Monday, April 12, 2010


I am feeling pretty darned ELATED this morning.

Get this - I weighed in at 299.25 just the other day. This morning, i weighed in this morning at 282.50. 2 8 2. 50!!! WHAT??? High 90's to low 80's????? That's over 16 lbs just a few days!!! If you are shocked, imagine how shocked i was when i stepped on the scale this morning! Honest to God, i wasn't even TRYING!!!! It was effortless effort. I can't quite believe it.

Here's the blow by blow, in case you want to hear all of the details...

After the fiasco of going out and getting a filet 'o fish sandwhich at Burger King last week during a binge, and my feet, ankles and legs blowing up...and eating more pizza and donuts, afterwards, etc., etc., etc., and weighing in at 299.25, I was beside myself with fear, despair, hopelessness. I confessed to Arnold and everyone at work, and garnered lots of support.

It should come as no surprise to me when i have these episodes. I have a binge eating disorder and the way i referred to my present crisis to my friends was that i was in relapse. Just saying that calmed me. It put a name on a crazy unstoppable activity. Who would eat like that if they were in their right mind? First i get pizza, then chinese, then donuts, then icecream. All in a row. You know, i've been to the psycho ward 4x for this disorder. It's a psychological illness (mixed with physical cravings, mixed with spiritual bleakness). I've lived with this my whole life.

Everyone was so understanding. In fact, they didn't look at me like i was crazy. They know of my struggles. And what's more, they all said i should go easy on myself, and attributed the eating to the stress of living with my mom. I'm sure that's had something to do with it, along with the opera and all of the music i need to learn now, and the two catering jobs upcoming. I am under alot of stress, but i have NOT been handling it well. Yes, there have been times in my life when i've handled stress well, but they are in the minority.

My tendency is to procrastinate, and reach for outside stimulation (food) to calm myself. It's been a lifelong pattern.

Oddly, or not so oddly, everyone i seemed to come into contact with, sympathized with the stresses I'm under and suggested 'transitioning' as a way of practically dealing with my diet and guiding myself away from binge eating. Yes, looking back over the last few days, I just see influence after influence, different people all with the same message, amazing. And i see that I took right action, that i've been meditating, that i've been reaching out for more support. Somehow through all of this, relapse took a back seat, and i released a lot of weight.

So, yes, I've been TRANSITIONING. Arnold's daughter, Maya, suggested it first when i told her how awful my binge eating had become. "Why don't you just eat a transition diet for a while?," she suggested. It made sense. I didn't have to go raw cold turkey. I didn't have to be fearful i'd fall off and continue binge eating. I could begin a new phase called 'transition' and just let that be. And let that lead me, one day at a time.

I know instinctually from my dieting history, and also from what i've read at Arnold's Way that transitioning means healthy cooked: steamed veggies, brown rice, potatoes, cooked beans, low fat.

In my mind, it would be one meal a day, the last, as i've been making my mother. If it's good for her, why shouldn't it be good for me?

It made so much sense to me, right to my core.

I had been eating raw BADLY for 5 weeks here at home with my mom, lots of high fat stuff, binge eating on Brad's Raw Chips and endless dehydrated snack foods, eating anytime i 'wanted'....that meant...ALL DAY; anytime i THOUGHT of eating, snacking continuously. At least it was raw, but, it was driven compulsively. Not only was that seriously expensive, it wasn't doing my waistline or mental or emotional state any good. And when i fell off the wagon and binged on cooked food, the compulsive behavior i had been allowing on raw, continued on cooked. I felt unstoppable really bad...even eating fish for the first time in over 3 years, really pushing the limits. And the more i gained, the more scared i got.

Okay. So what to do now? In my mind, the choices were: Go on 80-10-10 or go low fat cooked.

80-10-10 cold turkey seemed and felt IMPOSSIBLE at that point. It's really hard for regular raw folks to do. It's ALL the way up there with IDEAL diets. How could i jump from horrendous to ideal? The jump seemed too big.

And i started to realize the binge eating was more emotionally and mentally based...than physically driven.

That's when all of these influences started happening.

I spent time with Susan Aman, my catering partner. Susan prescribes for her personal clients a similar approach to going raw - transitioning. She prescribes green smoothies, fruit and salads during the day, and vegan cooked dinners with fruit snacks in between. So...wise. This is the same plan millions of people get rid of cancer with Hallelujah Acres.

As a matter of fact, I ran into one of Susan's clients at Arnold's Way, Suzanne, who is looking FABULOUS using this transition diet. If she can transition, why can't i?

And i spoke with Maya. And I spent time with Colin, who has such an amazing outlook on food, recognizing that God will provide for us. His peace around food's abundant availability was profoundly influential. Colin does not eat all raw.

Suddenly, this message of 'transition' i was receiving from several sources felt like this wonderful heavenly place, a soft cushion, a pillow, an inbetween soft spot...between white knuckling raw and out of control binge eating. It seemed like the perfect place to rest, to relax, and to just let myself be. It's obvious i LIKE cooked food. Allowing myself to eat it, in a healthful manner, started to make sense. It's so CALMING to know...after binge eating voraciously on cooked, that i can allow myself that padding to have a cooked vegan dinner. Mentally, it's extremely, extremely calming. I don't have to WORRY about binge eating now. I can't explain it any better, but alot of the worry has been lifted.

Consequently, over the last few days, i've managed to NOT eat compulsively. The obsession has been lifted. Maybe the meditation????? I've been eating when i'm hungry, smoothies and fruit and salads during the day. And then for dinners, brown rice and tofu and steamed veggies, or roasted veggies and potatoes. It's not only been calming, it's been quite enjoyable.

And i lost over 16 lbs of water retention. That filet 'o fish really blew me up.

So.....needless to say, I'm EXTREMELY encouraged. And i'll continue on this path for today. It's not even so much about weight loss, i feel mentally and emotionally calmed, and that feels good.

Getting over one opera performance has helped to ease the stress, also.

P.S. I just had a talk with my mom and she agreed to wait a week or two before booking her surgery. I think all of this is emotionally precipitated. The Yahrzeit (anniversary of a death) of her first son is this week. He was killed accidentally crossing the street when he was 4 years old. I think it is not coincidental that she wants the surgery now. People in my family unknowingly opt for feeling physical pain as a substitute for allowing themselves to feel their emotional pain. It's how i was raised and it's no wonder i do the same.

xoxo michelle joy

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