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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December 31 2009

Contest: What Did You Learn This Year?

By Mark Sisson
130 Comments

It’s December 31, the last day of the 2000s. It’s always fun, and often quite moving, at times like these to take a look back and remind ourselves how far we’ve come, to recall where and what we were and how and why we are different now. These exercises can seem a little cheesy, but I think they’re quite useful. Some change comes so gradually that you hardly recognize it’s occurring at all. With a little self-reflection you can acknowledge that real change has occurred, be proud of it and own it, and then commit to further personal growth.

I was inspired by this Mark’s Daily Apple forum thread. In it forum user bonesheal asked, “What did YOU learn this year?” Seeing that Mark’s Daily Apple may have played a small part in raising the consciousness of the people that responded makes the experiment that is MDA all worth it. I started MDA over 3 years ago now with the goal to, as I say, empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigatng, discussing and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be trued about health and wellness. I’m thrilled to see that people are doing just that. And I look forward to continuing to provide the resources and this forum for change.

At this time I’d like to echo bonesheal and ask, What did you learn this year? List and share your thoughts in the comment board.

I’ll be choosing one lucky commenter at random to win the Primal Holiday Package. This contest ends when the Primal Holiday offer ends – Dec. 31, midnight.

Check back tomorrow for an all new contest! Grok on!

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

130 thoughts on “Contest: What Did You Learn This Year?”

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  1. I learned:
    – that I don’t have to eat every 3 hours. I won’t die from hunger.
    – that I don’t have to exercise like a madman to be relatively fit.
    – that the fats I thought were good are bad and vice versa.
    – that I am addicted to sugar and it’s a hard addiction to beat.
    – that it is better to just lead by example rather than try to convince everyone my way is the right one, especially when it comes to dispelling conventional wisdom myths.
    – that I am a better person for stumbling upon the primal blueprint.
    – that I have lots more to learn.

    Thanks, Mark!

    1. I have learnt that the primal lifestyle has cleared my head I feel better look better sleep better have lost all my insulin issues & killed off my cravings have gone from 1 tub of ice cream a week to nothing now

  2. I learned that I need to chill out a little, and learn how to play again.

  3. I learned all about the wonderful goodness of coconut products. In particular, the more coconut oil I ingest, the better I feel. I’d never had it before several months ago, and now it’s a staple of my diet.

    1. No kidding? I’ve used coconut flower, but haven’t tried the oil. I’ll give it a shot.

  4. I learned that I need to be present and mindful. If I do that, everything else falls into place. It’s the mindless eating and absenteeism from activity that cause harm.
    In 2010, I vow to be present in each and every moment, enjoy life, and be aware of my nutrition and surroundings. In doing this, foloowing those 10 steps just happens naturally, doesn’t it?

  5. I learned that I am not hyperglycemic and I learned that I can and did lose weight! Thanks Mark!!!!

  6. That it feels good to try to run hard, even if I’m still relatively slow.

    That I can still do a few pullups two months after the arrival of Baby Two and at least 15yrs after my last pullup. 🙂

    Thanks for an inspiring blog!

  7. I learned that I’m VERY sensitive to Grains and Dairy. I’ve learned that a diet of veggies, protein, fruit and healthy fat is effective AND makes me feel good:)I’ve learned that sugar is the devil.

    I also learned that setting constant smaller goals is the key to accomplishing the big ones.

    Happy New Year!

    B

  8. I learned that I have the power and the knowledge to turn around my health and only eat foods that benefit my body.

  9. Guess what?! I learned that grain free is way more fun, easier and healthier than gluten free. Yippee!

    1. This was my big lesson too! Going from gluten free to grain free simplified my life, made me lose 25 lbs, and makes me feel better overall! Thanks

  10. I learned that it was possible for a fat woman of 40% body fat to change her life and eating habits to become a woman of 18% body fat. Eat more fat, eat less cereals and feel, sorry guys, fucking marvellous!

  11. I learned that growth, in all of its varied forms, is seldom painless, but always worth it.

  12. I learned that it’s ok to take a nap, and that getting more sleep is vital. I also second Ibd’s comments, especially that it is better to lead by example than trying to change those who follow conventional wisdom.
    Happy New Year Mark and family! Grok on!

    1. Krys, the link in your name is misspelled. The p and s in spot are swapped. Just a FYI.

      1. Thanks Matt! I’ve fixed it on this reply. Guess my fingers were just flying too fast! Cheers!

  13. I learned that nearly everything I thought I knew about nutrition and healthy living was wrong. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  14. I learned that I need to be gluten-free, feel great eating grain-free and I can eat meat without GI issues.

  15. I learned how the research, dedication and hard work of one man could create a community of supporters who’s main objectives are to help and enlighten the masses who stumble onto MDA. Way to go people! Life is great when you have what it takes to be healthy…knowledge.

  16. I learned that getting older doesn’t have to mean getting old.

  17. I learned not to be afraid of challenges at work and in my personal life: new job, new non-fiction writing project, new committment to anti-global-warming activism, new committment to working out and healthy primal eating. My new motto is “God hates a coward.”

  18. – I learned that I’m very susceptible to the neural problems arising from too many carbs.
    – I learned that my thought processes are much clearer and I’m nearly ADD-free when I eat properly.
    – I also learned that carbs make my heart race and may be responsible for my high-ish blood pressure.
    – I learned that I don’t need to knock myself out on my bike to get a good workout each day to and from work.
    – And most importantly, I learned that it doesn’t take too much for me to lose 4 inches around my waist and to gain countless self-esteem points.

  19. These past few months I have learned to love myself and not compare myself to others..I still struggle with this but seeing my improvements in my workouts and the small changes in my body are keeping me going and reminding me that I AM worth it and I am strong. I continue learning new nutritional tools everyday from fellow bloggers and get excited to try new things. I also learned NOT to focus on the number on the scale. I feel better now then I did when I was 10 lbs lighter because I actually have some muscle AND the weight will eventually come off but IN THE RIGHT WAY. MDA and primal eating has not only helped me but it has helped my relationship with my husband because he sees the confidence come through as well.

  20. The biggest—and most far-reaching—lesson that I learned this year is that quality trumps quantity, every time.

    I see it in my diet, my workouts, my interactions with family and friends, my work; everywhere. MDA has been instrumental in reinforcing this lesson over and over again.

    Have a great New Year everybody!

  21. – I learned about Crossfit and lifting really heavy things with explosive compound movements. I also learned that in order to feel good, I need to do this at least twice a week.

    – I learned first about paleo eating and then about the Primal Blueprint. I learned that eating a good amount of animal and other healthy fats makes me feel hugely better than my old fat-avoiding diet. I learned that I’m actually really sensitive to grains and sugar and that I feel better when I avoid them.

    – I learned to sprint again when the mood strikes and to be okay with my leisurely hikes the rest of the time. I learned that never doing more cardio than a 10 minute warm-up at the gym is awesome.

    – I learned that adopting elements of Crossfit and PB have become honest-to-goodness lifestyle habits. After abandoning and healthy eating over the Christmas weekend, I didn’t feel like I was “getting back on the diet” on Monday, but returning to my natural way of living and eating.

    Thanks for all the information you’ve given me, Mark! It’s been life-changing!

  22. A billion things, but above all, I learned primal. There’s nothing more to say besides that.

    Thanks Mark and happy new year!!

  23. I learned that working out and not eating clean was not an option if I wanted to improve my health and my bod.

    I learned that having “graves disease” proves that the primal way is the only to continue my quest.

    I learned that you can find incredible information from sites like MDA and for that I am grateful.

    I learned that even I armed with this information can make my 22 year old son see the difference in his eating paten really do make a difference.

    I learned that everyone in a while you realize how grateful you are for communities such as yours.

  24. I learned something I thought I’ve known ever since high school: That it doesn’t matter what other people think.

  25. This year, I learned how to eat. Not diet, not “try to get healthy”… I learned to eat. Real food. Delicious food. Powerful food.

    I grew up in a cooking, eating family, but in 2009, I FINALLY learned to respect my food and what it does for me. I stopped being afraid of fat, and I banished “poison” from my kitchen.

    My husband and I have found fun cooking together. We get local deliveries of produce and meat — our pantry is stocked with coconut oil and coconut milk and freshly-ground spices.

    I have a calm joy about my food that’s made my whole life better. I sleep through the night. I look forward to kale. I power through my workouts. And once in a while, I eat a HOMEMADE cookie.

    Eat. Cook. Love. Live.

    Happy 2010!

  26. I have learned that some of the “good foods” for me are really not. I have learned that excuses only slow you down from living the life you want to live and you should be kind to others at all times.

    Thanks Mark

  27. I learned that I need to sleep more. I always thought that if I could make it through the day and function, I must have gotten enough sleep.

    Now I realize that although I can function, I am not thriving. Five hours of sleep is not enough for true health.

  28. As a lifelong vegetarian/sometimes vegan I learned that not only will meat not kill me – it will make me strong and healthy.
    I also learned that I do not need to kill myself with running an hour every single day followed by another hour of chronic cardio at the gym most days.
    I learned that I don’t have to be tired all the time and suffer from massive mood swings that drive everyone (including myself) crazy.
    I learned that it is sometimes just better to let things go and enjoy what time I have.
    I still have a lot more to learn though and I plan on doing so every day in 2010.

  29. since i only discovered this site and its information this year, i learned a hell of a lot. the best thing i learned, though, was that eating an entire chicken all by myself in one sitting, without utensils, is awesome.
    also – the idea of the big salad, which i call the ‘epic salad’. been eating it every day (sometimes twice a day) for 8 months now and still love it, look forward to it, it helps me save money and it totally satisfies me. screw you, sandwiches and pasta.

  30. I learned so much this year…

    The year started out with a trip to New Zealand and some amazing sight seeing and photography opportunities.

    Then, my wife and I had our first child in July and I learned to love someone more than I ever knew was possible.

    I also learned around the same time that my blood pressure was 150/105 and I had topped the scales at 200 lbs. (I’m 5′ 7″). Suffice it to say, I was shocked at how I had become absent to myself and my own well being over the years, and how it could now seriously affect my ability to see my son grow up.

    I got fired up to change my ways and get my health back in order, and what a journey it has been! I started with an eliptical machine, Men’s Health Magazine, hours of chronic cardio and a low fat diet.

    This was back in August. I lost 8 pounds in a month and a half and was feeling great. Then I hit a wall and no amount of lifting or cardio did anything for me. I also started to slip on the diet and revert back to some of my old eating habits – french fries with my sandwhich, bad desserts, etc.

    In late October, my frustration at myself and lack of progress lead me to a Google search on cardio “methods” to find something that could get me back on track. Through this search I stumbled across Mark’s article on chronic cardio and it opened my eyes to the world of Primal living.

    Man what a change! I ripped the band aid of carbs away and cut all carbs out of my diet cold turkey. I had a few rough days at first but nothing major that I couldn’t bear. I changed my diet accordingly and got myself onto a good primal diet of lean meats, good fats, nuts, and all the rest, and I love it. My workout schedule changed from one hour chronic cardio 5 days a week to light cardio, walking my dogs, and sprints (which I love). I still lift as I used to but now results are happening because of the dietary and cardio shifts.

    I have been eating and working out in a primal fashion for a month and a half now. My energy levels are soaring, I have lost 10 more pounds, and I’m shedding about a pound a week. Primal eating and specifically Mark’s workout programs have busted me through my plateau and have changed my whole outlook on my diet and lifestyle.

    I love the science behind it all too. Learning about insulin, glucagon, macro and micronutrients has kept me so interested in the program and my own progress as I see it all happening to me.

    I have taken to intermittent fasting and enjoy this the most. I never thought I would like to go without food for 24 hours, but now I can’t imagine a week without at least one fast day. The affects it has on my well being and mental clarity have been awesome. I just did a 36 hour fast yesterday and feel tremendous.

    I am so excited for 2010. Mark, you Primal diet/workout lifestyle is amazing! My wife has embarked on her own journey and is joining me as her New Year’s commitment to a Primal lifestyle. She has done a mere carb reduction so far and dropped 5 pounds in a month. Between that and watching me morph into a completely different person physically and mentally has convinced her of the merits to this lifestyle.

    Needless to say, you have made a convert out of me and my whole family. Here’s to 2010 and another 5 pounds lost in January! All the best to you and your family this new year and may it bring you all the attention and success you deserve!!!!

    Jim

  31. This was my “Primal” year! I learned the fundamental truth about our bodies, nutrition, and how to bring all of it together with fitness to create transformational change!

    Thanks Mark! You’re making the world a better place!!

  32. I learned that I eat more interesting food when I have some healthy constraints on ingredients and prepare it myself. Having fewer options opened my eyes to all these foods that I hardly even considered before.

  33. I learned I can go for much longer than 4 hours without eating and feel really good about it.
    I learned that grains and sugar make me feel pretty awful.
    I learned that my job is killing me.
    I learned that I need to take sleep and rest more seriously.
    I learned that money really isn’t everything.
    I learned that my husband is more supportive than I could have imagined.
    I learned that I need to see my family more.

  34. I learned that overeating does not cause obesity, but rather that overeating is often a consequence of obesity and that obesity is caused, rather, by the inability of the body to utilize the fat it’s already stored. And, that severely limiting carbs and eating healthy fats and protein can fix the problem.

  35. I learned that Crossfit, fat, protein, and green things are the true key to a happy me.
    I learned that I don’t have to eat every 3 hours, or suffer from low blood sugar headaches.
    I learned that Grok Rocks!

  36. While this particular lesson has been life-long for me so far, I’ve come the farthest in 2009 in learning it: The only person I can control is me.

  37. I learned about fasting this year. That despite CW fasting complemented by a good paleo diet does way more for my blood sugar regulation than 5 meals a day. Most of all though I continue to learn that following the cues of my body is the most important thing.

  38. I’ve learned that cutting high fructose corn syrup out of my life isn’t as difficult as some make it seem. Doing so has stopped my blood sugar from bouncing up & down all day long.

    I’ve learned that even the smallest healthy changes make a huge impact.

    I’ve learned that using natural products (like jojoba oil for moisturizer, a deodorant crystal, & baking soda + peroxide instead of toothpaste) work much better than any chemicals we can come up with.

    I’ve learned where my food REALLY comes from. I grew up on a farm, in farm country, & learned more from Omnivore’s Dilemmna than I ever thought I would.

    I’ve learned that yes, I can live without fast food & soda.

    I’ve learned that yes, I really do feel much better when I avoid dairy products.

    I’ve learned that meals cooked with a few simple ingredients are the most satisfying of all.

    Finally, I’ve learned that it’s time to take the final step & cut grains out of my life entirely. Here’s to a primal new year!!

  39. I’ve learned that grains aren’t good for me. I feel much better without them. I haven’t yet learned how to completely leave them alone, though.

    I’ve learned that my kids are pretty amazing, even if some of their friends aren’t. There are 4 of them, all teenagers, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

    I’ve learned that I’m not willing to waste my time on negative feelings, people, and activities. There is alot in this world that is positive and well worth my effort.

    I’ve learned that my tiny dog is a complete whack-job and I don’t know what I’d do without him.

    Happy New Year everyone!!

  40. Since I’m an eternally curious person, I have learned that this is a great website that keeps me learning something new most days. Thanks everyone.

  41. I learned that I could regularly consume raw, unpasteurized goat milk, and that I surely would not keel over from this practice.
    I learned that Conventional Medical Wisdom, in which I was so carefully trained, is wrong in so many ways, and that those wrong ideas are harming countless people and costing billions.
    I learned that by leading by example, we can educate and make a positive change, one person at a time.

  42. I learned that at age 53, I am way stronger than I was at 20, thanks to PB & CrossFit. I also discovered the joy of cooking from scratch using locally grown & organic produce.

  43. Oh yea, almost forgot. I learned that blood sugar issues (diabetes type 2) can be successfully addressed by eating paleo.
    I learned that it’s a shame that CMW won’t teach people this.

  44. Stuck in a job that left me wondering why, I learned how fast life was passing me by. I learned that I desperately need to change this, to begin to create a lifestyle that allows me to fully raise my child and live out my passions.

    Realizing that I have worked full time for the last 20 years(I am only 35), while being stuck in a meaningless corp. 60-80 hr/week job was a clarion call.

  45. I learned..

    1.) That junk food is NOT my master.

    2.) I’m 51—but don’t ever have to worry about getting “old”.

    3.) Awesome food, hard workouts, and fun—that’s what life is SUPPOSED to be!

    Thank you, Mark; Happy New Year to you and those you love <3

  46. I learned that:

    — I don’t have to be on the treadmill for hours
    — I’m a sugarholic
    — My body responds *very* well to a reduced carb way of life

  47. I learned that I don’t have to feel guilty for not going to the gym everyday. I can get the exercise I need at home, with my own body weight and enhance my results by eating primal. My life has gotten so much better in just the last 3 months of 09. I can’t wait for 2010…bring it!

  48. I’ve learned that while I thought I knew a lot about how to eat a healthy, whole-foods diet, I was wrong, wrong, wrong!

  49. I have learned that our focus as a country on weight and a desire for a quick fix (usually in the form of a pill) has moved us further from what should be our real goals, strength, vitality and health. The Primal Blueprint focuses on those goals and makes weight loss a side effect.

  50. I have learned to stop arguing with people about my lifestyle. I used to be the proverbial “bible thumping” kind of person (my bible was the Primal Blueprint), and get quite frustrated when I was told to relax .. what’s one cookie (or insert various grains/sugar/here)
    going to do? I choose to eat primal because it makes me feel good, well not good, just freaking fantastic! LOL, nuf said ..

  51. I learned that there are amazing resources out there to help us on our primal path; I learned that I want to tell everyone how great it is, but that I need to resist that urge (or at least tone it down :-); and that I haven’t missed soda, sugar or flour nearly as much as I guessed I would!

  52. And another thing: I learned that I need to keep educating myself as I cannot trust the knowledge of a doctor who is fully trusing conventional wisdom.

  53. I learned that gaining a pound or two of flab per year is not inevitable, and that life without statins is healthier than life with statins.

    Cheers!

  54. 1. I don’t have to/shouldn’t workout 2 a day on a cardio machine every day.

    2. swiss chard is delicious

    3. heavy deadlifts are awesome

    4. I CAN live without grains and I feel and look better without them.

  55. I learned that you can get yourself off of blood pressure medication. I learned that I can eat healthy and enjoy my food. It has been a long journey, I am 45 and have had a weight problem all of my life, skin cancer got me onto the right track and my knowledge is still evolving. I started with a great book “The Right Weigh” by Rena Greenberg, her diet is not Primal but her methods to change the way you think about food and eating are what helped me to think healthy, I just substituted my food ideas into her methods. Then I found Crossfit, I went from only wanting to be able to walk and play hockey to wanting to be as fit as the 20 year olds! Now i have finished reading “The Primal Blueprint” and can’t stop telling everyone I see and meet to change the way they eat and to stop eating grains! So many people complain about aches, pains, stomach swelling, diseases, etc and I tell them all stop eating grains! Thanks Mark, Rena and Crossfit! I do not need a New Years Resolution as I have found you all and learned so much I want to continue to learn more about this wonderful lifestyle!

  56. -I learned how to truly be healthy, and I can describe how it works biochemically
    -I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute
    -I learned how to operate a nuclear power plant (no, really)

  57. i realized that i’ll probably need to rethink my retirement strategy and even the age i’m going to be retiring,..since i’m going to be living to be around 120… thanks to PB…

    I also learned that what I thought I knew about fitness and nutrition were incredibly off, but am encouraged that I am now heading in the right direction.

  58. I learned how easy it is to improve my health while enjoying what I eat and not feeling guilty about not being at the gym every day.

  59. I learned to always challenge and think critically about Conventional Wisdom because there are so many forces that work to maintain the status quo, regardless of whether the status quo is optimal.

  60. * I learned that I can go for a year without rice, pasta and cereals and not miss them. Ok I still miss vegemite on toast but thats an aussie thing 🙂
    * I learnt that carbs are the root of all evil (I knew it couldn’t be money heh)
    * I learnt that its not how long you live, but how well you live that matters.
    * I learnt that I’m not the only one that doubts conventional wisdom.

    Heres to an even better 2010!

  61. I learned:

    1 – I am mentally and physically stronger than I ever thought I was (thanks, CrossFit!)

    2 – Primal eating changed my life! No more GI problems! Yay.

    3 – At 31, I’ve only just begun my journey. Can’t wait to see what I accomplish in 2010.

  62. One thing I learnt is that you’ve got some really neat ideas here Mark – well worth a read.
    Thanks!

  63. I learned that there is a wealth of information out there, but it is up to me to educate myself, never stop learning, and make the best possible choices based on what I find.

  64. I learned that I don’t need grains to get the energy needed to workout, and function

    I learned that my body needs meat and being a vegetarian for four years was a mistake

    I learned that what I thought was fitness is a drop in the bucket to where I am now thanks to a year of crossfit

    I learned that every nutrition book I use in teaching is a waste of students money!

  65. I learned that I am the creator of my own destiny and that I can do anything I set my mind to.

  66. I learned that paleo will indeed change your life as well as become a way of life. I also learned that CrossFit is awesome!

  67. I learned that I am

    -not so busy that I can’t take care of my mind, body, and soul;

    -too hard on myself and capable of much much more;

    -never too old to learn from my mistakes;

    -able to question so called “experts” without accepting their advice blindly;

    -but one man, but capable of influencing many others through my own actions.

  68. I learned how to put my multiple sclerosis into remission by following the Primal Blueprint!! <3

  69. I learned that as a whole society has a lot to learn about what “healthy” is, and that everyone MUST challenge CW. Fat does not make you fat, veggies can be tasty, and meat is what we should be eating.

  70. That I can see my midsection after ditching grains and dairy. I learned that I am in better shape from eating paleo than when I did marathons and trialthlons and such and had d gu stuck to my mouth every 30 minutes. That MDA and MovNat have totally changed my idea of how to stay fit. That trailrunning is hella-fun but climbing on trees and dragging a tree trunk along is pretty fun too. That Vibram Five Fingers make me feel like I am stalking a wildebeast or running like Legolas in the Lord of the Rings. Kettlebells are a great way to get strong… but the firehose and sledgehammer let everyone know that I mean business. Not only do I like to shop for clothes at Tractor Supply Co., I’m starting to oggle the tractor tires for flipping. I’ve learned to by a couple of new outfits at a time… my size keeps getting smaller and smaller. Than orthotics and medial posting motion control SUCK! Nothing tastes better than a good ribeye or filet mignon. And finally, that carne asada with extra avocado from the local taqueria is absolutely the best meal to make me feel like I’m firing on all cylinders.

    TrailGrrl

  71. I learned a helluva lot this year. I won’t enumerate them, but one thing that stands out is learning the value of always challenging myself.

  72. I have learned to go hungry and actually enjoy it! This has freed me up from the rituals of scheduled eating just for the sake of eating.

  73. I learned that I can eat meat & feel great after 20+ years of being a vegetarian, which is the good news. The bad news is that I’m hypothyroid & insulin resistant. But it’s great to know this sort of lifestyle is just what the docs order (though I do find I do better with a little quinoa, sweet potoato and lentils- my 20%)
    I’m so lucky to have discovered this blog and all the great folks who participate. It made a lousy year so much better!

  74. I was naive and simple in my vegan thinking. So I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about food, exercise, and nutrition. Then I spent many hours learning many complicated things about food, exercise, and nutrition. Then I finally realized that it’s all quite simple after all. Lierre Keith summed it all up for me in The Vegetarian Myth and Mark Sisson provided the blueprint for livin’ la vida primal. It was a good year.

    Thanks, Mark, for sharing your primal ways and for providing such an excellent home for us.

  75. 1) Light workouts, like walking my dog, are just as important as high intensity workouts.

    2) Fun workouts, like surfing, are just as important.

    3) Rest days are G-O-L-D.

    4) I’m not 15 anymore (see #3).

    5) To Mark and his readers/contributors: You’re the best!

  76. This year I learned how very little I actually know and how many backwards and false health tips I was storing in my brain. Thankfully my husband and I have seen the light and we feel absolutely amazing because of it. We are still very new to being primal, but we both agree that there is absolutely no way we will go back to our previous eating habits. Our energy and outlook on life has never been higher.

    I also learned how truly sweet and delicious fruit tastes when you don’t have processed sugar dulling your taste buds!

  77. I discovered Low Carb, that pretty much says it all …
    Happy New Year!!!!

  78. – I have learned that I am stronger and fitter than I ever thought I could be.
    – I have learned that I am actually a really good cook and I spend more time creating delicious primal meals now than ever before.
    – I have learned that living Primal is my passion and in 2010 I am making huge life and career changes to chase this dream.
    – I also learned that 1 cup of cooked spinach, 2 eggs and some almonds keeps me full for hours. Breakfast of champs!

  79. I’ve learned to question conventional wisdom. I’ve learned that I’ve much to unlearn what I thought about health, fitness, and exercise. I’ve learned that are lots of great people in this Primal tribe. I’ve learned that it is never too late to change. I’ve learned that without exercise I have trouble sleeping. I learned to never stop learning, questioning, and moving. Everyone have a great, healthy, happy, blessed 2010.

  80. I learned that I am much stronger than I ever imagined. I learned that in part I owe this amazing emotional and mental strength to food, and my newfound way of eating.

    Early this year I changed my diet to focus more and more on traditional, whole foods. As I go on the focus becomes more and more primal. The timing couldn’t have been better. In a way, this has been one of the most difficult years of my life. And in a way it was the easiest, because I was finally feeding my mind and body the fuel it needed to cope.

    I’ve learned that food will never again be my enemy – it’s my partner in this life. We’re learning to get along, forming a lifelong friendship. I no longer look at food with suspicion or fear, but I know how to choose food that I respect and enjoy whole-heartedly.

    This year I learned that I have the power to do what’s right in situations that appear hopeless. I also learned that I’ll continue to screw up, and I can still get back up and keep moving forward. I learned that just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean I deserve less.

    Well, this has gotten a bit long, but I guess no one’s asked me this question put in that way, and it really got me thinking. I am really thankful for how this year turned out, even if I had to take the bad with the good. Happy New Year!

  81. Oh, one other thing, I’ve learned that Mark truly answers his e-mails and will respond. I was flabbergasted when he personally answered my questions in detail and with true scientific reasoning. That alone is reason enough to become a convert to the Primal way of life.

  82. I learned that fat is king!
    I learned that giving up sugar is easy.
    I learned that dripping water hollows through stone!

  83. I leart that with commitment, sacrifice and passion, we can be whatever we want to be, and achieve whatever we set our minds and our hearts to. With the fuel and conditioning of our forefathers, we can reach those goals even quicker, with much less impact on ourselves and on our environment. Best wishes for 2010 Mark, keep up the great work. TK

  84. Now that I’ve gone Primal and started CrossFit, I learned that my body is capable of amazing things, both mentally and physically. Things have fallen into place, and this makes me *happy*.

  85. I’m still learning to embrace whats important to me.

    I’m still learning about the importance of work/life balance and the ability to spend quality time with those I love.

    I also feel bullet proof because I’m rubber and non-PB folk are glue… The cancer bounces off of me and sticks to you!

    Messed up, huh?

  86. The truth is this…I learned that without love, and your family, little else matters.

  87. I learned that when you truly commit yourself to a lifestyle change (both in education and in practice) the rewards are limitless. Sure I’ve lost weight and gotten stronger, but the gains I’ve gotten in health are priceless. That and the ability to pass my newly acquired knowledge to the benefit of others is just amazing. I look forward to learning more about myself and being a positive role model in 2010.

  88. I learned there is always more to learn, no matter how much time is spent researching something. there’s something that was missed or not known. things change and new things uncovered. Having an open mind to this can be difficult as we try to be confident in what we know.

  89. I learned that I need to pay more attention to the people and things that matter most to me and realized that I’ve just been existing and not living.

  90. I learned that giving up sugar wasn’t so hard after all, and that my body runs just fine on a mostly fat and protein diet. Best of all, I know I’ll learn even more about my amazing body in 2010!

  91. I’ve learned how to use my surroundings to make an awesome workout wherever I happen to be.

    I now understand how to read myself everyday and understand what is making me stressed and I know how to remove most stressful things from my life

  92. I learned that doctors practice medicine, and since they are practicing, it is okay to question what they are saying.

    I learned how to eat healthier.

    I learned how the importance of building muscle.

    I learned how to develop healthy habits that last a lifetime.

  93. Wow, this is the year that I learned about Paleo and the PB. It has totally changed my life and hopefully the life of the little one we have on the way.

  94. Wow, I learned so much. Everytime I look back on what I learned, it is always so much more than I previously thought. That is why I like to keep an Academic ePortfolio also.

    I finally learned about Paleo and Primal from MDA
    Finally got down to an acceptable weight
    Finally learned how to see my abs
    Learned how to follow my passions
    Learned how to start and run a blog
    Learned how to use social media
    Learned what it was like to be treated like a movie start when I did a commercial for ESPN

    And so much more, I could go on for pages.

  95. I learned to trust my instincts concerning my health. Listen to your own body! Some parts of MDA worked great for me, and some didn’t. My body thanks me, either way.

    I begin the new year with Mark’s philosophies and approach to life in mind.

  96. I learned that I need to listen to my body. Fats and animal proteins make me feel good. Complex carbs, etc make me feel bloated and sick. But we are so often pumped with info stressing the importance of complex carbs and how animal fats and proteins are bad. But I listen to my body now and that’s the best! YAY Primal Blueprint!

  97. That animal fat and protein is vital to my health. (I know this b/c I feel amazing eating them after a long time of vegetarianism.) That grains are not vital to health, and that they are even detrimental to it. That eating a grainfree diet of mostly meat, good fats, veggies, fruits and nuts makes me *feel* amazing. That the primal/paleo diet is what my body was designed to eat, and is the diet I want to eat. That I have much stronger willpower than I ever would have imagined, especially when I’m eating real foods and no grains or refined sugars.

    And that I can do tons of strength training stuff just utilizing my own body weight and some awesome yoga poses…(Thanks MDA forum!)

  98. I learned that I DO have control over my life again. After completing a 90 day program I started doing research which eventually led me to eating better which led me to this site. Now that I have started my Primal Journey I have seen my blood pressure go from 140/90 to 122/70 (15% decrease). My strength is up, my bodyfat is down and I feel like I have only scratched the surface. I’m in control. And that feels great.

  99. I learned that any study, theory, or humble opinion should be taken with a grain of salt! Seems anyone with a hidden agenda to get you to go vegetarian can write a book or go on the radio to try and convince you of your imminent demise because you eat a steak! Thanks for the great responses Mark…T-Bones to the people!!!

  100. I learned that Dr’s are not always right. I tore my rotator cuff 5 years ago. Was off work 3 years, the first year physio 5 days a week, then surgery followed by physio 3 days a week and retraining. I have worked out 156 days in a row now with Tony Horton. I have worked out more in mast 6 moths than last 6 years. I am learning to live primal and live one day at a time.

    It is the beginning of a new year, a new decade and for me, a new phase in my life. In the last 2 years I have graduated college and finished my university degree. Convocation will be this spring, and it is the first time in my life I will not be a student. I have been in university either part or full time since 1988. I, in part, have always defined myself as a student. For the first time in my life I am at a point where I do not have specific academic goals or plans. It is a little unsettling at times. I will also be turning 40 this year and that is supposed to be a mile-marker of sorts in life, the whole ‘over the hill’ thing and all.

    It has been said the only thing we can count on in life is change. Three of my favourite quotes on the subject are:

    “Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.”
    C.S. Lewis – Essay on Hamlet

    “There is nothing so constant as change. Meet it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Learn from it.
    The one thing you can be absolutely sure of in your life is change. It’s the only thing that never changes. The law of nature is that you either grow or you die; there’s no in-between. So, what have you chosen so far? Are you growing in every area of your life? Hey, it’s not enough to be growing and looking great just because you work out. That’s only a small part of your life. What about your emotions, spiritual life, family, friends, career, hobbies? Are they growing as your body does? Become a complete person and not an in-shape and great-looking version of an incomplete person. There’s way more to life than just working out. Go with the flow and embrace changes in all areas of your life. The change will do you good.”
    Robert Wolff, PH.D. – Bodybuilding 101

    “It’s Very Important to understand the difference between dreams and goals. Dreams are things we wish for–things you enjoy thinking about but don’t really know when they’ll happen. Goals, on the other hand, are specific things you have decided you need to accomplish within a clearly defined period of time.”
    Bill Phillips – Body For Life

    My life has changed drastically from where I thought it would be 10 years ago. At that time I expected to be ordained and a minister or still involved in parachurch ministry. Yet over my time doing a religious studies and theology degree I became convinced of the validity of the Catholic Church and returned home there. Then, after my work injury and nearly 3 years off work, I moved from the dream of being a professor to working fulltime in IT. I have also gotten back in shape and lost weight twice in that time, first, through Body for Life and then P90X. So I continue to try to have focus and direction in my life. I try to set goals for the body, mind and spirit. I try to set specific goals in each area but use these guiding rules to help me achieve them:

    Daily Goals:

    1. To get enough sleep.
    2. To eat right & exercise daily.
    3. To refuse to be a perfectionist.
    4. To carefully control finances.
    5. To ask for help when needed.
    6. To pray and read the Bible daily.
    7. To not pressure self into planning my entire life today.

    One of the tools I use is journaling. I am currently on my 37th volume since August of 1994. Each term, I journal on these questions.

    Guiding Questions:

    Who are you?
    What do you want?
    Where are you going?
    Who do you serve?
    Who do you trust?

    I am now a student of life, with the goal of learning to be. To become better at being. To be a better man, husband and father. Over this past year I have also learned to purge. I went through all my stuff and got rid of what is no longer needed. I only kept course notes from a few courses, not 10 full years of university notes, assignments and research. I even purged my old journals. I only have the current one.

    I am looking forward to the changes in the year ahead. We will be moving, though at this point we still do not know where. The kids are growing and changing daily. 2010 looks to be an interesting year. So happy New Year.

    Peace and Strength!
    Yours, learning to be
    Steven R. McEvoy

    My Homepage
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    CompTIA IT PRO, A+ ITT, A+ DT, A+ RST, Network+, Security+
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    “The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.”
    – Leo Rosten

    Check out my blog for more.

  101. I’ve learned that the way to control my weight is the same way to optimize my health! Thanks Mark!

  102. I learned being healthy mentally, spiritually and physically truly made me happy and it really is okay to love me and by finally letting go of the people and things that didn’t fit made me stronger.

    2010 is another opportunity for renewal and begin a new chapter in this book of life.

  103. In Nov. 2008, I stumbled on Mark’s video on sprinting. For decades, I had been running long-distance, pumping iron and doing bodyweight exercises, and actually getting fatter. Further, I couldn’t keep my regimen consistent because I couldn’t get results and would frequently catch colds.

    I wasn’t convinced that I could give up chronic cardio but I took a chance and did it anyway and started sprinting instead while keeping up the bodyweight and weight lifting exercises. I immediately began to feel better. No more respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and sinus infections.

    But I couldn’t lose the fat and with a family history of type 2 diabetes lurking, I was worried about my health. The web site made sense, so I bought the book and applied the nutrition principles: ditched rice, grains, pasta, bread and sugars.

    Starting on Aug. 1 when I kicked grains to today, I have lost 17 pounds — from 207 to 190. The fat loss has been dramatic. If I had to do it again, I would apply the diet and exercise at the same time.

    To attain optimum health, it’s all about hormones. I have learned a lot about how consuming grains affect insulin; and how the quality, not the quantity, of exercise propels growth hormones and testosterone, and determines insulin sensitivity.

    Echoing many of the comments already written, I would like to say: Thanks Mark. And he really does reply to personal emails.

  104. I just finished reading The Primal Blueprint, and learned I need to find a better coffee addititive than 1 tablespoon of honey, which contains 20g of carbohydrates (13-20% of daily max to avoid gaining weight). I also learned it’s safer to eat cooked meat than raw meat.

  105. 1. I am addicted to sugar
    2. I get frustrated with my wife when she buys “snacks” for the kids that are loaded with sugar – that I usually end u eating
    3. Alternate day fasting is not that hard to do and it is liberating.

  106. I have learned that the path I was on was the correct one and this site and the people who contribute have confirmed that as well as taught me more than I though I would ever know. I have learned that our past actually had great lessons to teach and that the present and all our advanced “knowledge” isn’t necessarily correct. I have learned not to judge others who may not have chosen the same path, but inwardly feel for them. I have learned that once converted, its rather easy to maintain.I have learned that I will never finish learning all that I need to know about this topic, it will be a never ending journey.

  107. In 4 short weeks I have learned:

    I was working out too hard in the past.

    I don’t need to eat continually to suppot my workouts.

    I can IF comfortably.

    It was easy losing 15 lbs while gaining 3 lbs of LMM.

    That I am preaching the PB Plan to friends.

    Thanks Mark!

  108. A pond I pass by on the way to work was freezing over last month but a couple dozen ducks continued to swim in one little area of it, rotating in to preserve a small unfrozen space. Relentlessness! Because sometimes 85 percent won’t do it, but 86 percent will tip you over the edge, good or bad. I’ve learned to try a little harder…and if that doesn’t work, try a little harder still. Refine and fine-tune. Friends help. The journey is fun and interesting.

  109. I learned ….

    – I’m fitter overall at age 48 than at 22 when I was “faster”

    – that “bad” carbs do really nasty things to your central nervous system and body

    – that short-term thinking and cynicism are destructive habits that can be changed

    – that there is a fitness plan (Crossfit & PB) that doesn’t require daily ice packs, massive NSAIDs, and hours pounding the pavement

    – that if everyone just looked around and smiled at the world a little more often, they’d get more smiles in return and feel better about themselves and their world

    Thanks, Mark!

  110. I learned…
    Today is the same as yesterday and only our actions determine if today turns out a better day. Today I will take action the Primal Way.

  111. I learned that I have to focus on my improvement before(if) I can help anyone else.

  112. There are volumes that could be filled with what I learned this year.

    On Feb 7, I weighed over 240 pounds and ate whatever processed crap I felt like. I’ve had a sedentary desk job for over 15 years, I got virtually no regular exercise and my body showed it.

    On Feb 8, I had a minor heart attack which rang the wake-up alarm for me. I started eating only natural foods, eventually got on an exercise plan, and discovered MDA. While my wife thinks I’ve joined some kind of cult, she can’t argue with the results – 30 lbs lost so far, coupled with significant increase in muscle mass, energy and improved mood.

    In short, what I learned was that it’s never too late to change your body or your life!