Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Greetings, my dear ladies!

I hope you are all well! I've missed you.

I am writing from the library as my computer has been out of commission for over a week now, and i had hurt my back and did not work this week, so the rest from the computer was good.

As you probably suspect, the last weeks have been hard. As you know, after much 'trying' to eat cooked, 'trying' to rationalize how much healthier some cooked foods are (true) than raw foods, I had been full force binging on cooked vegetarian food...until 2 days ago.

SOMETHING about cooking food is not good for me, even though 'technically' steamed veggies and potatoes probably ARE healthier than a lb of nuts. Nevertheless, trying to eat my Fuhrman soups kept me in the loop of cooked and I couldn't break free of my compulsive eating, and no, i don't think it was all emotionally based.

During my binges, I never ate meat, though meat was my number one binge food before turning raw. I had to ask myself, "What's keeping me from eating meat?" And i had to answer. "NOT eating it." There IS something chemically addictive about cooked food. I really believe that. I never started eating meat, because i never started eating meat.

Over the last 2 days, I don't think anything changed much emotionally for me. Emotionally, i think i'm still the same. I still have the same issues. But something seriously diffused. I feel different. I feel hopeful. I feel actually BETTER about raw than i have in some time. Raw is what helped me stop binge eating on cooked food. And it actually works. Maybe it works because i 'believe' it works, but whatever the reason, it works. Trying to eat a slice of bread only kept the addiction alive. I couldn't make moderately eating cooked food work for me.

I think DIETING on raw (80-10-10) made the binge eating worse. I always gained everything back and still never made peace with food. I looked at gourmet raw as something evil. And in doing that, binged on it even more.

[Now I have raw chocolate and raw pate in the fridge and raw bread in the cubbard. And I don't feel compulsive at all. I feel satisfied.]

So, just to kinda backtrack...I didn't know what i was going to do with myself I was so out of control. Bread and butter and pizza and fried mozzerella and literally anything vegetarian. Totally full out binges. I'm sure i ingested thousands of calories in one sitting. Binge eating in itself can be an addictive behavior. Not only the food. One just gets caught up in the thrill of it.

I knew i couldn't go on like this. I called the raw retreat in San Diego. I called a friend of mine in Pottstown with a raw retreat. I was going to charge a trip to one of these centers on my credit card. I felt incredbly and utterly hopeless. Though i still wanted to eat cooked, i knew a trip to a retreat would get me back on track...and the peace of "the old raw days" would return.

Even with the raw binges, those days were WAY better than my cooked binges. Cooked food is everywhere. At least to do a raw binge i have to drive 45 mins to Oasis or 30 mins to Whole Foods. A cooked binge is as close as a 1-block walk to the corner grease-pit restaurant.

ENTER CLIFF, my main man and main support!
Cliff said to me, "I don't know how to help you." He felt hopeless as well. We talked about breaking up. "I can't see you gain all of your weight back." He couldn't sleep. He didn't know what to do with me.

I returned from a trip to the market with loads of bread, of pasta, of all of "his" food that i had been bingeing on now for days, and literally did NOT know how i was going to stop.

He said, "Honey, maybe cooking for me now is going to be impossible. It's keeping this thing alive. How about I go raw too, and we clean out the entire kitchen, make it a raw kitchen and lock everything else away. I have bicycle chains i can use to lock up everything cooked in a the basement cabinets. And whatever needs to be refrigerated, I can lock upstairs in the upstairs fridge with my other lock."

"But i just bought all of these groceries," I replied.

"So what?" He answered. "Getting this stuff out is cheaper than going to a retreat. We'll have raw retreat HERE. I want to lose 30 lbs and get rid of my arthritis. And if it helps you, i'll do it."

I smiled and we both cried. "OKAY!," I exclaimed.

So, we've been raw together for 2 days now. No, i haven't tried to break open the chains. I haven't even been interested to go see if the fridge and cubbard are really chained afterall. The compulsion just vanished.

Having Cliff's support has been literally life changing. I was heading down the path of complete and utter destruction, and now, i'm binge free and eating when i'm hungry, eating raw. The desires to binge completely disappeared. It lifted and i'm just grateful. Why it lifted is not really as important as the fact that it lifted. No more food out, not more bread and butter.

Yes, having the stuff out of the kitchen HAS been tremendously helpful. WHEN i was raw it NEVER bothered me. But since i began to eat it, i literally couldn't stop eating it.

Maybe the gourmet raw is satisfying my sensual needs? Maybe Cliff's support has been crucial? Maybe raw really IS less stimulating than cooked food.

The emotional issues will have to be worked through or i'll fall back, i'm sure, but for today, i KNOW i'm on the right path.

Practically speaking, now I make us raw gourmet meals, in small portions, so they will appeal to Cliff, and to me. They keep him interested. And they keep me from feeling like i'm on a diet or like i'm deprived. I eat pie and chocolate and pate and raw bread in small portions. And when i lose my hunger, i stop.

Eating when you're hungry really DOES taste so much better. And it's incredibly empowering.

We're eating raw dairy and i was hungry yesterday and took bites from a peice of raw cheese. God, it was so good. But, with each bite, it tasted less and less good. I'd had enough and was able to put it down. The pleasure of eating it when i was hungry outweighed eating it in volume. It felt very Geneen Rothy of me. But, i think it's really the way to go.

Maybe someday i can eat lower fat and lower salt, but the dieting kept the compulsion alive.

Being totally UNCOMPULSIVE with the gourmet is a new place to be. I eat when i'm hungry. I use salt. I use oil. I don't feel deprived. I don't feel scared. I'm not weighing myself daily. I'm learning to accept myself. And something about feeding this to Cliff as well has "legalized" it for me, suddenly. It's now "good food." Not anything bad or scary.

Now Cliff and I are like the other raw couples we've admired. It's truly exciting!

Cliff said to me, "Do you know anyone whose gone raw who has regretted it?" I had to admit, "no!"

I think one of the keys to the cessation of the binge eating (besides the incredible support from cliff) is that I decided to COMPLETELY ABANDON the idea of quick weight loss. You know me, the queen of losing 18 lbs in a week. Yes, it would be nice, but it seemed to exacerbate the binge eating....AFTER going OFF of the diet.

I've gained weight, I'm in the high 270's. That's not easy, knowing i was 258 on Halloween after 80-10-10ing, but i recognized this weight is not such a terrible place to be. I keep telling myself that gaining weight is NOT a crime. I'd been HERE in the 270's raw for over a year last year.

It's not ideal, but it's where i need to be for today. I'm focusing on listening to me, eating consciously, and on exercise. And that's it.

This feels like PURE RAW JOY. Finally. And the look i see in Cliff's eyes is worth MORE to me than any fried cheese stick. This FEELS good.

xoxox michelle joy


Melinda Winner said...

Great blog , will keep on reading about your journey , good luck !

Pat said...

Wow having Cliff to join you in your raw journery sounds perfect.


mikelle said...

everyone deserves a cliff :) the love the two of you share is so beautiful and inspiring. i wish you both so much success on this next part of your journey