Monday, April 5, 2010


I really thought long and hard about admitting where I'm at, but I need to be honest and ask for help. It's probably no wonder. I've been here before.

I'm struggling. Since being raw again for about 5 weeks again, I slipped the other night. I can't even remember what i did. That's really bad that i can't remember...

Then yesterday, I was so hungry, and really in a completely serene and very sane mood, decided to get a lowfat meal from the chinese restaurant. In my days on Weight Watchers, i would often order the steamed veggies with Tofu and brown rice.

Eating it felt SANE and I remarked at how normal i felt.

My god, maybe i CAN eat cooked food and be normal, i thought.

Later in the day, we went to a friend's house to celebrate Easter with their family. The buffet included a huge salad, my raw hummus pate, raw cashew balls i made, cooked ravioi and scalloped potatoes and bread and butter and cole slaw....

All of a sudden, everything COOKED looked APPEALING. It was HORRIBLE. I felt horrible wanting it.

When i am raw and really OVER cooked food (past 21 days), i have zero cravings for cooked food. When I am an idiot and i give in, all of a sudden, my cooked food appetite re-awakens and suddenly everything i normally loved raw looks unappealing.

Internally, i felt such a pull to this food, that my raw pate, salad and cashew balls that i was munching on made me feel miserable and denied, whereas usually i am totally content with these. It was really awful. I had forgotten about this mental and physical torture. I sat there, my mouth watering, watching every normal person eat meatballs and kielbasa and enjoy them and know when 'enough is enough' and i couldn't keep myself from wanting what was on the table... The cravings were extraordinary.

I tried to talk to myself.

Then, I went up to the buffet with plate in hand. I bypassed my raw stuff and I took the most legal things i could find that were cooked: some sauerkraut, i took cooked pickled beets, i took cole slaw with mayo. Bad choices, but not horrid.

Lucille, my good friend, who knows i am raw, remarked to me, "Is that plate for you? YOU CAN EAT THAT?"

I answered, with a sheepish look on my face, "Uh, yeah, the plate''s for me. I WANT it."

On the 3rd trip back to the buffet, i was sampling cheese ravioli, creamed asparagus, bread and butter, scalloped potatoes. Fatty cooked food is just incredibly delicious to me.

Finally outside, away from the food, caught up in conversation with friends, i finally realized i hadn't thought about food in a while.

Food obsession is a horrible thing to experience. Obsessive thoughts just occupying my head non stop.

I know intellectually meditation in the moment would help. But, the desire for the food overtook me and I decided to eat it and i did. I tried to take little portions. A bite of this, a bite of that.


I often feel like Robert Downey Jr.. Some addicts are bad, whereas some, like Downey Jr. and like me, cause disasterous havoc in their addiction. I weighed nearly 450 lbs the last time i just LET MYSELF GO AND BE ME AND EAT WHAT I WANT. THE GLUTTONOUS WAY IS DELICIOUS, YEAH, BUT, UH, AT WHAT PRICE????

Later, back at home, i snuck some things - a bagel, matzoh with butter, a can of cheese ravioli. That drive just comes on and you know, it's like 'now or never'. I'd better get it now before i can't have it again. The cheese ravioli had MEAT in the sauce. First time for MEAT in 3.5 years. Now i'm really pushing the boundaries.

Dejected, i fell asleep wondering how i would deal with tomorrow....

I woke up in the morning and didn't even want to look at myself in the mirror. I was sure i was blown up like a balloon from the salty sauerkraut. I put one foot in front of the other, blenderized my mom and me and Cliff our regular morning green smoothie, and it felt good, like i would get through the morning. I was very pleased with how things were going.

Hungry, i felt panicy soon. I drank some more green smoothie and felt restored.

Accidentally, I damaged the stove knob while making my mother her steamed potatoes. Upset and ticked off by my stupidity, I let the binge bug attack again and left early to go teach a few singing lessons, knowing that I knew i was going to Burger King for French fries.
What i hadn't counted on is ordering the first FISH i've eaten in 3.5 years - a filet 'o fish sandwhich, with onion rings and fries at the Burger King, and a big soda.

While eating, I did my best to stay present, at least, and after eating, realized i was full. Realizing this kind made me aware. And I was mentally back into that place again where i felt like, "Heck, i just did a normal thing that normal people do all of the time. Maybe i can BE normal and do this from time to time like normal people, and just let this GO and move on!"

I tried not to beat myself up, but just accept. That often takes the DRIVE out of the binge.

I went and taught my students who had a marvelous lessson.

I am a good teacher. I have an eating disorder, but i am a good teacher. And a nice person. And a good raw chef. And a good daughter. And a good singer.

After sitting at their piano for 1.5 hours, my feet began to swell from the fast food, and leaving their house, i reacted to the fact that my feet were swollen. It felt like Adam and Eve realizing they were naked. I realized my sin, remember what i had done to be so swollen, and instead of feeling remorse and turning from my ways, i dug into it even deeper, and went and got 2 slices of pizza and more soda.

I ate them in the car. Pizza really does taste marvelous. There is no doubt about it. Cooked food is delicious.

I was stuffed. And also knew i was eating because i ws stressed. My opera is on SUNDAY.

The one GOOD thing in all of that for at least 2 hours or longer, after the pizza, i sat in the car and studied and practiced my opera.

I KNEW that i was reacting to the stress of my upcoming opera this Sunday. I KNEW it and you know what? That's a lot more than I ever knew as a kid with an eating disorder. At least now I'm MORE aware.

Yes, I FELL, BUT, the good thing was, that even though i FELL, I picked myself up, brushed myself off and became PRO-ACTIVE, studying my music like i should have been.

I had chosen eating to make myself FEEL better. Ha! Do i really FEEL better????

For a few moments of pleasure, i now have feet that feel like balloons. I HAVEN'T HAD SWOLLEN FEET LIKE THIS SINCE I WEIGHED 425 LBS!!!! FILET 'O SWOLLEN FEET FISH!

Tonight i worked on my opera for several more hours. How fucking gratifying. I feel SO GOOD about the work that i did and really regret my stupid behavior. I can actually say at this moment that i THINK i might ACTUALLY be GOOD on Sunday - if i keep up this work like this for the next few days.

Now, before I decided to write, i thought about eating again. Everyone is asleep. I had the OPPORTUNITY.

But the desire was not there. In the moment, i'm sane again. I can see the forrest through the trees. Do i really want to get even MORE swollen??? And i feel GOOD about my work tonight. I want to feel GOOD tonight.

Tomorrow I have another meeting with Susan Aman and Colin for our catering job in Chestnut Hill. I'm not looking forward to squeezing these bloated feet into shoes and walking around.

Yes, I'm scared how i will cope with tomorrow. But one day at a time. Tonight, i only have to worry about going to sleep. Tomorrow i will deal with tomorrow.

BUT...i must pay the price, I've been here MANY times before. To get through this, i must ACCEPT THE SWOLLEN FEET, STOP REACTING EMOTIONALLY TO THEM, remain calm, and mentally and physically and emotionally and spiritually, i must put one fat foot in front of the other and just move on. STOP feeling sorry for myself. STOP feeling bad about being FATTER. I must accept and LOVE myself where I'm at. Otherwise, I won't get past this.

I told Cliff about it. I told Mom about it. The pizza, the filet 'o fish, i mean. No one seems too concerned. They've gained confidence in me and my ability to pull myself out of trouble.

Nice for them!!! I don't feel so confident.

What i have to say is: I wish i could eat normally like everyone else. It seems unfair. Can't i learn???? Watching everyone at Easter just take one plate, or even go back for seconds, but not become OBSESSED with food, like me.

WHY can't i be like them?????

Then i think of the ONLY times i've ever had success with my weight....and what was i doing to garner that success??? Was i having a little of this? A little of that???

I was NOT. I was controlling my food intake VERY VERY STRICTLY.

Nothing except BLACK AND WHITE has ever worked for me. And i HATE it.

I feel so sad and so angry about this. Maybe that bitch Carlene was right.

Sometimes i think i can be normal.

But, i go back to my history, and i examine the times i've tried to be NORMAL - Weight watchers, therapists, eating disorder groups, eating disorder nutritionists, O.A.. Learning to "legalize" all foods. ZERO SUCCESS.

The only major successes came when my food intake was severely limited and restricted.

You know what???? That really SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate it. I am so mad.

Intellectually, i said to myself yesterday: "You know, raw nuts and raw chips are fatty. Steamed veggies and brown rice are healthier." It made intellectual sense.

The only problem with that line of thinking is i forgot one thing: Cooked food reawakens my hunger for it. That hunger becomes like a monster. Once one thing cooked is an option, they suddenly ALL are. I forget how i am. I'm SO much better not taking that one little bite.

This really fucking sucks and i'm angry. I know i said that already.

So, i have two choices: Go back on raw and admit i am a COOKED FOOD ADDICT. Or learn how to eat cooked food in moderation. I'd have to get a therpist and an eating disorders nutritionist.

BUT, i've been down that road before....AND ALL I DID WAS GAIN WEIGHT. I could NEVER LEARN TO EAT MODERATELY. I HAVE NEVER HAD LONG TERM SUCCESS EATING MODERATELY. In 42 years, it has never happened.

Well, there was that one year i was vegetarian and followed "Overcoming Binge Eating."

But, recently, raw has been the only thing to help me MANAGE my 150 lb weight loss.

No matter how awful things have gotten, i still NEVER over 3 years....gone back over 300 lbs.

Yes, i have been up and down 20, 30+ lbs.

God willing I will do what is necessary to STOP the ball rolling now and to NEVER allow THAT to ever, ever, ever happen to me again. God forbid. I mean, weighing 300 lbs again.

So, onward i go. Tomorrow is a new day.

Keep me in your prayers.

I'm looking into joining RAW FOOD REHAB with my friend, Jan. I think this can help. I signed up for it. The group starts next week, i believe.

xoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Laura said...

Oh Michelle - *many hugs*.

How funny you're joining Raw Food Rehab - I just did last week. I would love to see you there.

They're starting an 11 week initiative there on Sat. which may provide some moral support for you.