Taking control of your health can have profound, far-reaching effects on your life. With newfound energy and well-being it can change your outlook entirely. This was Matt’s experience. I received this email from Matt a few months ago and it floored me. Peruse and enjoy his opus, and feel free to chime in on the comment board with #98, 99, and 100. Did going Primal spark a sea change in your life? What other aspects of life, maybe totally unrelated to diet and exercise, fell into place once you starting living according the Primal Blueprint lifestyle principles? Grok on!
If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you’d like to share it with me and the community please contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!
The Primal lifestyle has completely changed my life and I wanted to share this with you and everybody involved. I also wanted to say thank you.
97 “Bonus” Changes after Six Months of Living a Primal Lifestyle
I set out to get healthier with one goal in mind: change my appearance. I was tired of being disappointed every morning when I got ready for work. I missed people’s comments about how good I look. That was it.
Well, I noticed my appearance and weight changing once I began to eat healthier. Those were changes that I set out to make. Little did I know, changes were taking place of which I was unaware. These are all changes I was completely unaware of that have taken place with me:
1. I am happy
I am really happy. I just always have that warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach. You know the feeling after a good first date, when your kid tells you they love you, when you just swooshed a 3-pointer. I have that feeling all of the time for some reason. And I like it.
2. I have the energy to exercise everyday
I exercise every day now. I used to dread it. I used to talk myself out of it all the time. It was because I didn’t have the energy for it.
Now, I get my exercising in as if it were just part of my day. I always feel better after I’m done with the heavy bag than I did before it.
3. I play with my daughter at least at least 30 minutes more every day
I used to not have the energy for it. Either that or I was distracted by the television.
Now, I see the beauty in playing with my daughter. I get to see more of the beautiful, quirky, fun, and hilarious things she does. I look forward to it every day.
4. I rarely watch TV
I used to watch at least two hours of TV per night. Three to four on the weekends.
Now, I only watch it when there is a stand-up comedian I like or UFC. My wife and I will watch one movie per week, on Friday usually. It is wonderful to have the time to do what I want and need to do, rather than just sitting around and waiting to go to bed.
5. I no longer get acid reflux
I have had acid reflux since middle school. I would actually throw up on accident it was so bad. The 30 minutes following a meal was spent recovering and trying to keep bile down.
Now, for the first time in a decade, I eat and don’t really think about it again until the next meal.
6. I am no longer shaky when I don’t eat
I used to get really shaky if I hadn’t eaten in awhile. I was hardly able to write, let alone use knives, carry drinks, the list goes on. I realized that after I started eating healthy, my shakiness got worse and worse. I ran to the store one time and got a big bag of Doritos and ate them all and the shakes were gone. I had just eaten a huge, dense, green salad and several pieces of fruit an hour before, but the Doritos got rid of my shakes in an instant. That’s when I truly realized my addiction. It wasn’t me being hungry that caused the shakes, it was my body’s addiction to the drugs in the food. That was the last junk food I ate.
Over the course of a month, my shakes started to decrease, until finally, they were gone completely. Now, I can go on a two day fast and not shake a bit.
7. My mood is not affected when I miss a meal
Man, would I get grumpy if I missed a meal. If I had gotten home after a long day of no breakfast or lunch, all I could think about is eating. I was very short with my wife and daughter and did not like conversation.
Now, I act the exact same when I miss lunch as when I don’t. And my wife is glad = )
8. I am much more patient with my children, myself, my wife, and my co-workers
I used to have very little patience. I was the worst teacher ever. My wife eventually stopped asking me to explain things because of how frustrated I got. I used to either get angry with my daughter quickly or just ignore it. I used to avoid co-workers because some of them were not as, um, “cultured”, as the rest of us.
Now, I take the time and actually enjoy explaining things and am genuinely happy when I can get through to them.
9. I am able to run for an extended period of time without getting winded
This was a big step up. I used to want to be able to run and run and run. One day, I was reading a runners blog and it inspired me. When I got off of work, I went for a run; made it about a block. I was completely winded.
Now, I can just run when I feel like it and not kill myself in the process. I am still not at the point I want to be at, but I’m getting there…
10. I am more optimistic
I cannot help but look at the brighter side of things. It used to always be “Well, it could always be worse…” to “Hey, it could always be worse!” I go into everything now with a positive outlook. It should be the only outlook we have!
11. I drift more towards positive entertainment than negative (opposite than before)
I was very into conspiracy theories before. I listened to Alex Jones a lot. I used to listen and watch people complaining about what was wrong with the world. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is important to bring that to people’s attention, but it was engulfing me.
Now, I listen to music or stand-up comedy. That’s about it. It has a major impact on the way I think throughout the rest of the day.
12. I no longer get migraines
I used to get migraines often. Twice per week. Excedrin became my best friend. I had no idea what was causing them. It didn’t matter which season it was, where we were living, what I was wearing, I would constantly get migraines.
Now, I haven’t had one in over a month. I threw my 124 capsule Excedrin bottle away today.
13. I discovered the wonders of fasting
I started off by fasting and it was incredibly hard. You never really understand how our culture revolves around food until you fast. It completely changes your perspective on just about everything. You learn how much you can endure, you learn the importance of the right foods, and you are able to see how much time is really in a day.
14. I am able to wake up before my alarm clock
…on most days ; )
It feels good not to wake up in your instinctive fight-or-flight mode. It really helps you be more relaxed throughout the day.
15. I laugh more
I laugh a lot more. I am almost always giggly. I almost just sit around looking for something to laugh at. It is one of the healthiest things I do. Look up the benefits of laughter, it’s amazing. I try to find new comedians that will make me laugh until I cry. I laugh at dumb jokes, unintentional humor, and just about everything I can. It really makes a difference.
16. I have become increasingly educated on the human anatomy
I learned about what we were built for, why we are the way we are, and ways to harness that. I learned how our body reacts to outside influences. I have also learned to listen to my body, which is one of the most important things anybody can do. If you really try to listen, your body will tell you what it wants or what it’s doing. You don’t have to just guess what you’re craving or why you’re sick. I promise you, your body will let you know.
17. I read more
This has to do with me cutting out the TV. Reading is so much better. You learn new words, you get better at spelling, and it just boosts your IQ. Plus, you don’t have to worry about some actor you don’t like messing everything up; you can create anything in your head. Finally, I can get Denzel Washington, Al Pacino, Robert Deniro, Edward Norton, and all my favorites in the same movie!
18. I walk
I can’t believe I never used to walk. It is so helpful. It gives you time to reflect, prioritize, set goals, or just space out. I believe, besides diet, it is the healthiest thing a human being can do.
19. I am able to do numerous push-ups in succession
This is a thing that always used to bug me. I haven’t been able to just bang out 30 pushups whenever I wanted to. Not since wrestling in high school.
I did an assessment of myself the other day and I almost got to forty. I did two hundred (not in succession) the other day. I am really making progress and I am now working towards being able to do fifty continuous push-ups in full form within a month.
20. I have more sex
Do I really have to explain why this is a good thing?
21. I can take naps
I always envied people who took naps. I was never able to. I was always thinking about what a waste of time it is to be just laying there.
Now, when I am tired, that is one of the most important things I can do. It is incredibly healthy for you and makes you exponentially happier and productive for the rest of the day. Nobody should grow out of nap time.
22. I don’t have body odor
…kind of. Well, I don’t stink anymore. I haven’t worn deodorant for a month and have never had a complaint. I don’t smell bad after working out, walking, or working. I just smell like me, which saves me a ton of money.
23. I have a lot less dandruff
I used to have to buy a special shampoo for my dandruff. I got rid of it for two hours and then it was back in full force by lunch time.
So, I switched to cool showers and chucked the shampoo. And you know what? I don’t have noticeable dandruff anymore. So, ditch the expensive shampoos and conditioners and just turn down the heat on the shower and I bet you will make more progress than you were before.
24. I cook more
I used to hate cooking. We would waste money on pizzas, burgers, tacos just out of sheer laziness.
Now, I don’t mind cooking. It gives me something to do and I am starting to like creating different meals.
25. I set goals
I’ve never been one to set goals. I thought they were useless. I just thought if you did your best, results would come.
Silly me, goals are very important if you want to achieve something. I would never have had all of these changes if I did not set goals in the beginning. I would be eating a pizza and watching “King of Queens” right now.
26. I drink less alcohol
I used to have a real problem with alcohol. Before I was twenty years old, I was going through a gallon of vodka per week. It made my bowels runny, gave me stomach aches, horrible acid reflux, just to name a few. It finally became too much and I stopped. Still, every time we had alcohol in the house it was gone that night. I am getting better at rationing myself and finding other things to do.
Once I started living healthy, I have needed it less and less. I have set a goal for myself to not have alcohol for a month with no exceptions and I am pretty excited about it!
27. I don’t want a cigarette
I’ve smoked cigarettes since I was 14 years old. I finally quit seven months ago. I relapsed twice, but never went completely back. I always wanted one though.
Now, I see cigarettes for the disgusting things they truly are and haven’t wanted one.
28. I don’t talk on the phone as much
I would always need to be talking on the phone when I was driving. I’m not sure why I felt the need to, but I would always call somebody on my way to and from work. If they didn’t pick up, I would call somebody else.
Now, I rarely feel the need to call somebody unless I have something specific to talk about. I am content driving in silence. I like it.
29. I am more productive
For some reason, I want to produce again. For awhile, I would try everything in my power to keep from working. If I could BS around something, believe me, I would. I used to get an accomplished feeling when I would take on extra tasks and complete them. But, for some time, I was just doing the bare minimum.
Now, I want to be productive at work again. I drive to work with a purpose again; knowing what needs to be done and how I am going to do it. I notice a difference and I’m sure my boss does as well.
30. I created a budget and I stick to it
I procrastinated making a budget for two years. Everybody kept saying how important it was and I didn’t want to put in the work. Over that time, we accumulated a good amount of debt. We are still getting out of the hole.
Now, my wife and I have created a budget that we can stick to. We are paying off our debt little by little and it feels great.
31. I don’t care about my clothes as much
It used to take me around 15 minutes in the mornings to figure out what I was going to wear. It took me forever to find something that looks good on me.
Now, it takes less than a minute. I just grab a shirt and some pants and just glance at the mirror, knowing that I’ll look just fine.
32. I reflect
This is something I started doing on my walks. I’ve found it to be very useful. It has helped me become a better father, husband, writer, and employee. If you take the time to really focus on your mistakes and hold yourself accountable, you will be more conscious of them when you are about to do them again. Over time, I had fewer and fewer mistakes I had to beat myself up about.
33. I write more
I’ve always found joy in writing, but my brain would get fatigued too quickly for me to get into it. I would only be able to write a paragraph or two and then leave it. By the time I would get back around to it, I would lose interest.
Now, I can write a full essay, blog post, article, or technical document without leaving my desk. I am starting to rediscover the fun in writing again.
34. I get more sun
I used to hate going outside. I just wanted to sit in my chair and surf the web. I would make up excuses not to go to the park or zoo. I was robbing my daughter of being a child. I thought just sitting around the house with the TV and computer going was sufficient for family time.
Now, I take my family outside for walks or swimming every day. I am almost addicted to sunlight now and I go crazy without it.
35. I smile more
I am much quicker to smile now. I just find a reason to do so in just about everything. I can’t help it, I just have a natural urge to smile all of the time now.
36. I don’t turn to Tylenol when my daughter is crying
God, Tylenol was my answer to everything. “She must be teething” or “She must have a fever.” I never took the time to actually figure out what was going on in her body. I would have excuses like “Well, what if she’s in pain? I would rather be safe than sorry.”
Now, we just have Tylenol for emergencies. Other than that, she is normally just hungry, thirsty, sleepy, or wants somebody to play with her.
37. I help with my daughter more
I used to hide in the bathroom or stay late in my office doing nothing in order to not help out. I knew I really needed to, but I was just afraid of the extra work. I would make up excuses for her mother just to take her to the store when she could have stayed with me and it would’ve been much easier.
I have yet to apologize to my wife, but I plan to. I was afraid it was going to be extra work… and I was right. But, you know what? It is the most rewarding work I have ever done. Now, I help out as much as I possibly can.
38. I am competitive
I used to play sports in high school. I was never the best on the team or won many awards. I was never confident enough in my abilities to go all out. I would not give things my all and act like it didn’t bother me when I lost. I tried to act like I was above it all. It bugged me.
Now, I am confident enough in my physical abilities that I am starting to get competitive. I challenge people in games of basketball or other activities and I give it my all, unafraid of looking dumb. I have started winning more and I love the feeling.
39. I like music again
I used to be really into music. I spent a couple thousand dollars on equipment and was producing and writing for a few artists. As time went on, I lost interest and sold most of my equipment.
Now, I have found the joy in making music again. I am trying to learn the acoustic guitar (failing miserably) and I am writing again. I am starting to remember how fun and liberating it is. Making music is something I am hoping to continue to do for the rest of my life.
40. I wear short sleeves more
I used to never want to wear short sleeves. I was always embarrassed of my skinny arms. I would wear long sleeves in hundred degree weather. I used to say that it was for covering up my tattoos, but it was because my arms were a lot skinnier than the rest of my body.
Now, I get dressed according to the weather and don’t think twice about it. It’s a huge time saver!
41. I am fine in silence
I always used to need noise in the background. I needed the TV on, I needed to be talking on the phone, I needed music playing.
Now, I enjoy silence. I actually wake up extra early just to drive to work on a silent road. It is an excellent way to commute.
42. My brain is more lubricated
This is a phrase I stole from a Jason Mraz interview. But, it describes the way my brain works now perfectly. Everything just seems to run smoother. I don’t have to pause when answering simple questions, my thoughts just flow without any snags.
43. I love my wife more
I have always been in love with my wife, but I never knew how much I really loved her. I used to take her for granted. I didn’t think it was much of a big deal that she was my wife. Awhile ago, something in me opened up to show me how much I truly love her. I’ve started to see the support she gives me and how she makes me a better person. She got pregnant when I was 17 and she was 20, so we haven’t had it easy by any means. But, over the past month or so, we have become one. I now make it a habit to give her a kiss when I come home from work and to tell her I love her at random moments. I feel that I am finally starting to live up to my wedding vows.
44. I don’t take medications
If I had a slight fever, I would reach for Tylenol. If I had a slight headache, I would reach for Aspirin. If I had an upset stomach, I would reach for Tums. If I had gas, I would reach for Gas X. You get the point. I was trying to block symptoms. I saw them as nuisances and not for the signals they really were.
Now, I take the time to find out why I am having diarrhea. I actually get a little excited when I have a small fever, because I know my body is working on itself. I am happy when I get diarrhea, because I know my body doesn’t like something and this is its way of getting it out. I welcome all of the things with open arms that I used to dread.
45. My knees don’t hurt
I was born with crappy knees. Not wearing knee pads in high school didn’t help much either. I always thought it was just something I had to work around for the rest of my life. My knees would hurt if I started to run or if I walked too much, if I sat for too long or did squats.
Now, I am very active and have no knee pain. It’s amazing! I do at least 200 squats per week, 3-5 hours of walking, and 30 minutes of running. My knees have never felt better. They still make weird noises sometimes, but no pain!
46. I sing more
Okay, I suck at singing. I always have. Anybody who says otherwise is lying to be nice. That has always prevented me from singing to myself. I would always catch myself and stop before I got embarrassed. I would rarely even sing in the car.
Now, I sing all of the time because it makes me happy. I am not being obnoxious with it, but I do it a lot more and its feels nice.
47. I don’t crave sweets
Sweets were never a big problem with me, but I still used to crave them sometimes.
Now, I don’t. Pretty simple.
48. I don’t lie anymore
I used to lie a lot and I’m not sure why. I used to get caught in them and lie my way out of them. They were stupid things too. It was almost like recreation. I rarely told any big lies, but it was just little things. I lied about stuff that I wouldn’t remember a week later.
I still catch myself about to do it, but I stop. It is much easier and I don’t have to remember so many things. It is very liberating to be honest. I never have to worry about somebody catching me in a lie or bringing something up that I lied about. I just say what I mean now and I am much happier.
49. I don’t surf the web as much
I used to spend hours surfing the web. I mean HOURS. I used to visit ridiculous sites that had no effect on my life. Clicking on links and related videos all of the time. Telling myself how stupid these people were when I was the one wasting my days watching them.
Now, I check a couple of fitness sites and a blog or two that I like. I always do it on downtime at work and never at home. It is weird, because I will do it sometimes without realizing it. Once I catch myself, I put down the laptop or iPhone and go walk around. I get a lot more stuff done.
50. I stand more
I can barely stand to sit (like the play on words? Booyah!) anymore. I have to get up from my desk at least twice per hour. I get up and throw a couple darts or pace around the office. I used to spend 8 hours not getting up from my desk, just zoning out when I was bored.
Now, I get up, regroup, and get back to work.
51. I don’t care about current events as much
After all of the conspiracies that I have seen proven, I stopped believing anything on the news or from anybody else. I don’t see much of a point in it anymore. It feels great not to have to check five news sites every day so I can be the first person to get the updated news. Besides, all news ever did was get me mad. It was either something happening that I could do nothing about or something that I couldn’t believe anybody cared about. I don’t even miss it.
52. I don’t notice restaurants
I just drive right by them. It’s the weirdest thing. I used to look at them all of the time. I used to wonder what their food was like, where I was going for lunch that day. Now, I just breeze by them without giving them any thought. It’s not just restaurants, its billboards and stores too. I don’t really pay attention to anything but speed limit signs and cops. ; )
53. I never know what is on TV
I used to know all of the shows on TV. I would have my evening planned around what would be on that night.
Now, I feel like an old man when I turn on the TV now. It seems like there are new shows every day and I just don’t see how people watch them.
54. I look at food for nutritional value over taste
I used to shop for price first, then taste, then nutritional value. Little Debbies – in the cart, Tyson Chicken Nuggets – check, five packages of hot dogs – you know it!
Now, I shop for nutritional value first. Yes, they are more expensive, but that means I buy less food. Everybody says that they HAVE to buy unhealthy things because they are cheaper. What people don’t realize is that we are eating too much! You don’t need the bulk Ramen Noodles because there are 50 for 5 dollars. You can spend that five dollars on real food and you wouldn’t have to eat so much. When you get REAL food with REAL nutrition, your body isn’t hungry as much. I can have a small salad and an apple for lunch and not be hungry again until dinner. I used to eat a sandwich and chips and be hungry in two hours, eat two packages of Ramen Noodles and still be starving when I got home. Trust me, once your body gets used to it, it really is easy.
55. I do more chores
I used to avoid chores like they were the plague. I would let dishes stack up if my wife wasn’t feeling well enough to do them. Our house would smell because I would postpone taking out the trash.
Now, I love the feeling of a clean house and do chores every day. Whether it is doing the dishes, helping with the laundry, throwing out old stuff, I just like doing it now. I love the feeling I get when I see my kitchen clean or my bathroom scrubbed. My wife is ecstatic about that too.
56. I know more about history
When you are trying to understand your body, you have to look at what it is designed for. The only way to do that is to look back in time. You have to learn that we are persistence hunters; you have to learn what we have been eating for thousands of years. Once you do that, it is much easier to stick to a healthier lifestyle. If you can observe the natural human species, you can see that what we are doing to ourselves now is not natural.
57. I’m cleaner
The inside of my body feels cleaner, so it makes me want to make sure that the outside is just as clean. You feel cleaner when you step out of a cold shower as opposed to a hot one. You get cleaner and healthier skin if you don’t put chemicals on it every day. You get healthier hair if every morning you don’t soak it in something that was created in a lab. My mouth feels cleaner now that I know I am not sticking fluoride in it every day.
58. I’m nicer
Before, if you weren’t my wife, my daughter, or I, I didn’t really care about you. I felt that I didn’t have time to be nice to people and I didn’t owe them anything. I wasn’t that fun to be around to say the least. I tried to stay in my house as much as possible to avoid contact with other people.
Now, I am just all around warmer to be around. I get genuinely concerned about how other people are doing and I make an honest effort to help them out. It gives me satisfaction to know that a person will leave happier than before they talked to me. I like making people’s days better.
59. I live more frugally
I used to buy on impulse all of the time. Clothes that I would never wear, gadgets that had no real use, food that was overpriced, and so on. Rent be damned, if I wanted it, I got it. I used to try not to think about bills and upcoming expenses because it would just wear me out.
Now, with the help of my wife, I finally took the time to create a budget and stick to it. I still have urges, but I am able to stop and think if it is a want or a need. I am able to wait a week or two and think about it again. That is self control that I have never had.
60. I’m more understanding
I see things from other people’s perspectives now. I am able to see where they are coming from and empathize. I do it almost effortlessly and it really helps out with all of my relationships… and my sanity.
61. I teach my daughter things
I found out how cool it is to teach my daughter something. I show her something and she remembers. She is now smarter because of me. I never really paid much attention to it. I help her study every day now. She isn’t even two and she can go through the alphabet with help, count to twenty with help, identify eight different colors, identify ten different shapes including pentagons and crescents, and identify at least ten different animals, along with hundreds of words. It’s truly amazing and I almost missed it.
62. I jump
I’m not sure why. I just like to jump now out of nowhere. I jump around the house with my daughter all of the time. It’s just a fun thing to do.
63. I minimalized my house
I started getting frustrated by clutter. It was driving me crazy. I slowly started giving more and more things away and throwing more and more things out. It is a huge stress reliever. I cut my wardrobe down to one fourth its size, cleaned out my drawers, and got rid of stuff that I haven’t used in years. I now know the peace and serenity that comes with a clean, minimal house.
64. I don’t forget things as much
I still forget things, just not as much. I used to struggle just thinking about what happened the day before. Now, my gaps in memory are few and far between.
65. My allergies aren’t bad anymore
I used to have really bad allergies. I used to blame it on the house we were in or the season, but it was bad anywhere I went. I got migraines on a constant basis, my nose was always runny, and I would get a sinus infection or swollen throat at least once per month. I used to take Zyrtec, Claritin, Sudafed, none of them would work.
Now, I might have to use a tissue once per month. My sinuses are almost always clear and I am not hawking up loogeys all of the time. I rarely get migraines or even sinus headaches. Plus, we save a fortune not buying tissues!
66. I have more time
I used to feel like there was barely any time in the day to breathe. I would always have the same excuse “I just don’t have any time right now.” I felt that I had no time to do anything that I wanted to do.
Now, the TV is turned off, meals are simple and easy, and work is well managed. It all kind of happened by itself. Now, I have full days doing things that I like to do. I do more things in a day now than I did in a week six months ago.
67. I don’t have to be doing something
I used to always need to be doing something. If I was sitting there doing nothing, I would pull out my iPhone and play a game, I would turn on the TV, I would surf the web. I would do anything just to escape from my own thoughts.
Now, I am perfectly fine sitting in silence and thinking. If I feel like I need to do something, I do house work or take my family for a walk. I don’t turn to the traditional stimulation we have gotten accustomed to. I deleted all of the games off my iPhone, I normally leave my computer at the office, and I don’t even think about turning on the television.
68. I know more about foods and how they interact with my body
Trying to find the right way to be healthy is very tricky because we are all different. Sure, there are generic rules that should be followed by everybody, like no processed foods, low sugar, no sugary drinks, etc. But, should we have meat or no meat? Have our food cooked or uncooked? Eat dairy or don’t eat dairy? I believe that people are very different in these areas. I have tried just about everything that makes sense and only found my own, custom way that works.
I did that by finding out how foods react with my body. How long they take to break down. What effects they have. Once I started learning that just for the sake of my diet, I realized that I read over ten books about health and knew quite a bit about it.
69. I no longer have Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Man, was I relieved (and shocked) when this went away. I used to have to rush to the bathroom after EVERY meal. Every single one. I would have to pull over at gas stations if the house was too far. My dad and sister both have this problem, so we just figured it was hereditary. So, I just kept on eating the same foods and being miserable on the toilet for the next 20 minutes.
Now, I have a bowel movement once per day, at no particular time. It is a huge relief.
70. I don’t multi-task
I used to think that multi-tasking was the key to success. If I could multi-task, I can get two things done at once, right? I used to stress myself out to no ends while trying to juggle three tasks at all times.
Now, I stick to one task at a time and guess what – I get more stuff done. It lowers my stress level exponentially. On the days that I multi-tasked, I would be working like crazy but not get anything done on some days. I would make progress, but not complete anything. Now, I leave work with a lot more satisfaction knowing that I completed at least one thing that day.
71. I notice the irony and hypocrisy in our culture
It is almost laughable. We have destroyed almost everything; the food that we eat, the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, our children’s education.
I think noticing these things is important because it allows you to take baby steps to overcoming these obstacles. It helps to motivate you to find the right foods, filter your water, and be more involved in your child’s education.
72. I enjoy nature much more
I never really cared too much about nature. I thought it was either too hot or too cold or had too many bugs. Why would you need to go out there when you have Google Maps and the Discovery Channel?
When I started walking, I noticed how beautiful nature is. I stopped caring so much about the temperature or bugs. I try to connect with it as much as possible now.
73. I enjoy people more
I enjoy the diversity in people now more than ever. I appreciate their different personalities and humor. I enjoy being around them and gaining some new perspective by talking to them. That is something I have never really done, but I slowly started becoming more interested in people.
74. I walk around barefoot
I started walking around barefoot more when I got rid of a lot of my clothes and shoes. It was something I did without realizing it at first, but after I read “Born to Run,” I made an effort to start doing it more. I think it has a lot to do with my pain in my knees going away. It toughens up your feet and ankles and gives you better running form. It makes you more aware of where you’re stepping, thus cutting back on trips and falls. It also makes you much lighter on your feet and gives you a great “primal” feeling.
75. I dress for comfort
Once I stopped taking so long picking out my clothes, it started to adjust the way I picked out my wardrobe. I started going more for comfort than for looks. I got rid of my flashy shirts in exchange for solid colors. I got rid of the loud shorts for a pair of jeans and cargo shorts. It helps keep me relaxed throughout the day. I am never fidgeting with my shirt or checking my collar in the mirror. I still look professional enough for work, just very understated.
76. My days are less hectic
Before, I was running around non-stop. I woke up late and flew out of the door, showed up to work just in time or a little late, multi-tasked throughout the day (not accomplishing much), got out of work late (because I showed up late and had to wrap up all of the tasks I was involved in), got home just in time for dinner, ate while watching TV, sent out some emails, drank a few beers to try and relax, wait for my daughter to go to sleep, watch an hour of TV finally relaxing, then go to bed. Day in and day out. Needless to say, it got pretty tiring.
Now, my days seem calmer. I wake up early (around 5:00am), get everything ready for the day, leave around 6:00am (I recently changed my hours from 8:00am–5:00pm to 7:00am–4:00pm), I get in the office around 6:15am and do some writing, at 7:00am I prioritize my tasks, at 8:00am I begin on one task, I eat lunch at my desk, I am out of the office by 4:00pm, get home and talk to my wife and play with my daughter, get my exercise in, help cook dinner, eat while talking, clean up, go for a walk with everybody, come back and study with my daughter, give her a bath, get ready for bed, read, and sleep.
You can see the difference. Of course, all days are not like this now, but it is generally the case. I go to bed every night knowing I had a fun and full day.
77. I’m rarely tired during the day
I used to be exhausted all of the time at work. I would be useless in the mornings, just sitting around waiting for lunch. Then I would be miserable after lunch for an hour. Then I would end up staying late because my mind was so fatigued that it took me forever to accomplish anything.
Now, I am at work before anybody else and I already have my game plan for the day by the time everybody stumbles into the office. I accomplish something every day and walk out of the office earlier than everybody else, not feeling guilty about it.
78. I work on being a better person
I started doing this one without realizing it as well. I started drifting away from the things that added nothing to my life or my knowledge and drifted more towards things that would better me. I started going to fitness blogs instead of news sites. I go to sites that help you better your life instead of Youtube. I normally go to bed every day knowing something I didn’t know when I woke up.
79. I look forward to doing things with my family
I used to not want to do things with my family. I would be so mentally exhausted that I just wanted to be by myself and space out in front of the TV.
Now, I look forward to getting home as soon as possible so I can go do stuff. I like to plan out hiking trips, long walks, museum dates. It is one of the highlights of my life right now.
80. I see yoga for all its worth
I’ve always looked at yoga as beneficial, but doing it with a healthy body is a completely different experience. You don’t have internal issues that you are struggling not to think about, you are more capable of doing the poses, and you get centered much easier. Without having those distractions, you get focused on what’s important with yoga – listening to your body.
81. I am not afraid to be looked at differently
I used to try to change my lifestyle, but would switch back to conform to the people around me. I got insecure when people would question me about it. I didn’t have the confidence needed to stand out.
Now, I am very proud of the lifestyle I live, even though it is much different than almost everybody I know. I welcome questions and always have literature available if they want to learn more. I don’t mind it when my co-workers give me crap about pacing around my office eating a salad for lunch. None of it bugs me. I have the knowledge and confidence to defend my lifestyle against anybody.
82. I show my emotions more
I am not more emotional, but I do show and express my emotions more. I make it known how I am feeling so I never catch anybody off guard. If I am grumpy because of something that happened at work, I let my wife know instead of trying to hide it. Then, we do things to cheer me up. If I am confused, I tell people. If I feel depressed about something, I talk to my wife. If they are negative feelings, putting them out in the open with somebody special to you will make them leave a lot quicker.
83. I no longer have anger issues
I used to get really mad at things for no reason. I would just be in an angry mood and something would set me off and I would hit things. I would feel better for an instant and then go right back to being angry again. I would snap at people and be very short. It was not very pleasant.
Now, I rarely ever get angry. I do still have my occasional bouts of frustration (most recently trying to assemble my daughter’s stupid crib), but I never feel angry. If I feel myself getting to that point, I breathe deep and do something relaxing. I also think about the thing I am getting frustrated with and realize how stupid it is. Then I finish whatever I was doing calmly and don’t think about it again.
84. I am more passionate
I have become a more passionate worker, friend, husband, lover, and father.
85. I get excited more
I get excited from just about everything. I get excited about getting excited! I just get those little butterflies all of the time for simple things. I get excited for a salad, a walk, a workout, playing, reading, etc…
86. I have a stronger stomach
I used to have a very weak stomach. I would throw up or get nauseous often. I hid it from everybody. I couldn’t stomach things.
Now, for whatever reason, I rarely ever get nauseated with anything. It’s kind of weird, I know.
87. I have a more active imagination
…especially with my workouts. If I am on the heavy bag, I am fighting Anderson Silva for the title. If I am doing bodyweight exercises, I’m pushing off the ground because there are spikes, I’m squatting to dodge punches, if I’m doing pull-ups, it’s to stay out of the shark infested waters. I daydream about this and that, my dreams are more vivid.
88. I do what makes me happy
For instance, salads make me happy, nuts don’t. So, I don’t eat nuts. It’s that simple! I like writing more than engineering, so I lean more towards the documentation side of things in my work space. I have started doing little things to make me happy. If I don’t feel like working out one day, I don’t. I do these things guilt free knowing that it is for my happiness, which, contrary to what culture tries to tell you, is important.
89. I breath deeper
I just take deeper breaths. It keeps me relaxed and calm. It also keeps me full of energy.
90. I learned how to live
I somehow figured out how to live life. How to be happy all the time, even when you are doing things you don’t want to do. I have figured out how to keep my family balanced and happy. I have figured out how to keep myself happy. I learned to enjoy all the little things and especially the big ones. I learned how to turn off the TV and interact with people. I have learned how to communicate to people, especially the ones I care about.
91. I learned the truth about money
I learned how money isn’t real. It’s a cliché, but also very true. I learned to not take the promotion if you and your family are comfortable. I learned not to take on side work unless it is something you truly want to do. I learned to not need material items. I learned that money is just a concept and that you can make it whatever you want it to be.
92. I don’t judge anymore
I never judge anybody. Because, when you think about it, you don’t know anybody but yourself. You don’t know what anybody else has gone through. You have never been in anybody’s head but your own.
93. I feel like a kid again
I play and have fun. I laugh more than anybody I know. I still play with toys with my daughter. I still play pranks on my wife. I still have fun. Do you remember what it is like to have fun? To truly have pure, carefree fun? I didn’t remember until around a month ago.
94. I play
I play a lot. It is the best form of exercise you can possibly get, because it’s not exercise!
95. I became a father
This is something that I have such a profound gratitude for figuring out. My daughter was in desperate need of a father, but she didn’t have one. Sure, she had a guy that provided a home, food, and clothes. That’s all I thought I needed to do. I rarely played with her. I rarely played with my own daughter. How sad is that? Yeah, I chased her around the house once or twice and tickled her. But, I always answered calls and emails instead of doing it. I always did it with one eye on the TV. She was too young to notice, right? If you are distracted by other things, your kids will notice. You have never played with your kid if you’ve never gone into their room, shut the door, and stayed in there. I was only ever there to be mommy’s enforcer of the rules. I didn’t have input on how to raise her. I let my wife handle everything. I thought it was fair, I work all day, she takes care of the kid.
Now, I silence my phone, go to her room and sit down. I let her tell me what she did that day, we read books and color, and we have fun. She is a much happier kid now and I am a much happier man. I also have my own say in how we raise her. I have become a real father and I encourage all of you men out there to do the same.
96. I don’t even miss the old foods
I don’t miss pizza, chips, or sandwiches. I don’t miss any of it and it feels phenomenal.
97. The people around me are happier
This is the most important one to me. If people around you are happier, then you will be.
Now, some might misinterpret this as bragging, it’s not. It is very motivational for me to read success stories. I want this to be a motivation for anybody who wants to become healthier. These are all real changes that have happened after six months of being health-conscious and three months of having a strict diet. Some of these things, I forget about or still do on accident. But these are all changes that have happened unintentionally. I started this out so I can look better. Now, after six months, I AM better; a better person, husband, father, worker, citizen, and man.