Before & After: My RP Plan Experience
Here's my Christmas present to myself: September 10 - December 6, down 11 pounds and feeling so much better (lighter, faster, stronger) than when I started out. Won't lie, 12 weeks felt like a long time to be focusing so hard on my nutrition (what, how much and WHEN) and I definitely got off track a few times (trips to Vegas and Palm Springs, looking at you). But overall, I'm super proud of how the hard work paid off.
Results: In this time I didn't just lose body fat...I finally got toes to bar, consecutive strict pull ups and kipping(ish) pull ups. I've been doing Crossfit for over five years, and let me tell you I've had DREAMS of doing pull ups. So it was no small thing to check off the list. Add to that increased weight on the barbell and besting some of my Metcon times. Was it the lower weight? The nutrition and sleep? The new confidence? Probably a little of each.
I highly recommend this plan to anybody who wants a kick in the ass to think seriously about fueling your body for fat loss without losing muscle mass. Next step is to maintain this weight and let my metabolism recover for a good few months before another round. Here are a few things I learned along the way that might be useful if you're thinking about giving it a try:
Choose your start date wisely.
There's never a perfect time to abstain from eating out, drinking and living it up. But there's probably a three month chunk somewhere that'll be easier on you. Traveling makes sticking to your plan harder, and the holidays are one tasty landmine after another. If I'd had this idea sooner, I would've picked March-May of 2017 when I had nowhere to be and not a lot of social obligations. That said, don't hold yourself back if the ideal time is months away and you want to get started. Just start!
You've got to spend a little to gain a lot.
RP actually has you eating a substantial amount of food compared to other diets you may have tried. My coworkers found my "second lunch" amusing but I was losing weight by adding more into my day. But that extra meal, protein powder, casein powder and loads of veggies and protein isn't cheap. I gave up worrying about it once I realized I was saving by not going out to eat or to the bar. It was an investment in me, so I'll pay for it no problem.
If you slip up, just get back on track.
Like I mentioned, I traveled and had some social obligations during my cut. I chose not to beat myself up about it and got back on plan as soon as the next meal rolled around. One thing that has made me leery about "dieting" ever again is the self-loathing and negative mental cycles I can fall into around food. Eff that. The next meal is another chance to get it right—and with RP the next meal is always around the corner.
The scale isn't the real story.
My scale drives me crazy. I step on, it tells me something good. I try again seconds later to "make sure" and it jumps up a pound. I literally could lose my mind when trying to use that as the sole measure of success. RP encourages you to weigh in a couple times a week (at the same time of day) and then do an average at the end of the week. There are so many factors in daily weight increase or decrease (inflammation after a heavy workout, carbs and water retention) that it can mess with your head. The average shows the real progress over time.
Take progress pictures.
Yeah, the first ones aren't fun but in the darker days of the cut you can refer back and see how far you've really come. Even if the scale isn't moving fast (a pound a week is normal for women) you can see serious body recomposition and magic happening.
Just do it!
Any time we get more thoughtful and intentional about what we're eating and how we're recovering something good is going to happen for our bodies. Might not always be change you can see but it's change you can always be proud of.