Saturday, November 13, 2010


Hiya, Folks,

A wonderful part of having a blog is the incredible people that i meet through it and keep in contact with, and the emails, the wisdom, support and encouragement they offer. It's just another gratifying part about being in our community, the people are so special.

Today, for a nice change of pace, let's hear from some of my blog friends. Today I offer you wonderful lessons that they have sent to me from other raw sites or sites dealing with eating disorders that they visit. Since we can always use more wisdom and inspiration in the food department, I'd love to share what they've sent me with you.

The first lesson is brought to us by way of Karen from Ardmore. She is my new blog friend that I had the pleasure of meeting at one of Arnolds raw Festivals. Karen shares with us snippets from a yahoo group email she receives. In these snippets, we hear from an author with the same first name, Karen Koenig.

Hi Michelle!

I get mail from a yahoo group called Food and Feelings, but actually I don't pay attention to it very often. Today I looked at what was in the digest, and I thought these were good to read. Karen Koenig is an author, counselor (somewhere on the west coast, I think) and sort of the mentor for this group. I have her Food and Feelings workbook, but have never really sat down to work with it. I thought this was good -

"If you're using food to fill yourself up to quell uncertainty about what to do with your life--or for any other reason--you stop by not doing the action and by allowing yourself to experience the discomfort of doing so. Same goes for if you always want to be busy doing some activity so that your life feels full when it really isn't. Rather than fear emptiness, you have to befriend it and make it an acceptable state. More than that even, a learning state. It's okay to not know what you want to do, but you will never, ever find it by unwanted eating. Stop the eating and you will discover what really feels you up."

"I was recently talking with a client who said that whenever she's emotionally uncomfortable, she automatically thinks about food. This is an unproductive habit that makes superficial sense: It's more comforting to think about food than to delve into whatever is really on your mind or in your heart. When you focus on food (never mind eat it!) or weight, it's because you want to feel better. But that only works short-term. The long-term solution is to experience and fix whatever is making you feel badly. Right now, your brain is simply trained to go straight from a pinch of discomfort to food or weight thoughts. You'll have to retrain it so that emotional discomfort has staying power and eventually food/weight thoughts won't even enter the picture."

Karen R. Koenig

These really hit the nail on the head for me - food/weight and eating issues are definitely a short term solution only, but I have not yet figured out how to "experience and fix whatever is making you feel badly." I know what things I feel bad about, but I don't know what to do about them, and I definitely don't want to feel the feelings associated with them. That's the growing up I have to do.


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What profound lessons Karen has shared with us through Karen Koenig. Karen, where can we sign up to get this email, Food and Feelings? It sounds like a good one!

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Next we hear from my friend, Jan, who I met at Optimum Health Institute, who is a member of the Rawfood Rehab. There are wonderful inspirational successful raw fooders on that site and Jan often describes to me the many cyberfriends she meets there, or sends me inspirational and meaningful posts she finds there. Here is a post that Jan sent me from Raw Food Rehab that is very appropriate to the blog, about ADDICTION.

The Juicy Life
So, yesterday was second verse, same as the first. I skipped breakfast (I never do that but I needed to get a fasting blood test) then came home and started with 1 quart green juice. Then I made myself a green smoothie (just 50%greens and 50%strawberries + lemon juice) and another blended soup (50% greens + carrot, celery, lemon juice, red bell pepper, heirloom tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, 1/4 of an ancho chili, seeds and veins removed.) And then it happened. My appetite came back, with a vengeance. I didn't even want my smoothies. They didn't appeal to me. I felt like I would rather have nothing than have those smoothies. It was so weird. It is not like me at all.

My kids made homemade pineapple pizza for dinner. (Whole wheat crust, low-fat cheese, homemade organic sauce, but I still think it's a train wreck...) And I wanted it! I really wanted it, especially the cheese. I felt myself going there. I was reaching to nibble, just a little bit of the melted cheese...its not really cheating...just this one little bite...

And BAM! I put that Brat right into TIME OUT! Oh yes, she was piping up, big time. The same Brat that talked me into so many binges, once upon a time. But that day, is not TO-DAY. I took my life back, and I'm not giving it back.

I quickly pulled out the organic prunes I bought to help break the feast. I counted out 6 of them, and gobbled them down. (I was supposed to soak them, but I didn't trust myself to do that with the smell of pizza in my nose.) Then I immediately went and got in the shower. It is very difficult to eat pizza in the shower! So I felt safe there. And I prayed for strength to face the temptation and waited until it passed.

I could be telling you such a different story this morning, about how I blew it, but I forgive myself, etc.

But I'm not. I share this story because I think it's important to know that:

1. Just because you have a craving, you don't have to act on it! Sometimes they are STRONG, but you are stronger.
2. I should never have skipped breakfast and not had even juice till noon. I never should have let that pizza be in my house. My house is a safe-zone! Mama always said, "If you don't want to slip, stay off the ice!"
3. When you hear the voice of your Brat (or your Beast, or whatever you call your addictive voice) that should be the equivalent of lights and sirens and a funky old robot waving it's arms and hollering "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!" Enact your emergency plan immediately!
4. HAVE an emergency plan! Cravings will come. They just will. There will be times when the temptation is great.

My emergency plan looks like this:
1. Recognize the signals. (The Brat trying to talk me into it.) SOUND ALARM!
2. Talk back to the Brat! Tell her NO! I decide what goes in my face, not her.
3. Remind self: I am a RAW VEGAN. If it ain't raw, and it ain't vegan, ITS NOT FOR ME!
4. Eat something healthy that IS raw and vegan, immediately!
5. Get far away from the temptation!
6. Do an incompatible activity. An incompatible activity is one you can't do while eating. So far I have take a shower, go swimming, knit, and um, couples have another option, if you get my drift. AND I THINK YOU DO. (Alas, I am gloriously single, sooo...)
7. Pray for help. (and to stop thinking about #6, lol)

This is what works for me. If you are not a person of faith, instead of the #7, you could get on-line and get support here. I do that in addition to the others, so that would be my:

8. Check into the 'Hab and get some support -

Bottom line: You NEED A PLAN. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! You can have excuses, or you can have success, but you can't have BOTH!


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Michelle, Mallory used to weigh over 400 lbs. and has now lost about 130 lbs!!

Just know that I love you and want the very best for you, dear friend,


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Thank you, Jan, for your caring concern and for sending Mallory's wonderfully descriptive and wise teaching regarding ADDICTION and an EMERGENCY BACKUP PLAN. This is so smart and so necessary! Wasn't i always asking that stupid Dr. Graham for such a thing? He never offered one.

And i LOVE Mallory's teaching that we must be wise to the voice of the BRAT. I love that way to describe "her"...she just wants what she wants. "Put her in time out!"

Although now I'm not 100% raw now, I really got a lot out of this.

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The next wonderfully descriptive post is also by way of my friend, Jan, and is a farewell from the Earth Mother who had a wonderful blog that Jan followed lovingly and with much anticipation daily. Earth Mother has now decided to live her life instead of write about it, much to Jan's dismay. It's a wonderful blog if you'd like to check it out:

Let's read what Jan sent. It's another wonderful message.

I haven't been hanging out too much in the blogosphere. I'm happiest outdoors in nature and that's where I've been every spare moment, enjoying the heck out of summer.

This earth mother likes to get her hands dirty, working the soil in the garden and lovingly tending to all the plants. I've spent weekends camping in the woods, falling asleep with the twinkling stars above while feeling the heartbeat of sweet Mama Earth beneath me. I've clocked countless hours down by the river, playing my flute as the hawks perform their aerial ballet overhead.

Too many summers past have been spent indoors in air conditioning, trying to escape the heat. I don't know if it's the plant-based diet, high in raw living foods, or the fact that I've lightened my load a good 120 pounds since last June, perhaps both, but the heat and humidity don't seem to bother me nearly as much as they once did.

I've been much more physically active — walking, hiking, roller blading, yard work, yoga, dancing, swimming — and I've even gotten back in the saddle, after being absent far too long. Not that I thought my 1,500-pound pals couldn't support me, but I could no longer hoist my 300-pound butt up onto their backs.

All this is to say that, while missing from cyberspace, I've been actively engaging in and relishing life. And that was the point of this whole journey into Raw Food Land — to stop dieting and start living, to regain my health and vitality.

I'm not certain if and when I'll update this site again. The internet is chock-full of raw food blogs these days. I don't know if there's anything new I can bring to the mix. If you have any thoughts or ideas about that, you can leave a comment below or contact me by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

And hey, next time you find yourself mindlessly reaching for the food when you're not physically hungry, stop.



Now go take a bite out of life instead.

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In just a few minutes, we've learned a lot of lessons:

Stop dieting and start living!

Take a bite out of life!

Revel in feeling empty - don't fear the emptiness, embrace it!

Don't listen to the voice of the "brat."

Stop eating and you discover what really fills you up.

Stop thinking about food and deal with life.

Have a backup plan, always.

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

Thanks, girls for passing along the wisdom. We need to fill ourselves with these positive messages lest we allow the negative ones and the negative behaviors to take over...

Much love to you,
xoxoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Karen said...

Food and Feelings is a Yahoo Group. (sorry, I don't know how to create a link)