Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Good Morning,

On this dreary grey day in Manayunk...

How are you? Hope you are doing well today.

I'm not feeling too swift, though i'm "doing" well.

Cliff is away. I'm lonely. I'm depressed.

Very, very emotional.

Lots going on. I'm planning for concerts coming up. It's a stressful process. I need to kind of "turn it all over," you know, to a Higher Power, to God, like Anonymous Program people talk about. I need to kind of pull myself out of the muck and mire, and trust.

Anyway, I've been on "BANANA ISLAND" for about 2.5 weeks now, and it is forcing an EMOTIONAL DETOX. Lots of crying.

The diet is also forcing a very fast weight loss. I've broken 300 lbs, weighing in at 299 3/4, and have lost nearly 30 lbs in a little over 2 weeks. That's like kinda nuts and wonderful all in one. How can a person lose weight that fast? It's mostly water. I'm not eating any salt.

My face looks like me again. Can you imagine just less than 18 days ago, i was, what, at least 1 or 2 clothing sizes BIGGER??? My bras and underwear were cutting into me and I felt like the Michelin Man.

I got that way by out of control binge eating on cooked vegetarian food. I couldn't stop. So, i've turned to the almost complete and utter deprivation of BANANA Island, under the guidance of Dr. Douglas Graham (Dr. D) of to save me from myself, from my out of control drives for food. For the first week of the Island, i ate only bananas, and water. Week two, celery was added in, and week three, i can have all of the lettuce i want, in addition to the bananas and celery.

I honestly had gotten so out of hand 3 weeks ago, i didn't know where to turn. Over the last problematic 9 months, I tried Weight Watchers for a week, eating one cooked meal a day, working with an almost-raw coach to learn to "live" with cooked food and STOP BINGE EATING.

No success. Nothing felt right. Nothing worked long term...for more than a few days.

So, i landed myself, in a big way, back to what worked for me last summer - 80-10-10. Banana Island is meant to be an Oasis of rest. A rest on the digestion. A rest from out of control behavior. And a new start to a new way of life.

Last summer, i reached my lowest raw weight of 249 and stopped binge eating while practicing 80-10-10. The lack of stimulants (salt, fat) seemed to really help me control myself, AND my weight, and it forced a return to eating purely to address hunger. It felt difficult to do, but the rewards were GREAT, and i looked great.

Dr. D, who wrote the book, "80-10-10," agreed to coach me when I approached him (by email) about 3 weeks ago. But he agreed on one condition. That i coach with him for no less than 3 months. A big problem deserves constant attention. I agreed, and felt supported totally, for the first time in all these long 9 months. I really needed a strong coach, and found one. Dr. D means business.

I must say, in the 2.5 weeks i've been back on 80-10-10, the plan is definitely working. I'm losing weight almost daily, I'm not binge eating any longer, my hunger is definitely satiated. And I'm actually discovering the reasons i DO binge eat. They are right under my nose. I am FEELING them.

Here's a recent chat I had with Dr. D. I like to share these chats in the hopes that something Dr. D says, or something I'm going through will strike a chord with you. My aim is to share my struggles AND my joys, so that someone else might be educated, enlightened, or inspired...or just feel like there's someone else out there in the world who does the same crazy things... Believe me, if you struggle with food, i understand.

We can all support each other.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hi Dr. D,

Br: Army green banana whip (6 bananas and a handful of red leaf lettuce, a little water, in vitamix) This was delicious!! I'm going to experiment with how much lettuce i get jam in it before i don't like the way it tastes!

Ln: Army green banana whip (7 bananas and twice as much lettuce as earlier) - still yummy!
Sn: 1 stalk celery

Dn: Army green banana whip (5 bananas with lettuce)

MJ: Emotionally, i'm feeling very bad. I'm definitely going through an emotional detox. I'm crying. I'm depressed. Sorry, i need to vent - unload.

DR D: Good for you. Let it flow through you. Have each emotion, and welcome the next. They typically come in rapid succession, if you let them pass unimpeded.

MJ: I'm concerned sincerely about money. My credit card lowered my credit limit just today, they sent a letter, although i always pay on time. And i'm nearing the end of my cash, with bills, and you to pay. My mother said she would help me, but i can't help but feel badly about being in this situation without work and out of money.

DR D: 1) Take your mom's help. Nothing feels better than giving. Let her give by accepting with grace. 2) Don't worry, there is no point. 3) They didn't lower YOUR credit limit, they lowered everyone's, worldwide.

MJ: My fiance, Cliff, is on a motorcycle trip and he's in Maine and his bike broke down. He had to call AAA and have the bike towed. He's waiting for a part. This, of course, causes me concern. Also, i'm alone at home. And i have a mouse in the kitchen. I don't know how to set the traps i just bought and i'm in the kitchen crying.

When i drove to the market, i passed the chinese restaurant and pizza restaurant i used to binge at. What a pull i have to these places, yet i resist, though it pains me.

DR D: Every door that closes opens hundreds of new ones.

MJ: I'm feeling in severe need of comfort....and am not feeding "the monster," (my enormous appetite for excitotoxic food), so i just feel raw and vulnerable and cry and cry. I'm just having a tough time and i know it will get better.

DR D: Every "friend" that you say goodbye to opens opportunities for you to meet many new friends.

MJ: I bought some Johnson's Baby Wash to take a bath with. It just jumped out at me at the market because i thought it would be comforting. It dawns on me that I think my parents were very poor at comforting i turned to food for self soothing, and have been practicing it ever since. Now, without cooked food, and without ANY distracting stimulating food at all, i'm just left to feel bad. I can't distract myself from what's brewing in me, like i usually do with pizza, with this, with that... I remember you saying that we as humans are fond of finding things to use/abuse as distractions in our lives.

DR D: Time to take a walk. I'll tell you what I have discovered. The times that it is most difficult to take excellent care of myself, the times when that is most challenging, that is when it is most important to do so, and most rewarding. You are faced with an opportunity to grow, here and now. Grab it with both hands, and you can take a quantum leap in health growth.

MJ: I know you want me to feel joy, but i can't right now.

DR D: You say it and it is so.

MJ: I'm sure I will. I do what i'm supposed to regarding the diet. I enjoy my meals and feel joy then. And then i feel badly in between. I just think alot is "coming up" for me.

DR D: Agreed.

MJ: Being at the hospital daily and being a good nurse to my mom makes me wonder if i should become a nurse, so i could have a good income. Then my singing teacher today said i have the voice for a career 'without a doubt,' but i have to get used to singing with freedom and not controlling with my tensions and misuse of my muscles. This frightens me because I have to sing in the festival on Saturday, and obviously, i STRIVE to do EXCELLENTLY, professional-level. But i'm stressed and strained in the throat from practicing incorrectly using the wrong approach. I always come to a certain point with things...and then question... "Where do i want to spend my energy? Is it really worth it to spend my energy here?"

I'm just unloading....i'm sorry if this is a mish mosh. It's just EVERYTHING. LIFE. Life, truly dealing with life, is harder to manage without binge eating, although i know that's foolish to even SAY that. Binge eating caused me ENORMOUS stress.

I do a great deal of avoiding when i am binge eating, so in that way, it serves it's purpose and i miss it. I seem to be confronting my issues now. And feeling the pain of it.

DR D: Life poses endless growth opportunities. Mark Twain said, "life is just one damned thing after another." Apt, eh?

MJ: I know it will get better.

DR D: It always does.

MJ: Do you have other people go through tough emotional times when they start the diet and work with you, or is it only me?

DR D: Everyone.

MJ: I'm pretty sure that people who face addictions with food or drugs or alcohol, underlying all of that, people often have deep seated psychological issues, deep-seated pain, deep-seated issues they've repressed..., and they've been medicating themselves, basically. All of a sudden, i feel my credit/financial issues, i feel the loss of never having had a child, i feel the regret of time passing and so much undone... So, now, off of the drug..., (food is my drug), I'm feeling...I'm feeling.....i'm feeling it all.

Raw is not always bliss and joy, but an uncovering of pain.

DR D: Life is not always bliss and joy. If it was, you wouldn't recognize it as such. You need the other side for perspective, if nothing else.

MJ: Is that any less valid an experience? I've heard it's best just to go through it...and eventually you come out the other side.

Physically, I'm okay, good, okay. I'm dragging, but it's more emotional. I have energy, i just don't want to use it. I'm struggling with wanting to exercise. It's been a few days since i've walked. I know exercise alleviates depression, i just don't FEEL like it. I need to push myself. I know exercise makes me feel good. And feeling good would feel better than feeling bad.

DR D: For sure. One step at a time. Earn your health.

xoxo michelle joy


Cosmic said...

Auspiciously-healthy signs of detox / healing for sure, Michelle1

My! My! you're looking beautiful these days!


Anonymous said...

Hey Cosmic,

Really great to hear from you! Thanks so much for the support! (I'm having some issues with the blog leaving comments, so i'm listed under anonymous, but it's me). Thanks for the compliment, but that's an old picture from last summer! xoxo michelle joy

bindi said...

Hi, I need some motivation, I've been on a healthy eating plan for the last 11 weeks and my physical and fitness has changed alot - feel younger, fitter and skin is more brighter. I've been doing a 2/3 detox for the last 11 weeks, but I find after 3rd day I start eating slowly and sensibly but when I see my husband eating junk, I want to join in and then feel very guilty emotional.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bindi, thanks for your comment. (This is Michelle joy. I have to answer as anonymous for some reason, otherwise my comments don't go through.) I hope you find the motivation that you need! I'll try to help if i can. I'm not sure which kind of motivation you are looking for. Do you want to feel less guilt and still eat the junk, or do you want to stop eating the junk? One suggestion might be to join him in eating the junk, but resist the guilty feeling afterwards. This is called legalizing food, making every food "ok" and "allowed" and letting your BODY determine what it likes and wants. Most eating disorder therapists steer their clients in this direction and it works for a lot of people. On this route, you really tune in, taste and savor the food. You may like it or you may realize, 'why am i eating this, i don't even want it!' and push it away. You can also ask yourself why you feel guilty. Is it because you went off of your diet, or because of something else? Listen to the guilt. Do some writing. Analyze it. This type of work doesn't work for everyone, but does for a lot of people. If you want to focus on being more healthy in your food choices, another suggestion might be to watch that feeling of DESIRE in you to join in, and run from it, go do something else, resist, pray, meditate, stay the course on your healthy eating plan. Go knit or do something with your hands. This would be considered behavior modifiation. This works for a lot of people. There is also the addiction model. Junk food, if you mean potato chips and candy, can be very addictive, especially if you relate to the addict perspective. In that case, you would want to abstain from the junk and perhaps all sugar, but maybe still join your husband, but take yourself a healthy snack, grapes or raisins. You'll both be eating and spending time together and you will be sticking to a healthy food plan and will soon realize that the grapes taste delicious and maybe you just wanted to be with your husband. Those are the suggestions i can think of. Whichever direction you chose to go, it will take some committment and focus. Bravo on the success you've had over the last 11 weeks and I'm wishing you more of it! xoxo michelle joy

Kimberly Achelis Hoggan said...

Thank you for sharing this