Sunday, September 5, 2010


Sorry this is so long. Sometimes i just have to get it all out.

Morning, Dr D,

Thank you for your response. I'm sorry this is extremely long. I needed to write this all out.

I was talking with Cliff last night about everything that was bothering me emotionally, as usually an emotional overload of feelings that i don't know what to do with precipitate a binge. I was indeed feeling out of control in my life yesterday, which led to out of control eating as a substitute expression. I've learned this much.

After I wrote my report, i ate more cooked food last night. Steamed spinach with salsa, 1/2 cup rice with peas, 1 very small peice of baguette with butter, 2 mouthful spaghetti with veggies.

The binge reflex, unfortunately, is something which is exacerbated by "dieting" and feeling deprived, which i felt ALOT of yesterday. When one is feeling intensely ravenously hungry and doesn't feel there is a viable solution in mind...things can go from bad to worse. I didn't feel like the dinner i had at my mom's (raw veggies and beans and dressing) was so terrible, though i acknowledge it was not an 80-10-10 meal, it was still relatively healthy in SAD terms. When i ate more later, it was then definitely a binge. Earlier it may have been a poor choice for 811, but it was a meal. Later, my head planning a binge, all of those foods one has deprived themselves of suddenly appear interesting. I said to myself, "I'll get back on track tomorrow, so I'd better get the good stuff now while i can before i go back on my diet tomorrow." This is obviously disordered thinking, but i acknowledge i have an eating disorder. This is just a desciption of what happens to me.

A full overview of what occured is important for me to flesh out. I'm including it in case you are interested.

I awoke very hungry and knowing i'd be in a long challenging rehearsal, so i had bananas for bkfast instead of melon. During the long 4 hour rehearsal, i felt intense waves of hunger, which were very distressing because i had eaten the 8 bananas and spinach and hoped they would hold me all morning.

After the rehearsal, i was HUNGRY. I headed to Whole Foods for fruit for lunch as i had forgot to pack that morning. I had been craving oranges the day before, so I headed towards oranges, though what i really felt like i wanted was a BIG salad. Then i said to myself - 'salad is supposed to be after dinner.' I felt irritated at the rules that went against what i wanted, something that was a natural desire i would have liked to satisfy.

So I bought 6 oranges thinking that would be enough. They were big. I ate one in the car.

I arrived at my moms and sitting with everyone at lunch, i ate 3 more. I was self conscious eating oranges, but i minded my own business. Usually i share fruit when i bring alot, but i only had 6. Starving, i wasn't about to share any. I at the 3 and had no feeling of satiation. I was so irritatingly hungry. I ate 2 more when everyone else left the dining area and my mom was chatting with other rehabbers.

The oranges didn't satisfy me.

I felt absolutely miserable, overly-hungry, and emotionally, very VERY poorly. I felt dejected from my rehearsal that went dissappointingly. Physically, i felt awful. My stomach growling and my throat, sore, my body, incredibly tense. After the rehearsal, I felt a large sense of failure. I could not accomplish free singing (i was 'verklempt,' (stuck) in my throat), and on top of that, felt conflict with my accompanist and alot of pressure coming from him. We have a big performance in Virginia on Sunday.

Still hungry, the last thing i wanted was more oranges to complete the meal, but i didn't have anymore, already at my mothers rehab. I was in a pickle - not satisfied, no other fruit with me, and the angry feeling of being in a box where i'm supposed to only eat mono meals. Why aren't these oranges filling me? How am i supposed to eat more oranges now?

I'd forgotten earlier at whole foods that i was 'supposed' to eat bananas for lunch. I had eaten bananas for breakfast. Had i remembered, i'd probably have been much happier, because i 'know' bananas are satiating and about how many it takes to satiate me for a meal. I was angry at oranges that they didn't, and annoyed that everything on my mothers lunch plate looked appealing. i was so hungry.

My mother asked if i wanted a banana, which she had in the room. Sulking, I answered, "i can't. I'm not allowed. i just ate oranges. i can't mix fruits.'

I was really p.o.'d. Starving and out of food is not a good place to be. And her banana was only a tiny one anyway and wouldn't have satisfied much.

Cliff and i headed out to a roadside fruit stand. (I forgot to report earlier) I decided to have 2 ears of corn raw. I knew i wasn't supposed to, because corn is "too fatty and starchy and hard to digest for weight loss," but also I knew that corn would fill me. At this point, I was feeling still very hungry and that's all that mattered in my mind. Forget about losing weight right now, i need to EAT.

(They had bananas there, overripe ones, so they didn't even appeal to me. It never occured to me to eat any.) Even after the 2 small cobs, i was not satisfied. I told Cliff i'd have more corn when we arrived at my Dad's.

Also, i was overtired. I had been up since 4 in the morning, and had a 4 hour singing rehearsal, and still hungry because 5 oranges and 2 corns did nothing basically to kill the hunger. Extremely overtired and in pain in my throat from singing poorly, hungry, I was in a bad way.

We arrived at my father's house. The fridge was shockingly bare. Cliff had left the produce we bought in the car. I didn't feel like walking out to the car. I was going to make due with what was in the fridge. I went on automatic pilot. I made a salad i would have felt no guilt for in my regular raw days. It felt like the "best choice" I could make under the circumstances.

I made a salad of fresh cucumber and tomato with oil and vinegar. I knew oil was verboten but figured it would cut the hunger and vinegar is also verboten, cooked, but i like it and didn't much care about rules at that point.

The measly salad actually did ZILCH to take away the hunger even though i expected it to. I needed volume.

I knew it was wrong, but at that point i was sick of feeling everything was wrong and sick of having someone else living in my head telling me what to do and sick of being hungry all day. I saw canned beans, knew they would fill me, recognized that they were not a terribly unhealthy food, and decided affirmatively. I ate too cans, well drained.

Finally, i was full.

I acknowledge what i ate that was not 811, but, I was in a crisis and lost. I did the best i could. Sure, i could have done better. I could have walked out to the car and eaten the rest of the corn. But, that was also verboten.

Everything was verboten.

I decided to do what i wanted, within reason.

Talking to Cliff last night, I realized that i had been feeling out of control in my life, in many areas. In one, with you concerning my exercise. I had been annoyed that you'd asked about how far i'm walking. "oh god, here we go again,' i felt like. I remember feeling that way when you asked something similar the last time i started walking. i felt like, 'As soon as i feel like i'm getting ahead, making progress on my own, walking longer distances just because i want to, i'm getting asked to do more, push more.' i was now feeling pushed by you to do more or faster or longer and i was upset...just by your asking about how far i walked. i felt like, 'Can't i just walk and enjoy myself and get used to THAT? Can't i push myself instead of having you push me? i know you are a sports person, but i am a person who struggles with just walking every day and maintaining a daily schedule. I will tend to jump ship if i feel overwhelmed. I'm already feeling overwhelmed by just you asking me how long of a distance in that 45 mins i was walking. Does it really matter? Not to me it doesn't. Just the sheer act of getting out there and doing it is all that matters to me. You want distances because you want to see how fast i am going. I felt like saying - it's none of your business. I go at the pace that feels comfortable to me. Sometimes i walk fast, sometimes i walk as fast as i can, which may be slower. I'm in charge, not you.'

That's what i felt like saying, but have a hard time with conflict, with feeling a right to my feelings. I didn't really know i felt that at the time, or knew, but was afriad to say it. I'm working with a coach, afterall. Coaches push.

In reference to watermelon island, I don't think yesterday was a reaction wholely to being worried about watermelon island, although it may have played a part in feeling out of control.

I felt out of control about alot of things - The email i received that morning asking how far i walked... then i had a rehearsal where my music partner really pushed me. i didn't feel it was my right to say, 'hey, i'm feeling uncomfortable here. my throat hurts. i need to stop singing.' or 'why don't you follow me, you're the accompanist. i'm the one who is supposed to lead, not you.' I left the rehearsal very upset at my accompanist but it all manifested as pain in my throat from singing poorly. i was tense. i was upset. I was also ill prepared for the rehearsal. who could sing beautifully under those conditions? i'm not aware enough of myself to recognize these things yet in the minute they are happeneing and to address them. I thought i was prepared enough. I wasn't.

After the beans, i did feel better and i took a nap.

Later, at home, I cried to cliff that i screwed up, but it was more than that. I talked about my bad rehearsal and about my new voice teacher, how demanding she is, and that she's on vacation and i feel abandoned. i'm left without guidance to screw up on my own. She has also been pushing me to do things her way. The problem is, i'm not skilled enough to do things her way yet on my own. I try. But i fail. Miserably, sometimes. Othertimes, i have great success. Yesterday, i failed miserably.

I felt the same was true yesterday with the diet. I tried, i did. But i failed.

I'd mentioned to you feeling banana island was easier than 'opening the food doors' yesterday. Yes, it was. 5 oranges did not satiate a very overly hungry person and i didn't want 20 of them. I was not experienced enough an 811er yesterday to make it through a very emotional, very hungry, very tired day. I failed.

Cliff and i sat down to watch TV later. It had been at least 4 hours since my beans meal. I was hungry again. 'Now what do i do with that?, i thought to myself. I had two choices. i could eat fruit, or bananas, or i could eat cooked food.

At that point, i wanted to not feel deprived any longer. Eating beans with dressing was enjoyable.
I told Cliff, 'i'm making some steamed spinach, and i'll put some of that salsa i made on it.' Since he's not an 811er or even raw, that didn't sound too bad to him. And i had some leftover rice with peas. It was all very good, though i knew i was not doing 811, there i was eating cooked food again, and the act of rebellion got the binge ball rolling.

We watched TV, all the while, i was secretly planning what i was going to eat when Cliff went up to bed. "i'm not tired yet," i said, to be closer to the kitchen.

When he went up, i shot into the kitchen. I tore off a peice of baguette, slapped about 1 Tbsp of butter on it. Delish.

I took a spoonful of spaghetti with veggies and dished out a plate for myself.

I put 2 veggie burgers in the microwave.

I was planning a good time, a 'party in my mouth.'

Was i ever surpirsed when Cliff walked right in on me, caught in the act, with spaghetti hanging out of my mouth. Sheepishly, holding the plate of forbidden food, spagetti strands hanging out of my mouth, i said, "uh, hi."

He yelled, "i knew you were going to do this."

He knows my patterns. Knew i was upset earlier, that i was overtired, that i had eaten cooked food today after being on 811 for over a month. He knew.

Angry, Cliff threw what i'd fixed myself out, tied up the garbage bag, took it outside, and in a huff, said, "And you want me to feel sorry for you? Aren't you miserable enough? You have to do THAT to yourself?" And with a tsk tsk, he slammed the door, and left.

Eh, I'm grateful. It was for my own good.

I wasn't even emotionally upset anymore. It was more of an "opportunity" binge. I'd had the opportunity, alone, with food, and i'd opened the door with my rebellion earlier.

I'm grateful his stopping me helped me to not eat as many calories as i would have all night binge eating.

But, plain and simple, i'd had a bad day that i didn't handle well. Emotionally, it was too much for me to bear. Ravenously Hungry PLUS - Fear about the upcoming performance. Dissappointment at the bad rehearsal. Feeling out of control with my accompanist. Feeling starving and foodless. Feeling i'm being pushed to lose faster, faster!

I'd cried to my mother earlier, i'd cried to Cliff later, trying to talk it out, trying to get out really what was at the heart of bothering me. Cliff said it was time to establish control in my life again.

I agreed.

Time to tell Dr. D to please not push me in exercise at this delicate point. My reasoning: I'm just getting my feet firmly planted. i need a little time to just dig in before we go faster and longer. I want to say: please just let me take the lead on this.

Time to tell my accompanist that he needs to allow ME lead, even if i do something wrong, he is supposed to follow. that is the job of an accompanist. I will impart this when we meet.

Time to tell my singing teacher that i'm still feeling distressed about the new singing technique on my own. What do i do if i get into trouble like i did yesterday feeling so entirely cut off from my breath...? what is a technique i can employ when in trouble with my voice?

I also need to tell her I'm trying my best and please don't yell at me like at the last lesson and get frustrated with me like at the last lesson, i am trying my best. Please don't be so demanding. We've only been studying a few months together.

What does everyone want from me, perfection?? why have i attracted all of these people in my life who want perfection from me? I'm only human. I cannot be perfect.

i'm sorry this is long, i know you are busy working, but i'll answer below as best i can your comments from our last emails.

If you had been able to call me today, you wouldn't have been able to reach me. I was lecturing nonstop from 8-7. Now I start my workday on the computer. I will be teaching all day every day for the next 30 days. Sorry. Thank goodness for the internet.
It would help to be able to call someone when i'm in a crisis and can't trust myself to make the right decision. I'll just have to keep doing the best i can, which may not be good enough, but it is the best i can do with the skills i have today, when in a crisis on my own.

Tell you what, Michelle. Here we go again, you worrying about stuff that hasn't yet begun to happen.
I'd not been worrying about watermelon island that much until 2 days ago when i had alot of watermelon all day and kept feeling hungry, unable to get satiated. That was not encouraging about doing that for a week.

The next day, i'd weighed myself, knowing i've been exercising more and feeling like with all of that watermelon yesterday, i'm sure to have lost good this week. I only lost 1/2 lb all week. This is what i thought, "so much effort. so much deprivation. constant hunger. for a 1/2 lb. loss?" I felt discouraged.

And i'm supposed to do this hard thing, taking an igloo around with me everywhere and hauling a 20 lb watermelon with me wherever i go? it went all together in my head.

About worry - I suppose i do alot of it. No one said i wasn't emotionally disturbed. Dealing with a binge eater, you are dealing with a very emotionally disturbed person. I probably need a therapist at times more than i need a coach. I often have great difficulties managing my emotions without turning to food. Obviously.

And i've consulted a coach, whose job is to tell me everything i do is bad and i'm not good enough and to push more and yell at me. What, am i crazy?

Sometimes I just need a shoulder to cry on and for someone supportive to say, 'There, there, it's going to be okay. you had a bad day, but overall, you're doing great. i'm going to show you how to cope better through a difficult day. this is what you do if you feel overly hungry and in fear of a binge: a, b, c...'

Watermelon Island will be wonderful and joyous, and already you are worried.
it might be wonderful and joyous if i am home all day. if i have to leave and take an igloo, that will not be wonderful. I will have to keep the igloo in the car. How can i cart around a 20 lb watermelon filled igloo with me all day?

Any chance you could let me worry for you, since that is what you are paying me to do?
Speaking of paying, i paid the 500$ today. my mother gave me money.

I'll try to put 'worrying' out of my mind.

On the subject of watermelon, i think it is actually a poor time to start watermelon island this week, as i have a concert in virginia and will be staying at someone else's house possibly starting saturday.

Staying at someone's house has also been worrying me how i will cope with food staying there. I've even thought it might be better for me to just get a motel room, instead, so i can do what i need to do, eat what i want, and not have to worry what other people think.

Concerning worry: I prefer to think of myself as 'concerned' and needing to be 'proactive' and 'plan' what i will do and discuss it....instead of 'worrying.' I think i have to know what i'm going to do and how i'm going to do it. Instead of judging the worry as bad, please read into the situation and see that i need guidance.

I really hope you feel better soon, but lemme tell you, eating what you had for dinner isn't gonna cut it.
What i ate at my dad's house was not 811, but it was also not a cheese burger and fries.

Is it really that hard to eat a banana?
You can do better, I know you can.
Actually, eating a banana is not hard as long as they are ripe like i like them and that i feel they are allowed. Yesterday, after the oranges, i felt like i wasn't allowed due to the mono meal concept and keep eating within a meal. At that point, i felt frustrated for being boxed in. I should have just blurred the lines myself. I suppose i should have just gotten a bunch of bananas or eaten all of the corn, and made myself feel better, even if it was off plan - it would still a better 811 choice.

It was a crisis that i didn't not handle correctly for 811. I had allowed myself to become too vulnerable, not having enough food on hand, or enough choices on hand.

Yes, I know i can do better, too. But this 3 months of 811 for super quick weight loss seemed more challenging than i could accomplish yesterday.

Watermelon island is so i lose weight even faster, 7-10 lbs you said.

Now i feel pushed again, someone else is controlling me, they want me to lose quicker.

Concerning needing to take a breath - Every once in a while, a person feels like they need a break, especially when they are having a crisis and not handling it well. Bananas AFTER oranges could have worked. A salad with avo could have worked. More corn could have worked. All of it 'wrong' according to the plan, but i need options for desperate times.

So, please, please, if i SHOULD stray from the plan, what is the BEST way to do that? I think the way i handled yesterday was....dangerous, because of where it led. Cooked food (has turned to mean in MY disordered mind) = BINGE. That's abnormal and mentally ill, for starters, but i also need strategies to cope with a binge on 811.

I think i'd have been better off to just eat 6 ears of corn instead. Or an avocado. I've not had overt fats in 30+ days. (Even the diehard 811ers dove into the durian at the festival. And beleve me, they eat it more than 1x year.) In a time of crisis, when i'm not able to do well - what is my best course of action? Fail to plan, plan to fail. I'm talking about being realistic that i am human and a binge eater and prone to have problems from time to time. And it's better to find an OKAY solution that to go where i went yesteday.

What, you wanna see if you can fail yourself? You can. But it is gonna be costly.
This isn't a game.
I think it's not about failing. It's about succeeding under the circumstances of who i am and what i do. I never said it was a game.

This is 2 more months, at least, of living the way YOU see life should be lived, of eating the way YOU tell me to eat.

Yesterday this diet did NOT feel like something i could live with that day... i didn't feel like i had a strategy to cope with my hunger... And it certainly didn't feel like anything i could live with long term. i had gotten myself into an uncomfortable pickle - starving, most people would fail, without options of what to do in those cases. Options of how to go off within reason when i am overly hungry.

What i really wanted when i went to whole foods for oranges was a big big salad. it would have been great with 1/2 avo and lemon juice. i should have just said 'F this' and done that. it would have been preferable to what ended up happening with a cooked food binge.

And, as for binging anyway, it is a disorder and if i binge, i dont think i'm a failure. I'm trying. I'm working. I'm analyzing. I'm writing.

Binge eating is probably mostly psychological. Here i am trying to tackle it with the most strict diet on the face of the earth, and you are obviously not a Psychiatrist or Eating Disorders Therapist.

There are going to be days, maybe 1x a month, where i am going to feel like "i want to take a break." i'd like to be able to do that.

Re quick weight loss: What is the intense rush for weight loss for anyway? Yes, i'm often the one who wants it... 1/2 lb loss a week feels miserable after so much hard work, so much deprivation, but it is better to lose slowly and have a plan you can LIVE with, long term, that has SOME LEEWAY. Not one that is so strict you have to binge to take a break. I need a plan with more breaks, more BACKUP PLANS worked into it if i am going to last long term. Eating avo 1x a month, what would be so bad with that? on a nice big salad? That is still 811.

"Yes, but you won't lose like that," you say. Well, i won't lose if i binge either, which will probably happen anyway, if i don't have a realistic solution to fall back on in crisis.

It takes practice, and you will learn how to do it, just not in a day or a month. Keep eating volume, and it gets easier.
I'm obviously still struggling with volume-mono meal eating. This is the CRUX of what happened yesterday. Only it happened on a very vulnerable day.

What is the proper volume of oranges, 20? It's hard to think about eating oranges again. I was just too hungry.

So, I am looking to find out the distance that you walk. Any chance?
I do have a pedometer and can keep track that way. As a matter of a fact, i walked 2.9 miles today in about 45-50 mins i would say. But i'd rather not have you push me to do longer, faster at this point. Please just let me walk and have that be good enough.

Overall, please say you can help me figure BACK UP PLANS and please say you can come up with a WORST CASE SCENARIO of what i should eat in crisis. You will be helping me, believe me. It is better to sacrifice super fast weight loss to avoid a binge.

I came to you for weight loss, but also to stop binge eating. yesterday was not the way to cope. i need a strategy to avoid a binge. I allowed myself to get way too hungry yesterday. It would have been MUCH better to just eat an avocado, in my opinion.


xoxo michelle joy


Pat said...

Hey Michelle I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad day. I just wanted to send you some encouragement. The diet is hard I have been doing a modified version and it's still a bit of a struggle. So feel good about what you have done so far. One skill that works for me when I want to go off is Hot tea. I don't know if you are allowed tea, but any warm drink works. I go someplace and hide and sip my tea and try to meditate or pray. I ask God to help me make a decision that I won't regret later or I meditate on what is important to me and what I'm feeling. Sometimes I read about a good day and try to remember how good it felt when I stuck to the program that I designed for myself. The point is distraction and time to think before you react and eat something you shouldn't.
I can't say that I truly know all that you are feeling but pain is pain and we all have a vice to lean on when we have a bad day or a bad year for that matter.
Also I know he can be a jerk but he is making a good point when it comes to the walking. I have a client that I train that is 100lbs over weight and at some point you have to make some changes with the walking. Now I know that she is still feeling very proud of herself for walking period, but the point is I need some type of bench to know how to change her training in the future. Like you she freaked out when I asked and told me she was doing the best she could etc. etc., she felt like I wasn't giving her any credit for what she had been doing. She is walking in pain many days and I know that. The point is she paid me and asked me for help and I’m trying too but she has to stop trying to think for me. It's like hiring someone to do a job in your house and before he gets started you take some of his tools out of the tool box. I beg her to trust me and surrender at least for the time she signed up for.
So if I can offer a hand I would suggest you try and surrender. Reading your blog some days it seems you don't know your own strength you speak about your failure like it defines you. You are brillant with a great voice and a big heart. Why not focus on your strengths and put them to work. You have been on so many diets why not try taking the pieces from all of them that worked you. Not the food part so much but the emotional part.
Try watching the Youtube of the Dr G people who have been successful, I'm sure you already have but pick a favorite and book mark watch it when you need to.
I hope I didn't over step the blog rules with my feedback I just felt your pain through the computer screen plus you helped me with your blog. I was inspired by your thoughts about needing to be comfortable so I have been pushing myself. Today I had:
Watermelon for breakfast after my workout. ( Wanted a mango coconut smoothie w/almond milk)
Veggie juice, celery, cucumber and parsley for snack
Banana ice cream for lunch (without the aquave and nuts but still good)
Watermelon, raw hummus, raw cabbage and red lettuce for dinner (I felt like have chick pea chili and a piece of bread)
I have had energy all day and I feel good. So in the end it was worth it, when I felt a little sad about something I put on some music and danced.
I wish you a better day tomorrow and you will be in my prayers tonight .


Anonymous said...

Pat, It's Michelle Joy. For some reason, i have trouble commenting under my ID. You are such a dear sweetheart. Thank you for this very caring and concerned note. I really appreciate it. I'm going to keep truckin'...keep putting one foot in front of the other and get back on track, at least for the next two months while i work with Dr. D.
We were invited to a memorial day party today. I brought a lovely fruit platter, and did great for several hours, but things degraded later in the day when i chose to have a salad with vinaigrette on it. So ridiculous that i feel guilty now for salad with dressing, when before during my 3 years raw, i would have felt great about this choice. Soon, i went to town on the cooked vegetarian selections. Things went out of control pretty seriously.
Not sure if 811 is the ultimate answer for me. I think it's been useful to get back on track and lose weight quickly, that's for sure. I know i've been looking so great on 811 and feeling hopeful again. Now i've swung back to the "Ricardo" eating for pleasure. I know curing my eating disorder, i think, is not 811 or all-out eating whatever I want. I think it's somewhere in between, still. someday i'll figure it out. Maybe with a very raw-sympathetic Eating Disorder Therapist? Does anyone know anyone? But for the next two months, I'm paying to learn how to live as an 811er. Time to get back on track. Tea and meditation and prayer would be good for me, yes! And i do get it about the exercise. More and faster is always better, but emotionally, it's an adjustment, and kicking and screaming is a part of it. I've been submitting almost without fail for 34 days to Dr. D, but the program is so strict, there's no leeway. I don't think his program is something i could live with long-term, but it's certainly a learning experience. I'm glad i lost weight, but now, in 2 days, i've gained. Time to get back on track. I'm glad at least that the blog has been helpful for you. That's really wonderful. I'm glad my experience helps someone! Thanks for being there for me. Hugs, Michelle