Monday, July 19, 2010


Hiya Folks,

Long time no see!

Cliff and I were in NY State for a few days. My cousin got married. Mazel Tov, Marla and Steven!

What's super amazing is that even though i'm eating some cooked food - there was ZERO binge eating this weekend! And zero feelings of "condemnation" (or "beating myself up" in compulsive eater's lingo).

I sampled vegetarian cooked hors d'oeuvres & cooked desserts at the wedding, but I paid attention...took one bite, decided if it made a YES in my mouth/stomach, and discarded the rest if it didn't. I ate sparingly of those items, and my main course was salad and fruit that i had pre-ordered.

At the family dinner we enjoyed the evening prior to the reception, i sampled some hors d'oevres as well - a bite of eggplant parm, a small peice of garlic bread, a bite of breaded mozzerella, but ordered lightly - salad with walnuts and cranberries and a veggie handroll and brown rice. I took a bite of canolli and it didn't wow me, so i didn't finish it.

I feel completely grounded in this new way of being/eating that i learned about in Diane Hampton's book, "The Diet Alternative," where i don't see ANY FOOD as the enemy, but the spirit of gluttony (S.O.G.) within me as the enemy.

The spirit of GLUTTONY is something that's been alive in me my whole life as far as i can remember...GROWING, GAINING STRENGTH...I wasn't aware of it until just recently reading DIANE HAMPTON'S BOOK, "THE DIET ALTERNATIVE."

The S.O.G. is the FORCE that DRIVES you to EAT when you are TIRED or SAD or ANGRY or BORED or FEELING OUT OF CONTROL or FRUSTRATED or EVEN HAPPY or ANXIOUS or WORRIED or LONELY or HORNY or ALONE or TEMPTED or FRIGHTENED (ANY DIFFICULT FEELING)...INSTEAD just "sitting with it" and TURNING TO GOD (or Your Higher Power) to help you deal with it.

I've learned I'm a SPIRITUAL BEING who is HUNGRY FOR THAT CONNECTION, and in just feeling the feelings and TURNING TO GOD, the S.O.G. WITHERS AWAY AND DIES...

Any time we turn to FOOD for the wrong reason, we awaken the S.O.G. and we're off and running again. Soon, it is working as strong as ever, and IT'S in control of our lives, again.

As long as i 1) stay in contact with God 2) eat when i'm hungry 3) stay connected to my body's desires/responses 4) eat what i want 5) fast pre-decided meals daily 5) don't allow negative voices afterwards, i don't binge! Hallelujah!!!

God, this is true freedom.

I finally realize that it's NOT raw food that stops binge eating. It's not counting calories. It's not eating low fat. It's not staying away from gourmet raw. It's not that cooked food is addictive. It's not that i'm insatiable. It's not that i'm a food addict.

It's that the S.O.G. was alive and well inside of me.

I'm taking measures daily now to turn that off, for good.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And, I love raw food! I am eating a good amount of it, because i WANT it!

We brought a huge cooler on the trip packed with fruit, and i had watermelon for breakfast every morning and fruit snacks all day, until eating my cooked meal, later.

Some days i ate cooked food more than once a day, but it didn't produce a binge.

The binge eating is gone. I'm OVER it.

One day at a time.

~ ~ ~ ~

So, I'm enjoying Geneen Roth's book, "Women Food & God" more and more.

It's getting more and more practicle. The first few chapters I was like, "Whuh???"

She's been speaking of meditation now and body consciousness, and not judging our feelings, but inhabiting them.

She's speaking of not believing the "stories" we tell ourselves... Like we're no good or no one could ever love us, or that feelings are too intense to be felt or that we might die if we feel them.

She asks us to challenge our beliefs...but first we have to discover what our beliefs are.

One night on our trip, at the hotel, I learned I had a belief that feeling dissappointed and neglected was too much to bear.

I really wanted to eat.

Cliff was not feeling well, he hadn't slept well the night before due to a late family dinner with the wedding party and the unfamiliar hotel bed, etc..., and he fell asleep at 6:30p.m., leaving me feeling really bored and thinking of food while watching TV in the dark in the hotel room while he snored away.

I stopped listening to the voices in my head that said i had an avocado in the fridge and muffins and yogurt and potato salad. Instead, I sat with my feelings. I realized i felt lonely and dissappointed and a bit neglected.

On're not supposed to feel lonely and neglected.

I cried, instead of eating. I wiped away the tears as i flipped channels. I felt sorry for myself. I heard a voice say, "No one will ever love you like you need to be loved. No one will ever pay you the attention you need."

I wiped away the tears and started to feel bad for Cliff instead of focus on how neglected I felt. Cliff was just TIRED. Cut the guy a BREAK.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Roth says the negative voices or "stories" we hear in our heads...come FROM "US."

Hampton, in "The Diet Alternative," says the negative voice comes from SATAN.

Wherever they come from, both authors agree we shouldn't listen to them.

I wholeheartedly agree!!

These voices have ruled my life!!!

What a JOY it is to live without listening to the voice that says I'm shit or I fucked up already so i might as well eat the whole thing or that i'm unworthy of being loved or that i'll never feel cared for like I need to.

Soon again, i felt loved, snuggling up to Cliffy in bed later, stroking his hair, comforting him. No one likes to feel shitty on vacation from lack of sleep.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I felt pretty good about myself at the wedding. Though i've gained weight, i'm learning from Roth that my body is not 'me.' I'm much more than my body. And much more than the negative things i believe about my body, or what the voices tell me about it. My body may be a little heavier, but that's no reflection on me or how worthy i am as a human being.

That's a revelation to finally realize that.

No, I'm a spirit.

I'm emotion.

I'm intellect.

I'm talent.

I'm unique.

I'm ME.

5o lbs heavier...or 5o lbs lighter. My weight doesn't determine my worth anymore.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Who are you? You are MORE than what you weigh.

~ ~ ~ ~

Did i say I'm emotional?

Uy, I cried a good bit at the wedding. I'm such a softie.

I missed my mom, who is still in the hospital.

And I imagined i was at my own wedding, which Cliff and I will have some day soon after my mom recovers. Everything touching just made me so emotional. I imagined my mom dancing the Hora at my wedding. Will they be able to lift me on the chair like they do all jewish brides? Will we all dance the Hora together? What song will Cliff and I pick to dance to? Everything made me cry. The flood gates just opened again and again...

After the wedding, I told Cliff that I felt depressed and sad and didn't know why.

I felt like eating again, but i asked myself to inhabit the feeling. I sat with it.

The feeling said i was scared about mom, scared she wouldn't recover, and that I was dissappointed with my own life. We don't have much money, or a nice house. And i felt sad that we don't have the money to make a reception like my cousin's.

My cousin married into a very wealthy family and it was some extravaganza! Ice sculpures and unbelievable enormous floral arrangements and an open bar and every imaginable hor d'oeuvre and carving stations and shellfish (it wasn't a kosher wedding) at a cocktail buffet, plus a dessert buffet with 10,000 different kinds of desserts. A real FIRST CLASS NY Wedding. Cliff and i won't be able to have a wedding reception like that, and i felt sad. And sad that we don't have a nice home or high paying jobs.

So, i cried again. And he held me and stroked my cheek.

~ ~ ~ ~

Later, i felt glad again.

Cliff and I took a marvelous swim in the hotel pool and it made up for feeling sad and shitty. Playing together, frolicking and playing racing games, kissing and hugging and laughing and splashing and having so much fun. Then we took a shower together afterwards, and all was happy-happy intimacy and cuddling then. I didn't feel neglected anymore.

~ ~ ~

Hopefully we can get our acts together and make some money, so we can enjoy nice things like nice weddings and nice houses.

But, for today, it's just incredible that i can feel those kinds of 'unpleasant' feelings/sad realizations about my life or fears about my mom's recovery...., but NOT eat over them.

Ya know, FEEL my feelings, like normal people do.

This is true healing. And the beginning of a new exciting promising period in my life.

xoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Karen said...

Hi Michelle - I have to get these two books you've been telling us about. I'm so happy you are doing so well feeling the feelings without eating - that's my big stumbling block, over and over and over because they do feel so excruciating, and even though I know I won't die feeling them, they sometimes make me want to die. You continue to be an inspiration to me. I'm still in L.A., hanging out with my mom, who is doing pretty well, thank goodness. I'll be back in the Philly area on Aug 7. Best wishes and love from Karen