Sunday, November 29, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

Hi Dear Ladies,

Hope you are all well.

I'm putting my feelers out for a support program for myself. Either I will go back to O.H.I. for 2 weeks or there is a possibility of attending a 2 week raw retreat in Pottstown, PA at the home of a colonic therapist friend/Arnolds Way client, Sherryl Chavarria. I need help. I read book after book and search online about binge eating and they all say that to overcome binge eating you mustn't restrict any foods. Then i ask myself, "What worked the BEST for you, of ALL of the programs you've been on?" And the answer is RAW. I didn't necessarily overcome my binge eating, but it, and my weight were more manageable than before. I've gained 20 lbs. Which should be no big shocker for anyone who reads this often. I've done that plenty, PLENTY of times before on this forum, and I can easily take it off with 80-10-10 or Dr. Fuhrman's soups or juicing, as i have done in the past. The problem is keeping on the straight and narrow. I'm hoping a little brainwashing away somewhere will do the trick. Either that, or i will make an appointment to see Dr. Fuhrman personally and do his program (mostly raw with beans and low low fat) under his care, for real. I have a lot of decisions to make. Until then, I am shouting today, "Stop the insanity!" because i can't gain anymore. I already look like the Michelin Man to myself and it's just plain unhealthy. Yes, i've been eating lo mein and pizza and uh, well, some of it has been good. Sometimes i bite in and i'm like, 'you know what? this is NOT that great. is it REALLY worth it?' Believe me, dear ladies, i NEVER thought i would be here again. Cliff knows what's going on and is still proud of me. Gaining 20 lbs is not gaining 100 like many times before, but, we both know it has to stop, now. i've gained this kind of weight on gourmet binges, so really, what's the difference? Only now, i'm more scared. And feel i've lost my confidence. Staying raw was empowering. Eating cooked is hard. It's everywhere. At least on gourmet binges i had to drive FAR to get my fix! Now i can just open the fridge, it's frighteningly EASY. I know the real problem is my BINGE EATING DISORDER and if i don't find a way to heal that i will always fall under the spell of food, but, uh, well, first things first. I'm thinking of a juice fast or smoothie fast until i figure out where i'm going. Stay tuned. This is not the end of the 'pure raw joy' story. xoxo michelle joy


Swayze said...

Hi again Michelle,

It is frustrating how many emotional eating/binge eating books just say "don't diet." It's crazy to me because the only time I have been able to control myself around food and actually be a normal eater is when I'm raw. However, I think the main point is deprivation. When you feel that you are deprived, no matter what the food is, you start to crave that food like crazy.

One of the big things that helped me become a normal eater was to realize what point I was at with dieting. I had previously tried to stay 80/10/10, no salt, spices, etc, but that just did not work for me. When I finally realized that I needed the extra salt and fat for whatever reason and that I could have it anytime I wanted with no guilt (that's the key), then everything started to fall into place.

I would suggest figuring out what foods you really want but are depriving yourself of. What are the foods that you turn to first when you binge? From your posts, it looks like salty and fatty raw foods (like me). Allow yourself to have those whenever you want and as much as you want. You will probably binge at first, but you will gradually desire these foods less and less the longer you view them as just normal eats.

I also suggest tapping, or EFT. I know it seems "new age" and silly, but it is really remarkable how effective it is for relaxing you and helping you realize the true emotional reasons behind your eating. I would take the next few days as rest days if you can and just "tap it out." I know I already recommended Gloria Arenson's book to you, but it is really a great tool and incorporates tapping techniques for you to use throughout.

Sorry for the long comment! I just know how powerless binge eating can make a person feel. I wish you the best of luck and hope you get things in order as soon as you can. :)


Jess said...

Have you considered a stay at an inpatient eating disorders treatment center? I know of some in the philly area that treat binge eating. I could email you them if you'd like. It would be difficult to stay raw while there, but you would be able to take the focus off of food and work on your inner issues, and let others take control of your diet until you feel comfortable doing so yourself.

Laura said...

Hi Michelle - First, big loving empathetic hugs to you. I wish I had something wise to share that could help you with your choice. I can share what I think - but take it salted. It's my opinion, no more no less.

Fuhrman's food plan is amazing. Fuhrman himself, maybe not so much. In ETL, he advocates a "just do it" approach and I think that's too restrictive for binge eating disorder sufferers. I try to think of ETL as a guideline/goal rather than be-all end-all.

O.H.I. may give you a good break and a reminder of why raw was so good for you. Having a few weeks of great eating would reset your physiological system and less healthy foods would become less appealing. It still doesn't address the emotional issues though.

I think you're making real breakthroughs with emotional self-awareness. And that self-awareness is what I believe brings healing.

The most important thing is taking personal responsibility for that continued self-awareness. I'd be very careful with how I approached a week at OHI or an appointment with Fuhrman. Part of the binge eating disorder cycle is to have what I call "yet another plan."

It's a build up phase where you may be thinking to yourself, "this is it. This is THE final time. This is THE time I'll beat this forever." One can put their hopes and dreams in the external plan and lose focus on the internal work. Then, when there is the inevitable slippage (yes, it is inevitable. it's how we deal with it that's important) we lose faith, binge more, and go looking for the next "yet another plan."

What really really worked for me in my recovery with this was doing ongoing individual counseling with a psychologist who specializes in eating disorders.

Whatever you choose, continue being conscious of what you are doing. You will make it! Much love and healing energy to you.

Woman of a Certain Age said...

Hi--Just found this blog through browsing. I'm currently in treatment for an eating disorder, and have gone through periods of being raw. What I learned is that going raw really DIDN'T work for me--I felt good and lost weight, but I was so focused on food and what was "allowed" that I was really feeding my eating disorder. (Including bingeing on raw foods.)

So when you say that the only thing that's worked for you is going raw, I have to wonder: Is it really working? And if so, what does that mean? It might "work" in the sense that you initially lost weight, but it's not "working" for the mental treadmill you're on, nor is it "working" for you to stop binge eating.

Binge eating disorder IS a disorder, and that means that it's very difficult to self-treat. I know that everybody is different and that what works for me might not work for you--but I also know that for people with eating disorders, what we think is good for us often isn't. (I went in for treatment for binge eating, and was shocked to find that my meals, which I thought were healthy and good for me mentally and physically, were woefully inadequate.) I agree with other commenters that an eating disorder nutritionist or therapist would be helpful.

Best of luck to you. You have support.