Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 21 2013

A Midweek Kick in the Pants

By Mark Sisson
250 Comments

Do it!Every Friday I love highlighting stories about men and women who took the challenge and transformed their lives. Whatever their circumstances (e.g. diabetes, obesity, chronic autoimmune conditions), they grabbed hold of the Primal process and made it their own. Whether they went cold turkey or began in fits and starts, they eventually committed 100% and got the life they wanted. It doesn’t get any better than that. That’s why I wonder so much about folks who come to MDA on a regular basis but never really get so far as to implement the content in their own lives. Whether it’s information about low (or even moderate) carbing, moving frequently, standing workstations, going barefoot or relishing good natural fat, their interest never translates into action.

I’ll call them earnest lurkers. They’re regular readers and enjoy the community here, but somehow the rubber never meets the road. Sound familiar? (No need to slink back in your chair – seriously.) They enjoy what they read, but then they sort of ignore/forget about it and go back to doing the same old thing. So, they come back for more inspiration and a few more ideas. So armed, they muster up a little more resolve but then never quite get things off the ground. It becomes an ongoing passive cycle. Maybe they’re doing some parts right like surrounding themselves with positive influences (e.g. the MDA community) and learning about how to live healthily – Primally. Yet, they never really make the plunge and stay content to dabble.

You’ve of course heard the old saying about “&%@# or get off the pot.” I’m not suggesting anyone stop reading MDA or not look to this forum or other like-minded communities for support and inspiration. However, there’s a certain confusion about one’s intent if you keep coming back for something you never take on. What’s keeping you at a polite (and thoroughly ineffective) distance?

I think people in this situation often run the risk of self-identification by mere association. In other words, you can read about something for so long that you end up feeling like you’re a true blue follower even though you’re more of a passive onlooker. Although I appreciate anyone’s readership, the fact remains that the Primal Blueprint doesn’t happen by osmosis. Ultimately, it’s a crying shame because instead of nodding in agreement, you could be feeling amazing at this very minute. The PB isn’t an intellectual exercise. It’s a blueprint for living, and either you’re living it – or you’re not.

Let me say I’m not picking on anyone. The truth is, I think we all at some point in our lives need a swift kick. For whatever reason there’s a psychic blockage that we can’t snap ourselves out of. After weeks or months or years (or decades) of denial, someone calls us out in a way that first gets our dander up but ultimately shifts the ground enough for real change.

Nor am I talking about unquestioning compliance with every suggested activity.

As someone who devoutly questions authority, I don’t ever encourage obedience just on principle. (That’s why I designed a blueprint and not a regimen.) What I’m talking about is grabbing the ball and running with it instead of sitting in the stands time and again watching it go from place to place – observing other people’s game instead of pursuing your own. What’s the point, really?

At the heart of this hemming and hawing or general passivity lurk a few motivations, I believe. Sure, one can be sheer laziness: I want to show up and enjoy the community but not do the actual work. The thing is, those people eventually seem to float elsewhere over time. If you’re reading but consistently coming back, I think there’s something deeper at play. Call it self-directed stone-walling, an inward withholding from yourself – of better health and a better life.

Address whatever is going on – the nonsense about I’m not capable or I don’t deserve the good life in the same way other people do or it’s never really going to happen that way for me. Bull. Dump the self-defeating attitude. Resolve to end the self-sabotage. (Seriously, accept it for that.) Analyze it if you will, but the point is to move on even if you have to fake it until you make it. Fake the confidence if you don’t feel quite worthy. Fake the motivation if you feel (or even know) that you’re 100% lazy. Fake the self-image if you think on some subterranean level that you shouldn’t and won’t ever be thin/healthy/successful/happy. Faking it will at times hurt. It will take energy. It might even take more energy than working out and lifting the chopping knife to make yourself that Big A$$ Salad you’ve always meant to make for lunch. No matter. Work your own sense of worthiness or optimism or diligence as a muscle, and expect the same stress, fatigue and progress along the way.

So, have we cast every phantom excuse into the light of day? What’s left that’s keeping you hiding or distant? Are you willing to put it out there on public display? (Trust me, it will feel good having done it.)

By all means, read. Visit. Chat. But more than any of that, manifest. No one can do this part for you, but everything meaningful hinges on it. Make yourself a Primal plan every single day if you have to. What am I going to do today to get my butt in the game? Bring some chicken thighs and cut vegetables for lunch? Get sun over the weekend instead of sit inside? Hit the gym on the way home? Practice a mini power outage and be coaxed into a natural bedtime? Then do it. The next day, do it some more. Start edging out all the garbage that doesn’t work for you in your life and health. Come back for more ideas to elbow out more still. Nod less. Do more – today of course.

Anyone willing to admit being in the hot seat today? What’s been holding you back from taking the plunge? What’s the first thing you’re going to commit to right now? Does this ring true of your past with the PB? If so, what gave you the swift kick to get going? Looking forward to reading your thoughts… Thanks for stopping by today, everyone.

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250 thoughts on “A Midweek Kick in the Pants”

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  1. I hope anyone who is an earnest lurker joins us. We need you! Come on, jump in. . . the water’s great.

  2. Do people really lurk on a regular basis but still eat the SAD?

    1. Yes. I lurked for 6-8 months before I finally started changing my eating and activity habits. A year and a half later I’m down 110 pounds and feeling great!

      1. Wow at least I’m not a weirdo, I have been lurking since August and planning to start as soon as I move out of my boyfriends and at least i will be able to manage it without him tempting me with all junk!

    2. I do. I’ve been lurking on MDA for 2+ years. Sometimes, I do really well, but then I tend to slip back into SAD.

        1. Yeah, I’ve been off and on for a year now, the food isn’t entirely the problem though. I have issues with getting exercise. I am working on it though.. I will not give up. 🙂

    3. I have been lurking for about 3-4 months.

      Not totally. I now have salad for lunch almost everyday with eggs, whatever meat and veggies I have on hand (usually tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, chicken/turkey, etc) and usually spice it up enough to not need dressing. Almost every meal we have is made fresh with plenty of veggies and meat, and very rarely grains. I am not 100%, probably not 50% yet, but it is helping.

      But I can do more. I still consider myself a lurker. I love the site and believe in what it teaches…. but old habits die hard, ya know?

      1. There are different kinds of inertia to overcome when making changes. I was struggling with training well, eating clean and generally getting myself healthy for several years when I stumbled upon MDA. Something in that first week of voraciously devouring posts flicked on a light switch in my head, and (on the nutrition side, anyway) that was it for me. I was pretty much 80-90% primal right away and within a month I was training 3-4 days a week again.

        That was my stumbling block, immediately overtraining and incorporating 5×5 for primary lifts, but still doing an isolation bodypart split on top of that. And then finishing every workout with ten minutes of tabatas.

        I’m now a month into training way less, loving it, and humbled by the changes affected by simply opening my ears up and trying something different. It’s going to be different for everyone, but at some point, you need to do what Groktimus said….make like Nike, Just Do It.

        1. I do well on Primal for 6 weeks or so at a time. Keep triggering back to SAD when a major stress event happens. I have a hard time with the moving…I easily get enough walking in a day just doing what I do, but I strongly dislike heavy things :-/
          When I need it and am ready to try again, here I am…back again!

      2. I make my own salad dressing – I Googled “olive oil balsamic vinaigrette” and found a recipe that I liked and modified from there. It’s basically 2 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar, with some rosemary, marjoram, basil, ground red pepper (I like the heat), turmeric, sage, minced onions/onion powder, and some minced garlic. Sometimes I’ll add a little raw honey. I have no idea how much of what I add, because I don’t measure anything except the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, because I rotate between two different bottles, and they each hold different amounts. I quickly discovered that it was much easier to calculate how much oil and vinegar to add when I measured in ml, instead of oz. When I first made it, it took a few days to adjust to the taste, because most dressing has sugar (in one form or another) in it, and I didn’t have any honey in it then. One day, I was out of my dressing, so I used some Italian dressing that a co-worker had in the refrigerator. It tasted so sweet that I could hardly stand it, glad I was using it sparingly. Next time I was out, I did without!

      1. Don’t be ashamed! Shame doesn’t help anyone.

        We can only start when we’re really ready.

        Perhaps it’s worth identifying the reasons you’re not primal yet? This takes getting really deep, and it can be hard. But it’s absolutely possibly, and entirely worth it. Best of luck.

    4. absolutly!
      I’ve been a “lurker” since Mark and the team started this page.
      I have the original PB book as well as the new revised copy, the 21 day challenge and 2-3 recipe books but still am yet to go “full hog” so to speak.

      My hubby is beyond picky and I have tried for the last 3 years to get him to ditch the garlic bread, pizza and turkey subs but I just can’t seem to get him on board and I’ve used it as my excuse to continue eating the same way I have for the last 28 years. I REFUSE to make more than one meal for dinner so it stays the same.

    5. Yup. And who have fallen off the wagon and not quite sure why not climbing back on.

  3. I know a few people like this. Unfortunately Mark is right, you have to let them find their own path when they’re ready. I’m an all in kind of person that hit the ground running immediately. Others aren’t like that and it was frustrating to me at first but I’ve learned to just let them make their own mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them. Provide the wisdom when they ask you for it and then just sit confidently back with your response. Either they follow the advice or they don’t. At least you’ll know that you tried to help out and you can easily move on even though your humanity makes it tough at times.

    1. Very true!! I’ve mentioned, hinted and prodded about primal living to a few close friends. But I’ve learned that I then need to slowly let them find it. (That’s how my sister got me!) The two times I pushed hard both recoiled and now I can see the eye rolls coming any time I start to chat health, fitness or nutrition. Human nature proves again and again… people will be more devoted to something if they think it was their own idea! So, plant those seeds then stand back and let them take root.

  4. This post is spot on, and I suffered from this affliction for years. It’ like that old saying: “To know and yet not to do is in fact not to know.” That applies to a lot more than diet and exercise.

  5. I fell snowboarding 2 years ago and injured both my shoulders. Between that and just trying to stay gainfully employed I havent been able to indulge in the pyhsical side of the PB lifestyle.

    I feel better than I did than wheb eating SAD but im still a scronny nerd.

  6. I hate to provide excuses…but I don’t see myself getting fully on board until I’m finally getting adequate sleep. My toddler still wakes us up several times per night (for comfort), so my sleep depends on him. Prior to having kids, I was getting a solid 8-9 hours per night, and for the past several years it’s been more like 6 hours of broken sleep. I’ve done quite a bit with cleaning up my diet and still manage to walk the dog most days of the week. I just don’t have the rested mind or energy right now to do more than that. But I enjoy reading the blog posts and keeping up-to-date on nutrition issues , which will help when I’m finally up to implementing the plan more fully.

    1. Those aren’t excuses! It’s called life, and it happens to the best of us. Take your time… baby steps 🙂

    2. I feel your pain! I try to follow PB but am fully embracing the 80/20 rule right now! My baby does not sleep thru the night yet (although she’s only been waking up once per night this week so maybe we’re onto something)! Sleep needs to come prior to so much else we can discuss on this site.

      I also find myself starving while breast feeding… I do eat Primal most of the time, but tend to grab sweets to make up for the extra calories I need. It’s not a weight issue for me, but I know I need to eat to provide optimum nutrition to my body (and my baby’s body)… sweets – even primal ones – don’t really do that… Nuts are an issue too (my body doesn’t digest them all that well, but they’re easy when I’m hungry between meals).

      Anyway, with 2 young kids (one who doesn’t sleep thru the night, is still nursing, etc) + work + pumping I have excuses too! That’s just the reality of my life right now. Nutrition + exercise are not my top priorities.

      I am in no hurry for the baby to grow up… but the reality is I spend around 2 hours of every day either nursing or pumping for her her. Add that to working close to 40 hours a week, cooking, playing with my 4 year old, trying to talk to the husband, etc and the days are quite full!

      1. Great article, though! We all need a “kick in the butt” sometimes!

      2. Oh my gosh! That sounds so familiar. I also have a 4 year old and am nursing a baby that is not quite sleeping through the night. Add school on top of that and the day is pretty rough. Hard to fit everything in, and to be honest, most days I can’t.

        At first I felt bad about not being able to go “cold turkey” (I’ve been working on a primal lifestyle for the past two years). I am only now to a point where I feel that I have a solid foundation, but every step that I took towards this way of life felt wonderful.

    3. I’m right there with you! My 3 month old wakes me up 2-3 times every night. I’ve become a lurker since he was born because I’m dealing with the stress of sleep deprivation and being a new mom by eating sweets. Sure I get motivated and go a couple weeks clean, but I keep falling back to unrefined sugar. I’m ashamed to admit that I was eating chocolate chips when I read this article! I think my step is to get myself right emotionally so I can keep my diet clean.

      1. Let me just say to all these new moms that feel they can’t fully implement the nutrition advice laid out in the Primal Blueprint, you can do it if you really want to. I quit sugar (and I was HUGE sugar addict) two weeks after my youngest was born and right around the time my almost 3 year old dropped her naps completely. I haven’t gone back and he is now 5 months old. Sugar was my last hold out to going paleo, but was something I held on to tightly. Now I’m just working on fully adopting the AIP since that is what I need to be doing for optimal health. Nightshades are freaking everywhere!

        I’m just saying, I get the exhaustion of little babies. My three year old doesn’t sleep well at night either and my youngest doesn’t think he needs to take naps most days, but I really want this so I’m not waiting to take care of myself. Moms are bad about putting themselves last and will hide behind the excuse of being a mom forever. I’m not following in my mom’s footsteps, that’s for sure, I’m taking care of myself.

        1. I’m fully primal except for the sugar monster, and I am pretty sure that keeps me from losing any more weight. It’s fabulous, ethically sourced, fair trade, shade grown, hummingbird kissed organic sugar from a women’s cooperative–but it still makes my butt look fat. I need to replace it with protien. Thanks for the kick!

          This is a brilliant time for this post, coming as it does right before thanksgiving.

        2. yeah, it’s sugar/sweets for me too. I’m 100% into it, cooking my bacon in the morning and bone broths and salads, etc. Then I have a crazy deadline for work or hit some kind of crisis…and I go straight for pie or doughnuts. I do medical research, so I fully understand that it’s the cortisol talking…but I’ve found myself unable to resist. I seem to only be able to stick with PB when I’m stress-free.

    4. I’m just glad to hear I’m not the only one that has a toddler with tricky sleep habits. I do think its a big limitation. I long for the day when I can get regular sleep!

    5. I struggled with lack of sleep also with both my kids (now 4.5 and 2). Let me tell you, though, I’ve never had more energy than I do now. I eat probably about 80% primal most of the time. I don’t need the caffeine jolt in the morning and I don’t get the afternoon lag, either. Maybe taking the plunge and changing up your diet could help you cope with the no sleep issues? Good luck! It doesn’t last forever. 🙂

  7. I am a bit of a lurker. While I go “primal” on again and off again, I always read MDA everyday. My biggest hurdle is not having any support in my immediate family, they think I’ve gone “hippie”. I live in a small rural area in the high desert, so grass fed beef is hard to come by and expensive to boot. I’m land locked so wild caught seafood is usually a rare find. There is only one farmers market here (an hour drive) and it’s only open in the summer. I do what I can, but when the budget gets tight and I get tired of fixing two meals all the time, I start to slide off the wagon for a time, but I am nothing if not persistent, so I’ll climb back on again when I can.

    Sometimes I think how much better it would be if I was diagnosed with a food allergy or some sort of problem, then I could avoid all the eye-rolling and snarky comments from my in-laws, and some times even my kids and husband! Since I have no real problems, I just do what I know is right for me and keep it to myself!

    1. I totally agree …not having support in the immediate family makes it difficult to stay on course especially in our time constrained daily lives. There are essentially two competing agendas to manage. Not sure how to get around that basic fact.

    2. All the more reason to participate in the forum, Create a support thread or a journal and actively participate. (I’m a forum lurker. Lots of interesting people to say the least).

    3. I’m also a lurker. I’ve learned some great things here (I do a lot of follow up reading on a lot of the science Mark cites) but just don’t care enough to go whole hog with primal.

      I work out. I eat mostly well. I feel and look better than I have at any point in my life. But I like beer, cookies, bread, soy milk, wearing shoes, hot showers, and most of the other things that aren’t part of the lifestyle.

      I read MDA every day and treat it the way I treat every other similar site: Take what works for me or what I find interesting, and leave the rest.

      I’m happy and healthy – that’s all that matters.

      1. I like hot showers, haven’t given up shoes and sometimes eat crap. But most of the time I’m Primal. I think that’s most of the people here too.

    4. I am the only one eating primal in my family and I am the cook! I never cook two meals. I usually serve grains as a side dish (rice, quinoa, etc..). And you know what, I noticed that one of my kids and my husband don’t eat as much grains as before. Some meals with sweet potatoes, yams, or winter squashes are even fully paleo and nobody complains, they even tell me how awesome it taste, and go for seconds – and even thirds for my teenage boy. I have a feeling that they will slowly switch their diet to eat less and less grains without me even pushing it.

      1. I stopped cooking processed foods for dinner. If my family wants it, they have to make it. Almost never happens.
        My husband finally went wheat free long enough to feel its affects when he went back. He admitted that he never knew what it felt like to feel good in the gut.
        We are coming along. Slow and steady.

    5. I actually first started looking into paleo because of multiple food sensitivities – I am allergic to and or/unable to tolerate gluten, dairy, soy, rice, eggs, yeast and pecans. Even with the diagnosis I still get snarky comments at times – more so from coworkers than family. I’m still lurking at this point, but I just ordered the 21 Day Challenge book and I think I’ve convinced my husband to do the 21 days with me. The book should arrive tomorrow, so I’m hoping to spend Saturday shopping/prepping and be on board by Sunday. I think the biggest hurdle for me will be giving up sugar and getting enough sleep.

      1. Exactly, that’s what I do and note the change in choices. You cook one meal with choices of ‘side’ dishes like the grains and other non primal choices. My family choose a healthy balance, my husband likes the main part of the diet but loves carbs which he has consciously reduced and lost weight as a result. I stray a bit at work as I am a nurse on shift work and travel for up to two hours a day to work and back. Don’t do planned exercise enough but busy shifts on your feet leave me exhausted at the end of the week. I agree with the main philosophy of primal eating and see the results in my workplace from the effects of poor diet / lifestyle choices with the epidemic of chronic disease such as diabetes and inflammatory processes as well as the drastic impact of smoking related disease.

    6. I have been using the Green Polka Dot Box for ordering those foods that are inaccessible in my area. http://www.greenpolkadotbox.com
      This is a GMO-free membership club that ships organic and non-GMO food at wholesale prices directly to your door. It has grass-fed meats and wild caught seafood, along with lots of other stuff. It’s where I found the Nick’s Sticks grass-fed beef jerkey (my savior come snack time at work). I have a great organic market near my home, but for some stuff, I use GPDB because it is much less expensive.

      1. Sounds great, thanks for linking it, I will check into the site. 🙂

    7. My mother in law asked me when I could start eating “normally” again once I lost the weight. I put a stop to that eye-rolling by the in-laws by explaining in rich, glorious detail what happens to me when I eat “normally.” I feel bad never eating dinner with them, but the in-laws cook all these crock-pot meals using packeted seasoning mixes and canned sauces that I just can’t eat.

      I happened to print out a copy of the IC-Smart Diet, which helps relieve a type of bladder inflammation (I don’t have IC but I do have OAB), and it excludes certain preservatives and things of which those boxes, packets, and cans are chock-full. I never needed to bring it to them after our poop conversation, but it’s handy if I ever need to throw down my medical condition card. Now they just ask me what I can/can’t eat whenever they want us over.

    8. I think I might be your twin. I have stopped feeding my family differently though. And I have access to small farms and can even get raw dairy. I also am close to an organic store for fresh produce. My husband and kids are ok with my diet but won’t follow it and the rest of my family either questions me to death or thinks it’s just a fad. If they find out how much I paid for an organic chicken ($20) they look at me with three heads. But I have been primal for a few months now and I can actually tell the difference between a chicken that $3.50 and my $20 chicken because the cheap bird will give me cramps. I have never been so in tune with my body. Put yourself first and like Mark says, Groks burger cost $12. Good food is worth the cost.

  8. I think in our present day society one of the hurdles is standing out. When you make the change, people change their attitude and behavior towards you. Each individual has to find that inner strength to say “they are unhappy because they are not willing to make the changes that I AM willing to make for my health, life, etc.” I know in my own experience, people had a sharp response to my lifestyle change ranging from constant “are you sick” comments (no actually just getting very healthy!) to the “gosh you’re skin and bones, you should eat more.” Society is so blinded by the media presentations on what’s “right,” that they simply can grasp a better approach to life.

  9. I think I’ve been guilty of a little “lurking.” I’m a runner – have been for years – and never able to figure out why I couldn’t lose the bit of belly and the jiggle despite 30-40 miles a week and 1200 – 1600 calories a day. My diet is healthier than 90% of the population – no fast food, no white bread, lots of veggies, lean protein, WHOLE GRAINS, and so forth. Fat is the enemy, right? For years I’ve made a habit of obsessively limiting my fat intake.

    I’m not overweight (at 5’6” and about 135 – 140 lbs) but definitely not as “fit” or “cut” as I should be (or want to be). My “happy weight” is about 127, and I’ve been there before, but I have to KILL myself to get there. Why am I always so tired? Why can’t I get through the afternoon without Diet Coke? Why do I run and run and run but can’t manage to lose more than 7 or 10 lbs? Why do I gain it right back when I’m not in “training mode?”

    I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled on MDA in my search for an answer – but I did. Then I purchased the Primal Blueprint for my Kindle and devoured it in a matter of days. I changed my eating habits overnight. I definitely felt better in a couple of days – and food was enjoyable again. Eggs? Love them. Avocado? Easily one of my favorite foods. Steak? Yes please – and rare! Leafy greens? No problem. I’ve loved vegetables since childhood. Another one of my favorite foods is chicken liver pate. Seriously, “eating Primal” should be easy for me. And for the most part, it is.

    So what’s my problem? Why am I a lurker? Well, after about 2 weeks of eating Primal (and trying to curb my chronic cardio habit), I left on a vacation to sunny (and self-indulgent) Mexico. … And fell right off the wagon. I had bread, Margaritas, desserts, pasta, etc. So now I’m back in the Midwest, and I’ve been lurking around MDA for a few weeks. My carb intake is way down (under 100g a day), but I’m not as diligent as I should be. I’m also being lazy when it comes to working out – I hate lifting weights and I miss my high-intensity cardio – which makes me angry at myself, so I reach for a cocktail or two and some chocolate (albeit dark) at the end of the day. Yesterday I said “screw it” and had (gluten-free) crackers with my chicken liver. I would say that instead of being 80/20, I’m about 60/40.

    I feel like this is my confession, something that I needed to get out there. I WANT to live Primal. I BELIEVE it will work for me if I just commit to it. I admit it, my efforts to date have been half-assed. Today will be different. Today IS different. I had coffee with half and half (no breakfast), and my lunch is arugula and salmon salad. I will Lift Heavy Things when I get home from work. Dinner is organic chicken legs on the grill (they’re already marinating) and roasted parmesan brussels sprouts. Maybe I’ll give myself a break and have a glass of red wine or my favorite winter drink, a Manhattan (bourbon is OK, right?). No maraschino cherries, of course.

    Wow. I feel better already.

    1. Hey Anna,

      It’s just my opinion , but it sounds like you’re being pretty hard on yourself, if I read your post correctly you’ve not been Primal for more than a couple of months.

      Lifestyle change takes time to settle in, some people are the ‘jump right in’ types and for others lasting change happens gradually. I took a good few months to get fully switched over, making one positive change at a time and sticking with it was what worked for me.

      Don’t let anger or a sense of failure if you’re not 80/20 stop you from maintaining the changes you’ve made so far. Every positive change is a great step and you should pat yourself on the back for that!

      If you feel you can’t make another step towards change right now, then just work on maintaining the changes you’ve made so far – it doesn’t have to happen overnight.

      Good luck on your Primal journey and well done for the changes you’ve made so far!

      1. Primal V-

        Thank you. I’m definitely hard on myself… One of the things that is so appealing about the Primal Blueprint is the focus on being HAPPY and HEALTHY, not stressing ourselves into submission.

        I’ve always believed in “No Pain, No Gain” because that’s what my experience has been… If I wanted results, I had to suffer through the process. That’s a difficult thing to unlearn. But I am trying.

        I really appreciate your feedback. I know I need to give myself a break!

        1. Ms.Banana. Keep up the good work and maybe throw out that half and half and get some real 100% cream. That will make you feel better pronto!

    2. Great to hear that, sounds like it works for you. For me it began to work only after 1 whole year until I became a full primal!

  10. ::hangs head in shame::
    I am a lurker who reads almost every day. I make grand plans in my head to start living primally, but I keep putting it off (get primal–tomorrow!) I am planning (haha) on doing the 21 day sugar detox soon.. trying to decide if I should start before or after Thanksgiving (it’s always something, isn’t it?). I mostly eat meats and veggies…. and totally cave with sweets.
    Way to step on my toes with this post!

  11. So I was a lurker up until 2 weeks ago. I would flirt with this site, reading it and thinking, “I could do that” or “That’s a good idea” and never trying it out. I’d even subscribe and go thru periods were I’d hide the subscription in my spam folder because it would remind me I failed.

    What changed for me 3 months ago was I figured out (YES BECAUSE OF THIS SITE) that my partner had celiacs. This, changed my diet a lot. My partner was getting healthier and healthier over the last few months and I, still happily clinging to my grains…was not.

    2 weeks ago I said f*** it. I dipped my toe in the pool. It took me another week to take the plunge actually and really go at it. I also did something I never had done before and bought a food book (the 21 day challenge).

    I’ve already gone from a 16L to a 14L. In two weeks, the last few day of which I’ve been on my moon and bloated. Do you know how insanely good it feels to put on your older, smaller pants for the first time on the day of you moon when you are normally trying to find yoga pants or something to balloon into?

    Yesterday I sat down and tallied up all the sugary beverages I normally would have drunk over two weeks…it explained where about 1/2 my weight loss was coming from.

    All this from a lifestyle where I don’t count calories, I don’t go around hungry and I get to eat all of my favorite flavors a lot.

    What made me take the plunge was 3 things Mark:

    1. You being one of the few people talking about celiac’s and the danger of wheat. Here I had been dating a wonderful man for years and watching him suffer with dozens of health problems at 25. The doctors prescribed so much weird stuff to treat each problem until I told him about Celiac’s. It took a 1/2 hour of verbally wrestling the doc to get him to admit I could be right. (We don’t go there anymore.) This made me wonder about conventional wisdom.

    2. Watching my partner heal from grains. Really read the symptom list and subtract 1. That’s how bad he was. And now he’s so happy and off a cocktail of meds. He is gaining muscle my little stick man! Watching him heal gave me the idea maybe I could be healed too.

    3. Realizing I was only 30 lbs overweight. I have hated my body since HS when I had to work at fast food to get money. I blew up. Somehow I always guessing I was 50 lbs overweight. Then I did a body fat test….only 30. 30 is scary. 30 is 7.5 months if I lose a pound a week, or about 4 if I double that.

    Realizing in 4-8 months I could be fit and healthy and happy for the first time in a decade about my body did it. I kept my hopes low about this lifestyle thinking, oh they probably cherry pick people who lose weight fast to talk it up. I guess it’s not hard to cherry pick though, when there are only cherries in the bowl.

    Lurkers, take heed. Day 3 & 4 were vicious but I’m doing so much better. You can too.

  12. My name is Matthew. I am an Earnest Lurker.

    I read it all. I understand it all. I believe it all that is upheld by the research. Wife is by all means NOT on board. It sabotages my efforts and then leaves me feeling defeated and more downtrodden. That cycles into my lack or action. I look at the weekly success stories with admiration, especially those whose spouse has taken up the torch (and spear) with them.

    Cheers to those who have had success and continue to work hard!

    1. I feel your pain! My husband is the pickiest eater on the planet, and SAD all the way. Will not even attempt to listen to me, he supports me in my decisions, but expects our family food habits to stay the same. I’ve tried to explain how this effects my resolve, but he just can’t get past himself. It is defeating to say the least.

      1. I can totally relate. My husband is a carb-addict. (He lists breakfast cereal among his favorite foods… We’re talking Cocoa Puffs, Cap’n Crunch, Fruity Pebbles… Truly disgusting.) The easy way around it? He eats what I make, or makes something else for himself. If he wants to eat cereal for every meal, so be it.

        As an aside, he is also afflicted with terrible nasal “allergies”, constant post-nasal drip, he snores to beat the band, and he has not-so-great skin. I think eliminating wheat alone would do wonders for him, but if he wants to be miserable, again… so be it.

        1. I can see it now:

          [Stranger]: So tell me Vettech and Anna Banana, how did you two meet?

          [V&B]: Online.

          [Stranger]: Neat, like on match or okcupid?

          [V&B]: MDA.

        2. Vettech and Anna: Are we three married to the same man? Yes, family members can really but a damper on your plans. My husband still refers to the PB as “your latest fad diet”, although I started on this journey almost 18 months ago, and consider myself fully immersed (over 90%) now. Ironically, I found MDA because I was looking for a solution to HIS problems (and if ever there was a person who showed all the symptoms of being highly gluten sensitive, it’s my hubby). I have all the books in hard copy ;aying around the house (all of Mark’s, plus Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, Fat Salt Sugar, etc). Frankly, I feel great, and look pretty darn good too!!! But NOTHING works with him. At least we have a working agreement on meals, or he would known as the ex-hubby…Vettech: hang in there. I made changes slowly so he wouldn’t upset my resolve too much. We’re cheering for you!!

        3. My wife is vegetarian. I was for 9 years. When I came on board being Primal, we had furious fights at just having meat in the fridge. Lots of back and forth. After I quickly got very healthy and looking good physically, she slowly starting coming around. I was personally ready to end the relationship for my health (we have no children). I am happy to say she is 99% on board and she is looking and feeling fantastic. Hang in there.

        4. Man I wish our fights were over too much meat in the fridge, instead our fight are over frozen pizza and spaghetti o’s. However my husband just had his biometrics done for insurance, and his fasting BS was 104. I finally convinced him to ditch the 3 a day pepsi habit. I guess it will be one very small baby step at a time! As for me I’m not about to give up, so I’ll just keep swimming like I always do!

          Oh and Paleo Bon Rurgundy….it’s cool, I think we’re all “open” here!

        5. Your husband sounds like a walking advertisment for a 110% retail tax on the cereals you describe.

        6. My husband says he’s supportive, but the only “vegetables” he will happily eat are corn, peas and potatoes. I cook meals that could be primal for me but include non-primal options for the rest of my family. Once it’s on the table and I’m looking at the pasta or cornbread my resolve crumbles. . . I’m starting at the 50/50 principal and working my way up to 80/20. Hopefully, once my family sees positive changes in me they wil be more on board.

        7. Same here – my husband loves his canned/boxed/frozen instant meals way too much to give up. He was actually diagnosed with pre-diabetes a year ago, which temporarily inspired him to try reducing his carb load, but then the doctor put him on a drug which reduces carb absorption and he went right back to the high-carb SAD. He’s lost maybe 50 pounds so far, largely due to giving up beer and switching to a less-stressful position at work, but he’s got at least another 100 to lose before he stops being a walking advertisement for how the SAD combined with a sedentary lifestyle causes obesity.

          As for myself, I’ve been mostly managing to eat properly, but I haven’t been exercising nearly as much as I need to. I blame my commute for taking up close to 2 hours of my day.

      2. Then my man must be the SECOND pickiest eater–what man doesn’t like guacamole? He says he hates avocados, but he never turns down my chocolate pudding based on avocados. I have to do a lot of food hiding to get him to eat what he should, but I have no problems getting him to go along with Paleo/Primal/keto.

        He’s recently discovered kohlrabi in our soups and stews, and asks, “are these the dull, tasteless potatoes again?” He remembers the sweet taste of real potatoes, unfortunately.

        Part of the problem is his hyperactive olfactory cluster–he can smell and taste things (or identify lack of taste) that I don’t even register. He inherited that from his mother. Cheese? okay. Cream cheese? Not for him! Organ meats are also a no-go, so I blend a little into the meatloaf, and am sure to include salsa to help cover it up.

        He’s almost like a terrible 2-year-old, but he’s 50. Help me… :+

        1. With my husband it’s either pizza, hamburgers, canned food or naught. If I don’t have anything in the house he will eat, he will go to town (8 miles one way) and buy a pizza. So it’s either keep those foods in the house or I won’t have money for my veggies and meat. It’s a vicious circle!
          He quizzes me with any dish I make and if it includes anything he doesn’t like, he will not go anywhere near it! His Idea of veggies are mashed potatoes and gravy or french fries. Seriously when he comes home with McDonalds he will say “see I ate my vegetables today” It’s a joke to him!
          Not that I’m trying to one up anyone, it’s just so incredibly frustrating, and it feels good to vent!!
          My kids are more open to food, but it’s hard to convince them to eat healthy when they see him dunking oreos in his coffee every morning!
          Wow must be husband bashing day, if our marriage wasn’t good in every other aspect, I’d ask myself why am I married to him? I accept a little bad with all of the good!!!

    2. Matthew, would she eat potatoes, squash, white rice, carrots, 2 or 3 servings of fruit/ day and enjoy sleeping at night? Would she be okay with eating homemade simple sauces on easy to cook foods (the primal sauces book is great)! What I’m trying to say is, the changes could be gradual. I got hubby to eat fried potatoes instead of bread. He has not gained weight eating whole food and non grain starch sources like potatoes and even loses if he sticks to it. He really misses sandwiches from time to time and pizza, but he can indulge once a week or so with no problems. I hope you can get on board even if things are hard. That actually goes for everyone! I understand sabatogue feelings, but if I keep myself eating healthy (including a reasonable amount of starch) things are easier to handle. And keeping marital bliss alive is often more important than how we eat.

    3. Boy do I feel that pain. I’m in the exact same boat. Two years ago I went PB and lost about 80 lbs in just over 6 months. The stress I had to go through to do was tough-cooking separate meals, finding restaurants where I could eat Primal, etc. was tough. Then something happened to my knee and it hurt so much I could hardly walk for about 3 weeks, and it took 3 months to get in to see a Dr., get an MRI, etc. (and found out I have osteoarthritis), and by then I had given up. Now, sadly, I’ve regained the 80 lbs (and possibly a few more). I really want to get back on the wagon, but the fear of dealing with the stress allows me to keep making excuses.

      1. Kati, never give up. All of the inflammatory properties in a poor diet and non primal food will not aid recovery of your knee. Osteoarthritis often can be managed with 1. Good diet choices, 2. lose weight. 3. Glucosamine (caution tolerance to it and no allergies to seafood / crustaceans and check with your medical advisor) – at least 1500 mg a day (Mark does this fit in with primal living?).
        I have lots of stress on my knees from past traumas due to playing polocrosse on horseback for years.
        I could barely walk and had ceased Glucosamine, had limited range of movement in leg, had to stand for 10 seconds before attempting to walk (classic signs of osteoarthritis), Thought I was going to be crippled and unable to walk and my job depends on mobility as a nurse on busy ward.
        I resumed my daily Glucosamine, ate a basically primal diet, slowly lost weight and in about three months can walk again with full range of movement in my leg, thank goodness, no surgery required.
        You can do it. I did it and I’m no superhero! Go for it!

    4. All is not lost. I live with a carboholic who respects my lifestyle and we manage. I don’t bake, he buys his own junk food. In the beginning, he would even keep it out of my sight, but that’s no longer an issue. I make a meal we can all eat plus a carby side for him, like potatoes or pasta. I go to the gym, he doesn’t.

      He is proud of my progress and likes the way I look. I will never convince him to join me, but we make it work. I’m motivated because I have health problems that are much improved with Primal and I like the way I feel.

      Don’t stop trying!

  13. I feel that I might be a lurker. I found MDA about two years ago, read the Primal Blueprint and began eating in the primal style. I love it and have no bother following the eating side of things. I have lost around 36 lbs and have no trouble keeping it off. My problems lie with the exercise. I am 70 years old and have suffered from CFE/ME for a lot of my life and seem to have reached a plateau with my weight which still has a way to go. Although I felt loads better in so many ways I was still dragging myself about trying to do the basic household tasks, trying to keep things in reasonable order. About three months ago I started taking Vitamin D3 supplements and am beginning to feel the benefit at last. I am not sure how to begin an exercise programme at my age. I read about the success stories every week and am ever hopeful. Any exercise advice would be much appreciated.

    1. If you can afford it, book a couple of sessions with a certified personal trainer who can help you assess your current fitness level and work with you on a plan for exercise that will be safe for you and help you reach you goals. This would be a great way to get started. Again, if you can afford it, you might check in periodically with the trainer to update on your progress and make a new plan.

      Some trainers will take small groups (3-4) of people at similar fitness levels for training. This may be an option for you as well.

    2. Annakay,

      I am sorry to hear about your health issues, but am inspired by your dedication and efforts. I am a lurker who has the books and keeps reading the posts and the comments for motivation. I have made some changes to my diet, and have a few times, been able to fit in a puny effort at exercise. I am not giving up though. If you can do it with all your obstacles, I can certainly put forth more effort. I struggle with the pass/fail thinking. if I cannot 100% embrace and live it, then I have failed, and I give up too easily. I also allow my family to be an excuse to give in to the cravings.

      I am worried about you exercising if your cfs/me is the same as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. any exercise that puts a load or stress on the body exacerbates ME. please consult your physician before starting any exercise program. it could be dangerous for you.

      keep up the good work
      Pamela

    3. Start with a daily walk.if you have access to a pool,swimming or walking in water is a good exercise. Also tai chi. This are all very gentle exercises.

      1. Thank you Susan, Pamela and Antje for your input. I will certainly try out your ideas and see how I get on.

        1. Keep us posted! and best wishes for health and happiness

  14. Hmm. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a lurker but I do not follow the Primal Blueprint thing 100% either nor do I ever intend to follow it 100%. I visit MDA and other related sites because of the plethora of information that’s out there and it helps me keep up to date with information I don’t find on my own and is applicable to my clients. Rule #1 of nutrition is that no one diet is good for everyone and that’s even true of the PB diet.

  15. My husband and I were once a faithful Paleo converts after the birth of my first child just shy of 3 years ago… and lost almost 40 lbs and felt great and followed it pretty well at least 80/20 or better. Then I got pregnant with my second child and I lost all desire to follow the lifestyle more for sheer taste-bud and nausea issues with eating the steady diet of eggs, bacon, red meat, etc. I knew I was giving up on something that worked very well for me, but when I found that I was not eating anything at all because I felt trapped in this lifestyle that I couldn’t eat anything else other than pre-pregnancy foods; I was feeling horrible physically, etc. So, as a result, I fell off the wagon and started eating grains, etc. throughout my pregnancy and still continued after her birth in Jan 2013. Several life events over the last 10 mos prevented me (my personal choice) from being willing to take the plunge again. But several times over the life of my pregnancy and since her birth I’ve come back to MDA to get that fire lit again that once motivated me to go Paleo before. I needed to read those success stories, I needed to see those recipes, I needed to read Mark’s info and Q & A. At no time did I not consider myself not part of the community; I knew I would return to the Paleo lifestyle again because I enjoyed it and I felt better than ever before when I followed it. Just in the last week I’ve cut out all grains and am working on reducing my sugar intake. Been eating my fav veggies of bell peppers, mushrooms, zuchinni sauteed in garlic and coconut oil; eating lamb and beef and wonderful omelets with avocado, goat cheese, sauteed vegs, bacon, etc. Eating a few berries with my full fat greek yogurt, etc. It feels good, going thru the carb flu a bit with headaches and drowsiness periodically, but I’m ok with that. Have joined a gym (just moved to a new city in August after retiring from the AF in October) and am taking it slow; rowing on the Concept 2, walking and jogging on the treadmill and stretching. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my 41 years; at 5’6″/168 lbs. My normal weight is 130-135. Been pretty depressed but am pulling myself up by my bootstraps again and making the commitment again. Sorry for the length of this post, but taking Mark’s suggestion and coming clean and putting myself out there for that kick in the pants. Tried the Primal Whole Egg Coffee this morning, will work on it a bit more but was pleasantly surprised that I could get two eggs in my diet in my busy morning and still enjoy my coffee! Keep the info coming Mark, believe me it’s not wasted even if it’s read by lurkers or previous diehards that fell off track. We need this site and we enjoy the community and honest opinions posted out here! 🙂

    1. I too fell off the paleo wagon when i got pregnant. I suffer from hypermesis gravidarium which is extreme nasea 24/7 for the entire pregnancy.I had been paleo for over a year and was at my thinnest since high school, i felt amazing. Now I am six months pregnant and already gained 40 pounds, so depressing. But the first four months I ate nothing but carbs.i am feeling better now but still have to constantly eat to stave off the nasea. I battle everday inside my head about what to eat trying so hard to be paleo but super hard when meat is the last thing i want to eat. So i try my best and am hoping once baby is here that going back to a strict paleo diet will help take off all this weight. I think its pretty hard for many pregnant women to stick with paleo. So for now i am about 60/40 and gluten free and will be a lurker here on mda to keep my drive going. 🙂

      1. I feel for ya. I didn’t really have nausea, but what I did have was just a distaste for any of the primal foods I came to love. The smell, the look, everything about meat, eggs, bacon, sausage, salads, etc. all made me feel like I was going to gag. The only advice I have, coming from a post-partum mom of 10 months; is try not to take too long to go back to primal. I’m paying for my delay now. My body aches when I exercise and when I don’t, my clothes are bigger than ever; and all in all I feel like I have SOOOOO far to go to get back to how I felt when I first went primal in 2011. But I know I’ll get there; just wish I would’ve started more at the 6 mo mark postpartum instead of almost 11 mo postpartum! Have a healthy baby and be kind to yourself!

      2. You must be having a boy. Sounds just like my first one. With the girl all I wanted was meat and cheese. And of corse Mexican food. It will all pass. And the baby is worth all the trouble it caused for 9 months.

      3. I also gave up eating primally when I had hyperemesis during pregnancy. In my opinion, primal/paleo simply isn’t possible when you’re vomiting constantly! About a month after my son’s birth, I went back to mostly primal eating, but with extra carbs because I’m nursing and constantly hungry.

        I just want to encourage you that the pounds DO come off when you go back to better eating. I’m 4.5 months postpartum, and just got back into my pre pregnancy jeans. 🙂

        Interestingly, this is my fourth child, and the first time that I’ve eaten primally postpartum. Always before I have struggled for a year or more to lose baby weight, killing myself with working out and seeing very little progress, and each time keeping a few pounds that just wouldn’t come off. This time around it has been completely different!!

  16. Guilty as charged, Mark. I’ve been reading MDA since 2009, when I found it by googling “caveman diet” after I read Beyond Veg and a review of AudettNeanderthin. I’ve been reading lots of paleo/primal blogs since then, but there always seemed to be an excuse as to why I couldn’t do it “just now.”

    For example, the endless parade of birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, and whatever-your-reason celebrations that pop up out of nowhere. Or having a spouse who understands why I want to change my diet, but doesn’t see a need to join me (I’m not blaming him, just saying, it’s hard to avoid gluten and chips and Snickers when they are in the house). Or being pregnant or nursing for the better part of the past five years, and not having any motivation or brain power to exercise. And chasing down three small kids day after day just sucks away any moment I might have to devote to self-care and being mindful of my diet. Have I mentioned that my kids are obligate carbovores, and think of pasta and pizza as comprising a necessary food group of their own :-)?

    Well, all of those things are true but they are not by any means insurmountable obstacles. I’ve purged all the junk food from the house, keep GF bread and pasta around for the girls while I work on weaning them off of those foods, and told my husband to please, please keep the candy in his car. He has no problem eating what I cook, but unless a miracle occurs he will not let go of his precious English muffins. Since I don’t care for English muffins, I can live with them in the house.

    I started cooking and eating Primal 100% four days ago. I had a regular wheat bun on a hamburger on Saturday night and felt sick all night long, I barely slept and was a bloated mess the following day. See, I know this about myself, I know gluten is bad for me, I’ve been n=1’ing myself with GF trials for years and I KNOW I cannot eat it, but now and then I say what the heck and it all falls down.

    So, I took out some big paper I keep around for the kids to doodle and got out my nice calligraphy pens and using a two-tone ink wash I wrote out this message:

    “Not tomorrow, TODAY. Not just today, but NOW” and hung it prominently on the face of the kitchen cabinets, the first thing I see every morning when I stumble into the kitchen clawing for caffeine and five minutes of peace before the baby starts wailing. It helps, it really does. I’m not seeing much weight loss yet, despite being lower on the carb curve than I ever was before. Maybe I need to cut them even further, or just give it some time. But I can report that my clothes feel better, my tummy is settled and I don’t have that six-month pregnant belly look. My sleep is already better and I have more energy than usual.

    I just have to remember to keep writing about these positive developments so I can reinforce what I already K-N-O-W: gluten = bad, primal = good, don’t eat foods that bother my stomach, go for a walk every day, put on my own oxygen mask first then worry about getting the kids in line.

    I tend to see things as all-or-nothing events, sprints rather than marathons, short airplane hops rather than long, interesting, meandering road trips. I don’t know why this is, but if something doesn’t happen quickly and have a concrete, observable outcome, I lose patience and faith. Reminding myself to slow down and enjoy the ride, and to look for the little successes rather than fret about not already being at the finish line is MISSION CRITICAL for me. I’ve been de-programming from any number of CW myths and fallacies for years now, and I think I’m ready to retrain my brain to be more patient and forgiving, and not just of myself and my own failures!

    Thanks for this post today. It’s something that has been on my mind of late, how I just need to DO, not think or read, but DO.

  17. I think this might be the first time I’ve commented…and yes I’m a lurker. Found MDA this time last year and cold turkeyed it for 3 months and lost 21lbs in time for my wedding, went on honeymoon and “treated” myself to whatever I wanted and haven’t managed to get fully back on the wagon. I’ve tried a couple of times to go back to primal but I seem to give up after a week or so. I know it works and I know its better for me – just nothing seems to motivate quite like having to fit into a wedding dress!

    I definitely need a kick in the pants…

    1. Jo-

      I, like you, completely fell off the wagon on a recent vacation. Getting back on the wagon has been difficult, and I can’t really explain why.

      I am SO GLAD that Mark brought “lurking” into the light. I feel exposed (in a good way!) I think he’s given us a wonderful opportunity to motivate each other.

  18. I am probably better-than-80% primal — and loving it — as a personality, I just am a little slow to go whole hog (nose to tail, tee hee). Also, I’ve believed a lot of things over the course of my life and been wrong about about half of them, so I just don’t “believe” as easy as I once did.

    But I have wondered why some people hang out on the forums when they don’t seem to be particularly interested or sympathetic. I don’t suppose those people — trolls, I guess — are who you’re talking about.

  19. I was an immediate-action reader and not a lurker. Im 23, female, and got into it for vanity to be honest. I’ve experienced awesome results.

    However, when I read about the health benefits (along with reading Gary Taubes’ and Robert Lustig’s books out of curiosity and shock that CW could be so wrong) I became very gung ho.

    I know a lot of seniors who start falling apart in so many ways in their 40s, 50s, 60s– I DO NOOOOT want to be like that.

    When I retire I aspire to look like Carrie 😀

  20. Definitely a lurker…I was totally primal a couple of years ago for over a year and a half…was feeling better than I ever felt before. Got really sick and looked to easy comfort foods and the downward spiral started that I can’t seem to get off. Changed jobs, moved away from a city I liked and work way too hard. The stress keeps me reaching for bad things because I have become depressed by the situation. It doesn’t help that who I live with doesn’t get it and just keeps saying just try this, or you have to eat this so the neighbors think we liked it…etc. Also in the mix is my work environment where junk food is readily available 24/7 and they celebrate almost daily with crap. I politely decline and they force it on you until you have to tell them 10 times no. I really need to get back to primal because I do believe being primal will help me deal with my depression as well as the stress in my life but it is so hard to get started. I restart a few times every week.

    1. Totally can relate to you! I’ve changed jobs, changed cities, my spouse has been unemployed due to our move, two little kids under the age of 4, etc. It is a self-licking ice cream cone and I’ve never been this depressed or overweight; and it’s due to all the cortisol (i.e. stress), no exercise, and going for the easy comfort of “yummy” food that is totally sabotaging to any efforts. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other is the only way we can make progress… stay strong and don’t be so critical of yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. And it’s time to take care of yourself despite the naysayers. Luckily, my husband prefers primal and is a huge support of this. I hope I can stay on track, but there will be days that will be harder than others and I will not follow it perfectly. We’re human. Just wanted you to know you’re not alone…

  21. I’ve never had the luxury of being a lurker simply because health problems — including autoimmune symptoms that for years drove me crazy — catapulted me into change. I’m also kind of a type-A personality so that helps. There’s nothing like suffering to motivate, though! I am pretty strict primal, despite having a toddler who has his picky moments. But I’ve raised him primal/paleo pretty much from the start, which has made it much easier — most non-primal foods are just not within his frame of reference (yet). And my husband is a chameleon when it comes to food so just eats whatever I eat and is fine with it! Lucky me, I know. But I empathize with those who say they have family members who aren’t on board, because I have several family members who suffer and I know they could feel so much better if they would just ditch SAD for Primal. I think there is this mentality in some people that getting sick as we age is just inevitable, and normal, and that there is nothing we can do about it. I also think that it is scary for some people to change — how we eat is connected to so many other aspects of our self image, our family history, our attitude toward life in general. So it is complicated. I know a woman who struggles constantly with her husband, who has thyroid problems, and his eating habits. He is overweight, has all these issues, and she is super motivated in terms of health. Unfortunately sometimes these eating issues — which seem superficial — point to deeper differences between people in intimate relationships that need looking at. If somebody is unwilling to take care of themselves, you have to sort of ask, well, what does that mean? What is at the root of that behavior? And can I live with it if it doesn’t change?

  22. I’m a longtime fitness professional, working in the field for close to 25 years now. I feel like I’ve witnessed so many trends and fads that I approach everything cautiously. I like the scientific support that I find on this site, and the common sense approach to the whole picture of what health should be (not to mention Mark’s humor).
    I am technically a “lurker” because my purpose for reading MDA, etc. is to give myself some ammo when it comes to my everyday interactions. To change the perception of what healthy is and help people develop their own intuition on what’s best for them. Do I follow the PD strictly? No. Do I feel healthy and energetic? Yes, I’d say 90% of the time. Do I want 100%? Eh, not really. I’m just not a gung-ho personality. I like people, not numbers. I don’t want to count carbs, keep track of my weight, take body measurements, etc. I’m a big picture person. My success is measured every day by how I feel physically and emotionally. I am fortunate to have had very few health issues my whole life and those that have come up, I’ve so far been able to use my knowledge and intuition to tackle them. I have to eat gluten-free and I am conscious of sugar intake and know that the more balance and variety I get in every meal, the better the whole outcome will be. Fortunately, I’m aware enough to make the connection between food and mood (garbage in, garbage out). When I work with people, I think this is the most important message I can give them. I love the action aspects to the PD also. I always get a little amused at the site of a row of crowded treadmills facing a picture window that shows a beautiful spring day. I think Grok would laugh is @$$ off. It’s absurd that so many aren’t connected to this part of our past and are almost afraid of outdoor pursuits.
    The interactions of this community are inspiring. It gives me hope that all is not lost. Change can come and so I check in everyday to remind myself that I am not alone in trying to contribute to that change.
    But, yes, I’m a “lurker”. The PD approach is by far the best fit for me, but I am the tortoise. Slow and steady will win my race. For me, it can’t be done in 21 days.
    And, by the way…this is the first time EVER that I’ve posted on any online community site. Congrats to MDA. This tortoise just took another step.

  23. August, 2010, I was 254 lbs (5’5″, female) according to my doctors records. Having just divorced and psychologically a mess, I was all over the place. Then two years ago, I got the dreaded HA1c result of 8.2 (that’s bad). The doctor put me on a non-insulin injection that made me so sick I couldn’t move without heaving. During that period, I discovered that feeling hungry wasn’t going to kill me. I had to discontinue the medication, but I promised the doctor that if I could test my blood sugar 4 times a day, I would get it under control. As a result, I found that if I eat this thing my blood sugar spiked and if I ate that thing it did not. I started losing weight.

    I was eating primal/paleo/caveman before I even knew what it was….by accident. But the more I did it, the more results I had. Now, I have lost 97 lbs…and can’t wait for the last three to come off so I can officially boast that I have lost 100 lbs.

    Searching the internet trying to expand my food options, I discovered Abel James’ podcast which was fascinating. Being a girl who has to have the science right, I researched some more and found MDA. The science is right. I can’t find a flaw. Do I follow everything all the time? NO! I hate exercise, but I now move more. Was breathless climbing stairs before and now I get up the stairs pretty quick. Do I have a washboard abs? NO…at age 56 I kinda doubt I ever will.

    I live on food stamps – $189/mo. I never exceed that budget, for there is not enough in the rest of my income. Grass-fed, organic, free-range stuff is golden and out of the question most of the time. I have to blur the edges and just think about it this way….which protein is the least per pound this week?…I have to be forgiving with myself. I do what I can. My family rolls their eyes about it, but who cares?

    Am I a lurker? Maybe if you count a person who visits this and other sites to glean information. Not all information is right for every person, so I “eat the meat and spit out the bones” (paleo pun intended). If it works for me, it works…if not, find something that will. But how will I know, if I don’t visit and research, experiment, “bio-hack”…. I’m so happy I found MDA. It’s a valuable resource. Would that not be your goal for this blog?

    Last four HA1c tests? 5.7 (Non-diabetic status)

    1. My reasson for being here is exactly the same as yours! A1c of 7.3 and as I meticulously kept track of my sugars and deleting foods that shot them up I found myself eating paleo. Down to 6.1 already! And Mark’s post today couldn’t be more timely, I filled out the base and experiment portions of the PB 90 day journal last night. I got the journal because I’ve been backsliding since injuries have me stuck at home since August. The last 2 weeks have been the worst. Stayed away from grain, but boy has the sugar monster got my name. I have to stay serious about my diet so that with my next test in January I can ditch the meds.

  24. PS — TJ love your story, can totally relate to how pregnancy and severe nausea can change your relationship to Primal, isn’t that interesting? Somebody recently told me that nausea during pregnancy is associated with H. Pylori — don’t know if it’s trur but it was a well-trained ND so who knows. I had severe nausea and could not eat meat for months. I have also heard that excess protein is toxic for babies in the womb. I have so many questions specific to women and the Primal diet, Mark please do more posts on this! Thanks!

    1. +1. Would definitely like to see a bit more info about primal and how it affects women’s hormones for the better (or worse?) I know I won’t be having anymore children, but I still struggle with the typical hormonal balances most women in their 40s and older deal with.

  25. I’m not a lurker, and I read mda almost every day, I first started out going primal in May this year after a friend told me about it when I said I was thinking of not being a vegetarian anymore after 23 years of following it, as I didn’t feel healthy my problem has been that I’m not seeing the results like I keep reading everyone else is getting and it’s making me question whether this is right for me, I’m 48 years old 5.4 tall and 9stone 8lb I’m a runner that’s recently had knee surgery so I’m unable to exercise at the minute and I’m finding my resolve to be primal slipping away even though I love this way of eating it’s not keeping my weight down I prefer to be about 9stone, and I feel heavy if that makes sense .

    1. Sharon,

      I was introduced to Primal last year by Nerd Fitness. I knew about MDA but had not visited. I started reading MDA every day about a month ago, but I don’t consider myself a lurker. I was a vegetarian for the previous 5 years and lost 50 lbs. during the first 2 years with walking being my primary exercise. Then I hit 50 and the weight loss stopped. Looking for a change, I went Primal and I am not seeing the results that others have posted about.

      I had knee surgery in January. Followed the Dr.’s advice after surgery, bicycle, elliptical and the physical therapy exercises. Boring. I have been pretty much the same weight for all of this year. I loose a couple lbs and then they come back. I have cut out nuts, fruits, dairy. I would say I am 90/10. It’s discouraging. I would love to have the results that others have but it’s just not happening. I have about 40 more lbs to lose. I use MFP every day and keep carbs under 50 most days. I have read on here where people don’t do any exercise at all and still loose weight. What? I walk at least 30 min 2-3 /week and do the body weight exercises 2x/wk. I have yet to do the sprints on a bike as I don’t have a bike or access to one. Actual running is out of the question due to continued problems with the knee. What am I doing wrong?

      1. Andrea, it doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong at all. Everyone is different, so even though it’s hard, try not to compare yourself to others. How do you feel? Do you sleep better when you eat this way and exercise? Do you have more energy? Are there other reasons you are Primal besides weight loss?

        I know it’s tough. I’ve lost 50 pounds myself over the last year and a half and still have a goal to lose 45 more. I’ve been “stuck” at 190-196 for several months now, even though I started a new lifting regimen (the dumbbell division from the NF Academy!) and feel like I’m getting so much stronger. The weight isn’t coming off–that’s terribly frustrating. So I remind myself of all the other reasons I eat/live this way.

        Aside from that, here are some concrete suggestions to break through your plateau:

        -Find a way to include those bike sprints! (This worked for me once)
        -Look into a carb re-feed once a week, especially if you’re limiting to 50 carbs daily. You should be able to search for this post in Mark’s archives.
        -Stop stressing about it. Easier said than done, but I know I personally tend to over think things, stress out, and that can hinder weight/fat loss.

        Keep your head up, and keep doing what makes you FEEL the best.

        1. Thanks Stacy. I eat this way because I feel that it is what is best for my body. I ate vegetarian for years because I couldn’t bring myself to eat CAFO meat. Eating pastured eggs, beef and humanely raised chicken and pork makes sense to me. Primal eating makes sense to me.

          I cut out dairy a long time ago because it upset my stomach. I gave up soft drinks over 25 years ago. I never was much of a bread/pasta eater. Fast food, ugh. No way.

          My energy levels don’t seem to be any different than before I started Primal. I do not sleep well at all. I wake up at least 2 or 3 times a night no matter how well I eat or how much I exercise. I blame menopause. First I’m hot then I’m cold. I know this is probably a big factor in my inability to lose the weight, but eventually this will pass. I use a mask to simulate darkness and my neighborhood is fairly quiet at night so it’s not exterior noises or light that wake me. I don’t have sleep apnea. I may have a glass of red wine a couple times a week but I have even cut that out recently. I was having to get up to go to the bathroom at least once a night, but am now taking a prescription for overactive bladder that has mostly eliminated that (no pun intended). I know that once I get core muscles stronger, I may be able to stop taking the prescription.

          I always feel great when I finish my walks and exercises. So I know that I am doing well in that area. It’s just frustrating that the weight doesn’t “fall off” like it does for so many others.

          I have read about the carb reloading so I will start incorporating that as well as trying to figure out a way to do the bike sprints. The osteoarthritis in my left knee is pretty painful most days so it’s hard to get moving. But I always feel better afterwards. At 55 I am only on one prescription med so I feel pretty good about that. I know that I am pretty healthy except for the weight issue.

          Thanks for the words of encouragement.

        2. Stacie & Andrea –

          I can certainly relate! I’m a 49 year old female… still peri-menopausal. Have had great success with this way of eating. Prior to discovering PB I was pre-diabetic… fasting glucose was at 102. Now its 84 and my cholesterol numbers have moved into the fabulous range (smile).

          So for me it’s interesting because I’m considered morbidly obese by normal measures. I’d love to get this weight off, though and it’s a struggle. My joints and back would thank me but I feel good about my health otherwise. I think as women get older it’s more a matter of hormones.

  26. I’ll be in the hotseat! My diet is around 65% primal, but I am a recovering vegetarian and still struggle to choose meat and veggies over grains and fruit. Right now I’m trying to reduce the amount of fructose and FODMAP containing foods in my diet, and eliminate gluten altogether. I know these things make me bloated, hungry and sick-I also know they are addictive! My goal for today is to cook a big batch of primal soup to take to work every day. No more eating out!

  27. I do not know what in the name of Jehovah I am, but I think its somewhere in the realm of Primal/Lurker.

    I’ve been what I think of as primal for about two months, although I suspect I haven’t been and might still not be fully primal due to my fear of calorie consumption and I suppose food itself, leading me to use protein powder with almond milk as a meal replacement. (I’m down to just breakfast now, it used to be breakfast and dinner.)

    I started at 143 pounds at 5’3″. Not an ideal healthy weight by any means, but you wouldn’t laugh if you saw me. I’m down to 127 now since going primal, but the problem is that I can’t see the bleeding difference. I feel like nothing I do works. I don’t have the energy promised on the primal blueprint. I’m tired all the time. I’m aware that I’m probably raising my cortisol levels due to my disgust in my own skin, but I really can’t control it. I don’t look like what I thought I would at 127. I practice sprints, I lift weights, I work in service so I walk a lot every day. I have hormonal imbalances I’m sure, (irregular/absent periods) and I keep waiting for my levels to improve, nada. I feel like there’s mixed info everywhere. “IFing is GREAT!” and then “Women shouldn’t IF!!” or “Keeping low carb the weight falls off” and then “Women need more carbs!” “Don’t worry about calories!” “You need to eat at a deficit!”

    I just want to be 22 again and enjoy my life and body. I realize that that has to be an internal thing, but I can’t see myself practicing it while I feel this way.

    Sorry to infect you lovely folks out there with my negativity! I just needed to vent, sincerely. I feel like some kind of mutant that Primal lifestyle has overlooked. That, and my sister threatened to shoot me if I said “Paleo” one more time.

    Frustrated.

    1. Oh my Becca, two months may not be long enough to help you feel like leaping small buildings in a single bound. However, I would like to encourage you to keep eating this way and move forward. I’ve been helped so much by eating this way and moving more. Sometimes I feel like I have more energy than my little 11 year old boy, who seems to NEVER stop. It’s gradual but some day you’ll just notice that a lot of problems and pain is gone and you don’t mind just standing (instead of looking around for a chair to sit). That’s how it felt for me at least. It’s been about a year for me and I’ve yet to leap a small building but who knows on my way home today? Just might try it.

  28. Enjoy the information, don’t really enjoy the food. I know “enjoyment” isn’t the primary reason we eat, and perhaps in my case it shouldn’t be a reason at all. I can make a recipe once and like it; then I make it a second time and never want to see it again. If I even smell coconut or eggs at this point, I have to suppress a gag. (God forbid they be in the same dish…) I don’t crave things like bread or pasta or candy, either. Extremely spicy food is occasionally an exception, thank goodness.

    As a child, I was not a picky eater and derived enjoyment from a range of foods, particularly fresh vegetables, so I hate that I am picky now. It’s baffling. It seems so immature. But it’s amazing how difficult it is to choke down food you really don’t like. You’d think it would just be a case of sucking it up. It is, in fact, possible to suck it up at least part of the time, otherwise I would be starving.

  29. I lurk as well! My excuses are time and money.

    I’m a 3rd year PhD student and work an average of 15 hours a day, 6 days a week (usually with one or two all-nighters sprinkled in each week). Though given my constraints, I think I do pretty well. I try to workout 4x a week (yoga, weights, interval running, and long walks) and eat clean though not always grain-/dairy-/etc-free. On nights when I have to skip sleeping, I tend to get lazy and have oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast and may miss a workout. And on the money end of things, if there’s a free lunch (fellow grad students, you know what I’m sayin’) I’m all over those sandwiches because all I brought for lunch that day was probably a sweet potato for the microwave.

    So, I will keep lurking until I have the mental capacity to turn down that free piece of pizza after a 36 hour shift in lab, but I enjoy the regular motivation from you guys actually being primal. Good work 🙂

  30. I was just whining to myself about other people’s lack of commitment to a work issue, and then I read this.

    I’ve been reading MDA since early 2010 when a co-worker pointed me to it. I’ve consumed everything I can here, worked to apply it, still no success. I’ve got 100 pounds of pain I’ve been working to let go of for years and they are not budging.

    I’m gluten and corn intolerant, known about it since college when I was tested for allergies. I’ve been pretty good about it over the last couple years, as five other people at work are either full ceilac or gluten free. I do most of the food event planning, so if its safe for me, it’s safe for them.

    Where I fail with primal/paleo is sugar, emotional eating, movement and sleep. I’m working with a therapeutic coach to deal with the emotional issues. I’ve invested in an EM Wave 2 to help when I get overwhelmed. I’m working with my chiro and a massage therapist to get my body back to where I can exercise & move relatively pain free.
    When I get moved to my new home next month, I will have a new bed and a room that I can completely black out at night without having to wear a sleep mask. I will have stairs to sprint up, access to safe trails I can walk.

    I’m doing my best. Some days it doesn’t feel like enough.

  31. I’ve lurked for abut 6 months before taking the plunge by buying the book and getting some cookbooks from the library. But the past couple days I have gone a bit off track. This was exactly what I needed to move on from my mistakes. Thanks Mark!

  32. Hello,

    I think sometimes we get stuck. We self medicate when we’re not feeling loved, respected, valued, etc.

    If we were to feel our optimal selves would we, should we, could we, continue in the same unhealthy, or unhappy pattern. IE: staying with a job, spouse, or social situation that makes us feel less than whole?

    Sometimes we put off the inevitable by keeping ourselves down. It allows us to stay in this state of limbo so that we don’t have to take action.

    The unknown is scary and the present situation may not be unpleasant enough for us to jump up and down and make changes.

    A life unfulfilled can be the one that drags on unchallenged.

  33. I was a lurker of the worst kind: a vegan! For two years I was a vegan and a follower of MDA for about half of it. I firmly believed (and still do) in everything you post. Despite being an avid follower, I still chose to get my protein from tofu, beans, nuts, and veggies. Very recently I have decided to eat meat again and cut the crap (I mean beans). I have never felt better.

  34. I am also a lurker and although my eating habits are close to primal I don’t follow it to the letter. I tried following the lifestyle religiously for a while but inevitably fell off the wagon. I firmly believe that if you try to be too strict with your diet, lifestyle etc you will eventually cave and end up swinging massively the other way. For a while I rebelled and stuffed myself with all the bad carbs I could find, cakes, biscuits, bread etc. I felt terrible but just couldn’t stop. Eventually I found a book which encouraged me to realise I was totally in control of what I ate and that I was free to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. Realising this was key for me – now I eat what I choose to eat and I choose to eat things that make me feel good rather than sticking to any diet or even ‘blueprint’. As it happens the foods that make me feel good are generally primal but if I fancy something non primal I will just have it. I never resist a craving or desire for any food as that way binge eating lies for me. It’s just that these days I don’t tend to fancy non primal foods that often.

  35. Good advice.
    How I got on this “bandwagon” was that I felt better getting rid of grains, stopped gaining weight when I got rid of beans THEN my chiropracter said it sounded like I was Paleo. So I looked around and wound up here. There is so much good information here that I try to read every day. Giving a name of Primal or Paleo was helpful to me so that I could find cook books that would support my new eating style.
    So I would encourage all who are not yet living this way (sitting on that fence) to put your right foot in….. then the left……. then get as far away from that fence as you can!
    I have friends and relatives who may be closer to pain free if they could adopt better eating as a start, sigh.

  36. Yep, this was me until six days ago. I have been here a while, maybe a year, I’m genuinely not sure, but it has taken until this last weekend to say enough is enough.
    I already knew about my dairy, grain & yeast issues, from some personal and painful experiences, but I would still slip back to the old ways. I read PB in the last few months, then life got in the way and it was easy to make excuses. I was still looking at this more from a diet perspective.
    It was only this last weekend with more reading, and considering this from a health standpoint that Mark’s words about inflammation got through – now I really do look at grains as poison.
    Sorry if I repeated what anyone else said. I wanted to say my experience before reading the other posts! I hope that I can make this the start of the rest of my life, but even if I fall off the wagon, I reckon I’ll keep getting up and getting back on it – as it were, of course, cos Grok would just walk on 😉

  37. I find myself going through cycles of being really committed to PB, and then something will happen to knock me off course – I’ll miss a meal, or I’ll be too tired to make dinner and thus have no lunch the next day, or I’ll go through a depressive incident and revert to my practiced behaviour of eating empty carbs.

    Trying to get my diet and my mental health and my sleep to all work at optimal levels is an ongoing struggle, and as soon as I start to make progress on one, the others slide.

    I should be getting tested for sleep apnea soon, and hopefully will manage to get my sleep under control. ^_^

  38. Time and money, and a little stress, like so many others have said!

    If you’d write a corollary book – on how to do PB on a college-type budget and an overloaded schedule, that’d be awesome. I’ve seen the occasional post around here on how to save money, or make things easier, but more often it’s just “Oh, just buy -one- session with a personal trainer rather than a whole year” or “You don’t need those little luxuries that keep you sane, spend the money on some grass-fed beef instead” etc.

    I go partially primal when I can manage it, but that’s often just a short time, before I have no time to go on daily grocery trips and work in an extra workout, and I wind up just grabbing fast food around the edges of work. Granted, it still helps to look at what the options are – but when you’re trying to pick out primal food at McDonalds, things start to slip. XD

    1. This is not a total answer, but recently I was living a workaholic lifestyle (short-term and intentional) and the meal-planning chapter in the cookbook “Well Fed” was pretty useful. Basically I started mostly following Mel’s advice for one day of mega-food-prep (3 hours on Sunday night with a couple podcasts, in the kitchen) and I’d have essentially 15-21 easy meals to either bring to school or collapse with after work. She had some good recipes too for working with cheaper cuts of meat (chicken thighs instead of breasts, etc) and where I was living the veggies were super-cheap. I didn’t buy bread or milk, which can both be significant costs if you eat a lot of it, so $20 of meat and $10 of veggies and $10 of random was pretty fine and cheaper than going out to eat.

  39. You caught me! I’ve been lurking and dabbling for months, and only this week did I sit down with myself and decide to resolve what’s holding me back from committing. It’s 2 things: 1) I hate to be an inconvenience to anyone, and saying “I don’t eat grains or sugar” (put simply) can make having me over for dinner a challenge, and 2) I’m an emotional eater, and I’m going through huge life changes. BUT those are both things that I can overcome, and I am more determined than ever to do so, especially because I now have a major goal in mind: hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2015.

    Thank you for calling us lurkers out, Mark! I feel like it’s a sign.

  40. There is so much good information here not related to eating. I was one of the many that read every day, because of all the interesting topics. I love to read and learn. I finally took the plunge three months ago. I can’t get enough of the lifestyle. Thanks for the inspiration!

  41. And on a parting note, from the mind of the all worldly yoda:
    “do, or do not, there is no try”….

    1. My feelings exactly! That’s the phrase I use to get out the door and walking, walking, walking…

  42. I recently discovered a gadget that has really added to my primal existence…. a wok!

    I am getting tons of great veggies, and I cook with Organic olive oil and pastured butter from Ireland.
    I just don’t tire of this health food, and it’s so quick and easy to prepare.

    YUMMY!

  43. I am a loyal reader, but not so much a loyal follower! I have every book written by Mark and often use the cookbooks. However, as many have commented, stress and my oral reaction to it have been my downfall. I know that I should do this. I am 51, overweight, and on 3 hypertension meds. Just got diagnosed with sleep apnea as well. Even with all that, I often binge on chips, fries, etc. in a misplaced desire to comfort myself. Booze is my big downfall. Mostly wine and beer, but generally every night, again as a liquid stress reliever. A lot of empty calories and it breaks down my brakes on stuffing bad food into my pie hole.

  44. Confession is good for the soul, no?

    Long time lurker, long time (decades) sufferer of fibromyalgia, overweight, 61 next month and recently diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. I have been on and off primal type eating for many years and always revert to SAD. Self defeating behavior for sure. The “not thinking I deserve to be thin/fee good” et cetera hit home.

  45. I can’t decide if you would call me primal or not.
    I eat about 90% primal food all the time.
    I sleep by the sun time.
    I have a small tribe around me.
    I play with my one child.
    But the move slowly and lift heavy things, does not happen.
    I can sure talk the talk but the walk just doesn’t happen.

  46. I don’t think I’ve commented before but I read MDA everyday. I found it because I was experiencing awful stomach pains and nausea after every meal starting when I was 18 and left for college. I tried every diet out there to fix my issues, I even went Vegetarian (this was awful steak, ham and bacon are my favorite foods)! Then my mom found the whole 30 and MDA and its all history, however I feel like a lurker because I still have some weight to lose despite being “primal” for almost 2 years, and because of the college atmosphere I find myself drinking on the weekends or going out for sushi occasionally because we are celebrating and its “gluten free” with almost no exercise to go along with it.

    I definitely needed this kick in the a** Mark to get myself together and remember that just because I want to celebrate or I’m really busy I shouldn’t eat crap and that I need to be less hard on myself when it comes to vegetables that may be higher in carbs. Any vegetables are healthier than no vegetables at all!

    1. You don’t have to give up special foods to celebrate, Primal Munchkin. Just learn to substitute another (PB) food and you’ll do fine. For example – popcorn at the movies. No problem since I pack (don’t tell anyone) a small bag of Macadamia nuts. I still have my treat but it’s PB!

      I need to buy Mark’s Primal Comforts book! Next on my list…

      Step by step, grasshopper!

  47. Guilty as charged. I found Paleo a few years ago and I’ve made some great changes in my life. Dropped sugar, keep the carbs low, avoid grains, etc. But consistency has been difficult for me. No excuses… just is what it is.

    I read MDA daily and it seems that whatever I’m struggling with at the moment surfaces in an article that appears to be directed at me personally. I suppose this means (and reading the other confirms for me) that I’m no different than others.

    For me, I think it’s a self-defeating attitude that’s holding me back. I’ve tried and failed so many times that I’ve convinced myself that I’m destined to be overweight.

    Thank you, Mark for having such insight into your community!

  48. I’ve been a lurker for nearly a year now – this is my first ever comment : ) I have been a vegetarian my whole life (31 years) but in the last six months I have introduced fish to my diet. I still have a big psychological hurdle to overcome regarding eating meat which is stopping me from fully committing to the primal lifestyle. I’ve cut back on grains by about 80% but I find it difficult to make good food choices when I am away from home and still reach for the sugary snacks when I am stressed. My mum got into the paleo thing at the end of last year and started eating meat for the first time in about 35 years. She feels much better for it – and has apologised for raising my brother, sister and I as vegetarians! If there is a positive side to it though it’s that my siblings and I are all generally pretty health conscious and have never eaten a SAD diet or fast food. But can anyone who has been in a similar situation give some advice as to how to get over my aversion to meat?

  49. I “lurked” for all of 2 weeks. I incorporated Mark’s ideas and teachings in a little over a month…that was in April of this year. I haven’t felt this good in…well I honestly can’t remember. I have lost 45 pounds since and only have a few more to go.

    I thought I was going to have trouble eliminating the grains because I was a huge bread junky. But I realized how it made me feel when I didn’t eat it any more; no more bloating, no more fatigue. That is what made me stick to it. I eat and I’m not tired. I’m actually energized. I’m satisfied, not “full”. And i am thankful for the ideas and support this community shares.

  50. I am a lurker, but not just a lurker. I have eaten a mostly primal diet most of my adult life, except that I crave sweets really badly. So I am addicted to dark chocolate and sugarless gum.
    Otherwise, I eat meat, veggies, eggs, salads,etc most of the time. Breakfast for me this morning was brussel sprouts, chicken and sweet potatoes. I don’t really eat grains unless I eat real sourdough bread, long fermented. I repost Mark’s articles and try to help others see there is hope. However, I just moved into my parents house to help them out as they are elderly and need help. Their diet is VERY SAD. My mother has congestive heart failure (two heart operations), thyroid disease (her thyroid was so destroyed it was removed), and gall bladder failure (it was also removed). My dad has terrible rheumatoid arthritis, and type II diabetes.
    I figure most of their ailments are related to their SAD diet. I have started to introduce salads and more veggies into their diet, but they eat lots of white bread, white rice, cookies, candy, treats, sweets, pasta, sauces, thick gravy,etc etc.
    I just told them I can’t eat any types of flour/grains except fermented sourdough. So they let me eat my own thing.
    I wish I could figure out why I am so addicted to sugar. Sure, I have cut it down to dark chocolate, sugarless gum (which I feel is bad for me) and occasional ice cream, but I was super addicted to sugar my whole life and have struggled with it forever,( scrounging pennies to buy ice cream and candy on my way home from school when I was little).
    I am guessing it was the VERY SAD diet my parents provided me. Even though I was the only one who liked vegetables, I didn’t have access to many. I remember eating dry cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and white toast after school. Meat was served mostly on Sundays. 🙁
    So I need to dive all the way in but my addiction to something sweet, even dark chocolate keeps me from diving in. Any ideas on cutting the addiction? Thanks primal friends!

    1. This might not help, but usually it takes 3 weeks to break a bad habit. Can you cold turkey sugar? After 3 weeks, you just might be free.

    2. Sounds like me, LOVE sugar!!! However, I choose to ignore the cravings (I get a headache and nappish w/in 30 minutes after eating a candy bar) and so far it’s working to cold turkey it.
      The problem with me eating sugar every day was that it did NOT make me gain weight…. didn’t make me feel good either, so I know it’s poison and just treat myself with meat.

    3. I’ve been eating two servings of PB-approved fruit per day (one between breakfast and lunch & the other after dinner) and find that satisfies my sweet tooth 99% of the time. When I give in by eating a small (1 scoop) cup of ice cream (my downfall) it may taste great going down but I feel so guilty afterward it ruins the enjoyment.

      Putting on blinders and bypassing the ice cream case in markets also helps!

  51. Great article today Mark! I too was a lurker until I landed 11 weeks ago. I wanted to rid myself of my wheat belly and have already done so. I have gone 90/10 primal and feel fantastic for a person 60+ in age. I believe that the majority of lurkers will eventually land on this eating and exercise plan once they connect with stories that really hit home to them. My hubby’s meals all consist of carbs and cereal is his go to at night. I cook what he wants and prepare my primal meals. We are all in control of what we eat, not what someone else is eating. Get control and just do it, you won’t regret it!

  52. I have been a lurker for a long time. I have managed to eat pretty primal most of the time. However I have also abused alcohol to deal with my stress. I have always loved cooking. I am a food snob and I love wine. I got in the habit of coming home after a stressful day and popping open a bottle of wine and cooking. While I usually was cooking something primal I told myself the wine was practically primal and I was only having a few glasses. It helped me relax and it felt great. Over the past 2 years I have put on about 15 pounds. I know it has been the wine. But I kept telling myself that it was my 20 or my 80/20 lifestyle. I started having more than a few glasses and then I was having more than a few glasses every night. I have a stressful job, my husband has a stressful job, we have 3 kids and a crazy busy lifestyle. So I finally had enough…last sunday I took a hard look at myself in the mirror. I realized that I was heading down the slippery slope of alcoholism if I didn’t change my relationship with wine. But it became a habit, almost a compulsion and more nights than not after having some wine I had more than an inclination to eat something carb-loaded, like a giant bowl of tortilla chips. They are gluten free after all. So I made the commitment. I told my husband that I had to quit drinking right now. It was making me unhealthy and unhappy with myself so it needs to go. I want my pants to fit again. I needed some accountability so I ordered the 90 primal blue print journal. I am committed to getting back on track. I want my ideal body back. I also know that my drinking was causing me to not deal with my feelings of insecurity and failure. So I have decided to look it in the face, wrestle it to the ground and rise above. So I have had 5 days of no wine. And I am on my second day of journalling. I can’t wait to see what 90 days brings. The holidays will be challenging. I am going to strive for progress and not perfection. I am going to forgive myself for not being perfect and when I stumble I will get up brush off the dust and I will keep moving on. My only goal is that I will do better today than I did yesterday.

    1. Good for you, Laura. “Progress and not perfection.” You’ve got a great attitude and I hope you enjoy your life without the alcohol. It will be worth it.

  53. Yeah, I’m a bit like what Mark has described, if not completely. I’ve done the easy stuff like replacing canola oil with olive, butter, ghee etc, giving up junk food and sweets, eating more fruit and vegetables, switching lowfat to full-fat dairy, and walking everywhere.
    But…
    1. I’m already healthy (not overweight, underweight, IR, or sick in any way) and already have lots of energy so I don’t have any negative reinforcement. Don’t fix what ain’t broke right?
    2. I was raised vegetarian and don’t like the taste/texture of meat. Yes, I’ll eat a little bit maybe 5 times a week but I couldn’t bring myself to eat as much as Mark recommends.
    3. My family eats rice, tubers and legumes on a regular basis and are pretty healthy, so they wouldn’t stop, and I don’t want to single myself out. I enjoy the social cohesion and delicious taste more than any additional health. That said I do try to eat more of the meat and vegetables and limit the grain to one corner of my plate.

    1. So basically I read MDA for the information so I can consider what I want to apply to my life. It’s already been a great help, but I don’t think I’ll ever go completely primal – that is, lots of meat and super low carbs (like veg and a little fruit only).

  54. I think the main thing I’m taking away from the comments section today is to not date and/or marry someone who isn’t Primal 😐 Sounds like a headache I don’t want to endure.

  55. Geez, didn’t know you could see me over the web! I own the 21 Day book. I own one of the PB recipe books (you know, the “easy” one). I have Robb Wolf’s book, and the Paleo Primer (and whatever PB book came free with that). Just read the “Bonus” thread and the “Fake complaints” thread again for inspiration. Am I primal. No.

    I am really going to do it this time. Not all at once. That slow cut out grains and sugar first thing. What has stopped me before? I don’t know. Tried something similar a few months ago and lost two pounds pretty easily. I like to blame my husband. “He’s the reason I don’t cook because he doesn’t like onions, and what does every recipe start with?” “I can’t cook fish because he won’t eat it.” “It’s easier just to order in!”

    But we both need to do this, and there is no way he will start unless I can prove it with results first. So I need to do this for the both of us, no matter that I’ll have to put out an effort (shop?? cook???) before I get all this wonderful energy people are talking about. I just need to get over the inertia hump, get going, lose 25 pounds relatively fast (you know, in less than the year it took me last time with a different method) (and yes, I regained it, of course), and tell my husband that hey, look, this works! You should do it too!

    1. So don’t use the onion. I don’t. My family will not eat the real thing. But they don’t know I have added some onion powder. Gives the flavor with out the whole onion.

    2. My hubby became very onion sensitive over the years, even to onion powder! I season with garlic now. Rosemary goes nicely with garlic, as does basil.

  56. Lurker here. I think.

    Been reading MDA for 3+ years. Changed my understanding of life and nutrition when I found it.

    Took about a year, then I went whole hog for a summer, lost 30 pounds (200 down to 170). That was 2011. (For those who comment on kids, we had a one year old).

    Then I softened, but was still 80/20, and maintained 180, felt good, looked good, exercised somewhat regularly for about a year. During this time, we had our second daughter. Felt great.

    Then, toward the middle of 2012, into 2013, reigns loosened, and I gained the weight back and exercise regime went to hades. Also had our third, so part of that was “sympathy weight gain” during my wife’s pregnancy.

    So I’m back up to around 200, don’t work out much, and work (sitting down) at a computer for most of the day. I also really prefer beer over wine…

    Bottom line, I appreciate the kick in the pants, but I think it’s important to recognize that it’s never “over.” You’re never “there.” I thought I was there for over a year, and it had changed my life for good. Wrong. Having kids and changing jobs (all wonderful changes, by the way), means life changes, routines change, and you get thrown back on the vicious wheel of conventional, unhealthy, modern living, and you have to fight your way back out.

    And that’s just it – it’s a fight. It’s always a fight. That’s why we lurkers keep coming back. Because some days I’m fighting, and some days I’m lurking. And checking this blog daily is one of the ways I can tilt the balance.

    1. You are right, it is a fight…or as I call it a commitment; a choice. I sometimes hate working all day at a desk job everyday, coming home every night and preparing a meal, from scratch, for my family…still have to feed the animals, and take care of all the other stuff…but it is a commitment, a lifestyle, a choice, but it is so worth it in the end. I want to go into my retirement years with enough vitality to enjoy them, not end up living in a retirement home rotting away in a rocking chair…it is a choice like everything else in life.

  57. I’m not wholly primal, but I don’t eat SAD either. I’ve been a vegetarian most of my life, and was going through a low spot health-wise (brain fog, mild depression, sudden allergies, weight gain etc). I couldn’t ignore all the information I ran into at the MDA – it helped that I was a vegetarian by culture (many, many Indians are brought up as vegetarians) rather than dogma. I spent two months mulling over the possibility of eating meat, and one fine day (it helped that it was Jan 1) I stood resolutely in the queue for the grill at my workplace, and choked down my first wild-caught salmon fillet.

    Since then I’ve been eating wild-caught fish(salmon when in season) five times a week. I don’t eat any other meat, or cook fish at home. I’m lucky to work at a place where they offer wild-caught fish at subsidized rates.I also eat pastured eggs, lots of veggies, some fruit, grass-fed cheese (occasionally), and mostly avoid grains (except rice). I cook traditional Indian food at home, and eat quite a bit of white rice and legume-based recipes (properly soaked and prepared, very Sally Fallonesque). And Indian food tastes best when cooked with ghee! I’ve also removed all vegetable oils from my diet. I use ghee/coconut oil/mac nut oil. I also consume coconut oil in coffee like nobody’s business.

    Sugar (though I’ve switched to less evil forms like coconut palm sugar, honey, and maple syrup) is still my vice. Working on that.

    I’ve toned down my workouts since I began reading MDA. More fun stuff like climbing and ping pong, and less mileage on the treadmill. It’s a lot more fun, and I don’t feel any less fit.

  58. Hmmm. Well, I suppose I am a lurker. I don’t implement primal 100% for sure. I come here for inspiration and to continue to improve. I come here for information and inspiration and recipes and help with my health problems.

    Mark, I do feel kind of put out that you don’t seem to welcome anyone but “converts”. You may view impediments as lame excuses, but that’s not really fair.

    Moving towards is better than away. Every change you make is positive.

    Yeah, not feeling the positive love like usual. Bummed out, in fact.

    1. You gotta want it for yourself…someone else can’t get you to do it.

    2. Mark isn’t turning you away – he’s acknowledging that you exist and trying to focus on you with today’s post. Don’t be a victim, be thankful that there are folks out there who understand what you are going through and trying to help you. Read through these replies. You’re not alone by any means.

      1. Trying to be honest about how I felt after reading the post. I am mostly primal-food wise. I struggle with the movement portion-some of that related to health issues, some related to my lack of motivation. I guess the point I was trying to make was-what makes you a lurker? Is it 0% primal? 50/50% 80/20%. Does your percentage make you more welcome or of value?

        I’ve turned so many people on to this website. Bought the book, shared my successes with family, but I am not a total success story. Does that make me a lurker?

        I agree with Mark that the Friday success stories are inspiring. Yet, often a comment by those people is that it took them a few tries to get it all going. Sometimes people need to shadow along and feel the swell of the wave of the hardcore to get them moving. It takes some longer.

        I felt that the post may not just inspire people to commit fully, but exclude some who are not. Just my opinion, and enjoying all the comments.

        1. I initially felt the same way after reading today’s post, Colleen. But I also started answering “yes” to some of Mark’s questions.

          I began a couple of months ago and am still not quite 100% PB. I may never be 100% but am working on being the best 80%/20% PBer I can be. I’ve given up all grains, beans/legumes, and most dairy. I’m getting my daily sun time and my long walks as well. Not heavy-lifting or sprinting yet but may include that as the weight drops and I’m not afraid of hurting my knees. I turned 70 a few weeks ago and just don’t see myself sprinting but I’ve learned never to say never so we’ll see.

          I come to this forum on a daily basis for inspiration and also to help (if I can) those who are starting from a similar place. I’m always picking up some tidbit of information (love the recipes) and guidance from real PBers and don’t plan to ever stop “lurking.”

          Grok On!

  59. Ive had no problems when it comes to eating, id say I’m probably 80\20 and happy with that. Can’t afford grass fed or pasteured anything, but I’m grain and sugar free for three months now(have lost 20lbs so far). My problem is exercise. I just. Can’t. Motivate. I plan, i organize, it all looks great on paper. But then i just sit. And sit. I sit 90% of my waking hours. How can i motivate myself to get some activity the same way i motivate myself to eat this way? Anybody? Ideas? I’m gonna go sit down while i wait for a response….

    1. Hi PaleoPete ~ Have you tried scheduling on your calendar and then treating it like any other appointment you must keep? It took me a few attempts at this but that is what I’m doing now and it seems to be working.

      I started with writing in (in INK!) my exercise (just long walks – 30 min. – 1 hr. for now) on Mon. Weds. & Fri., with 1/2 hr. with weighs on Tues., Thurs. & Sat. Sundays – I either do whatever I want or zilch.

      Try it – one day at a time. Good luck to you. If this doesn’t work for you – just keep trying until you find a routine that does.

      1. I need to add something else, PaleoPete ~

        It wasn’t as easy as it might seem from my post. Getting out the door is the hardest part for me. I need to ask “What’s In It For Me?” I had to make a list of the positive results and then recite that list to myself when I need motivation. If I can do that and Just. Get. Out. The. Door. – I’m fine. No problem. It’s getting up and out the door that I still struggle with – but I’m getting better at it. And so will you. I know it sounds trite and obvious but – Just Do It!

  60. I came across MDA a couple of weeks back, probably as a result of reading and visiting the Wheat Belly site, and I’ve started PB implementation. I went low carb about 7 years ago and went from 205 lbs to 153 lbs over 18 months (5’11”). I floated back up to about 158 over the years, probably from too many sweet potatoes and such. Now I know that wheat is bad news. Today, I weighed 153 and my psoriasis is starting to heal and IBS is gone. I have you and MDA and all the success stories to thank! (Wheat Belly, too, but I like this site better)

  61. I stared mortality in the face years ago – long story, but that experience made me a doer. I went Primal with my husband almost three years ago now.

    Yes, you will cheat. Yes, there will be weeks on end when you drop your fitness regimen. We’re human and it is hard to have temptations all around us and the TV or computer calling us to watch instead of play.

    I think many don’t come aboard because they feel if they cheat they won’t be able to look themselves in the mirror; or feel like a failure, let themselves down, etc. So they just do nothing.

    It’s like kids who don’t study because they put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect that they just don’t participate at all.

    But when you do nothing out of that sense that you won’t be perfect, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. You’re sitting on the sidelines of your own life because you may not get an A grade. Right?

    It’s like this country song:

    “…when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

    I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

    I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
    Never settle for the path of least resistance
    Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’….
    ….Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
    And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

    I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
    (Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
    Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)”

    Dance people, dance! Be a doer! Do it for yourself! Don’t wait for some ideal time down the road. The time is now.

    1. Thank you so much Pure Hapa ~

      “…when you do nothing out of that sense that you won’t be perfect, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. You’re sitting on the sidelines of your own life because you may not get an A grade. Right?”

      See why I “lurk” Mark? This comment could apply so so many facets of our lives beyond health/weight. This is just one of the reasons I will continue to read MDA. Maybe I’m “actively lurking” ?

      I got the feeling that you assume everyone who lurks doesn’t also do. That is not always the case. I know your intent was to movitvate us but I think it came off a little heavy. JMO – Still a lurker AND a doer.

      1. that should be – how about “motivate” us.

  62. I started back in April, after blowing out a knee just because I was over weight and inactive…I am 58 years old and was fed up with being borderline hypertension and borderline diabetic. I was also planning my first trip to Europe 3 months after the knee issue, and knew I could never get through my trip without being able to walk. Make a long story short, I dropped 25 lbs, no longer suffer from inflamation, look 15 years younger, have no more knee problems, look great great, feel great, but the best part is, my blood pressure which ranged 145/95 for the past 3 years, is now 115/65…and I never suffer any cravings for hunger pangs. My husband has also dropped 20 lbs, just by eating the paleo meals I am preparing. I bake a paleo bread/muffin each weekend with almond or coconut flour, which satisfies my love of breads, only there is no guilt!!! I eat bacon and eggs everyday, and blood work is perfect. I hope to live long and healthy in retirement as we have many places to go!!

  63. Ouch! Umm… Yeah… I’m a primal eater, probably 80/20 – terrible on the exercise and sleep. I know what I need to do, just not motivated to do it… yet… I’m going to keep lurking though in hopes that the motivation will strike. This very harsh post just might do the trick… 😉

  64. I’m a lurker. Probably for about 2 years now. I had many false starts. I would do great for a couple of months and then completely fall flat on my face, and it would take a long time before I could get myself back to being able to start again. Part of the problem is I was not seeing weight loss results – nor was I able to get off or even reduce any of my medication like others have, and that was really discouraging. Another part of the problem is I hate cooking – I do it because I have to, but I don’t enjoy it and often get burnt out. And yet, a third part of the problem is that hearing how I *must* eat grass-fed this and pastured that wears down on me because I cannot afford it, nor do I have much access to those things. Kerrygold butter is about as good as it gets, and I can only afford that because I can get it for a great price at Costco. This last time, I was going strong for about 9 weeks – still with very little weight loss, still with no health advantages, but I was determined to really make it work this time – and then I found out I was pregnant (with #5, pleasedearlordhelpme). “Self,” I said, “keep eating all of those meat and eggs and salads and veggies. Let’s have a healthful pregnancy!” That lasted about 1 week before pregnancy hormones hit me full swing, and now all I want to eat is pretty much all the carbs in the world. Not the good carbs, either. Things that my brain says, “You have got to be kidding me!” my body is saying, “Bring it!! Now!” I can’t use nausea as an excuse, cuz I’m not feeling nauseated (at least not yet). But I can definitely feel the hormones, because this is pretty much eating insanity. It makes me very sad and very defeated, cuz I can never seem to hold it together, no matter what the circumstance. Hoping I’ll be able to at least do better during my 2nd trimester, when perhaps this aversion (or whatever it is) might taper off, at least I hope.

  65. In November 2011 I went primal with a breakfast of sardines. For 9 months it was great. I didn’t lose weight, but I felt great. On July 28, 2012, my f(&*^ng birthday, I had a roll. One damn white bread roll at a french restaurant. And it has been all downhill from there. By 2013 I was eating more sweets (that’s what the roll triggered), and I do find it hard to stop. I still eat well generally (though there was the two slices of think crust pizza yesterday) like today I had a poached salmon with salad for lunch and a naruto (no rice) sushi roll for dinner. So I lurk, but I know that I have experienced and will experience again, the delight of primal living! Soon, I swear! Plus, we missed 2013 Lake Tahoe Primal Con because of an illness (after having been signed up since November 2012!) So bummed. But we’re signed up for Oxnard 2014!

  66. My problem is that I have an autoimmune disorder. It’s mostly gluten allergy, and that is controlled, but there are random flareups that HURT and leave me achy from head to toes and exhausted. I have been to many doctors, and the things that help are things they are very hesitant to prescribe.

    The problem is that sugar is a highly effective pain killer and serotonin stimulant. Every time I get a flareup, I reach for junk food because it literally works better to ease my pain and fatigue than Excedrin.

    So, every time I get on the Primal bandwagon, I loose weight and feel AWESOME, until I get a random immune flareup and it all falls apart. Sometimes I go a few months, but some other times flareups are less than a week apart.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  67. Wow. This post resonated so much with me.
    I am a “lurker” (of at least a year) and I’ve never commented here before.
    Today, I just had to.
    Just as I finished some greasy ole disgusting takeaway (again) … boom.
    Thanks for the wake-up call, it was exactly the arse-kicking I needed.
    It’s commitment time.

  68. I’m a bit of a lurker. Everything I read makes sense to me, but I have a history of disordered eating and I find this community difficult because people get so zealous and perfectionistic about everything. It took me about 20 years to reach a point where I was not constantly obsessing about food and hating my body. I’m still not completely there yet. I probably eat almost 80/20 already, but all the restrictions – no beans! no oatmeal! no peanut butter! no beer! no rice! – along with the demonization of carbs (particularly fruit) and the advice to IF and count calories and do exercise that I personally abhor (lifting weights and high intensity intervals) are hugely triggering for me, sending me back into obsession with food and then feelings of worthlessness and failure. I’m not overwieght, I never get sick and I feel fine most of the time. I’ve decided to stop worrying about it, continue trying to listen to my body and intuit what is right for me. I’m going to keep doing yoga instead of lifting weights and keep trying to eat three healthy normal meals a day and keep enjoying my fruit and oatmeal.

    1. Fellow lurker who has struggled with severe eating disorders in the past, specifically anorexia. There was a time in my life when eating anything, even if it was an extra Oreo, was a success and one step closer to staying alive.

      I’m really trying to get on this bandwagon without obsessing. It’s hard. I can see this from two perspectives. One, just eating at all is a success for me and I’m glad to be alive. Eating perfectly is not my goal. Eating to live and learning to follow my body’s natural satiation cues is my goal. So I do have beans, and I eat oatmeal. And I try to live with the abundance mentality mindset (eggs! lard! bacon!). I’m not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good though, because for me, eating enough to stay alive has been a victory.

  69. While I am technically a Lurker my silence doesn’t indicate passivity. I hesitate to participate to much out of a legitimate fear of failure / disappontment. So many things I have tried and they have failed to produce the desired results. So while I have fully embraced eating primally….for me it was really just dropping the grains as I’d already cleaned up my act quite a bit.

    I’m 3 weeks in and am feeling good but very bluntly I am tired of being fat and when I see results I might be more motivated to join in more.

    I’ve spent the past 3 yrs trying to get rid of the weight….and while I’ve went from almost 300# down to 235 my weight has stayed semi steady for the past 2 yrs..even while being involved in cycling and yoga and walking and weightlifting and now karate.

    I’m learning how I might have made some well intentioned mistakes …
    And am adjusting my routine….but for now I’m simply tired.

    Very very tired of seeing no changes in my weight and the disappointment that goes along with public failure.

    I feel so much better than I did 3 yrs ago but darn it I want to look better to!

  70. wow I needed this post! I found MDA in June and have been “lurking” since then lol. I do good for a week then freak out and eat chocolate or potato chips, then I feel like crap, yet I continue to repeat this cycle. its almost like im afraid of total success or something….really strange….

  71. So, I was turned onto PB over 2 years ago by a triathlete coach. He told me to not go over board or stop my tri training, but to slow down, teach my body to burn fat, and can the processed foods. I still feel like a lurker. Don’t think I can say I am 90%. Back then training buddies thought this coach was a kook. I try hard, I take salad and protein for lunch, I cook paleo, and I endurance train…… No change, hello! Then an IT band issue arose. I had to stop running. Now comes the physical therapy and the realization that I am weak. So I have been strengthening for
    6 weeks. Then I started push ups and squats at the beginning of Nov. I can see my shoulders and legs changing. I now know that strengthening is vital for me. I think as I progress, I will see more change which will keep myomentum

  72. Great post! I have been coming to this website since January and have started and fallen off the wagon many times. Each time I get back on track , it seems a little bit easier and over time some things have completely made their way off my diet such as bread. Thanks for the kick in the pants. Time to press the re-start button once again. I am starting NOW!

  73. Great article Mark! 🙂

    I see a lot of people who love to learn and do the research on something and it gives them that “junk food” fix for there mind without actually doing what they learned and applying themselves.

    – Trevor

  74. I’ve learned so much from this site and over time I’ve dramatically improved my eating habits. I’ve become more aware of how foods affect my body and my mood for better or for worse.

    However, I’ve had a hard time incorporating the exercise part of Primal living. My biggest barrier is chronic rhinitis that drains the energy right out of me. I’ve been diagnosed with severe dust mite allergy combined with something called “non-allergic rhinitis” that has no obvious triggers and doesn’t respond to antihistamines. All I know is I feel better outside than inside.

    I’ve done all sorts of things to reduce my dust mite exposure and tried lots of drug and herbal treatments to no avail. I was hoping the Primal diet would help my immune system become more rational and boost my energy levels, but sadly that hasn’t been the case. It’s done other nice things for me, just not that. It seems really strange that something as small as a chronic runny nose can be so exhausting, but it is.

    When the weather is nice, I spend lots of time outside and away from whatever triggers my problems. I feel better, which means I am more active, which means I feel better, etc. But during the fall and winter months it’s a downward spiral — I have no energy, so I don’t move, so I feel even worse.

    So I lurk here looking for clues and self-hacks to try and checking the success stories to see if anyone has conquered something similar to what I have.

    1. Have you tried taking vitamin D supplements? I live in Canada, where I usually go to work before the sun is up in the winter, spend all day in a darkened room with no windows, and then leave work after the sun goes down (plus, it’s Vancouver, so it’s usually raining when I do have the time to go outside). I don’t know if it’s as bad as you, but I definitely feel tired, and very glum in the winter. Vitamin D has helped immensely.

      1. Thanks! Interestingly enough I just had my annual checkup and the labs show rockstar lipids (yay!) but a decline in vitamin D compared to the past 2 years. I’m within normal range but toward the low end.

        If anyone has a favorite vitamin D source please let me know!

  75. Gave it a go for two weeks, diet wise. My energy levels were zero, however, which I have since learned is quite common when you first give up grains. Just getting off the couch to drive to the grocery store felt like a tedious task. There were a couple days, however, where I was able to walk to the local playground for some chin-ups on the monkey bars. Aside from that, I felt great! Lost four pounds in two weeks. That bloated feeling in the stomach, that I always assumed was normal, completely disappeared. Joint stiffness lessened (which may or may not have been influenced by the weather, too). Then I travelled back home to visit the family, where the house is stocked full of breads, frozen meals, and all sorts of sugary/high-carb pre-packaged treats. Energy levels came back, but so did the bloated feeling and joint stiffness. I’ll be back under my own roof in a few days, and I can’t wait to get back into it.

  76. I went the 80/20 road. Actually it’s a bit more than that, maybe 90/10.
    My meals through out the day are as primal as I can get them (grass-fed meat is just so bloody expensive that most of the time it’s normal meat)
    I do eat the BAS for lunch and in the morning it’s what ever I can find that fits in the PB guidelines.

    However, I do eat a little desert. Last week the Ben&jerries were advertised and I bought a large pack. I eat just a few tea spoons of it after dinner as an indulgence.

    However if I eat pasta, bread, ect, I will feel awful. I know I have never felt better than eating on Primal, so even if it’s offers I won’t eat it.

    Also, I wouldn’t dare to do Carbs and fat in excess. I think the combination would be worse than SAD. So it’s either eating the >150gram carbs or the high fat diet but not both.

  77. As a former lurker, I just want to express my thanks to Mark and to everyone who leaves comments. My progress has definitely been in fits and starts, and some of the posts above about pregnancy making it hard to eat Primally and babies making it hard to sleep Primally could have been written by me. It has taken me years to get where I am – totally comfortable, in a pretty Primal groove, and not missing anything at all. In those years, it was MDA and this community that kept reminding me that I could do it and I could get healthy again. Seriously – I once went through all the success stories looking for ones from moms around 40 just to remind myself that it could be done!
    What finally did it? A few months after baby #3, I started feeling absolutely terrible when I ate carbs and sweets. I am pretty sure I was on a diabetic path. Kids can make it hard to be Primal, but they are ultimately also the reason to go Primal – I want to be healthy enough to play with them and be there for as long as I can. So I did it because I was feeling bad, I did it for my kids – but I did it with the help of this community. Thank you.

  78. I’m guilty of lurking and I love that comment about self-identification by association. More than lurking though, I’m dabbling, but not in a flippant way. I’m just taking longer to adapt than others seem to. I do well for a few days, then I have a meltdown and revert to old ways. I’m lurking and trying to build up some kind of stamina. I thoroughly enjoyed the kick in the pants though, as I could definitely be taking greater strides towards progress than I actually am.

    Cheers Mark!

  79. I am a lurker for sure! I could repeat many of the things already mentioned about time, stress, family members not willing to do this with me and many others. I am also very shy when it comes joining the conversations. On a positive side I have changed some of my lifestyle habits already, for example going barefoot (during warmer weather in Wisconsin), playing more with my kids, and moving more.

    The eating habits have been difficult for me. I have tried to go cold turkey with Primal Blueprint and have failed. For awhile I thought that this just wasn’t for me and gave up. Now I have learned that I need to slow down and realize this is a journey. I do much better with slow changes and babysteps. I am doing great making small changes to create good habits and realizing this is a journey not a diet.

    Thanks, Mark for calling me out and making me think about how I am making changes in my life!

  80. Oh dear, I have been found out….
    Serious lurker here. I have been primal most of 2010 and lost fair bit of weight, felt great and then life happened and excuses followed. I’d feel sorry for myself and “treat” myself to sweets and all kinds of bready garbage to make myself feel better (it did not work!). Then clothes did not fit anymore… – that definitely did not make me feel better.
    I was lurking for the past 6 months but recently something just clicked. I’ve been on the whole 30 for the past week and a bit and feel GREAT! I am back 🙂

  81. Lurker here, too. I haven’t implemented because…I don’t want to. No swift kick needed. There are some parts of the Blueprint that I don’t agree with. I eat legumes, for example. I hate dark chocolate and when I want a “non-Primal dessert”, I have it – which is usually 3 or 4 times a week. I am recovered from an eating disorder and restricting desserts is a huge trigger. But there are parts of it that I agree with – sleep, play, PU fats, grains, etc. I want to learn more about those things so I come here. Some might say this is the 80/20 – but I wouldn’t call myself Primal because it isn’t just about allowing myself “20%” – its more about making my own Blueprint that mixes some primal and some other stuff as well. So there is no Primal Life for me to implement, I’ve got my own going on. I appreciate Mark and this site, though!

    1. I applaud you making your own life and solutions! My personal opinion is that you’re doing yourself a disservice by not trying it even for a week or two. I was in your shoes – I was ‘mostly’ healthy, but cutting out all sugar/grains/etc. mad a lot bigger difference than I would have guessed. The cravings for sweets and processed foods pretty much goes away eventually.

    2. There really is a huge difference in implementation when you have a history of eating disorders, I can speak from experience. I do think that for some of us in recovery, avoiding the triggers is more important than adhering to any specific principle of this lifestyle. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Feeding myself enough to live is the #1 victory, all other lifestyle improvements are secondary.

  82. Hi, I’m a lurker too. Dabbling with the primal lifestyle but not doing it fully, this post is as if it is meant for me. But I am going to comit to it today. This weekend I will join the forum and announce my goals. I’m not overweight but do have a list of health issues which I want to resolve plus I want to be toned. No more excuses. I will be a success story, the journey starts today. Wish me luck.

    1. Awesome! I hope you see some quick improvement! I’m amazed at how many people feel better and see symptoms dissapear when cutting unhealthy things out of their diet. I have a list myself!

  83. I’m a lurker. My obstacle is the food I share with people not in my household of one. Perhaps I need to look harder at the recipes but what can I bring to a friend’s house that make other attendees go “Huh”? Besides a veggie tray. I don’t want the attention on my diet at a social gathering. I tend to go to a noddle based casserole like lasagna. Thoughts on food to share that doesn’t scream I eat a non-SAD diet are welcome.

  84. When I found this blog last year I lurked for a week just to see what it was about. 🙂
    It was exactly what I had been looking for. The main thing about PB is it is NOT about self-deprivation like “diets,” regimens, and plans. For instance I know that many PB’ers still wear conventional footwear. This is fine and it is their choice, but they are really missing out. It really feels great on so many levels, just as eating PB style does and exercising PB style. So take the plunge and be Primal for all it is! You won’t be sorry.

    1. *The “It” that I said feels great is barefoot/minimalist footwear. Woops!

  85. My first few months’ attempts were not met with the success I expected, so I have had to regroup and address underlying issues: digestion, heavy metals, thyroid/adrenals, sufficient sleep. I am working on baby steps right now like eating breakfast. I appreciate this post and all the great info and encouragement here–there’s a great vibe!

  86. “Ultimately, it’s a crying shame because instead of nodding in agreement, you could be feeling amazing at this very minute”

    Yes! I’m two weeks primal, down 6+ lbs, and today I feel amazing! More energy, better mood, and more! If you can get those things in two weeks, what’s stopping you?!

  87. i committed myself to the paleo diet hours before stumbling upon this site, all only a couple days ago (Not quite a lurker). So far, I love it! It helps working in central Africa as it is currently avocado season. Generally I haven’t found the transition very hard. I haven’t noticed any immediate benefits, but I’m willing to give it a month.

    I started mainly because I was looking for a better diet to help me look more fit. I’ve been working out most days for over a year, and I’m stronger but not yet toned. I’ve decided to add interval training to my work out routine, and compliment it with a paleo diet. I’m a fan of human evo science, anthropology and paleontology, so the paleo lifestyle definitely appeals to me!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  88. I like to go out for drinks. That’s what messes me up. Totally healthy day, maybe even some intermittent fasting and then I get home and even if we have a primal dinner, we’ll often head out to our favorite watering hole and after a couple drinks, boom, I eat the free popcorn or worse foods like fast food. I really like the fun of going out, but I know I make poor food decisions afterward. Bottom line, it’s fun to eat and drink what you want, but obviously it derails my efforts.

  89. I’ve been a fan for two years and would describe my lifestyle as modified paleo. I still eat occasionally tofu and beans, keep my carbs mainly from veggies, tubers, white rice, quinoa. But I find whenever I try to go hardcore and follow 80/20 or 90/10 and eat alot of healthy fat I gain weight! I do all the ohter stuff: sun, sleep, sex, barefeet, lift heavy things and cut way back on chronic cardio. Overall I feel mostly good but I do feel sad I cannot keep up with my mountain biking/cycling buddies anymore. I just don’t have the lungs.

  90. I suppose I qualify as a lurker, although enjoy Mark’s articles so much and truly believe that this lifestyle *works*. Nearly every day I send links to my husband with research supporting the paleo/primal lifestyle. I love hiking in the mountains in my Vibrams and splashing about, feeling the mud between my toes. I have adopted the “move slowly for long distances” mentality – I walk as much as I can, and my husband and I are both avid hill-walkers. I try my darndest (despite a ridiculous commute and horrible work hours – both of which I am changing in 2014!) to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I get sun when I can (not easy in Ireland!) and take vitamin D pills every day. I credit the Vit D with alleviating the low-level depression that has dogged me since puberty. I make most of our meals myself, including plenty of homemade bone broth and loads of veggies. We almost never eat out at restaurants, and our only major “sin” is a weekly pizza indulgence at the end of a long week – and I often make the pizza myself. My father in law is a severely overweight diabetic and I regularly lament to my husband, “if only your dad would go primal…” – I really think it would save his life.

    BUT. But.

    I would say that we eat only about 50% primal, if that, which is maybe the same as not eating primal at all. The reasons for my lack of compliance with the dietary aspect of the Blueprint are myriad, but the key issues/problems I have with fully adopting the diet part of the lifestyle are as follows:

    1) I feel really pretty good as-is. As a previous commenter mentioned “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I lost about 20 lbs last year when we moved to Ireland – just by cutting out all fast food, cooking for myself, incorporating healthy fats, and upping my physical activity naturally (walking more is part of the culture here, and the aforementioned hill-walking). I don’t have any auto-immune diseases. My skin is clear. I have plenty of energy. I’m not depressed. My monthly cycle is on track. I notice no discernable difference in my digestive tract when I eat grain or other carbs. As much as I think I could maybe feel a little bit better yet by going primal, the expense involved and spousal fights it would engender (see below) don’t make the change seem worth it to me.

    2) Like so many other followers, I have a lack of spousal support. My husband is fond of saying “soup is not a meal”. Likewise, sitting down at the table without some carbs available is not a meal in his mind. I am not so much tempted by seeing his choices on the table as I am unwilling/unable to commit even more time to making two separate meals three times a day.

    3) Affordability. I’m sorry, but no matter which way you slice it, eating primal isn’t cheap. Our budget is on a razor thin margin as it is. I only have 250 euros/month to spend on groceries for the two of us. It doesn’t go that far unless it’s padded out with (comparatively cheaper) beans, couscous and pasta. We don’t have any bad habits (coffee, cable tv, etc) to cut out that could help us increase our food budget. We don’t eat out, not even for lunch, so there are no savings to attain there. Meat is super pricey here. We eat as many veggies as we can, but we just don’t feel full without some carbs to soak up the pasta sauce.

    Despite the above, I still read MDA every day because I do think that there is incredible merit in the message Mark espouses. I think he is literally saving lives here. I look for ways to incorporate more paleo principles into our own lives on a regular basis. For example, we are moving out West (to Co Kerry, where KerryGold butter is from) in the spring. I am going to quit my horrible, soul-sucking job and branch out into raising meat animals and growing all our own veg – so that I know exactly where it all comes from. I doubt I would have been so inspired if it hadn’t been for Mark, so… thank you! I hope you don’t feel that you just can’t reach us lurkers – because you can, and have, in so many ways. Even if our grocery cart doesn’t always show it!

  91. I think the key to remember about PB and also what makes it so awesome is that its just that a blueprint if you eat great and then have a candy bar 1 time last month then who cares I mean a caveman couldn’t choose what he was going to eat he just had to eat what was there. PB changed my whole lifestyle from Want but Cannot have to Can have but don’t want as soon as I started eating primal my body said hey i don’t want that junk anymore. I don’t think people that fall off the wagon sometimes are lurkers they’re just finding they’re groove. If you are a lurker though do yourself a favor save yourself from a life of horrible digestive and gut aches you’ll be glad you did.

  92. Reading all the replies now makes me realize that I’m not doing all that bad.
    I went cold turkey almost 4 years ago…was 100% for 2 years until I found Raw goats milk.
    It made me gain weight, made me addicted to the opioids in it, felt crappy with it…felt crappy without it and 1 year later had gained almost 20 lbs.

    I couldn’t lose the weight without calorie cutting drastically but had too many cravings and no willpower. I noticed in the end it’s still just about calories in and out…and I did non of it. Being 100% primal (+the raw milk) did NOT work for me because I kept on eating starches…which are also allowed on primal.

    Even though I never really fell off the wagon, I had gained 20 lbs and so I’ve stopped coming here for the last 1.5 years.

    About a week ago I finally had the motivation and no appetite to cut calories and I’ve lost 4 lbs so far…another 10 lbs to go.

    Atm I am following an “ancient german diet plan” called Soup, Salad and Coffee and FDH (Friss die Haelfte) which basically means Push-aways! hahahaha…
    When I’m down to my goal weight again I’ll just have to be careful with the starches and carbs in general.

  93. Ugh…neck and back issues and waiting for the MRI results. It’s an excuse though because I don’t like working out by myself. I could still walk and make changes even while waiting for results. I do have constant pain, but I work and can certainly move my body. I’m always thinking ‘I’ll start tomorrow’. I would be more motivated if I had people to work out with.

    Lastly, I could be waiting another 5 years and end up more physically impaired. Like I said, it’s an excuse and I need to kick myself in the pants…

  94. I was a lurker for over a year and couldn’t get past the idea of giving up bread and pasta. One particular article struck me right where it needed to and I decided it couldn’t hurt to try 30 days. The next day I went cold turkey and those 30 days have become 18 months. I am about 80/20 and the couple of times I’ve gotten too far out of balance, old health issues return to keep me in check.

    Old habits die hard and some of us take a little longer to commit! If you’re one of the hold outs, try it for 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days!!

  95. As I read this article I felt as though you were writing it directly to me. One of my coworkers, 4 years older than me, just died from congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and other complications. My own doctor just put me on a medication for high blood sugar in an effort to drive off type two diabetes.

    My friend has been living with a death sentence for the last year knowing that there was nothing that could be done. I can only imagine the wear and heartache that his family felt. I realized that I was setting up to do the same thing to my family.

    All that stops. I have been a poser. Reading all the books on nutrition, talking to others about primal and paleo eating habits while I continued eating like crap.

    No More. Within the next year you will be reading my success story on here, so keep this comment on file.

  96. We received four tubs of grass fed liver when we purchased our last side of grass fed beef. My partner has said would never eat it because his mother used to make him eat it. He remembers the taste and thinks it is disgusting. Interestingly, we only have one tub left as i have been secretly adding it to our chili. I thaw it and whip it up in the vitamix, then mix it in. He has said that the chili I have been making lately is delicious, It might be the pureed pumpkin, but i think it is the nutrient rich liver that replenishes his body with nutrients. I might tell him someday, perhaps when he notices that the tubs of liver are gone.

  97. I am lurking for a couple of months.
    And I did take the plunge several times. But something is not right with my jump calculations, cause I land on a wagon – and after a while fall off that wagon.
    I pick up my failure bones and get back on the cliff, lurking, getting the courage to jump again.
    I am sure that practice makes perfect, and each time I slip and fall, I learned something new. Then I get the chance to “lurk” and educate myself to do better next time. I am sure it’s only a matter of time to do the plunge and have it stick!

  98. Yup, definitely something I needed to hear. I genuinely appreciate this.

    I’ve lurked for a long time, and while I’ve made a number of long-term positive changes, I’ve never fully implemented for more than a couple weeks at a time.

    I have to stop thinking that I can’t do it because I have zero support, and grip the fact that the choice is mine, and mine alone. It’s not that of my vegan husband, my 400lb couch-bound mother or my diabetic father, all of whom think Primal/Paleo is “dangerous” (ironic much?). It’s also my responsibility to ensure my kids reverse the bad eating habits they already have.

    Challenging – sure. Impossible – not at all.

  99. I’m a lurker.

    It’s not an intellectual exercise… for most people. It is for me. I read a lot. I read stuff I like, I read stuff I don’t like. And I don’t usually leave a site simply because I’m not into implementing what it promotes. I usually leave a site because the writing/website quality is poor and I simply don’t enjoy visiting anymore (not an issue here).

    MDA offers a lot of knowledge, even for somebody who’s not ready to change anything. I realize this doesn’t make any sense. You’re thinking “now you know it’s bad for you, why do you continue?”. Well, smokers know smoking is bad. They still do it. Who knows why?

    So, there’s my two-bits.

  100. Having had a chance to read and study the previous postings here’s my take on the problems described. It’s possible I’m seeing something that isn’t there, but as I see it the problem is one of for want of a better word, ideology. I know this might sound like a bit of a stretch, but when reads of people clearly suffering and suffering badly from the effects of the Standard American Diet in such deep denial, ‘ideology’ seems to be the only word to describe the situation.
    It seems almost as if SAD is regarded as some sort of sacred trust, that must preserved at any cost.

  101. I lurk somewhat (say, the last ten days of each month) because I’m a grad student living at home, I’m the only semi-primal individual in the household, and when money gets tight at the end of the month, sometimes it’s grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

    I do the best I can to embrace primal living. Every possible cut to our budget was made years ago when the economy tanked, so we buy everything completely conventional and barely scrape by. Not one thing in my house is organic or grass-fed, free-range or co-opted, or anything. I truly can’t afford to spend my money conscientiously, but I can’t let that come between me and getting as close as possible to primal.

    I do have to work out primally, however, because I can’t afford a gym membership or workout gear either. Ergo, bodyweight workouts and redneck standing workstations for the win.

  102. I must admit, I feel pretty depressed at the moment about Primal. I followed it pretty strictly for about a year, including 4 months with a personal trainer, and while I definitely believe in the concept and felt a lot healthier, I didn’t shift any significant weight, like maybe 2 pounds. And yes, I do have weight to lose – not a lot, but definite, visible weight (maybe 25 pounds) that prevents at least half my wardrobe from fitting and me from feeling confident. I keep trying to get back into Primal, because I know its a great way to live, but the lack of weight loss results means I’m only ever half motivated. I wasn’t a lurker to begin with – I was a motivated die-hard. But I’ve lost faith, mostly in myself.

  103. I am a health coach, and it has become my life’s work to help as many people as I can adopt as much of the primal lifestyle as is possible for them– as the unique individuals that we all are. If any of you need more guidance and/or support, I want to help you. Your health and happiness matter. You matter! Change IS possible. Change IS doable.

    1. Hi Andie, what sort or coaching and how? I am at the end of my tether. Even during run up to my wedding when I was 99/1 Primal and training 4 x a week with an ex marine, I didn’t shift the weight. Yes, some inches and that was good, but I was so motivated and I just didn’t get the results. My wedding was great, but if I’m honest, I didn’t feel happy with how I looked. Still just carry that extra fat, and since then put more on. Can this really be solved or is it just my body?

  104. I NEED this (primal)! I suffer from recurring and chronic (female) yeast, I am overweight, too. I know this works! HOWEVER 1.) I get SO INCREDIBLY DEHYDRATED! 2.) I barely stomach 50 protein… 3.) See # 1. I need your book! I am now realizing 75-80g fat may help with dehydration, as I read an old post on a MMA fighter you sponsored… I have lurked since June or July, and implemented some changes. I did “fail-eo” for a month and lost 10 lbs. 🙂

  105. I’ve been lurking for….3.5 years? I first found MDA back in high school but wasn’t able to do anything because my parents wouldn’t listen to anything I said and were extremely stubborn about keeping the SAD diet. Since I’ve gone to college it’s been a struggle.
    Freshman year I was in the dorms and there were not a lot of paleo options in our cafeteria. Since then I started dating someone and when I tried to go paleo he supported me doing it but wouldn’t consider it himself. He supported me by saying “I’ll eat it for you since you can’t” and proceeded to eat brownies, cake, and ice cream and various other things right in front of me and telling me how good they were. Needless to say without any real support I failed. Since then I have pretty much given up because I can’t get away from the sweets and other things because it is all he eats and every time I have tried to go paleo I get INSANE cravings.

    1. Proper fats made the insane cravings vanish for me. (What I couldn’t do was stay hydrated. I even tried more salt and magnesium. I am now wondering if MORE fat for fuel’s sake would slow my metabolism of the carbs meant for muscle glucogen, thus avoiding muscle cramping.) Primal is INCREDIBLE at squashing cravings. I am pretty sure there are answers for those who persist…

  106. Thanks Mark for this post – it really hit me hard. I’ve been lurking for several years. I’ve purchased and read both The Primal Blueprint and The Primal Connection, and I’ve adopted several Primal concepts, albeit inconsistently. I’m about 25% in. So what’s holding me back? Your post has made me really examine my fears – fear of failure and, I think, fear of success.

    Thanks for the kick in the pants.

  107. I’m only a quasi lurker, maybe. I have slowly been moving towards a primal diet completely unaware of Primal Blueprint or Lifestyle but bread and grains have been my major hang-up my whole life. I’m also a stress-eater (working on that). I have some major advantages in that I’m the only head of household and I do all the shopping and most the cooking 😉 and the teenager isn’t horribly picky as long as there’s some kind of meat on the table, LOL, everything else she says she can work with.

    I found MDA less than a month ago but I’m making changes, just really slowly 🙁 I get overwhelmed too easily and then binge on cinnamon-sugar toast etc. I have eliminated almost all sugar, so now I’m working on breads (my most frequent and abundant toxin). I haven’t decided what to work on next 🙂

    It’s kinda creepy for me though, how Mark called out the lurkers (in a very nice way, I think) when he did 😉 lol

  108. I’ve been reading almost daily for almost a year. I bought The Primal Blueprint on Amazon 6 months ago. I’m halfway through.

    I followed the primal blueprint for a month back in May 2013 and lost 23 lbs of baby weight that I thought I would never lose… Then I stopped and the weight loss stopped. Then the weight started to creep back on.

    Since returning to work when my son was 13 months, I’m back at my old habits of getting through the week with cafe mochas, a Friday morning “treat” of a creme donut… and then I cave and we order Chinese for takeout because there’s no time to make dinner.

    Blood pressure is back up and I gained 12 lbs in the first 2 months back at work.

    I also feel like this post was a sign. I felt so uncomfortable reading it. It also made me realize that I must sound like an idiot when I talk to people about the stuff I read on here and then they see me enjoying Halloween candy, birthday cake at work, sandwiches for lunch… oh, yeah, and watch me plump up.

    I know this was meant to be motivating, but I feel so crummy right now! :-/

  109. I am a lurker! Looking for answers to get past my current plateau.

    I have been following MDA now for nearly 2 years. I have been eating better than 90/10 for most of that time, though it took a while to ditch the occasional diet coke. I came to paleo to help with health issues- overweight, type2 diabetes, etc which were out of control.
    I lost 40 kgs (88lbs) in the first 12 months but only 10 kgs since (20lb) since. My only vice is potato maybe once a week.
    I have dropped my diabetes medication – I was on insulin + diaformin. My Hb1AC is now 5.8. I swim 3x week and move more, stand at my desk.
    I feel fantastic, and although I still have some lower back pain, most of my mobility issues are much improved. Osteo arthritis in my knee & feet now don’t trouble me much at all. I sleep well, and get outside when I can.
    I do, however have a very stressful work situation that I cannot change, though I try to manage the stress. I work 50-60 hours most weeks. ( I know I need to change this – at 58 I want to slow down!)
    Anyone have any ideas on what I can do? Thought I might look at IF?

  110. I’ve been a lurker for years. Still lurking, but I joined a gym a few months back that, while not actively supporting a paleo diet, they strongly lean that way. They provide dietary guidelines to follow, and even specific menu’s for those wanting more direction. I’ve not been following so well but trying to ease more into it. My biggest issues are pre-planning and preparing ahead of time. If I don’t have meals planned, cooked, etc before Monday… then I’m just rushing all week long and don’t make time for it. Hopefully that will be fixed soon, especially as I’m now completely single and picking up the pieces so to speak… thus I can cook however I want, whenever I want, and not have the passing thought “he won’t like it” to hold me back.

    Oh… and I’m an emotional NON-eater. Break my heart: I go 24 hours without food, easily, until my emotions are uncontrollable and I’m sick to my stomach from hunger and then I’m too hungry RIGHT NOW to deal with cooking… so run to the nearest fast food 2 blocks away. That was my life 1.5 years ago for a number of months and I believe that is a huge contributor to gaining 20 pounds, and being diagnosed with Type II diabetes 🙁 I still have a problem with skipping meals if my heart is hurting, but at least I’m working now and my body needs food to get through the day and gets painfully insistent if I don’t (I was unemployed when all that happened 1.5 yrs ago thus easier to ignore).

  111. I never learned how to cook and now I have physical limitations that make cooking very challenging. Have you tried to do Paleo without cooking? I bought some Pre-Made Paleo brand food which helped but I can’t eat peppers and their food turned out to have a lot of peppers not listed in the descriptions so I was buying food I couldn’t eat. So, I just keep reading and thinking and trying to figure out how to do this. Microwave-grilled hamburger patties everyday with canned pumpkin on the side gets a bit boring. But I can’t bite into a whole apple and by the time I core and slice one that’s all the “cooking” I can physically do for one meal. I’d love to have all your suggestions for real food that requires no prep. You can send them to sandsys at gmail dot com.

  112. I am a lurker as well.
    Though I have ditched the wheat & grains, I admit I still feel sad that I can’t eat them anymore. I still eat dairy because I CANNOT give up my greek yogurt or my cheese b/c I love it so much (though I don’t drink milk). I also find it hard to give up tofu (sounds weird I know), but I’m Asian and it’s always been part of our family’s diet, and I think it’s been hard enough to give up rice in favor of low carb. But, MDA has helped me abandon the idea that whole grains are healthy (Iremember when I used to eat quinoa and oats thinking it was good for me but not really enjoying them), and become more comfortable with eating a steak. I’m not totally committed to primal, but it has helped me realize all the conventional “wisdom” out there are lies, and generally adopt a healthier diet that works for me. I still eat peanut butter, tofu, and dairy, because I feel like I’ve already given up a lot.

  113. HAHAHA I really think Mark is talking about me, I am Thee earnest lurker. Started noticing this site since August after a colleague send a link about clean eating as I’m really overweight (the highest I have ever been to be exact) and obviously that led me to many similar sites and blogs. I have all the books (Blueprint included) so I have done my research. But I haven’t bitten the bullet yet, it’s so difficult for me. I live with my boyfriend who is in good shape without any effort and he has a palate like a 4yr old, eats McDee and chocolates like they going out of style and living in South Africa also means that I grew up on Carbs it’s our staple and we literally have every meal with Maize and it’s my weakness……*sigh* I need to JUST DO IT already

  114. Sigh… I’ve actually gotten fatter since I started lurking on MDA, but it’s correlation, not causation. I started a new, high-stress, long-hour teaching job about the same time I found Primal/Paleo and have spent the past couple years indulging in emotional eating/drinking despite my new-found Primal knowledge. Plus, with my limited amount of free time, I’d rather choose to spend it connecting with my spouse than connecting with the free weights, although I do miss the free weights.

  115. Oh wow, I needed this!! I’ve been a lurker for years (eek), occasionally dabbling in the primal lifestyle (and ALWAYS loving it!). Something always happens…my husband wants to order pizza, I visit my family and my mom makes my favorite dish from my childhood, I don’t want my mother-in-law getting on my case (she once yelled at me for not partaking in baby shower goodies…the cupcakes didn’t look very appetizing and I just didn’t want a freakin’ cupcake, k?)….etc., etc., excuses, excuses. I was reading before bed and was going to visit this site and was like no, I will look at it tomorrow. Something told me to look at it right then and I cam across this article. I’m in my second semester of graduate school and a newlywed and I have not been very nice to my body since my wedding in July…and I look it and feel it. Thanks for the kick in the pants! Holiday weight gain and feelings of sluggishness be damned. It’s time to stop lurking, once and for all.

  116. Yep, I lurk too. Clearly there are plenty here. 🙂

    In fact, I just finished a bowl of cardboard (cereal) with sugar! Hence why I can here to read this post in more depth.

    I guess it’s just a case of gutting it out. But the walls/barriers can be … difficult. For example, I’d love to toss my statins but my cholesterol goes through the roof (340 in US terms, I’m in Australia).

    I just started to follow a running program and buggered up my achilles. Now I can’t even jog! So, while I continue my pity party, it seems that at any stage I commit something gets in the way. (and even as I write this I just want to delete it and not bother!)

    So, I’m resigned to statins for the rest of my life it seems as it is the family history version (which by the way my mother did not die of!), I can’t even just head out and run, the simplest bloody exercise of all.

    So you’d think just eating better would be a simple thing to do and we do not do too badly. But without the exercise, the weight continues to rise….. and so all the effort at times seems pointless!

    Mark, feel free to delete this comment if need be.

  117. Got the 21 day book, did the plan and lost 16 pounds in 21 days, then I stopped? I wish I never did. Now I just can’t commit, I am most likely a 60%/40%’er and need to get myself back to 80% at the least. I am trying to ease myself into it to prepare for the New Year. I need to be a Friday Post this time next year. Thanks for everything Mark.

  118. Guilty!! I’m a chronic procrastinator and not real good at follow-thru. It’s been a problem my entire life. I’ve bee here at MDA for several years and have yet to dive in to any depth. I’ll start exercising only to stop after a couple of weeks. Ditto for changing my eating habits.

    I SHOULD be at the point where the straw is breaking the camel’s back. At 410 lbs (5′ 11″) I just tested diabetic via my H1g blood test (6.7 with avg blood glucose 137). My Sensitive Reactive Protein reading has been 17 + (yes…..you read that right….17.xx) and I have days where I have so much generalized, systemic inflammation that I’m miserable. My sedimentation rate blood test was normal so It’s “non-specific” inflammation…..whatever that implies.

    One thing I have an abundance of is hope. I may not start often and I may not stick with it long but I’ll never give up on trying. I’ve got a friend who is in worse shape than me and he gave up long ago. That will never happen with me.

  119. I’ll admit it; I’ve lurked occasionally in the past and have been lurking/reading MDA again for the past few days. In December 2011, I bought The Paleo Solution and lurked on this site (amongst others) for a few months, until implementing a strict primal diet in February 2012. After that I transitioned back to having occasional grains and dairy regularly. I also weight lifted primarily for my exercise during that time and did fun things like mud runs! I felt strong and I was fairly lean through the waist and hips. I kept that up for most of the year until purchasing a “clean eating” nutrition plan in December 2012 (don’t be surprised that it limited fats). I have sort of followed the clean eating for most of 2013 and switched my exercise to mostly cardio. Anyway, I’m back learning about Primal eating because I feel that my processed carb and sugar cravings have gotten out of control and I’m a bit out of shape – I feel sluggish, look a little chubby, have acne again, and don’t feel as strong as before. I remember how good I felt (and looked, imo) back in 2012 and want to get back to that. My copy of The Primal Blueprint should arrive in the mail today! 🙂

  120. Wow I needed this. Immediately bought Primal Blueprint and am now on my second week of following the guidelines. I am off the rollercoaster and have experienced positive changes already. THANK YOU MARK. I needed this kick in the pants!