Thursday, October 7, 2010


HI Folks,

Cliff and I moved in with my parents and brother Wed night to help take care of my mom. Here's a picture from last year or the year before, i think. That's mom and dad and me and Cliff.

Mommy Ruth had been in the hospital for 3 months and at Rehab (and back and forth back to the hospital again) for the last month and a half. It was a 4.5 month ordeal, but she is finally home, yay!

Mom is doing well. She is tired, but seems to be holding her own, healthwise.

The drs said that the bacterial infections she was left with after a super long stay in the hospital and non-stop antibiotics, Mersa, and C-Dif, in her colon, could reappear at anytime, so we're sitting on eggshells. But after an initial scare the other night, when we thought she was sick again, which we think turned out to be nothing, we're beginning to feel hopeful that she is progressing forward.

~ ~ ~

Back at home, being a mom and a wife, mom is having to adjust. She wants to do everything she used to be able to, like get down on the floor to pet the cat, but now she hesitates because she may not be able to get back up. Or she calls to me, and i have to come hoist her up.

There is A LOT of reprimanding happening around here because Mom is prone to overdo. She can easily get into compulsive shopping, which is another story, but now her compulsive cleaning is really being revealed. Yesterday, we were all at her to stop already and rest, and i had to sit her down and talk to her. "Mom, what are you DOING to yourself? You say you are tired, you almost fell asleep in your soup, but you continue on dusting and cleaning. Yes, everyone is irritated at you because you're overdoing and yet you won't stop. What IS it? If your compulsive cleaning is ANYTHING like my compulsive eating, then you're upset about something. Are you? Now WHAT is going on? Are you depressed?" "No," she answered. More probing - "Mom, your habit is to work yourself like a dog and then you'll be in pain and complain you're in pain afterwards. You know you're supposed to be taking it easy, yet you continue to do and do and you're going to hurt yourself. And everyone has to yell at you to stop. You have GOT to learn to stop YOURSELF. Now what is this driving you? Are you upset about something?" (Putting our bodies through pain because we're upset seems like de-rigeur for this house). I went on, "You're taking something out on yourself instead of communicating. Are you upset at Daddy?"

I knew she had been irritated. Then it all came out, how irritated she was at my father. The 4.5 months she's been away, Dad has had to take charge of the bills. The older he has gotten, the cheaper and cheaper he has become. So what does she do? She cleans, non stop. "Did you talk to him about it and come to some sort of agreement or solution?" "Not yet," she answered.

We went through the same scenario again today. I have to yell at her to get her to stop, and then she still doesn't stop. And then she'll have terrible back pains and complain about those and never address the issue with my father.

No wonder i learned to be compulsive and hurt my body instead of talk about my feelings and resolve issues. I had a good teacher.

~ ~ ~

As you know, I'm working on accepting myself heavier, and working on stopping binge eating by legalizing food.

I'm having serious success in reducing binge eating.

I think and hope my weight will come down with time. I am going to have to be very, very patient, i think, about the weight. First things first.

Integrating food from the cooked world and the raw world in an effort to stop binge eating is a very complex process. How to "legalize" is detailed in many Eating Disorder books. You eat when you're hungry, basically, and choose what you 'want.' I'm finding that in eating food that i used to binge on, alot of awareness and focus are necessary, internally, watching my mind, watching how i feel, staying vigilant against self hatred, self judgement.

Legalizing food is, in essense, giving UP dieting. Giving up dieting can be EXTREMELY scary for a person who has dieted her whole life and invested her self esteem in feeling good only when she's lost weight, but i'm gaining trust in myself that i can eat 'normally' without binge eating. With every succesful meal i have, I say, thank you. I am on the road to reclaiming myself. The next logical step after this will be to focus more and more on raw. But, first things first.

My weight seems to have leveled off and fluxuates a little, but is not climbing and climbing like it was when i was wildly bingeing after the 35 days of bananas. I'm in the 320's. I was 322 this morning. 328 last night. 324 the other day.

It's certainly an just BE and not be CRASH dieting OR wildly binge eating. I'm just BEING. This is new and feels different.

Instead of weight being the focus, satisfying myself, eating when i'm hungry and stopping when i've had enough, not judging myself negatively, not accepting judgement from others, accepting myself as i am, and loving myself are the big focuses now. It's a very internal process, but i'm finding it very healing, and the most amazing thing is I seem to be working my way out of binge eating one meal at a time.

How many times do you have to fail at radical diets before you say, "I give up."

~ ~ ~

WED, OCT 6, 2010
What a new and amazing experience dinner last night was! We ordered chinese. Chinese is ALWAYS a binge. I was being courageous from a legalization standpoint and ordered a veggie spring roll, shrimp chowmein, brown rice and eggdrop soup. On a scale of 1-10 health wise, i'd say it was about a 5. It wasn't a super fried fiasco, and it wasn't the steamed salt-free broccoli. It was somewhere in between.

And, if i'm going to eat it, i may as well not hide. I'm big on hiding. The nature of binge eating is that it is in secret. It's REFRESHING to eat out in the open now. As long as i "allow" myself internally to enjoy, and teach whoever i'm eating with that i now enjoy all foods, and to please not judge what i'm eating, I don't have to hide. I don't have to binge.

I tasted and savored every bite and ate my Chinese food consciously, with love, although it was an effort at first. I was scared of eating an eggroll in front of my brother when all i've eaten in front of him in 4 years has been salad and bananas.

I didn't have any binge impulses during dinner or after. I enjoyed dinner and felt pleased with myself and proud of myself.

I'm bloated afterwards and the next day, but psychologically closer to who i need to be to be binge free.

~ ~ ~

: lots of cut up fresh fruit (apple, orange, strawberry) with 1 cup fat free greek yogurt and honey. Yum!
Walk: 35 mins with Cliff in the beautiful Autumn weather
LN & DN: Worked at Arnolds Way, so i ate raw all day.
Later: Veggie Burger, 2 cookies and small fries

Work was challenging, and i had a hard time sticking to meals. Was i hungry? Wasn't I? As the day wore on, i found myself tasting alot more, and feeling more and more physically bloated from salt.

My body retains tremendous amounts of salt, so it is best for me to go light, but i love the way it tastes. A real catch-22. How do i RECONCILE that? Learning how to use salt - enough to enjoy my food so i don't have to binge later - but not too much that i am uncomfortably bloated - is going to be a process of trial and error. I am just going to have to figure it out.

~ ~ ~

Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer, was talking about parenting dogs. "You can't just LOVE them. Discipline is involved in love," he said.

Aha, I get that.

But what does that mean? You can discipine a dog so severely, it's abusive and they turn violent. What is the right way to discipline myself?

I've disciplined myself SEVERELY with my diet (35 days of bananas), only to rebel and unravel ALL discipline immediately afterwards.

Today, I'm choosing to not see the REBELLING as the problem anymore. I'm choosing to look at the SELF DENIAL and ask if it's really not too severe for me.

I'm going to have to learn a new EFFECTIVE way of disciplining myself with food. I'm loving myself, allowing myself to eat what i want and enjoy and desire, but will need to learn to control what hurts me and also apply intellectually what i know is good for me. That's a complicated job and a balancing act!

I'm disciplining myself to be MODERATE now, rather than diet strictly.

~ ~ ~

Driving home the other night, I got seriously lost! A road was closed and i took another and I didn't know where the heck i was. I stopped for directions at a coffee shop...mmm...nice aroma....and the woman giving me directions was eating the coffee shop's delicious homebaked cookies from a bag. Ping! Next thing you know, I bought two cookies. I'm as conditioned to food in times of stress as Pavlov's dog was conditioned to salivate at the ring of a bell. I also compulsively stopped for a veggie burger and fries from Burger King after that. When a binge starts, i'm so ingrained to keep the ball rolling.

Back at home, i wanted to continue binge eating. But, Ricky, my brother was in the kitchen. It is a blessing he is up late and mulling around in the kitchen. SAVED by the bell!

~ ~ ~


Walking this morning was not easy at first. I'm heavier, 325lbs, and walking is not as easy.

Mentally, emotionally, i react to feeling poorly and I begin to beat myself up. But I recognized it and stopped, and kept walking. Walking got easier the longer we went. We went a good 35 minutes.

Beating myself makes me depressed and feel NOT like walking. It's self defeating, but it's an old abusive habit.

~ ~ ~

Cliff and I were conversing about how important it is to be happy in any situation. "You take yourself with you wherever you go," he said. "If you're a miserable person and you move to Hawaii to be happy, you'll still be miserable."

He told me a story of an innocent man jailed for 20 years. "Here's this innocent guy stuck in a concrete box for 20 years, unjustly. So what did he do? He 'made peace' with the cell. He had to choose to be happy every day in that cell. He could have given into hatred and anger, but he didn't. You take yourself with you wherever you go."

So true.

~ ~ ~

What does it mean to love yourself? For some it may mean going raw!

For me, today, I'm giving up dieting, giving up binge eating. It's not so much about cleaning up my food right now, but about cleaning up what's going on inside of me. I think the food will take care of itself. I'm sure i will go back to more raw. I felt better.

But, I gotta be happy, and embrace this new heavier me, and just love me exactly where i am today. I don't have to be "happy" about being heavier, I'm certainly not, i just have to LOVE me here and accept it, stop fighting it.

Loving myself and accepting myself is VERY NEW. I'm learning that there is no other way for healing. The more I beat myself up, the more I eat, the more I hate myself, the more i eat, the more i hate myself.

Dieting as a way to love me is ineffective, because i always fall off and hate myself again. If i am perfect, i love myself. Can i be imperfect and love myself, too? Today i can.

Anyone can love themselves thin or on a diet or eating perfectly 811, but what happens when you fall from perfection, fall off of of raw, gain weight, look horrible. What do you do then???? This is a real eye opener to see just how much self hatred had been alive in me. If i can't love myself fat and love myself eating crap, i'll never love myself thin and raw...because i will always binge eat and hate myself and always gain everything back and have to start back at square one.

Love is the answer, now.

The only way OUT of through self LOVE.

~ ~ ~

FRIDAY, OCT 8, 2010
I woke up this morning feeling bloated and confirmed to eat lighter and with less sodium. I wanted to eat bananas all day and lose 30 lbs tomorrow, but decided to be more moderate.

Br: 4 bananas
Ln: banana/strawberry smoothie
Dn: sushi and stirfry veggies, 1 almond cookie and 1/2 cup icecream at the Chinese Buffet

It turns out i had ZERO binge impulses AT dinner at the Chinese Buffet, or AFTER dinner at home. I was even in the kitchen ALONE with PLENTY of opportunity. I simply didn't have any desire. And my mom sent me to the market for icecream and cookies. She enjoys a treat daily. But i'd already had a little icecream at the chinese buffet and one luscious almond cookie, my favorites. So i didn't need anymore! I didn't just EAT it, i ALLOWED myself to eat it, with LOVE. Cliff had a heart attack i was eating shrimp and was very negative and fearful and miserable during dinner. I did my best to explain to him that i'm not hiding anymore and i'm going to eat in the open now. He seemed to calm down after that. He said, "If this takes away your binge eating, i'm all for it." Still, it will take some time for him to adjust. I understand the fearful place he is in. Me not dieting is a scary place for my loved ones. And for me. But, i'm learning i CAN control myself, if i only ALLOW myself to feel good about whatever i eat and don't take any crap or recrimination from anyone.

~ ~ ~

I said to my mother about the compulsive cleaning, "Now look, mother, we cannot monitor you and watch over you and control you 24/7, you have GOT to learn to control and monitor yourself. I am exhausted trying to control you."

I felt like i was talking to myself in regards to food. Control yourself. Monitor yourself. No one needs to look after you, you look after yourself.

The crux of it is to be AWARE of emotions and how they affect you. The other day at ARnolds Way, i was so hurt. I said hello to this kid over and over and over and got no response. This child is prone to ignoring, and it hurts!! I watched the hurt and tried not to judge it and it soon passed. You know that phrase, "You'll get over it?" I did.

Emotions surface and then receed. We had fun later playing together. I have to work on not taking things personally. People are funny and kids go through phases.

~ ~ ~
SAT, OCT 9, 2010

Cliffy and I had a fabulous day out in the sunshine today, it was gorgeous! We went to a german shepherd show in Frenchtown, NJ and walked all over New Hope. We walked quite a bit today!

Back in Frenchtown, we were hungry. I had eaten fruit all morning, clementines and apples and bananas, and was ready to eat a meal.

It took me a while to figure out i wanted veggies in my omelette. I looked at the menu and kept asking, 'What do i want?'

I savored my meal. A few bites of homefries, oh, man, good!, then they became too greasy for me later. The rye toast with butter and jelly, oh man, fabu, then it became too greasy for me later. My tea with honey and milk, oh man, awesome, then it became too sweet for me. The veggie omelette? oh, man, yum. Then i only liked the veggie part and the egg part i didn't want. Interesting!

Cliff commented that something was different and i was eating much slower than i usually do. His mood was upbeat and positive. I left about 1/3 of my food on my plate. That was new! I ate until i was satisfied.

When we got home nearly 3pm, i was hungry and made myself a salad with a nice homemade dressing.

I've been craving homemade soup, so for dinner, i cooked up 2 big pots of veggies and beans, no meat. I kept the salt low in one pot and the other, i made normal for my mom and Cliff. The low salt one doesn't taste as good, but is better for me. I ate two big bowls of the lo-salt one and had a yogurt before bed.

I'm still retaining alot of water. I weighed 324 this morning. I may not lose weight or water weight doing what i'm doing, just eating normally, and walking, and I can't lie, i'm a tad discouraged. You'd think that all of this weight that i gained binge eating so out of control would start to dissappear. Patience is a virtue. I may think about going back to to learn to eat even less portions on regular food if i decide this is the best route for me. Either that, or i'll have to eat lighter, more raw, less salt.

My dad was abusive growing up. I confronted him yesterday. I kept calm. I told him how he always used to say the food i made was 'fair,' and how negative he is.

He seemed much nicer later. Cliff even said, "Boy, your dad is in a good mood." I told him that i really gave it to Dad earlier and maybe that did something. We shall see!

What a journey!

xoxo michelle joy

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