Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th, 2010

Hi there,

I'm alive. Washington DC was not blown up by any terrorist bombings as we feared might happen while we visited there on Sept 11th. Sept 11th...was i crazy???

Luckily, it was a joy-filled day, one with much brotherly love in the air, and no hatred of any kind.

I'm writing from our hotel room in fabulous Vienna, Virginia, 10 minutes outside of DC, where Cliff and I visited the Holocaust Museum today (sooo powerful and moving), saw the Capital building, the White House, and downtown Washington.

We're in town for a concert I'm singing tomorrow in the Washington suburb of Vienna, Virginia. Very ritzy, affluent area.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Like many artists..., I struggle with substance abuse.

Not drugs. Food.

Physically, I'm feeling really lousy. Emotionally, i'm actually pretty good. I guess that's because i'm 'numbed.' Come to think of it, emotionally, i've been GREAT. Being the sick puppy i am, I actually enjoy numb better than the complete and utter vulnerability and emotional frailty the fat-free 811 cleansing created in me. It wasn't good for my singing, for one.

Oh, for sure, it TOTALLY took away my reflux laryngitis. But left me completely verklemmt in the throat. So, what was the use of that???? Fat is relaxing.

My food has been awful the last week.

After i fell off of 811 that day i was starved, things went down hill rapidly.

I don't like that i'm either ON or OFF of a program. I think THAT is a BIG BIG PART of the binge problem.

It's amazing how fast I can lose weight, and amazing just how quickly i gain it back. Just as I felt like "a different person" on 811, i sure feel like a "different" person one week later binge eating on cooked. On 811, i felt like a new better restored model of me, mobile, strong, resilient.

I never considered going off. I was so obedient! What was it, 35 days of 811? 40 lbs lost? Amazing! Feeling physically good, looking good. Then i had a SUPER hard day where i was miserable and starving and feeling super resentful of the strict plan. I went off, ate some beans. Big woop.

And then I binged that night, cooked.

And true to form, it didn't stop.

Now i feel so much "different" again after going off of 811 and binge eating continually - "different" in the sense of 5 million times WORSE. My feet and ankles are so swollen, as is my entire body - major, major edema. I have terrible back and leg pains as well. The same back pains i experienced in my lower back before going raw some 4 years ago. Those crippling lower back pains left within 4 days of going raw. I feel almost handicapped, cripped with pain and swelling again.

And my reflux laryngitis is pretty pretty awful. It's been awful, but my singing has miraculously been really good, and really free. The Diatomaceus Earth seems to help, and from my new teacher, i'm learning how to use my singing voice more efficiently, with less muscular tension in the throat and tounge areas. I'm more allowing myself to sing unincumbered and "on" the breath and "on" the "siren" of the voice, singing "over" the reflux. What she's been teaching me is finally, finally coming together, making sense and making it easier to sing, as long as i do what she's taught me.

What's crazy is that what's she's teaching her actually much the SAME as what my old teacher taught me...but in a different way. Everything comes full circle.

~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, Sept 14th

The concert went well, but was not without considerable struggle in many songs. Inconsistency in my singing still plagues me, but i think i did alot right. I just have to keep plugging away at it.

In fact, i'm practicing pretty heavily now for a new opera i'll be performing in October. The singing feels easy and RIGHT and scarily freaking awesome. But i shouldn't say those things, they end up biting me in the butt. I'm really working towards becoming more and more consistent.

If you're local - i'll be singing Puccini's wonderful opera, "Edgar" on October 17th and 24th at 4pm. I'll find out what Philadelphia church we'll be at.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Doing what i'm being taught, however, on the diet-front, has not been successful this last week. In fact, it's bombed. I've totally and completely regressed. I'm the terrorist bomber of dieting.

The last email I received from Dr. Graham said, "My suggestion at this time is to think of our work together as if it was a board game. You move, then you pick a card. Today's card reads: "ASAP, go to Watermelon Island. Do not leave until further notice." Eat what must be eaten, then go to Watermelon Island. Let me know when you have arrived.

Since I never arrived, I haven't written him back. That email I received exactly one week ago.

It's not that i didn't try. I did. For two days, i did a very flawed Watermelon Island. One day ended with a salad with olive oil, the next, with a cooked binge.

I've been non-stop binge eating. I think i gained back everything i lost in 1 month in a week. Frightening.

I never attained watermelon island, never arrived, so i never wrote, but I write nasty emails in my head to Dr. Graham daily.

The honest truth is, i'm angry at him. Why doesn't he even care about me enough as a person to write and ask how i'm doing after not hearing from me for a week? He created a mexican standoff. I'm just a board game. "Let me know when you arrive, and if you don't, you can go fuck yourself."

Tough love sucks and I'm in total rebellion not wanting to take his lead. I think his lead sucks.

I asked him repeatedly to meet me somewhere in 811 dietland that is less extreme. He said i should stop trying to lead. Okay, i'll just binge, then.

I expressed that to him over and over again that i'd rather lose slower than getting to that place again where i felt so entirely starved and boxed into a strict plan - no eating between meals, no mixing fruits, no fat, only mono meals. There were alot of rules floating around in my head that day, and i just said, "fuck this."

An avocado probably would have done the trick instead of those beans. Why didn't i just do that? It would have been preferable to have stayed raw at least.

But, he'll hear nothing of it.

He'd rather have me binge eating than eating avocado. Or corn.

Yes, i'd like to lose 20 lbs in 3 days again by going on watermelon island, especially since i've fucked myself up again royally by doing what i did to myself, but i'm so resenting him, i can't seem to make myself do it, get on watermelon island.

Is my anger clouding my vision?

I think his strict strict version of 811 for horribly flawed fat people like me with zero fat sucks.

So, i'm either ON or OFF. And there is no IN BETWEEN. And i think that is so stupid.

He's unwilling to compromise. "My way, or hit the highway."

So, i never wrote back. And then i figured, heh, well, if i never write back, i never have to pay him anymore. He abandoned the relationship by making this a game that only continues if i attain watermelon perfection. Only THEN am i to write back.

I didn't attain it. So, i didn't write.

Neither did he.

Am i screwing myself? Or taking a stand by not writing?

I feel like i'm taking a stand, but i'm no doubt screwing myself in the process as well.

But, I don't think binge eating is caused by a lack of enough fruit, as he claims. "If you don't eat enough fruit, you WILL binge!"

I don't know. Do you actually think this is true???? CAN it be true??????

And why all of the abstinance from fat? I ate fat LIBERALLY to lose my initial 140 lbs as a raw foodist. How did i do that if a person can't lose weight eating fat as he asserts? And i ate corn, too. And corn is verboten for weight loss with him, too.

Why am i constantly attracted to these radical plans that i can't ever keep up????

Losing 140 lbs eating raw, I ate DESSERTS and cashew pate and bread and everything you could imagine OFTEN.

And now i'm expected to gladly and without reservation enter into watermelon and fruit PRISON for the next 7-10 years?

Those WERE THE DAYS....I wish i could turn back time. Go back to the retreat. Eat gourmet believing it was GOOD for me and would HELP me to lose weight.

Maybe alot of this has to do with how you THINK of food.

I'm just full of resentment. And distrust. And disbelief in Dr. Graham's assertions and plans. Fruit for the rest of my life? Do i really need to restrict myself THAT MUCH??? I lost weight last summer eating 2 TBSP of tahini on my salad....but NOW, according to Dr. Graham, "you won't lose weight eating that!"

You know what also freaked me out? This video of him. He is scary looking. I don't think he looks healthy. What is with those swollen glands???

And i think being so extreme exacerbates binge eating. When i was 3 years raw, i ate gourmet raw OFTEN and NEVER felt guilty, and kept my weight within a certain okay-for-me range...until i learned about and began experimenting with 811. Yes, i learned to lose weight super fast, but where has it really gotten me? Every time I go off, i feel guilty about eating things i never felt guilty about before. Then i say, "Fuck it. I screwed up already." It's just too extreme.

I was better off before.

I was better off a LONG time ago.

I think his program is only good if you WANT to be a fruitarian. I never did. I just wanted to get back on track, lose weight quickly, be raw again, and get down to my low weight of 249.

What are my chances of doing that now without him?

I lost 40 lbs WITH HIM and now I gained at least 25 lbs this week back. So, was all of that super quick weight loss even WORTH anything if i can't maintain it?

It's mostly water weight. I just blow up like a balloon.

What's more, I have to work at Arnold's Way on Thursday and i'm dreading it because my legs feel like tree trunks and i'm supposed to be the raw inspiration, the big weight loss inspiration. The only thing i'm inspiring lately is contempt and disdain and nausia, probably. Sorry for being such a fuck up, all of my adoring fans out there.

Hopefully this will be a blip on the road. Another blip of the countless blips lately.

You know what my biggest mistake ever was? Having eaten cooked some 10, 11 months ago. This has been almost a year of total and complete fuckupetry binge eating on cooked food. Cooked binges almost never end. Cooked is everywhere, and it doesn't satiate you like raw. I NEVER binged THIS bad on raw.

I was MUCH better off before!

What the hell am i going to do?????? What do i do????

If you've followed me for a while, you probably know better what i need that i do.

Help. Advice most welcome, please.

xxoxo michelle joy


Debbie said...

Don't think 7 to 10 years. Think, I'm going to give 80 10 10 a full year of my undivided will and then reassess at the time. Just my two cents.

Julie said...

YOU chose to do Doug Graham's program, and now you are mad at him for making you stick with it? You are mad at him for giving you a way to lose weight fast, when that's exactly what you wanted in the first place. I recall you were mad at Carlene Jones or somebody because you were NOT losing fast enough.

Maybe you are mad at these people for getting in between you and your addictions. Even though that's what you hire them for.

We can all offer advice until we are blue in the face, but YOU have to be the one that makes the change.

What do you want to do? Do you love cooked food enough to sacrifice your physical health? Is it the only thing in your life that makes you happy? If you choose raw food, choose it and be happy. if you choose binge eating, choose it and be happy.

Every raw person or healthy person loves junk food. They choose not to eat it.

Do you want to be raw/healthy or do you want to enjoy your creature comforts while you are on this planet? Either option is acceptable, as long as you are HAPPY.

Be the person you want to be - don't identify yourself as a "binge eater." Don't say, "this is what I do when I'm stressed, sad, happy, etc." Ask yourself, what would a healthy person do in this situation?

Here I go, offering advice.

Storm thrives on raw food. He's 61 (here are new pics of him: - you have to scroll down a bit.)
About 1/2 of his diet is fruit, and the rest is greens (mainly parsley and bok choy), nuts, seaweed, and sometimes sprouted garbanzos. No dehydrated foods, no supplements, no soy products. He works out about an hour a day.

Here is a pic of Doug Graham who is a few years younger than Storm:
To me, he looks a little dehydrated, like he NEEDS some fat in his diet.

That's beside the point, I just found it interesting to compare two totally different raw diets.

I hope that helped, if not, I'm sorry for rambling. I really hope you find what works for you!

Pat said...

I'm really a rookie at this so take anything I say with a large grain of salt. (oh that's right make it celery:)

I don't really understand binge eating, but I understand the all or nothing attitude. I am almost 50 and I still struggle with it from time to in all areas of my life. So here’s what helped me as far as the diet thing is concerned, using the island idea:

Make up several islands maybe Watermelon Island is really far out right now, maybe it’s so far you can’t even see it. Perhaps you can swim to:

All raw food’s (including fruits w/fats) until 5pm Island. Dinner is what ever you like. Perhaps you could live there for a couple of days. Do your walking and stretching and drink your water.

Maybe from there you could swim to All Raw Food Island, strict days and any Raw Dinner of your choice. Maybe you could live here until you can see Watermelon Island. If you start swimming for the island but not with the goal of leaving there, maybe you could consider just going for a swim to see how far it is, if things don’t go well, there’s no failure you didn’t say you were moving you were just getting a feel for the water.

If that works, maybe you can swim to Watermelon Island for breakfast, etc. etc.

I think you have to work out the “all or nothing idea”. Personally I think Dr. D is a little crazy and unbalanced but I also think that he has some very solid evidence behind him and at the very least a temporary solution that is easy to expand on for an enjoyable food life. I started doing the program when you started. I will say that he finally solved my energy level issues. I was fatigued by lunch time. I modified the program to fit my needs but it is still very hard, but I am eating a lot more fruit during the day. I do have a steamed cook meal or blend my fruits from time to time.

So the point to me is you have to be on some plan or island as it were and it has been difficult for you to be on a plan of your own. I know my plan won’t work for you because cooked food is not my trigger. Now cooked breads and cakes are another story 

The only other point I can share is that I 100% agree with him that there are some draw backs to high fat raw, for me it was energy and Body Fat, my weight stayed the same but I had a higher % of BF. You have great records of your pass so you know what did and did not work for you, but your life has changed. Where I think Dr. D is also correct is that life is always going to be offering up some kind of trouble and you can’t keep working it out with food. I think he believes that by the time people come to him, they have tried everything else and it’s time for tough love. If you choose to continue maybe you can think of it as temporary and have your long term maintenance plan in constant view.

I watched a youtube of him and Arnold and one thing they both said made since. “no one stays raw long term as high fat raw, they either quit altogether and eat all cooked or they go low fat raw”. Susan seem to teach the same thing she said I could have about 1oz of fat a day and if I went off that she recommended that I eat a plan smoothie in the am and Gazpacho soup for the rest of the day.

We both know that there are easier ways to lose weight, but with your addiction they are probably a little more limited. I hope and pray the best for you and I will cheer you on with whatever you decide.

Sending big loving hugs your way

Cosmic said...

Go easy on your dietary habits and yourself, Sweetie!


Sari said...

I couldn't agree more with Julie. It feels terrible to even read when you rage and blame other people for not being there for you etc. For me it seems that you are way too dependent for other people instead depending on yourself (and your common sense). You wait and wait that some outside source will give you the answers instead turning to yourself. Everything starts within you, not from someone else. Maybe your biggest problem is not the food, but that you are too insecure about yourself and because of that you turn to food when things go wrong.

I'm sorry if I sound too harsh, but sometimes things have to be said straight. I really, really wish that you someday find a peace with you (and the food).