Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Readers Respond!

Happy Thanksgiving, Ladies,

Let's hear from you today. Your letters can inspire, educate, and bring a sense of comfort, "i'm not the only one", to other readers still suffering with disordered eating. I've enjoyed hearing from you so much and I know others will relate as well.

But, first, just a little note. I woke up this morning kind of depressed, thinking about my weight, what i ate yesterday...

And then i said to myself, "'s not about the food, it's about the feelings. What's going on?"

Then i started to think about what was going on today, what i had to do, what i was worried about... And I realized there was much on my mind and in my heart, and that maybe the overall consensus really IS right. It's NOT about the food. It really is all about what's behind it.

So, on this Thanksgiving day, let's be grateful for support, for growth, for realization. And let's try to listen to ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts, and address what's going on with us (as much as we can), so it doesn't HAVE to be "about the food" tomorrow!!!!... xoxox michelle joy

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I have a long history of disordered eating, beginning with anorexia in 1978 when I was 13. After "treatment", I went from that straight into bingeing and compulsive overeating. My weight has been significantly up and down over the years, and right now I am probably somewhat overweight (I don't know - I don't weigh myself anymore) but I can tell I am slowly gaining and I feel very fat because I still have an anorexic mindset and can feel fat even if emaciated.

My bingeing has gotten worse since some severe stress in 2002, 2004-6, and the first 5 months of this year. I first got interested in raw in 2003 when I went to the Tree of Life to do a spiritual fast. I thought I had found the magic answer - eat all I want as long as it's raw and I won't gain weight.

But I gained because I ate (and still eat) lots of fat and salt. When I was anorexic and and other times too, I ate so severely low fat that it seems like my body is still craving fat and wants to make up for all the restriction and deprivation. I am addicted to fat and salt and all manner of dehydrated and gourmet raw foods. It's easier for me to stay away from raw desserts because they set me off big time, but the salt is just as bad but harder for me to stay away from.

I understand what you mean about gourmet treats being too stimulating. That's true for me too. I love to have a party in my mouth - I'm after the food thrill, because life is just not too thrilling a lot of the time, and it's the perfect escape.

I've been trying out cooked beans and something I've come to love recently is baked beets. I got that out of Natalia Rose's book Detox for Women. I kind of like her approach because it's not all raw, but she allows goat cheese, which I don't like, and if I did I would binge on it as I do with all dairy, chocolate, which I binge on cooked or raw, and wine, which makes me gain weight like crazy. She's also all about the juicing, which I am too lazy to do (although I love drinking fresh juice I always find reasons to be too busy to do it myself), and colonics, which I don't mind but are expensive for me to do regularly.

Do you have Angela Stokes's book, "Raw Emotions"? It's a great book, but I am so undisciplined about following through with anything challenging (emotionally or physically) that would in the long run benefit me. I hold Angela and others in the raw food movement in high esteem and I wish I could be like them, but I do have a lot of emotional muck to work through - for me I know it's not just about the food, and I'm disappointed that for me a 100% raw diet has not been the magic answer to everything.

In fact now it can set me up to disapprove of myself, because I feel guilty if I eat something cooked, and I think that negative emotion is actually more harmful than eating the cooked food might be.

Other challenges include fatigue, depression and a severe addiction to caffeine. At least I'm not drinking coffee anymore, but I depend on green tea (brewed very strong with multiple bags in each cup) to get me through the day, even though I know it plays havoc with my blood sugar and contributes to my fatigue and desire to overeat.

I feel like this upcoming time period going through the holidays will be busy and stressful, but I would like to stay in touch...

I read a comment on your blog from Laura, and have to agree that some raw food purists are rigid and want everyone to eat like they do. I'm at the point I really want to listen to what my body wants and needs and not what some expert says is the best for me because it's the best for them. I have to figure that out for myself.

And again, the food is just a part of it - the deepest challenge for me is being willing to love and forgive myself no matter what, and to face life without fear.

Best wishes, and thanks again for sharing your process.

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I´m Anita and I´ve been reading your blog on an irregular basis for a while. Today I feel compelled to send you some support. A big warm hug from me, far away in Sweden.

I cannot say I´ve been in your exact situation. Yes I do have food issues, an addiction you can call it if you like. I´m getting better, I´m eating mostly raw and Natalia Rose´s books has been so helpful. But I still struggle. As you, I´m a classical singer, a soprano, and teacher.

And I think you are right, it is not about the food. The food is just a symtom.

Treating the eating without going further is like taking painkillers. Yes you manage the symtom, but not the root cause.

Yes, some foods trigger us, for me its carbs and sweet things. For you it´s salt and fats.

It triggers the reward system in the brain.

And we are all different. I think we all use different strategies to cope with difficulty. Some use food, others shopping or alcohol or sex.

But that´s the problem, we are not really dealing with the emotions, we are running away from them. And as an addict, we have to deal with and heal the past to be able to be free from our addiction. And as a food addicts, we can´t stay away from our drug of choice. We have to eat and find some kind of strategy that works.

I think I´ve finally found something that works, now all I have to is deal with me.

I´m not sure if this is any help to you at all. I just felt that I needed to show you some support. I´ve just started seeing a therapist and it´s very much a work in progress. But that´s life, right? A work in progress.

Much love, Anita

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Since last we talked, I have lost 10lbs.. (raw food), then of course, I succumbed to a sad meal (and dessert), and you know the rest of the story.

I was reading your blog today, and my heart goes out to you. I was married for 20 years, and it was kind of the same thing, I went through all the emotions as you, and I stayed with him, because I thought I shouldn't throw it all away.

Well one day, he walked in from work, told me he was leaving for another woman, (someone more suited to his personality). You could have knocked me over with a feather.

I have come to realize, that my husband filled a certain void. Food fills a certain void. Your hobbies, another. Friends, etc.

What I want to say to you is, if you are more times being left at the garage with your feelings hurt, is it really worth it? (Obviously I thought it was, we had a pretty good relationship, but we were so opposite.) Like me, you probably basked in the next time he cuddled with you, paid attention, had great sex. It is fleeting, but it does tide you over.

I am not suggesting you leave him, only make yourself the most important one. That is not being selfish, it is taking care of yourself, I always put everyone else first.

Read your blog again. Second paragraph. Starts with, You both talked last night, When you woke up he was all, I love you and hugs. That's a really good sign.

1. You stimulated what he needed by talking (his turn on)
2. In turn, he was so happy, he couldn't contain his hugs and kisses ( your turn on).

It was so subconscious, I bet you two didn't even realize you were both getting what you wanted without anyone being disappointed!

That will be $5.00 please! (kidding!!)

So Rinse and Repeat, it is especially fun if he doesn't realize what hit him.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I will be alone, but not lonely. Till next time, All Blessings, Molly

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With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I wanted to write you a note and thank you for sharing your experiences, your highs and lows, and your struggles and achievements through your blog. Your entries bring me joy every day and it's so nice to know we're all human in this together.

Your most recent entries about the triggers in your life that cause you to turn to food have really been moving. I appreciate your openness and honesty - it's probably pretty scary to do it out in the big world of cyberspace - but just know the people that really care about you will be reading it.

I think you've really hit the nail on the head when you mentioned recently that there are days when you don't feel complete - whether it's not having a physical connection with Cliff, or not spending creative time in your pursuits. Of course, as you mentioned, you choose to turn to food as the salve, but it's those things that are missing or not present that really need your attention.

I'm so glad to know that you and Cliff just recently have found a new way to connect. I sometimes have similar connection issues in my relationship, so I'm excited to learn that you are trying and being successful!

Another thought that I wanted to share... a few years ago, I could stand to lose some weight and the first thing I did, even before changing my diet, was to exercise. I started slow but found that exercise suddenly became an item to check off my list every day. The endorphins I felt from exercise were fantastic and seeing myself stick to it made me so proud. I did lose the weight I needed to and every time I exercised I WANTED to eat healthy since I didn't want to erase all the good that I had just done.

Just a thought I wanted to share... maybe if you start with exercise first (before you think about your food issues) and try out for 21 days *the length is takes to form a habit, they say* a long walk and maybe some handheld weights (light), you'll feel so proud of youself and the endorphins will make you want to be good in other areas of your life (food etc). No pressure, of course, I just wanted to share my experience with you.

You are doing so well. You should be incredibly proud of yourself and your accomplishments!

At this Thanksgiving time, please know that you touch many lives through your blog and I am very thankful for your "friendship" these past few months. This is the first time that I've written but I didn't want to let another day go by without saying thank you.

Do take care of yourself.
All my best,

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Here is an interesting youtube video on emotional eating i think might help you! It is from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Health Show.

[I've outlined the points covered]

Resistance to change

  • Negative self concepts hold us back - "I'm too young", "I'm too old", "I'm too fat", etc....

  • Delaying tactics demonstrate resistance to change - "i'll think about it tomorrow"
  • Denial is the biggest category in resistance to change "what good would it do for me to change anyway?"
  • Fear and fear of the unknown are major hurdles in changing

  • The THROAT is the center for CHANGE [wow!!!!!]

  • Put your fingers on your throat and say, "I am willing to change!"

  • Take responsibility that you have the power to say "NO" or "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" - "I know how i feel when i eat better"

Much love, Talia

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Hello there, pretty girl. I really enjoyed the sunday blog. Michelle, you are getting to the real reason for your bingeing. I'm understanding more and more that most of our overeating is due to emotional reasons.

I have to tell you the truth, because it might help you. I have always be attracted to men like Cliff and I always wondered why. I also remember crying and the man in my life couldn't even respond to me. This has happened more than once. I also see that I act and feel a lot like you do, too. There's a lesson in there somewhere. I think that neediness is a part of the disease of bingeing.

I believe that the Sunday blog was a good chuck of the puzzle in your recovery. The honesty was refreshing and much needed for you and for others. That's what your blog is about. I know that it feeels uncomfortable, but giving birth is painful but, what joy it brings afterward.

I realize that we're in this thing together and we need each other. I'm your sister in the struggle. As I Listened to my Pastor preach yesterday, I realized that I'm just not fed up enough and no chane will come to me until I'm totally fed up and sick of what I'm doing and how I'm feeling. Each day I struggle to change, but, each night ends with another day of failure. So I know just how you feel. I've just stopped planning what I'm going to eat and praying more for God's help in my situation. I'm physically and emotionally drained and I can't do this anymore. I trust Him to help me. I'm tired.

You can see how I really understand what you are going through.

I'm glad yesterday started out good for you. May you have many more good days.

I see bright futures for both of us. I see running up stairs and sleeveless sundresses and crossed legs and hot fun in the summertime.

Be Blessed today and keep on pushing, girlfriend.
Love Ya, Glenda \i/ Praizin' Him !

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xoxox michelle joy

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