This post is for a reader, Ana, and for anyone else who is thinking of going Raw Till 4 or struggling with the lifestyle.
I hope you might be able to relate to my story and maybe learn from my mistakes, and use it well on your own journeys to health and wellness.
My background before and coming into RT4
I have always been a healthy weight for most of my life, to put a number to it, a healthy BMI of 20-21. I first lost weight doing the Insanity workouts and eating a ‘clean’ vegan diet (this is where my profile picture on the right was taken. Again, to put a number to put, BMI 18.5) I felt great about myself and I kept receiving compliments on how great I looked. One person in particular kept harping on how “fat” I was before (I wasn’t) compared to the current “gorgeous” me.
But once I stopped exercising regularly, the weight slowly crept back up and I started restricting my diet instead to maintain my new weight. I was constantly thinking about food and wasn’t happy. That is when I turned to RT4 as a way out of the vicious cycle of dieting.
However, the weight continued to creep back up on RT4. I became quite self-conscious with the weight gain. I was embarrassed by it, really. I kept thinking back to the people who once complimented me. How they must be thinking I’m “fat” once again (I’m not. BMI back to 20-21). Hence, I was fixated with weight loss being my ultimate goal and I still hung onto the “dieting mentality” that I had before. I scrutinized what I ate and obsessed over my meals on RT4.
Sure, I was eating more than ever – but I was still very much “dieting”.
Thoughts like, “Oh no, I can’t have 2 meals of cooked food in a day” or “I can’t eat that since it is high in fat and salt. I’ll just eat plain rice with a bit of that instead”, were common. I felt guilty whenever I ate something higher in fat/sodium.
I didn’t restrict my calories, but instead I had restricted my diet in other ways.
9 months in and losing the “dieting mentality”
On a superficial level, I was doing everything right and according to the RT4 plan. I ate high raw, low salt/fat, no cheat meals, etc. However, on a psychological level, I was still very much stuck in my “dieting mentality”.
This is hard for me to admit, and the first time I am admitting it, but I probably had a mild case of eating disorder. I have never been anorexic, nor have I been bulimic, but I definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food and my body.
As I mentioned in my last update, after 8 months in, I realized that stress and my mentality had a large part to do with my weight gain on RT4. I started reading more into it.
The more I read, the more I learn to control what I thought about myself. How I looked at myself. Once I started genuinely loving what I saw in the mirror, the “diet mentality” and negative thoughts about myself gradually faded away. I stopped letting food takeover my life and stopped obsessing over my meals.
I am more flexible with what I eat now.
I still eat vegan high raw, high carbs, low fat most of the time. However, I no longer stuff myself to hit a minimum amount of calories; I may eat less than 2000kcal on some days and more than 2500kcal on others, I don’t know and I really don’t bother myself with it. Instead, I eat when I am hungry and stop when I feel full. No recording. No calorie counting.
And when it is not possible to eat a high carb low fat meal, I eat it without any guilt. No small voice at the back of my head, scrutinizing the dishes. Simply enjoy a meal, as how a meal should be.
And the journey continues…
So far, things have been looking really positive. Coming to terms with the weight gain, I feel so much happier. And it looks like the weight is gradually falling off. The fact that my favourite pants fitting again is a good sign.
As this is still an “in-the-process” journey that I am sharing you guys, I am not sure where this path will lead; it is a never-ending learning experience for me. At the moment, things are looking up and I will keep updating you guys (for more frequent updates, find me on instagram: freakinthefruitshop).
So what I’m trying to say here is, if you are new coming into RT4:
- Lose the dieting mentality first
- Then use RT4 as a supplement to achieve a healthy weight
RT4 is supposed to be a lifestyle, not a diet. Do not obsess over it and overtake your life. If you still cling onto the dieting mentality, you probably would not be happy on the RT4 either and will continue to put on weight. Trust me, the process will be much easier without all that negativity.
And that is my story so far. What about you? I would love to hear your experiences on RT4. How is the journey coming along so far and have you learnt anything about yourselves on it?
Note: I am rolling my eyes as I wrote about my dieting mentality. Say whaaat? In what world and by what rule does it say I can’t possibly eat two cooked meals a day. Or dare I even say three. (And I am pretty sure those thoughts are not uncommon amongst new comers to the RT4 lifestyle.)
And I just have to squeeze in a short story on my mum: We have a very sweet tooth in my household, which my siblings and I get from my dear mum. She would eat desserts and all things chocolate without a care in the world. And she would say to herself (and us), “eat and be happy!” Which aptly is now the title of my sister’s baking blog and the advice I should have heeded all along.
So take it from my mum… eat and be happy, everyone!
A little lost on what I am talking about? Check out my previous posts on my Raw till 4 journey:
For daily updates follow me on Instagram: freakinthefruitshop