Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Hello folks,

It's a lovely crisp Autumn day, and the rustling leaves and cool breezes bring a new, fresh feeling to life.

I awoke feeling filled with love! From my head to my toes and everywhere in between!

Yesterday I cried alot, and it cleared some channels.

I'm fat. I'm depressed. Blah, blah, blah. Enough of that. I'm sick of complaining.

Cliff said to me yesterday after my 20 minute crying spell, "You need to be more objective." I was an emotional MESS.

~ ~ ~

The reminder to be objective snapped me back to reality and to my meditation exercise i learned years ago from Roy Masters (

Being objective to me means "getting out of my head and living in the present moment, experiencing the present moment."

It is a lovely place to live!

There is no binge eating in the present moment. Binge eating is all about ruminating the past or worrying about the future.

Being objective, everything is fresh and new and I feel happy, regardless of my situation! Never let me forget about this way to live!

~ ~ ~

I have often remarked that living in my head like i do when i binge makes me feel like how a serial killer must feel. He thinks about killing people and plans and plans and then does the thing and is excited with a rush of adrenalin, and then must feel awful, and then he only wants to do it again. And he walks around somewhat dazed to the present, but lost in his own twisted reality and world.

With me, my mind becomes obsessed with food, binge eating, self-pity, depression, and i'm not really there. Not really living.

And I realize, very simply, now that it has lifted as a result of me "switching the dial" and coming out of that false "reality," that that ISN'T reality at all. It's all imagined.

Living in the present moment, all of the depression vanishes, the obsessive food thoughts vanish, the bad feelings about yourself, the remorse, the self pity.

It all vanishes...and in a rush, the cleansing Autumn breezes wash away all negativity, and you feel LOVE, you notice the flowers, you really taste what you're eating and let yourself enjoy it, you look in the mirror and like yourself, you forgive anyone who's ever hurt you, you forgive yourself.

You feel born again!

~ ~ ~

Oh, yay, my mom is moving HOME today!

The rehab people were VERY impressed with my mom! She could have stayed 100 days, her insurance would have paid, but she got too strong too soon, so they had to kick her out!

Mommy Ruth has been off of anti-biotics for, i think, 2 or 3 days now, so I am crossing my fingers that her C-DIF, a type of colitis brought ON by antibiotics since all of the GOOD bacteria is killed along with the bad when you take antibiotics for 4 months like my mother has, and her Mersa, will not re-develop. The doctor said the infections could reemerge at anytime causing increased bowel movements, pain and fever. (She still has one abdominal drain left in her.)

We will be on the lookout for signs of illness. She will have a visiting nurse come for one week, and then we are on our own. We will be praying. We will be hoping. Please continue to pray along with us for Mommy Ruth's full and total recovery.

~ ~ ~

Cliff and I will move in with mom again. It will be different this time. This time we'll be cooking chicken, instead of making green smoothies, i think. My father is still very opposed to raw, still thinking it caused my mother to be sick. But, I think i set him straight several times when her blood/urine was tested in the hospital after a month of eating cooked food (and 2 months of taking intravenous nutrition), and she was still dangerously low on electrolytes and potassium and magnesium. Logically, if raw was the problem, it would have resolved itself by the new nutrition by then.

Anyway, i'm not a nutritionist or a doctor and i don't really understand that well how the body works, but i always trusted that more raw would help her, but now is the time for her to rebuild her body, and food is her choice, and it is my parents' house, and I will do as they desire.

This will be a new journey at home for all of us.

~ ~ ~

Not to dwell on it, but I've been really bad, physically and emotionally. I've been binge eating several times a day for what seems like weeks and feeling like an absolute wreck, failure, dissappointment, hopelessly unable to get back on track to raw? To just eating normally? My head was in a constant whirl. Call Dr. D back? Go to Weight Watchers? Call an eating disorders therapist?

The feeling of being so depressed frightened me. And i asked Cliff if he thought it was because i was toxic from cooked food. And we both agreed, yes.

But, I'm not even sure if it had so much to do with the food, this overwhelming depression, because today i awoke up feeling emotionally cleansed and renewed. If it was the food, you know, the toxicity CAUSING the depression, i'd still be depressed this morning. But i don't feel depressed today. I feel rejuvenated. Alive. And grateful. And fed up with feeling bad.

I think it was self-manufactured by living in a negative reality, bombarding myself with guilt and fear and remorse and hopelessness.

~ ~ ~

I just want to eat whatever i do, with LOVE.

~ ~ ~

I found a website last night that really impressed me,, with a blog called "A WEIGHT LIFTED" containing an article entitled, "Does Perceived Deprivation Cause Binge Eating?"

Here's the article:

It felt divine that I should find the article, because I've been asking myself this over and over and over. Is it the perceived deprivation on raw (and more specifically lately, bananas) or any diet that causes a binge, or is it the chemical toxic nature of cooked food mixing with ME (a cooked food addict) causing a binge?

These are long held questions here at pure raw joy. I am on a constant search to find the answer. Because in the answer lies my salvation.

The article seemed to confirm the general stance on eating disorder healing that one must embrace ALL foods to recover. This is a message I've heard repeated my whole life. And it's been something I've often tried to accomplish, embracing all foods and stopping binge eating. I've not yet been successful, but maybe the concept is not at fault. Maybe it's been ME whose at fault. Maybe this is what i need to work on. STOP focusing on weight loss. And focus more on LOVE and ENJOYMENT and yes, dare i say, PLEASURE in food.

The website is connected to a retreat for women (run by female doctors, nutritionists and therapists) to teach women how to eat again. Not health foods. Just regular food, only this time, with love and acceptance. Ala Geneen Roth. The website and their blog is just an interesting resource for me and us interested in why we binge eat, and maybe how to stop.

I'm not consciously trying to go in this legalization direction. Actually, all i did yesterday was cry about how i had to get back on raw. But, somehow, it seems that this is where i'm being led. I keep coming back to the fact that every time i go off of raw, i binge on cooked food. So, everytime i go BACK on raw now, it feels inevitable that i will go off because it happens every time. So, if it is inevitable i will go off, why should i wait? Maybe the going off is something in me shouting at me to learn to embrace going off...instead of repress it.

I keep getting myself geared up to white knuckle a Banana Island scenario again, and I can't seem to make myself do it.

I keep asking myself if that's not a message to me saying that other work needs to be accomplished first, like actually learning to ENJOY food. When i binge, I'm not enjoying food. I may look like i am, but i'm not. I'm suffering.

The woman in the deprivation article, Marsha, made her peace with food and is amazed that she now craves SALADS and gets excited when there is extra salad left over at the retreat!

That's what i'm wanting - coming to a desire for raw food again, but naturally.

Marsha mentions that there was a time in the beginning of her healing when all she wanted was cake and cookies.

In ALLOWING herself to have them, she soon lost the desire. And now all she wants is salad!

~ ~ ~

I often recall that feeling of how allowing myself something and eating it with joy - removes the buzz and the need to binge - the way that memorable meal at Friendly's was with the fried fish and french fries. I remember feeling disinterested after i had allowed myself to eat and enjoy.

THAT'S why NORMAL people, who are not food obsessed, can eat and just stop thinking about food. They have no harsh judge living in them. They just enjoy.

~ ~ ~

I can't get enough of cooking shows.

So, i say to myself today, 'Okay, you enjoy cooking shows. Stop hating yourself for it and ask it to teach you what it needs to.'

Yesterday, i watched the wonderful hispanic TV-chef, Daisy Martinez, cry on her show explaining to her guest, Puerto Rican authoress, Esmerelda Santiago (pictured left, Daisy, right) how her mother's Puerto Rican cooking was to her "a plate of love." With tears in her eyes, she remarked, "Remember in your book you said that you were in your room and your mother brought you some food and you described it as a 'plate a love'? That's what MY mother's food was for me, a plate filled with love!!!"

People talk about food being love in a BAD sense, but i'm drawn today to uncovering the mystery of how food can be love in a positive sense, because a great majority of my experiences with food have been filled with self hatred, self berating, remorse, regret, loss of control, depression, binge eating. Need i go on?

I am always so impressed and astounded by Daisy Martinez. She is so womanly, so entirely sensual and BEAUTIFUL and vibrant and filled with love and joy and wonder and desire. So communicative, so expressive. I just ADORE her. And then i watch her cook with such passion and she always says, "Oh my god, my mouth is watering," and so is mine watching her cook, and she's a normal weight (!!!), not only normal, she has a KNOCK OUT FIGURE, but serves herself up always a big plate of food, and let me tell you, she does NOT go light on the oil OR the salt. And i look at this gorgeous VIBRANT ALIVE creature, and i say to myself, 'How the hell does she DO that? I want to be able to DO that!'

How does she eat "bad" food, and not feel bad about it, and actually STOP and not devour the whole thing compulsively; What allows her to EAT and actually FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT and FEEL GOOD?

To her, food is love.

L O V E, Love.

Tears came to her eyes when she talked about food being love for her and a constant reminder of her mother's love. Everything ABOUT Daisy screams LOVE. I so admire this beautiful woman!

To her, food is family and fiesta and celebration and pleasure and health and vibrant living, not something to be afraid of, of feel trapped or enslaved by. To her, food is "not the enemy and she is the victim." (quote from the deprivation article)

This is how i have felt my entire life, that food and being fat were my enemies.

~ ~ ~

I think feeling loved by any kind of food is the first step in reclaiming yourself.

If you eat a chunk of dirt from the ground, eat it with love, and it will probably nourish you.

~ ~ ~

Speaking of TV chefs, I am also particularly drawn to Ina Garten. She is a plump goddess of sensuality, love, and joy. She just radiates love. How she loves her Jeffrey. She always cooks him up the most wonderful treats, pampers him, loves him with her food. He is one lucky man.

Being plump and round and adorably wonderful, it doesn't appear she counts calories or watches what she eats. She's just plump and perfect.

~ ~ ~

How do these people DO it? I ask myself all of the time. How do they eat food and enjoy and not weigh 800 lbs?? I WANT THAT!

~ ~ ~


Self Acceptance.

They know who they are.

They love food.

And they love themselves.

And they don't judge themselves.

Or restrict themselves.

They don't see food as something that is going to kill them or make them ill, and with their attitude, it probably won't!

~ ~ ~

My fortune cookie last night at the Chinese Restaurant said, "THINK HIGHLY OF YOURSELF, FOR THE WORLD TAKES YOU AT YOUR OWN ESTIMATE."




Talk about profound.

It seemed like an answer to a prayer.

How i've been struggling with my weight gain and my fear of attending my upcoming high school reunion. Do i go? Do i not go? Do i hide my fatter self? Do i go and just accept myself?

THINK HIGHLY OF YOURSELF, the fortune cookie reminded me.

~ ~ ~

My singing teacher thinks so highly of me. She is teaching me to sing from the inside out, not with tricks and manipulations, and force, but from nature.

Something about the process i'm going through with forcing me to want the same ease in everything...and to embrace flexibility...inside of myself....with me, with food.

~ ~ ~

Can I think highly of myself, no matter what i'm going through, no matter how much I weigh?

~ ~ ~

I've gained ALOT of weight. I can't hide that i've been going through a tremendous tremendous mental / emotional / spiritual / physical CRISIS...or ILLNESS (or is it a JOURNEY...or a PERIOD?).

~ ~ ~


How do i work myself out of it?

~ ~ ~

The answer keeps coming back to LOVE.

Love yourself, Michelle.

Accept yourself, Michelle.

Be TRUE to yourself, Michelle.

Forgive yourself, Michelle.

Enjoy what you love, Michelle.

Stop hiding, Michelle.

Eat out in the open, Michelle.

~ ~ ~

I can't go back to who i was. I can only be who i am today.

I've been tormenting myself, "I have to get back to 250 lbs. I'm no good! I'm a failure!"

Something says, 'Stop trying so hard.'

My singing teacher, Dolores, said to me yesterday concerning singing, but it applies with eating, "You have to feel helpless before you can gain control."

~ ~ ~

Resolved to eat bananas only today, as if bananas were the CURE to my self hatred and binge eating, which i'm not sure if they are, i needed more evidence to prove to me that the answer is not bananas but - LOVE. LOVE is the cure.

I had an interesting experience with rice, which i will detail below.

It led me to surmise that with love, you can eat anything, because you're not acting on compulsion or from restricting yourself.

When you eat anything with LOVE, that's a whole heck of a site different than eating bananas because you 'have to.' How long would that really last anyway? And i know that.

~ ~ ~

Making Cliff's mom a meal, i felt it was important, being that she is so picky and sensitive to spices, that i taste for seasoning the rice and gravy i was fixing for her. She lives in a retirement home, but i cook for her often and we bring it to her.

Okay, crisis. 'What the hell do i do?' I'm supposed to eat bananas. I'm only good if i eat bananas.

Fuck this. I said to myself, 'You know what? It's not even about the food. It's about self love.'

I decided to taste the rice, with love in my heart, no fear, just love. How do you do that? You just savor and feel loving thoughts.

A very pleasurable experience!

Pow! Then the fear came. Cliff left, and it came over me to binge on all of the leftover rice. 'Oh, fuck, what do i do now? You see? You see? It always ends up like this!'

But i remembered the article on perceived deprivation and the assertion that not truly 'allowing' yourself something causes binge eating. Can i ALLOW myself to eat some rice? I obviously wanted some.

So i kept myself back a serving. I took a bite, mmm, another bite, and with each bite, filled myself with loving feelings and feelings of entitlement.

After 5 bites, i was done.

Oila. I didn't NEED anymore. The urge to binge vanished.

~ ~ ~

In that instant, something powerful came back to me from my childhood. Something about judgement and never feeling good enough and it somehow tied in with food. I knew i was making a powerful insight.

I used to cook for my parents as a child. My negative, abusive father used to rate the food i prepared for him as 'fair.' Fair. Fair. The word still conjures up feelings of hurt.

Now an adult, i can be more objective, but it was so painful as a child.

He'd just come home from a hard day at work. He was never happy. I'd slaved over making something for him that would please him, knowing now it was a losing battle - there was never any satisfying him.

Sitting in silence after serving him, watching him eat, with every beat of my heart, with every one of his silent tastes with dissappointed looks on his face, my soul would become a little more crushed the longer the silence would last. The negativity would hang in the air. No 'yum.' No 'mmm.' He'd never compliment my food, or even be aware that i was waiting or wanting his approval.

My mother, MUCH more sensitive to my feelings than he could ever be, would say wonderful things about how good it was and say, "isn't this delish?,' prompting Dad for a compliment.

"It's fair," he would grimace.

My heart sank. It crushed me every time.

There was never any pleasing him.

No wonder I binged after dinner and after school. Where was all that about food being a celebration and a happy joyous event? Food was a painful experience for me.

~ ~ ~

Everyone at Arnold's Way knows i'm a great cook.

~ ~ ~

The child doesn't understand that not getting her father's approval is more about his own unhappiness. A child doesn't understand that, and heaps onto herself deepseated feelings of unworthiness.

That last a lifetime.

~ ~ ~

After making the rice today, i wasn't sure if it was good. I know this is silly, but it felt important.

The feeling of wanting to satisfy Cliff's mom and generally satisfy anyone who i cook for is natural, i think. Wanting to binge on the rice is unnatural and twisted and somehow tied up in fear of a poor judgement of it or fear of judgement of ME. I'm no good. There's something very deep and painful there. My apparently very, very sensitive soul had been bruised repeatedly as a child, not just by lack of compliments from what i'd cooked, by so many other things.

~ ~ ~

Moving back home, again, perhaps has been the thing bothering me. Can i do it in a new place, with forgiveness?

~ ~ ~

Pains are coming up in me, like waves, just wanting to be healed. My messy room at home and my father's dissaproval of me.

And then kids making fun of me in high school for being fat.

This is all tied up in my fat and my food.

~ ~ ~

Even if the dinner wasn't any good, you tell the kid it's delicious. "A for effort, baby!" I didn't get that.

No wonder why i need to talk so much about re-parenting myself. I was abused.

~ ~ ~

So, i tasted the rice, and asked myself if it was good, noticing that judgemenal parent in me, and told her or him to shut up.

After a beat, a kind and loving and TRUTHFUL answer asserted itself...that it was. It WAS good!

I'm good.

And somehow acknowledging that it was good and that i'm good was involved in losing the need to binge.

~ ~ ~

The binge is about the judgemental parent saying it's fair when it's good. And then me having the PROVE to myself by not being able to stop eating it....that it is, infact, good.

Cut to the chase now, i can acknowledge it's good now, without having to binge on it. I can actually ENJOY it, and then stop.

~ ~ ~

It's so strange to talk about these things. I don't know if anyone relates or understands. Hard to put into words.

~ ~ ~

KAREN from Ardmore
I've had my blog friend, Karen, on my mind lately. She's in LA taking care of her mother. Let's send her some love in LA!

Karen read a book that i talked alot about here, the Karen Hampton Book, the christain book about overcoming overeating, "The Diet Alternative", and expressed to me frequently how much she got out of it. Now, as a result of reading the book and being inspired by it, Karen now blesses everything she eats, and is finding a new connection to spirituality by loving herself, by loving her food.

In doing this, she has been blessed with times away from obsessive thoughts of food and binge eating that she calls, her "windows of peace."

I often think of this. Bravo, Karen!

~ ~ ~
I'm Jewish, but i'm often reminded of what Jesus said about blessing food. The Jews would not eat pork because it was unclean. Much like raw foodists will not eat cooked (because it will kill them or give them cancer or heart disease). But, Jesus came to wipe away all of the rules. "Eat it in my name, and it is clean."

I GET that, now. Eat with LOVE, and it is clean.

~ ~ ~

Anorexics have a overactive sense of health and how it relates to a fault. They have a distorted image of themselves and think that food is out to harm them, make them sick or make them fat. What's so cunning about Anorexia is that there is truth in food affecting health and weight. But, for them, it's become a sickness.

Much like binge eating is for me. It's a sickness.

There's nothing wrong with raw. I think it's GREAT!!

But there's been something wrong with my HEAD and my HEART...and i've been trying to heal my BODY with clean food, when i was missing the point.

Anorexics in treatment are encouraged to learn that food can be their friend. "Eat with love, and it is clean, it's healthy."

At that point, it's more about healing the MIND of the mental illness than worrying about cancer and heart disease. Much of those worries might not be grounded in reality and might just be FEAR BASED anyway.

~ ~ ~

This is going to have to be my new motto: "Eat with love, and it is clean...and healthy."

~ ~ ~
Sure, raw food is healthier. It digests quicker. Sure, i felt better thinner. Are you kidding? ABSOLUTELY. Sure, I love the way my face looks on no salt. Sure, i'd love to be 250 lbs again, but i can't hate myself into eating bananas. Mykell loved that quote and it's true. Force isn't working for me in my voice or in my food.

I'm fat today and that's the way it is, and quick fixes keep failing me.

~ ~ ~

Have you ever heard that the quickest way to the end of something is to go THROUGH it?

I wish i could run away and get skinny, but i don't have the money to go to another raw retreat like i did 4 years ago. And the gumption to eat bananas all day so i can love myself doesn't seem right anymore. Can't i love myself ANYWAY?

Maybe if i love myself all day, day in and day out, fill myself with love, live in that objective state, get out of my head, i can choose to eat bananas again, because i WANT them, much like the experience Marsha had with salad in the deprivation article. She actually WANTS to eat salad, not because she SHOULD, but because she WANTS it.

xoxo michelle joy

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