I’ve totally been looking forward to making this post since oh, i don’t know, a month ago.
So, without further ado, this is my 100% honest review of the lifestyle I’ve been trying out for the last month. Happy reading!
First week in and I was expecting to feel awesome right from the get go. Instead, I was met with breakouts, bloating, extreme fatigue, frequent bowel movements (try ~6/day) and just generally feeling shit about my body and myself. I was kinda telling myself that this diet would make me feel better and i was really really willing it to, but I didn’t feel all that fabulous. I was still adjusting to eating that amount of food, and I always felt sick after eating meals of 1000 calories, especially dinner, which would consistently be the recommendations of rice/corn pasta/potatoes in what I then assumed to be ridiculous amounts, that were quick to fill me up. I was so keen to be strictly RT4 during my first week that I refused to eat out at all in order to avoid fats and salt and stuff like that, so I felt a bit isolated after missing a few gals’ nights at burger places and that kind of thing (even if there were vegan options!). In terms of results, I had already started to gain weight which didn’t help at all, I was really down about myself and I felt really disappointed, especially considering my expectations weren’t realistic in the slightest. In the second week not much changed results-wise, but I gradually realised that social isolation was not the way to go, and was certainly not going to be sustainable. I learnt to eat out while adhering to the RT4 principles, and my stomach was definitely adjusting to the amount of food I was eating. My bloating had gone down heaps, but I still felt like a balloon after my morning smoothies or huge bowls of nana ice-cream. Then, in the third week, everything took a complete turn. After finally coming to terms with the fact that I would indeed be someone who needed time to heal, I noticed little things start to change. The 2-3 kgs that I thought I had put on started to come back off – I was definitely back to where I was pre-RT4. I never actually weighed myself, but I have always cared a lot about how my body appears, so believe me, I noticed every tiny detail. I also got quite a bit more lenient in week three in regards to eating strictly raw food until 4. About 4-5 times that week I ate either a cooked breakfast or lunch, but I would feel kind of guilty about it so I would go back to raw for a day or two, and then eat cooked and feel guilty again. I was also snacking quite a bit during the day, and eating 1500+ calorie meals. I felt like I was eating TOO much, and I lost trust that this was the right way to go. BUT I read this post on a blog called nutritionbyvictoria and it mentioned that during the first few months of healing you can expect to eat up to 4000 calories. That, along with some riceandraw video-watching (if you guys haven’t checked Sasha out you 1000000% should) helped this a lot. My bloating was still lingering, but I was finally feeling the mental clarity that all my favourite you tubers go on about. Words cannot describe how amazing it felt to wake up one morning towards the end of the third week and literally jump out of bed, skip into the kitchen and prepare my 15 banana smoothie, all before the sun had risen. Now, finishing off my fourth week, I can definitively vouch for the mental health benefits of RT4. I remember my psychologist talking to me about anorexia when I was 15, and she mentioned that one of the reasons it’s classified as a medical condition is that when you’re cutting calories you are LITERALLY STARVING YOURSELF (idk why so many people don’t get that) and this has consequences for your mind and how you think. Your brain is not getting the energy it needs and your thought processes take shortcuts to save energy. I used to look at myself in the mirror, at 15 years old, 165cm tall and 60kg (in other words, within the healthy BMI range) and literally see an obese teenager looking back at me. At that point I was rowing about 15 hours a week, skipping breakfast and lunch and completely bingeing (and purging for that matter) during dinnertime. Now that I’m getting such an abundance of what my body wants, I have had absolutely no desire to binge on anything except for fruits. I have never felt so neutral about the thought of junk food, alcohol, coffee, or processed foods, whereas the thought of actually eating anything like that used to make my mouth water. On top of that, despite the fact that my body hasn’t changed from where it used to be, I now look at myself in the mirror and I see a really healthy looking person. I now know that I’m not fat, nor overweight. I can look at myself like I look at other girls and really, truly appreciate my body. It’s actual insanity what a bit of fruit can do! My skin has totally cleared, I’m rarely bloated anymore, I feel absolutely awesome – I’m never overwhelmed, anxious or angry – and, if this weren’t enough, my period which I hadn’t gotten since May came back. I literally didn’t even remember what it was like.
AND THE VERDICT
RT4 is awesome. It really, really is. I plan on keeping it up, however as it’s winter and fruit season isn’t the best right now in freezing Melbourne, I’m slowly moving towards a more “high-carb-low-fat” vegan lifestyle, with cooked foods maybe twice a day. I’ve found that I tended to miss cooked foods the most for breakfast, especially warm oatmeal and that kind of thing, so I’m not going to deny myself the pleasure of a beautifully healthy, high-carb meal. My piece of advice: if you’re starting RT4, save yourself the guilt, and if you feel like eating a cooked meal, freaking go for it!
I hope this post was helpful to at least someone out there! I know I really appreciated any blog posts similar to this style when I was transitioning, so I tried to make it as informative as possible. Seriously, though. If I can do it, why can’t you?