Tag Archives: tracy lorensen

Confessions of a Cult Member

Six years ago, as I was preparing to leave the United States for my trip around the world (#worldrace, #11n11) my grandpa gave me a piece of solid advice:

Grandpa: “If they offer you KoolAid… don’t drink it.”

Samara: *eye roll* “Graaaampaaa… it’s not like that…”

And, I can happily report, that it wasn’t (entirely) like that.

However, after living with the Lorensen family for almost four years now, I realize that I may have ignored my grandpa’s advice and have accidentally (willingly) drunk the KoolAid  of the ‘Caleb Lorensen cult’.


I have recently become obsessed with Myers-Briggs personality types.  and I mean obsessed.  Like…I listen to podcasts about personality types on my motorcycle and in the shower.

Because I couldn’t keep my obsession quiet, little bits and pieces of Myers-Briggs wisdom would seep out of me and into our family dinners and conversations.  Eventually the Lorensen’s took the personality test themselves to subdue my curiosity.

The results are as follows:

Samara: ENFP: highly imaginative and free spirited individual that needs help remembering to do normal human things, like showering and putting on clean clothes.

Tracy: ESFJ: the ultimate hostess who is all about caring for and providing for the needs of those around her and can not understand how the ENFP has forgot, once again, where her car keys (cellphone, glasses, motorbike) are.

Caleb: ENFJ: the charming and persuasive cult leader.

Tracy wrote a blog about her life as the wife of a cult leader which includes topics such as: drinking the KoolAid (ie: green juice and smoothies); group think and community living.

So if Tracy is married to a cult leader… I suppose that means I am a full fledged cult member… or a cult leader follower.  This news, my being a member in a cult, was disturbing to me at first.. I mean.. valuing my independence and creativity so highly, but, upon reflection… it may not be all be so bad.

Tracy’s blog covers the most noticeable ways the ‘Caleb Lorensen cult’ has influenced my life.   From dietary habits and work-out regimes to educational pursuits and passions… I am a changed woman.  Her blog is hilarious and you should read it.  Here’s a link: link.

In this blog I will write about a few more subtleties I have noticed in my life since joining the cult.

-Taking on of life mantras:

The Lorensen’s live by a unique set of life values.  There are many and I will not cover them all here…but, the first that comes to mind is ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down’.  I hate this.  But over the years, it has been adopted into my lifestyle.  In fact, the Lorensens exude general lack of shyness about bodily functions—be they farts, burps, poops or periods… bodily functions are not to be ashamed of. Honestly, conforming to this belief system, was not a very difficult one for me and is actually very freeing.  I suggest you pick it up as well.

Another of the Lorensen mantras is that ‘children are assets and not liabilities’. The communal way in which we live our lives over here in Thailand, means I have been given the rare opportunity to actually witness the ins-and-outs of parenting, without actually being a parent, and have therefore, picked up some of their parenting techniques as my own.  The Lorensen’s are not held back by their children, nor do they hold their children back.  Their children are encouraged to explore, be curious, make messes and think for themselves.  This can lead to interesting situations…yes, but it also creates highly creative, confident individuals.  Community living and valuing children… again, ideas that perhaps you pick up with as well.

-Changes in Diet and Exercise:

Again, Tracy already wrote about this in her blog (link)… so I will be brief.  But I want to say, I have never exercised so consistently in my life than I have since living with the Lorensens.  I say this after having NOT exercised consistently since starting my MA program a year ago and the statement is STILL true. As for my diet.. I have been following a no sugar, no carb diet with Tracy for about 9 months now.

The impossible has been made possible via the Caleb Lorensen cult.

-General Boldness:

I used to pride myself with being a sweet, sunshiny girl.  And… I still am.  The difference, however, is since being part of the Caleb Lorensen cult, I have begun to actually take myself more seriously.  I think living under the influence of someone like Caleb… and having him take me seriously, has affected the way I view myself.  I have grown leaps in bounds in my self-confidence.  I have learned how to set effective boundaries and how to say no.  I have also learned how to use my super-power of ‘sweetness’ and ‘like-ability’ to speak hard truths and say hard things to people.  I have become a very bold speaker, standing up not only for the people in my life, but also standing up for myself.

This also comes out in my willingness to state my mind and share unpopular opinions and ideas.  I have found myself playing devil’s advocate in situations where I would have previously just sat quietly.  I have picked up the attitude of the Caleb Lorensen cult and it suits me well.


I could go on an on… from living by sayings like “stop that stinkin’ thinkin,’” “no pressure just opportunity” and “drink good coffee” to pursuing an actual career as an educator, I am a full fledged member or the Caleb Lorensen cult.

I drink the juice and I repeat the mantras  … and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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If Tracy Lorensen Can Do It, I can! (Part Two)

aka the Candida blog

If you are not already aware, Tracy Lorensen can do anything.  Seriously.

She is the kind of person who will say ‘yes’ to anything and then excel at it.  She is strong, disciplined and highly responsible.

In many ways, Tracy Lorensen is the exact opposite of Samara Marie.

I mean we have our similarities…don’t get me wrong.   Youtube videos, small nicknacks and pretty things in general have bound our two [very] different personalities into an eclectic friendship that has shaped me for life.

That being said… “If Tracy Lorensen can do it, I can too” is not a motto I mold my life around.  Like I said in a previous blog (with a similar title), Tracy is made up of the combined essence of Aquaman, Thor and the Amazing Flash. You could probably add Wonder Woman in there for good measure.

That’s hard to keep up with. Trying to keep up with that could result in entering into a dangerous spiral of comparison and self-pity.  Don’t go there.  It’s not pretty.

That being said, I have found myself, once again, taking on a new feat along side the one and only Tracy Lorensen.


 

About a month ago Tracy found out that she had a candida** overgrowth problem that was wrecking havoc and causing all sorts of ruckus on her insides. In order to get rid of the all consuming candida (which is just a fancy word for yeast) inside of her, Tracy needed to completely change her diet, cutting out all forms of sugar (natural or added), dairy and simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, oats, etc).  It needed to be a complete overhaul.  Right at the onset of the holidays.

My empathy, unsolicitedly, won and I decided that I would do it with her. As a support.

And that’s where I want to end this blog.

Because that’s where I look good.

What a good friend you are Samara. Yay you! The End.


 

Turns out…this was much harder than I was expecting.

Thank you Jesus for Caleb Lorensen who has been like a live in candida killing chef.  Preparing us all sorts of sugar free, dairy free, gluten free dinners.  If it wasn’t for him I would starve.

The first week on my new diet I was lost.  I had no idea what to eat.  I never realized how much of my diet was composed of carbs and sugars.

Carbs and sugars.  Carbs and sugars. Carbs and sugars.

If you ask me what my favorite foods are, the only honest answer I can give is: carbs and sugars.

I quickly realized that most of my food choices were based off of convenience and that I regularly gave into sugary cravings.

I was addicted to sugar. No doubt about it.

The sugar cravings came hard and then my body punished me for not giving in by sending me a massive headache that lasted days on end.  The lack of sugar made me grumpy and emotional.

Early on, Tracy was going through her first stages of candida die off*** and being the Superhuman Mixture of a person that she is, keeping a positive attitude and making comments like:

I’m just enjoying the smells.  I can’t eat it, but I can smell it,”  and “At this point I don’t even want to eat sugar,”

while I was writhing in my bedroom over a snickers bar that I couldn’t indulge in or curling up in the fetal position lamenting over the woes of my life.

I was an awesome support system.


 

You may be asking yourselves, “why keep up this crazy diet if you’re not sick and you’re not doing a good job at supporting Tracy?”

That is a good questions and there are a couple good answers for it.

  1.  I am incredibly stubborn.  I am proving to someone (probably my inner critic) that I can indeed do this.
  2. It turns out, I had a pretty horrible diet before this.  I never realized it.  I mean, I eat a ton of vegetables and my meals are all mostly good for me and nutritious…but between those meals, I would eat a ton of crap.  It was mindless snacking. My food decisions were impulsive and often driven by my emotional state.  Coming to that realization was hard, but has been a driving factor keeping me going.  I want to rid myself of this unhealthy addiction to bread and sugar and stop looking to foods for comfort or joy when I should be looking to Jesus.
  3. Finally, it turns out, I probably have a bit of candida overgrowth myself and actually feel a lot better (now that my sugar withdrawal is done) not eating the carbs.  My digestive system has needed the break and I find that when I mess up and eat something I shouldn’t, I end up with stomach issues.

So, I’m keeping it up.  Not with the strength and vigor of the Superhuman best friend that I live with, but with my dramatic, whiny personality that is too stubborn to give in.

If Tracy Lorensen can do it, I can too! (pray for me.)

 

**Candida is not to be mistaken with chlamydia like I was calling it the entire first week after getting this news…

***Die off is when the candida in your body has been starved to death so it emits all these toxins in a last ditch effort to destroy you and you feel miserably ill until the toxins are gone. Fun stuff.

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If Tracy Lorensen can do it, I can!

This is not a motto I mold my life around.  Know why?  Because Tracy Lorensen can do anything.  Yes.  She’s like a hybrid of Aquaman, Thor and the Amazing Flash.  I’m not even joking.  So yea… I do my best not to compare myself with her.

Yet somehow, somehow, I find myself training for a half marathon with her.

Often, as I’m putting in the required amount of training miles, I relive the day that I agreed to this absurdity.

I had just taken a shower, Caleb, who had been talking about running a full marathon in the States for at least a year now, was anxiously awaiting the minute registration would open and out of the blue I hear, “Samara!  When are you getting into the States?  Do you want to run the Lincoln half with Tracy?  I’m signing us up now…”

There had been no prior talk of Tracy running the half, in fact, I was under the impression that Tracy didn’t particularly like running… but without any prior thought, the word “Great!” was blurted out of my mouth as if an alter ego had momentarily taken over my body and mind.

And that was it.  Mere seconds after that word tumbled out of my mouth I was registered and the registration fee was paid for out of my eager team leader’s pocket.

Things just got real.

….

I had trained for and ran a half marathon before.  The training process, while vigorous and exhausting was actually kind of enjoyable for me.  I did all my long runs with a close friend and I found various other different people to do the short runs with.

I’m a social creature.  If anything made that process at all bearable, it was being able to do it with people whom I love.  The conversation and relationships built during those unthinkably long runs outweighed the fact that every morsel of my being was screaming, “Why!! Why are you doing this to us!!”

The actual day of the half marathon, I did really well…until the last two miles when my body decided that it had had enough and was going to just die. Literally die.  I could barely pick up my feet to cross that finish line and I promised myself, ‘Never again.’

Well promises are made to be broken?  Right?  Right?

….

So, here I am again.

The first two months of training were actually ok.  Tracy and I would go on our runs together and used the month of January to get our bodies used to running…so the runs weren’t long or fast, just nice.

Knowing that Tracy was soon getting on an airplane for the States made these  runs very special to me—something I looked forward to (read ‘looked forward to’ with the understanding that there was still a fair amount of moaning and groaning on my part,) they were part of our busy schedules that I knew I would get exclusive time to just spend with Tracy.

And then.  She left.

Yep.

I mean, I always knew it was going to happen.  Always.  It was never a secret.  It wasn’t a surprise.

But… still…

And you know what didn’t leave?

The fact that I needed to train for this freaking half marathon that is haunting my future.

….

Tracy left and in her place came this giant cloud of smog covering the entire province of Chiang Mai.  Public service announcements about not exercising in the current weather conditions were aired and thousands of Thai people began wearing masks while they drive their motorbikes trying to keep the toxins out of their lungs.

But training called.

Tracy’s absence also brought on the increase in miles.  Four miles turned into five, then into six and eventually a nice ten.  Forty-five minute runs have gradually become two and a half hour runs…

By. My. Self.

….

At this point, my body has pretty much rejected me.  I have dealt with every runners ailment you can think of.  From runners knee to lost toe nails to nasty blisters to chaffing… flipping chaffing.  Chaffing chaffing chaffing.

As the miles were getting longer and the days were getting hotter I started getting extremely dehydrated, but being stubborn and not wanting to run with a bottle of water in my hand, I did the next logical thing…

The night before my long run, I went and hid bottles of water along my trail.  Genius.

The next morning as I was running along, my little self was just soooooo excited about these hidden oasis’ that I would stop, thirsty or not, and gulp down some water.  Five times I did this.

And then, blump blamp blomp, went my stomach for the rest of the run.

Still not sure which was worse…total dehydration and inevitable heat stroke, or the pure excitement I had over the hidden treasures that, in turn, led me to running with a stomach that was getting closer and closer to vomiting at every step.

Meanwhile, Tracy is growing stronger everyday in Omaha continuing her training like the graceful gazelle she is.   As my miles continue to take me longer and longer to accomplish, hers, it seems, are taking her less and less.

I’m sure you’ve all seen this image:

running

Change the wording a little to read: “What Tracy looks like when she’s running”… the rest can stay as it is.

This week, I’m supposed to take off.  I had a small procedure done in my armpit (I told you my body has turned against me,) and the doctor said I’m not allowed to sweat.  Ha.

Normal Samara would be all, ‘BooYah!!’ but something strange has happened to me and I feel kind of gyped out of my precious training time.

I have yet to process these feelings… they are new and confusing to me.

….

So here I am.  In Thailand.  Alone.  Training to run the Lincoln Half Marathon on May 3rd.

Because, if Tracy Lorensen can do it, I totally can too!

run

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