After 8 days of not writing Dr. Graham, I finally wrote last night. I was in my car, driving, eating a filet'o fish sandwhich, after I had already eaten fries, a filled large container of Whole Foods hot buffet foods (macaroni and cheese, pasta alfredo, baked talapia, baked tofu)..., a small fruit tart, a quart of choclate milk, and shrimp spring rolls.
Earlier that day, I had had the best singing lesson in my life. I've been able to do what my teacher's been teaching me over the last few days, and my teacher was actually crying from the beauty of a note I sang, and she said later my voice is "extraordinary." Over the years, all of the teachers I have sung for have had similar reactions. Although I finally feel like I have found someone, Dolores, who can show me the way. I resisted her for so long. Dolores has a little birdy voice.
I felt so great, so confident after my lesson, so happy with myself and proud, I said, "F.U." to the world, walked my big fat bod proudly into the pizza shop and ordered. My attitude said, "I'm fat, so what? I love myself." I ate some pizza, paying attention, and potato chips and left that pizza shop on cloud 9. I had decided i wasn't going to binge anymore, that I was just going to eat meals when I was hungry, whatever I want, and just be happy.
In an hour, i felt awful, my energy crashed, depressed and no longer feeling fat and happy. I ended up at Whole Foods. I didn't even have the where-with-all to shop for my home and fiance'. I was like a druggie on a mission. I always choose the fattiest foods possible for binges.
Not full enoough, apparently, I pulled into Burger King.
Crying, driving down Rte 309, Filet 'o fish in hand, almost having an accident from the fish wrapper blocking my sight because i was eating when driving, I realized I was unintentionally trying to kill myself by eating. I couldn't go on like this. It was time to write...
D's replies are in bold.
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I succeeded in one thing over the last 8 days - gaining back everything i lost in the 35 days in a little bit over a week. It's an all time new record for me, gaining 40 lbs in a week. I weigh 330 again.
I feel for you, I really do. I can tell you this in all honesty, however.
There was never a prize fighter in the history of the sport that didn't get knocked down now and then.
The champions got back up.
Don't give up, Michelle.
I failed for 3 days on Watermelon island, falling off each day. I've been binge eating cooked non-stop. I can't keep going on like this.
I agree with you again.
I suppose I am a fat-addict and a cooked food addict. I can't trust the things i tell myself about food. They are all lies. I deceive myself.
And I agree with you again. I have seen this since the beginning, but some things you just HAVE to learn for yourself.
You are not alone. Coaches exist because coaches are needed. Do what the coach says, you succeed. Do things your way, you get what you get.
I didn't want to get back in touch with you.
Nobody does, but most do.
Fruitarianism frightens me.
Me too. I would never recommend it.
I was just looking for a quick fix, not to be fat free and on fruit for the rest of my life. "7-10 years," you said. 7-10 years????! You scared me.
I was just being honest with you. You think you can completely overcome your addictions more rapidly than that? You are lying to yourself if so.
No one has ever suggested that you should remain fat free or on just fruit for the rest of your life. Where did that idea come from?
A quick fix? For $20, I could give you a quick fix. For what you agreed to invest, and for 90 days, there is not even a hint of quick fix.
Yet, at this point, I don't know where else to turn. Your program seems ridiculously extreme, but i don't know what else to do, who else to turn to.
My program is ultra conservative, of your health.
I'm seriously struggling with trust in you. 'What do you know about eating disorders?,' i say to myself.
Nothing I didn't learn in medical school and since through 30 years of self-study on the subject, and then through the past 20 years of learning from my wife, who is an expert on the subject, from both sides of the coin, btw.
I've been angry at you.
Sure, direct the anger at me. :)
I don't take it personally.
Angry at the plan. Angry at the deprivation.
No deprivation in your program though. You can eat whatever you want, as much as you want, whenever you want.
Your way deprives you of health, any energy, a career, a life, and any potential pride you might develop in yourself.
Angry I was able to lose weight so many other times in my life including avocado and corn. The total and complete fat deprivation seems sadistic. The super rush to lose faster and faster seems sadistic as well. Especially in light of what i ate this last week. And especially in light of gaining everything back. How can something so extreme be good for me if i'm right back where i started from....because i wasn't able to maintain it?
Well, honestly, Michelle, you chose not to maintain it. You could have.
If you look back at your posts with me, you mentioned over a period of several days how you were reducing the amount of fruit you ate, for various reasons including not planning the ripening cycle properly, not bringing food with you when you went places, and several other things of that nature. You could see the binge coming, and so could I. Stuff like that happens.
So, you choose to do something about it, or not. You get to pay the price of health, or not.
I didn't even want to write you, but I can't go on one more day like this. And now i'm worried you won't get this and i won't hear from you tomorrow morning since you are lecturing.
How about you leave the worrying to me?
BTW, you think the binge helped your nutrition any?
You think you feel less deprived now?
Are you happier eating whatever you want?
I was angry you were less available by email. Angry i felt unsupported and abandoned in my worst crisis.
I have answered every email, promptly, in depth.
Perhaps you could tell me how or why you interpreted abandonment?
Nevertheless, today is the first day of the rest of my life. I must turn this around.
I agree yet again.
I find myself in the same boat.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I must commit to taking better care of myself, or suffer the consequences.
Did you wonder how i was this week? I was angry you never wrote to just check in and say, "hi, i'm concerned, i'm worried about you." I was angry at that, too. What am i, just a game? "Do this and if you don't, i don't give a fuck about you."
Interpret it any way you want. If you read the initial contacts I sent you, the "contract" to which you agreed, you will see that it says words to the effect that I will likely not initiate any email threads, but I will answer every email you send, as promptly as possible.
I'm really sad.
You know that old poster, "Lack of planning on your part does not make for an emergency on my part"?
I am here for you, but am not coming to your house. I am here for 100s of people daily. I work long and hard. I have a lot to do.
If you want to learn from me, I will give you my all. If you want to run the show, it's less successful for you, and less fun for all of us.
You can choose to enjoy this ride, or you can kick and scream and focus on eating all the wrong foods.
It remains your choice, Michelle.
I MUST play hardball with you, lovingly. I must be kind, but not dishonest with you.
You can count on me to be that way, kind and honest.
You might not like the truths I am teaching you, but I promise, the program works if you work it, better than any you have ever tried in your entire life.
I'm taking singing lessons with this new teacher and there was this bleak period where i felt like i couldn't sing anymore. I couldn't do things the old way and i wasn't skilled enough to do things the new way. But i stuck it out and i'm reeping the rewards. I'm succeeding.
I am proud of you, and happy for you that you see this, both about the practice and about yourself.
For 35 days i obeyed you and trusted you.
Well, Michelle, again, let's look at those 35 days a bit more closely. How many times did I ask you to stop being creative, to please just follow the program?
You did well, I am taking nothing from you, but I have seen folks toe the line "better."
I have seen folks fight the program, and seen folks embrace it. Those that fight, fail. Those that embrace, are thrilled with the results.
And then i broke. I lost it in the worst way. Kind of like that bleak period with my singing lessns. And I'm killing myself with food. Trying to operate the "old" way and finding i can't anymore. It doesn't work. But, the new way, i'm not skilled enough to acheive. And I don't understand, i'm hurt you don't even care abut me enough to ask how i'm doing. And now i'm coming back to you saying i've been mad at you and your program sucks and i don't even want to be a fruitarian, but will you please help me again?
I need you, Dr. Graham. I don't know where else to turn.
I understand the frustration you must feel. Tell you the truth, I felt the same way when these truths first hit me, and I realized that I needed to make drastic changes in my eating habits if I intended to remain congruent, happy, and healthy.
I really tried. You know i did. But i fucked up so royally now.
We all do, many times in life. Not a big deal, really.
If you want to succeed, you gotta eat enough fruit so that you don't binge. It's that simple.
And now i'm back to where i was. You know what? You know all of that discussion on fast weight loss? I really think that was a HUMONGOUS mistake. I need something i can maintain. I don't even want to talk about how much i want to lose anymore. I think that pushing for faster and faster weight loss and putting me on watermelon island to lose even quicker was a mistake.
My job is to help you reach your goals. I told you what I thought about them. I told you that this is a long-term job. I told you that fast weight loss is challenging, at best.
And, I am not looking to go back over old ground. Why bother? It doesn't get us moving forward.
Look where it got me. It was too much. Too rigid. Too extreme. What good is that if i can't follow through? And watermelon just feels too extreme. Too empty. Too not filling enough. My preference would be to get back on the bananas. It was much more practicle for me and i was able to accomplish it, carrying bananas around with me everywhere.
We have 1.5 months left. What do i do? How do i begin again?
Please say you are happy to hear from me even though i said rotten things the whole email.
I am much more than happy to hear from you. I am thrilled.
I just needed to put it out there, how I felt, but i'm ready to get back on track. I have no other choice at this point. Please say you will help me and please say that you will consider what i have written and not just treat me like i don't know what i'm talking about and that i'm trying to lead again. (I think that's a bunch of bull.) You once mentioned this was supposed to help me and meet my needs and not be your agenda. Please consider what i've written as my new desires. Quick weight loss is not it anymore.
Great. I will develop a plan and get it to you asap. Do you want to go back to Banana Island, even for a few days, or prefer not to?
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Thank you for your kind and caring reply. I'm happy you're happy to hear from me and happy to be starting up again. I'll answer your first email tonight.
I think bananas would be fine, easier, in fact, and practicle considering i have to work on Thursday at Arnolds Way and we have bananas out the wazoo there. It will make life easier.
I'll start in the A.M. Greens and banana or just banana?
xoxox michelle joy