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  1. #1
    Brenda_D's Avatar
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    Confessions of a Hidden Warrior

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    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.

    Plan of action: Read today through Saturday. Sunday take pictures and do fitness tests. Monday START!
    Last edited by Brenda_D; 04-17-2013 at 07:59 PM.

  2. #2
    spuggygirl's Avatar
    spuggygirl is offline Senior Member
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    Being strong is awesome...and for me, a much better goal than being slim. For me the primary goal is strength and health. Becoming slim is an appealing bi-product.

    All the best of luck.

  3. #3
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    Welcome! I identified with your comment that at some point in your life, you "traded" your physical fitness and strength for mental fitness and strength. That struck such a cord in me: I did the same thing, sort of. I traded my teenage strength (like yours) for college and graduate school, becoming skinny-fat in the process. At 40, still in grad school (the end stretch: I had been a single parent and working full time while in phd program...), my BODY (I don't think i thought it through!) sent me to Taekwondo--it seemed to be something with enough mental training to push the "intellectual" training to the side, if even for a few hours a day! That "balance" you speak of--EXACTLY!

    A long story short--I stayed with it, married the instructor (!), am still happily married to my playmate, was sent to MDA by my 38 year old son (who had great success here and didn't like my CW skinny-fat body...) and now, at 58, feel that strength and leanness I haven't felt for ages.

    Balance--YES. No matter how "unintuitive" it seems (oh, how our intuitions have been shifted under CW!), follow Mark's principles. I still struggle (psychologically) with some of them--i tend to eat too little (so have to count calories to keep them at a higher rate), I tend to exercise too much (and so have to consciously talk myself into NOT doing it and slowing down), just to achieve that balance.

    Taekwondo was all about balancing body and mind. Although I had (have?) a hard-earned 3rd degree black belt, the balance has come in my later years, and MDA has helped immensely.

    Good luck--there are many many people here for inspiration, help, and support.

  4. #4
    Primal Primate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda_D View Post
    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")...

    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!
    This really hit home with me and is how I felt when I started my journey down the path to the cave. I found Mark's books to be great reads full of knowledge and motivation. I also found Make Shift Happen by Dean Dwyer to be helpful - some of the things he talks about in his book really made me think about my habits (eating and otherwise) and there were a few head slapping moments of clarity along the way. Best of luck in your journey and welcome to the cave!
    “There are only two options regarding commitment, You’re either in or your out. There’s no such thing as life in between.” – Anonymous

    "Das Beste oder nichts" - Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler

  5. #5
    Brenda_D's Avatar
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    I agree, Spuggygirl. Thank you!

  6. #6
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    You had a lot on your plate while in grad school. The mind/body connection of martial arts has long appealed to me - maybe someday. I'm still trying to find what I'm really passionate about, so I expect quite a bit of dabbling in the near future. I'm glad to hear you are happily married, that is ideal. And it sounds like you have a very caring son.

    I never thought of a balanced life as being "unintuitive" before. I think because it's such an ideal way to be. But, you're absolutely right, most (if not all) people have to make conscious efforts to create and maintain balance.

    Thanks for your response and for the friendly welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by drjoyous View Post
    Welcome! I identified with your comment that at some point in your life, you "traded" your physical fitness and strength for mental fitness and strength. That struck such a cord in me: I did the same thing, sort of. I traded my teenage strength (like yours) for college and graduate school, becoming skinny-fat in the process. At 40, still in grad school (the end stretch: I had been a single parent and working full time while in phd program...), my BODY (I don't think i thought it through!) sent me to Taekwondo--it seemed to be something with enough mental training to push the "intellectual" training to the side, if even for a few hours a day! That "balance" you speak of--EXACTLY!

    A long story short--I stayed with it, married the instructor (!), am still happily married to my playmate, was sent to MDA by my 38 year old son (who had great success here and didn't like my CW skinny-fat body...) and now, at 58, feel that strength and leanness I haven't felt for ages.

    Balance--YES. No matter how "unintuitive" it seems (oh, how our intuitions have been shifted under CW!), follow Mark's principles. I still struggle (psychologically) with some of them--i tend to eat too little (so have to count calories to keep them at a higher rate), I tend to exercise too much (and so have to consciously talk myself into NOT doing it and slowing down), just to achieve that balance.

    Taekwondo was all about balancing body and mind. Although I had (have?) a hard-earned 3rd degree black belt, the balance has come in my later years, and MDA has helped immensely.

    Good luck--there are many many people here for inspiration, help, and support.

  7. #7
    Brenda_D's Avatar
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    My favorite thing about communicating with people is all of the resources that are shared. I am trying to overcome some pretty bad habits and a severe tendency to sabotage my efforts, Make Shift Happen sounds like it may be what I need. So thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Primate View Post
    This really hit home with me and is how I felt when I started my journey down the path to the cave. I found Mark's books to be great reads full of knowledge and motivation. I also found Make Shift Happen by Dean Dwyer to be helpful - some of the things he talks about in his book really made me think about my habits (eating and otherwise) and there were a few head slapping moments of clarity along the way. Best of luck in your journey and welcome to the cave!

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    Countdown: 3 Days to Primal

    I'm exhausted this evening, so not much to report. I have been working overtime, not getting enough sleep or water, and eating foods that don't agree with me. Probably needless to say, but I feel like crap.

    Myself <--- I need to learn to put that first.

    At work, it's busy season and I head the art department. I have this tendency to put everything on hold in order to get the work out, even delaying bathroom breaks and eating times. A couple of months ago I started taking two 15-minutes walks outside during my work day. Since it's been busy the past two weeks, I haven't been taking them... must make them priority.
    Last edited by Brenda_D; 04-18-2013 at 08:04 PM.

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    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.

    Physical:
    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 significant increase 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.

    Medical Conditions:
    1) Currently overweight 40-50 lbs. 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).

    2) PCOS. 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.

    3) IBS. 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!

    4) GERD. 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.

    5) High Blood Pressure. last medical read - 145/110 (January 2013, just prior to quitting smoking).

    6) Frequent urination. This is continually lessening as I lose weight in my middle, probably due to less pressure on my bladder.

    7) Anxiety. 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.

    8) Fatigue. Unstable energy levels, afternoon slumps and a need for naps. Persistent mental and physical fatigue. 6-8 hrs sleep per night, frequent waking.

    9) Insulin Resistance. Where to begin on this one? Sugar is the root of all evil (to my body). "Out, out damn [sugar granules]"
    Last edited by Brenda_D; 04-20-2013 at 08:24 AM. Reason: Added #8 Fatigue

  10. #10
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    2 Days to Primal: Getting Prepared

    1. Cupboards and fridge have successfully been purged of non-primal eats.
    2. Meals have been planned and grocery list concocted.
    3. Next step: Grocery shopping (tonight).

    80% of book has been read, should have no problem finishing it tomorrow.
    Can't wait to start cuz I feel awful and am crabby due to bad nutrition and an inability to think clearly while getting this all planned.

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