Author Archives: Bex

It’s Revival Time

I think it’s about time for a revival of my This is How I Primal blog. Over the last 2 years, it’s pretty much fallen by the way side. I know, I know. Bad blogger, bad. But you know that whole “life” thing got in the way (that’s such a generic excuse, isn’t it?), and blogging wasn’t a huge priority or interest to me. A lot has changed for me over the last 2 years; both good and bad. Primal has been a consistent and ever-present part of it though.

Here’s a brief summary of the crazy good/bad things that have happened to me since the last time I really blogged (in June/November of 2013–eek!!!):

Summer 2013:

  • I attempted the VA Spartan Super, but was unable to finish it. I was not nearly ready enough for that beast of a mountain
  • My mother was diagnosed with ALS

Fall 2013:

  • My maternal grandmother passed away from complications of severe and untreated diverticulitis
  • I moved into a house full of roommates, the first time I lived with strangers since college
  • I ran the DC Ragnar Relay race with a team of 12 amazeballs people whom have become some of my closest friends
  • I got to my lowest weight ever, 165lbs, and maintained it for over 7 months
  • I started a new, amazing relationship with the love-of-my-life

Winter 2013-2014

  • I moved into my first ever solo studio apartment

Spring 2014

  • I traveled to Arizona for the 3rd time to run my annual work event
  • I gained 10lbs back, to put me at 175lbs, and I’ve been struggling to lose the weight ever since

Summer 2014

  • I celebrated the birth of my first niece!!! (Emerson Claire 6/18/2014 <3)
  • I went on my first cruise to Bermuda, baby!
  • I ran and COMPLETED the VA Spartan Super–hallelujah!

Fall 2014

  • I moved in with the Mr., along with 2 of our closest friends (whom are also a couple) and their bulldog, Remy
  • I ran the DC Ragnar Relay again with a lot of similar faces from the previous year, but with a few new ones too
  • I started working part-time at a gym; my first step towards someday becoming a personal trainer
  • I adopted a German Shepard mix puppy, Enzo, with the Mr. from the Humane Society!!!

Winter 2014-2015

  • I celebrated the birth of my first nephew!!! (Ethan Cash  12/25/14 <3)
  • I traveled to New Mexico to run a small work conference
  • I started training my first ever “client”, who’s a great friend of mine that wanted to help me out with seeing if I want to be a PT
  • I got encouraged by a different great friend to become a Beachbody Coach, and was convinced to buy the Les Mills Body Combat program before it was retired forever

This week I was going to add to my Winter 2014-2015 list “became a Beachbody Coach”… But after careful consideration, and a better understanding of what it meant to be one (what the monetary value was to be considered an “active coach” vs “inactive”), I’ve decided to forgo adding that to my list for the time being.

I will, however, continue what I had intended to do in the first place with this blog, and my new This is How I Primal Facebook page: spread awareness of Primal/Paleo; share my experiences following the lifestyle; and encourage others to make positive steps towards a healthier, happier life.

So with that, I officially consider the This is How I Primal blog “revived” and ready for business!

‘Til next time, folks!

Bex

 

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Hooray!! The holidays are over

Alright, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the holidays. They’re my favorite time of year, and I always make wonderful new memories. But you know the drill: they really put a crimp in life. Diets run-amuck. Our spending increases exponentially even though our budgets don’t. Family gatherings get abnormally stressful. It’s a time where all the things you do in your normal life take a backseat. So now that the holidays are completely over, and I’m 100% recovered, here are my hopes for 2014.

Besides the usual ear well and train hard that are super important to my life, here are my 2 New Years resolutions:

#1) I want to listen to listen; not listen to respond–I want to be more present and cultivate my relationships with all ppl this year.

#2) I want to stay off negative social media (mainly Facebook) as much as possible–limiting logging in to once or twice per day.

I think adding these two things into my life will bring around big changes for me in 2014.

Happy Sunday, y’all!

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Bexyanne’s Primal Daily, days 4-8

The past few days have been a whirlwind of good-for-me foods and comfort foods (gotta love the holidays!). I haven’t maintained my Primal diet as much as I would like, but I don’t think I went overboard. I haven’t stepped on the scale though haha; I’m giving it a couple days just in case. 😉

I got 4 days straight of the Burpee Challenge, but have missed the last 3. I plan on getting back into it today, but I’m not sure if I should restart the month or if I should pick up on day 5. I’m thinking of restarting the whole thing, and trying to be REALLY diligent about it this time… Sigh. I need better willpower dammit!

I won’t go into specifics for the food & workouts from days 4-7, but I will for today.

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!

Food

My last day having SERIOUS cheats. Tomorrow (December 1st) starts completely (or as close as possible) Primal eating up until Christmas.

Breakfast: half a cup of coffee, and sweet potato hummus with Tostitos Scoops.

Lunch: spinach & mixed greens lettuce, rotisserie chicken, grape tomatoes, & garlic Caesar dressing

Dinner: a Whopper and onion rings from Burger King 😦

Workout

  • 2mil run with Rosie & Liz
  • 20 minutes of yoga
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Bexyanne’s Primal Daily, day 3

Happy Monday, everyone!! Today was a much better day food-wise (mostly anyway—no chips!!!), but a more low-key workout day.

Food

Breakfast: coffee with cream

Lunch: spring mix lettuce, roasted corn, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, skirt steak, and chipotle lime dressing.

Dinner: wegmans asiago artichoke croquette, asparagus, sautéed brussel sprouts, chicken with broccoli, and 2 pieces sesame chicken.

Nighttime Snack: small piece of homemade tiramisu

Workout

  • 30 burpees (Day 3 of the challenge)

I’m wicked tired, so off to bed I go. Up early to get my burpees in before the day starts!!

Just a little motivation to leave ya with from the Spartan Race. Enjoy!

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Bexyanne’s Primal Daily, Day 2

I’m exhausted today. It was a good day visiting with my friend Jaime, but I’m sad it’s Sunday. I could use a completely lazy day.

Food

I didn’t eat as much as I should, but it wasn’t super terrible.

Breakfast: coffee with cream, and leftover hummus with the Tostitos chips.

Dinner: salad from Chipotle (lettuce, black beans, carnitas, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese and guacamole), and tiny handful of tortilla chips.

Nighttime Snack: 4 pieces of bacon

Workout

  • 1min elbow plank x2
  • 30 burpees (Day 2 of the challenge)
  • 50 Russian twists
  • 25 mountain climbers
  • 45 sec side planks

Whew. I’m exhausted. Tomorrow’s goal: another good workout and NO chips.

Night y’all. Xoxo

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Bexyanne’s Primal Daily, day 1

I mentioned in my last post that I’m going to start doing a daily check-in about my diet & workouts for the day. So here we go!

Food
I didn’t do fantastic in the food department…

Breakfast: honeycomb cereal & whole milk

Morning Snack: a handful of tortillas chips & mild salsa

Lunch: nothing

Afternoon Snack: half a red velvet latte from Dunkin Donuts

Dinner: Wegmans asiago artichoke croquette, wegmans bruschetta stuffed portobello mushroom, 1 spring roll, 2 handfuls of Tostitos Artisan 3 cheese chips, & sweet potato hummus

Workouts
I got my ass handed to me at the gym today haha.

  • 25 pull-ups on the pull-up machine
  • 30 burpees
  • 20 sit-ups
  • 20 second Superman
  • 50 air squats
  • 20 dips on pull-up machine

The 30 burpees is the first day of the Spartan Race challenge I’ve decided that I am going to do: 30 Days of 30 Burpees. If today was any indication, this month is gonna kick my ass so hardcore, but it’ll be so worth it in the long run. I’m excited to see the results at the end of the month. I just need to stick to it. I want to so badly.

Anyway, that’s my day 1 of my workout diary.

Have a great night and Sunday, everyone!

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Let’s Play Catch-Up: Where I’ve been the last 5 months

Alright, I’ll admit it: I suck sometimes. I fell off the face of the earth with my Primal weight-loss, healthy living blog… AGAIN. Sigh. I don’t have any excuses for my laziness in blogging; I’ve just let its importance to me slip in the craziness of life. But I do keep coming back eventually, so it’s not THAT bad, right? RIGHT?! Before I dive into where the hell I’ve been for the last 5 months, I’ll just say this: I’m going to try to be more conscious of not going so long without posting something. I know I say that a lot, but I do mean it this time. Blogging, really writing in general, is therapeutic for me, and I need to start doing more of the things that make me a happier and healthier person. That’s a cornerstone of the Primal lifestyle afterall 😉

Ok, so where have I been exactly? Trying to get a better handle on this horrible thing I got snookered into called being an adult. The summertime and fall have seen LOTS of changes for me; some really good and some not as good. I got engaged and subsequently un-engaged. I moved out of my apartment of 2 years into a house full with 3 other housemates that’s literally in the same neighborhood as my best friend. I lost my maternal grandmother very suddenly and unexpectedly, whom was a constant part of my daily life as a child/teenager. I have started dating an amazing new guy, and have lots of great things coming up on the horizon. Life has been insane; a definite roller coaster ride that’s for sure. I’ve been keeping my head above water, and I am really trying to embrace the concept of letting go of things I can’t control. It certainly not an easy process, but I’m trying my damnedest to take it on as a new Bexyanne.

What does all this mean for my Primal journey? I fell of my “Year without Sugar” about a week in. It was a totally unrealistic goal, and completely unattainable with everything else I had going on. I tried to tackle too long of a period of time way too quickly. I need to start with week/month long challenges first, so I know I can handle and get my shit together. Lesson definitely learned there. I’m sorry to those of you wondering about my progress. I’m planning to try to do another “no sugar” challenge again once the holidays and all that jazz are over. I want to enjoy the festivities without stressing this year haha.

I’ve been maintaining my Primal lifestyle in it’s “maintenance” phase pretty easily. I had been actively losing for a several months this summer, and I’ve dropped (and kept off) 20lbs. I’m getting back into the swing of working out, and am trying desperately to get my strict Primal diet back. There have been lots small temptations and cheats that have been making it hard to keep it under 50g of carbs per day. Damn all this non-Primal people making me cheat haha 😉 (Not not really). But I’m going to get a better handle on it slowly but surely.

A new idea I’m going to be implementing that will help keep me accountable in my diet/weight loss journey (as well as get me on here more regularly) is to have a daily (or as daily as I can get it) diet-workout check-in post. I’ve read different articles about keeping a workout journal to make you take a real look at what you’re doing/not doing, and I figured sharing it here might help some of you folks see how I struggle with self control and willpower too. I hope the posts won’t get obnxious for you, but I think it could be a fun thing for me to do for a while. We’ll see how it goes!

So, I hope y’all will forgive me for my absence. I’m getting back into the swing of things. And I hope you’ll enjoy all the posts to come.

Here’s a peek at the difference of weight loss for this year… So far. I’m hoping to have more changes by New Years. Fingers crossed.

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Primal Blueprint is as easy as 1-2-3

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Photo credit: Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple

THIS is what Primal is all about. Great explanation of what I do in three easy diagrams. So glad I found this.

Happy almost weekend; I’ll have an update about my year without sugar for you soon.

Xoxo

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A Year Without Sugar…?

sugarI’ve been thinking about doing something radical when it comes to added sugar and sugary drinks for a while now. Health issues, healthy living, and all things bad for you have been a hot trend lately; the “it” thing to debate about and have opinions on. I suppose I’m no exception on the latter part. I have strong opinions and ideas about what’s healthy vs not, but I’ll spare you the lecture. Suffice it to say, I think added sugar (the kind your personally add to things & the kind companies put in all the foods we buy packaged) and sugary drinks (like soda, sweet tea, bottled lemonade, etc.) are bad for everyone. You. Me. Our neighbors. The guy at the gas station. Your frenemy in book club. Everyone.

A few of things have brought me to this conclusion. First, the Primal lifestyle doesn’t really condone added sugar. This has been one of the hardest parts of Primal (for me), and one aspect I kind of avoided like the plague. That is, until I stumbled upon this gem: a chart about how much sugar is really in all those drinks we know and love (image to the left).Whats-in-Your-Drink_2 It made me want to drop the glass of Coke I’d just ordered with dinner real fast, and rethink the Lava Fudge cake I plan to scarf down for dessert. (I’m scared to think of what a sugar-to-sweet-treat ratio chart might look like.) But the thing that really did it was this video.

The words “paralyze”, “brain”, and “overeating” should never, ever, be in the same sentence together; but they are. Sugar paralyzes your brain’s ability to feel full. And that’s just ONE of the terrible things it does. That fact terrifies me more than anything else. Why this one thing bothers me more than all the rest, I don’t know. But it’s the catalyst for my year-long experiment.

I will say, before I start my project, that I’ve still consumed sugar in drinks and other foods (mainly desserts) over the past few months, probably more than I’d care to admit, all KNOWING what I’m consuming and still doing it anyway. I just feel guilty about it now too.

My guilt, however, has lead me to try something for the next year: an experiment in willpower with a focus on being much more health conscious and driven to achieve my fitness/health goals.

For the next year, ending on June 16th, 2014, I hereby solemnly swear to abide by these mandatory rules and exceptions:

The Manadtory Rules

NO adding sugar to: drinks (like coffee or tea) or any other food that I purchase or make

NO consuming bottled/canned/fountain sugary drinks including: soda, sweet tea, lemonade, seltzer drinks, energy drinks, etc.

NO consuming store-bought or homemade: candy bars, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, or the like

The Exceptions

I am allowed ONLY 1 alcoholic drink per week if desired (or needed haha)

I am allowed ONLY 1 night per month where more than 1 alcoholic drink can be consumed, and it is reserved strictly for social functions

I am allowed ONLY 1 piece of semi sweet chocolate per week if desired (or needed)

I am allowed ONLY 1 store-bought/homemade sweet treat per month, and it is reserved strictly for special events

I’ve thought about these rules and exceptions for a long time, bounced my ideas off of other people to get feedback, and feel they are solid & doable rules. I plan to blog about my adventure, and keep you all up to date about how I’m doing. Expect some sugar-deprived rantings every now and then haha. I’m hopeful this will be a breeze, but am realistic about it’s challenges too (a.k.a. this is going to be hard as hell).

Sooo… Wish me luck on my journey!

I’ll talk to ya soon!

P.S. – Can you live without the sugar for a year? Find out with me!

P.P.S. – For more information about why sugar is bad for you, check out these articles:

Categories: Going Grok, My Crazy Adventurous Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Something the Size of a Pearl Can Rule Your Life

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Church right outside the hotel.

My, time sure does fly when you’re having fun…

After my return from Arizona life took off for me at warp speed (it always seems to do that on me). Final preparations for our international event in Russia began, and the last 2 weeks in April were a whirlwind of final paperwork, billing, and figuring out which way was up.

And then… shit hit the proverbial fan.

I know I’ve talked about my gallbladder problems before. And if you don’t know what it is, read this article. The pain is terrible, lasting from 1 hour to 24 hours or more. Gallbladder pain has been deemed equal to the contractions women having giving birth. CHILD BIRTH! That’s how bad it is.

I’ve suffered from gallbladder attacks for several years. I had never been officially diagnosed because it runs in my family. When I started having the pain, I told my mom and she knew exactly what it was. They first started really bad after my first COFES last year in 2012. I was hoping this year would be better because I had my eating under control. But…. Nope. No such luck. I had 2 very serious, very long attacks in those 2 weeks I was there.

When I got back home, I became really strict with my eating, doing everything I could to get it back under control. But it didn’t happen. No matter what I ate, something would always set it off. I went to the ER one day after residual pain from a severe attack hadn’t dissipated after 4 days. They did an ultrasound and determined I had large gallstones (duh), prescribed me pain & nausea medication for attacks, and sent me home. Nothing was “wrong” with me in their eyes. No explanation for the pain lasting as long as it did. Nothing other than, “change your diet”. I was discouraged, angry, and felt like I was a wimp.

A week and a half went by (it was now just three weeks before departure for our trip). I was on an absolute-no-fat-diet, completely opposite my Primal eating habits, and it STILL didn’t get my gallbladder under control. I had granola for breakfast one Friday morning, and an attack started by 2pm that afternoon. 2pm! During the day! I never, ever had an attack during the day. It was worse than being woken up at night.

I went home from work early because I couldn’t concentrate. I didn’t go to bed that night because the pain wouldn’t stop even with 2 of the pain pills they gave me. By morning, my nerves were shot and I was at my wits end. The Boy suggested I go back to the ER. I refused at first, because of how unhelpful they were the first time. I tried eating plain rice which made me want to vomit. By noontime, he said he was taking me whether I liked it or not. We sat in the room for a long time; they came in and drew blood, hooked me up to an IV, and gave me medicine that put a dent in the pain but didn’t get rid of it completely. After a chat with the doctor and another blood test, they found my white cell count really high. They checked my vitals again, and my temperature was higher than it had been just 2 hours before. The doctor said it was they were indications that the gallbladder was infected, and she wanted to consult the general surgeon on call. When she called him, she asked if he could do the surgery without another ultrasound. He looked at the film from the previous week, and my new test results, and decided that it was in fact infected. I was admitted an hour after that. Two hours later, out came the gallbladder in four tiny pieces.

When I saw the surgeon the next day, he told me flat out I waited too long to have my gallbladder taken care of. He said the stones were very large, and one got stuck in my bile duct which was causing the infection. He showed me pictures of the stones (which are horribly gross, I might add), and said they were all the size of pearls or a little bigger. A pearl isn’t that big, but in terms of gallstones they are quite large. He let me keep the pictures, and told me I should be healed within 2 weeks.

I was beside myself with guilt because this all happened so close to our work event. My boss was wonderful about it, and brought the Boy & I dinner the night I was released from the hospital. He insisted I take the whole week off, and even locked me out of my computer so I couldn’t remotely work from home.

The week I went back, HE got really sick with a terrible cold and was out the entire week. He even sent me home the first 2 days he was so afraid I’d get sick. That meant we had 1, ONE!, week to get everything finished up before we left.  It was insane. It was stressful. We had to stop worrying about perfection and focus on complete.

After working my tail off, and a horrendous 2-day trip to NH, we were finally on our way to Russia. So far, things have been going well. Bumpy at first, but good. I’ve done some sightseeing and get to do some more before we leave. Russia is a beautiful country. I like it much, much more than I was expecting.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my “crazy adventurous” life lately. When I’m back home, my Spartan training begins. I’m planning on writing about how it goes while living a Primal lifestyle. Should be interesting. I’ll keep ya posted!

Xoxo

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Catherine, the Great’s palace

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