What a wild ride this “personal transformation” thing has been! Seriously crazy loco whipsaw carnival grade action that would make Ray Bradbury tingle…
One of the coolest things has been all the people reading the blog, cheering me on, and experimenting with raw foods themselves. Thank you.
If you are new to this blog, let me bring you up to speed with a quick re-cap:
A personal “State of the Union.”
- Just before Halloween ’09 I was deep down in the “pits.” Drinking over 100 alcoholic beverages a week, eating with abandon, and totally sedentary; I was an emotional & physical wreck.
- Life was terrible sleepless nights brought on by acid reflux and painfully debilitating symptoms from the beginnings of an inguinal hernia.
- My sedation had also aggravated a serious motorcycle shoulder injury from the past–and my left arm dislocated sometimes just taking off my shirt.
- Overall, I was feeling as despondent as my liver must have felt.
Grasping at Curly Straws
- A few years ago, I had experimented with raw food eating, and had easily lost weight while experiencing insane energy and even outright euphoria. I wondered if I could rescue my body from the abuse I was submitting it to, and somehow get out of the oppressive depression that had become my norm, just by eating raw…
- I set my mind to a 60 day “challenge.” The plan was to go cold-turkey on cooked food, alcohol, and caffeine. I knew it was going to be an extremely rough transition and that I needed some kind of external accountability to stick to it. So I started this blog–Fat Kid Suit–to both “keep me honest” and chronicle the experience.
- In just 60 days I lost 34 lbs, my troubling acid reflux disappeared, and I literally was a different person–so much so that the local paper asked if they could feature my story!
- One of the conditions I set for myself when committing to 100% raw for 2 months was that I didn’t have to exercise if I didn’t want to. I knew that just changing my diet so severely was going to be enough of a battle–so I left the exercise resolutions totally out of it. I figured that eventually I’d WANT to work out. And that’s exactly what happened…
Epic Fail on a New Challenge
- So after completing 60 days raw, I set my mind to a new challenge, “90 straight days of exercise.” I decided that during this challenge, I’d focus on fitness more than diet, and continue to eat a lot of raw foods, but allow myself cooked meals made with natural ingredients (hormone/antibiotic/containment free meat & dairy, organic veggies/potatoes/and grains, etc.).
- The results of the first 30 days were interesting, I only lost a few pounds, despite doing some form of intense exercise EVERY day. All that hiking, biking, push-ups, and Bikram Yoga was building muscle and I felt REALLY good, but I was frequently bloated and “puffy.” I’d lost that lean & mean feeling I was getting from raw food…or more specifically from NOT eating cooked foods…
- Then disaster struck. About half-way through the 90 day challenge the hernia symptoms came back (very painful & involving my right nut–aaargh). Unfortunately, the only way to cope is to STOP all exercise and straining, apply a lot of ice to the affected areas, and pretty much lay down for days…
- My work (bartending) also really exacerbates the symptoms–my job involves TONS of lifting, straining, stooping, squatting, and twisting at a near reckless pace.
- Needless to say my “90 day Natural Fitness Challenge” was over.
The last month has been a massive bummer. Coming to terms with my physical situation, suddenly going from very active to not at all, and doing that very human thing we call drowning our sorrows, has meant gaining a few pounds and finding myself sorta depressed again for the first time in months.
I have just come too far to give up now and I am forcing myself to look at the bright side of things and figure out a way to continue forward, even if at a reduced speed.
Living in a place with such fab weather makes staying “up” a LOT easier. While many of you must wait several more months for summer, it’s already come to Palm Springs California. We had the customary “bad” month of lower temps and showers, and now the weather has “popped” and it’s 70 degrees in the morning, and 80 degrees or higher in the afternoons. The skies are crystal clear, with truly breathtaking vistas from the desert floor looking up at snow frosted mountain peaks.
I’ve decided to take advantage of the heat. Eating raw feels so natural when it’s hot and sunny. My focus this time around isn’t going to just be the scale. I want to heal from the inside out, and hopefully avoid surgery.
If I didn’t have the limitations from the hernia and was able to do more resistance training; my ideal weight would be between 200 and 205 pounds. But, since all I can do right now is take long walks, my goal is 190 to 195 pounds ( a less muscular version of me). I’m guessing it will take 6-8 weeks of eating 100% raw to lose the remaining weight.
My feeling is that even if I do end up needing surgery, I will be so much happier to have dropped that weight BEFORE, and know that I will have an even speedier recovery. I’m also going to do my best to slowly build my core abdominal strength back up (something that’s a lot easier to do without an extra 20 pounds of gut).
A Simpler, Streamlined Approach To Raw Eating…
Tomorrow I will post my new–super simplified–approach to raw! A simple streamlined menu with a shopping list that doesn’t require ANY complicated meal prep. If you have been wanting to try raw out for yourself, you may find this approach to be a great way to go for it!