Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today is a new day!

Hi Ladies,

I had an unsual experience yesterday and it frightened me. I ate cooked food at a vegetarian restaurant, and ate the leftovers that were meant for cliff, in the car driving home (bread and vegan lasagna, my aunt's leftover entree), and continued to eat when i got home, 4 slices of bread, toasted, with butter. I realized there were things that led up to this. In a letter to a friend, below, i've sort of analyzed it for myself. If you'd like to read it, i've included it below.

I am back on track today, thankfully, and feel at peace, although that may sound like denial, i really don't think it is. After purging my soul of remorse, guilt, fear to several raw friends, Cliff and one of my girlfriends for over 20 years, i feel able to move forward.

I am choosing to continue on in my raw diet. My 3 year raw anniversary is just a month away, and i am choosing to forget this cooked food experience.

Yes, i'll say, after 3 years, real bread and wheatmeat and cooked vegetables and real butter tasted delicious and surprisingly easy to make the choice to indulge, since i opened the door about a month ago by eating beans at the house of my mostly raw catering partner. Once i ingested those, it was easier to decide to eat other things i thought i never would.

Nevertheless, i'm back on track, because i say i'm back on track. I refuse to let fear get the best of me.

So far today, i drank a green smoothie for breakfast (baby spinach and banana), a chocolate shake for lunch (cacao, vanilla, banana, agave, walnut) and an amazing raw toona dinner on homemade flax/buckwheat crackers.

The toona was exceptional, so i'll add the recipe here, and below, is attached a letter which i sent to my girlfriend explaining what's happened.

I feel grateful for the refuge of the raw food diet and i'm glad to be back. My binge issue is still the biggest looming issue of my life and until i get that under control, further weight loss will continue to escape me.

Enjoy this recipe, stay raw, and experience the 'pure raw joy' of a very special diet.
xoxoxox michelle joy

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Walnuts seem a strange choice for mock toona, but let me tell you something - this may have been one of the BEST toonas i have made YET. Oddly enough, when i made it, i didn't set out to make toona and included quite a bit of garlic in the recipe. Once again, the garlic tasted undetectable, it just provided spicyness and flavor. A delicious toona recipe that very much had the mouth feel and flavor of toona with mayo.
- 1.5 cup walnuts (i did not soak, but feel free)
- 1/4 of a small red onion
- 1 cup celery
- 2 small carrots
- 3 cloves garlic
- juice of 1/2 lemon
-celtic salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp of agave
- 2 slices of jalapeno pepper
Reserve: add 1 cup cashew at end along with another cup celery and 1 more carrot

Add all ingredients to cuisinart with s blade, use a few tbsp of water if needed to blend into a toona-salad like consistency. Add the cashews, celery and carrot last and leave them a little chunky.

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Hi Hon,

Thanks so much for listening.

Okay, so here's the story with the food.

I'll start from the beginning. Did i tell you i did a big catering job? My partner and coworker, Susan, eats some cooked food, so we included 2 cooked bean dishes on our menu for our catering event, and we spent so much time together the week prior to the event, prepping, i had most of my meals at her house. She made a salad with cooked beans and i decided to have the cooked beans at her house, i thought, 'big woop, here i am in the house of a raw foodist, if it's okay with her, why should it be wrong with me?'

The beans didn't bother me or make me feel like devouring everything in sight, which i thought was interesting. Afterall, i think they're more digestable than nuts, with no fat. Intellectually, beans seem like a good option for a heavy person, and a person who has difficulty controlling nut intake.

Yet, since then, since just last month, I guess i kind of 'opened a door' that was best left shut for me by eating those beans.

Ah, and previously, i started experimenting with raw cheese.

All of these experiences were inside of me, and played in my mind. Rationalizing is so incredibly easy. "I ate bread once at OHI and got back on track the next day." Yes, true. I did. I also had TREMENDOUS support being at a raw retreat. "Susan eats beans and cooked vegetables and she's fine." Yes, true, she is. But, she's not a binge eater like me. "You've been eating raw cheese. Do you really think your stomach will know the icecream is not 'raw' dairy?" Well, i don't know if it knew or not. But, psychologically, i knew. Indulging makes the next indulgence that much easier. "Cashews aren't really raw anyway, so what's the difference if you eat beans which are cooked." Well, that IS a good point. Supposedly cashews are NOT raw, so if i eat them, i am technically ingesting cooked food, so what IS the difference? "Susan is 85% raw and enjoys food in vegetarian restaurants often." True. True. Maybe i CAN do this someday. But, now, since i am a binge eater, still, i just can't ALLOW myself such freedoms without running into further out of control eating and weight gain.

In a week moment, when i normally would have just binged on raw food, i made the decision to have cooked, several times over the last week.

In my car the other day, i chose to buy cooked corn chips and eat them in the car. After eating those, cooked potato chips didn't seem like such a terrible crime. I ate 7 .99$ bags in total. After that, icecream felt like an easy choice. Haagen Dasz icecream bars, and 2 pints of icecream went down easily.

2 days later, i found myself easily at the icecream drive-through ordering and downing a quart.

Last night was the culmination of all of this. I had a normal vegetarian meal out with my aunt, wheatmeat and cooked veggies.

I have always been insane for that wheatmeat stuff. Once i allowed myself to eat wheatmeat, what was then stopping me from eating wheat? nothing. When i drove home, the leftovers from my aunt's meal that were for cliff, including bread that i didn't eat and haven't eaten in almost exactly 3 years, i ate. After eating wheat in bread, what was stopping me for finishing her pasta dish? Nothing.

Incidentally, yes, it was all good. But i fear this is the beginning of the end.

So i had this big talk with cliff, admitted everything. This is the 2nd talk i had with cliff. I admitted the chips and icecream incident. He's highly concerned but supportive, there for me, counseling me, helping me to gain back my confidence to go on. I also wrote a few friends and feel writing to you is helping.

You had asked if cooking for Cliff was the problem. Actually, cooking for him has been zero problem. I love to cook and never taste when i cook for him, i just intuitively know how to season and never taste and the cooked food never "called" me.

But now since i've started with the beans a month ago, a door opened. And once THAT door wasn't a far stretch from cooked beans to cooked corn chips to icecream from raw cheese...and from bread came pasta. It's a rolling snowball that will turn into a snowmonster should i allow it to.

Last night, i had 4 peices of toast with mounds of butter on it after eating the bread and pasta in the car. It is such a "ME" thing to do that. I'm totally a compulsive person.

So Cliff and I talked and between us we decided i should stay raw since it's helped me at least to control myself more than any other plan, and though i occassionally gain, well, actually, rather frequently i gain, i've been able to manage it, whereas before it always got totally out of hand and i'd gain 100 lbs before i realized it. Now, it's like 15 lbs up and down up and down.

Unfortunately, i am like a druggie with food and unfortunately the stuff i really like, bread and pasta and butter and mayo and pizza and burgers etc...all pack on the pounds and make me obsessed with food to the point of completely out of control.

Yes, binge eating is also very much a mental disorder that i have not conquered yet. I'm still out of control totally with nuts and raw bread often, but not always. But it doesn't seem to pack on the pounds like the regular stuff, although i do gain weight when i go overboard, but i'm more able to get back on track a lot quicker, which is a blessing. This last venture was intensely frightening. When would it end???? I am so happy i talked about it. i can choose to stop.

Intellectualy i know there is nothing wrong with cooked veggies and beans, but psychologically, i crossed a line and then theres no more line left and so one day i eat bread, then i'll be on to the next starch and before you know it, i'll completely lose this thing that's at least been helping me stay, not thin unfortunately, but mobile.

I had gotten, whew, totally outta control heavy, 425 before i went to OHI for 8 months. It was BAD.

Anyway, i know it's stress related and emotional and a mental disorder, but cooked food is more addictive for me, it's so freakin good, i've always KNOWN that, so that is why i refused to indulge earlier. So to open this door and to have indulged has left me fearing for my future. Do i want to lose everything i fought so hard to achieve????

Yes, i enjoyed it very much!!!! :-))) My aunt took me to govindas downtown, a highclass vegi restaurant. It was beyond. But i think i have to say goodbye, otherwise i fear the worst.

I am a binge eater and binge eating on raw at least doesn't do tremendous damage. But since i binged on the cooked, if i allow myself, i'll continue, and that will be the end of that. I may be 500 lbs. next time. How hard is it to say no to a cheeseburger once you're already eating bread and cheese?

The binge eating is really the BIG problem. I have to find a therapist or something. I've been a binge eater since high school. After my mother made me vacume after school, all alone, i'd eat all of my brother's special fattening foods that were hidden from me all over the house. "RICKY"S FOOD" tasted better than anything. Ever since then, i binge.

I admit it would be nice to be able to eat cooked vegi food in moderation. Wouldn't life be easier? But, i can't seem to control myself. It's a huge issue.

I have 3 singing concerts within the next 2 weeks, so i'm more stressed than usual.

Anyway, so far so good today.

I've been walking alot and that's been the only thing saving me. i was 249, really good for me, the lowest i had been recently in the 3 years raw. Now i'm 266. not a tremendous big deal, but i gain weight so easily. i can gain 10 pounds in 2 days.

all in all, i'm still better than i was, i have to always remember, and snap out of the intense depression and hopelessness that sometimes overcomes me when i fail with my food. I have to remember to see the truth of it. I'm still ALOT better than i ever was. And i've still lost 160 lbs.

okay, talk to you soon. xoxo mich

1 comment:

Laura said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I know first hand the guilt and shame that come from this most difficult and misunderstood eating disorder non-otherwise specified (can you tell I've been in treatment for the mental health aspects of this?).

You are tremendously brave and a big inspiration for me. Being truthful to ourselves and to others will lead us to the light.

I've struggled binging for 30 years and have had an awful week after 9 months binge free. I do believe it's a lifelong thing and perhaps we need to accept that maybe what works for others (eating some cooked, or some dairy, having occasional gourmet etc.) may not work for us. And that's a bummer.

We need permission to mourn about that. The key is learning to accept that we're different and moving on.

I think you're handling this recent lesson incredibly well. And it is a lesson, not a set-back. Look at what you've obtained - more insight, more appreciation for the work, a better sense of how not to repeat the scenario. Go you!!

Maybe someday when we've got this binge thing beaten down, we'll give workshops on how-we-done-it-good and you-can-do-it-too. :-)

many hugs to you!