My experiment with RRARF (rehabilitative rest and aggressive re-feeding) has caused me to find an interesting thing out about myself.
A major principle behind RRARF is to let go of food fears, throw away restrictive diets, eat all food groups as your body desires, and stop worrying so much about food in general. What a breath of fresh air!
I still heartily agree with that principle! And I’d say that for most people, food isn’t a hobby and they don’t have time to care about all the extras and the details – they just want to eat relatively healthy and forget the bells and whistles. RRARF principles of food freedom may be exactly what you need to stay sane!
But – I found something interesting and that was that, in my personal experience, by allowing myself to ‘not care’ about my food and its potential for building my health, I was taking all the fun out of it! I wasn’t expecting that. I was simply expecting to worry a little less.
Instead, I felt like something was missing – I felt a bit like letting go of food took some purpose out of my life. It made me realize that I don’t only eat well out of fear (although I know that’s still a small part of it)- I actually truly enjoy healthy food, and enjoy thinking about it, and enjoy doing kitchen experiments, and enjoy trying to make my diet wholesome, local, and fresh all in the name of health.
Instead of viewing cooking as just something boring that “I have to do” (like I used to), I’ve come to love food as a hobby. It has kept me present and rooted, unlike my usual antsy inclination to be planning my next move, adventure, or getaway, almost as soon as I have settled in a location (maybe because before food, travel and thinking about travel was my main hobby?)
Unfortunately while on RRARF, I felt like I had been taken back to when cooking and eating was nothing more than a chore.
Not what I was expecting – and I didn’t like it!
Find out more of my thoughts on this in my video:
To elaborate on the biking across the world thing that I was talking about in this video:
It would be amazing. I’d honestly LOVE to do that one day. And I know that if I want to, I could make it happen. However, if I were to do that, I’d really have to completely give up the standards of how I eat now. You can’t exactly carry your whole kitchen with you on a bike, or even a cooler.
So, when I suddenly adopted RRARF principles of freedom, I thought … great. I could do that now. I’ve been given permission to be FREE. I could get on that bike and eat way below my usual standards and not worry because that’s what was available to me at that time, and I would do the best I could without stress.
And hey -if I ever do actually embark on biking across the world (or more likely just a country or two!), hopefully I will keep all those RRARF principles in mind and actually not stress about it and have all the fun I can and be totally free. That would definitely be ideal. I think these RRARF things are an exceptionally good lesson for me for those times when food cannot be a main focus (like on holiday).
However, these tantalizing thoughts of being able to not care about my food made me feel like I had no purpose in the present.
Financially there’s no chance of being able to go on a giant bike adventure any time in the next year or so, so I’d rather not be spending my time daydreaming of being off in biking la la land instead of enjoying my present moment – which currently is spending a lot of time at home – cooking, eating, loving, gardening, blogging, spending time with my friends, and hopefully – because I totally know I need to do this much more – focusing on emotional freedom techniques, meditation, yoga, and inner peace.
If it’s not food, what do you find are things that give your life purpose and keep you sane?