Friday, March 18, 2011

Paleo Living...

After months of battling weight plateaus and upper respiratory infections, I grabbed 'The Paleo Solution' by Robb Wolf at a Border's sale, mainly out of curiosity. I've heard about the paleo diet & lifestyle but didn't know much about it until opening this book... And nearly blew the top of my head off. I was completely blown away but what I DIDN'T know about diet. Even with all of my certifications, so-called expertise and even personal weight loss, I had no idea the ramifications of the agricultural influence in my everyday diet.

There were parts of the book that absolutely terrified me, and with good reason. There were parts that made me laugh out loud and others that made me want to cry. So many times I've wondered why obesity is such an epidemic; I've had theories about sugar being the cause but I have never understood the body mechanics or the human chemistry at work until now -- Robb Wolf explains both the how and the why and for the first time in my life, I don't crave ice cream. I'm moving forward with a new lifestyle and a new outlook and I'm EXCITED. I feel better already. My mind is clear and my body feels good. I mean, not just the 'I finished a two hour workout' good, but GOOOD.

The paleo diet finally exonerates fat from being the diet-derailing devil that it's been made out to be for decades and explains how the human body prefers to use fat to carbohydrates as fuel. It adds more than flavor; it enables your body to easily correct cellular errors and fulfill energy needs for extended periods of time. Paleo eating creates lean muscle through the ingestion of lean proteins and carbohydrates that are actually used instead of being stored, minimizing sugars' effect on insulin and the related hormones. The paleo lifestyle emphasizes the importance of both stress relief and sleep, as well as hydration and exercise. It's a results oriented lifestyle, whatever your results may be. Whether it's cleaning up your blood work, losing weight, gaining muscle or achieving athletic prowess, it'll happen as long as you put the work in.

It's not a magic pill or potion -- it's a lifestyle change. It's hard work, dedication and some more hard work. It can't be a temporary solution to a permanent problem and it doesn't promise to fix your marriage or clean your bedroom. But given time and practical use, the paleo diet will pay off. It will irrevocably change your life for the better and make you a healthier and happier person with more to live for and less to worry about. This has the ability to save your life, given the opportunity.

I'm a simple person: when there's proof and things click, I respond. This book was built for pessimistic speculation and holds up against critics using both scientific evidence and credible humor. And so my journey begins, chin high and eyes bright. I like the way I'm feeling and loving the way I look, even this soon into it all. Stay tuned -- it's about to get crazy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Old Age...

There is something to be said for the wisdom that experience brings. In the past, I've had a tendency to discount sage advice from those who know better and suffered the consequences of such ignorance... Today contained a revelatory moment that would have passed unnoticed just a few simple years ago and allowed me a rare glimpse into the person I almost became.

I owe so many people so many apologies and so much forgiveness, including myself. There are also a few folks that deserve a kick in the dick, but karma has a way of coming around and bitch slapping those who aren't smart enough to fear the power of turnabout... So I can't really stress about it, now can I? Anyway, back to the sorry part: I'm sorry. There were so many instances in which I could have stood up and simply been the good guy, or even the not-bad guy, and I didn't. There were so many chances to show my real self and the compassion I have for others; I sacrificed those opportunities for social acceptance. I'm sorry I wasted time trying to be something I wasn't instead of being myself and enjoying the self discovery. I'm Sorry I chose 'fun' that didn't last and 'friends' that couldn't bother to stick around. I'm sorry for the bullshit, both yours and mine. I'm sorry I wasn't who I pretended to be, for both our sakes'... Instead, I wish I had been a great friend. I wish I had been a great example of kindness, patience and understanding.

In the end, my unwillingness to be myself was my own undoing -- nobody I knew or who knew me could differentiate between the truth and rumors because they didn't actually know the real me. No one wanted to defend someone they couldn't trust, and even I didn't trust me: I wasn't truthful about a lot of things. The irony of being someone you're not is that deep down, you're so afraid of being lonely that you'll do anything to make people love and trust you, but people don't love and trust you because you're desperate for it and will take anything at all.

I've been called 'intense' and 'complicated' far too many times to count over the course of my life, but only recently has it become a compliment. I know that I dumbed myself down and mellowed myself out so that folks wouldn't be offended or put off, but that just turned me into a mindless fool. Had I been a color, I would have been beige -- kind of a nice color until you're completely surrounded by it day in and day out. Nauseatingly normal and boring... But I tried over and over again to create something that would be colorful, not realizing that the real me was a very unique rainbow. My perspectives are mine alone; only I can see what I see behind my eyes and although the events may be very similar, everyone thinks differently. Fear of being labeled as 'intense' crippled my desire to do incredible things until I was as plain and boring as everyone else. The life I led was a sham.

Labels aren't any fun until you own them. Labels like 'intense' and 'complicated' and 'passionate' left me terrified -- after all, who can love someone who's too complicated or too passionate? I'll tell you who: another intense, complicated, passionate person who's not afraid of what and who they are. It turned out that being curious and spirited and driven and smart weren't bad qualities... They're qualities that build successful, brilliant people when managed properly. They're qualities that can be rough and abrasive initially, but can also be shaped and channelled into wonderful outlets. A stubborn, volatile, soft-hearted little girl can indeed grow into an independently capable and highly animated woman... But only in the right environment. Everyone wants to be an individual, but few of us realize that we already are. Our thoughts, actions and effect make us all individually unique and special.

It was okay to be impulsive and daring. I was young, ignorant and lonely -- but who isn't at that age? Rarely understood and naive enough to believe all intentions are pure, I easily became a trainwreck, full of unexpressed angst.