Raw Foods – A Summary
Posted on March 1st, 2009 in Advice, Budge That Pudge, Life List
Last night, when the clock struck 12:00am V and I celebrated the end of February (and our month of raw eating) with glasses of gin and pineapple juice, a bag of chips, and a rotisserie chicken. Yes, I went and bought one of those pre-cooked chickens because I’d been dying for meat and that was all I could think about at the time.
In many ways I was ill prepared for what this month of restrictive eating would bring. We were forced to deal with a number of situations that we had not planned for, which made sticking to the plan feel like an undertaking of mammoth proportions. The untimely death of a family pet, an unexpected visit from family members who are neither particularly understanding or helpful, the beginning of a new job.
From these experiences, I have learned that there will never be a *right* time to drastically change eating habits, even temporarily. Life doesn’t allow for much in the way of planning. At the beginning of February it looked to be quiet and uneventful, which was one of the main reason we chose that month for this raw foods experiment. Of course, all hell broke loose not two weeks in. The best laid plans and all that. Don’t keep waiting for a time that will be just right for whatever it is you want to do, just dive in head first. The only thing that you can really plan for is chaos.
This experience has only solidified my belief that any eating plan which relies heavily on willpower is absolutely doomed to fail you. I ’slipped’ more than once over the month, because I only invested in my own personal strength to get me through it. There are days when you are going to falter. Days when you are not going to be strong enough to resist the temptation. You NEED to have plans in place to deal with those days when you just can’t force yourself to stick to your guns. Or you need to build in allowances for such occurrences. If I had it to do over I would have decided ahead of time how many ‘get out of jail free’ cards I was going to allow myself. In fact, when I do this again (and I will) I am going to keep some physical representations of such cards, and that way when I have a moment, I can decide if it’s worth indulging. When I’m out of cards, then that will be it. I highly recommend that you give this particular tool a try, even if you are following a more traditional eating plan. Allow yourself some leeway, because otherwise it’s easy to fall into feelings of resentment and rebellion, even though your restrictions are self-imposed.
Alternative plans could include journaling, talking to a supportive friend or family member, taking a walk, or anything else that you can think of that will distract or otherwise remind you of why you are doing this. A simple tool that I found helpful was trying on clothes that I am still to big for. No, this wasn’t just about getting into a smaller size, it was a personal challenge, but in the moments when you want to throw up your hands and give up, a little bit of a physical motivator doesn’t hurt.
In spite of these insights, as well as others, which I’ve blogged about here, I was reluctant to cross this item off the list. For one, because I don’t feel that I did what I set out to accomplish over the course of this month. Yes, I maintained a (mostly) raw diet, although I did slip more times than I wanted to. I didn’t, however, have the experience with it that I had intended. The first couple of weeks in particular, when I was resentful, difficult to be around, and generally a hostile and bitter person. I’ve learned plenty, that much is true, but I don’t feel that I got from it what I wanted, which is why I intend to do it over again at some future juncture. The next time will be different. I have developed habits, recipes, and a vast number of tools over these last two weeks which will be of great benefit during my next raw experience. During the next undertaking I intend to make a point of journaling daily, a tool that I love, but which I did not exercise nearly enough. I will also put in place some of the allowances and plans I’ve mentioned above.
V has threatened me with much grief and bodily harm if I don’t go ahead and cross it off, and she made better arguments than I could, even though as I mentioned, I’ve been reluctant. It’s so like me to make light of what I’ve done, or for my perfectionism to get in the way, so I know it’s good for me to go ahead and declare this list item accomplished.
240. Eat for a month
It’s also worth mentioning that over the course of the month I lost 10 lbs, 2% body fat, a clothing size, and 3.5 inches off of my waist. I don’t want it to seem as though I am not proud of myself for what I’ve done, because I am, and I know that those pounds and inches didn’t just fall off magically. It was the result of hard work and determination, and I have no intentions of undoing it all by jumping off the wagon into bad habits. This is really only the beginning. Cheers to getting fit and healthy this year, finally