Month: September 2011
It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
Five years ago I was 30 years old, 5′ 9″, and hovering around 210 pounds. I had consistently high blood pressure and cholesterol in the neighborhood of 250 (I know cholesterol numbers should be taken in context, and the context wasn’t good). I was a veritable garbage disposal for any and all kinds of food at all hours of the day or night and never had any interest in reading the labels on what I was eating. I worked at a bar and consumed $50-$60 worth of beer and shots almost every day, smoked cigarettes, smoked pot several times daily, and sporadically (but still consistently) used cocaine and painkillers. It goes without saying that my sleep schedule was nothing short of catastrophic. I always was suffering from heartburn, and frequently gagged or even vomited from something as innocent as a bad smell or heightened stress. Living in Vail, Colorado, I owned all the outdoor gear I could get my hands on, but my poor health and destructive lifestyle prevented me from truly enjoying any of it.
Hold your fist-pumps of glee until the end, because I’m giving away an arsenal of equipment for this one…
A Mace. From StrongerGrip.com. Not sure how to use a mace? Check out the video on this page. I’m a big fan of incorporating maces into my workouts, and actually own a Stronger Grips mace. It’s tough and durable, and you can add weight to the hollow, sealed globe at the end to suit your strength level. Check out StrongerGrip.com to view their wide selection of workout gear (including sledgehammers and clubs). And for those of you who aren’t into winning or buying stuff, the owner of Stronger Grip also runs a blog for folks who like to lift heavy things: Stronger Grip Blog.
We’re well into the third week of the Challenge, and I’m thinking these days about fun. Yes, fun – the pure amusement, pleasure, and self-indulgence of it. Did Tuesday’s active entertainment post tip you off? A challenge, of course, implies goals, structure, progress, and the associated measurements of these. While indispensable, I get a little bored with them from time to time. Hands? Why can’t a healthy lifestyle be about fun and spontaneity? Why can’t it be about enjoying life rather than parsing it out in pre-approved steps? Oh, wait. It can.
It’s a simple but vital dimension of the Primal Blueprint – the concept of the journey itself. Yes, many of us have particular “highlights” we’d like to hit, but there’s plenty to savor along the way. Living the PB, after all, is about living “whole,” living fully – or at least relishing the attempt anyway. The heart of the PB of course isn’t the diet itself or the exercise or the sleep. Sure, these are all essential components, but there’s something bigger, more expansive, more ambitious and radical at the core.
Humans enjoy being entertained. We like watching funny, engrossing, exciting shows, movies, and plays. We love good tunes. And we enjoy watching a great stand-up comedian at work, the kind that makes your abs sore from laughter. But why? Well, it boils down to our need for sensation. Simply put, we need to laugh, cry, tense up from excitement, experience emotional highs and lows, and we enjoy the activation of our adrenal systems – whether it’s due to something happening to us in real life or to an imaginary character on a screen somewhere – because we have the equipment necessary to experience all those things, and we need to use it. Feeling sensations, emotions, excitement, then, is a prerequisite for being a healthy, happy human. An ancestral expectation.
When we spend most of our waking life sitting (or, even worse, slumping over) in a chair, we invite disaster. Sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day is unnatural and harmful to our health, which is why I recommend standing and staying active during the workday. If you haven’t yet stood up against workplace sitting today is the day. Courtesy of Ergo Desktop comes the Kangaroo Pro, an adjustable height desk unit. This makes it easy to switch back and forth between standing and sitting (because hey, standing for 8 hours straight is no good, too). It retails for $499. As if that wasn’t enough, the winner of today’s contest will also win…
A sandbag from Ultimate Sandbag. I’ve been using one of these bags for a couple years now and the thing is still going strong. The one at my office has been lifted, tossed, and dropped by my Worker Bees, and in one case was the cause of a broken piece of IKEA furniture, but that’s a story for another day. Store this sandbag next to your Kangaroo Pro and you’ll begin seeing your workday in a whole new light. The winner will get a choice of one of the four sizes of ultimate sandbag (power, strength, challenge, or burly packages). Retail value: between $99 and $179.
Bonus: Use promo code “primal” to receive 15% off any purchase at Ultimate Sandbag for the duration of the challenge. And that’s not all…
Courtesy of Stack Exchange Fitness & Nutrition comes the FitBit. What is Stack Exchange you might ask? It is a collaboratively edited Q&A site that offers advice from physical fitness professionals, trainers, and athletes. It’s a great place to get answers to really specific questions that might be difficult to find elsewhere, and it’s moderated by the community so all the information is high quality. Check out this thread, for example, where members share their experiences with barefoot running. Stack Exchange is donating this nifty bit of technology. Learn all about it here. Retail value: $99.
That’s $700+ in prizes, and all you have to do for a chance to win is…
Things are going pretty smoothly in the House of Korg. At this point, the whole family’s got the dietary stuff locked in. They know what to eat, what not to eat, and it’s no longer a struggle. The low-carb flu has come and gone, the once-tempting foods frankly look kinda disgusting and downright unappealing. Son Kenny’s happily eating meat, Ken’s continuing to slim down, and Kelly no longer carries a feed bag to support her snacking habit.
The pantry has finally been purged. It was a big job, one Ken began immediately after that first chat with Valentina but only just finished because he had run out of garbage bags for all the old food (their pantry is a walk-in and just massive). When all was said and done, the food bank walked away with six hefty bags full of supplies and the Korgs had almost 100 square feet of empty space. Since Ken’s pantry replacements – canned seafood, coconut and olive oil, a big jerky stash, dark chocolate, loose leaf tea, coffee, and a small bag of rice for Kelly’s cardio carb-ups – only filled a couple shelves, the family has started using it for fitness equipment storage.