Shade Bio

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Primal Blueprint: 20 Pounds in 60 Days! (Pictures)

Holy crap, Otherbeasts! My mind is blown! It's been 60 Days and I've lost 20 pounds... that's right... TWENTY! I was at 190 and now I'm at 169.8!

This Primal Blueprint has been a miracle for me; I feel better, I feel healthy (that was my main goal: health), and I actually want to get out of the house and do stuff! Ah-maze-zing.

I'm gonna have to swallow my pride here in a bit and show you the starting photographs compared to the current ones... of me... in a bikini. Those of you that hate looking at fatty-fats leave now! If you wanna see all the gruesome cellulite and fat folds, by all means, stay tuned and keep reading.

Here's the biggest thing I want to say to you: IT'S NOT ABOUT CALORIES...

Seriously. I have a great example for you; I use the App My Fitness Pal to keep track of what I'm eating so that I'm more conscious of just what I'm putting into my body. Take for instance just a couple days ago, this is what I ate:
- 1 Cup Coffee
- 1 Cup Goat's Milk
- 4 Strips Fried Bacon
- 2 Fried Eggs

- 4 Strips Bacon
- 1.5 Cups Cucumber

- 1 Whole Avocado
- 4 oz. New York Strip Steak
- 2 Tbsp Cold Milled Flaxseed
- 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds

- 7 Fresh Bing Cherries
- 1 Cup Whole Cow's Milk

Now all of the calories added up to 1592... most people following conventional wisdom would say, "You need to stay under 1200 if you want to lose weight," which is what the App tells me... however, guess how many carbs I ate in ONE day: Only 51 grams. Yup.

Most days I try to keep my carb intake to around 50 grams. That's the sweet spot where ketosis kicks in and my body turns into a fat burning machine! Like I said before, it's not "calories in, calories out," it's about freaking carbohydrates... and that includes sugar.

Now this has been exceptionally hard on me because I've been watching my carbs like a hawk only for about a week, but in that week I lost 4 pounds. I knows it's not water weight because I am drinking water, green tea, and herbal teas like crazy. 

But the hardest part was cutting out the sugar. Nothing in my morning coffee (I used to use coconut sugar or agave nectar), very little fruit, no sodas, mostly veggies... but no added sugar. (Fruits and veggies have natural carbs that you can't get around, which is fine because I'm NOT on the Atkins diet... I just really love bacon.)

See a couple weeks ago I was stuck at 175 - I had hit a plateau - and my body wouldn't budge. Come to find out that I was leaning on banana chips just a little too heavily, often consuming upwards off 200 grams of carbs in one sitting - that's like what a normal non-dieting person eats in a day - but even for non-dieters, eating that many carbs will result in slow weight gain. So, I wished goodbye to my precious banana chips and BOOM, my body responded by breaking through that plateau. 

20 Pounds in 60 Days!

I still can't get over it. I guess you might want to see the proof, eh? I mean these are words on a page, not actual evidence right? Right. (I'm psyching myself out so I can summon the courage to post the photographs of my fat-body self... I still have 40 pounds to go, my goal weight is 130. I started off at 190.) 

Please be gentle with me... I wish I had taken "starting" photographs in October when I started eating Primal, but out of shame, I did not; I had the courage to take some though two weeks later in November... the comparison pictures were taken today. I know it may not look like much, but I can tell a difference. These are my truth to the world... they are UNTOUCHED.

Ouch, those are hard for me to look at... even the current ones. I plan on taking photos every month so I can have visual progress. But there's my truth... and it should speak for itself. In between November 16 and today my weight loss was only at 10 pounds. How I wish you could see the 20 that I've lost! Anyway, there's them. 

The only exercise I really do is walk... that's all I've been doing to watch the fat melt off. I also do Yoga twice a week. About once a week I all out sprint for about 10 seconds, which is hugely beneficial if you check out Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint. All you have to lose is weight! If you're already at your ideal weight, congratulations! Doing the Primal Blueprint will lean you out, increase your strength, help your joints, defeat dis-ease, and just assist you in being as healthy as is possible!
Visit www.MarksDailyApple.com for for info and success stories!

But I'm excited to see it come off so effortlessly and still follow only a few simple rules!
190 down to 169.8 and now to shed some more to get to 130. 
20 down and 40 more pounds to go!
Go me!

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dreading Journey Part 4: 6 Months (Pictures)

Hello Cherished Otherbeasts! I'm so glad you're joining me. <3

December 1st marked the 6 months anniversary of me having dreadlocks! How time flies, eh? I asked some good friends of mine from Dreadlockssite.com about the wild notion of combing them out or cutting them off and received a very affirmative cry of, "Just wait!" Give them time, etc. Well, I've decided on giving my dreads a whole year to see if I can't live without them.

I posted up a blog a while back entitled, "20 Little Unknown Things About Having Dreadlocks," which at the time, I was frustrated with my dreads and thinking about destroying them. Seriously. They were doing some really weird things like turning into S-shapes the entire length of the dread so that it looked like a snake. I honestly called myself Medusa on more than one occasion.

They were also going crazy and losing length; it was like watching a vine shrivel up because it had no water. WTF was happening to my hair? Turns out it's just part of the process: my dreads were (and still are) in the process of maturing - they were tightening up rather quickly - which explains the loss of length, and just now they're starting to relax and give me some length back. Don't get me wrong, I still have several dreadlocks that are wavy as bad 80's perm, but I have faith they'll work themselves out.

The part I'm really excited about is that they're feeling less scratchy (they felt like Velcro for the longest time) and more like soft cotton rope that I've heard many a dread-head describe. For me that's exciting because it means they won't itch my boyfriend nearly as much when I lay my head on his chest.

I'd say my biggest benefactor in having my dreads tighten up correctly is by using old school bar soap made by Yardley that only has plant oils, essential oils, and plant fat for lather. I mean, talk about squeaky-clean; that expression never registered until I started washing my hair with a soap that literally has no - and leaves no - chemical residues. That has helped immensely. I suggest going to your local Walgreens, HEB, CVS, Randalls, or wherever and buying an old fashioned bar of natural soap - my friend who used one with lard in it has had extraordinary results - you'll be amazed.

I'm still frustrated with the little loops and bumps that appear near the root of my dreadlocks but it's something I am very slowly learning to overcome and just "let it go." Sometimes. The neat thing I still can't get over is the array of styles you can put these babies into and they'll just stay. You can put your hair in an up-do all without bands, pins, or ouchie things! It's pretty amazing.

Needless to say, at this particular moment, I don't want to cut them off or comb them out... I'm sort of enjoying seeing what they do naturally... as crazy as that can get. My dreadlocks have even made me chuckle on a few occasions because I'll find one that's just... funky. I mean downright zany, crooked, lumpy, and weird... and it makes me giggle. Others I find are nice, full, soft, thick, and amazing.

I took out all my "effects." I like saying effects like Captain Jack Sparrow to reference all the beads, silk, baubles, cording, leather, etc, that I adorn my hair with because it's pretty accurate. But I digress, I took out all of the beads (with the exception of some wool roving that I felted in and some red silk that has worked its way into one of my dreads) so that my hair could have a period of "doing whatever it's going to do," plus when dreads are babies beads can cause weak spots, etc. I certainly don't want to wake up one morning and find one of my dreadlocks on my pillow instead of being attached to my head.

Having dreadlocks for six months has been interesting, to say the least. But the main reason behind me getting them has transformed a bit... originally I wanted to get in touch with my more "primal" side as well as getting to wellness. Well, having dreads has done that and more. I actually, literally, went Primal by eating according to the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. I've lost 15 pounds and 16 inches and I feel better. I also gave up sodas and processed sugars like candy. I started doing yoga regularly. I also had my copper IUD removed. (Foreign objects in my body? No thank you.) My last little vice I need to cut out and cut out quickly is smoking cigarettes. It WILL happen. I'm tired of smoking, tired of the smell, the taste, etc. If I don't quit before January 1st, it will happen that exact day. I'm spending my last year in my twenties getting myself healthier than I ever have been (except maybe when I was born and breastfed). I'm actually quite thankful for my dreadlocks because every time I touch them, see them, feel them, I am reminded of this commitment. Plus my grandfather just passed away on Saturday and it calls into sharp contrast just how short our time on this earth really is. He lived to be 95 years old and I'd like to follow that up.

So I'm saying it in front of God, the Universe, and everything else: Come May 8th, 2013 (my 30th birthday) I want to walk out onto the beach in an itty bitty bikini, healthy as the day I was born, declare myself free of any unhealthy habits, and go dunk myself and my dreads in the seawater.

So, that's how my dreads are doing at the six month mark and where I'm at personally. I love you all and I wish you the best of luck in everything you do! I will be updating before the year mark... so stay tuned!

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade

My Etsy Shop (Wings and Things by D&D Studios) is full of Handmade Dreadlock Beads and Cuffs! Made by a Dreadie for Dreadies. <3

See My Other Blog Posts About Dreadlocks:
  • Dreading Journey Part 4: 6 Months (Pictures) 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dissociative Identity Disorder: Losing a Loved One

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Hello Otherbeasts. I'd like to talk today about having DiD and what happens when confronted with losing a loved one.

My grandfather was admitted to the hospital about a week ago with pneumonia, kidney failure, and a couple of other complications. Now, my grandfather is a fighter, he's 94 - he's had at least 10 or more strokes and a slew of other illness - and he's kicked every single one of them in the butt. However, when my mother first informed me that he was being rushed to the ER, I felt something different - somehow I felt that wasn't just another run-of-the-mill ER stint and he'd be complaining in a few days about not being at home and wanting to go home, giving the RNs a headache in the process.

Well, this past Thursday was my grandfather's 95th birthday, the day before he had been sitting up, eating, laughing, and even singing love songs to my grandmother. And even on his birthday he was in good humor and it seemed like things were taking a turn for the better, he was on antibiotics, etc.

So yesterday morning, I awoke and sent a text message to my mother to see how my grandfather (our family name for him is "Daddy-daddy) was doing and instead of a text message back, my mother called me. No, no, no, no, no, no... no. I picked up the phone and she informed me that Daddy-daddy was suffering from acute renal failure and that they were going to release him and send him home with hospice care - and that it might be 3 hours, 3 days, or 3 weeks that he would stay with us. The moment I heard her voice break as she said, "it's just a matter of when," my emotions choked off and shut themselves up. It surprised me because I expected to feel this overwhelming sadness... but instead I just felt a deep sense of melancholia. A few moments later as I was telling my mother I would be praying and that my grandfather was a fighter, my own voice broke and tears began to stream. I just knew that this wasn't a good thing... I had to prepare for the worst... I had to prepare to face the music if he lost this battle.

The emotions I went through that day were absolutely mind-reeling. I wanted nothing more than to sit on the back porch, surrounded by my garden (my grandfather and I used to sit outside and just observe nature together) and take in everything: the sunlight, the breeze, the sound of the leaves skittering across the pavement, even the way the air smelled. One moment I would feel the enormous amount of peace settle over me but then I was flung 180 degrees and the sadness would grip at my heart, causing a painful lump in my throat as tears welled in my eyes and spilled over onto my cheeks. When I was in full swing of a crying spell that same tranquil peace would suddenly invade and steal over me. This altered back and forth for about two or three hours, just ricocheting back and forth between emotions. To quote Sylvia Plath, "I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between."

I was stuck in the madness in between. About the onset of dusk that peace had won out over the sadness. I had finally come to terms with that death might greet my grandfather as an old friend would - I reasoned that he had live a good, long life of 95 years, 72 years married to the love of his life, my beautiful grandmother, 6 successful daughters, 15 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren...a large family which continues to grow. I felt peace.

Finally, this morning came with confusion... I awoke around 5 or 6am, much earlier than usual, and in a panic checked my phone: no missed calls, no voicemails, no texts, nada, zip, and zilch. I went back to sleep for around 3 more hours when my mother's ringtone shatters the peaceful sleep I'm in... NO, NO, NO, NO, NO... but I answer to hear her voice cracking on the other end, "Mija, I'm sorry, but Daddy-daddy passed away this morning... " The rest of it fell on semi-deaf ears as the truth rang around me. My grandfather had died. He was gone. I hadn't gotten to say goodbye. My mother informed me she was carpooling with two of her sisters to get down to the valley as soon as they could to make arrangements and that she'd send for my dad and I when things were in order. I tried as hard as I could to console her with anecdotes and quotes but I'd choke myself up in the process and a barrage of sadness would assail me. In the middle of all that sadness it was like something would swoop in, interlope, and the sadness would vanish. How was I suppose to grieve when my DiD was mistakenly trying to protect me; the sadness would become too great, I would be thrown out of the driver's seat and into the passenger's, and was left to wonder madly how I would handle this.

My grandmother passed when I was 12 -back in 1996 - and I felt sadness then, I even cried at her funeral. But I wouldn't go to my grandfather's funeral in 2005 nor my uncle's the next year... I couldn't handle the emotions. Here I am facing another funeral and I've decided to attend whatever service will be held in my grandfather's honor... but facing it with DiD could be the craziest thing I've attempted in my life. What I suspect is that when confronted with the real truth and depth of his absence, my DiD will step in, take over, and I will be watching from the sidelines yet again. It might be awkward because I may be the only one not shedding a tear and instead quietly observing. I worry that bottled up emotions may threaten to break me, but I know my Dissociative Identity Disorder will more than likely stop that from happening, and I'll be at the funeral devoid of emotion... people might wonder what's wrong with me, if I feel anything, etc.

Of course I feel everything, I feel it just like any normal person, but akin to feeling water through a film of oil; feeling but not quite feeling as someone else might. But I feel it all, whether it's behind the scenes or in company that I trust, I just have to feel it when it comes... even if it is erratic and wild... such is the bondage of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

So today has seen me ricocheting in between the madness again, crying one minute, laughing the next, feeling nothing in the other. I probably seem out of sorts to people without DiD but for me, it's the only way I can, and know how, to handle the emotions flying through me today... the emotions I will feel tomorrow, the day after, the day of the funeral, or even years from now. Right now though, I am exhausted. Emotionally exhausted. I'm too tired to cry or even to smile. Or maybe my DiD has interloped again, but to me it feels like exhaustion.

I am grateful for the last memory I have of my grandfather. My wonderful boyfriend J had traveled to the valley with my parents and I for Thanksgiving last year, and on one of the final nights I begged him to sing "El Rancho Grande" by Roger Creager for my grandparents. The song is a Spanish one and while J doesn't speak or understand a lick of it, he had phonetically memorized the song and could sing it with perfect diction. J was so reluctant to sing, but he swallowed his pride and stood up to croon "El Rancho Grande." Not long into the song, Daddy-daddy joined in and began singing with him, followed by my mother and then my grandmother, and of course me on the chorus. We wrapped up the song with yips and gritos followed by a lot of clapping. My grandfather was so overjoyed that he shuffled his feet on the floor while remaining seated in his recliner, to which he spoke up and announced in Spanish that he felt like dancing, to which my grandmother replied in Spanish, "Well, get up and dance then." Which was a funny family joke at the time because Daddy-daddy had a hard enough time getting around his own house, let alone dancing. Women in my family are awesome. But through all of that my best memory is seeing them smile, sing, and even shuffle-dance... all because my sweet J sang them a song in Spanish. I'll cherish that memory forever.

Until Next Time,
<3 Shade


Dexter: Angry Birds IRL