A + B, for Monica, Did Not Equal C

I am so excited to share a guest post with you today. You’ll remember Monica from various posts in the past… the blogger meet-up that she put together, for instance, or that crazy 2-hour spin class we took together. After I tried one of her favorite breakfasts last week, Primal Oatmeal, I asked her if she’d be interested in sharing her story and why the Primal lifestyle works for her, over here. Check out her recipe for Primal Oatmeal here. Plus, you’ll find yours truly on that page!

Please welcome Monica from Yellow Brick Beauty!  Please say hi to her, both in the comments here, and over on her blog!

A + B, For Me Did Not Equal C

As someone who has struggled with constant weight fluctuations for most of my life, I believed that the hardest part about maintaining a healthy weight would be the task of gaining and practicing discipline. Magazines and books always told me, “weight loss is simple – it’s a basic equation of calories in, calories out”. I believed the process of weight loss would only be hard if I made it hard by not following the simple rule of a + b = c.
At two separate points in my life I tipped the scale at 230+ and at my lowest points on the scale I hung around the 170-range. I have always kept my weight in a constant swing and confused not only my body on what is comfortable and what is not, but also my mind on why I eat and what the purpose of food is. Eating was never something I enjoyed and often had guilt associated with it. Exercise was done to justify eating and it was a vicious cycle that I felt trapped in.

In the summer of 2009 I thought I found my groove. I discovered spin class and gained empowerment like never before. I also found a new calorie tracking system that made the process less obsessive and more straightforward. Things were going great and I started to feel physically and mentally connected again. I didn’t know what I had lost until I gained it back. Confidence, self-love, belief, and evolved relationships with food and exercise flooded into my life and I believed that I had finally put the simple equation into practice.

As we moved into the holidays and into the year 2010 I was presented with some challenging moments and my relationship with food went into a very ugly mode again. Watching old habits resurface scared me and left me in tears on multiple occasions. I admitted to my husband that I had bottomed out and that I needed help. I took a step back from the situation and looked for trends throughout my life to identify what was happening and saw that I had an addiction to food. However, as I began to peel back the layers of the onion (through two stints with two different weight-loss programs, many food/weight-loss book readings, and journaling), I learned that I actually have an addition to sugar and carbohydrates.

The trends in my habits began to send up red flags everywhere and it all pointed to sugar/carbohydrate addictions. When I consume products with either of those ingredients something in my body disconnects and all the traffic signals go on the fritz. The equation breaks down, and no amount of discipline brings me back to a + b = c.

In addict programs this moment is called the break-through, but it is really just the beginning of a long journey, a lifelong journey, to constantly evolve and improve one’s habits. My journey has led me down many paths to try various equation combinations, but my husband led me to one path this last fall that really left a significant mark on my life. He was reading a book called Primal Blueprint and requested that I remove grains from meals that I cook for the two of us. I thought it was a bunch of hoopla, but I supported his request and altered our diet to be grain free and low in carbohydrates. What happened to my body was remarkable and helped me realize that limiting processed sugar, carbohydrates and grains is what my body really craves. Not quite the a + b = c that I was striving for, but an equation nonetheless.

Currently I follow Weight Watchers to help me with my portion control and then I also follow a grain free approach to eating. I let things slide here and there, but feel best when I eat sugar/grain free. When I first considered going grain free I told myself that there was no way I could give up my breakfast bowl of oatmeal or my toast and almond butter pre-run snack, but it was easier than I thought it would be. I just feel better without those items in my system. There are so many sites out there with great Primal recipes and I have found many favorites that I use quite frequently. One in particular is for my favorite kind of sandwich, a grilled ham and cheese. Yes, you read that correctly, I live a grain free life but enjoy sandwiches.

Here is the recipe for Primal Grilled Cheese and Ham Sandwiches:

Inspired by This Primal Life, first blend 4 eggs, 2 cups of spinach, 1/4 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/4 cup of almond meal, and salt and pepper to taste.

Mix until it looks like pancake batter.

Cook the mixture just like a pancake in a little bit of olive oil.

And once each of your pancakes are ready to go, return your pancakes to the pan and fill with your desired sandwich ingredients.

For me the mixture yields 5 pancakes.

See diet adjustments don’t mean giving up something forever, it just means getting creative and learning from those who have been where you are.

I am on track with my weight loss goals and am healthier than I have ever been. It radiates through my skin, smile, movement, pretty much everything! It has become so clear to me that health isn’t a number on the scale, but is really a messy equation that leads you to your happiest self. The equation is very different for every person and I had to accept that there is no such thing as an a + b = c route to weight-loss. Everyone is different and every body has different needs that are unique to their lifestyle. Look within and take the time to understand how you mentally and physically operate and you will find your custom equation.

If you have any questions on my history, lifestyle, or the Primal way of eating please don’t hesitate to reach me at yellowbrickbeauty@gmail.com. Otherwise feel free to read my blog and see how I work daily to build my own road to health and happiness.


Filed under Blog Posts, Recipes

7 responses to “A + B, for Monica, Did Not Equal C

  1. thank you for sharing! i had never heard of hte primal diet until now.. i guess the only question i have is do you ever feel sluggish from not eating grains/carbs?

    • I thought I would for sure, but actually never feel sluggish or light headed like I did in my pure calorie tracking days.

      My blood sugar is very stable and the healthy fats and high protein content of my diet prevents that light headed feeling from ever becoming an issue. Even during aggressive workouts I feel great. It is such a new feeling.

      I think that carbs had a spike effect on my insulin, so just weren’t fitting my needs all that well.

  2. Wow, this is VERY cool! Those sandwich patties from scratch are very creative, and even though I’m not planning to omit grains from my diet anytime soon, I definitely want to try these out. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great post Monica! Love the idea that every body is different and making choices that are right for you!

  4. I’m actually really interested in trying this out especially after reading this post. And that sandwich sounds so delicious.

  5. I’ve seen Monica’s primal oatmeal recipe on her blog, but I had no idea what it was all about! This was really interesting, and made such a good point- what works for one person may not work for another 🙂

  6. I love this post. That recipe sounds so good!

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