Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What I learned in 2012

Happy New Year!

2012 was one of my most successful years to date. I (finally) achieved my goal weight, and more significantly I achieved better health and wellness than any other time in memory. I also learned a lot in 2012. I plan to carry these few key lessons, along with many others, with me into 2013.

I am allergic to wheat, corn and oats but can tolerate some rice, which makes total sense if you think about it. When I first started to clean up my eating, my eczema cleared up but then returned shortly after I consumed any wheat.  I didn't need much more justification than that to fully eliminate wheat from my diet. Now that it is gone, I have noticed that oats and corn cause a similar reaction. I don't know if it was masked by the larger reaction I had been having to wheat, or if I was eating so little corn and oats in my wheat-filled days that I didn't react, but now I cannot deny the truth.  Rice, on the other hand, doesn't bother me unless I go hog-wild and eat Thai food three times in a week.  I recently stumbled upon this post by The Urban Poser that explained the science behind what I had determined experimentally. Check it out and then see for yourself. Are you allergic to wheat, corn and oats?

I can defend myself. Fortunately, I was able to learn this lesson the "easy way," without having to suffer a real attack. Early in 2012, I attended a Be Your Own Bodyguard seminar. I found the event to be informative and empowering. Some of the coaching, especially the mental aspects of an attack and the Cycle of Behavior, were so powerful that I knew I needed to learn more.  I attended another training course this summer and now CaveBoy and I are Personal Defense Readiness coaches.  The course covered all aspects of personal defense including mental preparation, awareness, and physical defense. The course was physically and mentally demanding and one of my most rewarding experiences of 2012.

CaveBoy taking a SPEAR from Tony Blauer (facing) founder, CEO at Blauer Tactical Systems, Inc.
Photo shamelessly stolen from a good friend's Facebook.

I shouldn't eat nuts or most seeds because they make me break out. I don't know if it is the Omega6, or some other nuttish/seedly aspect. Either way, nuts and most seeds don't agree with my skin. I guess that means CaveBoy doesn't have to worry about me eating his favorite cookies. Pumpkin seeds seem to be the only ones that I can handle, which is awesome because they're also my favorite. At least I'm not alone, Juli over at paleomg.com has blogged about having a similar issue.

I can do a Turkish get up. This is especially remarkable because prior to 2012 I didn't even know there was such a thing as a Turkish get up.  But I can do one now. Boom!

TGUs in the summer.  I'm even skinnier and stronger now.
This photo also was stolen from that good friend's Facebook
(I don't know why he puts up with me).

I am a champion wheelchair racer. I learned this first-hand at CaveBoy's 30th birthday party.  I don't know if the fact that we had wheelchairs at the party means we should never let CaveBoy and his friends go to the rental store unsupervised, or if we should encourage that behavior.

The party also included belly flops, a 500m row for time (I PR'd)
piles of food and jello shots, and an indoor bouncy castle.

I love Club Med. CaveBoy and I spent four days at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida, to celebrate our 3 year anniversary.  It was wonderful. The food was pretty good. The alcohol was all-included. And the little kids were no real bother. We went sailing, swimming, paddle boarding, and took a trip to the ocean. We ate 6 times a day, drank tequila, and relaxed. I recommend it to a friend.

Crushing it on a SUP. I unknowingly grabbed the "hard board"
and impressed the water sports instructors with my natural skills. 
I still can't say "no" to a Tequila shot (no matter how many I've already taken). I re-learned that lesson again last night. I'm nearly 31 years old, but the only thing that has changed about my tequila consumption in the past 10 years is my brand. I still prefer shots to mixed drinks (there is less to spill while dancing) and I still haven't mastered tequila math (aka counting shots).  Fortunately for my stomach, my safety, and my husband, I am easily distracted by the dance floor. As long as I do not have an active enabler, I'll survive the night.

I am a damn good cook. Maybe that's rude to say about myself. Or maybe you're thinking, "I'll be the judge of that!" But it's true. I create delicious food for my little family that keeps us well nourished in body and soul. Maybe bacon croutons aren't very adventurous or complex. Fine. True. But the key lime "cave pie" was nothing short of magical. And on Christmas Eve, I took a big risk and served pork-stuffed pepperoncini the very day I invented the recipe. They were a hit, along with my CaveBoy-approved deviled eggs and the rest of the spread.

Our Christmas Eve spread. Don't worry, the pepperoncini recipe is coming soon.
So there you have it, what I learned in 2012.  Of course, this isn't all I learned. I have embraced the old adage "you learn something new every day" and endeavor to make sure it is true. I am looking forward to the (minimum) 365 lessons to come in 2013, and sharing my experience in this blog.

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