Today is Friday. It's almost 4a.m. I went to bed a little after 9p.m., and well, i just can't sleep nooooo more.
My eating at work....is so different now. It's like "night and day."
I was out of control. And now i'm in control.
I didn't suddenly find willpower.
I didn't suddenly find God.
I didn't suddenly start planning my meals. Or eating every 3 hours, or moderating.
I changed my food. I went from eating predominantly fat and salt to eating almost none of it. As a last ditch effort after failing miserably at trying to live a moderate raw gourmet life, I returned to doing my version of 80-10-10. No more raw bread, no nutspreads, no pies, no kale chips, no seasoned nuts. No gourmet raw. Nothing salty and fatty. Just fruit and greens and a small amount of fat: 1/2 spoon of hemp seeds in my shake and 1/4 of an avocado in my chopped salad. No salt for yesterday. Dat's all she wrote!
Living like this for me feels incredibly FREEING for today.
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YES, i LOVE raw gourmet food. I MAKE raw gourmet food. I just have not been EATING it. I have others taste it, or taste as much as you could fit on a pinhead when i'm creating at work, and TRUST that it's good. I know if i start eating it, i have a hard time stopping, so i don't start, for today.
There is nothing WRONG with gourmet raw food. In fact, it's a wondrous world of tastes and textures and mind blowing creations. Have you read Ms. Meredith's blog lately, http://www.therawseed.com/? Man...what she can DO with a few nuts and some flax seeds. it's GENIOUS. She is a creative genious. Angela Stokes commented about her raw taco, "This is probably the BEST food of this type I've ever eaten. WOW!"
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I just have a hard time controlling myself with gourmet raw because it IS so good. This seems to become an enormous issue in my life especially at work in a raw gourmet cafe, the control issue, i mean.
So, for today, i accept this. I lose control easily.
I take this information that i know about myself and I address it. I either stay away....or learn to indulge wisely.
Staying away for today is actually TEN BILLION TRILLION TIMES EASIER for ME than learning to eat it in moderation.
Just days ago, I felt like i was in bondage. I saw no way out.
Now, I feel born again. I feel free.
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That said, my ULTIMATE GOAL is to come to a place where scrumtious raw food, raw bread, raw nutspreads, etc... are not so stimulating to me, and i can indulge in moderation. For this to happen, "I" must change.... Perhaps i will never be able to indulge while i work. Perhaps that is too severe a challenge for me. Hopefully, at some point in my journey, i can learn to approach gourmet raw food like i used to - as a non-threatening pleasurable treat that i indulge in, enjoy, savor, and then go back to my lighter routine right away.
When i first started raw, I saw gourmet raw as an integral part of my plan, but a HEAVILY CONTROLLED part of my plan. I NEVER kept it in the condo, NEVER worked around it, always went OUT for it. I understood it's power. I also exercised, like, non stop, walked 5 miles a day, swam for an hour daily.
This was all when i was in California at the raw retreat. For 8 months, i followed this routine: I ate the retreat plan, which was salt free and very low fat, very zero stimulation food, never kept dehydrated goodies, raw bread or nutspreads or salt or olive oil in the townhouse there, but indulged 1-5x week in gourmet raw for one meal OUT (at RANCHOS or at CILANTROS, two AMAZING raw eateries in San Diego). I ONLY ate or bought as much as i could ingest in that ONE meal, eaten there.
Well, hmmm, not exactly true. Actually, i did do some take out, but i can count on both hands the times i took food OUT to take back with me to the room. I did not do this often because a) i wouldn't lose weight and that's why i was there b) i instinctively 'knew' i was doing a 'bad' thing. It felt like a binge.
Somehow, with the tremendous amount of exercise i was doing, indulging like this did not halt a 140 lbs weight loss in 8 short months. Friends of mine who do gourmet raw are experiencing similar good fortune.
Today, my brand of raw gourmeting hasn't led to weight loss in a long, long, long while. I exercise, but not enough to handle heavy eating AND LOSE WEIGHT RAPIDLY like i did then. Raw gourmet food is MUCH more accessible to me now, so it's SO much easier to overindulge. Plus, i'm convinced of the following: I also had MUCH MORE to lose then, and when one is coming from a daily intake of 7,000 calories, a plate of guacamole is diet food. PLUS, being a NEWBIE to raw, my body was THRILLED to finally be GETTING RAW forms of FAT in it and it didn't seem to mind. It still shed pounds easily.
TODAY, almost 3 years later, it's had enough fat. My body is in a different place.
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Not eating ANY gourmet raw at work for the last two days has actually a BLESSING. If i don't pick it up and START, i don't crave it.
Cravings are an incredibly powerful force.
Unfortunately for me, at work, my weaknesses are all around me. Normal people can take a little. I'm excessive. I don't just take a little, i won't stop until i'm sick, and then i won't even stop then.
I know with a little more meditation and more self awareness, more self love, more emotional detachment from food, i COULD learn to eat gourmet raw in moderation like friends of mine, and like Angela Stokes. It's not a mainstay of her diet, but she indulges from time to time, eats slowly, savoring. And then, she walks away, contented and not obsessing.
I'm just not there yet today. And for today, that's okay!
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When i ate salt the other day (there was himalyan salt in a raw chocolate sauce i used in a smoothie), it was just awful and very concerning how parched my lips became afterwards. Is this what salt does to ME? My lips are dried out and cracked now 2 days later, though i take in enough fluid, i think. Maybe i don't. But, my body just reacts strongly in a negative way to salt after having none for several days in a row.
I always mention them but i will again - my good friends Tim and Leslie Arnold eat ROCK SEA SALT for energy as a SNACK and suffer no ill consequences, in fact, they love it so much, they carry it around with themselves in their pockets. They also run like 10 miles a day.
MY body, on the other hand, never liked salt and still doesn't. My tongue adores it, but my body doesn't. My mother used to change my diaper as a child and find it dry. I was so easy to potty train because i hardly ever peed. My brother, on the other hand, pees like a racehorse.
Our systems are all different. I am incredibly prone as we know to retaining water. We all must be honest with ourselves and make peace with who we are and what we, and our bodies, are capable of.
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I feel so good about where i am at again today. I look in the mirror and see my cheekbones again. My skin is looking good. I'm completely uninterested in food, except when i'm hungry, and then i eat something fruity or vegetably to make that discomfort of hunger go away. I'm not obsessed with food today, i'm not dreaming or planning or thinking about food. It's a welcome relief for me today to be at this place again.
Yesterday, i was up at 5am, worked out on the trampoline for a few minutes at Susan's house and ate/drank:
- 1oz of noni juice
- BREAKFAST: 2.5 glasses green smoothie (banana, fig, spring greens)
- SNACK: 4 nectarines and 4 fresh figs (my new favorite food)
- MIDMORNING: a large chocolate shake at work (banana, cacao, 1/2 spoon of hemp, vanilla, date)
- LUNCH: a chopped salad (red pepper, garlic, ginger, broccoli, zucchini, tomato, mushroom, onion, carrot, celery, 1/4 avocado, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast) (delicious)
- LATE AFTERNOON SNACK: Carob banana date whip
- DINNER: 2 cobs of corn, cherry tomatoes, and 2 oranges
- SNACK: vanilla banana smoothie
Looking over my food, it seems like a lot to me. I did eat when i felt hungry, and stopped easily, so easily, when i had enough. But, maybe i'm confusing THIRST for hunger. I think i need to drink more. And eat more greens and green juices. I did not have my Barley juice yesterday.
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Emotionally, life is challenging on a low fat plan. When we eat less fat we stop numbing our emotions. I FEEL more - on this kind of a plan. I don't particularly like it and sometimes feel like running away into something fatty so i won't have to FEEL so acutely.
But, i often remember a bible verse i used on another diet to help me with the feelings that arose from not indulging in numbing food any longer, "God loves a contrite heart."
It means that God loves it when we suffer to get better, more spiritual or healthier. He loves it when we feel badly. That sounds funny and like some kind of self flaggelation catholic thing. It's not. I know when i'm OPEN to feeling, i will often feel MARVELOUS AND JOYFUL AND HAPPY. And then i might feel sad or angry or irritated or upset or disturbed or perturbed or lonely or worried. Opening myself to FEELING means often feeling BAD. And accepting that. And not trying to 'stop' it up with jamming fatty food in me.
Feelings are energy. We can't be afraid of sexual or frightening negative feelings. We need to let the energy flow through. We don't have to react and do something, have sex with every Tom, Dick or Harry, or start yelling at people or abusing them or having tantrums, but we can let ourselves feel.
A coworker today was suffering my same ill fate: overindulging in salty nutty fare to the point of feeling unable to stop. [I have come to see that this is a COMMON occurance with raw foodists. I thought it was just ME, but i'm seeing it's not.] Now, understading the power of fat to numb, i spoke with her about how she felt about something troubling her and found out she was so worried about it. I advised her to let herself feel it. She was distressed. My heart hurt for her. But, i know that i have to let others suffer, too.
I felt irritated at work today, i felt. I just felt. I'm a sensitive person. More sensitive than i realize.
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What i'm basically saying is PAIN AND SUFFERING in life is manditory.
What we DO get to chose is HOW we experience it. Do we experience pain and suffering from binge eating and overeating and gaining weight and feeling PHYSICALLY horrid from food and all of the awful feelings, symptoms, diseases that go along with that?
Or do we eat healthfully in a manner that opens us to our emotions and allow ourselves to start processing our painful feelings? Do we allow ourselves to experience feeling negative...without overeating?
If we experience our pain and suffering in physical pain or weight gain from bingeing, where does that get us? Nowhere. Sicker. Fatter.
If we allow ourselves to feel painful emotions, to suffer for health and goodness, where does that get us? To health. To wellness.
We feel PAIN either way. Which one do YOU chose?
xoxox michelle joy