Thursday, April 15, 2010



I'm off to Arnold's Way to work this morning.

Feeling more than a little discouraged this morning. I had been doing so well with my food. I was so entirely pleased and encouraged. But, things unraveled yesterday.

I feel bad admitting it, but i have to.

I'm still struggling. After all of the blogging, all of the long, cathartic blogging, and i still have an eating disorder.

And 'pure raw joy' is rarely filled with much joy anymore. I should have titled this blog 'pure raw struggle.'

I mentioned that Dr. Daniel Amen special called "Change Your Brain, Change Your Body" that I saw on PBS the other week. It is constantly on my mind. Amen mentioned that overeaters, when their brains are scanned, they are missing things in their BRAINS and their BRAINS are people who eat regularly.

I am beginning to REALLY BELIEVE THIS.

Furthermore, he says, every overeater is different with different needs, and some have many complex needs. (Probably people like me who have long standing chronic big food problems and massive obesity issues.) To function well, according to Amen, some need protein and can't function without it, some need supplements to calm themselves down, some need stimulating supplements. He says a lot of stuff. It's not just as simple as that. He creates full programs for people.

It came to mind what i often discuss with my friend, Jan. We often talk about diet, and it occurs to me that when she says, "I need protein," she very well probably does. What do i need? I need a fulltime live in psychologist, a personal assistant to follow me around, a fulltime maid, a fulltime exercise coach. I need a lot of things. I need to exercise. I need to be on a program. I need to calm myself down.

I know one thing. My head talks to me.

And tells me to do things.

To eat. And i listen.

During the week when i was doing so well, i was eating in response to HUNGER. And that felt extremely liberating and so freakin' normal. I felt like i had really "gotten" it!

One episode of eating when i WANTED it instead of eating when i physiologically NEEDED it...and my disorder was reawakened.

Back to the voices. It's not like voices like crazy people hear, it's just thoughts. "Boy, wouldn't an icecream be refreshing?" And i obey that voice. And i'm beginning to see how nuts that is, because with me it never ends with just an icecream. Oh, one day, it might end, and i'm like, "See, how normal i can be?"

But, the next day? When i get the icecream again, it always veers out of control. And i'm like, whuuuu??? i did the same thing YESTERDAY...and THIS didn't happen then???!!!!!

And it really seriously disturbs me...that i am so disturbed. It's not just icecream. Anybody who drives around in their car just eating one thing after another is seriously disturbed. I know i said it before, it sounded freaky, but i swear to God, this voice in my head might just as well say, "kill someone," and if i was i murderer, i probably WOULD.

They're just THOUGHTS, but i KNOW they're harmful thoughts to me, YET, i obey.

I'm a food addict and when it tells me to get icecream...and i actually DO it, and then it tells me to get pizza and onion rings, too, and potato latkes, i have to ask myself if i'm not seriously mentally ill. Well, i am. Binge Eating is a mental disorder.

I'm well aware that it is also an emotional disorder. I have a lot going on. I'm stressed. I have to perform the opera again on Sunday. I'm preparing a concert for next Friday. I'm having meetings several times a week to plan an enormous raw catering event, followed by another.

The amount of planning and work that goes into making food, decorating tables and 50 million other tasks for 200 people one week and 50 the mind boggling. We now have to rent a kitchen so we have refrigeration for the crates of produce we need.

I'm under stress. And my weakness is food. And i keep falling.

Cliff and i had a long talk this morning. We both struggle with so many things in our lives.

I struggle with my voice - it's inconsistent. I'm phenomenol one week and envision myself on the cover of Opera News and the next, i'm really really awful. Well, not really AWFUL, just not GOOD enough for Opera News. I really SERIOUSLY struggled vocally at the opera on Sunday. Before i warmed up, i sang loud with the CD. What the hell was i thinking? I made myself HOARSE. And struggled through the entire opera. Vocally, i was mediocre. Yet, last night i had one of the BEST vocal sessions i've had since just a few weeks ago when i sang fabulously. Up and down, up and down.

I struggle obviously with food. I'm on, i'm off, i'm raw, i'm not, i fall, i get back on. I'm so very entirely frustrated with myself, but as Cliff constantly reminds me - I'm not where i was before. 425 lbs, that is. I'm not there. I'm better than i was, but i am NO WHERE where i want to be, or SHOULD be.

This blog was supposed to be all about success. And it's not. And i am so sorry for that.

And i struggle with exercise. Same - on, off, success, failure, strength, weakness.

Cliff struggles with exercise, too, but is having a fantastic time of success right now in his life with his bicycling, riding several times a week, gaining strength in his legs. But, his piano practicing is suffering. And now, since we're living with mom and he's getting a lot of food out, his diet is suffering and he's getting high blood pressure headaches. Calgon, take me away!

We hugged and kissed this morning and I cried and i said, "Honey, some people achieve phenomenol success in their lives. But, we haven't. We struggle. Maybe that's just what our life is?"

We both have so much potential.

He confirmed that my vocal inconsistencies are at least getting to the point where i'm really good alot more than i ever was. And at least he's back to biking. So important to see the positive side and to be grateful for that GOT TO REMEMBER THAT!!!!

I received this wonderful email today from my beloved friend, Jan. And it just said everything i was feeling.

Hi there Michelle,

Just a quick note. I wanted to share this comment on sent from one member to another: "Hey! Glad you're back. Food (like any thing else) is a day to day walk. We experience everything from the strut (I've sooo got it together days) to the crawl (I am just barely making it through). Rehab is all about sharing the joys of strutting and getting the hugs and helping hands when it's a crawl. We're here for ya."

Isn't that cool? I sooo love this place! I know you've got way too much on your plate right now, but just sharing a little of what encouragement is to be found there - when you have the time to check it out!

love ya much, jan

She's doing so well on Raw Food Rehab! Can't wait to talk to her about it!

I'd been doing well with Carlene just months ago.....

And i guess my screwed up BRAIN just needs someone to be accountable to. Josh of is doing his amazing 21 Day Transformation at Arnold's Way, and that's an option. Also, Natalie has offered to be my coach. Also, my catering partner, Susan Aman, counsels people and puts them on programs.

It's obvious i need more support than i have now, which is minimal, and i'm only at Arnold's Way 1x-2x/week, which isn't enough to keep me afloat.

I'll continue with the meditation and just know that BEING AWARE is the first step in recovery. If i didn't realize i was stressed... If i didn't realize i hear thoughts leading me astray... Hopefully, i'll soon develop the skills to learn to refute those voices when it is not appropriate. That i continue to ACT OUT disturbs me, but i just gotta pick myself up, brush myself off, and try AGAIN.

There is no shame in admitting needing help. It is obvious, afterall.

xoxo michelle joy

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