1) What motivated you to embark on the Ancestral Reset journey? Now that you’ve completed the program, how did the experience address that original desire or motivation?
Ancestral diet, nutrition, and lifestyle are exceptionally interesting to me. I’ve spent a lot of time reading and learning, but not nearly as much time recently implementing the strategies that I’ve picked up. I was motivated to participate as a structure for practical application of what I’ve learned and to learn more from someone who was walking the walk. I also had let stressors from my life take the wheel of my diet, which is a huge excuse for letting bad habits slide in, so my weight / health / overall wellbeing wasn’t anywhere close to where it could be on an optimal level. Knowing what ancestral health had brought me in the past - mental clarity, more calm, weight loss, confidence, and general well being - I was psyched to get back on the wagon with a professional guide leading the way forward. I thought that if I could achieve success solo in the past then I’d definitely see bigger and better results with a pro at the helm. Turned out to be very true!
Please describe how you felt before the Ancestral Reset Experience. How did you feel at the halfway mark? How do you feel at the end of the 9 weeks?
Having started two businesses in the last six months or so, I let a bunch of bad habits creep into my life that I wasn’t too proud of. I let the businesses stress me out, which I then let be an excuse to eat or drink whatever. This snowballed because not taking care of myself in a nourishing way led to more stress, which bled into the business, which looped back into my lifestyle….round and round. So, to start, I was stressed out, felt a little hopeless and helpless, and that losing weight just wasn’t in the cards for me at the moment because of everything I had going on at the time. It’s funny to me in hindsight… At the halfway mark, I felt like this was something that I not only could sustain forever, but that also it was critical to my long term success, happiness, and health. The changes in emotional state, fitness levels, and body composition made it clear that the food I eat (or don’t eat) will directly affect my mood, capabilities as a business owner, and long term viability. At the end of the 9 weeks, I feel a way better understanding about my body, my needs, and how to go with the flow of life without getting tossed off the nutritional rails on a “bad day.”
What specific changes have you noticed in your day to day life now that you’ve completed the program?
It was really fun watching day to day changes both in myself and my partner (who also participated). It was of course easier to notice physical changes on him, but for me some of the internal and external shifts seemed subtle but had a huge impact on me. What I had normalized for day to day wellness, was quickly leveled up thanks to the program. Now that I’ve gone through these 9 weeks, I have an entirely new baseline for what I consider “feeling good.” Day to day, I’m way less concerned about my next meal, I handle stress way better, and feel way more in tune with my body’s signals.
Did you learn anything new about yourself you didn’t know before during the experience? If so, please share what you’ve learned.
I did. I learned a lot about how emotionally driven a lot of my food choices were. I work from home, so it’s easy to just wander into the kitchen for a snack to suppress feelings of boredom, stress, nervousness, or whatever. Working from home and by myself, I also noticed how much I eat out of routine or a need for a break. So now instead of eating when I’m not all that hungry, I’ll walk down to the beach, read, or just sit and be mindful for a bit.
2) In your experience, how is the Ancestral Reset different than other weight loss/diet challenges you’ve tried in the past?
I think there’s this narrative in our culture that weight loss has to be painful and you should feel deprived while you’re losing weight. No pain, no gain -- etc. I think that’s dumb, but, at the same time, when you think about embarking on any diet based endeavor there’s also this feeling that you’re going to have to sacrifice and feel crummy to get the results you want. That was so not even close to the case here. Not only did I lose weight, improve my mood, and upgrade my mental acuity, most importantly, I felt GREAT while doing it. I didn’t feel like I was missing out or starving myself. I feel like so many diet plans promise results (and maybe deliver in the short term) but it’s at the expense of your mental health, emotional state, or ability to function optimally.
Did your relationship with food change as a result of participating in the program? Do these changes empower you? In what ways?
Totally. As I mentioned above, I noticed that a lot of my food choices were emotionally driven and based on an arbitrary schedule. It also reminded me to get back to (I had let this slip, too) respecting and honoring the animals, people, and consequences of my food choices on a larger scale -- which I really believe that we’ve lost sight of as a society. Of course this is all empowering! Self awareness is the first step in making bigger and better changes in your life, so it feels really liberating and freeing to know that you can make changes to better handle your emotional state and health outcomes. Additionally, it feels great to know that you can vote with your wallet to enact and enable larger changes outside of yourself with the way your food is produced, transported, and raised.
Did having a community of people training and eating the same way as you did on the Ancestral Journey help you accomplish your personal goals? If so, how?
Absolutely -- hearing other people’s perspectives and experiences was so motivating. I would see someone lose weight or mention some other positive benefit, and I would become eager to see if the same thing would happen for me! It was also great to have the support of the group to know that you could ask questions, share articles, and learn from one another. I also liked having the group dynamic to keep me accountable to the program. Although the results certainly helped a lot in keeping consistent, knowing that there was a cohort of folks who were watching and noticing your changes was definitely something that I kept in the back of my mind.
Would you recommend the Ancestral Reset to like-minded friends and colleagues looking to make positive changes to their lives like you did? How would you persuade them to give it a try?
Most definitely. The program provided plenty of structure, but also plenty of room for me to learn, grown, and figure stuff out on my own - which I think made me internalize the changes long term and learn more about myself and what works for me. I think this led to my feeling more autonomous and in control of my outcomes, but also supported enough to know that I had resources available to me should I need them. Honestly, I think I’d show a friend my before and after pictures for them to see the difference just 9 weeks can make. I’d also be inclined to describe to them how this isn’t like other diet programs where your feel crummy, hungry, and deprived the entire time. Instead you feel satiated, calmer, sharper, and more confident.
3) At what point in the program did you begin to notice changes to your body composition and overall physical aesthetic? How did seeing that change make you feel?
My body composition changed almost immediately. Within the first week I went from looking like I was swollen to seeing muscle definition in my back - which is always where I gain a lot of weight quickly and have never seen muscle definition. It was awesome, and it made me feel like I wanted to retake my wedding pictures where I was wearing a backless dress!
How did the Ancestral Reset experience impact your performance:
In the gym?
At first my gym performance saw a huge hit. I’m a woman who is built for lifting - neanderthal genes, for real haha - and can toss up some impressive weights when lifting. The first month was a huge hit to my ego because I could not lift heavy for the life of me. Weights that I could do for reps suddenly felt like the gravity was turned up to 11 in the gym. I had to scale back to lighter weights and just deal with it. It sucked a little. BUT, about six weeks in, one day, all of the sudden, everything felt too light. Almost out of nowhere I started lifting, tossing, and snatching way heavier than I had ever done before. That made me feel like a total beast in the best way possible.
In general I feel way more motivation, less stress, and more focus. All of which greatly assist in the day to day of growing a business. Additionally, just more fortitude and resilience which is super necessary for any entrepreneur.
In your everyday movement outside the gym?
I have way more energy overall, and feel more inclined to use my standing desk, get in an extra workout, play basketball or frisbee, or go for a hike.
In the bedroom?
Yowza. This was a big one for me. Way more interest in sex, increased desire, increased frequency. All of it. It also helps that my partner lost 30 lbs with this reset, has a granite jawline now, and looks 10 years younger - definitely more fun all around.
Were there particular aches, pains, ailments or other areas of discomfort that were alleviated by the Ancestral Reset program? In what ways were these physical issues impacted?
Yes, I have an autoimmune issue called Sjögren's Syndrome. It basically makes my mouth, skin, and eyes super dry. Within about a week, these symptoms started clearing up. It hasn’t cured it, but it’s definitely improved my quality of life with the disorder. My skin looks more vibrant, glowy, and younger. My eyes don’t hurt at the end of the day. And I don’t feel constant cottonmouth. It also helped reset my cycle in a way more manageable way. Previously my cycle would come late, and I tried to manage it with acupuncture (which definitely helped). Now, between acupuncture, some herbal supplementation, and eating this way, my cycle is prompt, barely noticable, and has almost eliminated any signs of PMS. Now I might breakout a little, feel more tired and hungry, and then have an uneventful and light period. Before, I’d have debilitating cramps, painful swollen breasts, get hit with some depression or anxiety in the days leading up to it, and just an awful, uncomfortable period. That is no longer the case. I feel so much more at peace with my body and its systems, instead of feeling like I’m on the whim of wild hormonal fluctuations, bad moods, and off days.
Did you notice any change in your mental acuity and sharpness while on the program? If so, what were these changes and how did they impact your work? Your life?
Definitely felt more mental stamina. Putting in longer hours of work, but also getting more out of those hours. I also found that I had better word recall.
Did you notice any change to your emotional state of being during the experience? How did these changes impact your relationship with friends, family, co-workers and most importantly, with yourself?
Definitely. I’ve covered this a bit, but just calmer, more centered / balanced, and more positive. This has had a great effect on my life, business, and relationships. Coupled with an increased sex drive, I’d definitely be willing to attribute more marital happiness, connection, and intimacy to the program. Especially having both partners feeling better overall emotionally. I also felt more resilient to client demands, less frantic about problems, and more willing to tackle daunting challenges.
3) How has this experience equipped you to take responsibility for your diet, rest and movement practice beyond the time of the Ancestral Journey?
The program has shown me unequivocally that exceptional health, wellbeing, and, frankly, looking good is not only accessible to me, but also sustainable and achievable. This makes me feel so empowered to make other changes in my life and to see a brighter future for my health outcomes and general life wonderfulness.