Saturday, November 14, 2009

DAY FIVE - Meredith and Michelle Support Club!

Hiya there,

I'll explain the sad little picture later...

Here's good news: it seems that fantabulous raw foodist Meredith,, my sweet little sponsor, has agreed to hang in there with me, despite my Dr. Fuhrman cooked soup experimentation. I'm really happy about that. I need a hand to hold right now in my life. Now's not the time to be floating around unsupervised. That could be dangerous.

Here's my FOOD and REPORT from Saturday, November 14, 2009.
Weight this morning 263 (-16.5 in 5 days...caRAYzee!)

Breakfast: leftover green smoothie (spinach/banana/vanilla/agave)
Snack: 3 tomatoes, 2 pears
Lunch: big green smoothie (2.5 heads romaine/6 bananas/vanilla, agave)
Snack: 1 apple, 1 banana, raw cauliflower
Dinner: Dr. Fuhrman no salt veggie soup with lentils and 1 oz cashews and tons of veggies (cauliflower, leeks, broccoli, onion, cabbage, carrot, corn...and more)

3 reasons i love myself: 1) i finished my letter to Meredith, yay 2) i took another walk today 3) i ate raw 3/4 of the day

goals for tomorrow: continue working on program, the online binge program. Do wash. Do dishes. Take a walk.

3 things i did to stay on track: 1) packed green smoothie, tomatoes, bananas, pears to go out shopping 2) walked 3) put a lot of greens in my smoothies!

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Three years ago TODAY
is the day i went to Optimum Health Institute in Lemon Grove California, and began my raw journey. And I'm feeling quite a bit of sadness today, hence the sad little picture above, and quite a bit of doubtful second thoughts about Dr. Fuhrman's program and about abandoning an almost 3 year raw vegan career, for a mostly raw one.

Watching Meredith's amazingly inspiring videos and reading her blog fill me with envy for her connection to mother earth, her dedication and belief in a 100% raw diet, and the pleasures that one can experience from it. She mentioned on her blog to go ahead and eat "guilt-free raw pie!" Could "I" learn to eat raw pie guiltlessly???? Do i have to subject myself to bland soups, denying my sensual self of flavor, just to lose weight and stop binge eating???

Meredith will be sending me gourmet raw selections in the mail from BOULDER, CO during the next three weeks. During this period, i'll be evaluating with her help what works best for me: 100% raw WITH gourmet snacks...OR...Dr. Fuhrman's almost raw program with 1 cooked vegan meal a day.

I'm so glad i have Meredith to walk me through this period in my life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I'm worried about the cooked soups now. My tummy felt awful last night after the soup, and i think i've been awaking with reflux.

I remember one of the main reasons i was attracted to raw was something i read in Victoria Boutenko's book about how raw food dramatically decreased 'acid' production in the stomach. If i remember it correctly, Victoria stated that the stomach on cooked food produces a half of a gallon of stomach acid to digest cooked meats and starches, and 1/2 CUP of stomach acid to digest raw fruits and vegetables in the raw foodist. This convinced me straightway that raw was the way to go and it has always impressed me personally due to a huge problem of mine - 'reflux laryngitis'. (Digestive acids don't give me heartburn like other people, that's normal 'GERD'. In reflux laryngitis, the acids come all the way UP the larynx, causing swellling, burning, hoarseness, constant need to clear throat.)

Since the soups, i've been clearing my throat ALOT. And every morning since i started, i awake raspy voiced. Do lentils and cooked veggies exacerbate stomach acid production?

Was totally raw actually BETTER for my reflux...(as long as i didn't OVERDO NUTS and OILS)?

In trying to HELP something (reflux), am i inadvertently making it WORSE?

To boot, i'm lethargic and mopey. Either it's detox or a negative reaction to eating cooked food after being consistently raw for so long. And i'm sleeping alot.

Is it good? Is it bad? I sure dunno.

All in all, I'm not feeling as exuberant as i had hoped on this veggie soup plan and it's seriously discouraging me. I had truly hoped the comfort of cooked veggies and lentils me not need to turn to more fattening sources of food for comfort, like 10 tons of raw bread and 3 containers of nut spread. I guess you could say it is SUCCESSFUL in doing that. I don't feel UNSATISFIED.

But, speaking of comfort, i could sure use some today. I ate my soup already and it didn't offer much.

I'm feeling not only physically blah, but emotionally frightened and insecure. I weighed in this morning and lost another 1/2 lb. That's 16.5 in 5 days. Freaky good. But the 1/2 lb loss scared and made me worry. Was i doing his program right? Why aren't i losing quicker?

Quicker? How COULD a person lose any quicker than i am???

I'm obviously ADDICTED to the drama of quick weight loss, and quick weight gain. What happens in the middle is....disconcerting. Just feeling like SH!T and having to COPE with that, i don't too much CARE FOR.

In fact, i think i very well MIGHT be going through a detox. I'm having lots of repressed memories coming up. Old friends, old memories, old events. And lots of disturbing vivid dreams.

Uy, I feel like sh!t today, I'm depressed. But writing is helping. I'm gonna work through this.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm corresponding with Meredith daily and i can't tell you how grateful i am for her support during this difficult time of experimentation. "Do you want to stay raw? I'm confused about your goal and how i can help you," she's implored.

Well, i always THOUGHT i did, want to stay raw. I NEVER considered eating cooked foods again. But so many things have happened that influenced me: my catering partner eats cooked beans and veggies, i ran into an obesity specialist, Dr. Matarazzo, at work who puts his severely morbidly obese clients on a mostly raw diet including cooked beans and cooked veggies, and a patient of Dr. Fuhrman's, Rebecca, who frequents Arnolds Way (but i haven't seen her in a year) has since lost another 100lbs!!!!

It all got me THINKIN', you know?????

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You know, the reflux, too, could be that i overeat. I really stuff myself with these big bowls of soup. We had company recently and Cliff told me that our guest, Ken, remarked to him, "Her problem is portion control." Obviously, he was taken aback by my huge bowl of Fuhrman soup. Well, that was one of like 3, i think.

But Dr. Fuhrman encourages it. "Eat as much as you want," he states repeatedly. "Have huge servings." So i did. And do. But, i suppose an extremist like me tends to takes things literally and go overboard. And really, since there are cashews in the soup (only 1 oz. daily), that may be too fatty to eat as a last meal of the day. I have been eating the soup for dinner. And a lot of it. Funny feeling in my stomach, some gurgling and reflux. Not exactly what i had HOPED for.


So, today, i had a moderate bowl of the cooked veggie soup for lunch. Fireworks did not go off. (I love when food drives me crazy with pleasure). Relatively fat free no salt soup does NOT do that. And i think that's the point. I think that's what i'm endlessly attracted to these programs that take away what i love to binge on (Fat and salt) as NOT to be so intensely STIMULATED by food that it drives me to binge.

Meredith has been hounding me, "You've tried raw, cooked, this diet, that diet, yet still there's something driving you. I think it's something deeper."

I agree, Meredith, i do. And i'm seriously guilty about not digging deeper and for focusing endlessly on FOOD. "Do you use this as a distraction from what's really bothering you?"


But on the other hand, instance after instance after instance of loss of control have convinced me what an easier time i have with food the blander it tastes.

That is freakin' insane, but i really think i'm like a FATaholic/SALTaholic. I wrote Meredith and explained it's like a train collison with me: an emotional upset meets delicious food, kaPOW! Explosion! Then i'm off and running.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I re-wrote that long, long explanation to Meredith about why i was trying this Fuhrman program (a longer explanation detailing what i described above) and about the deeper emotional issues in my life - areas where i feel unfulfilled or unhappy. Question after question from her begged for explanations about my emotional life. What a smart little cookie she is. Also, about my upbringing and how i was raised.

Talking about your emotions, let alone feeling them, wasn't encouraged.

And yes, there are aLOT of reasons i feel unfulfilled in my life: my relationship could be improved, my sexlife could be drastically improved, my career could be drastically more stimulating to me, i'm financially in a bad place, my house is getting in better shape, though, thanks to weekly visits by Megan.

Nadine from reiterated Meredith's sentiments. She probed me as well,

"What are you not dealing with? What are you afraid of in your life? What do you truly fear? Are you happy with your career? Are you happy with your relationship? Are you bored to tears? Are you stressed out so much that you just binge? I’m wondering if you have allowed yourself to be honest with yourself or if you are still using food to not face anything challenging in your life. You have binged so long for so many years, would you know how to be or what to do with yourself WITHOUT binging? What would you be doing if you weren’t binging?"

There are many things i'm unhappy about. I've talked about them privately with Meredith. I hope to talk about them more in the coming weeks. In being always so 'honest' about the food, i've sidestepped the REAL issues. In coming clean with them, I'm sure you'll relate.

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I discovered from a wonderful book I found at the Thrift Shop, "Do What You Are: Discover The Perfect Career For You Through The Secrets of Personality Type," that i am an "EFSP" - an Extroverted, Feeling, Sensing, Perceiver with double sensing. (I like numerology and astrology and books like this that help us define better who we are. I didn't necessarily buy the book to discover my perfect career, just to gain insight.)

According to the book, those with double "sensing" discover the world through their SENSES.

Wo, wait a second. The senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling. No WONDER i love to COOK, no matter what it is, resisting recipes; no wonder i love the SOUND of foreign languages and love speaking them and doing accents; no wonder i love SCENTED candles overtaking the bathroom during a bath; no wonder i love the SMELL and TASTE of food; no wonder i'm like a puppy and want to be SNUGGLED and HUGGED and PETTED continually; no wonder i LOVE the sensation of SINGING WELL, how amazing it feels, how FREE i feel.

I started to MAKE SENSE to myself after reading this book!!!

Also, according to the book, not only do i inhabit the world through my SENSES, but i am the most myself when i'm WITH PEOPLE, am intensely emotionally SENSITIVE, and thrive in duties that demand PERCEPTION (no wonder i enjoy writing).

My faults as an ESFP are that i don't plan ahead, don't anticipate the implications of my actions, i'm impulsive and easily tempted and distracted, i have difficulty being and working alone and difficulty disciplining myself and others.

Wow. It's so ME. Difficulty being alone: No wonder i start to eat when i'm alone in the kitchen at work. No wonder i feel depressed today after Cliff left.

Well, not only do these faults and attributes describe me so perfectly, they can act as a keyhole, a clue, into why i BINGE EAT, in general.

If i do indeed live life through my SENSES, it would make sense why i choose food as a HUGE expression of that SENSUALITY. I mean, food is soooo...scrumptious. It fills me with enormous delight. The smell, the taste, the texture. I fall under it's spell over and over and over. And like a snowball gaining momentum, i have tremendous difficulty stopping. Lack of discipline. HELLO!!!

If i'm emotional about something: upset, irritated, depressed, discouraged, as i often am (being an emotionally senstive person), it would make sense that food could easily TEMPT me.

Also, when i'm alone, as i am today, i feel depressed, and people energize an extrovert. No wonder i love and am so thrilled to perform and sing, and why i love it when i have company in the kitchen at work. I always do better with my food then. And no wonder after the amazing success of the Halloween performance, things with my eating took a nosedive. I crave that stimulation, and i have no new performances on the horizon until Christmas. I'm not only sensually BORED, i'm lonely and creatively and artistically BORED.

Lump that all together and you have an accident waiting to happen.

In fact, I was eyeing the loaf of bread on the counter this morning after Cliff left for the day. I said to myself, "Uh Oh."

Good thing I recognized i felt lonely, depressed, unstimulated not only by people but by sensuous pleasurable things... Otherwise, something 'could' have happened had i not been more aware.

Would it have been 'cooked food' that MADE me want to binge? No. It would have been my personality meeting a very unfulfilled encompassing feeling: lonely, unstimulated, bored, discouraged. KaPOW!

It very well COULDA happened. So, thank GOD i'm learning so much through what i've been reading and through Meredith's probing questions and through the breakaway program.

This is an intense time of learning for me.

Well, now i have to figure out how to make this day fulfilling to me. Writing has been a delight. Stimulating to both my touch sense and to my mind and my heart. Now, a bath would seem a nice beginning. Doing the dishes to music would be cheerful. Getting some laundry done so i can experience the pleasure of clean undies would be welcome. A pleasant walk in nature would stimulate all of the senses, would stimulate the body.

I'll keep you updated.
xoxox michelle joy

1 comment:

Fran said...

Hi Michelle, I have been reading your story with interest. I have two clients who have been struggling with the same problems you have and two things have been helping them to let got of the emotional aspects of their weight problems and binge eating.

One is the "The Work" by Byron Katie - I would start with the book: "I Need Your Love - Is That True?", as it describes well the system, so that you should be able to do it on your own. There are also plenty of videos on YouTube.

The other helpful system to let go is the Sedona Method, also available as book.

With my best wishes for a lots of peace of mind. :-)