Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fatty Salty Blues! Doin' Great With Carlene, Eatin' Fruit...But Gettin' The Blues!

So, Folks,

I'm still hangin' in there!

Carlene and I have been discussing at quite some length how gourmet raw food with it's high fat and sodium content is (of course, beyond delicious, but) not ideal for me. I eat a few peices of raw bread, fatty and salty the way i like it, and before I know it, i've eaten an entire tray. Neither is salty wheatmeat ideal. That stuff is so good it drives me bonkers.

So we've put me on a plan of ONE DAY AT A TIME - And for the next four days it's [Day one and two] all fruit and greens, raw, no cooking, no salt, no fat for two days. And on days three and four, i am permitted to add steamed veggies. We're building a diet from the ground up. It seems like a better way to tackle my issues than paring down from friend onion rings and boca burgers.

Instead of journaling and logging my food in, Carlene asked me to email her daily twice a day to keep tabs on me better.

I woke up this morning bright and chipper and energetic. I think i'll walk to the supermarket today with my shopping cart in the dusting of snow we received here in Philly! I feel THAT energetic! It's a serious walk, about an hour and 10 mins. Wish me luck! It will be an adventure and like my fun times in the summer, walking to the market to shop! Those are very memorable happy times. It feels empowering, energizing, exhausting and old fashioned.

I'm down 7 lbs since yesterday. It's all water weight. I drank a ton of fluids and flushed myself with fruit. Yesterday, I ate 8 oranges, 1 green smoothie and some homemade applesauce, and walked an hour. It's flushing out all of the binge eating i did the last two days. My face is still bloated, so there's still alot of sodium inside.

Ideally, Carlene wants to build me up to low sodium. No sodium and i go nuts when i eat it. Tons of sodium and i can't stop eating salty things, but low sodium, she feels is the way to go. I'm looking forward to it!

You know what? I'm going to get there, and when i do, we can all shout, "Hurrah!" It will have been long and hard won.

Yesterday's email to her was filled with complaints and woes, but also with good positive action.

Carlene's response is below.

xoxo michelle joy
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hi Carlene,

I'm feeling crappy, depressed. i look so fat. i can't believe i did this to myself.

Were those onion rings really worth it last night???

they felt like it at the moment, but not now.

I'm crying all day, which is rotten, but it's cleansing...i suppose.

I think alot i assume things will be easy when they really aren't. i thought today would be easy, but it's not. I SOOOO want to scramble up some warm eggbeaters and salt them!

Instead, I followed the plan begrudgingly and just made a giant green smoothie (3/4 of the vitamix) and drank most of it and actually FEEL better because i'm STUFFED. I like that feeling. [1/2 head parsley, 1 banana, 2 oranges, 2 golden apples, 1 granny smith, no agave or dates. ] it was actualy really good. not sweet and bananay like i usually make it but better for me, i now understand.

The one banana is hard today. I love banana whips, of course. I love chocolate shakes with 6 or 7 bananas and 1/4 cup of agave. But, so far, so good.
[On Carlene's plan, bananas, agave, dates (high glycemic fruits) are restricted for the seriously obese. It's been her experience it's holds up weight loss.]

Cliff wanted hot chocolate and that was hard not to taste it, but i didn't. i make it for him with raw chocolate and agave and raw vanilla bean. it was one of our favorite treats together. For raw i use cashews or raw cows milk.

Oh, well, in another lifetime!

Cliff also wanted pizza today and that was hard to watch him eat 2 slices from the pizzaria i want to sing opera at (the pizzaria is a restaurant that hires opera singers to entertain) and not be "able" to have a slice as well. I felt very deprived today. And very conflicted about wanting to sing in a place with such yummy food around when i'm so incredibly vulnerable now. I've been putting off auditioning for them for weeks and it looks like i will put it off even longer. maybe in the summer when i am doing better and able to withstand the temptation.

I managed to eat about 8 oranges today and the smoothie and that's it, so far. It's been harder than i thought it would be.

When i initially came off of cooked food (fatty/salty), i was away at the raw retreat in San Diego for 8 months! Now i have to get over it at home. Not so easy.

I'm glad to report Cliff joined me for a one hour walk together in the freezing cold before it began to snow, and we froze but really enjoyed it. That was a good feeling to follow through. I'm very motivated to exercise because i KNOW what good it does for me.

Emotionally, though, today is MUCH harder than i thought it woud be. I feel ALOT of regret for getting so fat, yet, i crave what made me fat, and i can't seem to consistently control the food that makes me fat, so i can't eat

We were out today, and i'd been drinking so much, I had to go to the bathroom, so we stopped at the Burger King. Man, i wanted a fatty burger (I haven't eaten meat in 3 years) as i smelled the smells on the way to the bathroom. But when i looked at myself in the bathroom mirror, i almost cried again. I look bad, so bloated, so much fatter. I hardly recognize myself.

I've been in denial, enjoying fatty salty binge eating and not realizing i'd get so fat or have such a time getting back on track.

In the midst of my craving for eggs, it helped to have Cliff to listen when i exclaimed, "i hate fruit! i want eggs!"

the truth is: I don't hate fruit. I just wish i could eat like a "normal" person. I'm feeling quite a bit of self pity today. But, stating my desire defused it. I'm glad now i didn't just get out the frying pan and scramble up some eggs like i wanted to. I'm pretty sure it would have led to something else...and something else...

It's not like i NEED them, the eggs, today. I just want them. I'm cold and something warm and filling would feel good.

I think i'll go take a bath. Cliff promised to scrub my back :-))) I've needed a lot of nurturing today and i'm so grateful he's been so nurturing today.

I will do my best to get through the end of the day on all fruit, but I can't help thinking it would be so nice to boil up some of my famous "Dr. Fuhrman" soup: lentils and chunky veggies in vitamixed veggie "broth" (just water and blenderized veggies, no salt and no fat). it's very bland, but filling and warm. I'm hoping i can have that as part of my plan soon.

The week i had "Furhman" soup all week for dinner and some lunches, and green smoothies for breakfast, i lost the 18 lbs in one week. I think it's because veggies are basically calorie free, so i ate all day, but took in barely any calories. To lose 18 lbs this week would be nice. The soup is satisfying, fat and salt free, high protein and filling.

I'll try to get through tonight the best i can!

Thanks for being there.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Liken yourself to an alcoholic, or even a drug addict. Everything that happened to you today happens to them, just as fast. It is going to take this type of staunch refusal to give in even if that requires a lot of tears, anger, back rubs, and swearing. It is the salt and fat talking. Not you. If you are cold tomorrow, then with the fruit, make your blenderized soup. No salt, no fat, just hot veggies. That's fine. The extra liquids will do you good, but make sure to eat lots of fruit. Ask Cliff if tomorrow, he could make his own hot chocolate, and not eat pizza in front of you.

Now take that bath, cuddle up with a book, or Cliff, and go to bed. Eating is done for the day.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Recovery Days with Carlene

Good morning.

I had my 2nd phone call with Carlene of last night. We decided the next two days will be salt-free, fat-free, all raw fruit and veggie days. The two days after that are to add steamed veggies. I'm looking forward to the next 4 "recovery days."

I've been doing great with my walking. [I've walked 4 days in a row: first day 50 mins, second day 1 hour 10 mins, third day 1 hour 10 mins and yesterday only 30 mins. I'm getting ready to go out for a walk soon, too.]

My food, however, has not been good for the last 2 days. I worked Thu and Fri. I work in a raw cafe with lots of raw bread around, nut pate's and lots of fatty salty treats. Anyone who reads this blog knows i have have a history of severe trouble with food at work. Unfortunately, my last two work days included lots of trouble. And then some trouble afterwards....

This particular difficult space of time in my life will soon end and things will be good again, and i'll be stronger for it. I always remember that in getting through these difficult times, i'll be more able to help others who suffer with food addiction as I do. I know this will all be for the general good.

Here is the note i just sent Carlene and her response:

Dear Carlene,

I woke up this morning to weight 293.5. I can't believe i'm here. Sometimes you have to laugh instead of cry…


I really GEL with the idea of having a no salt/fruit/veggies/no fat day for today and tomorrow. I’m actually RELIEVED. And adding steamed veggies to that on day 3 and 4, I can cope with. Steamed veggies never hurt anyone. I can cope with that. I needed a recovery plan.

When I went to work and had a “panic attack” I had no plan. My head wasn’t set straight on what I COULD eat, but only on what I couldn’t, and what I couldn’t was staring me straight in the face. And i succumbed. With me, things easily snowball out of control.

Yesterday at work, it started out well. I made a green smoothie with 1 banana and lots of fruit and drank that. Soon, things deteriorated.

Your suggestion to bring my own food, and write my recipes down will be good, instead of constantly having to 'taste.'

Last night after work, i regret I had a cooked food binge before I spoke to you. It might have been a 10,000 cals day. It was kind of the last hurrah. Fried Onion rings, mozzarella sticks and a wrap with mayo, veggies, provolone cheese and boca veggie burger in it, and a soda.

The kind of cooked food I’ve been eating…honestly, WHO DOESN’T LIKE IT???? [We were talking about me LIKING cooked food.] But, the cost exceeds the benefit. My bowel movements smell, I smell, I have bad breath, reflux, am 40 lbs fatter and have been completely deluding myself. The lunch I had out with my friend, Megan, the other day was not very lean or low salt either, and it feeds the addiction.

I can see what you’re saying about foods being 30% or more in fat or salty being out of my league. They just shouldn’t be in my repertoire.

I like what you were saying about being a 'fat addict'. I’ve always felt that fat was my main addiction. And salt. Fat and salt are all I ever want.

The bootcamp diet was/is attractive to me because of that. And it’s so easy to follow in it’s simplicity. It’s black and white, cut and dried.

But then, every once in a while, a person wants a little treat - a meal out with a friend, perhaps. Then it gets tricky. The meal might even go very well, very controlled. But, then, it’s the days following that are the issue. You have to just get right back on track.

I used to have trouble getting back on track and would stay in gourmet raw for weeks. Then i would go back to eating bootcamp style (80-10-10) for weeks. I used to call those my “RECOVERY DAYS.”

I think the way I used to recover myself was great, now. [It’s wasn’t zero fat. It was ¼ of an avo, or 2 Tbsp of nut butter, that was it. No salt. All fruit and veggies.] I think maybe that should be the way i eat in general.

I thought the way I was eating on those recovery days was CAUSING the binge eating. But, now I’m not so sure. I think the fat and salt of the gourmet raw….just set me off. I’m an addict.

So, I’m going to have to find what little treats I can have that don’t set me off. Steamed veggies seems like a nice place to begin.

I’m looking forward to the next 4 days because I know I will drop at least 10 lbs and feel so much better. My legs feel like tree trunks and my face looks like a balloon.

I'm experiencing that there is a huge difference between someone weighing in the 250’s and someone weighing nearly 300. I really FEEL this weight gain and I hate it. The damage it has done to my self esteem has been awful. I like looking better. I don’t like looking like a balloon. It is harder to walk. My clothes don’t fit. What must people at work think???

I was SO MUCH better off before all of this cooked (fatty salty) food. I was deluding myself to think I could control it.

xoxo michelle

Good morning,

All the last hurrahs are done. Why we do that is beyond me. I wonder who gave us the idea??

For now, I want you to forget the idea of every now and again wanting a little treat. Instead, we are going to build a program that allows you to have a little something whenever you want, but take the big ticket items off the menu.

Have a great day with the fruits. I'm sure you will feel better tomorrow morning, and then heaps better by Monday morning.

Remember you are doing this because you want to, not because you have to. There is a huge difference.

Email me this afternoon and let me know how you are doing.


So, For the next 4 days, i was instructed i do not have to log my food into

God bless you all. Thank you for your support. And i hope that soon i will be in pure raw joy again. It may be hard to get back to, but the hardest things to achieve in life mean the most to us. This has been a trying time. But i'll get through it.

xoxo michelle joy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"I'm a Success Already!"


DATE: Wed, Jan 27, 2010
LOSS: -2.5

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hiya Folks,

I'm bright and chipper this morning and have a very busy day - my friend, Megan, is coming to help me organize today - so just a quick update. (P.S. Megan is wonderful! Watch her videos with Arnold of Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe' on Arnold's Youtube Channel: )

Today is my 2nd day of my new venture - I'm counseling privately with Carlene Jones of Carlene was obese, lost 140 lbs and eats and teaches a high raw diet.

I had my talk with Carlene last night and it was a certified DELIGHT. She has most definitely changed. Last time i worked with her she was a certified bitch. This new change of attitude is a breath of fresh air and certainly exactly what i deserve!

Carlene talked extensively about how the raw bootcamp mentality, yes, worked for women to lose weight fast, but all of them gained it back.

She now teaches "Find Your Best Diet" which is a more lenient "High Raw" diet. Women find their own way, what works for THEM as individuals, with her experience guiding them along. Women are having so much more success.

I'm totally looking forward to finding my best diet, which will be a combination of high raw with some cooked vegetarian food. Unfortunately, it's where my heart is right now. The door opened and it hasn't shut. And I think that's okay. For me. For today.

Yesterday was an almost all raw day, with the exception of a big bowl of lightly cooked vegetable soup i made for myself, with only a bit of miso paste in the water to form a light broth. The veggies were still crunchy.

I'm journaling and logging my food on as part of my program, and Carlene will have access to this to view my logs. You also may read my logs by clicking on:

Overview: I've lost 2.5lbs already. I am to weigh myself from now on only 2x/week. Sensible! I had less than 700mg of sodium, 19% fat and 5% protein, and a little over 2500 cals of mostly raw. A little high on calories - due to overeating dates, avocado and banana. All high ticket items. There are many many more raw or veggie-friendly foods that don't hold such concentrated calories, but fill just as well. And I walked for 50 mins and it was a pleasure!

I'm SO FREAKIN' HAPPY!!!! And so excited for this new chapter in my raw journey!!!!

And, Carlene even said she thinks i'm doing GREAT! That MOST women who lose over 100lbs gain it ALL back and i only gained a little back. She thinks i'm a success already! Man, does THAT ever feel good!

xoxox michelle joy

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hi Michelle,

It was great talking to you tonight. I am going to send you an ecopy of the e-book "Fat Brain Lies" with your photos already in it. We will be working through this book together.

Here are the guidelines for what you are going to do diet wise these next three days:

-Max 2000 calories.
-Max 30% fat.
-Min 10% Protein
-Max 3000 mg sodium.

Outside of those guidelines eat whatever you want, but stick to those guidelines until we meet again. On Friday, I will have gone over your fitday account so we can talk about how to move forward to find what is going to work for you: High raw or all raw. It will be your decision.

Keep up with the 50 minutes of walking each day.

I have opened your account on the
website and changed your start weight to 287.5.

Our call nights are Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:15 PM Eastern Time.

Talk to you Friday.

I think you are going to do great. I love your attitude, and that is as important as food and exercise when it comes to doing this for life.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm Still A SUCCESS!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DAY ONE with Carlene Jones Private Raw Counseling

Weight Today
: 287.5 (not as bad as i feared)
Top Weight: 425 lbs
Total Loss: -137.5 lbs

[Lowest raw weight
: 249 lbs]
[Highest Weightloss Total: -176 lbs]

[+38.5 lbs gain since lowest raw weight]

: Journal is public at:

Hello there, Fine Folks,

How are you all doing?

Above are current images of me that i needed to take to submit to Carlene for the online raw food program i joined yesterday. Yup, she wanted a picture of the scale!

I'm very psyched about joining the program, but a bit fearful. Although i have a feeling the program will be as easy as I make up my mind it will be.

Regretfully, today, i've already eaten over 1500 calories, although they were raw calories. Hours later, i'm not hungry, and don't plan on eating much later, so today can actually be considered a big success compared to the ultra high calorie cooked food binges i've been binge eating on. [As a part of Carlene's program, I'm required to log my food into ]

I'm sincerely shocked at how highly caloric dates and avocado are. 8 Medjools are 560 calories! 2 avocados are also 560 calories! Wow...good awareness! I've made my fitday journal public - please see the address above if you're interested in viewing it.

With Carlene, i am to log my food daily following a plan that we come up with. We don't have that plan yet, but i started today anyway. My new program will be created between the both of us after several assignments, and after tonight's first phone call.

On a side note, I'm anxious to find out how this phone call with Carlene goes. Carlene is no stranger to me. She was my coach previously for a very short time, but i left her. I felt she was excessively strict and even abusive and I dropped out of the excessively strict program i had joined - a version of her rawfoodbootcamp that was designed to have me running a marathon at the end. After the first few days on the program, she began pushing my walking to 1.5 hours a day and i got yelled at for eating guacamole out at a lunchdate with a friend.

The program i have presently joined, i believe, is more lenient, so i'm hoping Carlene is less harsh. All evidence is leading me to believe she's somewhat softer. She's mentioned in emails about how she has had a new change of heart and found that women could not only lose weight, but kept it off better, the less harsh the diet. So, we shall see.

Even writing about the possibility of a less strict diet is calming me. I do think excessively out of control binge eating can be set off by excessively strong strictness, etc... Carlene, herself, newly admits on her new website (her name) that she has found it is far better for clients to lose weight slower and keep it off (change your habits longterm) than to lose super fast, only to gain it back right away.

Though i want to get this weight off, my cravings for Boca Burgers belie my true desire to enjoy weightloss along the way so i won't be tempted to go nuts as often or as intensely. We'll see what Carlene says.

Today, I was desperate to get back on track and feel a sense of control over my eating since i've been feeling so terribly out of control, so i put myself back on raw today with no salt. But, cravings for cooked foods hounded me earlier.

I WAS very tempted to go get that favorite Boca Burger today from the corner deli that serves them. It was a devilish thought since my new "diet" hasn't officially begun yet, and we are only in the fact finding phase. I experienced some serious contemplations about having one more of those yummy things, but, thankfully restrained myself. You know, at some point, ya gotta draw a line in the sand. If Carlene puts Boca Burgers on my program, i'll eat them then.

I am honestly expeiencing pain that i'll miss them. I wish i could control myself and have certain veggie-things be a part of my life. I don't think a veggie burger every killed anyone. Maybe some day. I'll work with Carlene on what my program will be.

Overall, my goals are to get back to daily walking, and get back to weighing 249 for my first goal and to get back to at least MOSTLY RAW.

I find it amazing that i have NOT begun to eat meat again during these binges. Maybe a high raw diet with some vegetarian cooked foods could work for me?

Obviously, it would be AMAZING to stop binge eating for good, but i'm not sure how realistic that is during this 4 week program. I've been blogging since May, 2009 and though i've gone through various levels of success/failure with my weight, binge eating has been ever present in one form or another. Hopefully, Carlene will address those issues.

So....I'll look forward to updating you on how my new program shapes up!

One thing i know for sure: I may not be where i WANT to be....but i'm nowhere near where i USED to be!!! I was very pleased when i weighed myself today that i was not 299 as i had guestimated on Carlene's website when she asked for my weight. In fact, i'm over 10 lbs lighter than i believed. I've NOT gained 40 or even 50 lbs, so I feel like i'm starting out with a huge win!

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ready To Make A New Start


Letter to Carlene Jones of and

Hi Carlene,

I missed the deadline for the "Finding Your Perfect Diet group", but I really need to begin support with you. Things are bad and not getting better.

I've read through the private counseling, as well as the group counseling options on your website It seems like the 4 week private program would work the best for me since all of the deadlines are passed or not beginning until february. I'm pretty desperate to get back on track asap, as every day i screw around, i get fatter and fatter.

The 4-week program is $249, but I can supply a photo for the 50$ discount. Here is my visa number: xxxxx-xxx-xxxxx

May we start right away??? I understand that there is a manditory fact-finding time before starting the weight loss portion, but just knowing that i am now accountable to someone will help me to get back on track.

Just a little about what i hope to accomplish:

- There is no reason i cannot walk an hour a day.

- As for my diet, i look forward to working on that with you, but just for FYI, I would like to be all raw or mostly raw, perhaps cooked veggies and beans or something.

- The most important thing is that i am on a plan I can live with, and that i get back to low-fat and stop this out of control eating of cooked vegetarian.

- I am a serious chronic binge eater. I did NOT binge eat AT ALL when i did of raw eating (low fat no salt). In my circles, we refer to this as 80-10-10, or Doug Graham style raw eating. It was only when i went OFF of the program that i could not control myself. However, the strictness of that program left me wanting some kind of treats. Maybe we can figure that all out and that may help to alleviate the binge eating.

It's been 3 years on raw, and i only recently went off (since september, but progressively worse and worse lately). Just a quick history: My high weight was 425. I lost 140 lbs at O.H.I. in San Diego after a 8 month stay, and began work as a Raw Chef. I maintained my weight loss for a year. Then I lost 35 additional pounds by giving up salt and all of the gourmet raw goodies i was binge eating on. I ate a low fat raw diet similar to your and lost 40+ lbs to a low of 249.

I was never able to stay on this very strict way of eating for very very long and would binge eat on gourmet raw and regain the weight i lost over and over again. However, i still felt i had a modicum of control and felt confident i could lose the weight whenever i wanted, and did. So there was alot of up and down of 20/30 lbs.

But since I started eating cooked vegetarian food in September, things slowly went haywire and spiraled out of control. Now it is late January and I'm back to full force binge eating as badly as i ever was before going raw. (With the exception that i have not started to eat meat). I've gained 50 lbs in a very short amount of time. I am sure when i weigh myself tomorrow morning, i will be in the high 290's.

To demonstrate my binge eating: for instance, today i ate:
*2 rolls with 1/2 stick butter

*1 green smoothie

*3 Tbsp E3Live

*2 orders of hashbrowns from dunkin donuts

*1 eggwhite flat bread sandwhich from dunkin donuts

*1 "big breakfast" with hotcakes, 2 hashbrowns, 1 biscuit, eggs, 4 pats butter, maple syrup - from mcdonalds. No sausage.

*3 bottled juices

*1 veggie burger wrap

*1 order fried onion rings

*2 sodas

I have gained 50 lbs like this binge eating on cooked vegetarian food.

Exercise HAD been steady and very enjoyable several times a week this summer when my weight was at it's lowest. I walk occassionally now, but feel weighted down from this huge weight gain and feel very heavy, very very discouraged, mentally. I know i am capable, i'm just discouraged and depressed and have felt very very helpless.

As i know you now work on "finding your right diet", I'm actually open to cooked veggies, beans, but only in a controlled program where i have to be accountable and count my calories on fitday - that is, if you feel it might be appropriate and helpful to me to include some cooked. Basically, i am open to do whatever i can do to get back on track with weight loss, and if eating some cooked things could help me lose weight but feel more satisfaction and ability to stay ON the plan (f.e. cooked homemade fatfree salt free veggie soups can be very filling and satifying), I am open to it.

I know i can do this. I just need some serious support. I honestly do not know where else to turn. Will you please help me? I know you are dedicated to helping people like me and know I can get to where i want to go with your support.

I owe it to myself to get back on track. Binge eating on cooked vegetarian has been "fun" after all of this time of not eating it, but the resulting weight gain has been very hard to cope with. Plus, the worst part is that it has reawakened cravings that were gone for so long. I know that a person gets used to the foods they eat as i did when i was 100%raw. i loved my food and NEVER thought of cooked food.

Gaining weight has been embarrassing as i work as a raw chef. My one consolation is that i am nowhere near where i used to be. I am still down at least 130 lbs.

My first goal is to lose these 50 lbs again, but i know that will take some time, but i'm hoping to just get right back on track, take the action to just get on track and leave the weight to deal with itsself. Daily exercise. Daily Lowfat raw or mostly diet. Support.

Please say you'll help me reach my goals.

Looking forward to hearing back from you!

Michelle Schulman


xoxo michelle joy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"The Secretary" - Pleasure and Pain. Addictive Behaviors That HURT Us, But FEEL GOOD...How Do you Break the Cycle?

One of my all-time favorite movies is "The Secretary" with James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhall. Here's the reviews in case you're interested in renting it:

It is an intensely powerful portrayal of a withdrawn girl in emotional pain, who is disconnected from her vacant mother, hurt and neglected and abandoned by her alcoholic father, who engages in self-mutilation (i.e. she cuts herself and burns herself) until she ultimately overcomes the need to do this form of 'self-soothing' by finding a much more, um, satisfying alternative.

Her new alternative is...very shocking, but it 'works' for her, and through this new way of coping, Maggie's character forms a deep bond with the character played by James Spader, soon to be her husband in the film. Together, they find that in allowing themselves to engage in this shocking 'pain-play,' they find deep and satisfying healing, pleasure, tenderness, intimacy, and ultimately, love.

[Whether I agree with her solution is besides the point, I recommend the movie highly. The performances are Oscar worthy! And the psychological/psycho-social/romantic/erotic/sexual themes are riveting!]

So, what does this movie have to do with a blog about overcoming food addiction and binge eating?

The movie raises the subjects of Pleasure, Pain, Healing, Control. It's alot to think about and contemplate on any topic, but especially when it comes to binge eating, or a cooked food addiction.

What is pleasurable about binge eating or being addicted to cooked food? What causes pain? How can one heal? Can pain actually HELP one to heal?

Binge eating FEELS SO GOOD...the textures, the tastes, the aromas, the fullness, the excitement. You forget everything bothering you. The relief. The Intense Sensual Pleasure!

Cooked food does the same thing, well, at least for me. It's exciting! The aromas, the fullness, the textures, you forget everything bothering you, it's an intense sensual pleasure!

But does it really DELIVER????? After the fun wears off, is it really all it's cracked up to be????

Cliff said just the other day, "I'm never 'excited' before a raw meal like i usually am before a cooked meal, but when i eat the raw meal, i find it delicious and feel so satisfied afterwards, never feel heavy or tired or bloated or sick like i often do after a cooked meal." He went on, "The other week at Yacco's, i was so EXCITED to get those hotdogs, i kind of returned to those amazing feelings of childhood. And then when i bit into the dog, i realized it didn't really even TASTE as good as i remember, and after eating, my stomach felt so sick, like there was a 10 lb brick in my stomach. But i was so excited before! With raw, i'm not 'excited' before, but FEEL so much better AFTER!"

I replied, "Honey, THAT's the POINT! That's what i mean when i say cooked food is STIMULATING, and raw food is not as stimulating!" I was taking a bath, so i couldn't elaborate. Meaning, the PLEASURE of the smell of cooking food, the fried textures, the fats, all awaken the appetite in a kind of a unnatural way and excite! But since raw food doesn't DO that, we can control ourselves better. I think that's a HUGE reason raw food works so much better for me.

"YEAH!, he wholeheartedly agreed. "When i eat raw and i'm done, i can easily push the plate away, but with cooked food it is so much harder!" He continued, "You know the other day when i ordered more of those french fries? Something in me really wanted them because of the smell of them cooking, how crispy they were. But when they got to the table, i was actually full and I didn't even WANT them anymore as i wasn't even hungry anymore. But once i started to eat them, i found it hard to stop, even though i felt so full. Afterwards, my stomach hurt and i didn't feel good. The excitement...dissappointed."

So what makes cooked food so attractive if after you eat it, you don't feel well? It sure smells and tastes and feels like a GOOD thing while you're eating it! But after you eat it, you get fatter, addicted, more unhealthy, more tired. You usually overdo it, unless you're one of the lucky ones with innate control and a fabulous metabolism. The momentary pleasure, i suppose, is worth it.

Well, is it?

On par with cooked food, when i binge eat, i experience intense excitement and pleasure, but soon become more withdrawn, my voice deteriorates, my self confidence is obliterated, i spend money out of control, i lose control, all i want is to eat, i can't stop obsessing about food and keep gaining weight. This intensely flavorfull filling way of pleasuring myself is disasterous in it's ultimate outcome.

So, why do i turn to it over and over again?

And why do the majority of people eating cooked food, who get sick from it, like Cliff does often, keep turning back to it over and over again? He just ordered pizza the other night. And his belly hurt afterwards. But it tasted good. For him, he can order pizza and it doesn't turn to 1o pizzas like it does with me, so it's going to be a journey for him to discover what pleasures and pains he's willing to live with.

The lure of frying potatoes, the taste, the chemical feelings that overtake our body. It's like a drug. Drugs are powerful things. The thing about drugs is...they're two sided. They make you feel good, but always have side effects. Do we chose to accept that, or walk away?

Like Gyllenhall in the movie, when I am faced with intense emotional pain, I crave a 'release'. FOOD does that for me. Binge eating on raw, or binge eating on cooked food even more so. It's an even MORE intense drug.

Gyllenhall's character has learned to enjoy the release, the drug, of cutting herself. It feels GOOD to feel bad.

In cutting herself [or for me, binge eating], she distracts herself from the real cause of her pain and is faced with a more tangible pain, the pain of bleeding and being cut. She focuses on the scars afterwards. I look at the resulting fat. The rush and excitement of getting out her 'sewing kit' to prepare for the self-cutting is exciting. The rush and excitement of food is thrilling. She feels intense relief and release after the deed is done. So do i. So, what is that drug we're after? Adrenalyn? Some kind of rush? A chemical high?

Whatever it is, it feels GOOD. It's 'bad' for her, bad for me, but exciting, and functions in a twisted way. And the more she does this behavior, the more she WANTS to do this behavior. Until she meets someone who stops her.

How do you STOP doing a behavior that feels good, but is bad for you?

As i discovered yesterday, feeling GOOD spurs me on to want to do good. In doing good, it spurs me on to want to feel good. It's an amazing thing.

In the movie, Gyllenhall begins to take walks instead of cutting herself, because her lover tells her she needs 'relief.' A GOOD form of relief, a healing form.

So now she walks and doesn't cut. And she realizes it FEELS better!

Just DAYS ago, all i wanted was cooked food, cooked food binges. I couldn't IMAGINE not having them. Now, it's so far from my desires, i'm shocked. How could something that caused me to feel such pleasure, now be unattractive?

I recognized the ultimate pain it caused. Fatter and unhappier, i realized it was time to change my ways.

Gyllenhall experienced pain/pleasure in cutting herself. Now she walks to soothe the pain and experience pleasure. AND she engages in sexplay with her lover. This new form of pleasure/pain is MORE SATISFYING to her. Now there is intimacy. There is love. There is tenderness. She's not alone anymore.

She submits to daily spankings. Wo.

Can PAIN help us heal?

I'm not saying you need to get spanked, but, there is pain is everyday living.

I just got back from a 40 minute walk, much of it uphill. Walking uphill, heck, getting my coat on to even CONTEMPLATE a walk causes great pain!!! One doesn't WANT to do it, submit to the pain, but the rewards far outweigh the pain.

It's a GOOD pain to have my legs burn as i walk. This form of what feels like PUNISHMENT is what will be my salvation. Exercise makes me healthy, helps me lose weight, digest food better, sing better.

Why does the PAIN of it often look unnattractive? Because i'm not SMART enough to think things through always... How often do you do exercise and say, "God, i wish i didn't do that?"

It's also PAINFUL to FEEL one's emotions instead of deadening or stuffing them down with food we don't need. How can FEELING EMOTIONAL PAIN help us? God, it feels like the WRONG thing to do in the moment, you just want to MAKE IT GO AWAY!!!

To just SIT there and FEEL bad, instead of stuff it is PAINFUL!!! But, it's so right to allow yourself to feel pain. So you can move THROUGH it.

I remember this bible verse i used to love, "God loves a contrite heart," meaning that God loves when we suffer for righteousness, when we feel SAD, perhaps, because we're denying ourselves a favorite PLEASURE.

I lost 30 lbs years ago using this bible verse. I stopped binge eating completely, focused on ONLY EATING when i was hungry, and ONLY enough to satisfy that hunger (very little eaten very deliberately and very slowly), and was left with a satisfied tummy, a trimmer waistline, but with a tremendously sad heart. All of the emotional issues i was eating over, suddenly were there to DEAL with. That didn't FEEL good. But in denying myself PLEASURE and causing myself the great pain of feeling my emotions, i was healing.

Cliff did a hard bicycle ride today and is feeling so good.

Wait a second. He put himself through torture on the bike and is feeling good????


And eating the mostly raw diet he has not always easy. It's painful to wait to come home to eat so i can make him something instead of stopping for a burger. It's a lot of chewing, and alot of self-denying to wait for raw. But ultimately, he feels better for it.

And everytime i serve him up his little shot glass of E3Live, he winces before downing it, but the temporary pain that causes, is serving to make him feel stronger and more energetic daily.

HEALING is filled with little pains.


I suppose we really CHOOSE our pains and pleasures. Today i received pain from walking uphill and pleasure from feeling invigorated by it. I felt pleasure by eating a lovely raw plate with Cliff, enjoying the flavors of one plate of food, satisfying my hunger and moving on. I felt pain when i had to walk up the stairs to find the extention cord, but now i have the pleasure of seeing my new lamp work. I didn't FEEL like extending the effort, but i did, and it was worth it. We can feel the pain of being ill, or feel the pain of extending effort to make raw food. Which one will have a greater pay-off???

When i binge eat, i feel the pain of bloat, of gaining weight. I also experience the INTENSE pleasure of gluttony. Okay, so, is it all really WORTH it???

Not today, it isn't. Wisdom. Time away from the behavior, i can see clearly.

Everyday, we experience pain and pleasure. How we experience those feelings is our choice. It's our very big job to select which pains and which pleasures will benefit us the most.

Sitting watching TV all day is pleasurable. But, it's painful when we get up and realize we got nothing done. Or working hard at cleaning the kitchen causes pain, but when we walk into the kitchen the next day and see the sparkling countertops, we experience great pleasure. Eating raw and not binge eating and exercising takes ALOT of effort and is a ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS sometimes, but the PLEASURE i've been reeping, is well worth it. Weight loss. I look better. I feel better. My head is better. My body feels better.

But HOW does one escape from addictions that FEEL good but ultimately cause pain?

  1. I think number one is AWARENESS. Becoming aware that this behavior is hurting you is paramount. No one changes unless they feel a need to.
  2. Number two, i think is having an alternative that is satisfying. For Gyllenhall, she found a satisfying alternative in S&M!!!

    For me, raw food is the alternative to binge eating on cooked food. Raw food doesn't taste as good as cooked, i will be the first to admit it. But it is intensely satisfying in it's own right. And once you put aside cooked food, raw food becomes more and more and more appealing and appetizing.

    And when you realize how much BETTER you feel eating raw, you begin to talk to yourself having made important realizations, "Duh, don't eat that delicious cooked food, because it will make you FEEL bad.' But, it takes ALOT to get to that point. I always say, it takes a COMPELLING REASON to chose raw. But when you discover the benefits of it, you'll be more likely to stick with it. Not because you 'should,' but because you WANT to.
  3. Number three, one needs support to change an addictive hurtful behavior. Gyllenhall's character finds that being controlled and dominated by her lover is intensely fulfilling. In my case, being controlled and dominated by a raw food lifestyle, being influenced to raw by my fiance', by my employer, by my friends who care, fills me with intense motivation to stay raw. In staying raw, i do better, so i want to stay raw. To stay in the LOOP, you need support.
  4. Number four is perseverance and trust. Gyllenhall learned to trust Spader. She learned that if she submitted to him, she received great pleasure, although she had to overcome pain to do it. She also persevered in loving him because she needed that now. Loving him made her better.

    When you do raw and you see the benefits, you begin to trust raw and trust yourself. You begin to WANT to hang in there.

    And when you fall and see yourself do poorly, lose control or gain weight or feel physically bad, you realize that the PAIN IN THE ASS EFFORT (!!!) that sometimes accompanies making raw food, really delivered much more PLEASURE.

    And then the effort soon becomes effortless because it works and you feel good. It becomes WORTH IT. And it becomes something you WANT to do. When i pack Cliff and I those raw food picnics, it's effortless effort. It's WORTH it.

    And, breaking the cycle takes just ONE action towards the new behavior. That one action will spurn on MORE right actions, and bring such rewards... If you persevere...the ball with start rolling in the RIGHT direction, and before you know it, the new healthier behavior will take on a life of it's own and make you want to do it more.

    It is amazing what we can accomplish by just taking one small action. Making a green smoothie. Or taking a walk. Can become making a green smoothie DAILY and walking daily. Because we feel better.
  5. Number five is recognizing emotional triggers, stresses that drive you to want to harm yourself as a distraction. Allowing yourself to FEEL your emotional pain will allow you to get THROUGH it. Instead of stuffing it. This takes skill and practice, like anything.
  6. Number six is cultivating the discipline to actually choose what is BEST for you on an on-going basis. This involves allowing yourself to feel a lot of discomfort as you turn from old behaviors.
  7. Number Seven is learning how to THINK for success. Much of addiction is driven by automatic thoughts spurning us on to repeat the behavior despite our best resolve. Learning to recognize those automatic thoughts is half the battle. Once you can "see" yourself thinking them (such as planning binges in your mind, or planning what cooked food you will eat when you have the opportunity), learn to consider THOUGHTS as THOUGHTS. A thought need NOT lead to an action. As addicted people, we've programmed ourselves to THINK about our substance, and then give in. Learning that thoughts hold ZERO power over you will enable you to disengage from binge or food thoughts. This also takes practice and skill.
  8. Number Eight is learning to delay gratification. When you want to act out, delay it, until you can work your way mentally out of it.
  9. Number Nine is finding BETTER WAYS to cope with distress than your addictive behavior - such as exercise, writing, polishing your nails, taking a bath, etc...
  10. Number Ten is to ask for help. Tell someone you have a craving. Be honest. Just talking about it can often eliminate the craving.
  11. Number Eleven is to find new ways to manage your thinking self such as meditation or EFT. Techniques such as meditation or EFT will reprogram your mind for success instead of acting automatically.
  12. Number Twelve is to learn to forgive yourself. So much of addictive behavior is prompted by slight slips. So, you had a little milk in your tea. Does that mean you know have to eat an entire pizza? Learn to LET GO and LET GOD. You don't need to always be perfect, but you can do the best you can and have that be good enough, for today. Learn to sit with the pain and discomfort of having slipped. Believe me, this will be far LESS painful than actually giving into the craving to go hogwild.
  13. Number Thirteen is to recognize that addictions are often chemically based, and the longer you stay away from your drug of choice, the less frequent and intense cravings will appear. If you don't give in, it'll get easier and easier, and soon, cravings will dissappear. If you constantly give in, you'll constantly face addictive cravings. They used to say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. If you resist for at least 21 days, you'll get over the hump.

This is really good to contemplate. Do you have anything else to add? Let's make a giant list and figure this thing out!

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this subject. [Have you seen the movie? Really brilliant...]

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doing a cumulative thing!!


After purging myself [in writing] in my last blog entry, "A day in the life of an addict," I was SO motivated to do well yesterday. [Writing is so cathartic for me!] I felt renewed after writing.

Then a surprise 2nd B.M. urged me to the bathroom, that was exciting, and the prospect of that wonderful need to eliminate after being constipated from cooked food, prompted me to see, had i perhaps lost weight? I THOUGHT i looked better in the mirror! [Even though i had a raw food binge last night?]

Indeed! I weighed in down 10 lbs to 282, without even trying! That's blowing my mind. Valerie, my raw friend, discovered the same thing. Quick weight loss without trying after getting off of cooked. THAT's the power of raw food. In 5 days, to lose 10 lbs of cooked food bloat while eating raw gourmetish just feels magical. I'm so pleased!

I was in the 290's, now the LOW 280's. Next time i check, i'll be back in the 270's!!! I'm not going to be weighing as often, on purpose. I think it's better.

So, filled with positive good feelings after weighing in, I felt motivated to go for a walk! Which i did! I walked to Starbucks and met Cliff for an herbal tea and enjoyed a 20+ mins walk, which felt envigorating. Doing well feels good.

Feeling good makes you WANT to feel good. Why do i want to feel bad, ever? Well, i suppose when i feel badly about things, i like to feel bad.

Nevertheless, I feel very happy about this new turn of events, especially since i could have very well had a disasterous day yesterday, since i craved cooked food so much the previous night and even mentally PLANNED a cooked binge [spring rolls and singapore noodles and a fake chikn cheeze steak.] Would it have stopped there? NOT LIKELY.

But, i resisted temptation and I'm still raw, baby! And that feels fabulous, to have avoided tragedy. Yay! I'm on my way! Doing good makes you WANT to do good. It's like a snowball when you do badly, but it's just the same when you do well. It creates momentum!

I just made Cliff and I one of our famous raw platters for lunch, including the avo/ranch dressing mix on top of mixed greens i spoke of the other day, a cabbage slaw that i doctored up with raw vinegar and carraway seeds, yum, and i doctored up the too thick chia pudding to gourmet restaurant worthy quality. Wow! Better than Cozy Shack Rice Pudding. It's a winner!

All in all, I had a marvelous day! I also taught two singing lessons today and both students did SO well! And i didn't even WANT to go teach them! Before teaching i'm often filled with a great degree of anxiety. I concoct possible 'excuses' in my head and dream of canceling, but remember that the lessons i fear the most usually turn out the best. Fear, fear, fear. It's what surges through my veins so often. My students did just fabulously, and i am a good teacher. That made me feel GREAT. Feeling great makes me want to feel great.

After that, i met Cliff for dinner. I got a delicious salad with Kalamata olives on it. He got a small pizza, and it didn't even call to me. I'm so OVER cooked food. That's how i feel today. It's just like it never happened.

Then, I met Alex, my accompanist, to formulate and rehearse a concert of old-time singing film stars songs. I think it will be a wonderful concert. Songs from Jeannette McDonald, Mario Lanza, etc... I sang wonderfully and that feels amazing.

God, feeling GOOD, doing GOOD, being GOOD feels so much better than eggrolls taste. Gotta remember that. When i went to see Alex, i wasn't scared about how awful i looked. I look better already. And THAT feels marvelous. I like feeling GOOD about ME. Eggrolls make me feel BAD about me.

So, today was a GREAT day. And just could have been a worthless cooked binge day, which might never have ended, i could weigh 300 today, but instead, it was a productive wonderful RAW day, i look better, weigh less, sang great, taught great, ate great! Doing well is a cumulative thing. It picks up steam and you're on you're way!!! YAY!

xoxox michelle joy

A Day in the Life of a Food Addict

It's a new day. The sun is shining. Do i want to be good to myself? Or do i want to hurt myself? The confusing part is that hurting myself feels good. But the good feeling doesn't last. Being truly good to myself, say, by exercising is hard to do, but you feel good longterm and reep longterm rewards.

I'm needing to process and talk out my day yesterday.

Yesterday started out great. Cliff had chocolate smoothie for breakfast...that's one of his favorites, and i had chia pudding...which was very reminiscent of oatmeal with the raisins and cinnamon and vanilla in it.

[On a side note, the pound of chia seeds i used ended up sucking up all of the sweetened cashew cream i mixed in with it and it is so hard now the next morning, like rock hard jello! I'm new to making chia pudding, so next time, i'll use 1/2 bag of chia for the same amount of sweetened cashew cream.]

Things proceeded on fine. I packed us a nice raw lunch in our soft purple igloo. We were going out for the day with unsure plans, so packing it was. I packed a big salad with "ranch" dressing, arnold's carrot "living bread", one avocado to share which i would prepare with a little celtic salt, garlic powder and lemon juice mashed on the living bread, a tomato, some dried organic figs.

I also took leftover chocolate smoothie, leftover green smoothie, more living bread for later and extra dressing, since we'd be out all day.

Lunch was lovely! We had a picnic in the car in the rain in the parking lot of a car dealer, that was fun! We both enjoyed salad with the fabulous dressing i made - ranch style - (blended cashews with garlic, chives, shallot, raw vinegar, celtic salt, agave. It was SUPER GOOD). We also had the avo mix on the raw bread, and a few dried figs for dessert.

Unfortunately, it became apparent that my eating habits suck. I eat so fast. Cliff eats so slow. He has a small mouth. And he takes small bites. I, on the other hand, have a big mouth (as if you didn't know), and take huge bites. And i chew quickly. Chew, chew, swallow. I am done eating when he is not even halfway through.

Cliff was full 1/2way through the salad, but took two bites of his avo covered cracker since i insisted, and ended up finishing the salad. He always remarks how wonderfully he feels after eating raw. Not bloated, not tired, but energetic. He admitted he could have eaten even less, but ate it because it was there.

I feel guilty often after i eat. I know i'm overeating, but i want to. Something inside of me clicks and i abuse food. I finished the rest of his avo cracker and poured more salad dressing on my salad than on his. i also snuck extra crackers when he was outside looking at cars in the rain on the carlot.

I rationalized and mentioned to him, "You know, i weigh alot more than you, and my caloric requirements are probably far greater than yours, that's why i eat more." (I weigh 280-ish. He weighs 180-ish.) "No," he countered, "You need to eat more like me, so you can look like me."

I couldn't argue.

The rest of the day, Cliff was a model of self-control. He asked himself if he was hungry and when he wasn't, didn't eat. Dinner for him was chocolate smoothie. A few dates grabbed later settled his hunger. I have to ask myself why i can't be more like him?

The rest of the day i had a kind of a grey cloud hanging over me. I knew i overate at lunch and it started the ball rolling. In this binge eating book i have it cautions that overeating can spur on a binge. It's true. I'm bad. I know it. I might as well take advantage of it.

Things were status quo as we visited Cliff's mom at the retirement home and had a nice visit. We went over my parent's house to visit them. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and actually thought i was looking much much better since going back to raw. I was pleased with how i looked and thought, heck, maybe i had managed to lose a few more lbs? The cooked food bloat was gone.

Visiting my parents was not as pleasant as i had hoped. My mom's health has got me seriously worried. She has been sick for well over a month with some kind of stomach ailment. Everything she eats comes up on her. I advise her to eat lightly. Stay away from fats, from proteins. Eat more fruit. Look into making smoothies like her neighbor Arlene does. When she listens to me, she feels better.

She also gets chronic laryngitis monthly, which really sets me reeling, being a person so finely attuned to the voice. "Are you drinking enough? Are you yelling alot again? You need to learn to support your voice!" I get so upset every time i hear her voice on the phone and she's hoarse, again.

This time, i felt maybe it was connected to what she had eaten. "Did you eat any meat, or dairy in the last few days?," i questioned, as these are foods i cautioned her to avoid. "I did have some cheese the other day," she confessed. I wonder if that did it?

I think my mother has an ulcer. Everything fatty or hard to digest gives her gastric problems, let alone her vocal problems, which could be reflux related or just some kind of a blockage. She is on a LOT of medications and they are drying, too. Whatever is wrong with her, it worries me severely.

At 4:30p.m., my parents were napping and I was slighty hungry. Cliff was napping, too, and i dug into our igloo. I had an unsatisfying salad (the fabulous ranch dressing didn't taste that great on iceberg lettuce, but was superior on romaine), and had a few peices of the living bread. There was a good movie on, and i was wanting to nosh for fun. I finished the living bread. I had a few dried figs. I was eating for entertainment. I wasn't happy about what i was doing, but the "opportunity" was there...i was alone with food, cliff was napping, and it entertained me.

I looked in my mom's snack closet and saw all of the things that i had eaten only a week ago that would be SO NICE to eat now. I saw potato chips and cookies and macaroni and cheese. I looked in her fridge and saw leftover chinese food containers. Chinese food? I LOVE Chinese food. It was the first time since starting raw again on Thursday that i had craved cooked food again. I was really miserable.

My parents went out, we watched TV and had a pleasant enough time. The eating had stopped for then.

Later when we got home, the binge continued. Cliff was parking the car and i ran into the house to start. I was in the kitchen in a zip and in the time it took him to park the car, i polished off two avocados slathered with that fabulous ranch dressing. [oh my god, incredible combo, gourmet restaurant worthy].

While Cliff was on the computer, oblivious to my binge, i snuck 4 raw cookies, 1/4 bag of kale chips, a raw chocolate bar and 3 lara bars into the living room, and polished those off. The crumpling of wrappers didn't alert him. I didn't know why i was doing it, but the sneaking was fun. Was i trying to get Cliff's attention? Was i worried about singing today at a rehearsal i am supposed to have later? Was i worried about my mother? Am i just trying to kill myself? Kill my voice with reflux?

I wanted cooked food now. I am bad. And i deserve bad. Or good. Whichever way you look at it. I tried to weasel my way into the basement to get some pasta from on top of the secret cooked food cabinet that cliff locked up downstairs. There is a 1/2 box of pasta sitting on TOP of the cabinet that was not locked up when Cliff had to fish out some honey one day when i had run out of raw honey. I know it's there. Just sitting there in the open. I wanted to cook it up and eat it last night. But Cliff was suspicious by then and followed me down the basement, where i was doing laundry, conveniently, with the ulterior motive of snatching the pasta box when the opportunity arose and shoving it in my skirt to cook up later when he went up to bed and i would stay up. I never could get it. He stayed downstairs with me and we walked up together, and by the time i was upstairs, i didn't even want it anymore.

I was having some serious reflux from all of the snacks i had eaten in a row. Betaine HCL helped to help me digest, but....what the hell had i done? And what did i WANT to do.

Earlier, envisioning the pasta box and what i was going to do, i planned a cooked binge for today. I'd get the Singapore Rice Noodles with Tofu and 2 Spring Rolls at the Chinese Restaurant, and then i'd head downtown to finally try the Fake Chikn Cheeze Steak at Govinda's that my coworker, Megan, has been raving about.

[On a side note, the other night after the movies downtown, (Did you see Jeff Bridges win for Best Actor at the Golden Globes last night?) i suggested to Cliff that we walk over to Govinda's and get the fake Chickn Cheeze Steaks. "I can handle it. I'll be okay!," I insisted. That's when HE insisted we get salads at the deli, which we did.] Drats... Foiled again.

On a positive note, I think often about that darling supportive email i recieved from my dear friend, Jan, talking about the stinkin' thinkin' that alcoholics have, "faulty reasoning," that i am plagued with as well. It finally dawned on me late last night that if i got that chickn cheeze steak today and the eggrolls that i'd be right back where i was and i wouldn't be able to stop again. I'm not happy as it is about the weight i gained on my many cooked food binges. Did i intend to do that much harm? No. Do i want to gain even more??? No. In the heat of the moment, those realizations never occur to me. It's good we have mostly everything locked up and not accessible, because I tell myself, i can have just a little and get back on track.

But that still small voice inside knows it's best to avoid that stuff for now, at least. Who knows, maybe some day. The logical part of me doesn't think there's anything wrong with cooked food. The addict part of me knows i like it a wee bit too much. And the worst part is it's EVERYWHERE. Start binge eating on cooked, and everywhere i look, there's something i want.
But, emotionally, what is really driving me? i know that i'm worried about my audition next week, and binge eating and getting the resulting reflux is the surest way to kill my voice, and when i'm nervous, for some reason, i want to harm myself.

I should try to remember more that saying attributed to Nelson Mandela about our worst fear not being that we are worthless, but that we are powerful beyond belief. We're afraid to shine our light, NOT afraid we're no good. I am afraid to shine my light sometimes. I don't know why.

I think all in all...i'm just an addict.

Have you seen, "Crazy Heart" yet? Jeff Bridges character was an alcoholic, but also a very very talented writer and singer. He was afraid of being sober that he couldn't live without booze and his body was addicted to it, but when things got bad enough, he needed to get sober. When he got sober, suddenly his craft started to improve. I think some people are just prone to be addicts, and i'm one of them. If it's not cooked food, it's gourmet raw, etc...

I've been thinking about something i saw on a Christian station on TV, "Self-control is a gift of the spirit and not a gift of the self." It made me realize why i have no self control sometimes. I'm not plugged in. I'm not living from my higher power then. I've been there, i know what it's like. I was plugged in at the Raw Union where i sang at Angela and Matt Monarch's wedding. I resisted the nerves, got proactive, practiced, sang pretty well, was in good voice, no reflux. Not every singing engagement sends me binge eating. I've often been quite proactive and tackled singing projects i considered stressful.

I do have alot on my plate, now, though: italian concert, donizetti opera, audition for opera restaurant, 'those were the days' concert for retirement homes. I'm avoiding alot. Instead of working on things. It's kind of my M.O. Procrastinate. And eat. And procrastinate. It doesn't really WORK, but fills the hours.

I'd better ask God for help to deal with all of this. "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

xoxo michelle joy

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Letter from a Dear Friend...and an Update!

Dearest Michelle,

You have been ever-present on my mind these last few days. I so care for you and want the best for you, dear Michelle! My heart was so heavy for you after reading your blog on Wednesday, to quote: " I savored the popcorn, because i said to myself, "This is the last cooked meal you're eating." It just all made sense in my heart and in my mind. All of my problems lately were as a result of eating cooked food. I made peace with it and am now moving on. It was fun while it lasted."

Well, since then you have had Day One of eating raw -Yeah!! All we can ever do is to take one day at a time. Your struggles remind me so much of what my dear significant other, Jim, used to say to me. When he first became sober and stopped drinking, he had to go cold turkey and not even contemplate having even one sip of any alcohol. To do so would simply lead him down that slippery slope that would lead to, among other things, "faulty thinking" that he could be like other people who could drink socially, who could have just one drink and not want another, and another...

That song from "Crazy Heart" is so applicable to what you are struggling with. Yes, I do believe that God answered your prayer so that you heard that interview on NPR. Your slippery slope has been, of late, to rationalize and say that you can be raw and have just a little cooked food. Starting to think that way, allowing yourself to entertain that thought...

I was goin' where i shouldn't go...
and seein' whom i shouldn't see...
doin' what i shouldn't do...
and meetin' who i shouldn't meet.

Such a powerful message for you, dear Michie, but one that you have obviously heard loud and clear.

I am so so grateful that you are now back on that raw wagon and have had Day One of Raw. I'm sure you had to dig really deep and not think of the cooked foods that you were missing. Having your first day back being a work day at Arnold's was a real blessing, too, because, well, first off, everything there is raw, but also keeping busy, staying distracted can a godsend, too. I have heard some say that "work is therapy" and you had some therapy yesterday to help get you through!

Now, this morning, I read your One Day at a Time blog. You deserve to be proud of yourself that your back on track. You had one full day of raw! Now, today, it's a new day and you awoke feeling fine and energetic. I am so proud of you. As far as the forty pounds that you have recently gained, I'm reminded of something that I heard at a Weight Watchers meeting years ago. A woman who had probably two hundred pounds to lose when asked how much she needed to lose said "five pounds." She had found that if she focused on that two hundred pounds the task would be so daunting that she might not even try, but just focusing on five pounds at a time was very doable for her.

I believe you are on the right track, Michelle, and will be praying for God to direct your path.

With much love,

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Isn't Jan the sweetest, most wonderful friend? We've been dear friends since we met in OHI over 3 years ago. Jan is now making green smoothies for herself and contemplating incorporating more raw foods into her diet. Let's give her a big BRAVA!!!!!

Just a quick update: I'm on Day 4 of raw. Feels good to be back on track. Cliff is a huge support. He's lost 9 lbs, and just to demonstrate to you his committment, he ordered a salad with me at a deli the other night. Pretty amazing. We have smoothies every morning. I leave him a huge salad for lunch with yummy raw dressing and a huge chocolate smoothie and a huge green smoothie, and with that and fruit, he's set until he comes home after work. He's eating sometimes a peice of pizza out, so he's mostly raw, but just making incredible strides and feeling SO MUCH BETTER!!!

As a treat, Cliffy took me out to the movies yesterday. We watched Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart". It was wonderful. Sad, but wonderful. And i got to hear my song "Fallin' Feels Like Flyin'" which fills me with such joy to hear that. I didn't get all of the words correct, so i'll go back and fix them. I look forward to buying the CD from the film to make sure i have them all right and i can sing it correctly around the house. It's my cheering-me-on song the last few days. Nevertheless, I really recommend the movie.

Audition news: I have to go back for my opera restaurant audition, again, next week. They don't use backtracks, but have a live accompanist, so i need to bring sheet music with, and arrive much later, so i can sing when people are eating. Cliff and I got there about 3pm with my backtracks, so we'll have to go back. But it was lovely to meet Franco of the "HIGHNOTE CAFE" at 13th and Tasker in S. Philly. He seems so very nice. And the restaurant is lovely. I'm nervous, but excited about this new prospect.

Some freaky good news - you know we've been taking the E3Live Supplement daily, it's a blue-green algae from Oregon, and two freaky things are happening! Firstly, i think my hair is growing! My bald spot suddenly doesn't look as bald! I didn't realize because i hadn't colored my hair in well over 2 months and with the grey, i didn't really notice. And at work, we have to wear head covereings, so i have kerchiefs or hats on all of the time. Yesterday i colored my hair with a natural vegetable hair dye and i'm like....woooooo.....i have a LOT MORE HAIR in front!!!! Wooo hoo! I've HEARD people say E3Live will make your hair grow and that's exactly WHY i was interested in it. I've been losing hair ever since high school, but especially heavily since going raw. I'll have to see if i can get some pictures together to show you the difference. We've been on the supplement for at least 1 month and are up to 3 Tbsp a day. Wow!!!

Secondly, i went to pluck this hair out of this mole i have on the right side of my jaw? The hair wasn't there...and the mole was GONE!!! I was incredulous, looking all over for it, i thought i was crazy...but, it wasn't there! I called Cliff upstairs...!! I called my mother....!!! She exclaimed, "If anyone else would have told me that, i wouldn't believe it!"

Other news: I made chia pudding. Man, it's GOOD! Did you ever make it?

Today: Cliff and i are going out for the day. i'll go up and pack us a raw lunch.

Oh, yesterday we had a to-go meal from All The Way Live, a local raw foodery only opened on fridays and saturdays. it was luscious. Especially the apple pie...mmmm.. We had picnic in front of the Schulkyll River on Kelly Drive. Romantic!

xoxox michelle joy

Friday, January 15, 2010

One Day At A Time!

Good morning!

I'm feeling fine and energetic this morning :-)) After a raw day yesterday, i lost a little of the bloat and weighed in at 290.5. My goal today is to stay raw and to break 290 tomorrow. Small baby steps. [Update: after a 2nd surprise B.M, i weighed in at 289, yay! -3 in one day raw!]

A friend wrote me last night and was very concerned about me. She noticed I had gained weight and was sincerely worried about my admission to eating cooked food since we have only known each other as raw foodists. Well, the good news is I was all raw yesterday, and well, here's part of the note i sent her. I think it helps to explain what kept me going with the cooked - and after the note, i think i REALLY am beginning to figure out what drives me...

"Hon, I think when i wrote you about what's been going on with the food, i was trying to be very honest with myself. I kept telling everyone "i can't stop eating cooked food, it's horrible!!!" but i didn't really FEEL that way. So when i wrote you, i was like, "I LOVE IT!!" The truth is, i DID love it. i loved it very much, but i knew i couldn't stop and i was, and still am very worried in a healthy way. I gained alot of weight, so next time you see me you will notice even more!!! THAT part of this has been really one of the only downsides. Honestly, if it weren't for the weight gain, and my out of control behavior with cooked food, i think i'd still be eating it - Veggie Burgers, Pizza, Singapore Rice Noodles, Fried Spring Rolls. I mean SO delish! The crunch, the textures, the flavors! Now i know why no one wants to give up cooked food to be a raw foodist. Taking the supplements i've been taking, i felt freakily fine eating this stuff. You would think i'd break out in horrible rashes or get sick. But i didn't. That's what's so bizarre. I kept WAITING to get sick - WAITING for something to say 'OK ITS TIME TO STOP!' But it never the form of a cold or a rash or any bizarre reaction. I can only say that is the power of E3Live and Betaine HcL. Nevertheless, it has been a long and hard battle getting back on track, but mostly MENTALLY. The battle has been a MENTAL ONE. I still WANTED to eat the cooked vegetarian stuff. Yes, once you start, it's almost imipossible to stop. But, i had been praying and asking God for direction and it came in the most amazing way, in a song i heard on the radio. "It's funny how falling feels like flying...for a little while. A little voice told me it was wrong. Another voice told me it was right." The song really addressed what i was feeling. I felt like i was FLYING, it was delicious. It was fun. I felt good. But, i was getting fatter by the minute. And that's the really really unfortunate part about all of this. Because i had been doing very well with my weight and was consistently coming down overall. Now i'm higher than i have been in quite some time, but not as high as i was before i started 80-10-10. Anyway, the next weeks will be the hardest. I have to stay very focused. I was raw yesterday. And plan on being raw from now on. Because it helps me control my weight. Because it keeps 'normal' food less accessible. Once you start eating cooked, you realize it's EVERYWHERE! One day at a time, i will be raw, as they say! It's easy to do ANYTHING for a day, but when you think of longterm it's overwhelming."

Yes, when i awoke this morning and realized i'd had had an all raw day yesterday, i smiled to myself. I AM happy to be back on track. And weighing less, out of the 290's!!! gives me motivation to do well today to keep moving on down the 280's. When i think i have to lose 40 lbs, i get very discouraged. But when i think i only have to lose 1lb today, THAT i can do, one day at a time. By just eating very little salt, and lots of green smoothies, i can accomplish that!

I know i have tremendous amounts of water stuck inside, because at the movies, i had polished off a medium bag of popcorn and a medium soda. Have you ever seen the SIZE of those sodas????? ENORMOUS. And I didn't peepee at all that night, so i KNOW i'm holding a ton of water weight inside just waiting to come out!

Truth be told, I've been under ALOT of stress. Not just with the food. With my financial situation, and my career. I'm a raw chef, but it's not my callling. It took me time to figure that out, but i've admitted it. Yes, I'm talented with food, but my biggest talent, the thing i need to do - is sing and perform. I have improved so much lately that i really feel i could be a professional opera singer.

What's holding me back is FEAR OF FAILURE and REJECTION...and my WEIGHT. I have alot against me, namely my AGE and LACK OF CONFIDENCE. Those can be overcome, but, in order to be even considered viable for professional roles these days, one must be within a normal weight range. I would like to lose 65 lbs and then audition for opera companies. At 225lbs, i would be within a reasonable range to be considered for being hired.

Right now, i'm working on many musical projects, an italian concert, an opera by Donizetti, a concert of songs from the old movie singing stars like Jeannette MacDonald and Mario Lanza. 2 of these projects will not increase my income, so working on them is a mental struggle, but i accepted the projects and know they will increase my skill.

I'm also contemplating auditioning for an opera restaurant, where I can sing nightly and will wait on customers and make tips. At least it will improve my skill and make me some money. I've been absolutely beyond broke. I had to borrow money from my mother.

Working more as a raw chef doesn't call to me. Writing raw cookbooks or any of the things people suggest don't call to me. You know what calls to me? You know what i really FEEL? When i read the magazine, "Opera News," i have BUTTERFLIES in my stomach. I want THAT. I look at the cover and say "I WANT to be on the cover." When i watch an opera with my mom at the MET SIMULCAST now in HD at the movie theaters, i SEE myself there and say to myself, "I'm just as good, if not BETTER." Feeling like you have something special to give, but are trapped by your own limitations, your own addictions, your a terrible place to be. That's been me.

I'm hoping that being raw again will increase my clarity about my career and my financial situation as it's been a very bleak period. I suppose the cooked food covered over all of that.

I'm working the SECRET right now to lose 65 lbs (weigh 225) and audition for opera companies and get my first professional role singing opera. PRAY FOR ME AND WORK THE SECRET WITH ME!!

And i'll continue to pray to God for direction.

I'm always inspired by Meredith Frantz's blog. Check that out: It's really wonderful.

xoxo michelle joy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Raw Day ONE

Hi there,

I'm sitting at the library, and my legs feel like balloons. I guess that's what popcorn at the movies yesterday will do to ya... Salt Retention! It's not fun.

I woke up feeling really hopeful. Really motivated to get back on track. And I had a work day at Arnold's Way and managed to stay all raw, thank God. No cravings to go to Dunkin' Donuts this morning, and no cravings to go to McDonald's for fries this evening. That feels like a burden lifted. I keep hearing that song in my head from "CRAZY HEART" with Jeff Bridges, "Sometimes falling feels like flying...for a little while." Is that ever true or what? I suppose alcoholics really enjoy drinking like i enjoy eating...until it gets out of control, that is, and there are consequences.

I weighed myself this morning. 292. Frightening. But, i HAVE to move THROUGH this. Can't allow myself to have a pity party. I've weighed as high as 299.5 in my highest during these 3 years raw, so, it's actually not as bad as it was then. My highest was 425 and thank God i'm not there today.

I drank alot of green smoothies today. I wanted to do a green smoothie fast but didn't make it and feel somewhat like a failure, although i must guard against that mentality as it only proves to suck me under. An all raw day TODAY can't be considered a failure, so i ought to cut myself a break, a big one. I had smoothies all morning, a nori wrap with avo later, some flax crackers. I really didn't do too badly, but, the impulse to crash diet is very very strong. I don't want to LIVE with this extra weight and have to cope with it. I'm anxious to lose this 40 lbs i packed on scarfing french fries and onion rings NOW. Now, do you hear me? NOW!

All of the cooked fried food WAS fun. My kind of fun. But look at me suffering now. Bloated, fatter. I received an email from a dear friend who said she noticed i gained weight. That stung. But, how could you NOT notice? Being out in the public eye, at Arnold's, is not fun now that i'm heavier. EVERYONE notices. No one says anything, but they notice. I notice.

You know what? Weight gain is awful. If people start drinking alcohol or something, you can't SEE it immediately on them, like you can weight gain.

Well, this too shall pass. Gaining weight is not a crime.

Act as if. Act as if i'm skinny. Act as if i never went OFF of raw. Act as if i'm perfectly content with how i look. Act as if i have no cravings. And it will all come to be!

xoxox michelle joy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fallin' Feels like Flyin'

Well, i talked to God and this is what he told me - I've been deluding myself. I've been havin' a good old time, "feeling like i'm flying...when i'm really falling." I heard this song on Public Radio on an interview about Jeff Bridges' new movie, and it really struck me to the core.

from the movie "Crazy Heart" with Jeff Bridges

I was goin' where i shouldn't go...
and seein' whom i shouldn't see...
doin' what i shouldn't do...
and meetin' who i shouldn't meet.

A little voice told me it's all wrong
Another voice told me it's alright
I used to think that i was strong

until lately that it's hard to fight

It's funny how fallin' feels like flyin', for a little while

It's funny how fallin' feels like flyin' if only for a little while

I got tired of bein' good
I started missin' that old feelin'
Stop actin' like i thought i should
No matter what it did to me

I never did hurt no one
I was happy and had my way

There's such a thing as too much fun
This won't be the price you pay

It's funny how fallin' feels like flyin', for a little while
It's funny how fallin' feels like flyin', for a little while

Never see it comin' til it's goin'

It all happens for a reason even when it's gone

Especially when it's wrong

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I started out today not knowing what to do, but now i know. This song convinced my heart. And my head. It was one of those "Ah, ha" moments. This song was a message and i accept that. Cooked food felt liberating after all of this time. I was enjoying it. It "felt" like flying...but i was falling.

I also had another "Ah, ha" moment when I went to the movies today and got buttered popcorn for the first time in over 3 years. [Buttered movie popcorn was a serious addiction back in the days of weighing 425 lbs.] As i sat down in the movie seat, i was reminded that i now FIT in the chair, and that i used to NOT fit and that if i kept this up, i wouldn't fit again. When i used to eat buttered popcorn, i wasn't TRYING to get fat, just like i'm not now. i was just loving food...too the point that it almost killed me. Am i willing to let that happen to myself again? Just for some good tastes?

Why did i go to OHI? Because i was convinced that if i got OFF of cooked food there would be hope for me. And in fact, over the last 3 years, i've been able to 'miraculously' keep OFF weight... when i NEVER could before. Why? Because i learned moderation? No. I kept it off because i stayed RAW.

I savored the popcorn, because i said to myself, "This is the last cooked meal you're eating." It just all made sense in my heart and in my mind.

All of my problems lately were as a result of eating cooked food. I made peace with it and am now moving on. It was fun while it lasted.

I went to the market and got a ton of greens and am looking forward to more and more green smoothies over the next days.

xoxo michelle joy

Letters from me


I've not been doing well. It's the dark night of the soul for me. Swimming up steam without a paddle in a river called "De NILE." I'm confused. I'm alot fatter. I'm craving cooked food constantly. I'm, uh, i'm, um, i'm an addict.

I'm so confused. Victoria Boutenko talks about in her book, "12 Steps to Raw," that non-compulsive eaters can have no problem incorporating cooked food into their diets, but that compulsive eaters are best suited by a 100% raw diet. She herself admits to being a compulsive eater, but also now admits to eating cooked vegetables in favor of "a pound of cashews." If Victoria can eat cooked food, why can't i? Well, i guess i can if i want to. I just can't seem to control it. Well, i can't control FOOD in general, but, well, that's my problem.

Below are some recent letters. The first ones are to my friend Valerie who i know from ARnold's Way. We went to the Healthy Eating seminar together the other day. The bottom letter is to Carlene Jones, the leader of She also has a website that is not so strict, Carlene has lost over 100 lbs eating a high raw diet.

These letters will infuriate some, and make others feel like they are not the only one. They serve to document where i'm at. It's not a nice place to be out of control and confused and craving, but it's worthy of documenting, because I know with certainty that some day i'll look back on this time with gratitude that i am out of the darkness once again.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hi Valerie, (my friend from Arnold's Way)

Thanks again for inviting me to the talk the other night! I really enjoyed it :-))

I'm not doing well, unfortunately. Monday is an offwork day and these are often binge days. And it has been, binge eating on cooked.

When we talked in the car, i really thought i COULD learn to handle cooked food. My entire history would say that i CANNOT. What would make me think i could unless it was just total and complete denial???

Yes, i binge eat on gourmet raw, too, but at least i was still raw, and always lost the weight on 80-10-10. You were right when you said i was better off before. I WAS.

Even though i was still binge eating, i had a massive degree of control that i have lost by adding in cooked.

Cooked makes me gain weight MUCH faster than raw, and taking off the weight feels hopeless because i'm hooked on the cooked. Whereas before, taking off the weight felt completely hopeFUL because i knew i could always turn to 80-10-10, which i did. In other words, i was managing my weight, at least.

With cooked, i'm not only out of control, i feel hopeless going BACK to raw and my weight is out of control with no hope for the future but to keep gaining.

Well, i know it's alot in my mind that i fear i can't go back to raw. i CAN. And i must.

I weighed myself the other day and i was 283 and now that i have binged last night and today on cooked, i am certain i gained 10 lbs just doing that. i gain weight extremely quickly, especially on cooked, because of the bad salt, the wrong kind, not celtic salt, and because of the bulk that ends up in my gut.

i don't feel particularly BAD energy-wise because of the supplements i am taking, but i am extremely bloated, my legs feel like balloons and i'm fatter than i've been in a long, long time.

Let's support each other and write our food to each other everyday and go back to 100% raw. I don't want to weight 290's. i want to weigh 250's.

And i certainly don't want to weigh 300, which i will weigh if i keep eating cooked because it produces such a terrific denial that i don't even care how fat i'm getting as long as i eat it.

i think often of my story in lisa montgomery's book, "Raw Inspiration," and how i stated i would never go back to cooked and i documented how it used to be for me on cooked. i'm right back there.

Well, at least i haven't eaten meat. But i often ask myself, 'why aren't you eating meat?' What is this terrific self control i have now over meat when i was a meat-a-holic, 10 hamburgers a day. You know why i haven't gone back to meat??? BECAUSE I NEVER STARTED.

I'm not going to learn how to control cooked by eating it. I'm controlling meat because i'm NOT eating it.

I'm an cooked food addict for sure, and i need to get "clean".

I need to go back to 100% raw and also should go NO or LOW SALT and LOW FAT, so i can get this weight off. Some treats (raw pie or something) every once in a while need to be controlled, but it would be nice.

I'll start NOW and write my food to you later tonight.

xoox michelle joy

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hi Michelle,

I am glad to hear what you have to say because I truly believe that for myself. Raw makes me more normal-ish with food. It closes the door to so many convenient things that just keep going in my mouth. I think that you can become raw again and you will. Hang on to the idea that you want to. I also want to become about 100% raw also and I am doing better. I intend to still allow myself the plain baked potatoe b/c it is an alkaline food. I never say never. There is something in a story in the Big Book that I like much better. It is,"If I am doing the things I am doing today, and if I am thinking the things I am thinking today;I will probably be [Raw] for the rest of my life" So what will those things be for us? Perhaps we need to keep in touch and state our commitment to a raw life each day.Remember to ask our higher power for help and thank him for all the good things we have. Meditate for 5-15 minutes and tell ourselves we are lovable and worth being raw for.

Maybe we need to find passages in raw books that state the benefits of staying raw as we age. Of course, having what we need to have our raw meals, and carrying an avacado when we go out for our salad. Having a Lara bar handy if we might be in a situation where we will be late getting a meal, and maybe trying to stick to eating meals and only a little pick me up if necessary.

I know I am not getting any younger and cancer is rampant and heart attacks and strokes are not uncommon for women. So what better reason to give up cooked? Cooked will lead to processed,processed is full of salt etc and so on. Have a great day. I'm 100% raw so far!

Hugs, Val

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hi Michelle,

Where have you been? I had an almost perfect day. No peanuts and just for today-no peanuts again. Those peanuts in the shell were my biggest downfall. Thank you God. It was an easy day. It just happened. I guess it helps to talk to you and realize,I DO WANT RECOVERY. I don't have to be carried kicking and screaming to freedom. I can let go and let God. I guess that is what this is. I'm grateful.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hi Valerie,

So awesome you had such a great day! I know what that feeling is, to just do well effortlessly. I think it is when the mind and heart are were in the was a case of "let go, let god!" I think when we do let go, and are at peace, he'll carry us!

I was at my mother's all day yesterday and didn't get home until very late. So sorry about not keeping up with writing daily as i had promised. I'm so scattered, trying to figure out what to do with myself and getting caught up in binge eating cooked food repeatedly.

To help myself, I got in contact with a woman who runs an online raw food support club, and she suggested after hearing my story that 100% raw might be best for me, too. Also, my girlfriend who knows my history and what is happening now suggested the same thing. The online program begins next week. I haven't committed to joining yet.

I don't know why i persist in thinking i can eat cooked in moderation. Just this morning i was laying in bed thinking perhaps the best route for me would be green smoothies all day and cooked lentil bean soups at night, as Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends. i even thought of spending hundreds to go to see him. The last time i did his program, i lost 18 lbs in one week!

When we were in the car talking about wishing to just lose the weight we've gained quickly and then begin a new program, i was really not into that idea because i've seen myself lose quickly and gain it all back quickly so many times during this blog. Yet, the thoughts persist to go on a green smoothie fast to lose all of this 30-40+ lbs.

But is that realistic? Heck, i guess it could be...if i involved God. Or i could just be kidding myself. The truth is, i'm so confused. I don't know what to do.

Why don't i just ask God what HIS will for my diet is?

The way you experienced that effortless effort in doing well again and in not eating roasted peanuts, the same could happen for me, if i just realized i'm heading down the road of destruction, and determined to eat 100% raw again.

The only problem is: for 20 days i ate 100% raw recently, but it was all gourmet raw, and i didn't lose one pound.

Do i go back to 80-10-10??? Do i drink green smoothies all day and count calories? Do i eat gourmet raw moderately? Do i allow myself cooked soups? I lost so much weight doing that. I don't know what to do. I'm so confused.

I had chinese food yesterday. 2 veggie spring rolls and veggie lomein. Before that, i ended up at the market with a small container of pasta salad and a peice of bread pudding. M&Ms at my moms house and a stolen peice of pizza and tastycakes from her fridge.

I mean, i KNOW what i'm doing is BAD and that i'm getting fatter and fatter, yet something in me still WANTS it and LOVES it. I guess THAT's the addiction. There is also something in me that wants to get back on track very much.

I know my body wants a green smoothie this morning for sure. What comes after that, i'm not sure! I'll try to stay in tune with myself...ask God to lead me.

I'll let you know how today goes. I'll try to keep in touch more regularly.

xoxo michelle joy

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

UPDATE: I just weighed myself. I weigh in the high 280's. That's frightening, but i have to remember that's not even the heaviest i've ever gotten over these 3 years raw. Before I discovered 80-10-10, i actually once got up to 299.5 binge eating on gourmet raw. So, i need to cut myself a break and just MOVE ON.

But the truth of the matter is...i was actually doing BETTER when i discovered 80-10-10, for although it made my binge eating exacerbate, i was also BETTER in control of my WEIGHT.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

To Carlene of

Hi Carlene,

I was on the bootcamp program last year for a short time and need to join another program with you. I'm hoping you could help me figure out what might work the best for me.

Just a little history.

I was raw for 3 years and lost 175 lbs from a high of 425 to 250 lbs. I have binge eating disorder, so i would binge often on gourmet raw, but used "80-10-10" to manage my weight. Despite the binge eating, this actually "worked" to keep my weight in check. When it would go up substantially, i'd 80-10-10 until i got down again. And this cycle went on and on. At the time, i thought this was bad.

Unfortunately, things have gotten worse. In Semptember, i started to eat beans. Then beans turned to fries. Fries turned to pizza. Pizza turned to 2 pizzas. You get the point. It is now January, and, thank god i haven't gone back to meat, i've stuck to vegetarian, but i've gained back 40 lbs.

Cooked food packs on much more weight much faster than gourmet raw even. What's worse, after eating cooked, it's not so easy to just do 80-10-10 to take the weight off, now that i'm HOOKED on cooked. To make it through one day just raw has been hard.

My problem is this: i'd like to get back to 100% raw simply because i think it FUNCTIONED best for me in controlling food and in controlling my weight, although i hadn't taken my weight loss to the next level, at least i MANAGED it. Of course, i'd like to lose the rest of my weight. But if i never learn to control my binge eating, that won't happen. Certainly, i'd like to overcome my binge eating, but every book i read says you have to eat cooked to do that and i've been trying, and it's NOT working for me.

I NEED to get back on track. I refuse to gain back everything i lost, just to taste something good. Would one of your programs address my issues better than another? I'm thinking one of your new programs would be good where i eat all raw low fat no salt, but then allow myself some treats (gourmet raw) from time to time.

I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts. I'll join a program TODAY if i can.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hi Michelle,

I think since you do know how to manage your weight and be happy on raw, that you should stay raw. Every now and then a planned treat is fine, even choosing to maintain your weight for a weekend, vacation, or holiday is fine, as long as you are able to return to your normal way of eating. So normal should be about 1800 raw calories a day with no more than 30% fat and very little sodium. Diet mode of course is less than that. As for binge eating, it is a behavior that has to be dealt with and controlled. That doesn't happen overnight. It may take you years to learn to ignore the need to binge, but unlike boot camp and the all or nothing mindset, it is probably better for you to find a food plan that works for you completely. Lose the weight a tad slower, but with things that will satisfy and not cause binges. That is what Finding Your Perfect Diet is. It is about finding you..LaSaprano's, perfect diet. Not mine, not OTH (was that what it was called?) or even a typical Raw Foodists idea. It needs to be what works for you. You need to feel what you are eating sustains you physically and emotionally. You have been dealing with raw for a long time, so it probably is part of who you are.

We start a new Finding Your Perfect Diet program next Monday. Join us, you can be raw and I will give you the choice to start out at 1500-1700 raw calories as long as the fat% stays below 30% which is the US RDA. That gives you some nuts, but not a lot. Maybe that will help you find balance that will prevent the need for binges that stem from just wanting to eat. Emotional eating is a whole other issue, but lets get the perfect diet down, and then see how you deal with it.

There are some great women in the program right now. Not many doing 100% raw, but I think you will like them anyway. The new program is not about being a raw foodist, it is about beating obesity with whatever method (except fasting and liquid diets or drugs) that will work for you for life.

Sign up at Use a new username and password.

See you Monday.


x0x0x0x0 michelle joy