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[dropcap]G[/dropcap]rowing up I often heard people making claims and there was sometimes the retort “As if-!” It seems to me that the two words strung together act in a similar fashion to other sarcastic retorts to statements unbelieved. For example “yeah, right!” in response to the statement that someone had lost 30 pounds in 3 months. Someone decided that “as if!” would make a great name for a challenge. See Mark’s 30-Day Primal Health Challenge. Mark figures that if you “embrace the fits and starts” and adopt a different persona you can hack it.

We’re talking an experiment that lets you slip into a different life than your own. It’s a sneaky, tricky, scheming little trial that will leave you with some good stories and probably a serious sense of accomplishment. What if…you went fully “Primal” for a month? Took on the part of diehard, hardass primal man or woman?

Mark’s premise is that if you pretend to be someone who can handle the diet and exercise regimen for a month you’ll be more likely to follow through and, more importantly, see some benefits from his systems. That about sums the whole thing up. More information on what exactly the whole program is can be found in the above link. Click around and you’ll get the general idea. This whole concept of adopting a persona that isn’t “yours” is not a new idea. And, if you look at the TED Talk below you’ll see that the idea has some marked benefits.

[symple_heading type="h3" title="Fake it. As if." margin_top="20px;" margin_bottom="20px" text_align="left"]

[youtube id="Ks-_Mh1QhMc" width="100%" height="400"]

[symple_heading type="h3" title="Say it this way." margin_top="20px;" margin_bottom="20px" text_align="left"]

[image caption="Walk this way." image_link="http://m1x.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/igor.gif" /]

To add to the above idea (to make it even more doable and effective) psychologists have found that when you utter the words “I don’t” rather than the words “I can’t” you will be more likely to follow through with you what you “don’t” do. Psychology Today has an excellent article that rounds this idea out. The article references a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research from August 2012. It begins deftly stating that “[b]eing able to effectively say “no” to temptation is a critical skill required for consumer health and well-being.” Self-control is a tough issue and just finding out that saying “I don’t” helps a person stick to their goals is huge for most people.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-success/201301/the-amazing-power-i-don-t-rather-i-can-t

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.1086/663212?uid=3739928&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103149634953

[symple_heading type="h3" title="Actionable Items" margin_top="20px;" margin_bottom="20px" text_align="left"]

For me its always about execution or asking “what can I use this for?” All of that above leads to what follows.

For the next 30 days I’ll be essentially pretending to be someone else. Someone who sticks to a diet, someone who follows that workout plan, someone who is a responsible blogger.

So here are my actionable items for this Christmas holiday:
[dropcap]1[/dropcap]Say “I don’t” when I need to. I’m not my old man for these 30 days. For just this little amount of time I will be who I have aspired to be my whole life. I’ll be trying for it, at least.

[dropcap]2[/dropcap] Stick to a gluten (and generally simple-carb), refined sugar free diet. I need this for my health and sanity. I found out that I’m not the only one that suffers from mood swings and the inability to think after consuming gluten or refined sugars. This thread on Mark’s forum has some enlightening statements. I picked one to share here because it lends itself particularly to how I feel:

i feel spaced out, unmotivated, chronically fatigued and generally reclusive.

– seaweed

Or another:

…too much sugar makes me depressed (within a couple of hours) and gluten makes me sad and angry after about an hour.

-upupandaway

Both of those statements are exactly what I go through when I consume sugars and gluten. It’s a miserable thing. I’ve take to describing it to people as “trying to think through a blanket.” I feel muzzy and disengaged from the world. Again, miserable.

[dropcap]3[/dropcap] Exercise on a regular schedule. This is for another post, likely in the next week or so.

[dropcap]4[/dropcap] Post to M1X daily. This isn’t really about diet or exercise, but more about my commitment to making this website as useful as I can while expanding my mind as much as I can.