First of all, I want to thank you all so much for your support, for your email letters and comments. It really means a lot to me.
Swayze wrote such an awesome comment, i wanted to re-publish it here for everyone to read. It seems like she really UNDERSTANDS... Sometimes people don't check the comments, so here you go. Swayze, could you email me so maybe we could keep in touch? I need all of the support i can get now. LASOPRANA@AOL.COM
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. :)
I need to look into the book and program that she suggests and suggested in an earlier comment to me.
Jess also suggested an eating disorder unit in the Phila area might help. Good suggestion. Unfortunately, i've been to 3 already, one in Phila, one in California, one in Florida.
I'm not really sure how helpful they were. Emotionally i understand my past and the abuses i suffered (there is sexual abuse in my history), and that my parents are enablers and all of the stuff that people usually delve into in these units. It's kind of like the practical application, the day to day that's challenging. I did do alot of work in these places, but ultimately, i don't really think it was practical. It never made me stop eating. And I never had any long term success with the programs i was put on after departing the hospital units.
I think it's a great suggestion and I appreciate your caring. I just am not so sure it's where i need to be right now. The last unit i was in on Roosevelt Blvd, Friends Hospital, the counselors were so lame, i pretty much took over for them in groups. When i left, the team suggested i go into Counseling for E.D.'s because i was so good at it. It felt nice to be so in tune that i could run the groups better than the trained counselors, but, it didn't do a whole lot for me, and after i left the unit, things quickly fell apart with the food for me. 2 cookies led to the whole bag scenario again. I saw an E.D. nutritionist for a while, but it just didn't click.
The longest success I've had with controlling my eating has been with raw. Swayze gets that.
My friend and customer at Arnolds Way, Valerie Barrone, gets that, too. We had a long talk at work the other day and really related. I promised to email her and we promised we'd keep in touch and help support each other. She said, "3 oz of tuna and 1/2 a pita and 1 oz of chips? Forget it! I could never control that. Raw is the way for me to go. I've lost 100 lbs. And i know this is the end of the line. But i do eat some cooked food. Potatoes i've had alot, bread and butter i had once at a party when there was nothing for me to eat, but i don't make a big deal of it. I realize when things are getting scary if they're getting out of control, and i pull myself together. I know there are no experts, nobody who's gonna fix it for me. I make like nothing happened and just walk away from it. Last summer i got into crackers. Then i realized, this is bad. And i stopped and now i walk by crackers in the market like they're nothing. Just forget about it. Don't talk about it. Don't even remember you did it. Don't obsess about it. Just walk away and move on." Valerie is a cool lady and i could use some of that peace she has around food. I start to panic. Sometimes i've had something cooked and was okay with it. It really is so much about the mental place you are in.
I also reached out to a colonic therapist friend of mine, Sherryl Chavarria, who has a raw food retreat in Pottstown, PA, that she runs out of her home. She had similar sentiments not to let this 'get to me.' She said, "i hear your pain. I know you don't want to be where you're at, but you can get out of this." She listened to me talk about food alot and commented, "you know, food is only 10%. Have you ever heard that? Food is only a small part of it. There's the mental, the emotional, the spiritual." She highly suggested i investigate a program called LANDMARK EDUCATION. She's been doing it for years and it's transformed her emotional life completely. "You're operating on an old story," she explained, "you have this idea about yourself about food. It came from your past when you needed the food, but you've made it your present and your future." What sounded kind of nonsensical actually made sense to me. Something i've done to cope in the past, binge, makes sense to me, it's my 'story', it's what i do, and i've strengthened that "muscle" over and over and over and over, and by doing that, have ensured that i will continue this behavior into my future. "Time to write a new story," she said. "So, you ate it. Move on." She told me how she changed her story. "You see, when i was a kid, i once raised my hand in class and told the wrong answer and the kids laughed at me and i felt stupid. That was my story for a long time. I felt stupid. But, i'm not, and i know that now. I did ALOT of work to confront myself, my ideas about myself, the way i thought at Landmark. I think you could get over this." I explained to her that i really understood the idea of my story. Binge eating continuously could be my story, too. But, i'm more aware now. And i've been reaching out for help, and i suddenly felt more confident about getting myself back together. She said that was great, but reiterated, "You just have to strengthen that muscle. Food is only 10% of it. It's the mental part you have to learn how to control. It's the emotional you have to work through." I got that, too. I suffer from doubts, from insecurity, from a helpless feeling. Is it because i'm adopted? Or my parents enabled me?
Whatever it is, time to get to the bottom of it. But there's more. There's practically being skilled to cope daily. I explained i used to work the secret, and I used to do a meditation that helped me to SEE my thoughts and NOT REACT to them. For instance if i got upset about something and i thought about food, i just let that thought go. I'd see it, but i wouldn't react. Now, lately, i strengthened the reaction muscle. But this morning, i felt more confident, NOT hopeless, and today i had a good day.
Financially, i'm not in a position to go away somewhere, but i've talked to Cliff about it and financially, he could help me pay for half. And I'll discuss it with my mom and maybe she can help with the other half.
Yes, I had a good day today, but i recognize if i let it, i could easily get out of control again. One day at a time. But i know help is available if i need it. Sherryl's 2 week program is less than an hour away and would cost about the same as going to California again for 2 weeks. More than even her program, though, Sherryl highly recommended Landmark. It's worth looking into.
Much love to you all.
xoxo michelle joy