Posts Tagged With: food

Even the most stubborn of donkeys will sprint with the right incentive

What keeps you going when the going gets tough? What makes you lace up your sneakers, grab your earphones, and head to the gym/road/track? What are you fighting to overcome? What are you hoping to gain by losing? What motivates you?streght

Is it a health concern? A family gene that could rear it’s ugly head in just a decade or two? Is it for a loved one you lost, or fear you will lose in the not so distant future? Is it for all the names you were called in high school? All the depressing thoughts you had in college? Is it the one thing you CAN control? What is it?

My motivation has been years in the making. All through high school and college I was overweight and unhappy. It wasn’t until the summer after I graduated from college that I finally decided enough was enough. I needed to take my life in my own hands, and try to become who I always wanted to be. My diet came first. After a year and half focusing solely on that, learning how to handle cravings/how to cheat & maintain, I’ve now been able to move on to the physical side of things.

For me, my motivation to change my physical self comes from a deep-rooted desire to succeed. I have an overwhelming need to do the best I possibly can at everything I set out to do. It’s something my mom instilled in me at a very young age–she always said she wouldn’t yell at me for failing if it was the best I could do. By setting goals of races throughout this year, I am forcing myself to get my ass moving because I am so determined to not make a fool of myself. Sure, I procrastinated the hell out of the Rock ‘n’ Roll half. But I still finished, which was my ultimate goal for that race. My next two races though, I absolutely cannot do that. Other people are counting on me for one race, and the other I wouldn’t make it through the first .1 of a mile if I don’t get in shape. These things are serving as my motivation, my reason to put my running shoes on and head to the gym.

We all have different reasons for becoming physically fit. We all have different reasons for not getting physically fit too. For 11 years, (I’m 23 now, but I’d say my weight issues/identity issues/self consciousness hit at 12) I’ve battled nothing other than myself. Some undo belief that there was something wrong with me. Some thing that needed to change for me to be acceptable, lovable, want-able. So I bent and molded myself into everything everyone ever wanted, hoping one day it would be the right combination to stick. I was the best listener. The empathetic therapist. The mediator. The wing-man. The fixer. The reliable one. The event coordinator. The chauffeur. I did everything I could to be thought of as a perfect friend, someone that people could love. I wanted so desperately to fit in, because all the happy-together people fit in, that I lost sight of what was really important: being happy.

Food was my comfort when I perceived that I had nothing else. Trying to be everything for everyone else left me feeling empty inside, and feeding my soul with tasty food was what got me through the hard times. It became my friend; my confidant; my supportive shoulder to cry on. I thought having a “good” meal when I was upset would help me feel better–and it would for about 5 minutes. After that guilt and shame set in, restarting the cycle once again.

My best friend in college told me once, “The only thing wrong with you is that you think something’s wrong with you.” She’s never been more right. Breaking that cycle of trying to please everyone, and removing food as a comfort (thinking of it as just what it is, a fuel source), helped me to figure out what makes me tick. Inspiring others, motivating them to change their lives, and encouraging them when the going gets tough has become something that’s really important to me. It all happened by accident, and it’s honestly something I never thought I could do. Physical fitness and helping others achieve their goals has become my “thing”, what I am starting to believe is my purpose in life.

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So stop to think about it for a second. I mean, really think about it. What makes you tick? What makes you get out from underneath the covers in the morning? What puts purpose in your step, and hope in your heart? Are you using food as an escape? Are you using your blanket of fat to hide behind what you could become? You don’t have to tell me any of these things that you discover; but just think about it. Be honest with yourself, and decide what it is that you want and never stop chasing it.

Categories: Far Too Much Honesty - My Primal Weight Loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here’s How I Do It

I’ve talked about “how” I live my Primal lifestyle before, what I eat and what I avoid, but I want to take a quick second for a refresher post. I’ve had a couple of friends ask me what I eat and how I started Primal, so here’s my “Primal History” and “how-to” guide.

Bexy’s Primal History

The first thing I did when starting out on Primal was cutting out caffeine completely. It was hard. Oh, so hard. I had a terrible caffeine addiction. So terrible that if I didn’t have at least 2 cups a day I was walloped with a doosey of a headache by bedtime. I was working third shift as a substance abuse clinician at the time, so caffeine was my lifeline during those long stretches of quiet. But despite all the odds against me, I did it. I stopped drinking the 64 ounces (or more) of coffee daily, and instead just slept all the time when I wasn’t working. [I should point out here that quitting caffeine isn’t necessarily required. For me, I was badly dependent on the caffeine and the sugar I put into it. It was necessary for me to break this realllllly bad habit first. For others who only have a cup or two now, go for it. It’s all about what works for you.] After the headaches stopped, I felt so much better, even with that one simple change. More energy (weird, right?) and I felt refreshed after sleep as opposed to the caffeine-withdrawal-stupor I was in most mornings.

Next, I moved on to carbs. Removing processed carbs, grains, and pastas from your diet is the cornerstone of the Primal lifestyle. I was dreading this part the most. Like a lot of Americans, I was highly addicted to processed carbs, anything that came with cheese on it, and all things fried. It took me a loooooong time to really get my head wrapped around the idea of not eating carbs, let alone actually stopping them.

I started slow, backing off the number of carbs I ate in a day, gradually decreasing them to the “weight-loss” level. It was a HUGE adjustment, one that I couldn’t have done without support and guidance. Mark’s Daily Apple was a gigantic help, as was the Boy, who was the person that pushed me to give this a try.

I kept up the strict Primal diet for a solid month, dropping 20lbs in 30 days, before I started “cheating” more. I maintained for about 3 months before I started being strict again. I’ve been volleying back and forth between being strict and maintaining for the last year and half. Doing it this way has a)helped me keep the weigh off b)let me not feel deprived, and c)gave me room to breath. Following any diet or lifestyle plan 100% is really, really hard. It takes a LOT of practice and dedication. I know someday I’ll be 100% completely Primal, but I’m not there yet. It took me 23 years to learn the bad habits I have; it’s going to take me a long time to unlearn them.

Primal “How-To”

The first thing I have to stress is: you’re going to have to get outside your comfort zone to do Primal. You won’t be able to stick to the 3 types of veggies you know, or you literally won’t last a week. If you’re super picky or just hate anything new, this isn’t the lifestyle of you.

Second, you are going to have to COOK. Primal food doesn’t come out of a box with heating instructions on the label. This is real cooking with REAL food. If you don’t know how to cook, don’t worry, you can learn (I did!). If you hate cooking, or can’t fathom stepping foot inside your own kitchen, this isn’t the lifestyle for you.

With that said, when I first started Primal I ate a lot of salads. I put different veggies on them, and tried different meats and dressings. It was interesting for a while, but after a few weeks I was really craving a “warm” meal. So what the heck do you make that’s Primal, actually cooked, but doesn’t include carbs? I’m glad you asked!

A typical Primal meal in my house consists of 2/3 veggies and 1/3 protein. The protein can be whatever you like: chicken, steak, fish, tofu, etc. Buy organic & grass fed if you can, since it’s the best for you, but no worries if you can’t (I don’t). The veggies can also be whatever you personally like, but you’re gonna need a lot of it to have a full meal. Having 2 veggies can ease up on the volume of one type you’d need to feel full. Tonight, for example, we had collard greens and carrots. Another staple for us is pan-fried cabbage.

It is here, when you are craving a warm meal, that being adventurous with your food is going to come in handy. Broccoli, carrots and cauliflower will only get you so far. Asparagus, spaghetti squash (ahhmazing substitute for pasta), eggplant, cabbage, bak choy, rutabaga, and turnips are all things your should try if you’re considering going Primal. Green beans, corn, lima beans, potatoes, and the like are all “allowed” on the diet, but should be limited. Some people can’t lose weight and eat these things; I happen to be one of those people (you can find the science behind it on Mark’s here).

Cooking with real butter and olive-oil helps to make you feel fuller longer as opposed to cooking with canola oil or Pam, both of which are highly processed and full of chemicals.

A fantastic shopping list of things to eat and not eat, is here. I used this like my own personal bible when I first started out. Mark also publishes posts regularly responding to people’s questions, so feel free to ask him anything!

Cookbooks are fantastic; Primal Blueprint has several.

The other thing I do, which also  really helps with deprivation, is creating Primal versions of the meals I love. Spaghetti, for example, can easily be made Primal buying using spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I’ve made Primal lasagna, Primal tacos, and Primal steak and cheeses. Next on my “to-try” list is potatoes au gratin but made with spaghetti squash! (I’ll let you know how it goes!)

A few other cornerstones of Primal are playing (it’s not just for 6-year-olds anymore), SLEEPING (our college all-nighter days are over), being active, and working out the Primal way. Mark has plenty of tips and tricks for all of these things on his website. For me personally, the biggest and most important thing to change first was my diet. Working out and being active came second. Everything else has just fallen into place.

Final Thoughts 

If weight has been an issue for you your entire life, you’ve never found anything that worked, and/or want a REAL change, Primal is for you. Nothing worked for me long-term til I tried Primal. I think it’s save my life.

To end this long post, here’s a little inspiration: the picture below is me during college, on my graduation, and today. I started Primal 3 months after my graduation. Look at me today. This could be YOU!

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Categories: Far Too Much Honesty - My Primal Weight Loss, Going Grok, Primal Tips & Tricks | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Going Grok, Primal Style – What was I Thinking?!

Weight has always been an issue for me. Yes, I know. How original. A girl with a self image/weight issue. Surprise, surprise. But think what you want, and don’t read it if you don’t wanna hear it. I’m gonna talk about it anyway. Ever since I hit middle school and went through the awkward, “kill me know”, teen years, I’ve had this ongoing, love/hate relationship with food. Food became my friend. When everything else was going wrong in my life (or so I dramatically thought at the time), I knew I could count on food to be there for me. It always tasted the same, it never changed. It was the one constant I had and so desperately needed at the time.

Talking with my mother now, she’s told me when I was younger food was not an issue for me. She tried not to make it an issue. I ate what I wanted and then just played extra hard to work it off later. I didn’t know any different. I was a normal kid. But once I got older, I sought my own comfort from food once I saw how my older relatives did it. It all spiraled out of control for about the past 9ish years. My senior year of college I weighed the most I ever have. 217lbs. (Gross!) At 5’7″, I never really looked too over weight, but I was significantly over what was considered “healthy” for my height.

I’ve tried I can’t tell you how many times to change my eating habits enough to lose the weight. I’ve started work out plans and New Year’s Resolutions to, “do better this year!”, or, “do better now!”. But all to no avail. I always seemed to let myself down. Even now, I still have some trouble sticking to what I set my mind to with food plans and healthy eating after about a month or so. I’m gonna work on that haha. The reason why I’m bringing all of it up though is the new “diet”, I prefer to call it a “lifestyle” (how fancy, right?) even though I sound ridiculous saying it, I’ve tried and loved.

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson has truly changed my life. In the month and half that I really stuck to the Primal eating habits he talked about, I dropped 23lbs!! I’ve been hovering around a solid 194lbs since the beginning of September when I started being “less strict” with what I ate (I started the lifestyle in August). I’ve just been eating SO much less than what I used to. I feel a ton better and absolutely LOVE LOSING WEIGHT! Finally, for the first time ever I’ve lost a significant amount of weight. Now, it’s time to keep going. I’m excited about the prospect of getting to my goal weight, but with the other stresses in my life I’ve very easily let it fall by the way side. Time to find my motivation again!! *Fingers crossed*

So why did I do this? Who did I hear about it? Well, this wonderful, now, boyfriend of mine. In all his internet research he discovered this about 9 months ago. He instantly fell in love with it but couldn’t follow the diet since he doesn’t buy the groceries in his house. So (haha, I bet you were waiting for this), he turned his attention to me to get me to do it, to see if it works. Seems legit enought, right? Well….about that…

At first, I resisted. I resisted hard. I thought it was stupid and absolutely impossible. I refused to listen and bitched about it whenever he would bring it up. He let it slide for about a month, but then he started talking about it again. How beneficial it thought it would be for me, and how great I would look. Of course he made sure I knew I was “perfect” already (yeah sure haha), but that this would just make me a knock-out. After months of him sending me article after article, and droning on and on about it, I finally gave in.

I looked into it. I read the research Mark Sisson puts in all of his articles and, shockingly, I was convinced. Just like that. In a matter of 3 hours, my whole preception of food and eating completely changed. Sure, I still slip, but I am so much more aware of what I’m putting into my body than I ever used to be. Once my life and the hours I work (see the Follies of Working Overnights for the reason I don’t do it too much now, only when I can) are all back to normal, I’ll get back into the lifestyle. I know my parents will support me and help me in whatever way they can. Hell, I might even get them to join in!

Sometimes I ask myself, “What was I thinking?!” by starting this. I miss the breads and the pasta and oh-so-tempting processed foods, but I enjoy feeling great that much more. And looking like a hottie is always a benefit too. I challenge everyone to look into it. Right now, right this second….No, seriously. Right this second. You’ll thank me later.

Categories: Going Grok | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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