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!

 As a 50-year-old attorney I had let my desk job win. I knew my diet, sleep, fitness and overall stress levels were out of control, but I didn’t quite know what to do and definitely didn’t have the motivation. Until I read Mark’s 10 Primal Laws on his blog, which changed everything. What Mark was saying just made sense. I rushed out to get the Primal Blueprint and the the Primal Connection and my life has not been the same since. A few years later, down from 260 to 175, I can say, without hesitation, that the Primal lifestyle (as supplemented now with the Keto Reset) just works! I am the fittest I have ever been, my sleep and stress levels are great, and I have more energy than ever. With my wife as a partner in healthy living, we are a dynamic duo and have, to a great extent, the Primal lifestyle to thank!

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I had lost weight before, but on a higher carb diet, and without all of the other Primal lifestyle changes, I may have been lighter, but definitely not any healthier. I still had sleep trouble, stomach issues, sore joints and low energy. And, inevitably, I put the weight back on, and more. When I got up to 260 I knew I had to make a change and somehow came across Mark’s Daily Apple. The rest is history, and more than 80 lbs gone and kept off for two years! Now my energy levels are incredible, I sleep wonderfully, I have solid functional strength and mobility and have reconnected with nature and a primal lifestyle.

My single biggest piece of advice: make your overall wellness a joyful passion, an enthusiastic endeavor. If it is not something you are having fun with, it will be hard to keep it up long term. Within the wide spectrum of healthy options for food and fitness, find those that you love, that get you excited, and double down on that to get you going. Make healthy living and other life-positive inputs the center of your media consumption as well. Read books and articles, get magazines, follow fitness and health enthusiasts on your social media of choice, listen to inspiring and informative podcasts and audiobooks. Surround yourself with wellness!

Here is what worked for me:
1. cut out almost all added sugar, which I believe made the single biggest difference.
2. adopted the primal diet, low enough in carbs to occasionally get into ketosis, but not “living” there. As Mark says, staying in the Keto Zone.
3. started focusing on sleep, got some low-blue-light bulbs for reading at night, got at least 8 full hours, kept artificial light off during sleep. I wake up now naturally before 6 am full of energy!
4. getting out in the sun very early in the morning (usually at sunrise), often for a walk or morning workout, including mobility work.
5. hit the weights a few times a week and do a HIIT workout at least once a week, but just as important, take long walks almost every day, often barefoot!
6. got a stand up desk, but alternate between that and sitting and moving throughout the day. I try to walk at least 5 minutes every hour.
7. getting out for adventures in the local desert and San Diego beaches as often as possible. Stand up paddling is a new favorite, I want to make more time for that!
8. we have also gotten more adventurous with our food choices, trying new recipes, getting excited about the food we are eating!

One more thing that worked for me that is not essential, and definitely not for everyone, is self-quantification. I “game-ified” my health journey! I used an app to log my food for overall calories and macro ratios, I used a smart scale to track my weight, body fat, muscle, etc. (knowing the accuracy limitations). I tracked steps and workouts for general calorie burn. I started with all of this at first just to calibrate my awareness of these areas, but then kept going for the fun and regular motivation! Seeing the charts over time and the accumulated data has been both useful and satisfying. Again, this is not for everyone, but for me it has been a very positive approach.

Thanks to Mark and crew for pointing me in the right direction and providing tons of great content along the way! — Vance McAlister

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