Monday, June 13, 2011

What I'm About

I've been a Bible believing Christian since about 1993ish (I was roughly 6, maybe 7). Growing up I've been in both public and Christian schools and I went on to do a little Bible College. I've traveled a lot, seen a lot, done a lot. I don't claim to be an expert in anything. I'm currently a stay at home mom. My husband works full time as do I, the latter keeping up with housework and chasing after an almost two year old energetic boy named Turner. Jesse, my husband, travels all over the state of Maine and a little beyond to fix and replace air compressors for his employer. We are very average.
Why am I blogging??
I'm a Christian, yes. Do I believe in Evolution? No. Do I think it matters?? Not really. The Bible clearly states to me how all living creatures were created by God. But I'm not going to go into that. I'm not here to argue that with anyone. It's an argument that you can have with someone until you're both blue in the face and does it change anything?? Nope. We're all here today. That's what matters. The present. Not whether or not the earth is a billion years old. Who cares?! I'm one to think that all the worlds mysteries will be explained by God one day, so why stress out about it? That's a waste of my precious time. But I digress...
I've been pretty passionate about health and fitness for awhile. It all started when I earned my living as a flier dropper down in Baltimore, MD. I was 18 (I'm 24 at the time of this post). Flier dropping was the most physically demanding thing I have ever done. You would get dropped off in a neighborhood and run as fast as you can from door to door, hanging literature on the door handle. The faster you went, the more fliers you dropped. The more fliers you dropped, the bigger your paycheck was. I did this with a team Monday through Friday.
I began to notice during the nine months I did this job that my performance had a lot to do with the food I was eating. Thus, began my experimentation with my diet. Something that I would be tweaking for years. There is the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to the world of food and nutrition. And everybody's got an opinion.
Ultimately, several years and a very scary crash-course later I've arrived to this conclusion in the area of flier dropping: chronic cardio (which was basically what I was doing) is TERRIBLE for you. I'd never felt so run down in my life and guess what? The only food that I could eat to keep any fat on my body so that I'd continue to get my period every month and not feel exhausted all the time was pure junk food! And the crazy thing is that people thought I was the picture of health. I was thin, my calves were nice and sculpted. But I felt like crap.
But everyone was so impressed with how thin I was, I was in such "GOOD SHAPE".
I quit flier dropping and fled to Maine to move in with my folks. That's when the bondage REALLY took over. How could I maintain my figure now that I wasn't running 25 hours a week?? What was I supposed to eat? What if I get FAT?!
My first goal was to continue running, every day. Looking back, I don't blame myself: it's what I knew! So I continued to run myself to exhaustion.
And what about my food choices?? I fell for every lie in the book. I went extremely low fat. I was hungry ALL THE TIME. I blamed it on my coffee addiction, so I made sure to drink four cups a day. I tried to live on apples, nuts, veggies, whole grains, Yoplait light, and low fat meat and dairy products. This didn't work. I was thin, yes. But I was always exhausted. I had to figure out where I was going wrong. I tried cutting out meat. I tried cutting out dairy. I added more beans. I went vegan (for about 24 hours, and I thought I was going to die). I was eating my mini meals about 6 times a day, which, by the way, is extremely annoying and time consuming.
The number on the scale was where I wanted it to be. My body composition?? My beanpole appearance wasn't exactly turning any heads. And I was still irritable, still exhausted, still hungry.
It went on like this so did life: I got married to a wonderful man, and then I got pregnant.
I thought I was tired and hungry before?! Now, as a pregnant woman I was that times ten! All in all, I did enjoy being pregnant and having a good excuse to relax a little more often and eat an extra cookie or two. By the end of my pregnancy I'd gained about 17 pounds and was a picture of health. I was one hot pregnant momma.
After my son was born and I was able to, I started working on getting back into shape. I made the mistake of trying to count calories. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT do this when you are breastfeeding your child. I was so utterly exhausted by doing this. The baby would suck all the energy and nutrients out of me when he nursed I was left hobbling around like an old lady because I was too afraid to eat enough. Big mistake.
I quickly learned my lesson and got back to eating more.
So there I was, a new mother. I couldn't afford to be exhausted all the time. I couldn't work out all the time. I couldn't eat mini meals all the time. What was I to do??
I discovered the Paleo/Primal way of eating by pure accident. I was looking up some working out advice on Google when a link to Marks Daily Apple popped up. I liked the advice he gave on the subject in question and decided to dive in a little further. After a little more reading I concluded that this guy was OUT OF HIS MIND. He posted the craziest things about how grains, even whole grains, legumes (including peanuts), vegetable oil and too much fruit was actually a huge and even main contributor to why modern man was looking so flabby these days. The stuff he wrote made my head spin. Oatmeal? BAD! Spending hours on a treadmill?? BAD! Eating a nice juicy steak?? GOOD! Egg yolks?? GOOD! I felt bad for the guy on that day, I thought for sure he'd bought himself a one way ticket to a heart attack and an early death.
But after that day, I just kept going back to his site. Reading his posts. Things started to click. In the end I gave Paleo/Primal a try. It's been well over a year and I look AND feel amazing. I've got more then enough energy to take care of my family and plenty of time. I even ENJOY working out! And the food is so amazing...I never feel deprived. I couldn't have asked for a more necessary time to find the Paleo/Primal lifestyle then when I just wanted to be a good mother and role model for my son. It has been an answered prayer!
In diving more into the Paleo/Primal community on the web I couldn't help but notice the strong ties most bloggers have to a belief in Evolution. Once again, I'm not making my voice heard to put them down or prove them wrong. I'm simply putting my Christian stamp of approval on the proven science that supports the Paleo diet and lifestyle. I am living proof that giving up stuff like flour and sugar, eliminating stress, moving more, and getting plenty of rest is key to living a healthy, awesome life and I thank God for leading me to it.
Thank you for reading and I hope you check back in again, soon!
If you are interested, please check out marksdailyapple.com and prepare to have your mind blown. :)

7 comments:

  1. This is so exciting, Ashley. Thanks for sharing this information with us. I have learned something totally new. I have not heard of this way of eating before. It sounds like you're on a wonderful journey, and I look forward to hearing more....Carolyn

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  2. Thank you, Carolyn! That's so good to hear! I appreciate it.

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  3. Hi, Ashley! I'm a Paleo eater, as well as a Christian, and other than the evolution thing, I don't see how it interferes with being a Christian. I'm not going to get tied up in minutia (sp?), but I know ultimately it was God who created everything.

    Have you been to Robb Wolf's website? I first found Mark Sisson in August, and somehow I got steered over to Robb's site. It's not just evolutionary science. He uses a lot of chemistry and biology in his explanations.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hi! I'm glad I found your blog!

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  4. Hi Ashley- Just came across your blog as a link from another paleo site. My hubby and I are christian and paleo as well. I don't get into the evolution argument with people and when asked we just tell people we eat as close as we can to what the Lord put on this earth for us to eat. Of course this includes fruits, veggies and animals :)

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  5. I appreciate your comment, Winter. I try to stay out of that argument too, there are much more important things to do on this earth then stress over how we got here (even though it's written plainly in black and white in the Bible). I just wish that there wasn't so much EMPHASIS on the topic in the Paleo world. It's hard to get good advice from any of the experts without them throwing 'this is the way we evolved eating' in there. They have all the proven data about what food is optimal for human health, yet they jeopardize their credibility by packaging the diet with a flashy, evolution bow on top. Evolution is NOT proven science, it's a hypothesis. If Paleo enthusiasts really wanted to get as many people on board with this way of eating as possible, they'd ditch the evolution talk and just make it a 'non issue'. They'd say 'here is the data that proves that Paleo works' and BAM! People get healthy. Paleo is just a hard pill to swallow when you don't believe in evolution. That's all.
    Thanks for visiting!! :)

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  6. Agreed! Christian, Registered Dietitian, Paleo Lifestyle. God is the creator of animal and plant foods. Period. My proof is in how I feel and the studies that support the health changes in a person eating this way. Thanks for sharing. I hope to expand on this in a post soon!!

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  7. Thanks, Mary! I'm glad you enjoyed my post. I love your take. Sorry I'm just reading your comment, I've been MIA for several months now-had a baby!!:) I hope to be jumping back into blogging soon, it's been awhile! Time to clean out the cobwebs.

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