Saturday, September 25, 2010



Ya know, I'm not only a cook and a singer, i'm a WRITER. I SO enjoy communicating my thoughts, like to a fault. So, when i received a reader's comment, and I wanted to respond, it kind of took on a very long life of it's own... Nevertheless, here're my thoughts for today.

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You are right - I want to be fruitarian. But not because I love fruit, but because I love the way I feel on fruit. Anyway, I am just really really worried about you and your health/age.

I'll keep reading in the background. If you ask for advice again, I'll give my two cents again. It will be exactly the same, because it's the only thing that has worked for you.


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Hi Debbie,

I value your opinion always. Please comment any time. However, I do understand that it is probably very distressing/painful for raw/811 people to be reading about my explorations into the cooked food world. I know how dead set against cooked food i used to be...for 3 years. I feel your pain!

And, I sincerely appreciate your caring concern. I am obese, about 320 lbs., so your worries about my health/age are valid. I should be worried, too, and be making SURE I exercise and keep an eye on the health of my diet during this journey.

My main concerns right now have morphed back into being more PROCESS oriented - HOW to eat rather than WHAT to eat. I wait until i'm HUNGRY, i eat until i'm SATISFIED, i pay ATTENTION, i eat within MEALS, and i connect to my new "SPIRITUALITY," the "parental/authoritative spirt" that's been guiding me. That's pretty much my focus right now.

I do think raw was SUPER healthy for me, too, and I loved it, and I’m so HAPPY to still have my foot in the raw world! I AM a raw chef! I'd like to keep WANTING to eat more and more raw, but I think it’s going to take some time and exploration to have that organically grow in me, and to rid myself of the binge eating... Unfortunately, the binge eating appeared as cooked about a year ago and has been on full speed ahead since.

And, so, since i opened the door to cooked about a year ago, and it never closed, it has forced me to take a stand with cooked. Here are my choices.

1) Invite it into my life and say, "okay, how can i live WITH you?"...or

2) Keep fighting it, keep denying i like it and want to eat it, and continue binge eating.

The later seems like denial to me today. What is the point of it? Keep dieting and binge eating? I probably weigh MORE, much MORE as a result of binge eating, than i would if i just eat NORMALLY.

I feel strongly that fruitarian is NOT what I want - fulltime - and that i want something that is a combination of it all! I love bread and butter and i love yogurt. And i love banana smoothies and plain bananas. And i love raw burgers and raw hummus, too!

I feel sure I’m on the right path toward something very powerful and healing now in opening the doors to more free choices with food.

I'm valuing my RESISTANCE to go back on 811 today as a good and healthy thing...for my MENTAL HEALTH and binge eating. I'm taking back control, doin' my own thing, because i've learned that binge eating is very much a mental illness/obsession, and there has been intense shame connected to food, and in the last years cooked food, and weight gain for me.

I am working on letting that go and finding intense healing! Yay! How can THAT be bad?

I prefer to see myself on a journey of recovery from binge eating, instead of in diet denial. But, i respect your opinion and viewpoint. It is a valid one. I should be a thin person who doesn't binge. But, i'm not.

My point of view is that cleaning up my diet and getting it closer to 811 is Advanced Diet 101. I finally realized I'm still on Eating for babies - eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full, eat what you like.

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There's been something very destructive and POWERFUL running me my whole life. "Don't eat this. Don't eat that. You CANT have that! You are NO good! You ought to be ASHAMED of yourself!"

"Fuck you i'll eat what i want. You think you can stop me? i'll show you!"

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I'm replacing that destructive force/voice with a new model - a loving internal parent. "You can eat ANYTHING you want, honey!"

Now the out of control child is suddenly calm and feels loved and allowed and free.

And, oila, the binge eating ceases.

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And, it really became quite clear to me that 811 was for me a quick fix to lose weight and to look thin so I wouldn't feel shame about myself at my upcoming reunion, and before that, shame about my fat self at the raw festival. "i'm no good!"

In the end, the "dieting" backfired because I gained everything back and went right back to binge eating because SHAME and SELF HATRED were still alive and well in me.

You know what? I'm going to have to go to that reunion fat and happy and tell myself AND the world, "I'm good enough just as i am!"

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Self acceptance and self love is a beautiful thing.

Today, in eliminating the shame of what i want to eat and the shame of being heavy, i feel actually OKAY about me and being heavier. I'm accepting where i am today. It's kind of refreshing!

First things first. You can't hate yourself into eating bananas.

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Raw food and 811 ultimately didn't take away my binge eating. There are numerous posts on here about me binge eating on gourmet raw after 811. That's why i started the blog.

When i found 811 and did well with my weight, yes, i felt good, enjoyed the fruit, but it was ALWAYS with a mind of 'when can i go off?' and 'how can i incorporate gourmet into this?' and ‘how can I find a balance?’ I always wanted it all. Always wanted the "good stuff," never wanted to dedicate myself to fruitarianism exclusively. "God forbid," says that Nigella Lawson, sexy, sensual foody voice in me. "God forbid!"

811 was NEVER something i wanted to STAY on. And working with Dr D, i think that became obvious. After the 35 days, I literally felt I could NOT (and more importantly did not WANT to) continue on that track of dedicating the next 7-10 years to eating fruit to eradicate binge eating. No thanks.

I'd been imprisoned by my parents since a very young age, not able to eat "Ricky's" food, always put on a diet. You mean i can't have anything good anymore? Why would i want to imprison MYSELF any longer? I want it ALL. I want freedom. I get to choose! I get to say what i eat! Not YOU! Not Dr. D or anyone, anymore.

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I've become SO convinced by my experiences this last week, that DIETING causes binge eating. 811 was for ME a diet, maybe it's not for you.

What is dieting for ME today? Dieting is an overly strict abusive parental voice saying "You are NO good the way you are. Your desires are BAD. Shame on you, you fat pig!"

The internal child, beat down and weak, succumbs. But, eventually rebels against all of the control and abuse. "I won't take it anylonger!!!," and runs away. THATS the binge. FREEDOM, utter freedom.

When people who have been denied food finally eat, they can't stop.

THATS the binge.

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Look, 811 is great. And most people who go on it are NOT binge eaters. They recognize that this is the healthiest way for them to eat. They are very attuned. They are very concerned about their health. They are very confident and able and skilled eaters.

I'm just not "there" yet.

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In giving up dieting - and the FOCUS on weight loss ("i'm not good enough the way i am") - with the new loving parental authority concept ("you are good enough!), I'm going to finally give up binge eating.

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In giving up binge eating, my health will improve dramatically. My weight will decrease naturally.

That's what all of the Geneen Rothers say. How can they be wrong?

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I can no longer put the cart before the horse, continue to diet and then continue to binge. Losing 40 lbs with Dr. D and then gaining it all back was a very expensive failure.

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Did i fail or did the 811 diet fail me?

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I'm chosing to believe that 811 is perhaps the "right diet" for humankind, and maybe for me ultimately, i'm staying open to it, but I'm not "ready" for it at this time in my journey. Going back on 811 would inevitably continue my binge eating when i fall off...Dr. D acknowledged it would for the next 7-10 years.

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I personally think I can do this, for real, now, stop binge eating. I'm smart. I'm good at analysis.
Who am i kidding, I'm frickin' fabulous.

Maybe i'm kidding myself. Maybe i'm not, that i can cure this myself. The Geneen Roth people do it, everyday!

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During my raw journey, 811 is not the only thing that's worked for me. When I first went raw, I lost 140 lbs eating a ton of gourmet raw. That worked for me, until I realized I could binge on it when i got home from 8 months of the secluded world of a raw retreat.

And when i was 21, i lost 150 lbs on OA HOW, eating cooked, eating salmon and oatmeal and salads and Wasa crisp bread. I enjoyed the diet! It was a very restrictive plan, but it worked! But, after i went off of the diet, i gained everything back, plus.

Today, i want to find a LIFE PLAN. No, a life UN-plan. The no plan plan.

And I don't want to be GOING OFF and ON anymore.

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I want to be in control. I'm sick of everyone TELLING me what i should eat, and i'm sick of asking everyone else what i should eat!

I am an empowered woman, with a newfound internal authority. I can DO this!

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Yes, I look at the pictures of me slimmer on 811 and I get nostalgic, but what's AMAZING is this.
I feel as good today, as clean INTERNALLY, mentally, spiritually as IF i were dieting. And yesterday, i ate what you might consider “crap.” Yet, I woke up with ZERO guilt/shame about my food and feel marvelous PHYSICALLY and spiritually and emotionally. (The D. E. helps). Illegal bread and fish and beans and cheese and yogurt? These USED to cause a binge. They didn't today or yesterday. THAT for ME is the MOST amazing progress and MIRACLE.

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Am I in denial? Am i going to keel over from a heart attack from what i ate yesterday? Am i going to fail myself and end up weighing 500 lbs? Can i NOT trust myself? Can I not trust this process? Do i always have to be in FOOD PRISON to do well????

OR, am i finally gaining confidence that I can overcome binge eating myself and that FOOD is not my enemy?

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Something strong is growing in me and i'm not willing to give that up. I’m seeing that how I FEEL about food can turn ANY FOOD “bad”...if I have shame connected to it and shame pervading my being and if i feel i'm BAD and OUT OF CONTROL and have nothing in me saying i'm GOOD, i'm OKAY!!!

Even healthy avocado can precipitate a binge when there is shame connected to it. I've experienced THAT many a time.

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My binge eating says LOUDLY and WITH FORCE: "I want it all and YOU can't stop me! I WILL EAT WHAT I WANT, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY!"

I'm taking that and running with it, instead of running AWAY from it in fear.

I'm saying "Okay, honey, you want it all? You can have it! And it's okay! I love you!"

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Will i blow up to 500 lbs? Fall flat on my face? Die of a heart attack tomorrow?

Will i gain control....and lose weight naturally, slowly.....and find freedom finally...find self acceptance...find

Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!

xoxo michelle joy


max said...

hello darling mjoy~ hope you are having a lovely weekend. i wanted to say hi and after reading this post, i of course have a few things to say.

first of all, your comment "First things first. You can't hate yourself into eating bananas" - this makes me giggle! maybe this will be the title of a chapter in your book :)

second, i LOVE what you wrote "I am an empowered woman, with a newfound internal authority. I can DO this!" YOU SO ARE & YOU SO CAN!!!! you can do anything that you choose to do - your choice, your way. i believe that we are all in some way moving towards happiness. our roads can be rocky but our bodies and our lives are always working towards true happiness. for me, i lose sight of my path when my addictions and dramas cloud my path and demand my attention. i am not my addictions!

the third thing you wrote that struck me is "Even healthy avocado can precipitate a binge when there is shame connected to it." i guess that i did not really understand this connection before and i am glad that i get it a little more now. feel no shame beautiful mjoy because it is you and only you that this shame comes from - it is all from within. i hope that you will be able to free yourself from this shame - HOW GOOD WOULD THAT FEEL?????? you deserve to feel free. we all deserve to be free from our personal shame and the irony is that we hold the key to our own freedom. only we can free ourselves.

as always, thank you for sharing yourself so openly with your readers and inspiring me to think and grow.


Sari said...

I applause to you Michelle :)

You know what? I took me about 11(!) years to realize that diets DON'T work. I noticed when I stopped dieting, the cravings for candies/ice-creams/pizzas has gone. And that's HUGE step for me. It seems that it impossible to some to understand that when you have big issues with food, you HAVE TO tackle those FIRST.

Anonymous said...

811 does not work for everyone, no matter what "they" say. Good luck finding what works for you. :)