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December 14, 2012

Where’s Timothy Now?

By Guest
163 Comments

Who’s Timothy, you ask? Timothy is a fellow that submitted a Primal Blueprint Real Life Story a few years back. He’s also a PrimalCon veteran (we’ve been lucky enough to have him and his family attend each PrimalCon thus far), a Shovelglove Master, and an all-around great guy. Oh, and you might recognize him from The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.

As you may know from past “Where Are They Now?” articles, I like to periodically check in with friends that have shared their success stories on Mark’s Daily Apple to see how they’re doing. There was The Unconquerable Dave and his update post The Unconquerable Dave: Still Unconquerable (Grok on, brother, if you’re reading), and a host of others (1, 2, 3).

I caught up with Timothy recently and, lucky for us all, he was happy to provide an update. And what an update it is.

First, here’s a pre-Primal pic from Timothy’s original success story.

If you haven’t read Timothy’s story, do so now: Complete Recovery Within a Week. It’s worth your time.

Now, without further ado, let’s find out how the Primal lifestyle has been treating Timothy.

Enter Timothy…

Dear Mark,

It’s been three years since I first discovered Marks Daily Apple. My wife had just given birth to our first child, and at age 33 I was motivated for the first time to make a serious effort at improving my health. I knew I needed more physical and mental strength to be a good father and husband. But I was completely ignorant about exercise and nutrition.

In my luckiest break ever, I stumbled across MDA. Intellectually, I was convinced. Of course the human body does best in its native environment; how silly not to have thought of that! But what really convinced me, on an emotional level, was reading the success stories of those who transformed their own lives, complete with astounding photographic proof. Maybe, I dared to fantasize, such magic might work on a basket case like me!

Oh, man, I had no idea.

I put down the processed foods and picked up a sledgehammer. It was a fun game to think about the Primal paradigm and apply it to every aspect of my life. The first changes came almost overnight, and that taste of success made me hungry for more. I discovered that cooking real food was actually enjoyable. And later that weightlifting was my favorite hobby, even better than video games!

A few months ago, I decided to apply everything I had learned to bodybuilding, taking a Primal approach to the Leangains method. This seemed like the ultimate challenge of mind, body, and soul. After twelve careful weeks, the results astonished me! Here’s a photo from before I started lifting.

Here’s one after I had been lifting for one year.

And here are two from the end of my diet (much credit due to the coaching of Andy Morgan of rippedbody.jp).

Going Primal didn’t just introduce me to my favorite hobby. It gave me more strength and vitality than I could ever have imagined and drastically enhanced my enjoyment of life. But most important of all, I got what I came for: being a capable father to my son. This worked out so well we soon had another! (Going Primal has noteworthy effects on fertility). Keeping up with two healthy boys is a serious challenge, but thanks to my degree in Primalology from MDA, I am prevailing with aplomb.

Just for fun, here are eight of my thoughts after three years. I hope they will inspire those who come after me, and amuse those who came before:

We have more potential than our tiny minds can imagine. People rarely appreciate how amazing our ancestors were. We’re all descended from an unbroken dynasty of heroic survivors stretching back millions of years in the hominid line alone. That legacy lives in our genes, stronger than ever, but waiting for the right environment to be expressed. Every living human is a unique gem that only needs primal polish to shine. That polishing can go on for a lifetime. Our dreams barely scratch the surface!

Homo Sapiens must squat. As the bipedal animal, this is our most distinctive physical adaptation. My toddler does it perfectly by instinct. But as we grow up, we become crippled by sedentarism and lose our facility in this basic motion. The more we neglect squatting, the more uncomfortable it becomes, and we avoid it even more, until we can barely stand up from a chair. But it’s worth working through that discomfort and discovering what you knew as a child, because squatting is the foundation of human strength.

Homo Sapiens must fast. As omnivorous survivors, this is our most distinctive metabolic adaptation. It’s no secret that ancient humans survived countless cycles of lean times and abundance. As J. Stanton writes, prey animals graze, but predators fast and gorge. Our bodies perform best under these conditions. This works on at least three levels: daily intermittent fasting (e.g. skipping breakfast), day-to-day calorie cycling (overfeeding after a vigorous hunt, underfeeding and resting on other days), and seasonal cycling (lots of calories during some months, not quite enough during others). What is the optimal frequency and magnitude? I’m doing my best to find out…

SLEDGEHAMMERS! Is there any greater exercise appliance? Sure, barbells are best for building strength. And kettlebells are fun and functional. But for me, nothing spells paleolithic party time like a weighted stick. You can shovel it! You can swing it! You can throw it in the air, whirl it overhead, swing one in each hand like a crazy berserker! My personal favorite is to simulate stone-age combat. I came up with a hammer combat protocol that combines Moving at a Slow Pace, Sprinting, and Lifting Heavy Things for a hugely entertaining devil of a workout, one that was extremely effective in the final weeks of my recent diet.

True ecstasy is mastering heavy lifts. Everybody talks about runner’s high. How come nobody talks about lifter’s high? These days when I deadlift for reps at my limit, or power clean and press a barbell overhead with all my strength until it finally crashes down – the euphoria is indescribable. It’s like being tasered with pure ecstasy, or being mind-melded with aliens, or dying and being resurrected on the spot. Only crazier! The effect was minor when I first started lifting and my body was just learning to exert itself. But now that I’ve practiced for a year and a half, holy smokes, it keeps getting more intense. That feeling is all the motivation I need to keep lifting.

Un-deafen your palate. “I couldn’t live without bread.” This was my most dreadful fear when I first went Primal. And to abandon not just bread, but all forms of birdseed! Even cinnamon rolls, heaven forfend! Maybe it was gliadin addiction, maybe just habit from growing up on fast food, but I was seriously concerned about a life sentence in a culinary prison devoid of all pleasure. HA! Now I realize that bread, and all the other supernormal stimuli of modern food substitutes, had deafened my palate to the subtle flavors of real food. After turning off the static, my sense of taste slowly awoke. Eggs, salmon, and bison are just as soul-satisfying for me now as bread used to be, with the added bonus that I feeling great after eating them. As for cinnamon rolls, they can’t compete with a pot of maple cinnamon coconut quinoa. I did this experiment recently and the results weren’t even close.

Willpower doesn’t exist. This was a shocker for me, because conventional wisdom is that success, especially on a diet, comes from making a decision and just plain sticking to it. But when I honestly thought about it, none of my successes came from willpower. When I actually did try to rely on “willpower” it was almost always self-sabotaging. What works instead? Habit, distraction, playfulness, desperation, vanity, OCD, cognitive dissonance, endorphin addiction, the urge to disprove doubters, the desire to set a good example – these are a few of the tools that worked for me in various contexts. But willpower, what does that even mean? It’s just an illusion. Like consciousness!

Set a good example. We’re all in this together. I honestly believe that everybody would be Primal if they only knew what it felt like. How much happier our world would be! But how are folks to know? Not everyone is lucky enough to stumble across MDA. But neither is confrontation productive. We can only set a good example. Few people notice. Fewer still inquire. But when we open even one other person’s mind, that action echoes through eternity. It is not given to all of us to have children of our own, or to create cultural monuments to live after us. But we all have a real shot at immortality through our brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews in the human race.

Every one of our ancestors, without exception, unto the humblest protozoa, prevailed where countless others failed. And so we walk the earth right now. Only for an instant, but one flash of lightning is enough to illuminate the world. Where will we strike next?

Grok on,

Timothy

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159 Comments on "Where’s Timothy Now?"

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Groktimus Primal
3 years 11 months ago

Wow, I’ve seen some examples of positive change but this one is radical! Are you sure you didn’t spend $19.99 on a miracle weight loss pill from late night TV? 🙂

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

All I needed was the knowledge found on this very web site. As for miracle pills and supplements — the best are disguised as whole foods at the farmer’s market!

Doug D
Doug D
3 years 11 months ago

I couldn’t agree more. There is no magic pill, only REAL food, REAL effort and a REAL life built from those foundations.
And great thoughts, Timothy! I found the same with my palate when I went primal too. I could taste food so much more after a few weeks. It’s incredible.

PGC
PGC
3 years 10 months ago

Hi Timothy

I read your great post on your website. Just wondering with the diet a few things, like when you say a bag of blue berries, exactly how many grams is that bag. Also your protein intake looks to be under the 3 grams per kg of body weight, but I can’t be sure because you don’t specify exactly how many eggs etc

Kelly Fitzsimmons
3 years 11 months ago

What was the chest discoloration in the 1st picture, loose skin?

Amazing transformation, btw.

Brendan
3 years 11 months ago

Wow, incredible! I second you on the squats. Everyone should be doing squats right through into old age and we’d be much better off!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Agreed! My squats are still relatively weak and awkward after a life of way too much sitting. But practicing them has improved my life more than any other single exercise.

daniel
daniel
3 years 11 months ago

I and second you on willpower.

Sarah
Sarah
3 years 11 months ago

I was just trying to decide if I was doing any squats today. Fine! I’ll do them!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

YES!! This alone makes everything worthwhile.

I hope you went deep!

Doug D
Doug D
3 years 11 months ago

Squats are awesome. I can now get “ass to grass” when I squat and can hold one for quite some time. At first, they hurt like an SOB, but now they’re fun and I love the wakefulness my body feels after a round of squatting and lunging!

James
James
3 years 11 months ago

Awesome!!!!

zack
zack
3 years 11 months ago
“True ecstasy is mastering heavy lifts. Everybody talks about runner’s high. How come nobody talks about lifter’s high? These days when I deadlift for reps at my limit, or power clean and press a barbell overhead with all my strength until it finally crashes down – the euphoria is indescribable. It’s like being tasered with pure ecstasy, or being mind-melded with aliens, or dying and being resurrected on the spot. Only crazier! The effect was minor when I first started lifting and my body was just learning to exert itself. But now that I’ve practiced for a year and a… Read more »
Stephane
Stephane
3 years 11 months ago

I second that! Crossfit made me discover lifting, and I would never have imagined I would like it that much.

David Francis
3 years 11 months ago

Second! I maxed out on squats, dead lift, and power clean for the first time in several years and I literally felt euphoric for several hours afterward.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

So glad I’m not the only one who feels this way!

Alice
Alice
3 years 11 months ago

Would love the recipe for your maple cinnamon coconut quinoa!!

LJinSC
LJinSC
3 years 11 months ago

ME too! : )

Looking awesome Timothy!!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you! You’re welcome to the recipe! Here’s the article that contains it (and everything else on my caloric restriction menu):

http://urbanprimalist.com/how_i_got_ripped_and_you_can_too.html

It’s a bit carby at ~130g, but that’s kind of the point. Still way more satisfying and nutrient dense than conventional desserts, in my opinion.

Beth
Beth
3 years 11 months ago

+ 1

Estrella
Estrella
3 years 11 months ago

+1

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Check my website, urbanprimalist.com, for my entire caloric-restriction menu.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by the maple quinoa!

Doug D
Doug D
3 years 11 months ago

+1!!

Wayne Atwell
3 years 11 months ago
Congrats on your Primal transformation, looking good Timothy. I agree with so much of what you say, especially the parts about cooking being enjoyable, needing to fast and weight lifting. I try to learn at least one new recipe every week. Finding so many delicious foods have made my life more enjoyable. I think the fasting and weight lifting go really well together. Ever since I started taking intermittent fasting more seriously I have been seeing great gains in the the gym. When you fast your insulin drops and HGH increases to allow you to burn fat, but it also… Read more »
LJinSC
LJinSC
3 years 11 months ago

hope your boo boo is better!

Wayne Atwell
3 years 11 months ago

My hand is feeling better, thanks.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Totally with you on the fasted training, Wayne. I did 22-hour fasting (single meal) for the longest time, and nothing beats it for convenience. 16-hour seems to be somewhat better for building muscle, but I bet there’s all sorts of individual variation here.

Danny
Danny
3 years 11 months ago

Awesome.

And truly inspiring.

Thank you

Luke DePron
Luke DePron
3 years 11 months ago

I really like the will power part. Each one you named a person popped in my head thinking. “This is the mentality they need to use”.

It’s amazing the palate change. I talk to clients about that all the time. Of course apple don’t taste good if your eating skittles! Remove the crap and all of a sudden strawberries are amazing!

Keep up the good work, got me all excited to go hit a workout. Thanks!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

The palate change didn’t happen overnight and I was highly skeptical that it ever would. But sure enough, it seems almost anything is possible.

Great that you’re stoked to workout, Luke! Go rip it up today!

Susie
Susie
3 years 11 months ago
+1 for willpower! I needed some when I first switched to the Primal lifestyle, but now I know that anything with sugar/grains will leave me feeling unsatisfied and I’ll actually end up in a worse place than I started. My roast beef wrapped in a lettuce leaf on the other hand, will keep me feeling full and satisfied all the way until dinner … even if dinner is a few hours late! Everyone at work remarks on my amazing “willpower” when I turn down sweets. When I try to explain to them that the junkfood doesn’t even tempt me I… Read more »
Jacob
Jacob
3 years 11 months ago

Agreed with the palate change. I had some raspberries for lunch today at a work potluck and they were amazing! Screw the cheesecake for dessert. Give me some more of the berries!

Andy
Andy
3 years 11 months ago

Great story. I have been doing this for roughly 2 months and my motivation is through the roof after seeing such quick results. Thanks for sharing Timothy!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Andy, that’s the best compliment you could give me! When I was just starting out it was the other people’s stories that made me believe change was possible. To repay that favor is the best reward I can imagine.

So here’s to all the inspiration that your own future story will provide! 🙂

Colleen
Colleen
3 years 11 months ago

Some great points. Few people notice and fewer inquire. I have been on the journey to primal for almost a year and am trying to come to grips with this. Primal knowledge is so transformative and now seems so obvious, I see those around me who are so sick and could improve their health so easily, but have no interest . . .

einstein
einstein
3 years 11 months ago

same here. too bad. but at least 2 of the people I care about most, did join and make great progress. my wife and my mother 🙂

Pen
Pen
3 years 11 months ago

You can offer people a potential solution to their woes, but all they really want is sympathy, and to cling to their problems, rather than solutions.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

I’m afraid this is usually the truth! The best you can do is plant a seed, and hope that sooner or later the time will be right for germination.

Dr Jason
3 years 11 months ago

As a doc, it is even worse. People come to me to fix their back or elbow or something… And they ask WHAT can they do? Meanwhile they are 20,50,100 lbs overwieght. With some, I give them the 21 day transformation book. With most, I’ve given up sharing unless they ask. The addict will not look for solutions outside their addiction. If I give talks, I hope that even just 1 out of 100 are impacted and change. Nothing more but living by example.

Vanessa
Vanessa
3 years 11 months ago
But you have to keep saying it Dr. Jason, if only so that your patients can’t then say “no one ever told me . . .” Excellent work Timothy! I keep having the bread fear myself. I live in Portland and the bakeries here are world class; to heck with the bumper sticker that says “Keep Portland Weird” it should be “Keep Portland Breaded” as far as I am concerned. I am moving so slowly toward this change because of the staff of life. I do have a perfect paleo breakfast in place – two eggs fried in butter –… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Dr. J., it’s the truth. I was totally blind to my own addiction until I had the reality check of becoming a father and the intellectual epiphany of reading MDA. It takes a lot to admit that you’ve been taking the wrong road for most of your life. But redemption is always possible.

Vanessa, there’s just something about bread that is particularly hard to shake. I’m tempted to say it is physically addictive. My taste for it didn’t disappear overnight, but it did disappear, to my everlasting surprise and relief. It will for you, too!

Helen
Helen
3 years 11 months ago

Ruth – fill out those eggs with a heap of veges and some pesto or mayonnaise/fat. Or bacon!Just add something to them. In my old ‘wholegrain’ life, I’d have brekky at 7.30, need a snack by 10 and be hanging out to get lunch ready by 12 on the dot. Now with some eggs and vege (or this morning – tinned mackerel fillets, spinach and cherry toms, homemade mayo) I sometimes don’t remember to eat lunch until 2ish – and I’m currently growing a whole new human being inside of me!
You can do it Ruth! Ditch that bread!

Helen
Helen
3 years 11 months ago

Ha – just replied to you below (??) and called you Ruth, twice! I’ll blame that one on the baby brain.

Scott
Scott
3 years 11 months ago
Vanessa, You have the right parts, but need more of them. I don’t feel like you should be starving. Part of that may be due to carb intake from your breads. I find that 2–4 pieces of bacon with 4 or 5 eggs is filling for the entire morning without any significant hunger for 4 to 6 hours. Also, toss some veggies in there. I love onion in my eggs. Mushrooms, peppers, etc. Good luck with your bread addiction. You will get there. I have been working toward Primal life for the last 6 months. We recently splurged on various… Read more »
Elenor
Elenor
3 years 11 months ago
Vanessa, if your breakfast is leaving you “so hungry” — for goodness sake! Have another egg! Have two! You shouldn’t let yourself get starving and in need of distraction! Try having four eggs for breakfast for a week, and see how you do! (Do you look, feel, and perform better? <– Especially FEEL better!) I often find myself 'suddenly' thinking in the late afternoons going "oh, maybe I should eat something" cause I haven't eaten since the night before — but I'm not yet hungry! I pat myself on the back for having become Mark Sisson's 'fat-burning beast' (thanks Mark… Read more »
Moshen
Moshen
3 years 11 months ago

Two eggs in butter? That’s 200 calories, max. You SHOULD be hungry!

Tina
Tina
3 years 11 months ago
Vanessa, I have to agree with all the previous replies–try eating some more. I usually have 3 eggs with lots of veggies, cooked in at least a tablespoon of ghee. I also have turkey sausages or 3-4 pieces of bacon. Sometimes I add half an avocado or some sauerkraut. This will get me through most of the morning (I eat at 6 am and can make it til 11 or 12). But this also took some time–I had to switch from being a sugar burner to a fat burner for me not to be starving every 2 hours. Don’t be… Read more »
Miki
Miki
3 years 11 months ago

So true. Just had this discussion on FB. I have always put a lot of blame on healthcare. A friend pointed out that consumers share the blame. We want fast and easy.

Elenor
Elenor
3 years 11 months ago
Years ago, when I lived on the west coast, I taught Tai Chi in the local …what do they call it now? Extension? Night school? “Community Education” it was then… I took “refuge” (in my head) at having to say (and say and say), for instance: “shoulders down” about 10-15 times in an hour-long class, in EVERY single class, and pretty much to EVERY single student. (Cause everyone’s shoulder would creep up.) Every-so-often, someone would suddenly “get it” — and usually say: “Oh WOW! WHY didn’t you ever tell me this before!?” {mock-agonized eye roll} I would point out (in… Read more »
Jacob
Jacob
3 years 11 months ago

Congrats Timothy! My wife and I recently discovered we are having twins, so I am renewing my efforts to get in shape and revamping my diet to more primal foods. Like you, learning a you have little ones on the way makes you want to be at your very best. Needless to say, with two newborns and a daughter who will be 17 months, I will need every advantage I can get to keep up with them! Lol! Congrats again. I always look forward to reading the Friday articles.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Jacob, there’s no more powerful motivation. You certainly don’t need willpower when you have parental instincts and the right knowledge.

You will inevitably be a great dad! Enjoy the process!

Alison Golden
3 years 11 months ago

I couldn’t agree with you more on many of those points, Timothy.

“People rarely appreciate how amazing our ancestors were.”

Amen, to that.

Mary C
Mary C
3 years 11 months ago

My grandson, 5 months old, is breast fed. I’m interested to know about introducing solids following primal guidelines. SAD starts with rice cereal. Any good sources of info on this that I can pass on to his (open-minded) parents? Thanks!

Jacob
Jacob
3 years 11 months ago

We didn’t introduce our daughter to grains starting off. We went straight to pureed fruits and veggies and she did just fine. Later we incorporated meats and still no issues. Grains are not a necessity for babies. Just be sure they’re getting enough calories. We supplement with formula, whole milk (when they’re old enough), and starchy veggies like potatoes. Granted, this is all anectodal, but it just shows it can be done pretty easily. Best of luck!

Coll
Coll
3 years 11 months ago

Weston A Price foundation has some really good tips for baby foods. Basically though, babies are able to digest protein easier than grains – they are already set up to digest the milk which is full of good protein and fat. We also fed our little ones pureed veggies, kefir, yoghurt (plain) and fruit. We tried to start out with more veg in the beginning so that their palate was not too focused on sweet. Again, look at Weston A Price foundation and just exclude the grains…. kids thrive on this.

clf
clf
3 years 11 months ago

Many suggest mashed cooked egg yolks as a good first food.

William
William
3 years 11 months ago

Just went thought this myself (my little Grok turns 1 tomorrow).

Sweet potatoes and parsnips are your best friends. Pureed at first, then small chunks. Lamb works really well for babies starting around 6/7 months, plenty of recipes out there.

One of our favorite things for baby food is a mashed mix of sweet potatoes, parsnips, and turnips.

When ready, blend a little ground beef/bison/lamb in as well.

einstein
einstein
3 years 11 months ago

chris kresser has a healthy baby code too.

Janet
Janet
3 years 11 months ago

That would be a great question for the MDA Forum.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

All of these are great ideas!

Both my boys started out with pastured egg yolk and coconut butter, among other things Once they had a couple of teeth, it turned out they enjoyed salmon as much as their dad.

I like to give them the skin and the really fatty bits from the spinal area. You can almost see them becoming smarter with each bite 🙂

Suzie_B
Suzie_B
3 years 11 months ago

Google “Canada baby meat” – new guidelines up north

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 11 months ago

Pastured baby meat for me only please.

mm
mm
3 years 11 months ago

Would you like a baby harp seal instead? Canada is overflowing with them

defrog
defrog
3 years 11 months ago
I exclusively breastfed my daughter for 6 months, and nursed her until she was nearly 3 years old. Someone at La Leche League introduced me to the book, “Super Baby Food” by Ruth Yaron and I used this as my guide. A terrific book, although not in the Paleo tradition. I never really gave her grains, in any case, although pureed frozen peas, green beans, and sweet potatoes were favorites (all veg were mixed with greek yogurt once she was 7 months old). I’m a proud mama now, when my 3.5 year old asks if she can have a snack… Read more »
ponymama
ponymama
3 years 11 months ago

I started both my kids with avacodo and bananas. Then moved on to other veggies and some fruits. An old wifes tale is the baby shouldn’t eat meat till they have teeth. So that is when I started mine.

Helen
Helen
3 years 11 months ago

Have a look at Baby Led Solids or Baby Led Weaning. We never pureed anything at all for our son. He started on lightly steamed vege and went from there. No need for rice cereal or any other cereal for that matter.

Emily
Emily
3 years 11 months ago
I highly recommend home made meat and bone broth soup stocks. These are highly nourishing and easy to digest. They are recommended as a baby weaning food by doctor Natasha Campbell-Mcbride in her books on the GAPS diet. My 4 year old has been on the Gaps diet which is essentially paleo with an emphasis on broths and fermented foods and his behavior has improved markedly with a big reduction in tantruming and anxiety. He is on the autism spectrum and we would let him cheat on our family’s primal eating plan before. We had to get him to stick… Read more »
Ara
Ara
3 years 11 months ago

My Mom would cook up organ meats (heart, liver,etc.) and purée them in the blender. That was our “baby food”… My Mom’s always been a genius…

Amy
Amy
3 years 11 months ago
I can only pass on our experience with 3 breast-fed. Don’t worry about it. (Seriously) Totally ties into What Would Grok Do post previously? Grok probably wouldn’t bother with pureeing. Too much work! When the baby is ready, have them sit at the table and cut up into little itty bitty bits whatever it is you’re eating. They’ll pick it up with their fingers. No worries, to mess. (Okay, a little mess, but less than the puree/spoon method.) Nursing is still the primary means of nutrition through the first year and sometimes well into the second. My oldest are 12… Read more »
Brent
Brent
3 years 11 months ago

Bravo!

Pamela
Pamela
3 years 11 months ago

So happy to see it just keeps getting better and better! Well done! 🙂

Dany
Dany
3 years 11 months ago

Great results.
I really like to ask you- did you make the 12 weeks with Andy eating fully primal foods? No grains and legumes at all?

Can you give some details of your food choices on training/rest days?

Thank you,

Take care.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

I did indeed eat entirely primal, except for small amounts of casein to round out my macros. Quinoa and maple syrup are primal, right?

I published my entire cut menu on my website, urbanprimalist.com. Check out the highlighted article on the front page.

NotApplicable
NotApplicable
3 years 11 months ago
I love the willpower realization. I’ve been telling people forever (it seems) that you should NEVER curb your desire, but desire your curb, by focusing on what it is in life you truly desire. A big part of this lies in the realm of time-preference. Since I dearly desire to live to 100 for example, I don’t suffer for missing any short-term desires I previously had, as I find that in light of my longer-term view, I really don’t desire them like I once did. And if I do have a desire I can’t shake? Well, I go completely overboard… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

“Desire your curb”, I love that!

Time preference really is essential. Once you know that you can make long-term improvements, it gets a lot easier to plan for the future rather than just getting through the day. This has enormous benefits in every area of life.

mm
mm
3 years 11 months ago

Agreed. I’m doing exercise, low-carb/meatatarian paleo & 36-hr. intermitten fasts so I can control my insulin / damaged carb metabolism & get my body to shed its junk proteins & slow itself down on my fasts.
More research is needed but it looks like not only can I get to live to 100 without worrying about breaking a hip or high-insulin/carb induced alzheimer’s, but doing this might actually extend humans’ maximum lifespan the same way calorie restriction might… only this way is way more fun!

Ryan
Ryan
3 years 11 months ago

Timothy – how many carbs do you estimate you were taking in while cutting w/ Andy? I’m curious how you made his philosophy work with regards to fat/carb intake.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

I can’t give you the precise numbers out of respect to Andy, but you can see my entire cutting menu on my web site.

Ryan
Ryan
3 years 11 months ago

Understood – thanks for sharing!

AustinGirl
AustinGirl
3 years 11 months ago

I am SO happy you’re thriving like this. I also LOVED the exuberance that came through in your writings. Thanks for being such a joyful inspiration to the rest of us!!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you so much. Our greatest advantage is inspiration from fellow primal brothers and sisters!

Mark
Mark
3 years 11 months ago

YES!!!! What a wisdom-filled, thought-provoking, and confirming post. Thanks for sharing, and as always thanks to Mark Sisson for transforming another life!

karen
karen
3 years 11 months ago

“Not everyone is lucky enough to stumble across MDA.”

Maybe Mark could post a file in a common business card format (Avery #xxxx) that allows us to print out MDA business cards and hand them out to friends, in airports, on street corners, etc. Let’s get the word out.

Pen
Pen
3 years 11 months ago

Great idea! I am always seeing people in the street I’d like to hand an MDA card!

Madama Butterfry
Madama Butterfry
3 years 11 months ago

+1

Chris
Chris
3 years 11 months ago

Bumper stickers! I’d love to slap a primal/MDA sticker (or 10!) on the back of my car.

Way to go Timothy!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 11 months ago

10 stickers! Is your bumper falling off?

Amy
Amy
3 years 11 months ago

LOL – The ultimate in car repair!

Elenor
Elenor
3 years 11 months ago
I actually do this. Of course, besides listing Mark, I have Dr Mike Eades and Tom Naughton and Gary Taubes and Doug McGuff and and… If it’s okay Mark, I’ve posted an example here: http://www.elenorsnow.com/handout.crd.pdf just to give an idea. (Make up your own to emphasize what you usually talk to folks about.) I change it up now and again — depending on what I’m … er … {wince} proselytizing about at the moment. But it’s SO easy, compared to trying to find paper and pen to (remember and ) write URLs down; or hope the person will remember: “okay,… Read more »
Louisa
Louisa
3 years 11 months ago
Thank you for sharing your journey and experiences with us. I lost 17lbs, 11″ within a 3-month period and very few people even acknowledge my new ‘form’ which has gone from a size 12 to a very comfortable size 8. And those individuals that do notice, and have asked me a few questions, appear shocked and concerned that I don’t ingest wheat or sugar or processed foods. Their typical question is: “What do you eat, then?” I am always amazed at how people really believe that carbs and lots of fruit is the foundation of a healthy diet — we… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Congratulations on truly impressive results!

Sad to say that even after three years and immense health improvement, I still catch flak from friends and family for my diet, usually on the grounds that I eat too much meat and fish and that this is inevitably going to catch up with me someday.

Some people are never going to be convinced. You’ve just got to do what you know is right. Good luck!

Vanessa
Vanessa
3 years 11 months ago

Louisa, sometimes I don’t say anything about another person’s weight loss b/c I don’t want it to sound like I used to think they were overweight. “You’ve lost weight” sounds almost like, “You had weight to lose and now you’ve finally done it.” I guess I should really consider that some more b/c it is always such a nice compliment when someone acknowledges a weight loss.

mm
mm
3 years 11 months ago

yes, people aren’t that stupid. When I became fat I didn’t notice at first and if you’d said that I would not have cared that much, because, being skinny, I didn’t pay much attention to that sort of thing.
When I got fatter… well at some point it gets very hard not to notice yourself getting fat.

Anna
Anna
3 years 11 months ago

Louisa, people are brainwashed very early on about the food pyramid. I would say as early as kindergarten. My daughter even had a visiting dentist lecture about the food pyramid. It is SAD.

Pen
Pen
3 years 11 months ago

Hi Tim, can I ask – is your wife primal too? If so, how’s she finding it? If not, how’s she finding it?? Thanks. Pen

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

My wife is primal, but she eats very differently than me. She follows the 80/20 rule more than me (I’m more 95/5), and she eats a lot more carbs, but this seems to agree with her.

Her story is also truly remarkable — she overcame a devastating health condition for which she was constantly urged to get surgery — and I’m hoping she’ll tell it in her own words some day.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 11 months ago

From what I have read, women in general do better/feel better with more carbs. Especially if they are really active.

Amy
Amy
3 years 11 months ago

That’s true for me if my carbs come from fruit or neutral starch (tubers, occasional rice.) Grains beg for sinus headaches.

mm
mm
3 years 11 months ago

ffs it’s like women are from another species – even Ron is hand-holding the ladies, telling them it’s okay to be mediocre, it’s okay not to even try the more “radical” keto stuff. It’s bad enough Sisson is kind of obssessed with magic fruity anti-oxidants at times and isn’t that fond of keto himself…

Wait… you’re not Ron, you’re… AN IMPOSTOR!
(dah-dah-daah!)

kait
kait
3 years 11 months ago
Hmm yeah low carb was terrible for me. 😛 I need to eat an abundance of carbohydrate foods to keep my mood and energy levels up, not to mention the lovely feminine bodyfat. I hope your wife will write her story as well. 🙂 But hey um, speaking of bodyfat, your levels look suuuuuper low. I know if a woman were do do that, she’d be losing her period and shit. Men are different, I know, but do you think your current level of bodyfat is sustainable? I would just be careful of doing anything to extreme to keep it… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 11 months ago
Funny you should say, Kait. When I first went primal, I did great with almost zero carb and thought that was the magic bullet for everybody. But when I got much leaner, my appetite for fat went way down and I realized I was feeling much better with carbs. There’s no perfect diet for everybody — intelligent experimentation is the only way! As for bodyfat, I certainly didn’t want to starve and lose my hard-earned muscle. My strength actually increased week after week, which was a surprise. But I did end up feeling so hungry that it was affecting my… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 11 months ago

I like smashing things. I like Peter Gabriel. Hmmmm (light bulb!)

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Oh, man, you should try it. Comedian Leo Gallagher may be one of the most important exercise pioneers of the 20th century…

Chris
Chris
3 years 11 months ago
It’s exciting to hear your story continue on 🙂 I came across your original in ’21-Day Transformation’ and was excited to hear all of your changes as your progressed, and know that they may be in my realm of possibility also. It’s also exciting to see yourself and others recognize that “every body” is different, and what make work for one, may not work exactly the same (or at all) for another. Ever since I realized I wanted to be a Physical Therapist, and I really started paying attention to health, fitness, & lifestyle, I think the “every body ‘lesson'”… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you! Individual variation is one of the best things about humanity. We’re not insects; we each have unique advantages, the better to cooperate with each other.

The more we give our bodies the right environment, the more personal talents we discover. We are all just scratching the surface. Keep digging!

DUFF
DUFF
3 years 11 months ago

BEAST!

Lars T.
3 years 11 months ago

Timothy,

When I first met you, your primal transformation was already astonishing.

To see you leap far beyond your initial gains, instead of coasting and plateauing on your initial success, is indeed inspiring.
What will year four bring, Timothy? 🙂

~Lars

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Lars, buddy, thanks so much! You’ve come a heck of a long way yourself. Stasis is not possible — one can only grow or die.

As for year four, anything is possible! The only thing that is certain is more people hating on my deadlift form 😉

alexandra
3 years 11 months ago

Amazing!Is so cool to see Timothy again.I read your story so many times in the past year.So Inspiring!Best Wishes.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you, Alexandra! I hope to read your story someday too!

Aria
Aria
3 years 11 months ago

So true about the willpower. I don’t feel deprived AT ALL, and I’ve put off 70 pounds. It’s amazing!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Wow, major congratulations! Not feeling deprived is the only sustainable way. We must embrace our human nature, not smother it.

Moshen
Moshen
3 years 11 months ago

“It’s like being tasered with pure ecstasy”

This guy has a way with words!

misha
misha
3 years 11 months ago

WOW !!! You are truly inspirational.
I love your 8 things to think about… again… WOW !!!

gibson
gibson
3 years 11 months ago

Thanks for this chaper of your powerful story, Timothy. I used to think eating right was a willpower thing until I learned to just embrace the foods that sustain me. Amazing what freedom it brings! How great that your family members are with you on this. Makes things so much easier.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Gibson, I’m glad you enjoyed it, and that you cured your own palate as well!

My extended family is far from on board, but everyone in my household is primal, and that has been a huge advantage. May we all have that support, if not now then eventually.

SJ
SJ
3 years 11 months ago

Is it just me, or does your hair look thicker now too?

Very impressive. Thanks for sharing!

Lars T.
3 years 11 months ago

I thought so too… hair is looking fuller.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you, I hadn’t noticed that! This despite my 11-month-old removing fistfuls at a time.

Male pattern baldness is universal on my mother’s side of the family. Time will tell if that’s genetic or epigenetic…

SJ
SJ
3 years 11 months ago

Yup, I think there’s a good difference between the shirtless pic before you started lifting and the second-to-last, end of diet pic. Looks much fuller, healthier, and shinier. And it just looks like there’s more of it…is this the cure for baldness?! 😀

Jane
Jane
3 years 11 months ago
OMG youre writing style is the best! I could read your stuff forever. I wanted to add that yesterday when I was asked about my “willpower” I answered it thus: Willpower has nothing to do with weight loss. There are several aspects of my life that had to come together, I believe, before I was “ready” to do primal. The planets of fate if you will had to align. For me there are about a dozen things that aligned but I felt the following were THE most important. Cognitive dissonance. I wan’t sure this was all that important amongst the… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 11 months ago
Jane, thank you for the kind words and very thought-provoking insights. Motivation is the decisive factor in lifestyle improvement. These days, the information is out there. The tools are out there. But what makes some people apply them consistently over time, while others give up or fail to get started? I’ve asked this of a lot of people who had successful transformations. It seems the answer is different for everybody, and even for the same person at different times. Understanding this in yourself is a huge advantage. Understanding it in other people could change a lot of lives for the… Read more »
George
George
3 years 11 months ago
Great story, Timothy is definitely ripped. Looks a tad calorie deprived, if he could get a bit more size he would look even healthier. I have been studying health, fitness and nutrition for 40 years so none of this is new to me, but Mark, and Tim here also, frame it in a very intelligent and inspirational / compelling way. I lost, without trying, about 15 pounds this year by cutting way back on (nearly eliminating) grains and started to go heavy on veggies, berries, eggs, whey protein shakes. I then came across this site and it has for the… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 11 months ago
Congratulations on your weight loss, George! One thing I’ve learned — particularly from Mark — its that life is still just beginning as one approaches 60. I’m rather looking forward to that decade myself. Best of luck making the most of it! Keen of you to spot the calorie deprivation, I did in fact feel real hunger for perhaps the first time in life. And I massively refed myself after I hit my target weight. Gained most of the weight back, but kept a lot of the leanness and all of the strength gains. After this, I’m convinced that “bulking… Read more »
Primal Pete
Primal Pete
3 years 11 months ago

Hey Tim – wow. I’ve never commented on an MDA article in 3 years and I just wanted to say your primal application of leangains is unbelievable. I remember you commenting on my short lived goal thread on the forums a while back. I’m currently doing “primal” leangains myself and so far so good. Hopefully I can get as ripped as you!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago
Primal Pete, how great to hear from you and learn that you’re still at it! I hope you’ll comment a bit more on future articles, I always appreciated your perspective. The key to primal leangains, I think, is precision and patience. When I was originally just guesstimating my macros and changing things around a lot, my mind confounded my progress. I did get a lot stronger (as in the one-year lifting pic) but not as lean as I wanted. So my advice (not that you asked for it) is to count your macros, lift like a barbarian, and have patience!… Read more »
Primal Pete
Primal Pete
3 years 11 months ago

For sure, Tim. I’ve been weighing everything and diligently counting. I’m sure I won’t do that forever, but I agree that I finally accepted it to be necessary for a true cut. I’ve just been making very large meals and divying them up into tupperwear. pretty simple. Martin’s lifting style is what I’ve always believed to be best over the years, so lifting hard and heavy has never been a problem for me. I might post a progress pics soon enough… and yes, slow and steady wins the race!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Pete, that’s fantastic! You need do nothing more but keep that up and reel in the progress.

One other idea is to track your progress multiple ways. I use a tape measure and weekly photos in addition to scale weight. There are times your scale weight won’t budge or will even go into reverse, but these other measurements will confirm that progress is still happening.

Hold fast, man! The promised land awaits 🙂

Jenny
Jenny
3 years 11 months ago

Yep! Agree, agree, agree!!! I love deadlifts especially!!! And you are spot on about willpower, squats and fasting also!

William
William
3 years 11 months ago

Timothy, congrats on your success!

“It’s like being tasered with pure ecstasy, or being mind-melded with aliens, or dying and being resurrected on the spot.”

You definitely should start a MDA style blog, I think you have a great, fun way of expressing your thoughts.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you very much! I do have a blog at urbanprimalist.com, but I don’t get to update it very often.

Most of my creative writing happens at Fitocracy.com where my screen name is Gnugnug. Heavy lifting never fails to give me weird ideas…

mars
mars
3 years 11 months ago

whoo hoo great post! thanks for sharing!

Diane
Diane
3 years 11 months ago

I squatted 110lbs today and deadlifted 125 — almost my body weight. There really is a lifter’s high, even when your lifts are pretty unimpressive. I’ve got to find out more about this sledgehammer stuff. The gym will be closed for over a week.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

This is the truth! It’s not about the numbers as much as your state of mind on the last rep. Even a beginner can touch the cosmos. But rest assured that it gets even more profound with practice!

Just picking up a sledgehammer will probably give you some ideas. But there’s a ton more on my web site if you want em!

Juli
Juli
3 years 11 months ago
Diane & Timothy – Thanks to you both for your inspiration. I’m a natural at the eating but have just started lifting. So far, I’m pretty far from lifting my body weight — more like half an arm ;). But I did discover right away that it’s impossible to think about anything but the lift — must be fully present. I train with a trainer once a week and that allows me to concentrate 100% on failure. I had no idea how satisfying failure can be. Thanks again! p.s. This thread also made me consider inventing the “squatting desk” to… Read more »
Scott
Scott
3 years 11 months ago

Timothy,

Fantastic story! What an inspiration. My Primal path is in its relative infancy but our motivation is similar. That is to be a better father. I have three young kids and being there for them and being a guide to them has been a strong motivator with going Primal. The ancestral, old ways are of high interest to me now. I am hoping to regain some of that knowledge and wisdom that modern society has forgotten. Keep up the good work.

-Scott

P.S. I looked at your site a bit and the hammer routine is awesome.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

That is fantastic, three kids! Truly you are a credit to your ancestors. And who knows, maybe they’re looking down with approval right now and figuring out ways to help you along.

I often feel like much of my brain was dormant until my kids came around. They made a man out of me and I’m sure yours will do the same to you, as long as you give your body and mind the right raw material.

Congratulations, and good luck. We’re on this journey together. Hope you can find a good deal on a hammer!

Paul J
Paul J
3 years 11 months ago
Hey Timothy, This is very inspiring stuff – thanks for sharing it with the world. I am turning 30 in the new year and will be starting my primal journey. The plan is to share my own personal Primal Blueprint Real Life Story a couple years from now. Question: Anything you wished you had tracked but hadn’t? This isn’t to say you started off on the wrong foot, but anything you tweaked partway through that made a huge difference? The answer very well could be ‘nothing’, and even that would be an interesting answer. What you’ve laid out above and… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 11 months ago
Congratulations on your commencement! If you follow the 10 primal laws, you will inevitably be sharing your own success story, and quite possibly sooner than you anticipate. That is a very prescient question! There are a couple things I would have changed. One would be to not do cardio. That was a total blind alley for me. Walking is great, and sprinting is awesome, but I feel like I threw away a lot of energy on steady state cardio that could have gone to transforming my body instead. Second, I would have started barbell lifting right from the start. Squats… Read more »
Michael Corayer
3 years 11 months ago

Congratulations on your results and a really great description of your views. I agree with just about everything you said, though I haven’t yet tried sledgehammer training…

Paul Grosenstein
3 years 11 months ago

TIMOTHY!!! “The Student becomes the Teacher” comes to mind with a way with words exposing the wisdom and photos to impress. I was so excited to see MDA capturing this fine update of your so many successes. You responded to a comment earlier making fun of your personal form when deadlifiting…..however I have watched in amazement as you deadlifted 400lbs!!! “Fargen” Incredible!

See you ate PC2013 my Grok brethren.

Paul Grosenstein
3 years 11 months ago

*at PC2013…..

!!!!!!!!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Paul, thanks! Knowing your own accomplishments I’m really humbled by your compliments. You have an extraordinary combination of strength and endurance and I’m stoked to see you develop it even further.

On the deads, I’m very happy with the results after all this time. I have good reasons for lifting the way I do and all the curlbro mockery in the world can’t change that. In fact, I kind of enjoy it…

Lani
Lani
3 years 11 months ago

Wow Timothy! Congrats on your transformation. You look fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was in need of new motivation this morning and this did it for me! Grok on my friend!

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Excellent! Any fuel is good for the furnace. If I helped you build a bit more momentum, I couldn’t ask for more!

Moshen
Moshen
3 years 11 months ago

I was rolling my eyes a bit when I first saw him mention a website. …But he’s a great writer! Solid, inspirational stuff that he’s thought out deeply.

“One Year Primal: What’s Easy, What’s Hard”,
“Lessons from One Year of Heavy Lifting”, and
“How I Got Ripped” are excellent, and I haven’t even gone thru the others yet.

Great work, Timothy.

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

Thank you, Moshen! I’m glad you liked it. I don’t get any money from my web site (quite the opposite in fact) and I do it solely as a labor of love for those who are interested.

Comments like yours are the best compensation I could hope for. 🙂

AlyieCat
AlyieCat
3 years 11 months ago

Is the cinnamon coconut quinoa recipe available?

Timothy
3 years 11 months ago

You bet! It’s at urbanprimalist.com, in the diet section of the article “How I Got Ripped (and you can too).”

Sungrazer
Sungrazer
3 years 11 months ago

I bow before you, fellow grok! 🙂 Congrats with your continuous success with the lifestyle change. 🙂

Andrew
Andrew
3 years 11 months ago

Wonderfully written, insightful, deeply human and very inspiring, Timothy. Bravo.

Thank you for putting yourself out there as an example for others.

Rio
Rio
3 years 11 months ago

Love your insight that willpower doesn’t exist! I’d have to agree and it infuriates me when i read that obese people simply “lack willpower” there are so many things going on beyond that!
I have also found a love for weightlifting! Hate running, but the joy i get when i manage to lift that extra “x” kilos is intense!
Nice one! 🙂

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