30 Days In.

eat the food lost 10 pounds

(See the start point here and the 60 Day update here.)

As you know, exactly one month ago I made an announcement that it was time to embark on a journey of EAT, LIFT, LOVE, and I have the before photos to prove it!

And as I said in my weight loss kickoff post, I would be giving monthly updates to show how you can lose weight while eating lots of food, lifting lots of weight, and fully rejecting diets.  FULLY.

But here is the thing about my weight loss success so far: this is NOT the work of merely 30 days on display.  It’s merely been 30 days since I decided that it was time to count my calories to 3,000 every day, keep track of lifting and dancing every day during the week with one day off (but where I still get outside and moving, maybe for a walk), weigh myself every week, and be accountable to all of you here.

But I didn’t start creating health 30 days ago.  I started that a little over one year ago.


Over a year ago I started reading Diet Recovery.  I started RRARFing, which stands for Rehabilitative Rest and Aggressive Re-Feeding.  I did this for one month, which means that I ate to excess and was forbidden from working out.  Breakfast was low moisture, lunch was the largest meal, with protein and dessert incorporated, and dinner was smaller and vegetarian.

Oh, and I took a lot of naps.  And went to bed early.  It was such a hard life that month!

But honestly, it was difficult in many ways.  I felt guilty for eating until I was full.  I felt guilty not doing the noble thing that people do: “even if you are tired, you go to the gym because the gym is good for you!”  I felt guilty sleeping so much, because that meant I was being lazy and lethargic.


But do you see what was going on there?  These are the messages that we get from the media, our culture, and our communities.  Fat people are lazy.  Fat people eat too much.  Fat people don’t care about their bodies.  Fat people can’t know anything about nutrition.

It’s all a lie, by the way.  I’m not lazy, I don’t eat too much, I do care about my body, and I like to think I know a fair amount about nutrition.  I also am committed to being body positive, and loving myself the way I am today.

As I RRARFed a year ago, I was finally facing my assumptions about bodies, food, and working out.  I was finally facing the fact that I didn’t think I deserved to eat enough or sleep enough.  I was finally facing the fact that I used the gym as a way to measure up to being a “good, healthy person”.

That’s where the shift started.  Eating is for enjoyment and energy.  Sleeping is for restoration and health.  And working out is for joy and movement.  I wasn’t eating, sleeping, or moving with real intent.  I was going through the motions of what I was “supposed” to be doing.

Last year, I also started having consultations with Matt Stone (the author of Diet Recovery), about every month or so.  He encouraged me to track my temperatures.  To keep sleeping as much as possible.  To eat not to excess anymore, but to satiation.  To work out only if I was so energetic that I just couldn’t help myself!

I went from about 180 pounds back up to my set weight point of 230 pounds.  I stopped gaining weight at that point and hovered there for a few months.  I kept eating enough.  I kept sleeping.  I worked out more and more.  I had energy!

But then I had my breakdown related to unresolved PTSD, which you can read more about here.  Long story short: I gained another 50 pounds from the stress of that situation.  But, happily, found that I was back to having good sleep and eating habits, and even my energy return after completing my PTSD treatment in the fall and winter of 2012.

With these issues faced and resolved, I was finally ready to lose weight the right way.  I found Go Kaleo, got majorly inspired by her array of photos over the last 5 years, and decided: “I want that, too.”


Now we are finally to the part you have been waiting for!

I am currently losing weight because my body is no longer working from a starvation point, a deficit of calories and sleep.  I am currently losing weight because I am eating enough calories for my activity level.  I am currently losing weight eating about 3,000 calories every day, from a variety of sources.  I am currently losting weight because I move my body every day.

I do not restrict macronutrients, like carbs or fat.

I work out at the gym lifting weights 3 times a week.  It takes me about an hour, but I take my time.  You could certainly get enough of a workout in 45 minutes.  I make sure I warm up, do at least 5 heavy, multi-joint lifts*, and then stretch afterwards and cool down.  (*squats, dead lifts, rows, bench press and all variations thereof)

I like to ride my bike to the gym, since it’s about 1/2 mile from where I live.  Built-in warm-up and a cool-down!

I play with my kids!  We go to the park.  We go for walks.  We dance together on the Wii, especially to Just Dance 3 and 4.


I still love dancing and lifting.  I am still happy.  I still sleep.  I still have energy.  I still reject diets.  I still eat the food.  I still lift heavy things.  I still love my body.

And I have lost 10 pounds.  Yep.  The same scale at the gym that shocked me a month ago with the number 280 has now become a friend I look forward to seeing every week on Saturday when I go to the gym with my husband to lift weights and feel generally kickass.

My friend, The Scale, helps me gauge my success.  And when I weighed in this week, I thought the total would be 8 pounds for the month, but I was surprised to see that 2 more pounds had slipped off and the scale read 270.  I will take it!

So there you go.  I mean, do you get the gravity of this?!  I have been eating 3,000 calories a day and I lost 10 pounds this month.  And while I am being active, it’s not like I am training for a marathon or anything.  I just move every day, and I lift weights.  And I am happy.

Don’t restrict your calories.  The only way to lose weight is NOT by starving yourself, working out for hours every day, and aiming for 1200 calories a day or even less.  And the only way to lose weight is also NOT going low carb.  Do you know how many pieces of bread I have eaten this month?  And pizza?  I’m not kidding.


Hopefully we will see another drop in weight next month.  For the next set of 30 days, I will be tracking what kinds of specific foods I am eating, so you can get a feel for what 3,000 calories looks like.

So now the only question is this: are you with me?

Have you read Diet Recovery and the subsequent books on the subject?  Have you rejected dieting?  Are you ready to eat the food?  Are you ready to lift weights and get strong?  Join me.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
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  1. How exciting! Way to go!

  2. Carol G says:

    Woo! Hoo! Now you will start noticing your clothes getting loose. About every 20 lbs. you loose, you will have to replace your jeans. It is a nice thing to have to complain about. Get it up! Congrats! 😉

  3. donna clements says:

    Loved this post. I am impressed & encouraged. Thank you for your courage in sharing it with us.

    • What Donna said! Glad I found your blog. This is just what I need to hear! I lost 96 pounds in 2001-2002 but am now 20 pounds away from being back UP to my old weight. I ate around 1200-1500 calories a day and nearly killed my self with cardio to lose. I need a better way! Thanks for sharing!

  4. hi! I am so happy for you – finally free from dieting! I would love to loose 50 lbs myswelf, but I am afraid of the whole RARRFing concept (I will read M Stone’s Diet Recovery2 book from the VillageGreen bundle asap!)
    Will I gain more wieght while rarrfing??! I have a 10 mo baby, and am breastfeeding. I prolly should wait ’til she weans, but I’ve had a rough go of it so far (baby does not sleep well at all;( With all the stress and huge lack of restorative sleep I have gained 20 lbs, maybe more I won’t get back on the scale. I guess it seems like so long to have to wait ’til she’s weaned – my last child weaned at 2.5yo….I don’t want to feel fat that long. Even if I lost the 50 lbs, I wouls still be “overweight” according to charts…but I’d be happy. Maybe when she starts to sleep consistantly, I can try — what do you think? thx!

    • Elaine- I know your question is for Kendahl, but I recently read about a woman who was trying to lose weight by cutting back calories while breastfeeding, but she kept piling on more and more weight instead. She said she just happened to come across some info from Matt Stone and she had a total lightbulb moment.

      She realized that her body had not only been through a pretty major ordeal -making a life- but that now she was breastfeeding as well. Her body was CRAVING more calories to not only heal, but to sustain her milk supply. She said she upped her food intake and not only did her baby start sleeping better, but she noticed that the more food she ate that she started to lose some weight as well as she herself was finally able to sleep -because the baby was sleeping so much better.

      This really made sense to me. When our bodies are under stress we BURN through our calories so much faster and then our bodies get stressed out as our brain begins to think we are going to starve because it is not getting enough calories. So eat, eat, eat! Yes you may gain a few more pounds initially until your body understands it no longer needs to store fat because it wasn’t receiving enough calories to begin with, but once your brain realizes that there is enough calories to sustain you and your child, things will begin to shift and the weight will come off. Good luck, Mama!!

  5. Kendahl, thank you so very much for sharing this journey of yours with us! I’ve just started RARRFing and there are some days when I say “Good Lord, what am I doing????” It is so very scary, but this post of yours is so encouraging. I am starting to see changes. Honestly, I didn’t think I had any of those wrong attitudes toward food, my body, exercise…but I do. Oh boy, do I! Maybe those things needed to change more than the size of my body. Thank you for your bravery and courage.

  6. Woo hoo! Go Kendahl! You are such an inspiration. :)

  7. I can’t wait for the next 30 days. This is so talking to me. I know I need more food, more sleep, less movement but figuring out HOW to do all that consistantly is kinda overwhelming. And, I work in a gym and teach classes as well as workout (asking with milk goats, raise broilers, pigs, and layers. Planting my extremely large garden, taking master herbalist courses, watching my granddaughter, etc, etc,) reading my post tells me I really really need to get a grip. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. You ARE kickass, Kendahl!!!

    Thank you for keeping us up-to-date on your journey…I am very proud of you. :)


  9. Hi Kendahl, I’m a new reader—found you while looking for guidance on sauerkraut! It’s so nice to find someone on the internet who’s balancing interests in both diet recovery/body positivity and traditional foods & preparation methods. I’ll be reading regularly from here on out.

  10. I just LOVE the idea (and practice) of eating my way to health.

  11. Kendahl,

    It is eerie how similar our stories are – everything from the PTSD to how much we look like. I completely agree with your beliefs and philosophy regarding bodies/food/image/weight. I have been on this path as well. You could be my sister from another mister. :)

  12. YES!! Great Job!! I am so happy for you! I am about to start a New Evolution of this ol Bod of mine too! Monday is the Big Day!!

  13. i admire you. you are truly an inspiration. more power to you on your journey.♥

  14. Awesome story and a method I haven’t heard of before. I regularly eat til full but have to fight to keep my weight steady, which is about 40-50 lbs more that it should be. I would love to learn more about this way of seeing food, moving etc. Already trying to adopt a more traditional style diet and cut out the processed food but still fall off the wagon and I have no energy to speak of after working all day and having a 2 hr round trip commute. I need to find something that will work and maybe this is it.

  15. Way to go! I’m watching your journey with interest and doing almost the same thing, sans getting enough sleep at night.

    You are doing awesome and part of the new generation of people losing weight in a healthy, pleasurable and sustainable way. Great job! :)

  16. I just finished reading his books and I want to do this really bad I just am not sure how the heck to get 3000 calories in my body!! I have trouble getting 1800 in. I can’t wait fir your post next month on what you eat!! keep up the great work!!

    • Marilyn says:

      I too have a hard time getting in what little I get in.Not because I am dieting or starving but because I don’t have much of an appetite. I can usually go most of the day without eating until dinner time when I get somewhat hungry but even then I know that it is not enough. So, it will be good to actually see what 3000 calories daily looks like.

  17. I think your awesome! I am looking forward to hearing more results and watching the weight come off! Keep up the great work!!

  18. I am on the edge of my seat awaiting your next blog post!


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  3. […] (See the starting point here and the 30 Day Update here.) […]

  4. […] can see my original post here, my 30 day update here, and my 60 day […]

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