Friday, September 25, 2009

My Raw Beginning (The story of My Raw (mis)Adventure)

Since I have begun this blog I have YET to actually write about my beginnings and introductions into the Raw foods lifestyle. I believe the beginning is so important to know because, how can you listen or follow my advice if we come from two entirely different places. I can count numerous times I felt frustrated with my path because I didn't understand why I couldn't achieve what seemed so easy for other people to achieve. In fact, I still feel that way at times. I just have to remember that we are not all the same and it may take some people longer to achieve the results they are looking for.

I have been a vegetarian for 15 years, a vegan for 7 years and Raw on and off for 3. Regardless of any trips or setbacks, I was of course, Vegan. I had never even heard of Raw Foods until 3 years ago and I accidentally came across it when I was looking online for a detox program.  I NEVER spent regular time online until last year. So when I came across it I thought,  "Wow... people take it one step further than myself". I thought it was incredible and I fell in love with it at that very moment. It just made so much sense and I wanted so much to be able to succeed. I also thought, "How in the hell am I going to do this? I have ZERO self control when it comes to food". I was excited and scared at the same time.

My life as a vegan was filled with phenomenal food. It was during a time that GREAT products were becoming available to people such as myself and I ate like a champ for years! Thats also means I ate nothing but processed and refined garbage ALL DAY LONG! But god it was good. It didnt help that the person I was dating at the time REALLY knew his way around the kitchen. Between him and I, we had a plethora of specialty dishes at our disposal. We liked to eat!

I was really feeling like I needed a change so when I found this Raw Lifestyle stuff I REALLY went crazy about it. I immediately started with a week long orange juice fast. I took my little juicer with me everywhere so I could juice at any given moment :)   I normally would  not have had this kind of will power but my relationship was coming to an end and I was BEYOND devastated. It made it easy to really not want to eat because I felt so sick to my stomach anyway. So right off the bat, I started it off in a challenging time for me. It was challenging but I really never had experienced more motivation in my life. I really felt that with the relationship coming to an end, it was the PERFECT time to focus on me!

At this time, I have discovered a Raw restaurant and felt like I was on my way to a healthier me. Well, shortly thereafter, I quit my job and  I moved 30 miles away to live with my parents. The breakup had left me emotionally paralyzed. I knew I had to take some time off to focus on me and build myself back up. I continued with the Raw lifestyle at home by taking the take out menu of the restaurant I went to and recreating the dishes at home. The menu had all the ingredients in each dish under the description so I just had to figure out the quantities and such. I did alright. I focused on making me food and running. My parents had a treadmill so I quickly started running. Running for me, became my way of forgetting about my past relationship. It was my escape.

I became ADDICTED to how amazing I felt. I dropped 15 lbs in a month (I was height/ weight/ proportionate previously ) and looked better than I ever had! I was smoking hot!  It soon became the lifestyle that was healing me. Physically and emotionally. Sounds excellent right?

In theory I guess it was great. I moved back to the city and resumed my life. I had relied on the Raw restaurant to make ALL my meals and I spent a small fortune there for that luxury. Since I was working again I just didnt have time to prepare anything, and I didnt have a solid foundation of 'uncooking' at home. I spent roughly $45 a day there. Sometimes more. I kept this 100% Raw lifestyle up for another 6 months ( making it out to be a stretch of a year). It finally became too much for me to afford and due to some  pretty major life stresses I started back up on cooked foods. As soon as my lips touched the cooked food I became addicted once more.

This downward spiral happened where the stresses in my life took over. I started eating cooked foods and that led to a feeling of being a failure. Feeling like a failure led me to eat more cooked foods. Eating more cooked foods led me to gaining some weight back. Gaining the weight back made me feel like a failure thus causing me to eat even more. Well, you get the picture. I gained the 15 back PLUS a cool extra 15 making it a total of 30 pounds. This was the heaviest I had ever been with the exception of being preggers!

I was miserable beyond words and turned to alcohol for comfort. I went out 7 days a week having just one big party. I kept this up for a solid 6 months or so and then had a 'A-ha!' moment one day at a beach BBQ. It was that day I told my best friend that I wanted to get my life back on track. Not worry about dating anyone (I went through a period where I felt like I dated nearly the entire city due to me just feeling lonely) and to stop drinking so much. This was also the day that I met the guy I am currently with today. So much for the dating thing huh! I honestly believe that he had been sent into to my life to 'Save' me. I know how lame that can sound and at that moment in my life I didn't need 'saving'.  I am thinking on a more grander scale than that, he saves me everyday. He became this person that gave me an incredible amount of drive from the get go for no reason at all. I don't know what it was  but I knew the night I met him I would fall in love with him. Very, very unlike me.

So enough about the falling in love part. The next 8 months of the relationship consisted of me taking on a 70hr a week job and barely making it day to day. I had no choice but to end what I thought was my dream career at the time. It was not helping me lead a better, healthier life like I declared just 8 months previous. We moved on down to California and I have FINALLY dedicated myself to getting back to the old me and reclaiming my life.

So here we are at the present time(ish) and I am BACK to living a 100% raw lifestyle. I have been Raw again for the past two months with a prior 2 month transition period of 90% raw. So I am only 2 months in but am not a newcomer to the raw lifestyle. I have spent almost all my waking time in the kitchen preparing dishes and developing new methods that work for me. My amazing boyfriend has allowed me to stay at home during that time while he flips the bill for my pricey creations! That goes with the whole 'saving' thing. He has supported my lifestyle 100% and I honestly would not have been able to have done it without him. He was my support and allowed me time to make my very own foundation.  

I have since then dropped 15 pounds and am now looking to getting back to where I was the first time. I am on my way but at times get a little frustrated with my progress. I can no longer run due to hip bursitis so I am not melting the pounds away. Running made me drop pounds like crazy!

Overall and the point of my story is
A) you really have to be in the RIGHT frame of mind if you plan on sticking it through. It has to be for the right reasons, not something you're trying to escape.


B)You have to build a foundation and EDUCATE yourself in becoming your own chef. That way you carry the tools and knowledge anywhere you go to ensure success.

I am now back on track, better than even before because I now have an education to take with me on my day to day adventures. I am back to stay and to help anyone I possibly can along the way. I want to help people build that foundation and give them as many resources I can without making them feel overwhelmed! I still have a ton of education to go through as I feel I will learn about this for the rest of life! Hearing peoples problems and concerns will only help educate me further so I look forwrd to hearing form people either here or on the misc forums.

Cheers and good health!