I’ve mentioned this before in previous videos I have made on my Youtube channel, but I haven’t written anything about it here on my blog. So… that’s what I’m going to do today.
(I also just uploaded another Youtube explaining the same thing as my last video, but in shorter terms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aHClR2bIAM )
Basically I started off eating HCLF and “RawTil4” ish lifestyles around May 2014. HCLF means “High Carb Low Fat”, and Raw Till 4 is a diet/lifestyle where you eat raw fruits and veggies for breakfast and lunch, then have a nice high carb cooked meal for dinner. They are both created, I think, by Youtube sensation Freelee the Banana Girl.
When I first found this diet/lifestyle, I thought it was AMAZING! As you can see here, I wrote ecstatic blog posts detailing how amazing it is and how it works for everybody. Little did I know at the time, it doesn’t, and I was acting like a little brainwashed Freelee child.
But let’s back up a little bit.
So before I switched to this lifestyle, I was still eating lots of fruit and veggies, and was super healthy and stuff; I just did whatever I wanted, not following any rules or guidelines. I was slim, fit, and happy.
But the more I watched Freelee’s videos, and the more people on Instagram who I saw switching to this lifestyle, made me want to be just like them and do exactly what they were doing. I eventually started increasing my portion sizes and eating tons more because that’s what everybody else does, and that is what Freelee preaches after all: Eating in abundance, no restricting, and eating unlimited calories. Oh, and may I add she also would say “I barely even work out”, or she’d show her stomach off in videos and say, “I eat unlimited calories with minimal exercise”
I was so brainwashed that I literally believed that just eating raw fruits and vegetables automatically gave you a flat stomach. And whenever I’d feel full or bloated on days, I’d try to go Fully Raw, as if it were a cure for not feeling slim.
So fast forward to Winter 2014. I was eating quite large portion sizes of all HCLF meals. I know many people on this lifestyle eat about 8 or more bananas for breakfast, but I could never do that. I’d always have 4 bananas for breakfast, either in a smoothie or nana ice cream. So 4 bananas, plus fruit, or water/almond mylk, whatever I added to the smoothie. Then for lunch I’d make a sandwich, or oatmeal, or have veggies and hummus. Then for dinner I’d make GIANT salads with spinach, avocado, and every single vegetable in my fridge. Or I’d have 2 cups of rice pasta + tomato sauce, or 4 potatoes cooked into fries. (This is all while I was living away for Uni)
Everybody knew I ate a lot. My family would always ask if my giant salad bowl was for the family, and I’d be like “uhh… no, this is just my portion size”. And at my house where I lived with my friends, they would sometimes say, “oh, you can’t finish all that,” and I’d be like, “yesss I can! This is how much I need to eat!!!”
I literally stretched my stomach so that it needed bigger portion sizes. And I convinced myself that this is how much I needed to eat to suffice myself and “get in enough calories”.
I also wasn’t working out much, because I don’t usually workout in the winter time. (Cause school=stress, and it’s freezing in Canada, and ya) (I usually always start working out in April for summer time and go for bike rides daily etc) AND I THOUGHT THAT THIS WAS OKAY BECAUSE APPARENTLY FREELEE DOES MINIMAL EXERCISE AND HAS THE MOST BANGIN BOD EVER.
This clearly wasn’t working for me, but I was oblivious to that.
I had a wakeup call when I went to the doctor’s for my yearly physical, and glanced down at the paper work to see my weight.
Now, coming from a past of disordered thoughts and eating, I stopped weighing myself over a year ago. Once I found plant based veganism, I was so happy and learned self-love and happiness. I never needed to weigh myself.
But once I saw the number on that page, I freaked. According to the doctor’s scale, I had gained 30 lbs (13.6 kg for you Aussies) over the winter.
I WAS SHOCKED. APPALLED. How could I have gained so much weight when I was eating all the right foods and doing exactly what Freelee and everyone else says to do?
I was determined that it was my fault. That I was eating too many vegan treats, like chips+hummus as a snack once in a while. So I cut out all my favourite vegan treats and stopped night time snacking.
It wasn’t until about April or May 2015 (so now it’s summer season approaching) that I noticed I had stretch marks on my bum, and cellulite on my tummy. I have NEVER had these things before, and it made me so upset.
I heard about Dry Brushing, and had to try it to get rid of cellulite on my stomach.
I feel like I was in a state of denial about my eating and weight gain, until my mom told me, “it’s because you’re eating too much”
And I was all like, “NO, YOU’RE WRONG. Freelee eats 3000+ calories a day and barely works out, so can I”
I had this brainwashed mindset that was so CLEARLY WRONG FOR ME, and wasn’t working for me, yet I ignored all the signs my body was giving me because I was too busy listening to other people’s advice instead of my own body.
In June 2015 (current time) I went away to Australia for a month to travel. I ate out at a lot of vegan restaurants, had vegan treats, but I also had fruit and veg a lot and went for lots of walks and bike rides. I didn’t care what I was eating and I was happy.
When I came home, I knew I had to make a change because I was so unhappy with my body.
It’s now July 2015 and I’ve made some great changes so far in my diet and exercise.
I now understand that Freelee wasn’t wrong, and I wasn’t wrong, I was just too caught up in other people’s lives/advice, and what works for them that I forgot what works for ME, Katrina.
That’s amazing that Freelee can eat 2500 to 3000 calories a day – but now I know that she cycles A LOT. In Chang Mai, she cycled up the mountain every single day. She works her body and is constantly moving, so she NEEDS that many calories to sustain herself. So she is 100%…. for her OWN body.
My body is different. Everyone’s bodies are different. So I don’t think she should be taking what works best for HER, and recommending other girls and boys being doing the exact same thing.
It messes with people’s lives because here I was, a naive teenage girl, thinking that I could eat 3000+ calories and not workout. And look what happened – I gained weight.
So I appreciate what she is doing and that’s awesome that it works for her – but remember people, your body is not her body. We are all different and what works for one person may not work for the next.
I currently have shrunk my portion sizes to eat until I am satisfied, no longer stuffing myself to fit in calories.
Also when I was in Australia, I think I was eating less amounts because I didn’t always have such a huge variety/selection of food. I was constantly traveling from city to city and couldn’t do a proper grocery shop, so I basically just ate whatever I bought that day or day before, which resulted in eating smaller portion sizes.
So it was no problem coming home and eating less. In fact, on my second day home, I tried to have 3 bananas in my nana ice cream, and I was so full half way through. I didn’t listen to my body though – I pushed through and finished the whole thing. Then I felt like shit afterwards and was way to full. After that, I learned my lesson and now will eat less, and stop when I am actually full. No more making the same mistakes as before.
I also started cycling everyday. I usually do that in the summer anyways, and it felt so good to get back on my bike and just ride. I started off doing 5k, then 8k, then I was doing 10k for a couple days, and now, just two days ago, I did 20k in one day 🙂 I feel so proud and accomplished when I finish a long cycle.
I still eat the exact same foods as before, just smaller portion sizes.
Because my body still doesn’t need as much as Freelee’s. So I bike as much as I want, and I eat as much as I can, and if that means only 2 bananas and 2 mangos in 1 smoothie, then that is fine with me. I also used to make GIANT salads for dinner, but now I use a smaller bowl to portion-control myself.
Hopefully this new regime works for ME and helps me tone up and lose that excess weight that I gained over the winter time. I just want to be happy and healthy, with both my mind and my body.
And I want that for everybody else as well.
So if you’re reading this, just remember, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! Eat what works best for you. Some people can have smoothies for breakfast, some people can have oatmeal. Some people can eat 20 bananas, some people can only eat 1. And that’s 100% okay because we are all so different and unique in our own ways. So from now on, throw out the diets and advice from other people. Stop following what works for them, and start doing what works for YOU!
I’m not ‘high carb low fat’, or ‘raw till 4’….. I’m just Katrina.
I hope this helps and I’m sorry for ranting for so long. I just had to talk about this.
Lots of love,