My Crazy Adventurous Life

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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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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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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What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger (once you heal, that is)

This may come as no surprise to many of you, but it sure shocked the hell out of me: I didn’t die during my first half marathon. Not even close. I may have wanted to die at some points, but I was never actually close to ceasing to exist.

The day went a lot better than expected. It started off pretty cold (at least when the wind was blowing) when I got to the gear check. I was apprehensive because it was still dark and cloudy; I was sure it would downpour on us at any second. I was prepared with my rain jacket and baseball hat, but I still wasn’t thrilled about the idea of running so long in the rain. After I got to my corral, I waited around forever after the 7:30 start until we were allowed to start approaching the start line. Just as I hit the corral number 15 spot, I found my friend (we had a hard time coordinating where the heck we were in relation to the each other). We established our game plan, and she continued to encourage me/convince me I wouldn’t die. [I want to take a second and note here how much of an awesome, enthusiastic, understanding, caring, and loving friend she is–I definitely wouldn’t have made it to the start line without her. I can’t imagine never becoming friends with her, either. We’ve decided she’s an older version of me, and we call each other our clones because of how much alike we are. I’m glad to know I’ll be amazing like her one day. Okay, I know, sappy moment over].finisher!

After what seemed like a damn eternity, we were off. The first 2 miles were pretty tough. I had a terrible time settling into a pace, and my breathing was just not happening. I lost my clone about a mile in because I couldn’t keep a steady pace. I was frustrated because I wanted to run and finish it with her, but I also knew we both had our own races to run.

Finally, after the first water station (mile 3), I found my groove. I made it to mile 6 without too much of an issue. Then the hills happened. The first (of many) was the meanest monster of a hill I’ve ever had to haul my ass up. Not a single person in front of me or behind me was able to run up it. It was that steep and that long. There were a lot of people cheering and yelling on the sidelines, which definitely helped, but I’ll be damned if I ever have to see that hill again.

At mile 8 I tried to find the Boy. I was desperate for a familiar face, as I was really starting to feel the strain by then, but no such luck. There were no directions for him, so he couldn’t find the course from the metro stop. I sucked it up and kept my butt truckin’.

Hitting mile 10 I knew the race was mine. I had no doubts I would finish, and as the aches and pains screamed for attention, I just pushed harder. Mile 12 felt like the longest because the end was so close, but it was such an awe-inspiring feeling to see the end in sight, and to know I did it. I found the Boy about a quarter mile from the end. The look of pride on his face had me sprinting to the finish. As fate would have it, the theme song from Rocky started playing on my workout-playlist just as I was approaching the finish line. I think getting handed my medal to that song was just the icing on the cake after such a long journey.

It didn’t rain, not even a drop during the whole 13.1 mile course. I will forever be eternally grateful for that because adding rain into the mix yesterday would have made that run so, so much harder. Thank you, weathermen, for being wrong once again.

Oddest sighting during the race: a 60-something-year-old woman running bare-bottom through the whole race. You read that correctly: pants-less AND undie-less. I thought I was seeing things, but a fellow running club racer confirmed it was in fact a bottomless runner. Props to her for being so confident (despite it being slightly gross to see).

photo (6)One of the best parts of finishing 13.1 miles: putting the sticker on my car. 🙂 (I’m a sap, I know).

Now, to recover from all those miles, and gear up for training for the next race: 8+ miles of mud and obstacles. Mid-Atlantic Super Spartan, here I come!

Happy St. Patty’s Day, all.

P.S. – For all of you that know my sister, wish her a Happy Birthday!

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