Friday, December 30, 2016

I Feel Outstanding and Am in Control of My Relationship with Food

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

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Hi, I’m Sarah, and I am 39 years old. I’ve always been interested in science. I loved the experimentation, tweaking little things and the precision required. I studied biochemistry at university and started working in a lab diagnosing illnesses, and later doing cancer research. I moved away from it as a career, but I became interested in nutrition and exercise, trying different ways of eating and training to lose weight for my wedding. I found some that worked – but were really hard going and just not sustainable. As soon as I married I started to put weight on again.

We had two children in a year, which was amazing – but a huge challenge, and I had literally no time for myself. My health suffered, and I ate really poorly, literally living on chocolate spread sandwiches and other easy processed food. I binged on sweets and chocolate almost every day, feeling out of control of my cravings. Over a couple of years I added to the weight gain, topping out at 195 pounds. I was disgusted with myself.

I hit a low when I ordered a pair of 16 (US size 14) trousers online, and they didn’t fit. My legs rubbed together when I walked. I had a photo taken for my passport, and my face looked like a moon. I knew I had to act.

I started attending aerobic classes twice a week, and tried juicing. The weight did start to come off slowly, but it was hard going, and I felt really hungry and unstable on the juices. I looked for a better way.

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I stumbled onto the 21-Day Total Body Transformation book on Amazon, and thought I would try it, although the “Primal” thing seemed fairly extreme at the time.

I felt pretty awful and had some really bad headaches the first week, detoxing all the sugar out of my system and becoming a “fat burning beast.” The food was completely different from what I had been used to eating.

After a few weeks I started to feel outstanding. More energy, more connected to my body, and the weight started to fall off without getting hungry at all. I started lifting weights, and walking all the time. We are fortunate living in Surrey (UK) – there are lots of forests and countryside on our doorstep. I would just find myself breaking into a sprint in the rain and feeling crazy and free – grinning like a loon.

My husband and I decided to completely revaluate our lives. He gave up his corporate job, and we set up a personal training company – I was his first client!

I lost four stone over two years, and have maintained at around 140 pounds. I have a condition called Endometriosis, which from me caused crippling period pain a couple of days of the month. I had no idea that sugar and refined carbs cause systemic inflammation – cutting these out mean I generally get by each month without even taking an ibuprofen. I also very rarely get sick – despite 2 children bringing bugs home from school. I don’t crave sugar anymore and feel in control of my relationship with food.

I find it hard not to preach to my friends about the lifestyle – but I want to pay it forward. So I studied Nutrition and Weight Management, and became a certified Primal Health Coach. I wanted to help people who were like me – busy, stressed, overweight, with nagging health issues, just feeling “blah” all the time.

I turn 40 this year, and am in better shape now than I have ever been in my life. Adopting the Primal lifestyle has made such a difference in my health, outlook and well-being that I am really thankful – and will try to help other people achieve the same.

Sarah

For more information on Primal Health Coaching with Sarah, visit her website.

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The post I Feel Outstanding and Am in Control of My Relationship with Food appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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Refresh Your Fitness Routine For the New Year

Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or a resolution-driven exercise newbie, there are always ways to freshen up your routine. If your New Year’s resolutions involve getting more exercise, use these strategies to set yourself up for success.

Gear

Instead of calorie-laden celebrations, reward your hard work with a little retail therapy. Set realistic exercise goals such as a personal record on the treadmill or increased daily steps for a week, and then reward yourself with some new threads. Target and Kohl’s have durable and fashionable exercise clothing and shoes. Under Armour, Athleta and Lululemon offer high-end options that fit beautifully and are on trend with latest fashions. No matter what your budget you can find some new gear to get excited about.

 

Fuel

In the wake of holiday gluttony, it’s likely time to freshen up your diet. This doesn’t mean slashing all calories as you need fuel for workouts, but giving some elements of your diet an upgrade can have a big impact.

Focus on healthy breakfasts to start your day. Whip up oatmeal spiked with a spoonful of peanut butter and sliced banana, a smoothie made with frozen fruit, Greek yogurt and coconut water, or an on-the-go egg sandwich stacked with baby spinach and Canadian bacon.

Reach for protein-rich snacks to close out a workout. Chocolate milk is always a good choice to give muscles what they need, as are choices like cottage cheese with fruit and honey, trail mix or a burrito with chicken breast and brown rice.

 

Cross Train

A change of season calls for different methods of exercise. Changing up the type of activity will help parts of your body get some rest while working other more neglected muscles groups. If you’re a runner take some yoga classes, if you’re into barre try spinning, and if you focus mostly on weight training up your cardio time. This switch will likely burn more calories and make you stronger overall.

 

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.



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2016 In Review

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2016 was a huge year of change for me. It was a year of learning, growing, and adapting. For those who might have missed parts, Matt and I separated early in the year, which pretty much rocked both of our worlds. I think, I hope, we are all happier now. Matt and I remain friendly, and Mazen seems to be doing fine.

I have lots of thoughts on divorce in general that I have thought about sharing, minus any specific details – things like reflecting on divorce with a child verses what I imagine it would be like without – but I am still pondering whether or not I want to jump into topics like that here. I guess I am waiting to see if it feels right. Perhaps with a little more time it might be. My goal with this space is to help others live their healthiest and best lives, so if sharing some of my thoughts helps others going through the same thing then it’s worth sharing.

Despite the changes, Mazen and I had quite a fun year together! And we welcomed some new friends into our lives as well <3 We traveled to the beach twice, started soccer and preK, and played many many games of Batman. And the snuggling was off the charts!!
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Thank you all for following and sharing our adventures!

xoxoxo

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