Monday, November 30, 2009

"Inevitable Slippage...It's How We Deal With It THat's Important!"

Hey there, Folks.

I feel very very blessed this morning. I had a great day food-wise yesterday.

And I woke up to a fantabulous comment from "Laura". What was even more nuts is she didn't think she really had 'anything' to say. Heck, her comment MIGHT be one of THE most powerful comments I've ever received. Since i never know if people actually READ comments, and part of that is my fault, as i never comment on the comments, i don't know what my problem is with this, but, i wanted to republish it to make sure you read it, below.

If any of you suffer from Binge Eating Disorder, this will shed ALOT of light on why you, possibly, and I, definitely, skip around from program to program. It's all part of the disorder . [Big sigh].

I truly understand, Laura, about what you are saying about Fuhrman's program being too restrictive. In fact, i was just laying in bed thinking about the 'treats' i could work into the program if i do go to him and go on it for real. I'd love to hear more about why Furhman, the man, isn't so great. I've had dealings with Dr. Douglas Graham and, uh, was NOT impressed. Jerk.

Have you read Dr. Christopher Fairburn's Overcoming Binge Eating? He states that for overweight binge eaters, we have a real dilemma. We can't just eat anything we want and must keep it low fat and health focused to lose weight very slowly, but also MUST work in reasonable treats in order to not exacerbate binge eating and continue to gain. I actually did have ONE ENTIRE BINGE FREE YEAR when i followed his program. I didn't lose weight, but i didn't binge, and THAT was tremendously empowering. And coincidentally, it was followed as a VEGETARIAN. And it really worked for me. I wonder if i should add his program into the mix....create my OWN program.

And, yes, of courese, there is the emotional aspect. I've been neglecting this. Either this Landmark thing or I should seek out an Eating Disorder Therapist.

I've, unfortunately, not had good luck with finding a good one. I've had two and the second was so offensive, i actually walked out. At the time, i was experimenting with religion and she was really, really out of line, trying to impose her liberal beliefs on me. I really took offense. I may not react that strongly today as i'm not practicing any kind of religion, but to be told what i was practicing was bullshit, was crazy. It was mainline Christianity. Not Voodoo or something.

Anyway, Laura, do you live in Phila? Do you have a recommendation for a therapist??? Please email me anyway, because we seem to have enormous loads in common and i could use your support. LASOPRANA@AOL.com.

Have a great day, folks, and just know that part of 'pure raw joy' is figuring out what works so we can actually maintain it. Good friends, like Laura, make it alot easier. God bless you!

I, for one, want to hear MUCH MUCH MORE from Laura and how she eats and how she copes with slippage and how she's changed emotionally. I want the whole shabang, the whole story!!! We want to hear more!

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LAURA SAYS:

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.
LAURA

xoxo michelle joy

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Talking it out, figuring out my options....

Hi there, Ladies,

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. :)

Swayze

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

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

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, "Wait....it'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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BUNNY

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.
Bunny

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ANITA from SWEDEN
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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MOLLY
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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LAURA
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,
Laura

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TALIA
Here is an interesting youtube video on emotional eating i think might help you! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95-hU6R9db8 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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GLENDA
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

HOUSE ORGANIZING WITH MEGAN!

Wednesdays are favorite days around here for us because MARVELOUS MEGAN comes to help us organize our house!!!

Over the 10 years Cliff and I have been living together, we've amassed a pretty big load o' crap and since we're not good at organizing ourselves and we have no closets and we have lots of extra rooms, we kinda shoved everything into those rooms.

One out of control junk room became 2, and life stop functioning very well.

So far with Megan's help, we've made the basement a pure pleasure to do laundry in, it is tidy and functional and a place now to store all of the stuff we had upstairs.

We now have a functional dining room that is beautiful, too. It's no longer a table for collecting junk.

We have a 'walk-in closet' (an extra bedroom, transformed from a junk den), a functional extra bedroom for guests, and a lovely and functional den/living room, and kitchen.

Next we are going to tackle another one of the bedrooms. And we'll keep filling up the closet-room and declutter my piano room.

Whew, what a major undertaking. But, Megan is fabulous! If you live in the Philadelphia or Souderton area, i highly recommend her! You can contact me for her info.

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So, my all raw day yesterday stuck amazingly well. I indulged in salt and fat as much as i wanted and that felt freeing. And i even sung well. So there. I look bloated from salt and wheat from the other day, but at least i'm not binge eating.

Maybe i oughtta just forget about trying to control my weight and reflux so much and just concentrate on living, eating and enjoying raw, exercising, getting my needs met, and accepting my body/weight the way it is. And let the rest take care of itself.

I notice the more i control my eating, the salt, the fat, the worse the backlash seems to be. I keep assuming it's the fat and salt MAKING me binge, but after a day like yesterday where i felt completely content, i don't think it is. My relationship was in a good place. So, my food was simple to keep under control. INTERESTING.

I felt heard and seen and supported enough by Cliff that i didn't need to eat his bread or rice yesterday. That's quite telling. I should look at the good days and see what they have and compare them to the bad days to see what they are missing. I also worked on my music all day. I should keep a log and notate if my needs are met: attention from cliff: check. artistic expression: check.

Cliff and i had kanoodleing time this morning and this makes me feel loved and complete, too. I was teasing him and said, "Touch there, now i won't need a slice of bread. Touch there, that's a bowl of noodles!" I'm onto something here, and he was gung ho. Good motivation for him. He wants me to eat raw...so he'd better touch those noodles away!

Well, i've put off starting my day long enough.

Hope you're well. Thanks for stickin' by me through all of this. One of these days, it's all gonna come together!

xoxox michelle joy

Monday, November 23, 2009

Intimacy = Into Me See

Hiya Folks,

I wrote this the other day....i think it's referring to Monday...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today was a good day. Chocolate Banana Shake for breakfast, Fuhrman soup for lunch and the rest of the chocolate banana shake for dinner. Wasn't too hungry today.

And was productive. That's a good day for me. I vacumed and set up what will now be my and Cliff's "closet room," an extra bedroom that we have in our big big old house that will function as our walk-in closet since these 100 year old houses in Manayunk were built WITHOUT closets! Needless to say, we've had organizational problems since we began living here. It doesn't help that Cliffy and I are both packrats prone to getting out of control with messes!

Now that Cliff's handicapped mom is thriving in a nursing home, we've finally tackled the huge job of getting this place organized, painted, and decorated just for us. Megan's been coming weekly and it's been immensely helpful. She's due here Wednesday!!!!

Just as things are percolating in our home life...moving and shifting...so are things moving and shaking in our personal life. Lots of realizations and discovery of the real issues of our relationship. I'm thinking it may all be related???

Did anyone see Oprah the other day about sex addiction? Being an addict in general, i really related to it. The real issue with sex addicts, Dr. Drew stated, was that they can't form close bonds and they have great difficulty with intimacy. The seek the "drug" of sex as a substitute for intimacy.

My Clifford is the farthest thing from a sex addict, but sometimes opposites are twins. I think he struggles with intimacy greatly...and avoids it. He is afraid i'll "see into" him something weak and no good that i don't want and that i'll reject. So he tries to act tough like nothing bothers him.

For me, i'm also afraid of someone seeing deep inside of me that i'm no good, that i'm damaged goods. I think the state of my skin from all of this constant weight gain/weight loss, which has done so much incredible damage (very hangy, cellulite, stretch marks) is an expression of my fear of what i really am. No good. Unworthy. Ugly.

When i think of trying to find another partner/lover, i immediately fear rejection. I don't look good, therefore i am unlovable, undesirable. A woman's appeal lies in her physical perfection.

Intellectually, I know i'm loveable. I have friends and family and clients and fans who adore me, but there's something deep, deep inside that lives in me that says, "You're just not good enough."

I judge myself harshly on the state of my skin. If i were single and had to reveal my naked self to potential lovers? I've done it before and have been rejected. I can't handle it. Too painful.

Cliff and I don't have a HOT relationship, but he accepts and loves me unconditionally. It's a SAFE relationship, one i've grown so attached to. With all of it's faults, it still offers me so much that makes me feel SAFE, LOVED and PROTECTED.

I often, however, feel conflicted about how the relationship does NOT serve my needs, yet, all in all, i don't WANT to leave him. I may fantasize about it, but i haven't yet.

I know Cliff struggles with believing he is lovable too. That's one of the things that makes me love him so much. Because he NEEDS my love, and because he truly does have ALOT of wonderful qualities that i value.

Being adopted, i know what abandonment and rejection feel like...to the core. Someone gave ME away because they didn't want me. It aches me deep inside. Still. Having to face constant rejection out in the single world? A very unattractive proposition.

There have been times in our life when we've been more attuned intimately than others. When we take the time to massage or caress or dry brush each other. He loves it when i cut his hair, pluck his ears, groom him. He feels neglected when i don't do these things that show my love. I feel neglected when he doesn't hold me, kiss me, tell me he loves me, take interest in me sexually.

Today we were back in love again. I felt heard, seen. It made me wonder if all of thing binge eating is something i just do for attention.

When Cliff is feeling 'less than' or frightened for the future, he has a hard time sexually. It's a confidence issue. And I seem to always want it, sex, am more dominant sexually, and have found a partner who almost never wants it.

After watching the Oprah program on sex addiction, i have to ask myself, 'what does this mean about me that i constantly try to get blood from a stone? Why have i partnered myself with someone who has problems with or just does not desire physical/sexual / sensual intimacy?

Dr. Drew said that people who don't get what they want feel they don't deserve it.

I suppose i never felt good enough.

I can't tell whether to view our relationship as a good thing that i cherish. Or a bad thing that I need to turn from.

I guess like ALL relationships, it's a mixture of both.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I subsequently had another cooked binge last night, but woke up and was straight up with Cliff and told him everything. His support is immensely motivating to me. So far today i've been raw and haven't taken action not to be, although i've thought about it, i ultimately chose not to indulge. It's an internal very subtle inside thing. Something in me felt heard and doesn't NEED it today.

I think i crave attention.

Eeek. That's frightening. Like a Liza Minelli or a Marilyn Monroe or Robert Downey Jr. Talented people need an outlet, though, and if they don't do their art, their addictive life can dominate.

I worked today on a new vocal program for the retirement homes and also contacted some of the opera singing restaurants to sing there.

My addiction is complex to unravel, but different aspects of it become clearer daily.

xoxo michelle joy

A good day.... Resolution.... Green Smoothie

Morning,

Had a good day yesterday. I wasn't hungry all day until quite late when i had a bowl of leftover Fuhrman soup, and later Cliff made me a big double green Green Smoothie with dinosaur kale - that stuff is so bitter!

We talked last night. We're such an imperfect couple. There's so much that we need to work on, yet there is still alot of love. He woke me up this morning with a big hug and kisses and lots of 'i love you's'.

I don't know if it solves everything, but it feels good.

Ultimately, it's my responsibility to not turn to food to make me feel better, no matter what.

Cliffy's going for his bicycle ride this morning and invited me to join him to meet up at the coffee shop for some tea and couple-time. When we did this regularly, things were good. Exercise does alot to de-stress and make the body feel good.

Guess what, with all of my excessive writing, i think i have carpel tunnel syndrome, so i can't write daily anymore. My arm and wrist are aching! Just as well.... I'll save your eyes!

Say HI when you can. LaSoprana@aol.com
xoxo michelle joy

Sunday, November 22, 2009

DAY TWELVE - Meredith and Michelle Support Club

Howdy, ladies,

I slept in today, like ALL day. I had a bad food day yesterday. I binged on cooked food.

But, i promised myself i wouldn't talk about the food, and would instead focus on the issues.

Here's a snippet of a letter I sent to Meredith, but i actually made some clarifications for the purpose of the blog and to explain my feelings, so here you go:

"well, today didn't go well at all. i awoke very emotionally and physically, sensually needy. i was aware of it, but i didn't know what to do with it. i was obviously unskilled enough or unable or unwilling to get those needs met without food. it all went out of control. badly. real bread and pasta. the butter is the worst part. kills my singing voice.

i touched on the issue in my blog entry in the morning, and it seemed to never get resolved and the needy feeling was never fulfuilled.

cliff sensed there was something wrong and tried to engage me in conversation about other things, i don't know, whales, animals, i don't know what he was talking about. he likes to talk about things, not us. i withdrew. i cried instead. we were in the car together and i was crying and he never asked why. what he wanted from me, and what i wanted from him were two different things. it was a perfect example of conflict. he wanted mental stimulation and i wanted emotional or physical or sensual. i craved connection one way, he another. we were both feeling unfulfilled. i said, 'i'm sorry we're so incompatible today' and we held hands the rest of the day. it was sweet, but obviously not enough for me later when i was alone and food looked real good.

from my end i was needing warmth, connection. to be asked what was wrong. imagine sitting there crying and the person you love never asks why.

i felt like i had no other 'choice' but to gravitate toward food later as there was no one physically or emotionally there to relieve it.

i guess i checked out also. it was a challenge i was unskilled to overcome. i understand now it was my CHOICE to do that. i could have taken a walk. called a friend. i chose food.

nevertheless, it is apparent to me that cliff is emotionally and sensually or sexually unavailable, often. he always has been. but, usually, i get by. i guess with food. today for the first time in a long time i thought maybe i NEED a different partner, and it scared me very much.

thinking about writing on the blog, i thought to myself how much better it would be to talk about how i FEEL instead of always focusing on food, or presenting food (dr. fuhrman or raw or gourmet or whatever) as the answer to my binge issues.

then i received a message, a comment, from a reader confirming this intuitiion.
thanks for that comment! i really should be working on these issues with a therapist or with the help of a book the reader suggested instead of focusing on food.

i'm aware i'm all over the place. i try this. i try that. everyday it's something
different. i can't follow through. whatever i try doesn't 'work'. it's not that i don't have good intentions. at least i'm trying. the difference is, most people don't have blogs and report daily to the world.

i've been spinning my wheels and making no real progress for a long time i think.

I ate up most of what you sent allready and it was so wonderful, but i think what's ailing me is deeper than solving this with food. raw food is awesome and gives me more energy, but it doesn't take away my emptiness, my pain, my feelings of emotional, sexual, sensual abandonment. I have emotional work to do.

i suppose i'm really in charge of those feelings and if i chose to stuff them with food, it's really MY issue and not cliff's. i could go have an affair, get a massage, take a walk. i choose food.

anyway, cliff is out getting some movies for us. he's making an effort. and now it's too late. i'm numb now. and i feel so entirely stuffed. empty and stuffed all at once.

we're just so incompatible sometimes especially when i am feeling very needy, very sexual, very intense. i feel i need passion, great intensity, great emotional connection. i crave it. he is incapable of giving this, or unwilling, especially the more intense i am.

it's not that i'm totally blameless. often he feels controlled by me. i'm a strong personality. so the only way he knows how to rebel against that control is to withdraw, which he does so well. it's his modus operandae. he doesn't discuss, communicate, he just withdraws. emotionally, physically, sexually, sensually.

plus, he is just a cerebral person and that's how he operates and i know that. and i've loved him so long knowing that. and it works as long as i keep losing control with eating. but i don't think the relationship works for me without food. I need much more. otherwise food looks real good.

i need to sing monday and i just did it to myself again. reflux central. tomorrow, and tonight, i'm back on track, getting over this latest hump. i'll be in touch tomorrow.

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

this morning i told him i was mad at him because he was 'asexual, not passionate, not emotional, not giving, not warm,' and that i didn't want to go down the shore with him today. his response was to say, 'fine. i'm going out by myself' and he got up and left. that he engaged in no conversation, no communication left me reeling, made me feel abandoned and like dying. i went to sleep. until 3pm. i said to myself, 'you see? this is the reaction i get. it's not all me. i need communication, and what do i get?'

when i came down at 3pm, he was back, but getting ready to leave again. he wasn't talking to me now. now he's mad at me. he said, 'i'm leaving, i'll be back later.' i didn't expect HIM to be angry at ME now. i followed him out to the garage and knocked on the window of the car he was in. 'can i talk to you for a minute?' he said no and backed up slowly, leaving me in the garage. a very bold move on his part.

now i'm alone in the dark at home and feeling badly for 'making him angry at me.' it's not that he doesn't try. he takes GOOD care of me. pays for me. does for me. cares for me. loves me. he's just who he is. and i'm just who i am. and we have different needs. he needs alot of mental stimulation. and i HATE talking about things. i need a lot of emotional and sensual and physical stimulation and CONNECTION. basically, we're just incompatible, though we've made it work all of these years because i wanted him. i've always been the dominant one in the relationship. i've always been the 'leader' of sorts. i loved him. and that was that.

revealing all of this to strangers is not really comfortable. i guess i'd much rather talk about food. but that's the problem, i think. and food is not the answer. i used to think that the food is what made me binge, but i think it's a mental choice colliding with very strong internal needs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

i dont' feel particularly obsessed or addicted to bread today because i ate it yesterday. i have to sing tomorrow and i know better. something stronger than food is keeping me in line today. in fact, i haven't eaten a thing. i'm not even hungry. i'm aware of what i'm going through and i'm here. i'm present. i'm chosing not to binge. i'm chosing not to even eat.

i called him and he's not answering his phone.

i feel like i can't live with him sometimes, but i can't live without him. we definitely, i definitely have loved him, have wanted this relationship to work. i've been pulling it along all of these 10 years. if i stopped pulling, what would happen? what happened today. he's gone. we've talked about breaking up before many times but usually it's me who is begging to keep us together. i have always wanted that. to feel loved. to be in a relationship. to show what love can do. i never wanted to be one of those girls whose relationships don't work. i don't want to be alone.

one of my coworkers broke up with her boyfriend who she felt wasn't right for her only to immediately find someone who fulfilled more of her needs.

I've always felt like 'the grass is always greener.' best to stick with what you've got and make that work. i never wanted to sacrifice my relationship for my own needs. i thought that was selfish. all of these years loving each other to just have it end. for what?

anyway, that's where i'm at. i think it's a lot more honest than talking about food. but i'm not real comfortable with it.

i don't know what's going to be with cliff and me. i don't know if i'm going to continue to fight for 'us' or if my energies should go towards fighting for ME and what i apparently need. but, you know, plenty of people live in incompatible relationships, but they don't choose to binge. i think it is a choice. and it's defintiely a choice, a habit, that is not serving me. i've been binge eating WAY before Cliff and i'll binge after him. it's not HIM. It's ME. It's filling something in me that i have to learn to fill without food. And i have to learn to fill it myself. It's MY responsibility.

xoxo michelle joy

Saturday, November 21, 2009

DAY ELEVEN - Michelle & Meredith Support Club!

Morning,

Just a few quick words this morning!

I've had two scrumptious meals from Meredith's pure pleasure package and am going on day 3 of all raw. Having her treats here is certainly making THAT easier.

Work yesterday was challenging, however. Food is just daily an issue with me. Sometimes i am focused enough to overcome the temptation. Other days i'm weaker. Yesterday was not disasterous as some days have been, so that's good at least! I did compulsively snack, though, and that always makes me feel like a failure. I wish i could find definitively something that worked, always.

I awoke very emotional, physically needy and hungry, weepy. Cliffy awoke wanting solitude, quiet, space so he could think. He is being sweet and nurturing to me NOW so it feels nice, but earlier i felt....emotionally abandoned. I think it's just a part of my personality to want physical intensity. And i think it's just part of his personality to need mental intensity and space.

I always think of dogs and how different they are. Some are so needy for affection, other dogs want you to leave them alone. Sometimes we feel so incompatible, and then it all gets patched up and there's a lotta love.

Food fills that void sometimes for me. But i promised i wouldn't overdo Meredith's treats and i haven't. But it's tempting!

I always talk about it: salty fatty things just appeal to me. I can't seem to help that either.

Being bloated today from salt at work yesterday, too, and knowing i didn't "do good" with my food makes me feel bad about me.

There's something about needing to be in control of my food that makes life managable for me. When my food is in control i feel alright, good. Like how my mom is when the house is in order. She just needs that.

More later. xoxo michelle joy

Friday, November 20, 2009

DAY TEN! Meredith's FOOD is HERE!!!
























It's here!

It's here!

Meredith's package arrived yesterday!!

All the way from BOULDER, CO to PHILADELPHIA, PA!!! And even after 2day air (which arrived in 3 days), I was astounded to find everything ICE COLD!!! That styrofoam thingy is a miracle!!!

What treats did i find???? Mmmmm! Look above to see some of Meredith's fantabulous creations at a recent function to honor Angela Stokes-Monarch and Matt Monarch!!! Meredith Frantz is quite simply THE BEST raw chef I know!!!!!
  • BETTER than cooked NO BEAN HUMMUS!
  • Cumin Spice FLAX Crackers!
  • Unbelievable BETTER BURGERS on BUNS with MAYO! (There's the burger in the photo above to the right of the collard wraps!)
  • Extra burger and buns!!!!!
  • ALMOND BUTTER CUP...like Reeses, only BETTER!
  • CHOCOLATE ICECREAM!
  • VANILLA ICECREAM!

If you are from the Boulder area or NOT FROM THE BOULDER AREA call or email Meredith TODAY for her creations! They ship BEAUTIFULLY!!! http://www.therawseed.com/ / http://www.poppyseedtree.com/

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I feel so happy today!!!! I awoke cheery and bright!

I had an all raw day yesterday and plan another today!

The constant throat clearing and LOW energy left me yesterday by eating raw. No more mucous! WOW.

Usually work is so hard for me with eating compulsively, but yesterday i did fantastically. I had three rules. No salt or oil. Limit nuts. Eat when hungry. It worked!!! It's a way for me to control myself in a possibly insanely out of control situation as a raw chef with delicious accessible food EVERYWHERE. I usually snack compulsively nonstop. I didn't! I didn't even TOUCH the raw bread. Yay!

So, when i got home, and my little treats were waiting for me, i was hungry, took a few contented nibbles and breathed a deep sigh of satisfaction...no binge eating, no worry. Everything was made with LOVE....and i felt deeply supported and cradled like a little baby. Things that make me nuts at work didn't do that at home. They were non-binge foods made JUST for ME!!! How special is THAT?? The intention was "baked" right into them!!! And I write everything i eat to Meredith and feel this is a new beginning!

(I'm not saying goodbye to beans for good, i'm in another phase, that's all!)

Br: 11:30a.m. choco maca shake and a large banana whip...was hungry!
L: salad with saltfree cashew dressing, and oil free, made with 1oz cashew
S: another salad with half as much dressing. i also used nutritional yeast. LOVE that stuff.
D: 1 small container organic dried figs
S: a few bites meredith's treats....bites just to taste...no going overboard....how entirely WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!

Thank you for this experience and for the following ones to come, Meredith!!!!

3 things i did to get back on track: ate all raw, ate salad to get some greens in since i really wanted that chocolately shake and didn't crave greens for breakfast, and didn't snack at all while working, yay! success!

3 reasons i love me: another pair of new jeans made me look hot today, i felt great today, was happy and energized and positive, feel good about being honest with where i'm at. i so don't feel like a bad person for eating beans. but sure felt good today about eating raw!

Goal: stay raw tomorrow, too!

And for the record, i think beans are totally cool, but they will zap the energy if you eat too many too many days in a row i think.

Anyway, at work, I had 1.5 oz of nuts only (i measured them). Dr. Fuhrman says 1 oz max, but i gave myself leeway since i was eating all raw. (I need to watch them for the weight, and for the reflux!)

I feel very happy today and want to share a video with you that illustrates the joy i feel today. Hey, it's a pure raw joy day!!!!!!! This is how i feel after eating raw for ONE DAY!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyANRiqzfio

There is so much more i want to say, but i'm taking a walk today, yippee! Gotta go! Lotsa energy!!!

xoxox michelle joy

Thursday, November 19, 2009

DAY NINE - The package should arrive today!

Morning all,

Well, it's another day in the neighborhood, but this morning is something a little special...i should be receiving Meredith's care package today chock fulla raw vegan treats! I'm so excited! I hope it gets here before i have to go to work! But maybe Cliff will receive it before he has to go to work much later.

The package lady is smiling so strongly, but I have sad news. Meredith and Dustin's beloved dog, Bug, died suddenly the other day. Let's send out healing wishes and lots of LOVE to Meredith and Dustin as they recover from this sudden devastation. Losing a pet is like losing a child. BIG HUGS to you, Meredith and lots of love!

I received such a nice email from Meredith:

I wanted to clarify something about whether or not you choose to eat raw food. Truthfully, I don't care what you eat, I just want you to healthy and happy. If for you, that means cooked food, that is absolutely wonderful. I know you will continue applying the things you learned while raw like green smoothies and veggie juice to your diet. The whole world isn't meant to be raw, it works for some and not for others. Your goal now is to control binges and lose weight, I completely realize that this may take some experimenting since you are coming from a lifelong food addiction. It does seem like you are eating less now that you have implemented some cooked foods into your diet. This is a good thing, controlling the hunger and eating when you are actually hungry can be such a challenging thing to do. I think you are doing great!

The package isn't there yet... that means tomorrow for sure!!! I so appreciate you supporting my raw food creations and ordering food from me. There are some really yummy treats in the package, I am pretty sure you will love it!!!

Keep up the good work and keep me posted on everything. I am sorry for not responding these past two days, it was just a bit crazy. We only had 3 hours of sleep Monday into Tuesday, so by yesterday we were physically tired and emotionally drained. We loved Bug SO much it's retarded. I just wanted to fill you in on what we have been up to. I hope you didn't think I abandoned Club Michelle... I'm here and I am cheering loud!!! ;0)

much love,
meredith www.therawseed.com / www.poppyseedtree.com


I was so sorry to hear about Bug, but glad to hear she wasn't terribly disgusted over my cooked food adventures. I was really scared about that. Rather, it seems she's totally cool with it and just happy to support me. That feels really really nice. Sometimes it's just nice to TRY something, supported, and actually SEE for yourself if it's all it's cracked up to be.

As it turns out, i'm actually getting alittle doubtful about this venture. I've not been feeling too well. My energy since i've been eating beans is MUCH LOWER than when i was raw. And i don't have routine regular bowel movements like i used to and i think i have more mucous and i feel dizzy sometimes and kind of depressed! And i haven't lost any more weight. Well, so much for my miracle cure.

Well, when her package gets here, it will be the start of a new phase. If i can, i'd like to go back to 100% to see if i feel any better. Of course, i'd like to try to do it binge-free, while still maintaining lowfat overall for the sake of my voice and as low salt as i can. I think i can figure something out.

Until then, blessings to you all,
xoxoxo michelle joy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DAY EIGHT: Meredith and Michelle Support Club!

Morning, Ladies,

Boy, i've been getting more emails from you lately. That is so nice. Thank you for your support! Write more! Your letters really cheer me up, even if you don't always agree, it's nice to know someone is 'out there.'

This is the 2nd or more morning i've woken up depressed.

I wonder a few things.... If it's something clearing out of me and something i just have to feel and let pass through me... Or if it's because i've been so entirely negligent with exercise lately and have barely walked a GOOD walk for over 3 weeks (one of those weeks i was sick, the others, it rained or was cold or whatever my excuse was)... (Walking raises your good mood feelings. It would do me good to have a nice one this morning.) Or if it's because i'm eating low fat and not numbing out.... Or if it's because i'm not drinking enough fluids? Or, if it's a result of eating [cue sound effects for doom and gloom: "da da da da"] COOKED food. Boy, that would really suck if it was. I really LIKE it.

One of the things people say when they go raw is how much energy they have. I don't think i've been waking up happy and cheery and bursting with energy. I usually wake up with an odd feeling, i feel somehow more aware than when my body is filled with lots of fatty food, but not what you would call energetic. Alot of things seem to be coming to the surface that i haven't thought of for a long time. Usually my first thought, though, is if i'm gonna take a shit, and how much weight i think i lost.

I can't lie, losing another 1/2 lb doesn't send me reeling. So far i've lost 18.5 lbs this past week and a day. That's pretty freaking stupendous, but when i don't see the scale moving down significantly, it does worry me. "Am i doing the right thing, etc..." When a person gets such amazing results it fills you with confidence that you must be doing it right. When you don't get results, no, no, let me rephrase, when I don't get results, i start to doubt, worry, get insecure.... Half or most of my problems are how i am just super reactive. It would do me good to start meditating again.

Anyway, i'd better get my mojo back because MARVELOUS MEGAN is coming over today to clean and organize in another one of our fabulous sessions, i'm soo pleased! I contracted her for 50 hours and after today's session, she will be near the halfway mark, yay! Now the basement is clean, the dining room and living room and kitchen are lovely. I think we'll tackle the back bedroom today and if we have time bring more dishes down from my kitchen upstairs. (Since Cliff's mom moved to the retirement home, we're in her kitchen now.) It will be SO nice to finally have this house functioning better. We have an 100 year old home that was built without closets, so have super duper big storage problems. Megan's helping us.

Now for another M: [Cue drum roll] Okay, this morning or tomorrow morning i will be receiving my package of food from MARVELOUS MEREDITH! I'm blesses with a lot of "M's" in my life right now! We'll see how the food made it through the mail system, if it held up, stayed in one peice and stayed cold. I don't know how to feel about it right now, i'm just waiting till it comes. I do know how much i appreciate the hard work that Meredith put into making it. For those of you in the Boulder, CO area, you really need to get connected to Meredith. She is THE most talented raw Chef that i know and an inspiration. She's really trying to help me and look at me, Ms. Cooked Soup. It's absolutely NOTHING personal. It's just where i'm at right now. But, i feel badly about not jumping on the raw boat as i expected to. This all started with the soups before we connected.

I feel like you know some people are democrats and some are republicans and the minute you announce that at a party, there's an instant divide. It's so awful this whole controversy between cooked and raw and how much percentage raw and cooked and who does what and how you view them, then. Most people don't advertize daily everything they eat on a blog so it doesn't become such an issue.

If i can manage to go back to 100% raw for a few days or longer, it will be interesting to see if there is a difference in how i feel. It would be quite interesting to see, i'm just super concerned about preserving how well my voice has been doing. It loves low fat. Can you imagine taking a Canary and putting a clamp around it's throat so it couldn't sing? That's how i feel when i get reflux. The life choked out of me, the song choked out of me. A singer sings.

Well, we shall see!

FOOD FROM TUESDAY, NOV 18, 2009

Breakfast: bowl Fuhrman soup

Lunch: 4 Tangerines, 1 banana

Snack: 1 baked potato plain

Dinner: Fuhrman soup

Snack: soy milk warmed with raw chocolate and agave

3 reasons i love me: 1) because i really helped my parents today to get along better and to compromise while they picked out wall colors for the house 2) because even though i am experimenting with something new and scary, there is something that feels bigger than me guiding me and i'm feeling surprisingly okay about doing something so...radically different from what i was doing 3) because other people relate to me. i got 2 emails today from people who could relate and it felt good.

3 ways i got on track: 1) i took a walk with my mom outside and really enjoyed it. 2) i snacked on fruit 3) i stayed away from fat which isn't good for my reflux. My singing has been good!

Goals: finish dishes tonight and get ready for Megan's visit tomorrow. Megan is helping me organize the house over the next several weeks. so things are moving and shaking in the right direction!!!

xoxox michelle joy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

DAY SEVEN - Meredith & Michelle Support Club!

Morning,

Well, this morning i'm feeling quite out of sorts, bored, unstimulated, confused, sad, depressed. I'm an emotional enigma. No wonder I already ate a bowl of Fuhrman soup for breakfast!!!! It was yummy, though, and i enjoyed it and i've made peice with that and accept it. Hopefully a nice little walk today and a visit to my moms will perk me up.

I weighed myself this morning, but i stayed the same. Funny how that would make me feel badly, momentarily. I lost an astounding 18 lbs in one week doing the Dr. Fuhrman program.

I've been receiving mostly very encouraging messages regarding the Fuhrman program.

My catering partner, Susan, who i met with yesterday to work on catering jobs we have lined up, is quite familiar with it. She's a Registered Nurse and knows of the programs ins and outs. She was actually quite excited for me that I've found something that might work for me. She herself ate a bowl of black bean soup as we shopped at Whole Foods. She commented, "I don't have food hang ups. I eat what i like. Mostly raw. Once a month cheese. Once a month sardines. Often cooked beans. I love cooked vegetables." Susan seems to understand how to live a mostly raw life with no guilt, good health and come out of it smelling like a rose.

I'd never considered such a venture, honestly, until I began working with her. And now that i'm smack dab in the middle of experimenting with it, i have a hard time seeing it's negative side. Ultra Low fat and comforting beans and cooked veggies seem to promote weight loss and seem to be very healthy for my chronic reflux laryngitis. I've been taking the Betaine HCL again and that seems to be helping the little funny feeling in my belly.

Susan intellectually understands the positive reasons for eating raw, something about how cooked food affects the white blood cells badly... Uy, i've never been very interested in science or nutrition to tell you the truth.

But, she accepts the emotional reasons for eating healthy low fat cooked (it's comforting), and also actually considers it healthy and believes it is STIMULATING to the immune system. People like Matt Monarch who are so pure, long term raw foodists, can get physically ill from cigarette smoke or from anesthesia. They're almost too pure.

Anyway, not everyone understands, though. I totally get that. For 3 years almost i didn't touch cooked, well, not because i thought it was unhealthy, but because i feared for my ability to control it. But, you know what? I've been doing pretty well this past week. I'm encouraged! And this little low cal healthy way to receive comfort and sustenance has become over this last week something I value and enjoy. I've experienced weight loss, comfort and much improved Reflux Laryngitis by eating ultra low fat saltfree whole natural foods. What the heck is so wrong with that?

In terms of 100% raw, it's "BAD", ooooooohhhh, but in reaction to what the rest of the world is eating, it's "ULTRA HEALTHY." Who really decides what is HEALTHY. It's so subjective.

In fact, i honestly don't even see how the majority of raw foodists cannot recognize that salt and almost fat free beans, potatoes, cooked veggies are actually 'TRANSITION FOODS" to a raw diet.

Nowhere on any transition diet have i ever seen raw pie and raw pate's, etc...

So a transition diet actually ranks HIGHER than a GOURMET raw diet!

Speaking of reflux, I sang last night at choir rehearsal marvelously...without even having to warm up! That's the power of low fat for me. The problem with low fat 80-10-10-style was that i couldn't wait to go OFF of it! With the Fuhrman program, the hot soups offer comfort in a ultra low fat form that feels like i could stay on indefinitely. Isn't it healthier to lose weight in a way that makes me feel good, than to stuff myself with nuts stuck at the same weight unhealthy weight, forever? I was really beginning to feel hopeless about ever losing any more weight. I told my friend, Jan, on the phone yesterday, "I feel like i could take this...all the way!" After all, Dr. Fuhrman's patient, Rebecca, did it! She's lost 330 lbs eating fruit and veggies and beans. Why can't i lose my next 100 lbs doing that???

There are some possible negatives to reintroducing cooked foods into my diet, though. Susan asked me if i'd been experiencing any more mucous than i had been as a raw foodist. I had to admit that i had been clearing my throat a lot, but that i wasn't sure if it was due to the cold i was just getting better from, or the body's reaction to cooked food. The only way to know, for sure, she said, is to go back to 100% raw...and to see if it clears up, and then to try the soups again. I'd have sure evidence, and i'd be able to make a firm determination for myself which was the best way to go.

Miss Meredith is sending me some raw gourmet treats with just that hope in mind, that they will help me to return to 100% raw. Other folks have reiterated their worry for me and hope that i go back to 100% raw as well. I think they understand raw differently than i used to. I never did raw for the 'living food' side of it. I did raw to lose weight and to lose my obsession with food. When weight loss stopped as well as obsession continued, it felt natural to look for another alternative.

Well, my cooked plans will be thwarted in a few days. My little raw package from Miss Meredith will arrive on Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. But honestly, I'm a little scared about my ability/willingness to go back to 100% raw with gourmet raw high fat salted food, knowing how my body, compulsion, and weight react to it. I'm honestly SCARED about it. I've never been able to control myself with these foods AND lose weight. I've really been enjoying not having to worry about portion sizes or moderating intensely stimulating food. This little departure of the Fuhrman program has seemed like a lovely little Oasis, a way to eat comforting foods in large amounts, but STILL lose weight.

We shall see if the mucous clears up, if i lose weight, if i can control myself.

Yes, we shall see! I will definitely keep you informed!

Monday's Food:
Breakfast
: big green smoothie with 1/2 giant tub of baby romaine in it
Lunch: 2 apples, 2 bananas
Dinner: Dr. Fuhrman soup
Snack: 1 apple, 1 cup Dr. Fuhrman soup

3 things i did to get back on track: 1) used a ton of greens in my smoothie 2) snacked on fruit until dinner 3) drank a good amount of water today

3 things i love about me: 1) that my singing went well tonight at choir rehearsal 2) that i looked cute in my outfit today and Susan said how pretty i looked 3) that i made a good soup tonight with lotsa veggies and greens!

Goal for today: dishes, walk, meet with mom to help her chose colors for the walls.

xoxox michelle joy

Monday, November 16, 2009

DAY SIX - My "Meredith Food" Arrives Tomorrow!

Morning,

I woke up feeling frustrated with the Fuhrman-diet and ready to give up.

In a long-winded way as usual, i'll explain.

Yesterday, i was alone at home, not too motivated to do anything about it, though i had written i would take a walk. I'm sometimes prone to these slumps.

I ended up taking the most wonderful bath with my eye on fulfilling my 'sensual' needs: i lit the mongo amount of candles i have procuriously ledged everywhere in the little bathroom, shut the lights, filled the tub up with HOT water, got out the 'Diva' Pink Lemonade Body Sugar and scrubbed away every nook and cranny. Pure heaven. Made me feel REAL good. Out of the tub i creamed my entire plump self with "Spring Meadow" Body Cream, breathed in the luscious citrusy scent and knew Cliffy would appreciate it.

I did my hair, and was excited to get dressed up flirty-like for Cliff's return from his day out in a few hours. When he arrived home, he exclaimed, "Wow...look at you!" And snuggled and sniffed me lovingly in the crook of my neck. Success!

Until he got home, i plopped a french film in the DVD player, another 'sensual' pleasure of mine, the way the french tickles my ears, and had a grand ol' time with the suspenseful flick, devouring 3 more bowls of Fuhrman-style cooked vegan soup in the process. I can't lie. I enjoyed the heck out of it. This is my kind of evening.

Then Cliff and I watched an opera together then, shared a few glasses of zinfandel, and I sang along to Mimi's lines in the Met's live telecast from last year of the Zeferelli production of "La Boheme". It was a pleasure!

YET....I felt like i did REAL bad with my food though. I mean, i was stuffed. I wasn't any more stuffed than i was on any other night i've been doing Fuhrman, but guilty about not having raw throughout the day. I thought about binge eating 1/2 raw chocolate pie i have in the fridge. But after i started singing, and it was SO GOOD, i realized the reflux is actually GOOD, my voice sounded and felt EASY and GREAT! That was my number one motivation to not screw it up by ingesting what amounts to 4 or 5 avocados with more fatty nuts, etc... Fat kills my voice. And the Fuhrman soup is very low fat. Good for me...and my reflux!

But, i was certain to awake this morning to weight gain. I'd only drank 3 glasses green smoothie for breakfast, 1 bowl Fuhrman soup for lunch, 1 cup soymilk for snack, some raw lemonade as i was thirsty, and 3 enormous bowls Fuhrman soup for dinner, and some zinfandel. So much for my 1-vegan cooked meal a day.

[Do you think i should perhaps change the name of this blog to pure joy...and take the raw OUT of it? Or maybe i should just call it 'pure' because i rarely report much joy. I know, I'll call it 'pure struggle...with some joy...and some raw!']

Well, i awoke to weigh in at 261.5, down another 1.5lb from yesterday. (From 279.5 to 261.5 - 18 lbs down in 6 days) since my half a loaf of rye and whole stick of butter + 2 peices of pizza + veggie lomein + 4 eggs + 2 glazed donuts + wheat bread + another stick of butter 2day binge just 6 days ago.

I know it was a lot of water weight, eating all of that salty stuff. And now i've been eating no salt. But, I'm like freakin' out because, uh, i'm losing more rapidly eating cooked vegan food than on raw vegan food.

Who knows if it'll keep up, though, the weightloss. And, i've sure been following Dr. Fuhrman's advice to eat as much as i want...to a fault. I really thought i'd have gained. Maybe beans DO rev the metabolism???

raw...raw...raw...boom...dee...aye!
Well, me thinks Meredith is NOT going to be too pleased with this report, since it only contained 2 raw selections, eeek.

But, tomorrow her shipment arrives, which will be filled with raw goodies made especially por moi to munch on. And i'll receive another package the next week, and the next!

I guess we will be pitting Fuhrman's program against 100% Gourmet raw in a head to head bout. Who will be the winner???

I know one thing. Meredith's morsels will taste aLOT better than tasteless veggie soup!

Although, actually, i QUITE enjoy it. You taste the VEGGIES. And the lentils make it thick. And the cashew makes it a bit creamy. I blenderize a whole bunch of veggies with water first to make the base, no salty soup stock, no salt at all, cook the lentils in that blenderized veggie/water base. I use the orange kind of lentils as they cook the quickest, and just keep adding veggie chunk after veggie chunk: onion, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, zucchini, stringbeans, you name it. Near the end, blenderize up some cashew with water and add in, and cook a few more minutes. This is Dr. Fuhrman-style soup.

But, perhaps after Meredith's packages come...i WON'T have to RENAME this blog!!! She was hoping i would stay raw these three weeks. Heck, so was I. I think.

Well, it will be interesting to report daily, to say the least! I'm half insanely looking forward to it and half frightened to death. I used to be able to stuff myself with raw gourmet...and STILL lose weight. Those days are long gone, though.

xoxo michelle joy

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, www.therawseed.com, 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 breakingaway.com 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!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME
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 http://www.therawseed.com/ 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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
WORRY....REFLUX...
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?

DETOX...DISCOURAGEMENT...DRAMA...
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 would....help 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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"DO YOU WANNA STAY RAW?"
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?????

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

MORE RAMBLING ON REFLUX
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.

THERE's STILL SOMETHING DRIVING YOU

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)...so 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?"

Guilty.

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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

DEEPER ISSUES
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 http://www.breakawayprogram.com/ 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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
ESFP
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.

BREAD
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.

SO, NU, WHATCHA GONNA DO?
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

DAY FOUR - Project Meredith and Michelle

Hi there, kiddies,

I weigh 263.5 from 279.5 just 4 days ago (-16 lbs). Freaky. But it was all water weight and lots of noodles!! Neverthless, this 80-10-10/Dr. Fuhrman-style program seems to be working.

Here's my food from yesterday.

Breakfast: Green smoothie - lots of org baby spinach, banana, vanilla
Snack: 5 Bananas
Lunch: Watermelon
Snack: Grapes
Dinner: Dr. Fuhrman no salt veggie soup with only a little bit of cashew cream in it and lentil beans
Snack: green smoothie, was hungry

Goals/Activities: i did dishes, we went shopping and were out most of the day.

3 Reasons i love me: 1) i'm trying 2) i'm learning 3) i'm listening

3 Steps in the right direction: 1) took a walk 2) lots of fruits and veggies raw 3) doing my homework.

I wrote this giant email to Meredith trying to explain my reasoning for wanting to try the Fuhrman program. She's really worried about me. I wrote for an hour, heartfelt, insightful...and i LOST it!

I'll be writing more later and will clue you in, too.

xoxo michelle joy