Confessions of a Hidden Warrior
I admire strength in all forms: mind, body, spirit, emotions. Over the past 15 years, my inner dialogue has been overrun with a recurrent thought, "I used to be strong" with the implied ("Now I'm weak"). I loved being strong. When I was 14, I worked in a library and I used to stack hard-cover, oversized picture books the full length of one arm and up to my chin. I don't know how much it weighed, but I'm sure it was pretty heavy for one arm (and for a little 100 lb girl). I would walk around at a slow pace and shelve those books, reveling in just how strong my arms were.
It's mind-boggling and sad to see how something that truly is so important to me like strength (and health) has gone by the wayside as I've slowly turned into something so unrecognizable to myself. I seem to lack balance in an extreme way, for instance when I was strong and physically attractive I didn't give a crap about books and intelligence. Later when I was in college up until the present, I spent my spare time reading and learning as much as possible. I also became a graphic designer. With that came a lot of sitting, almost no exercise, and less focus on appearance... and of course, weight gain.
Now, as I approach 40 (August), I'm seeking that elusive balance I need in my life so desperately. I will be trying to incorporate a little reading, healthy eating, a bit of exercise, daily meditation, lots of sleep, and some fun into my life... and yes, of course, work, chores, and errands...
Paleo/Primal appeals to me so much because of the strength factor. I want to be strong again. I don't want joints that feel like they're going to give out if I run, or that make popping noises when they bend. If I had to choose between strong or thin, I would choose strong. I want nothing to do with having teeny little arms that look like they can be snapped in half with little effort. That's not me, I like meat... on my bones... and in my tummy!
BTW my caveman name is "Runs like a Girl," I find that funny.
I purchased "The 21-day Total Body Transformation" this morning. I wanted to buy "Primal Blueprint" but there was a glitch in the file link. Perhaps that one is for a later date. I've been on a health quest for a couple of months now, started with a low-fat/sodium/sugar eating plan and lost about 15 lbs, then moved on to Paleo a couple of weeks ago. I and my body like it much better, but I've been having some trouble with parts of it - it's a bit too 'loose', so I thought this more guided approach may work better for me. I tend to do well with strict guidelines, plans, and time-framed challenges. Granted I have no idea if this plan is that way, but I have a feeling I can accomplish something with it.
[U][B]Plan of action:[/B][/U] Read today through Saturday. Sunday take pictures and do fitness tests. Monday START!
Internal 'Photograph' - Before Pic
Just as Before Pictures are important. It is also important to paint the internal picture that does not visibly show. Here is where I've been, my progress so far with other lifestyle practices/changes and where I'm at today.
1) Full back, right shoulder, and neck pain (persistant/moderate)
2) Nerve damage (both arms) from fingers to shoulder blades (affected by overuse and cold temps)
3) Stiff, achy joints/lack of flexibility, especially in fingers, ankles, knees, and hips
4) Acne (this has just cropped up since dietary changes, each way of eating seems to be contributing to acne, so I will have to keep an eye on this).
No improvements to date. Noticed a [U]significant increase[/U] in these ailments during a recent low-fat diet I was on for six weeks, noticed them start to improve during my 2 week Paleo introduction. This week, I’ve gone back to eating crap and all symptoms are as they were pre-Paleo.
[U][B]1) Currently overweight 40-50 lbs.[/B][/U] April 15, my weight was 170 which is down from my highest weight of 195. 15 lbs were lost in last 2 months (the other 10 lbs were lost a few years ago).
[U][B]2) PCOS.[/B][/U] Sept 2012, quit taking birth control for PCOS symptoms. Didn’t receive any relief from symptoms until January 2013 when I started making big lifestyle and eating changes. I am frequently foggy brained, which experience of going on and off BC pills has shown me that ‘foggy brain’ is a symptom the pills help. Hopefully, as my hormones balance this fogginess will go away. Bonus: Just happened to be on Paleo during last period. First virtually cramp-free period I ever remember having. This alone is enough to convince me to eat Primal.
[B][U]3) IBS[/U][/B]. Still sorting this one out, during all these lifestyle and food changes I seem to be going from diarrhea to constipation and back again. I need to remember to take probiotics… very important!
[B][U]4) GERD.[/U][/B] January 2013, quit regular treatment of Prevacid. I also quit smoking and caffeine (1 pack and 50-72 oz. Mtn Dew daily). Since then, I have only had a couple of episodes of heartburn. This week has been an exception since I’ve been eating my fill of extreme crap food: gas, bloating, IBS, and heartburn have all been present.
[B][U]5) High Blood Pressure.[/U][/B] last medical read - 145/110 (January 2013, just prior to quitting smoking).
[B][U]6) Frequent urination.[/U][/B] This is continually lessening as I lose weight in my middle, probably due to less pressure on my bladder.
[B][U]7) Anxiety.[/U][/B] Sept 2012, discontinued prescription of 20 mg Lexapro and Xanax as needed for moderate to severe social and general anxiety, opted for meditation, exercise, and food as remedies instead. This works well when I stick with it.
[B][U]8) Fatigue.[/U][/B] Unstable energy levels, afternoon slumps and a need for naps. Persistent mental and physical fatigue. 6-8 hrs sleep per night, frequent waking.
[B][U]9) Insulin Resistance.[/U][/B] Where to begin on this one? Sugar is the root of all evil (to my body). "Out, out damn [sugar granules]"