Recently by Mark Sisson: The Not So Definitive Guide to DietSoda
Taking control of your health can have profound, far-reaching effects on your life. With newfound energy and well-being it can change your outlook entirely. This was Matt’s experience. I received this email from Matt a few months ago and it floored me. Peruse and enjoy his opus, and feel free to chime in on the comment board with #98, 99, and 100. Did going Primal spark a sea change in your life? What other aspects of life, maybe totally unrelated to diet and exercise, fell into place once you starting living according the Primal Blueprint lifestyle principles? Grok on!
If you have your own Primal Blueprint success story and you'd like to share it with me and the community please contact me here. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks for reading!
The Primal lifestyle has completely changed my life and I wanted to share this with you and everybody involved. I also wanted to say thank you.
97 u201CBonusu201D Changes after Six Months of Living a Primal Lifestyle
I set out to get healthier with one goal in mind: change my appearance. I was tired of being disappointed every morning when I got ready for work. I missed people's comments about how good I look. That was it.
Well, I noticed my appearance and weight changing once I began to eat healthier. Those were changes that I set out to make. Little did I know, changes were taking place of which I was unaware. These are all changes I was completely unaware of that have taken place with me:
1. I am happy
I am really happy. I just always have that warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach. You know the feeling after a good first date, when your kid tells you they love you, when you just swooshed a 3-pointer. I have that feeling all of the time for some reason. And I like it.
2. I have the energy to exercise everyday
I exercise every day now. I used to dread it. I used to talk myself out of it all the time. It was because I didn't have the energy for it.
Now, I get my exercising in as if it were just part of my day. I always feel better after I'm done with the heavy bag than I did before it. 3. I play with my daughter at least at least 30 minutes more every day
I used to not have the energy for it. Either that or I was distracted by the television.
Now, I see the beauty in playing with my daughter. I get to see more of the beautiful, quirky, fun, and hilarious things she does. I look forward to it every day.
4. I rarely watch TV
I used to watch at least two hours of TV per night. Three to four on the weekends.
Now, I only watch it when there is a stand-up comedian I like or UFC. My wife and I will watch one movie per week, on Friday usually. It is wonderful to have the time to do what I want and need to do, rather than just sitting around and waiting to go to bed. 5. I no longer get acid reflux
I have had acid reflux since middle school. I would actually throw up on accident it was so bad. The 30 minutes following a meal was spent recovering and trying to keep bile down.
Now, for the first time in a decade, I eat and don't really think about it again until the next meal. 6. I am no longer shaky when I don't eat
I used to get really shaky if I hadn't eaten in awhile. I was hardly able to write, let alone use knives, carry drinks, the list goes on. I realized that after I started eating healthy, my shakiness got worse and worse. I ran to the store one time and got a big bag of Doritos and ate them all and the shakes were gone. I had just eaten a huge, dense, green salad and several pieces of fruit an hour before, but the Doritos got rid of my shakes in an instant. That's when I truly realized my addiction. It wasn't me being hungry that caused the shakes, it was my body's addiction to the drugs in the food. That was the last junk food I ate.
Over the course of a month, my shakes started to decrease, until finally, they were gone completely. Now, I can go on a two day fast and not shake a bit.
7. My mood is not affected when I miss a meal
Man, would I get grumpy if I missed a meal. If I had gotten home after a long day of no breakfast or lunch, all I could think about is eating. I was very short with my wife and daughter and did not like conversation.
Now, I act the exact same when I miss lunch as when I don't. And my wife is glad = )
8. I am much more patient with my children, myself, my wife, and my co-workers
I used to have very little patience. I was the worst teacher ever. My wife eventually stopped asking me to explain things because of how frustrated I got. I used to either get angry with my daughter quickly or just ignore it. I used to avoid co-workers because some of them were not as, um, u201Cculturedu201D, as the rest of us.
Now, I take the time and actually enjoy explaining things and am genuinely happy when I can get through to them.
9. I am able to run for an extended period of time without getting winded
This was a big step up. I used to want to be able to run and run and run. One day, I was reading a runners blog and it inspired me. When I got off of work, I went for a run; made it about a block. I was completely winded.
Now, I can just run when I feel like it and not kill myself in the process. I am still not at the point I want to be at, but I'm getting there…
10. I am more optimistic
I cannot help but look at the brighter side of things. It used to always be u201CWell, it could always be worse…u201D to u201CHey, it could always be worse!u201D I go into everything now with a positive outlook. It should be the only outlook we have! 11. I drift more towards positive entertainment than negative (opposite than before)
I was very into conspiracy theories before. I listened to Alex Jones a lot. I used to listen and watch people complaining about what was wrong with the world. Now don't get me wrong, I think it is important to bring that to people’s attention, but it was engulfing me.
Now, I listen to music or stand-up comedy. That's about it. It has a major impact on the way I think throughout the rest of the day.
12. I no longer get migraines
I used to get migraines often. Twice per week. Excedrin became my best friend. I had no idea what was causing them. It didn't matter which season it was, where we were living, what I was wearing, I would constantly get migraines.
Now, I haven't had one in over a month. I threw my 124 capsule Excedrin bottle away today.
13. I discovered the wonders of fasting
I started off by fasting and it was incredibly hard. You never really understand how our culture revolves around food until you fast. It completely changes your perspective on just about everything. You learn how much you can endure, you learn the importance of the right foods, and you are able to see how much time is really in a day.
14. I am able to wake up before my alarm clock
…on most days ; )
It feels good not to wake up in your instinctive fight-or-flight mode. It really helps you be more relaxed throughout the day.
15. I laugh more
I laugh a lot more. I am almost always giggly. I almost just sit around looking for something to laugh at. It is one of the healthiest things I do. Look up the benefits of laughter, it's amazing. I try to find new comedians that will make me laugh until I cry. I laugh at dumb jokes, unintentional humor, and just about everything I can. It really makes a difference.
16. I have become increasingly educated on the human anatomy
I learned about what we were built for, why we are the way we are, and ways to harness that. I learned how our body reacts to outside influences. I have also learned to listen to my body, which is one of the most important things anybody can do. If you really try to listen, your body will tell you what it wants or what it's doing. You don't have to just guess what you’re craving or why you're sick. I promise you, your body will let you know.
17. I read more
This has to do with me cutting out the TV. Reading is so much better. You learn new words, you get better at spelling, and it just boosts your IQ. Plus, you don't have to worry about some actor you don't like messing everything up; you can create anything in your head. Finally, I can get Denzel Washington, Al Pacino, Robert Deniro, Edward Norton, and all my favorites in the same movie! 18. I walk
I can't believe I never used to walk. It is so helpful. It gives you time to reflect, prioritize, set goals, or just space out. I believe, besides diet, it is the healthiest thing a human being can do. 19. I am able to do numerous push-ups in succession
This is a thing that always used to bug me. I haven't been able to just bang out 30 pushups whenever I wanted to. Not since wrestling in high school.
I did an assessment of myself the other day and I almost got to forty. I did two hundred (not in succession) the other day. I am really making progress and I am now working towards being able to do fifty continuous push-ups in full form within a month.
20. I have more sex
Do I really have to explain why this is a good thing?
21. I can take naps
I always envied people who took naps. I was never able to. I was always thinking about what a waste of time it is to be just laying there.
Now, when I am tired, that is one of the most important things I can do. It is incredibly healthy for you and makes you exponentially happier and productive for the rest of the day. Nobody should grow out of nap time.
22. I don't have body odor
…kind of. Well, I don't stink anymore. I haven't worn deodorant for a month and have never had a complaint. I don't smell bad after working out, walking, or working. I just smell like me, which saves me a ton of money.
23. I have a lot less dandruff
I used to have to buy a special shampoo for my dandruff. I got rid of it for two hours and then it was back in full force by lunch time.
So, I switched to cool showers and chucked the shampoo. And you know what? I don't have noticeable dandruff anymore. So, ditch the expensive shampoos and conditioners and just turn down the heat on the shower and I bet you will make more progress than you were before.
24. I cook more
I used to hate cooking. We would waste money on pizzas, burgers, tacos just out of sheer laziness.
Now, I don't mind cooking. It gives me something to do and I am starting to like creating different meals.
25. I set goals
I've never been one to set goals. I thought they were useless. I just thought if you did your best, results would come.
Silly me, goals are very important if you want to achieve something. I would never have had all of these changes if I did not set goals in the beginning. I would be eating a pizza and watching “King of Queens” right now.
26. I drink less alcohol
I used to have a real problem with alcohol. Before I was twenty years old, I was going through a gallon of vodka per week. It made my bowels runny, gave me stomach aches, horrible acid reflux, just to name a few. It finally became too much and I stopped. Still, every time we had alcohol in the house it was gone that night. I am getting better at rationing myself and finding other things to do.
Once I started living healthy, I have needed it less and less. I have set a goal for myself to not have alcohol for a month with no exceptions and I am pretty excited about it!
27. I don't want a cigarette
I've smoked cigarettes since I was 14 years old. I finally quit seven months ago. I relapsed twice, but never went completely back. I always wanted one though.
Now, I see cigarettes for the disgusting things they truly are and haven't wanted one.
28. I don't talk on the phone as much
I would always need to be talking on the phone when I was driving. I'm not sure why I felt the need to, but I would always call somebody on my way to and from work. If they didn't pick up, I would call somebody else.
Now, I rarely feel the need to call somebody unless I have something specific to talk about. I am content driving in silence. I like it.
29. I am more productive
For some reason, I want to produce again. For awhile, I would try everything in my power to keep from working. If I could BS around something, believe me, I would. I used to get an accomplished feeling when I would take on extra tasks and complete them. But, for some time, I was just doing the bare minimum.
Now, I want to be productive at work again. I drive to work with a purpose again; knowing what needs to be done and how I am going to do it. I notice a difference and I'm sure my boss does as well.
30. I created a budget and I stick to it
I procrastinated making a budget for two years. Everybody kept saying how important it was and I didn't want to put in the work. Over that time, we accumulated a good amount of debt. We are still getting out of the hole.
Now, my wife and I have created a budget that we can stick to. We are paying off our debt little by little and it feels great.
31. I don't care about my clothes as much
It used to take me around 15 minutes in the mornings to figure out what I was going to wear. It took me forever to find something that looks good on me.
Now, it takes less than a minute. I just grab a shirt and some pants and just glance at the mirror, knowing that I'll look just fine.
32. I reflect
This is something I started doing on my walks. I've found it to be very useful. It has helped me become a better father, husband, writer, and employee. If you take the time to really focus on your mistakes and hold yourself accountable, you will be more conscious of them when you are about to do them again. Over time, I had fewer and fewer mistakes I had to beat myself up about.
33. I write more
I've always found joy in writing, but my brain would get fatigued too quickly for me to get into it. I would only be able to write a paragraph or two and then leave it. By the time I would get back around to it, I would lose interest.
Now, I can write a full essay, blog post, article, or technical document without leaving my desk. I am starting to rediscover the fun in writing again.
34. I get more sun
I used to hate going outside. I just wanted to sit in my chair and surf the web. I would make up excuses not to go to the park or zoo. I was robbing my daughter of being a child. I thought just sitting around the house with the TV and computer going was sufficient for family time.
Now, I take my family outside for walks or swimming every day. I am almost addicted to sunlight now and I go crazy without it.
35. I smile more
I am much quicker to smile now. I just find a reason to do so in just about everything. I can't help it, I just have a natural urge to smile all of the time now.
36. I don't turn to Tylenol when my daughter is crying
God, Tylenol was my answer to everything. u201CShe must be teethingu201D or u201CShe must have a fever.u201D I never took the time to actually figure out what was going on in her body. I would have excuses like u201CWell, what if she's in pain? I would rather be safe than sorry.u201D
Now, we just have Tylenol for emergencies. Other than that, she is normally just hungry, thirsty, sleepy, or wants somebody to play with her.
37. I help with my daughter more
I used to hide in the bathroom or stay late in my office doing nothing in order to not help out. I knew I really needed to, but I was just afraid of the extra work. I would make up excuses for her mother just to take her to the store when she could have stayed with me and it would've been much easier.
I have yet to apologize to my wife, but I plan to. I was afraid it was going to be extra work… and I was right. But, you know what? It is the most rewarding work I have ever done. Now, I help out as much as I possibly can.
38. I am competitive
I used to play sports in high school. I was never the best on the team or won many awards. I was never confident enough in my abilities to go all out. I would not give things my all and act like it didn't bother me when I lost. I tried to act like I was above it all. It bugged me.
Now, I am confident enough in my physical abilities that I am starting to get competitive. I challenge people in games of basketball or other activities and I give it my all, unafraid of looking dumb. I have started winning more and I love the feeling.
39. I like music again
I used to be really into music. I spent a couple thousand dollars on equipment and was producing and writing for a few artists. As time went on, I lost interest and sold most of my equipment.
Now, I have found the joy in making music again. I am trying to learn the acoustic guitar (failing miserably) and I am writing again. I am starting to remember how fun and liberating it is. Making music is something I am hoping to continue to do for the rest of my life.
40. I wear short sleeves more
I used to never want to wear short sleeves. I was always embarrassed of my skinny arms. I would wear long sleeves in hundred degree weather. I used to say that it was for covering up my tattoos, but it was because my arms were a lot skinnier than the rest of my body.
Now, I get dressed according to the weather and don't think twice about it. It's a huge time saver!
41. I am fine in silence
I always used to need noise in the background. I needed the TV on, I needed to be talking on the phone, I needed music playing.
Now, I enjoy silence. I actually wake up extra early just to drive to work on a silent road. It is an excellent way to commute.
42. My brain is more lubricated
This is a phrase I stole from a Jason Mraz interview. But, it describes the way my brain works now perfectly. Everything just seems to run smoother. I don't have to pause when answering simple questions, my thoughts just flow without any snags.
43. I love my wife more
I have always been in love with my wife, but I never knew how much I really loved her. I used to take her for granted. I didn't think it was much of a big deal that she was my wife. Awhile ago, something in me opened up to show me how much I truly love her. I've started to see the support she gives me and how she makes me a better person. She got pregnant when I was 17 and she was 20, so we haven't had it easy by any means. But, over the past month or so, we have become one. I now make it a habit to give her a kiss when I come home from work and to tell her I love her at random moments. I feel that I am finally starting to live up to my wedding vows.
44. I don't take medications
If I had a slight fever, I would reach for Tylenol. If I had a slight headache, I would reach for Aspirin. If I had an upset stomach, I would reach for Tums. If I had gas, I would reach for Gas X. You get the point. I was trying to block symptoms. I saw them as nuisances and not for the signals they really were.
Now, I take the time to find out why I am having diarrhea. I actually get a little excited when I have a small fever, because I know my body is working on itself. I am happy when I get diarrhea, because I know my body doesn't like something and this is its way of getting it out. I welcome all of the things with open arms that I used to dread.
45. My knees don't hurt
I was born with crappy knees. Not wearing knee pads in high school didn't help much either. I always thought it was just something I had to work around for the rest of my life. My knees would hurt if I started to run or if I walked too much, if I sat for too long or did squats.
Now, I am very active and have no knee pain. It's amazing! I do at least 200 squats per week, 3-5 hours of walking, and 30 minutes of running. My knees have never felt better. They still make weird noises sometimes, but no pain!
46. I sing more
Okay, I suck at singing. I always have. Anybody who says otherwise is lying to be nice. That has always prevented me from singing to myself. I would always catch myself and stop before I got embarrassed. I would rarely even sing in the car.
Now, I sing all of the time because it makes me happy. I am not being obnoxious with it, but I do it a lot more and its feels nice.
47. I don't crave sweets
Sweets were never a big problem with me, but I still used to crave them sometimes.
Now, I don't. Pretty simple.
48. I don't lie anymore
I used to lie a lot and I'm not sure why. I used to get caught in them and lie my way out of them. They were stupid things too. It was almost like recreation. I rarely told any big lies, but it was just little things. I lied about stuff that I wouldn't remember a week later.
I still catch myself about to do it, but I stop. It is much easier and I don't have to remember so many things. It is very liberating to be honest. I never have to worry about somebody catching me in a lie or bringing something up that I lied about. I just say what I mean now and I am much happier.
49. I don't surf the web as much
I used to spend hours surfing the web. I mean HOURS. I used to visit ridiculous sites that had no effect on my life. Clicking on links and related videos all of the time. Telling myself how stupid these people were when I was the one wasting my days watching them.
Now, I check a couple of fitness sites and a blog or two that I like. I always do it on downtime at work and never at home. It is weird, because I will do it sometimes without realizing it. Once I catch myself, I put down the laptop or iPhone and go walk around. I get a lot more stuff done.
50. I stand more
I can barely stand to sit (like the play on words? Booyah!) anymore. I have to get up from my desk at least twice per hour. I get up and throw a couple darts or pace around the office. I used to spend 8 hours not getting up from my desk, just zoning out when I was bored.
Now, I get up, regroup, and get back to work.
51. I don't care about current events as much
After all of the conspiracies that I have seen proven, I stopped believing anything on the news or from anybody else. I don't see much of a point in it anymore. It feels great not to have to check five news sites every day so I can be the first person to get the updated news. Besides, all news ever did was get me mad. It was either something happening that I could do nothing about or something that I couldn't believe anybody cared about. I don't even miss it.