Friday, September 29, 2017

My Entire Life Changed When My Nutrition Did

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. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

I never thought about writing my story and sharing it here but, I realize now my story is a crucial part of my life, business, and relationships. I share it every day and will be so happy if it inspires at least one person to take action to start healthier living.

I moved to the states from Russia in 2010. I had quite an unhealthy lifestyle back home: ate sugar, drank tons of coffee, stayed up at night,  smoked cigarettes, and I never exercised. When I moved to the US, my host family (thank God someone was so dear to influence me) made an ultimatum: I either quit smoking or I can’t stay with them. I had no other options, and quit after 8 years of chain smoking and 4 years of attempting to quit. Part one of getting healthier was done.

In the next two years, I got chubby. I never got fat, but with no exercise my muscle tone was remarkably similar to a marshmellow. I was hooked on all the new packaged and easy to eat foods. I could eat a box of Cheez-Its after dinner, my lunch was 2 huge grilled cheese sandwiches daily, and I ate cookies in between classes in college. Needless to say, I took many classes, and there are many types of cookies…

By May of 2012, I looked and felt horrible. I had acne, indigestion, migraines, high blood pressure for a girl in her late 20s. I did not gain a ton of weight, but 15 pounds extra were there for sure. I hated my body. I couldn’t run a mile since I was a child, and it usually resulted in me fainting (seriously!). I had a terrible self-esteem and never had energy. Then I had a bad breakup. One of those stab-you-in-the-back-for-no-reason (oh, was there a reason?) type of affairs.

A couple of weeks prior to that, my new friend named Mark told me about Paleo and Primal. He sent me those initial lists from the Primal Blueprint and recommended Loren Cordain’s book as well as MDA. I hit rock bottom with my health and was desperate to try something new. In fact, I was a vegetarian for 8 years at that point, and out of nowhere I started secretly getting in my friends’ fridge in the middle of the night to eat frozen, pre-cooked bacon (yuck). It was hard to “come out” but I did. And once I did, I switched to no sugar, no gluten, and no dairy.

For the next few weeks, I felt PHENOMENAL. I felt like I was reborn. I slept for 4 hours and would wake up well rested. I started running. I could run a mile, then two. Then I signed up for a half marathon and ran after 3 months of easy, enjoyable training. I worked through my other issues. Acne cleared. Blood pressure improved dramatically. Self-esteem went up. I looked amazing and felt like a queen of the world.

My mindset changed. My relationship with myself changed. I respected myself so much more and my confidence grew daily. My grades went up. I was totally rocking my life.

And then when I was not looking (of course), I met my prince Charming, who prior to meeting me lost 200 pounds on keto. Since he randomly ran into my life, and since we ate the same way we decided to get married. Kidding. It was a commonality that did bring us closer. We fell madly in love and could not spend any time apart. He enlisted in the military, and we have had plenty of adventures ever since. He kept the weight off and taught me how to cook delicious, low-carb friendly meals. Now I do most of the cooking, since the military can be so demanding, but we still keep the same high standards in our food.

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I did a fair share of not-so-primal long distance running ever since, and then switched to CrossFit, other fun workouts, playing more, and listening to my body.

Fast forward 3 years. I quit a successful corporate job because one of our mutual life goals is to help 10,000+ people to restart their lives through health. I became a Primal Health Coach in August 2016 and started my practice then. I am happy to do what I love every day, and see how people’s lives change; It makes my heart beat faster and really is a great motivation every morning. I am honored I could learn from Mark and MDA so many things about the Primal lifestyle. I am now a CrossFit Level 1 coach and coach both CF classes and nutrition at a local gym. I eat low-carb and primally most of the year, and carb-cycle when I build. I have so much energy daily, and I know I am extending my life every hour by fueling my body with proper food, good movement, and positive thoughts.

Thank you, Mark, for being such an inspiration and well of knowledge for people. I will always cherish that and continue sharing knowledge with the masses.

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Our First Date

This past weekend Thomas and I decided to re-live our first and second dates.

We decided to meet up for drinks at the C&O bar. He got there first and was wearing a blue pin stripe button down (still my favorite shirt of his!) and jeans. I had on skinny jeans, Tom’s boots, and a black Stitch Fix blouse! I walked there, so I was a few minutes late, and when I spotted him I said, “You look like the guy I’m supposed to be meeting!” We were both smitten from the start, and I don’t remember how long we talked. He gave me a ride home in his truck and said he couldn’t wait for the next one.

So, the C&O bar is so special to us! It’s romantic and rustic and tucked into the basement of one of Cville’s finest dining establishments.

Dinner is served…

You can order the dinner menu down there, so it’s a great way to enjoy the menu in a more casual setting.

This past weekend we had the tuna, which was melt-in-your-mouth good, and duck gnocchi to start!

My entrée was rockfish over grits with micro greens and pesto, plus roasted corn to share!

Our first date was on a Tuesday, and I invited T over that Friday night for a fire pit and s’mores. He arrived looking handsome and ready to build a fire! We talked by the fire for hours, about soccer, iPhones, music, and growing up in Charlottesville.

So, last Saturday night we reenacted the fire pit night with Mazen.

Mazen LOVES fire pit nights, and he likes to take charge of the tasks. He wore Thomas’s headlamp and gave us all instructions on how to get things set up.

I was in charge of the s’mores!

Sparklers are always involved too.

Turned out I had chocolate all over my face when we went back inside!

Our third date was a meet-up at T’s house to watch the very first Game Of Thrones episode. And then the rest, as they say, is history. We both admitted we were waiting for red flags, but as time went on, they never appeared. Everything about our relationship has felt so natural and easy-going from the start.

I think this was our first photo taken together, a few weeks later when I was T’s date to a friend’s wedding.

It’s hard to believe our own is coming up so fast. I didn’t share so many pictures from our first few seasons together, but here’s a bunch!

We couldn’t be happier! <3

Have a great weekend, friends!

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