For those of you who have followed my blog since the beginning (it’s been over 5 years, but who’s counting!!), you know that this blog hasn’t ever really been a whole lot about me but in fact, it’s been a whole lot more about YOU! When I first started my own journey to health, a resource like Everyday Paleo simply did not exist, and holy guacamole, I needed a resource like this one. Therefore, when I started this blog, I wanted to offer you a resource you could trust. A resource that had information and not drama. A resource that offered the how to’s and why’s, and offered real life examples of how to make this “get healthy thing” work. Well guess what – it DOES work. However, like Jason Seib and I have preached for years. The “paleo diet” does not work. Any “diet” out there does not work. It’s not sustainable, it’s not feasible, it’s not real life. My life however is real. Sarah Fragoso, the woman, is real. I am a mom, a wife, a fighter, a lover, a real darn person and I make this paleo thing work because, well, it simply does when you really live it.
You won’t see a lot of pictures of me on this site. In fact, my before and after pictures from almost six years ago live over at Norcal Strength & Conditioning, and not here at Everyday Paleo. Why? Because this is a crazy space, this internet land that I am deeply embedded in and it can be scary as hell to put yourself out there. However, the paleo community at large is filled with joy, support, love, and kindness but also lurking in the shadows is judgement, disdain, and most of all – that one yucky word that I mentioned earlier – drama… The latter is not a fun place to be so I try very hard to leave the controversial stuff alone, and simply offer you the best information that I can.
However, I need to face my fears. Partly because this is also a healing process for me. I need to own who I am. I need to own my hard work, my dedication, my love for life, my joy of health, my happiness in my success, my strength as a woman, mother and wife. So that’s what this post is. I’m owning it. You might have read a post I put up recently, What You Don’t See, and that post was the beginning of my realization that I need to own what I’ve accomplished and share it. I need to share it because I want to give hope. I want to show you that this can work. This is what this lifestyle has done for me and so here goes. Let’s do this. I’m jumping in with both feet…
My goal has never been about aesthetics and it shouldn’t be for you either. After hitting rock bottom almost 6 years ago, I no longer cared. I just wanted to live. Thanks to figuring out this lifestyle, not just “dieting”, I am doing just that. I am not just surviving this life – I’m thriving in it. I’ve had some ups and downs over the last 6 years but now my health is my first priority and thanks to that, I can keep up with my kids, I can keep up with this blog, and I’ve learned to ask for help. My sleep is precious to me. I guard it. I rarely drink. I eat super clean. I lift heavy and I’m stronger than I ever have been. I do a couple of met-cons a week (metabolic conditioning) but never do I push myself past the point of no return with my intensity and never do I push hard longer than 10 minutes. The rest of my fitness program is just me really living…
The real secret? I love deeply. I try to forgive and not wallow around in the craziness of this world – especially in internet land. I play with my kids every single day. I mean really play. I laugh. I hug my husband and I hold his hand and we treat each other like boyfriend and girlfriend not “holy cow we are bored and have been married for 12 years.” I cry when I need to but I stay strong when it counts. I say what’s on my mind but with compassion for who I am speaking to. I am me. I am owning it. I look in the mirror everyday and rejoice in what I have which is my life, my real life, my precious life that could be ripped out from under me tomorrow so I’m going to relish in this joy that I have today. I get angry, I mess up, I get too stressed, and then I put on the brakes because I’m never going back. Ever. I learn from my mistakes. I try to admit when I am wrong. I let my temper flare and my loved ones will see my rage and then I pull it all back in and go outside – put it in perspective – and honor that I’m human. I’m still healing. I still miss my mom. I still want to go back and fix her but I never will so I will honor her by living my best life possible. I want my boys to remember their mom as saying, “Yes I can!” and “Let’s play longer!” not, “I’m too tired” or, “I can’t do that.”
And now, after not even trying to achieve it, this is what my health looks like. Not just on the inside but on the outside. I didn’t “try” to do what I see in this picture; what you see in this picture. It just happened while I was busy getting as freaking healthy as possible. Now, guess what’s crazy? I have regular periods, I eat tons of calories, I sleep at least 8 hours a night, I rarely feel the anxiety and depression from the “good ol’ pre-paleo days”, my skin is clear, I no longer battle the headaches that used to plague me, I haven’t had candida issues in almost 6 years, my legs are no longer painful and ugly with edema, I haven’t had kidney pain or infection in almost 6 years, the chronic bursitis in my right hip is almost non-existent; and I’m happy. I wouldn’t give any of that up for anything, ever. I used to be scared to hang from a bar, unable to barely raise my knees above parallel, I couldn’t climb a rope, in fact I thought I would never be able to. Now I can climb like a monkey. I used to barely be able to pick up 65 lbs off the ground, now 235 comes up easy. I used to get out of breath carrying my laundry, now I can play tag for hours with my kids without even noticing the need to breath. I used to be embarrassed to even be seen by my own husband in a bathing suit. Now I don’t even think twice and I’m proud of my scars, my skin that will never be quite the same, and every single inch of me is alive with well being so the bathing suit goes on and I just live rather than dread. I used to be scared of being incapable, and now I am able to do what I want to without any doubts. That’s what matters. This is my healthy.
I am proud to share this with you. Scared? Yes. But proud. It’s time. I’m owning it. Now I want you to go out and own it too! Own who you are, no matter what that looks like. Own your health. Own your happiness. Own your body, your strength, your capability, your love, your life! I want you to own each day as if it’s your last and be that person who you want to be. Don’t try and then fail, never to try again. Instead, get back up and do it! Be happy right now and hold on tight to those who support you through those days that make you want to give up. Ask for help. Don’t take on the entire world. It’s impossible and it really does take a village, so find your village and take advantage of it. You are needed also, and your help in return will only spread this message of support. Love fiercely, and most importantly, don’t just survive this life – thrive in it.
You can achieve your goals, you can reach for the stars, you can get healthy by choice and hot by accident but only when you are living this life and not simply “doing a diet”. It takes patience, persistence, courage, and the ability to question all the information and wrong information that is out there. It takes the ability to choose to work hard and know what to let go of and what to hold on to. It takes the mental fortitude to work through the bull crap that we all have to wade through in order to find our own truth. It takes the know how to stand up for yourself in the face of adversity and to ignore those friends, neighbors and loved ones who think you are just a wee bit crazy. It takes strength beyond compare to plow through the daily temptations, the awkward social situations and the moments when you just want to quit. But when you come out on the other side it’s always worth it because good health is ALWAYS worth it – no matter what – this is the only life you get, so you have to grasp the tools and resources that you have and OWN IT!
I must end this post by thanking you for always supporting me and please, help me own this moment, share this post, share your story, tell me in comments about your struggles your triumphs your moments and let’s take this to the next level. No more excuses, no more denying that this lifestyle can work; but only if you let it. STOP the dieting, stop the wishing, and let’s help each other find the answers to what works for you. Your “healthy” might look different than mine but you’ll know when you are there and you’ll also be in a place to find the bravery to share it with the world.
You got this, and you will always have me to support you.