Fat Kid Suit


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Another go at Raw Foods-Who wants to join me?

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.

Now What?

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!

simple as that

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60 day raw food log: day 36 I’m still raw & still losing weight rapidly & feeling outrageously good

On Tuesdays I weigh myself on the doctor style scale at my neighborhood health food store .  I went in today to see how I did this past week…

I lost another 4 lbs!

That has me down to 230 lbs…

Twenty Four Pounds lighter than I was just 5 short weeks ago.

I feel super; and by that I mean more energy than ever, no heavy gross bloated feeling, flexible, strong, and just about up for anything.  On an intangible level–I relate to people so much differently now–eye contact, confidence, and even a little swagger are back!

People are asking me questions (unsolicited) about my life and my creative aspirations.  One new contact wants to pay the fee to have one of my screenplays covered by a well known agency in Hollywood.

Other opportunities have presented themselves because I now have the energy and confidence to be putting myself out there. When I was spending most of my time drinking and the rest complaining–for some odd reason people and new prospects avoided me…

There is some kind of magnetism that goes along with eating better.  I’m not going to say it only comes from eating a diet high in raw foods,  but for me, eating only raw has unleashed dormant natural charisma and confidence which is helping me connect to a variety of people in new better ways.

I’m still not entirely sure what to do with my blog.

It’s initial purpose was to chronicle a sixty day raw food journey completed by a regular guy who had to overcome addictions and figure out how to eat this way even though he was tapped out financially (as in seriously broke and underemployed).

I’m a little more than half-way through that process now.

Here’s what people I’m meeting in-person and through the web are overwhelmingly asking for…simple, play by play, how to go and be raw info.

No philosophical stuff, or news articles on factory farming atrocities…but something akin to having a close friend take you by the hand and lead you into their raw food kitchen. People have been almost begging me to demonstrate how to make this seemingly insurmountable leap from cooked to not.

Can I do that?  I’m not sure.

First, I’d have to become a better blogger.  I find it difficult to commit to daily posts.  So many ideas swimming around and started, but I have NEVER been the guy who edits and finishes stuff.  I start things. I brainstorm. I motivate. I imagine…

I have a lot of ideas now related to raw foods and this blog–I just need to decide what I can commit to…

Maybe I will end up collaborating with others?  I’m very open, and as always your feedback and ideas would make my day.

Cheers!


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60 day raw food log: day 28 If raw food is so great, why do I feel bad?

It’s Sunday in Palm Springs, 75 degrees out, beautiful mountain backdrop, happy friendly people and their pets are out enjoying the life…

And I feel like shit.

Why?

My first week eating only raw food was rough.  Imagine cutting yourself off cold-turkey from drinking over 100 adult beverages per week, abstaining from your morning cup of crack with the pretty mermaid on it, and suddenly refusing your body any access to pizzas and Mexican food…NOT a fun transition.

If you’ve seen New Moon, and watched Kristen Stewart’s “Bella” writhe and scream in her sleep over her lost Edward (who I still maintain looks an awful lot like Bert from Sesame Street), you have an inkling of what my first week raw felt like!

Weeks two and three were a different movie…I felt euphoric and “high” and ate up all the positive comments I was getting from friends and strangers.  EVERY SINGLE DAY I saw a thinner, sexier, happier, healthier, more in-tune version of me in the full-length mirror.

Having a cute young raw foods chef at a Santa Monica cafe ask me if I was “raw” the second I walked in the door surprised me.  When I answered yes, and she told me she “thought so, because my eyes were so clear and I really had a case of the glow” I was beyond flattered.

But here I am near the end of week four, a week of apathy and fatigue.  What’s up?  I feel like I’m doing this right…I’ve slowly been upping my intake of greens, I’m making sure I get natural fats like hemp oil, I’m still eating a lot of juicy organic fruits…

Also, I eat very little dehydrated raw foods (they make me feel as dry as they are) and most days just eat foods in their whole simple form without trying to “doll” them up.

I’m hoping that it’s just another cleansing level I’ve hit?  I would expect my recent toxic past to haunt me for awhile. Maybe it’s a little bit mental…one month is the longest I’ve ever gone before raw…? But Jesus do I hate the idea that some or all of the benefits of raw eating might just be in my head.

One interesting distinction I’d like to make: I’m not depressed.  I’ve spent much of my life in moderate to severely depressed states, this isn’t anything like that.  I’m clear about things–almost scary sober–but I don’t necessarily like how that feels…

Sometimes eating raw makes so much sense to me, and I see it as the answer to a lot of peoples problems both on a personal level and a collective one.  That’s how I mostly feel…at other times the whole thing seems ridiculous and absurd!  Not eat ANY cooked foods?  Not get drunk and stupid?  WHY?!?  What am I trying to prove? To whom?

As an example last night a guy at the bar wanted mashed potatoes.  We don’t have that on the menu, but Mike the Chef made some for him anyways, that’s the kind of old school cool we serve up.  When I bring him the potatoes I’m drooling.  When he adds a few dollops of real butter I’m butter.  So I try and remind myself that when I get home later I was actually going to make my own version of mashed “potatoes” which are made from soaked cashews and cauliflower blended up with salt & pepper.  They taste pretty good.  But they are NOT potatoes, and they are cold.  For some reason it just seemed stupid to me…am I too good for potatoes?

My intention with this blog is not necessarily to inspire anyone to do anything.  I simply want to reveal what eating raw is doing for me (now and in the future).  So please take what I say with a grain of pink Himalayan crystal salt.   I’m half-way through my trial and will continue to candidly share my peaks and valley floors with anyone interested…


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60 Days Raw food Log: Day 8…Lost SEVEN POUNDS my first seven days raw!

Day 8

I wish I could say I was more excited about the radical weight loss I’ve experienced–7 lbs my first week eating only raw/live food–but I knew it would happen & wasn’t surprised when I got on the scale today.

Also today, well before I knew how much I had “lost”, I felt that moment where I turned a corner and was gaining from this in ways that feel even more rewarding than weight loss.  For instance, everywhere I went today people smiled at me and said hello.  No joke…EVERYWHERE.  People at work and home are remarking on how “tuned-in” I seem, and how “present” I am.  Apparently I’ve been away for awhile…

I also started off feeling kinda miserly about spending money on myself.  That’s sad, huh?  Being stingy with yourself.  Today I felt like I deserved everything I bought at this cool little health food store / raw cafe I discovered in Palm Desert called Luscious Loraine’s. At this point it suddenly seems clear to me that investing in myself is tantamount and that the universe is only going to respond favorably to my doing that.

And remember, that 7 lbs was lost with almost no exercise. Like i said before, I’m really trying to learn how to let my body lead me for a change.  So when I get that urge to start running or jumping or swimming or whatever; I’ll do it.

Tonight I took a brisk full moonlit walk and couldn’t believe the euphoria (I was singing “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s…AMORE!”) surging through my veins.  I don’t know if the change is this dramatic with others who stop eating cooked foods and begin feasting on nature’s super-foods?  But for me it seems to get me on some kind of cellular-neural level…

What I ate today:

  • Pear
  • Freshly juiced greens including Kale with lemon and apple and ginger–HARD CORE!
  • Raw nori rolls with avocado, carrot, nut “cheese”, sprouts and tahini dressing (not that great)
  • Watermelon Juice of course!
  • Death by chocolate shake! Woke up from nap and knew exactly what I wanted…cacao powder, walnuts, hemp seeds, coconut oil, a banana, honey, water and ice…just before I finished blending I through in a chunk of pureraw chocolate I bought at the health food store earlier so it had chunks! Chocolate HIGH!
  • Raw soup made of coconut and greens
  • Apples with pecan butter!

Note:  So, yeah, I think going cold turkey and doing it the way I’m doing it is a rough transition. And maybe it is better to ease into raw? But, that doesn’t work for me & when I’m ready to make the jump I’m ready.  Also, I noticed that almost every blog or personal web story where some raw foodist gives that advice to start slow…THEY DIDN’T!  They just did it. So my advice, do whichever is going to work for you.