Primal Focus

My One Year Challenge

My name is Sonia, and I’m addicted to sugar.  I came to that conclusion almost a year ago.  So, where am I now?  In the exact same spot?  Not really.  Throughout the past year, I read a lot about what it means to be paleo (strict paleo is basically no dairy, no wheat, no legumes, no added sugar), what it means to be primal (paleo; however, small amounts of dairy are ok), and what nutrition does or does not do to your body.  Quite the adventure ensued.  For those interested in learning more, I highly recommend: The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson ( and Whole 30/Whole 9 (  If you are in or near Indy, then, it’s worth the drive to Brownsburg.  There’s an amazing garage gym called PR Fitness that incorporates and lives by many of these principles (

In June/July 2011 I went 30 days strict Paleo, using the program designed by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig,  Whole 30, in conjunction with my gym, PR Fitness.  The results – I lost 12.5 pounds, many inches, and I felt great!  This happened while on vacation over the 4th of July!  For a reason unknown to me (ok, honestly, I am smart, but I have moments of weakness, addiction, and stupidity), I went back to the sugar, bread, and other simple carbs.  I did not retreat entirely though, and I incorporated much from the teaching and teachers above.  Here is why that context is significant.

December 13, 2011 I visited my doctor for a complete physical.  I asked him to do labs, including the ever dreaded lipid profile.  Additionally, I wanted my blood sugar re-checked.  Again, context matters.  Sometime in 2008 I had blood work, and my results were something like this – sugar, too high – not diabetic, but insulin resistant.  In other words, on your way and we cannot tell you when.  Cholesterol was around 220.  High enough that the doctor was going to recommend statins.  And, my triglycerides were around 136 – normal is up to 150.  For most normal people, the numbers were enough of a concern to change my ways.  Not me.  It took my dad’s death almost two years later for me to realize the significance of things like dialysis and bypass surgery.  Back to the 13th (Dec 2011), with a mostly primal lifestyle, my numbers were impressive.  Not kidding.  My husband who is not easily swayed by the latest infomercial (yes, I own almost all of them) took notice.  Here are my numbers:

  • Triglycerides – 89 (are you kidding?  that’s amazing!)
  • Blood sugar – 85 (no more insulin resistance for me!)
  • Cholesterol – 196 (within normal limits – on the high side, but still!)
  • Vitamin D – 10 (not checked back in 2008, but, low enough that my PCP put me on prescription strength Vitamin D for the next 8 weeks)

On paper a person could believe that I still maintain a healthy weight for my height.  Nothing is farther from the truth.  My number is daunting and taunting.  It’s high enough that I probably qualify for a show like The Biggest Loser, but I cannot imagine subjecting myself to that kind of public scrutiny.  Nor, do I think the show does enough of the ‘real world’ experiences where individuals live outside of the ranch.  Life is far from predictable – just ask those sitting on the interstate for an hour, or those with a parent in the hospital, or those in prison (how many dreamed of that when they were in high school?)… I will stop.

Here is the point of this blog/this post.  I am and will continue to be inspired by people who lose a lot of weight.  Their stories of courage and triumph over adversity are motivating.  My issue/challenge is the day to day.  How about a blog or a resource where someone is living it?  That is what this will be.   I need to lose a lot of weight.  I want this blog to be about the journey, in the midst of the storm, right where I am, right where I struggle, and what helped me or didn’t help me through it.  I may not post every day, but this is about my year long commitment to being the best me I can be.  That spills to a lot more than nutrition and exercise, but for the purposes of this blog, I will keep it simple.  After looking at the research and knowing my family history (riddled with diabetes on both sides), this is the approach that I choose for me.  The one year (Primal Focus 2012) will be a blip on the radar of my life.  Intimidating at first, but I hope to hit the groove within a few weeks.  One day at a time.  With that said, I think it’s only fair that you see the starting point.  Here I am – all too much of me.  The picture below was taken a couple of weeks ago on 24 December 2011.  This is my ‘before,’ and I am already looking forward to my ‘after.’

Primal Focus - Before

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17 thoughts on “My One Year Challenge

  1. Sonia, when can we look forward to another blog post?

  2. I am so excited to have a friend on this path to health 🙂

  3. WOW you inspire me Sonia, I hate the dreaded labs too and my numbers need work!! Thanks forposting, Im glad you didnt delete it. Good luck and I’ll be watching…..and trying to do as well for myself too


  4. Will be following your awesome success story on this blog. Wishing you the best 2012 and a resounding “Grok on!” from Cape Town, South Africa!

    • ‘Grok on!’ is definitely the goal. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment and encourage. Means a lot. I probably thought of deleting the post about thirty times after I published. Not because I am afraid of the exposure, but because I thought I was being silly. Go to Mark’s site and you can easily see (so can I) a lot of people already have this figured out. Hope to join those ‘success stories’ and add some years to my life. Hope to be able to chronicle the journey and learn from my mistakes (and successes). Best to you and yours!

  5. Sonia you are a very beautiful woman; what the Primal Blueprint will do is let you shake that negative self-image and become the self-confident person you really ought to be.

    I do feel I have to correct you on one thing, however – this one year of your life will absolutely NOT be a blip on the radar. It will be an absolutely defining year that (in all seriousness) will set you up for happiness and health for the rest of your life. I’ve seen the Primal Blueprint literally turn countless lives around, and you will be no different if you stick with it. You’ve turned a corner now, the rest of your life is going to be so amazing it will literally blow your (and everyone around you)’s socks off!

    This may seem like unwarranted hyperbole but after a few months on the PB you’ll know exactly what I mean!

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I welcome the support, and I love knowing that your words are likely true. It probably will be much more than a blip on the radar. Stay tuned. 🙂

  6. Good luck with you Primal journey! 🙂

  7. Shelley on said:

    Awesome Sonia. Inspiring. You can do it. 🙂

  8. Sherri DeCoursey on said:

    Right on, Sonia! You’re beautiful “before” and you’ll be beautiful “after”, but after comes with lots of additional health benefits. Behind you all the way. xo

    • Thanks, Sherri! Appreciate the support. I know I’m going to need it. Who knows? Maybe one day I will join you for a mudder or marathon or something. 🙂

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