*Disclaimer. This may come up in comments. I use “we” quite often in this, and I do not mean for it to be portrayed as “us vs them” . I say “we” in reference to the people of this community, or just as people in general. I do not mean for this to be dogmatic in anyway. I go back to Harley quite often in my writing. This is because he has been a pivotal part of my life this past year and I owe so much to his words, his passion, and his absolute faith in our ability to help ourselves when given the right support and information. This is not “hero worship” or brainwashing…*
I have received a few messages lately asking questions about my journey as a LFRV in the past year and I have also noticed a huge increase of doubt on the forums these past few weeks. I thought this would be the perfect time to recount my experiences once again to dispel a few of these myths floating around; main being that more fruit = fat gain long term.
As many of you know I am a firm supporter of Harley and Freelee, the message they share, and the people of this community. When I see the doubt leaking around I have to take a stand to shed some light.
I am by no means an expert and can only go on my own experiences and observations; I do not claim to know what is right for anyone else. I can say that from my observations many members of the forum lack a certain amount of faith and seem to miss the boat when it comes to long term thinking, thus never attaining long term results.
I am an advocate for LFRV healing eating disorders. Before finding this way of life I assumed I would be stuck with those thoughts for the rest of my life, I would always feel that I did not deserve to feel any better than I was - sick, fatigued, crying just when glancing myself in the mirror.
An “eating disorder” can mean a lot of things. You don’t have to have been eating only a few carrots and sipping zero calorie pop for years on end, you don’t have to have been forcibly throwing up ‘till all you taste is blood and acid after a 6000 calorie bread and butter binge, you needn’t have been compulsively exercising for 8+ hours a day because you ate a fun sized chocolate bar that morning, you don’t have to have been obsessively checking yourself in the mirror before you go out to see if you had suddenly gained 10lbs while walking between your bedroom and the front door.
Yeah, all these actions are severe and many of the members here have done these exact things, myself included, but there is a good chance that almost everyone has experienced a milder form of them. This is obvious by the thousands of posts by new members (and even not so new) asking if they really have to eat so much, that it can’t possibly be good for them to eat so many calories!
Harley tries to pound this into our heads in his posts and videos and I feel his frustration. If you listen, I mean truly listen as he speaks in his videos you can feel his passion for bringing true health to the masses, but his frustration and confusion of people’s ignorance and refusal to just get it also shines through. It can make you feel insane and question this whole lifestyle when it feels like something is so blatantly obvious but no one can see it!
(Ashley Hamilton’s recent thread on her visit to the doctor is a good display of this. She was not weak in crying afterwards, she simply had reached her limit of frustration. We all need to find out limit and use it to fuel our passion.)
(Also understandable is the recent kafuffle about the “great health mass-debate” (haha), this has obviously stirred up a lot of bad feelings and created mass confusion and frustration at people not understanding the obvious simplicity that true health entails. The realization that someone you look to for health information is motivated by monetary gain can put a damper on your convictions)
What you have to realize is that you ARE different from the majority of the world, you ARE odd in the eyes of the general public, and everyone you know is NOT going to embrace your new lifestyle right away. Just accept that and live your own life.
It takes a strong person to stick 100% to this lifestyle. All of you are strong, you’re just too embarrassed to admit that to yourself. Our society brainwashes us into assuming that thinking positively about ourselves is wrong and selfish. This is easily proven.
Go to a mirror, look at yourself and say the following:
“I am AMAZING. I am a BEAUTIFUL person. I am STRONG and I can do anything I want.”
How many of you would feel embarrassed saying this to yourself? If you did then can you now see how sick our society is that we can’t even say wonderful things to ourselves? In private? We live our lives inside other people’s minds, but how seldom do we explore our true thoughts, YOUR thoughts and only yours that aren’t influenced by outside sources?
The issue of consuming enough fruit calories stems from our social conditioning. This conditioning can be changed to a more delicious way of life. As Harley calls it, the Delicious Cycle rather than the Vicious Cycle.
I often hear people saying they’re too big, too fat, too something. And my question is, what are you ‘too big/fat/whatever” FOR? Is some terribly catastrophic going happen if you eat more than 1500 calories a day? Is your world going to explode if, goodness for forbid, you suddenly realize you don’t have a plastic perfect body? Will half the world sink if you don’t have a flat stomach by XX date? Do you honestly believe your friends and family will abandon you if you don’t have toned arms or perfect skin?
What we have to remember is that when we are undercarbed we will never be satisfied with ourselves, be it mentally or physically. How often does this become obvious?
When the anorexic is only 75lbs and still they are unsatisfied with themselves, they think they are still too fat.
When we’re in a great relationship but we just can’t accept our partner’s love because we don’t love ourselves enough to think we deserve it.
When someone hates themselves for having 20-30lbs of unnecessary fat but conveniently forgets that they just spent 2 years losing the first 100lbs?
These are just examples of how twisted our thoughts are. We are so consumed by instant gratification, by the over powering guilt of self love that we forget everything we have done to reach where we are! If you are reading this than you are on the best raw food website in existence, you have already read and thought out why you want to be here, you have liked what you found and decided to stay! Now think back to the reasons that brought you here. Imagine how many people just live with their problems and never try to research for themselves on how improve!
You are amongst the strongest people in the world here, you’re one of them.
Being a LFRV takes a strong person. A strong mind and even stronger conviction. All you have to do is peruse to forums to see how true this is, how much strife we get from the general public is evident in the, “What’s the most annoying thing someone has said to you about your diet” thread.
People you thought were your friends, and family members you thought were giving you unconditional love, and even complete strangers will try to sabotage your efforts. When we try to improve ourselves the people in our lives will take it as a personal attack on their habits. When you change your life those around you will start to look at themselves because often you are changing habits that they shared with you. Often they do not like what they see and will strike out at you, because if they can make you stay the same then that justifies their lack of improvement.
In this past year I have seen so many posts by people questioning the life style. Blatantly refusing to accept that 3000+ calories from sweet fruit is the way to stay, that to be fit lean and strong long term you need to pound in the fruit and forget the mainstream garbage. And I ask, WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
There are so few members here that I recognize from when I registered a little over a year ago. Even some of our veterans decided to jump ship after experimenting with caloric restriction or increasing fat intake.
Even as I write this I am flicking through the forums and am becoming increasingly frustrated at so many people saying that they’ll gain weight, that if they didn’t exercise so much they’d be obese because they eat 2500-3000+ cals of fruit! I feel like yanking my hair at times, crying for these people.
Ask yourself, how many long-term LFRVs have you heard of? And how many of them eat 3000+ calories from fruit a day? And those that don’t, are they athletic? Are they lean, fit, and strong? Are they mentally stable? Do they honestly look like they’ve been on the high fruit path for as long as they say? Do they talk about going back to cooked foods or animal foods?
If you ask yourself honestly the answer is, “not many”.
Harley’s saying, “judge by results not by theory”, needs to be recognized! There are thousands of weight-loss and health “theories” out there but not many are getting honest results. Just look at them!
When I think of the society I live in I picture the word “Weight loss” floating in a giant bubble with the entire population climbing over top of each other reaching for it. It is an OBSESSION. Losing weight is now equated with happiness, with sexiness, with success, with perfection.
(I’ll be the first to say that eating disorders are not based on a fear of weight gain. That may be how the problem manifests itself, but is not the root cause.)
When one gains weight, be it fat or fluid, our alarm bells go off. They go off because if we gain instead of lose what does that mean? It means we can’t be happy, sexy, successful, or perfect. It means we’re no longer good enough like all those lucky people who lost weight.
Ask yourself logically;
Do the rolls on my stomach mean I don’t deserve happiness?
Can I not be sexy just because my thighs rub every so often?
Does my success balance on how chiselled my jaw is today?
Will I end up alone and sad if I don’t get constant attention and people telling me how “perfect” I look?
These questions sound insane.
But as some point in our lives we all answer a big “YES” to each and every one of these questions in some variation.
I came to this lifestyle as a complete mess. Let me describe the last few nights before making the commitment to LFRV.
I had spent just under 2.5 years struggling with anorexia and bulimia after a series of sexual assaults/harassments. I had become too fearful of leaving my apartment that I dropped out of school and quit my job (one of the managers was involved with the harassment). Because I was alone so often with my fear I became obsessed with food, and ultimately came to the conclusion that if I did not deserve love and respect from others that I did not deserve the same from myself. Ultimately this mutated to the thought that I did not even deserve food. I had gone from 240lbs to 130lbs.
The last week before LFRV I was at 128-130lbs. I had eaten nothing but a few pounds of “raw honey” and a few apples for a month. I was dehydrated, all I was drinking was tea with literally cups of splenda. I was downing bottles of laxatives a day. I looked ill, I was having trouble standing as I tried getting to the toilet. I had a rash around my mouth and my hands. I was waking up every night with crushing chest pains. My arms would go numb after vomiting. I would cough up blood just when trying to talk to a customer at my new job. I was weighing myself 5-10 times a day and all I could think about was how much male attention I was getting at work. I was even about to embark on an affair with a married man, just because that meant someone found me attractive and that meant approval.
But even when the only thing holding up my pants were my hip bones and my ribs hurts from my poking them endlessly I felt fat, disgusting, worthless, and I saw no point in continuing living. Part of this was because my father and step mother could hear me throwing up for months on end and not ask if I was ok. Oh, they’d give me a look when I walked out of the bathroom, but nothing more. They could see me slipping away and just walk by me when they saw me cry.
In those last days I quit that job and changed my number so that man could not contact me. I secluded myself in my room and ignored it all. I stuffed my mind with as much information as possible. I watched Harley’s videos over and over again. I watched animal rights videos until the mere thought of consuming animal foods made me gag. Then I walked out the door and got “Vegan” tattooed on my shoulder. I would never go back on veganism. I couldn’t now.
For the next month I struggled. I went up to 2000 calories and could last about a day, maybe two. 2500 calories would get me through three days. 3000 calories and I’d crash and burn on bags of pasta every Friday. Then I jumped to 4000 calories and I never looked back! It’s been just over a year now. I would often go weeks at a time of not going under 6000 calories, upwards to 10 000.
I won’t admit it was easy. Eating wise it was smooth as anything, not a problem consuming mass quantities when you used to be bulimic, the stomach is used to it. I did lose a father though, he refused to accept my health and happiness. I had a lot of social pressure.
Now to that little niggling question I know many of you have. Did I gain weight?
HELL YES I DID.
I stopped weighing myself when I reached 180lbs after the first six-ish months.
And I am beyond elated that I did. At first, no, I was very uncomfortable and did not understand what was happening. But if you are confused right now, read back the last few paragraphs. I was literally starving myself.
Can we expect our body, the smart little mechanisms that they are, to think, “Oh, we have food again! Lets get rid of more fat stores because there’s no way we’ll starve again!”
No, our bodies are smart, and they’re smart not to trust us for a time.
I healed so much during this past year. My heart murmur is gone; I can breathe properly and not have to wake up crying because I think I’m having a heart attack. I can ride a bike 115km in one afternoon. I can carry around a 40lb case of bananas like it’s nothing. My skin in clear and I don’t have people asking if I’m high because my eyes are so bloodshot.
This entire time while I gained weight I just kept looking back to those women who are long term LFRVs. I knew that if I had faith and just kept with it that I had nothing to worry about. Sacrificing my vanity for a year or two while I work on building my own identity is a worthwhile and honourable thing to do.
Now your next question, am I still gaining weight now that it’s been a year?
HECK NO I’M NOT.
I no longer weigh myself as it is a pointless system to be sucked into; however I have had to buy two jean sizes smaller, I lost one squishy roll on my stomach, my collar bone is noticeable all across my shoulders, I can see the muscles directly under my skin on my upper back, my shin bone is visible, I have amazing musculature around them, and there is virtually no fat on my hands and feet.
All of these things have happened by keeping to a 4000 calorie daily average, often much more.
And no, I did not exercise in excess. For the first 4 months I did little more than ride a bike 2-3km a few times a week, then go on short hikes on weekends. I slowly increased my activity as I felt the desire for it. Even these past two months where I have had three injuries that inhibited all but the easiest of movements I have lost fat while consuming mass quantities of fruit. On average I go through about 120lbs of bananas a week, or 25-30lbs of dates a week depending on what I can afford.
What would have happened if I’d given up after six months and seeing all the fat I’d put on? I would have gone back to a life of starvation and binging. I would have lost a lot of weight quickly but in ten years time I would have ballooned and been an unhealthy slob with all sorts of medical issues. That is assuming I would have even lived long enough given the heart problems I had incurred in just two short years of abuse.
Stop thinking that if your problems aren't fixed in two months, six months, or even a year that this isn’t working for you. Just keep pushing through. If your entire life revolves around how you look than you need to figure out your life’s purpose and do it fast!
Go to the mirror again and ask yourself,
“Will I remain a little soft and squishy for another year or two then feel and look amazing for the rest of my life, or am I just going to give up now, lose some quick weight then feel crap and pudge out in another 10-20 years?”.
The answer to that question will decide if you’re staying here or not.
Instead of focusing on TEMPORARY weight gain, why not focus on what other parts of your life you can change?
Are you happy with where you live?
Are you happy with your job?
Are you happy with the person you’re in a relationship with?
Is your situation positively or negatively influencing your well-being?
Change your life, change your world, and focus on the bigger picture. Don’t let other people tell you what you have to be and how you have to look before you can be happy.
I left an unhappy home, I got away from two manipulative men, I left a sick and polluted city, I moved across the country and am now actively planning my move to the topics.
Happiness is in the moment and you make the moment.
So yeah, you can gain fat eating mass quantities of fruit, but it’s not permanent fat. Will that fat remain after a year or two? No, it’s going to slowly fade away. Your body has more important things to heal before it gets to weight loss. That might frustrate you but you’re just going to have to accept it. Losing fat might be the most important thing on your mind right now but it might not be the most urgent issue internally.
Have some faith, find your passion, and just enjoy being the healthiest you will ever be. If you stick with it then in 3-5 years you’re going to look back and laugh at yourself for being so silly!
In love and friendship,
Here is my update thread from November 2011 after returning to Canada. Updated information on my continued weight loss and how much more this way of life has shaped me, my family, and my future!
In fruity friendship,
This post is something I needed to read!
Adrienne, you are so inspirational! I am coming from an ED past and have been struggling recently so I am SOOOO thankful you wrote this amazing post.
I plan to forward it to some friends as well :)
Thanks for this post Adrienne, I finally read it :-).
I came here last year in March and went 100% for 3 months straight, feeling better than ever before. Then I allowed bad habits to creep back in. But enough of that and enough with trying to restrict calories :-).
Since Sunday I'm back on the straight road to happiness and eating all the delicious fruits I can. I am currently not counting calories, because I am in a hotel and it's hard to determine how much I eat when I just pile my plates high with fruit. But I simply eat as much as I possibly can and I think I'll probably be getting at least 2500 cals a day :-).
I feel so amazing and can't begin to describe how happy I am to be back for good :-)
Sincerely, thank you.
You write with clarity and passion in your belief and speak from experience. Those are the things that have touched a chord with so many people here. And I LOVE that you advocate kindness and enjoying the moment. Nobody wins when we torture ourselves.