One of my very favorite hobbies is ultra-light backpacking. I love being able to strap on a pack with the bare essentials and get lost in the woods for days at a time. For the longest time, I’ve been on a perpetual quest to discover and collect the lightest gear to make my outdoor quests as efficient as possible. I’ll obsessively get out a kitchen scale to weigh my equipment piece by piece, creatively looking for ways to cut 5 oz. here and 2 oz. there. However, for years I nonsensically overlooked the heaviest and bulkiest piece of gear that I was lugging up and down the trail…my 40 lbs. of extra body fat. Duh!
Through most of my adulthood, I could eat whatever I wanted (and in whatever quantity I wanted!) and not gain a single pound. I just chalked it up to lucky genes. When I hit my late 30s, however, things took a predictable turn for the worse. Year after year, the bathroom scale needle began trending upwards and it was becoming increasingly difficult to squeeze into my favorite pair of 501’s. Before I knew it, I was forty pounds overweight, constantly lethargic, frequently sick, and lacking the overall motivation to get out of bed each morning.
So I made a commitment to eat less and exercise more. That didn’t work for me at all! I lacked the simple willpower and self-control to stop eating delicious junk foods. And after two years of six days a week trips to the gym making myself miserable on cardio machines, I hadn’t lost a single pound of body fat. I felt frustrated, perplexed, and embarrassed. I felt like a complete failure.
In my unsuccessful attempts to look and feel better, I reluctantly solicited the help of a fitness trainer. I was hesitant for two reasons. One, I feared my body would be instantly transformed into Lou Ferrigno’s if I even glanced at a free weight. Two, I’m a prideful kind of guy that likes to research things on my own. But Googling “weight loss” left me so bewildered that ultimately, I put all my trust into my trainer’s hands.
My fitness coach suggested I try a trendy diet called keto. Since I told my trainer I’d do whatever he told me to do, no questions asked, I gave it a try. The first week I lost 7 lbs. It was during this week that I heard Mark Sisson interviewed on the Joe Rogan podcast. They talked a lot about keto, and my ears perked up. Mark also outlined the characteristics of the Primal Blueprint way of life and I was entirely hooked. Everything he said made so much logical sense to me. I probably listened to that two-hour podcast another ten times to let the concepts slowly begin to reprogram my thinking patterns that had long been brainwashed by conventional diet and exercise “wisdom.” I immediately got a copy of The Primal Blueprint and devoured it. I subscribed to as many primal and paleo podcasts as I could fit in my queue. I couldn’t seem to get enough of this new life-changing information!
After just a few short months, Mark helped me to completely optimize my diet and workouts. I was finally able to see and feel the results of the scale moving downward. I was now experiencing the benefits of being fat adapted…having bounds of energy, improved mental clarity, and not routinely getting sick every three months.
I wanted to share this newfound experience with as many people as possible. I now had a brand new life mission to help others discover how to become healthier, stronger, thinner, and full of energy. So when I came across an ad for enrolling in the Primal Health Coach Institute, I didn’t hesitate a second. Take my money! Going through the 17-week program was chock-full of revolutionary health insights and practical coaching strategies. I enjoyed the surprise of a new module opening up each week, and couldn’t wait to devour the life-changing concepts within. After graduating from the course, I felt supremely confident in my ability to coach clients towards their health goals.
However, towards the end of the training, a slight panic began to set in. I’d never started a business before. I didn’t possess the entrepreneurial gene that everyone on Shark Tank seems to have. I lacked the business experience and acumen. Right when all those doubts began to creep into my mind, PHCI—the Primal Health Coach Institute, came to the rescue. Not only did they provide an amazing business resource center at the end of the program, but they added 12 new business building task modules within the curriculum. I was able to go through each one step by step in a logical, simple, and straightforward progression. The staff also hosts ongoing monthly webinars with practical training and tips. After each webinar, I’m so inspired by the relevant content. There’s always a wealth of useful action steps that I can apply to health coaching and business building. PHCI has taken all the guesswork out of starting a health coaching vocation for me. The business building tasks alone were well worth the cost of the program!
By the time I graduated, I was able to launch The Optimized Life, LLC with a snazzy website (theoptimizedlife.net), set up 4 business social media outlets, construct a growing email marketing strategy, and tackle tons of other smaller but vital tasks for beginning a thriving health coaching practice. Within my first week, I signed up four clients for a 3-month group coaching package. I’m now well on my way to providing nutritional and fitness support for busy people whose waistlines are expanding and energy levels are declining.
Words can’t express how grateful I am to Mark and all the Primal staff for giving me the tools to live the rest of my life with joy and vitality. As a Primal Health Coach, I want nothing more than to pass those same tools on to others I meet as well.
– Chris Prior
Chris’s listing in the Primal Health Coach Institute Directory
This article was originally featured on Mark’s Daily Apple.