are doing an amazing thing!

I attached a picture of me from my last competition. Great things are possible with hard work, great nutritional advice and dedication.

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Matthew, Canada

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I’m 33 and haven’t felt better in my whole life since converting to the primal lifestyle. I’ve been living pretty primal for the past 4 months now… prior to that I was still maintaining a healthy lifestyle according to “conventional wisdom” and was in decent shape. But back in March, 09, my wife was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and forced her to eliminate all gluten from her diet… I wanted to support her as much as possible and so our entire house became gluten free,… however, I was still eating whole wheat bread when away from our house. Then two months later a friend of ours introduced us to MDA and I recognized Mark from the P90x dvds… Reading on made me realize the health benefits and it helped me turn the switch on in my brain to go primal…

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I was initially contemplating whether I should, or even needed to switch to the primal way. I mean, I had lost over 50 lbs on conventional wisdom and thought I was pretty healthy overall… my cholesterol was down,.. my excercise routines were good and I ate small meals six times a day. So I was pondering whether I should give it a try or not, but I took the plunge since it wouldn’t be too much different than living gluten free. Ever since starting to go primal, I’ve been able to eat about 80%- 90% primal ever since and I must say that it was actually easier eating the primal way than trying to eat small meals 6 times a day. I used to have to worry so much about what I was going to eat and to pack my food everywhere i went… it just just plain ole stressful and tiring.

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I have been able to drop my body fat from 10-12% to about 7-9%, and lost another 10 lbs, I sleep better, sprint faster, and jump higher and just feel better overall… Today I feel like I’m living primal and pretty optimal for my body. I’m 5’8″ and weigh 165lbs. Today I feel much more educated about nutrition, fitness and living a healthier lifestyle in general. I know that I will never be unhealthy or go back to yo yo dieting like I have experienced in the past. Thanks for the good work Mark. Grok on!

Christian

My journey started with a diagnosis of Diabetes (type II) on November 17th, 2008. I had some blood work done and the #’s looked like this:

cholesterol 377
trigs 1864 (not a typo)
hdl 28
ldl could not be calculated due to high trigs
hba1c 11.3

My doctor couldn’t even put a sentence together to explain how unreal these numbers were. So of course the doctor just wanted to medicate the crap out of me and told me to get used to it because I would be on medication for the rest of my life. I left the office feeling as if my life was basically over. I felt immediate depression set in.

When I awoke the next morning I decided that I was going to try to figure out how to beat this or at least live a productive life with diabetes. On to the internet to solve my problems. I was lucky enough to wander upon Dr Eades site and started to identify with what he was writing about in his blog. I was also learning about why my body was reacting the way it was and there were actually people who were able to get healthy again. Well one site led to another and I was convinced on what I had to do.

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I also learned of the Paleo diet and started a hybrid low carb paleo way of eating. I went into this with the hope of fixing my blood sugar problems and getting my lipids straightened out. I started that day and after a few days of my body adjusting I started to feel better each day. Oh and I started losing weight and my fasting blood sugar went down immediately. Encouraging signs and I just felt better. I was eating very low carb at this point because I became deathly afraid of anything carb. I was very strict with myself because I knew how easy it could be to fall off the wagon and start chowing Doritos and all that other crap. I watched my fats and started cooking just about every meal I ate. I was working out in some form about five days a week, mostly weights and walking.

I had great success as well as the weight kept coming off and I became more active and had an incredible amount of energy. Like has been said before I started to become more active as I lost weight. I, in the mean time, found Mark’s Daily Apple. I really enjoyed the way you put the information out there. It was easy to understand and was also fun. So March rolled around and it was time to go back to the doctor.

When I had last left the doc I had about 4 different prescriptions and a not so good outlook on life. Oh, and some really bad nutritional advice (lay off the animal fats). So I rolled into his office weighing in at 190 and excited about life. My blood results from blood given two days prior

cholesterol 262
trigs 133
hdl 28
ldl calc 207
hba1c 4.8

Doc was excited to see improvements as was I. Still not where I wanted to be but a lot better than 4 months earlier. He then patted himself on the back and said well I guess the medications are working for you but your cholesterol is much higher than I’d like so I would like you to start taking some statins. Well I was armed with knowledge this time and said no freaking way am I taking that crap! And by the way I stopped taking all my medications after the first month.

The look on his face was priceless.

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He then wanted to review the medications I was taking and I told him none. I was simply living primal. He shot me a look of confusion and so I started to explain and he said my cholesterol was suffering for all the animal fat I was eating and that I should really cut down. I was a little frustrated by that comment but thought it was just par for the course for the medical community in general.

I went straight to my parents house to tell them my great results at the doctor.

I should add that my parents were behind me all the way from the beginning of my new lifestyle and saw the success I was having and became fans of it as well and are now living a primal life with me. My mom had been a vegetarian for as long as I could remember and now eats a piece of meat at every meal. Makes those family meals that much better.

By this time I was sold on my lifestyle and wanted to tell everyone. I was surprised by the reactions I got. I think people were starting to think I was crazy. I was touting saturated fat and trying to tell anyone who would listen. I grew up in a small town near Rochester, NY and now live and work in that same small town. So I am well known in the community. Being that I am now 38 yrs old, people had gotten used to me and now I was changing in front of there eyes and quickly. People that I have known all my life now did not recognize me and patients at the office I work at (eye doc) who hadn’t seen me in a year or two did not think I was same guy.

I soon learned not to tell people about this life unless they asked because I just didn’t want to deal with the conversation. Ignorance on their part made for some tough explanations.

So June came around and time to go see the doc again and test that blood.

cholesterol 215
trigs 50 (yeah!)
hdl 58
ldl calc 148
hba1c 4.7 (non-diabetic) was written right next to it

I now weighed 175lbs.

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Doctor practically gave me a high five when he entered the office. Said he had never seen anybody with these kind of improvements and was down right giddy. He then asked me what meds I was taking and I once again told him I was taking nothing. He just shook his head. He also said that he has never heard of anyone being cured of diabetes but…Unfortunately still not sold on my eating choices but couldn’t argue it because of my results.

So that is the short version of my great new Primal lifestyle. I could not be happier with my work in progress. I still tell everyone I know and hand out your Grok flyers to anyone interested. Your sight is named great because it really has become my daily apple. I now just do stuff that I would never have done nine months ago. Hiking, sprinting etc. I now look at playgrounds in a whole new way. I pretty much eat what I want (primal of course) and just listen to my body.

Socially it can be a bit tough but that is okay with me. I now see how lazy people are and it can be tough to find people who can keep up with my energy and good spirits. If you are contemplating a lifestyle change I would say being Primal is a great way to go. Jump in with both feet and live life, it’s great. The community on the internet is a great place to gain knowledge and get different ideas. Part of the fun is trying these things and then figure out what works for you.

Grok on,

ChuckyZ

Mark,

I just got back from my endocrinology appointment when I saw the latest contest.

I’m no picture of health yet but things are looking a heck of a lot better than they did before I started on Primal Blueprint.

I’ll start at the beginning. Six months ago my type II Diabetes was completely out of control, I’ll admit I wasn’t taking the best care of myself -moving, starting up a new research lab, you know “life” had gotten in the way of finding time to eat right and exercise. On top of that I was taking medication for high blood pressure and a birth control pill that made me even more insulin resistant and making it so that none of my oral medications for the diabetes worked anymore. In short, I felt like crap and looked it too.

First they put me on insulin -not fun but neither are sugars in the 300 range so it was a necessary evil. But here’s where it got really depressing, I didn’t need “just a boost” of insulin, I needed a ton! Long acting, short acting, I was taking 5 shots a day and my sugar was still sky high. I was seeing the Diabetic educator and she was at a loss. I got sent to the diabetic nutritionist and she (I still want to scream thinking about this!) told me my sugar was high because I wasn’t eating enough carbs. Her advice was to eat between 45-60 grams of carb at EACH meal, oh and most of that should come from whole grain sources! At that point I was taking 1 unit of short acting insulin for every 3 grams of carbohydrate. Do the math and I would be taking 15 to 20 units at each meal. Gee, I wonder why diabetics get fat? I don’t do diabetes research but I know how to do a literature search and quickly found that low carb was the way to go (Duh!) but I had tried Atkins before and frankly, I’d rather be dead. I figured there had to be something that was lowish carb that I would be willing to eat. Yeah, I am a Foodie and dang proud of it! Finding Marksdailyapple.com was like xmas without the cranky relatives.

Fast forward to today, did I mention that I live in one of the foodie capitals of the Midwest? I can trip over grass-fed beef and pastured eggs just walking out my front door. There is a choice of farmer’s markets on the weekend -I can even get elk! Hey, the city even lets you have chickens within the city limits (I haven’t gone there -yet! the dogs would have a field day!) There are even a bunch of restaurants that I can be comfortably primal and no one looks askance. Sorry to say, no miracle occurred, I am still overweight but I have dropped my body fat percentage 2% in the last 2 months alone. I have replaced that fat with muscle so my hips are 3.5″ smaller, my waist is 1.5″ tighter and I can keep up with the 9 year old (actually now she has to keep up with me!) Here is the real kicker though. When I started Primal my cholesterol was at 178, not horrible but not great especially for a diabetic, now it is down to 158. My A1c, the three month average of my blood glucose was 8.9 (yikes!) and is now 7.6. My blood pressure today was 112/78 and -drum roll please! all this with no meds! Yep! I stopped taking the blood pressure med and never did take the statin they wanted me on. Yes, I am still on insulin but less and I am building muscle, which on insulin is really tough.

So how has my life changed since finding MDA? Well, this is definitely a case where the picture doesn’t tell the whole story. Perhaps the greatest testament to the changes in my life are that both my Endocrinologist and my Doctor/Scientist husband are now trying the PB lifestyle as is my sister and even my meat averse diabetic mother. I’ve become like one of those nuts that quits smoking and becomes evangelically non-smoking. I am an evangelizing Primal and thank Grok for it!

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I’ve been a distance runner who fights my weight for the past 24+ years. I started running to lose weight in 1985, when I weighed 180. Right now, I’m in the mid-190s. Funny how that worked (not).

Two-plus years ago, I started lifting, which helped with fat loss. Some of the time. As long as I was very careful about what I ate.

In the past few weeks, I think I may have finally found the answer. I’ve made a number of changes:

1) No grains
2) No sugars
3) Less cardio
4) More lifting
5) Less structure and rigor to my workouts. I still don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow from an exercise perspective.

So far this month, I’ve seen the following changes:

1) Carb cravings are gone – completely
2) I’m gaining muscle mass at age 47
3) People other than my wife are commenting on changes in my physique
4) I’ve dropped almost 2 inches from my waist and tomorrow, I’ll measure my BF% to see how it’s changed this month
5) I’m falling asleep when tired and waking up on my own
6) My weight is dropping

Lastly, it all feels sustainable.

Oh yeah, long cardio is hard while eating this way. I learned that the hard way.

I have been an ultramarathon runner since 1994, but maybe it’s time to simply move on, save the time normally spent running for hours on end, day after day, and spend that time with my family.

Right now, I simply feel great and my body is changing. I need to see where I am six months from now, but I’m more optimistic now than ever that I’ve found a sustainable way to be fit and lean and happy.

I don’t know what I’d do without your blog. When I started college, I moved from San Francisco back to Oklahoma. Basically, it meant that I stopped hiking 3 miles daily and eating good food. A combination of a super heavy class load and eating on the school meal plan lead me to gain almost 40 lbs – and I didn’t even eat french fries, chips or ice cream or drink soda (haven’t in almost 10 years.)

I was devastated. I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes. I went from 150 at 5’9 up to 190. I came back home and lost 0 pounds and wasn’t sure what to do. I was getting desperate because I could only fit into yoga pants. Luckily in December I found your blog, and started the primal challenge two weeks before Christmas. I’ve cleaned all the grains and potatoes out of the house and have stocked up on fruits and veggies. Thanks to you and your blog I’m losing weight finally and am continuing to do the primal challenge so I’ll be thinner than before for my wedding next summer. THANK YOU!!!

Rachel

I’m 56 years old and have been a type 2 diabetic since I was 32. When diagnosed, I went on the American Diabetic Association exchange diet, which is 50%+ carbohydrates. Believe it or not, the diet worked for a while, because as high in carbs as it is, it was still fewer than I had been eating. Over the years I made an effort at taking care of myself, but medicines increased. At the first of this year I was injecting 10mcg of Byetta twice a day, 22 units of insulin at night, and taking 2 grams of metformin in the evenings. I was unable to predict what my body’s reaction to meals would be. I had frequent lows, because I was trying to maintain healthy blood sugars. I had been doing some studying – read Dr. Bernstein’s book, Taubes’ book, etc. (didn’t know about Mark then). Anyway on January 4th I began my first steps at becoming primal.

With my doctor’s consent, I discontinued the Byetta and began eating a low carb diet (he also agreed I could stop taking the statin I was on). Initially I was eating 90g of carbs or less a day. That soon dropped to 75g and now I am eating <50g a day. I had to start lowering my insulin dosage within two weeks and was off the insulin in 6 weeks. In 6 months I was off the Metformin, so I am now free of diabetes drugs, though I have not yet been able to get off some others. I have hope for the future. The only exercise I used to do was tai chi, which I enjoy a lot, but was not all I needed. I found out about burpees on this web site and began doing those as well. I also found out about grass-fed beef. I was able to locate a farmer about 75 miles from my home who raises and sells grass-fed beef and recently bought half a cow! I’m eating organic raw cheese. I have cut out artificial sweeteners with occasional lapses. I have cut out all grains and starchy vegetables. I do often have one square of a Lindt 85% cocoa bar – it is about 1.5 grams of sugar (never more than one in a day). Otherwise no sugar. No trans-fats. I find I am very sensitive to carbs so the only fruit I eat is berries, in small amounts. I have increased my fat intake in hopes of raising my HDLs, which historically have been < 30 most of the time. I have added coconut oil to my diet. My low testosterone had risen by 200+ points at my last check up. I hope for a further increase at the end of next week when I have another check up. If that happens, I can begin reducing the medicine I am on for that. I feel great and look forward to continued improvements in my health as time goes by. I wish I had known this 24 years ago.

Best,
David

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