It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story  from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here . I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
Today’s is a special edition of Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories. Last year, I put out a call for people to make a public commitment to going Primal in 2012 . Over 500 Mark’s Daily Apple readers joined the “Success Story in the Making” challenge, submitting their personal goals, before photos, and updates throughout the year. At the beginning of this year, I reached out to the participants to see how they were doing, and the results were impressive. While it’s an ongoing journey for many of them (all of us! ), the stories were familiar: weight lost, energy gained, illness overcome. Some of the participants were gracious enough to share their stories for an eBook I’ve put together. You can get it for free as a newsletter subscriber (see the details below). The following story from 26 year old Ganeesha is one of the inspiring stories included in the eBook.
First Submission – January 7, 2012
I’m Ganeesha. I’m 26. I’m Trinidadian. I’m a primary school teacher.
My goal for 2012 is twofold. First, I intend to kick my asthma’s ass. Second, I want to do it while getting back to the size I was most comfortable at.
And I want to do it while keeping butter, bacon and play in my life.
I look forward to Groking Out for the rest of my life 🙂
This first pic is what I looked like for all of 2011. I was 190 lbs.
I went Primal at the end of November, but could not say no to corn until January 1st. I’ve lost 15 lbs so far. I’m 175 lbs right now.
This second pic is a picture of me 5 years ago, strutting (or at least not wobbling) my stuff down a runway in Barbados. I was 145 lbs. That’s what I want to be again.
Second Submission – April 5, 2012
I cannot believe the way my body has changed. Before I went fully Primal, I had lost about 15 pounds. Since January however, I have lost a further 25.
I’ve lost 40 lbs. And I feel freakin AWESOME.
Asthma’s ass has been successfully kicked. Asthma was the symptom, not the problem. The problem was gluten. Turns out, I’m allergic. :-s
I joined a gym. I go to spin once a week, twice if I’m being extra hyper. I do a bit of weight training as well. And most notably, I did my first ever push up. Laugh all u want, I’m proud. 😀 Since I joined the gym, my weight loss slowed down, but my fat loss continued. I’m still losing inches and I have teeny baby muscles starting to form. God, It feels good.
I won’t, I CAN’T go back. My skin has cleared up, I have all my energy back, I can breathe normally, even my work performance has improved.
My family is catching on too. I’ve put them all on to MDA. They’re still trying to wrap their minds around “No grains? EVER?” (We’re big on pasta and rice). But they’re making the effort to improve their health and they’ll get there. Eventually. I hope. Maybe my whole generation will escape diabetes. *crosses fingers*
I cannot thank all of you at MDA enough. I’m beside myself. I’m happier than I have been in years. And it’s because I found this. Thank you.
P.S. Now that I’ve gotten this far, I’m going to spend the next 90 days trying to convince myself that “moderation” also applies to cheesecake and dark chocolate.
Third Submission – July 7, 2012
In my own case, My weight has stabilized at around 150 lbs. Since April however, I’ve lost some more inches. My waist, for example, has gone from 30″ to 28″. This time last year 28″ was the circumference of one of my thighs.
Next year, for the first time, I will be putting on a costume and playing mas for Trinidad carnival. I’ve wanted to for years. Now, I can. I’ll look fantastic, but more importantly, I’ll have the stamina to dance in the street for 2 days straight. 😀
I’m not as disciplined as I would like to be with exercising, but I go to spin class, or dive in a pool once or twice a week.
I just feel so good about everything; I feel healthy, energetic, and so freaking HAPPY all the time, that I want to practically evangelize from the rooftops about Primal Living.
And it’s contagious.
I have my own little tribe of cavemen. It’s about 10 of us (friends and family) who follow Primal Blueprint now. The results are astounding. My uncle has lost 25 lbs. My best friend has lost 30. My cousin’s weight has remained the same but his muscles are ripping out! We’re a sexy little Primal Tribe!
It’s awesome. I’m always so inspired by the stories  I see on MDA, and I’ve gotten to pass that inspiration on to others. I kind of feel like a Superhero!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
eBook Submission – March 18, 2013
What were your goals in 2012?
I just wanted to feel like I owned my body again. I wanted to be able to lead my class by example during PE and run around with them. I didn’t want to end up in the hospital wheezing anymore.
Why did you decide to go Primal, and what exactly was your plan to accomplish your goals in 2012?
After “asthma” attacks landed me in the hospital 5 times in 2011, I’d had enough. I knew something was wrong so I saw a doctor. My blood tests showed that at 26 I was pre-diabetic and pre-hypertensive. At 190 lbs, I was borderline obese. I was told that if I didn’t change my habits I would have diabetes, hypertension and heart problems before I hit 40. (All 3 run in my family.) I was instructed to give up gluten immediately (since it was an allergy to this, and not asthma, which was causing my breathing issues), along with meat, dairy, coffee, and everything else I loved. I politely refused to ever give up meat in favour of flavoured soya chunks and sought out a plan that better suited my palate. I stumbled upon a blog entry that began, “What do you feed a lion?” Grok stole my heart… And stomach.
How successful were you in sticking with your plan?
Apart from the occasional cheesecake slice or scoop of chocolate-caramel-pralines ice cream, I’ve had no problem sticking with my primal plan. At first, I can’t lie, tears were shed over the loss of bread. After about a week though, I stopped noticing the smell. Through a happy accident involving dried fruit in the spice cupboard, I now crave raisins every time I smell Cinnabon. I’ve lost 50 pounds so far, going from 190 to 140. I’m still working on my 6 pack, but my legs are amazing! Who knew this body was hiding under there all this time!
What were your biggest hurdles, and how did you overcome them?
Honestly? My biggest hurdle wasn’t dietary. I had no problems adjusting to caveman food (apart from the aforementioned bread tears). It was getting off my ass. I had to really kick my own behind to start spin class. I started walking everywhere. I lived at the top of a hill for a while, so I made it my business to walk it every day. When I moved, I started doing sprints once a week. I currently do my own version of Shaun T’s Insanity (in my version, I only do it 3 times a week and almost never go past 30 minutes. I’m not trying to pass out on the floor or cry after a workout here.)
What was your biggest accomplishment?
I feel like a Primal Evangelist. My whole life has become so much more organised since I went primal. I graduated from university, I’m more effective as a teacher (I’m as energetic as my 11 year olds!), I’m taking better care of myself and it shows… and it spreads. Several of my friends and family members are now Primal as well (my best friend, Saidi, lost 50 pounds too!), and we have our own little tribe, swapping recipes, stories and inspiration all over the place! It really is fantastic.
What did your average daily meal plan consist of?
On mornings, I have coffee with a pinch of sugar. If I have breakfast, it’s usually a layered omelette (egg, bacon, cheese, random vegetable, another egg on top). Lunch is more often than not a big salad with lamb, chicken or fish. Dinner is usually a bunch of vegetables tossed in a pot with whatever seasonings I feel like (but always including cayenne and cumin) and whatever meat is closest at hand. When I feel like dessert, there’s always fruit available and when I’m celebrating, I have cheesecake. Because sometimes I want to indulge, dammit.
What did your average weekly exercise routine consist of?
Sometimes, it’s Capture the Flag. Sometimes, Cops and Robbers. Sometimes, I swim, or run, or just walk around my neighbourhood for a while. As mentioned before, I do pseudo-Insanity 3 times a week and sprints once a week. After that, it’s all play and leisure.
What else did you change in 2012 (sleep, sun, stress management,etc.)?
Since going Primal, things sort of fell into place. I became less stressed. I sleep better. I read more. I have a constant level of energy that wanes around 10 pm and I just go to sleep. I hardly ever watch tv now. I go to the beach after work sometimes (and almost every weekend) and just relax. My body’s happier than it’s ever been and I think because of that, my mind is at ease. I just enjoy life now.
What are your goals for 2013 and beyond?
I’m happy with my life exactly the way it is. I just want to maintain that. I’m compelled to keep moving and keep healthy. I do want to organize some Primal Island recipes, that is, adapt some Primal recipes to a Caribbean ingredient list. I keep telling people about the Primal life and hopefully I can convince even more that this is the way we were meant to be. We don’t have to be shaped by our family history. We can change our own lives, bodies and destinies through our choices.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’m a primary school teacher. My class used to get excited about pizza. Now they scoff at it and encourage their parents to make them salads for lunch. They swap ideas and recipes for that and bring fruits, nuts and veggies to school as snacks. Not all the time, but hey, it’s a start.
Success Stories in the Making eBook
In this free eBook, dozens of Mark’s Daily Apple readers provide insights into how they took control of their health. Learn about their personal struggles, and what they did to overcome them. Find out what what they ate, how they exercised, what worked and what didn’t in their personal health journeys in 2012.
If you are an existing newsletter subscriber, click the “Free eBooks” link in the sidebar of any past email newsletter to gain access to the eBook. Or wait until the next newsletter is sent out this coming Wednesday.
If you aren’t yet a newsletter subscriber, what are you waiting for? Sign up here  to get this eBook and numerous other freebies and special offers. Grok on!