Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I'm drinking a banana, strawberry, durian smoothie right now. Wow, astringent and oniony from the durian, and creamy. An interesting shake! No agave. Not that sweet. But okay, differnt!
Cliff hated the durian yesterday! When we first tried it YEARS ago, he LOVED it and i DESPISED it! Now i love it's strangeness. I froze the leftovers!
I had such an amazing day yesterday. Not with food, with singing! All of the writing i did the other day on my need to practice more really sunk in and wow, did it make a difference! I had the BEST practice of my LIFE!
To preserve what i did, so i can do it AGAIN, and AGAIN, and AGAIN, I wrote down all of the self-directions I could think of that I was using that my new teacher is teaching me and implemented them as I sang to Sondra Rodvanofky's new Verdi CD. Everything came together and i know it's disgusting when I brag, because I can't always follow through and have those kind of repeat performances, but I think i sang BETTER than Sondra...who now stars at the MET! Her rendition of "Pace, pace" from Verdi's La Forza del Destino sucks! Mine is going to blow hers out of the water!
My fears of being able to follow through have deeep roots in lack of self trust and lack of self confidence. But since I made a very sincere promise to myself to practice more, daily, I feel like.... no, i KNOW i won't lose my way as much. I feel a new confidence. I feel fucking fabulous!
They say 'practice makes perfect'. Cliff, my piano teacher fiance'-hubby, is fond of saying "PERFECT practice makes perfect." Is that ever true. The amount of FOCUS needed yesterday to keep my perfect optimal singing posture constant was SOMETHING. It takes a LOT of focus to reign myself in and STOP myself from being out of control (swaying, not breathing deeply, my neck pushing forward, holding tension in my jaw, not starting the tone on the breath, etc...). In controlling all of the crucial elements that bring my voice to it's optimal state, I'm suddenly FREE to do whatever i want: diminuendo, crescendo, piannissimo, forte, fioritore and runs. What a lesson. CONTROL for FREEDOM.
Hm. Sound familiar?
I even sang for Cliff and he flashed his eyes at me everytime i seemed to break from my correct posture. It was a good support. Earlier i did it myself without him and later. But, he was amazed and said i sounded like I was professional. You know what? Soooo many professionals in the opera world have TOLD me I have the voice for it. But, what was standing in my way? ME.
"The only thing standing in the way of you is yourself." Toma to Nina...from The Black Swan
Cliff and I both shared that this is the exact reason we are both so frustrated with me and frustrated with what I DO myself with food. Because we KNOW I can do it. I can BE professional level. I am professional level. If i learn to control myself.
Affirmation: "I am learning to control myself."
A peace that surpassed all understanding washed over me yesterday after all of the singing that finally met my potential. Isn't that what they say about Jesus? ..."a piece that surpasses all understanding..." That's what it felt like. Being born again.
It was like I said "hello" to the black swan. "I knew you were there all along."
But i can't kill myself in the process of getting there.
Thus, the renewed desire to go in the direction of raw. I'm afraid to say committment lest i fail...again.
But, i really want to get back on track.
Suddenly, this big bloated ever-growing body doesn't serve this amazing voice anymore. To do auditions, to go to LA in May for the Classical Singer Convention, I have to look my best because I am the best! Haha! How's that for confidence!
Smoothies will get me there. Not big bowls of pasta with cheese and butter and popcorn with 3 Tbsp of butter drizzled over.
Fun. Delicious. Decadent. Illegal.
But look at me, afterwards.
I wish the fun "activity" of eating didn't leave me fatter. I just love to eat, the sensual pleasure of it.
Here's when the artistic sacrifice comes into play. You wanna play, you gotta pay. SACRIFICE.
If i can learn to control my voice, i can learn to control my EATING.
In the quiet knowingness i awoke with today, it was almost as if i had had a GOOD food day yesterday, which i did not. The guilt, remorse, feelings of disgust and self hatred had vanished. But why? My evening binge consisted of 1 fake bologna sandwhich with mayo and cheese, 1 box of fake chicken nuggets and 1/2 lb of pasta with cheese and butter sauce, 1 muffin and some macaroni and cheese. Yet, i awoke today feeling "reborn." It was as if it didn't matter. I was FREE. I was ME. I'm the SWAN.
Now, i just have to act like it, daily, and everyone ELSE will recognize her, too.
Control my eating and control my voice.
Suddenly, i feel very empowered!!!!
"You place too much emphasis on a teacher," Cliff noticed. "You just have to WORK."
I've always been AFRAID of work. "I can't do it!" Suddenly, "working" doesn't seem so scary. I have my list of what i need to remind myself of each time i practice. "I can DO it." I did it yesterday! I did it already this morning! Now just don't stop!!!
I can be the ME I always wanted to be. And if I can do it? Fuck, ANYBODY CAN.
xoxo michelle joy
Monday, December 20, 2010
We bought a durian last night at the Asian Market on a whim...and mmmmmm, it's not a smelly one, it's so SWEET, so custardy, so funkidelically wierd and wonderful with it's 8 creamy hidden pods, each pod consists of a big brown pit surrounded by custardy yellow fragrant egglike puddinglike fruit. In this durian, there are 2 pod fruits per pod chamber, 8 yellow fat pudding nuggets in all. The color of the mush is so remarkably similar, and in texture...to scrambled eggs! The taste is somewhere between a permanent wave...and heaven. It's indescribable. A good durian is just decadently delicious.
How do you pick a good one? They arrive frozen from Asia, so, the sooner you want to eat it, the softer you pick it. Last night, I recalled Arnold's instruction to buy one that 'gives' when you push the conelike prickled exterior. But, just to be sure, we asked the Asian Store owner for assistance. "You want for tonight or tomorrow? Pick soft. Dis one good. Leave on counter. Good tomorrow."
MMm...was she ever right!!! YUMMMM!!!! At Arnold's Way, Arnold or Stephanie often gift all of the workers with a surprise durian. We all go into the thing like vultures pulling apart a hyena.
Here is a cool website i found dedicated to durians! Lots of neat facts. Did you know you can kill someone by throwing the "thorny fruit" and hitting someone's head? http://durian.net/
The first time Cliff and I tried durian, i almost barfed. He loved it right away. The smell is what i couldn't bear.
They say Durian is an aquired taste. It's true.
You know when i started enjoying Durian? We used to serve a smoothie at Arnold's Way that had durian and mango and banana and lemon in it. Well, it was such a good smoothie and had such a light durian flavor, that i grew totally accustomed to it in this very very mild format because it was mixed with other familiar fruity flavors. After experiencing that shake many a time, the real thing didn't ook me out anymore and I came to crave it just like all of the Arnold's Way crew does!
Yes, so, you have to acquaint yourself with it's unique and unpleasant scent. Give yourself 10x. If you still don't like it, then give up. But, i know you will love it!
It doesn't smell unpleasant to me anymore. It smells sweet and invitiing!
I admit that i walked into the kitchen to make scrambled eggs this morning, but saw the Durian we bought last night and decided to actually go out on a limb and be the raw inspiration this morning. What a nice change!
Fuck watching my fat intake. Fuck 811. Sometimes you just have to start WRONG to start. If i want to eat avocados and durian all day i should just do THAT. I'm so sick of trying to DO everything perfectly. Just DO it!
Dustin and Meredith were in the other day. Here are their websites: http://www.therawseed.com/ed.com and http://www.hundredthmonkeyeffect.net/ and http://www.dustinkellogg.com/ . They are so inspiring. Dustin has lost 110 lbs and is a total skinny minnie hottie. And he eats anything he wants as long as it's raw. He definitely doesn't BINGE like me so don't take "eating anything he wants" to mean huge volume. In fact, Dustin's wife, Meredith, conceeds that her husband "snacks" instead of eating 3 big meals a day. That means to me he eats frequent small meals.
Okay, but he gets to look hot and gorgeous and be a success and be skinny AND eat whatever he wants as long as it's raw. And then there's me. I eat whatever i want, all day, in enormous volume, and only get fatter and fatter and more depressed...because it's not raw and it's killing me.
And I'm sick of complaining. Time to DO!!!
Mmmmmm.....nasty selfish thought...if Cliff doesn't eat much of it, i'll have the ENTIRE Durian to MYSELF today!!!!!!
My singing yesterday was so-so. I have to work at it more. The only thing standing in my way...is myself.
Today? This morning I bypassed SELF and operated out of SPIRIT. It is a GOOD morning.
God, it's good to be back.
xoxo michelle joy
Sunday, December 19, 2010
How are you all today?? I'm going to talk about 2 movies i recently saw, so if you want to see them without knowing about them first, maybe don't read this.
I hope I can work my way out of the pits. I feel much better today, and hopefully i can "do" much better today, but it's been a bad week with food.
And then i think and ask myself, "Michelle, if you use FOOD to express your feelings, then what else is going on in your life that may be causing you to feel 'out of control'?
For one, cliff's mom is on death's door every other day. I didn't realize until just yesterday that this is probably causing me lots of stress, watching my Mother-in-Law die. It's heartbreaking and like a roller coaster ride. One day we think she's dying, the next she pulls through, etc.. This has been very hard on Cliff and he needs me right now.
Being supportive for Cliff is a must but it comes with tension. What is my role? I'm more assertively minded than he is. "Call the home and tell them you want a new dr today!!" He's more laid back...wait and see, and it causes friction between us. I try to get him to see he has to take more control of the reigns, but sometimes i just have to let go.
His laid back attitude "wait and see, wait and see!" also affects how i feel about him. I do not like it when he has no cajones. I get angry at him. He is doing his best with his mom and running there DAILY to feed her, but the entire situation with the home, the staff, i could just scream. Why aren't they working as hard as he is to save him mom? I want to rip her out of that home and find a new one for her. But, she likes it there, and Cliff wants to keep her in comfortable and familiar surroundings. It is something i get intensely frustrated over, and i have to just let it in his hands. I hope he makes the right moves. And then i think, if i don't trust him, what am I doing with him?? He couldn't be more dedicated and devoted to his mother, it's just his style to be more, much more RESERVED than i am. And then i realize that and i realize how much he loves me and i him and no couples have the same style when it comes to parenting or taking care of parents. Couples always have friction in these areas.
But, it's been a stress. And my answer to stress is to eat.
I also have alot of music i have to learn in the next few months. Upcoming engagements always fill me with tremendous anxiety.
I have a christmas concert today i'm singing in. I'm trying to let go of anxiety and allow the music to come through me.
I want to be perfect and i'm not. With every imperfect performance, I lose confidence in myself, in my abilities. I look at all of the parts i screwed up on, instead of all of the parts i did well.
Did you see the BLACK SWAN?
There are so many life/performance lessons in it about confidence and personal power and insanity and the power of sexual energy and passion and getting stabbed in the back and competition in the arts and insecurity and self destruction and fear and independance vs. dependance and eating disorders and self mutilation and letting go vs control and so many more.... A GREAT film!
The most memorable lesson in the movie for me was when Nina's hot french teacher says to her (because she is too controlled and too frightened to play the Black Swan): "The only person standing in your way is yourself. Let go, and let a miracle happen."
Let go. Let go.
This is what my singing teacher keeps telling me.
I get so tense when i sing. On those rare occassions when i allow myself to let go of tension and allow the singing to come through me, i can make miracles happen, too. The french teacher in the film also says this and it's so true: "All of the technique in the world won't help you if you can't let go."
The movie is such an interesting exploration of so many themes i can relate to.
Another stress has been that my pianist is often passive aggressive and not very encouraging and supportive. This causes me pain. I should be more direct with him about telling me what's bothering him so that i don't have to experience what feels like abuse.
The more i write this, the more i realize just how much has been bothering me.
I also have a new opera starting rehearsals in 10 days. I'm somewhat prepared for it. The role is small and i've sung it twice before, so i shouldn't be that concerned about it, but, again, i want to be perfect. I have to learn from the Swan movie, that i just have to let go, let God, just trust, and relax. Do my work, study the music, work on what Dolores is teaching me, but then let go.
INSERTED LATER [I also have to learn the intense POWER of REHEARSAL and in SACRIFICING for one's art. You can't get GOOD if you don't put a LOT of DAILY WORK into it.]
After that opera, i have a HUGE role to relearn in one month - not that much time. i have to relearn it by feburary - feb is not that far off - and i'm quite concerned. i mean, i KNOW the role, but relearning it with my new teacher is also a HUGE stress. I did the role pretty freakin' fabulous before. I have to remember to not lose what i learned from my old teacher that worked for me.
As a matter of fact, the fact that i'm taking lessons from a new teacher has ALSO been a very big stress. She IS trying to teach me to just let go, drop the tension, and just allow myself to sing, so i KNOW there is hope for this direction of work together because i have done some amazing singing, better than EVER in her studio. What she is teaching me, it is exactly what i need. But she has in many ways, 'pulled the rug out from under me." My old teacher showed me how to "control" my technique. My new teacher is trying to take away my control. She wants to take me to the NEXT level and take away all of my crutches and all of my unnecessary tensions. It is a challenging process and within it, i have become more and more insecure in my ability to perform, because i have difficulty letting go and keep continually failing in performance to sing as well as i do in my lessons. Then, i go to my lesson feeling badly for having so-so perforamnces, and end up having the most incredible lesson where i've never sung BETTER! Wonderful lessons are exhilerating, but so-so performances are heart crushing. [I need to practice more.] Feeling that i need to rely on a teacher to sing well and that i can't yet do it on my own causes me undo stress also because i still have to perform and i've come to the point where i KNOW it won't be good enough now. I'm beginning to expect failure on my own. [I have to practice more.]
You know what? I just need to work more and stop complaining. I don't practice enough. If i want independance then i have to work at it. [There you go. I have to practice more.]
In the Black Swan, Nina's teacher, a hot womanizing frenchman, is trying to show her that she has it within her to push herself past her limitations, to let all of her passion out when she performs instead of being so controlled. My teacher is trying to do the same thing.
But it's scary. And i need to express my fears instead of eat over them. What good is it if i rely on food to allay my terrible insecurities??? I feel very much like Nina, the Swan, who begins to pick at her skin and cut herself and experience a complete mental breakdown as she tries to "let go" with her art. Two nights ago, at my rehearsal with my accompanist, i sang a high note poorly, so later on, I asked my accompanist if we could do that section again. (wanted to actaully DO what my teacher told me and when singing the high note, just "let go" and drop all tension.) Well, i did it, brilliantly! It felt so good, so free, and my accompanist said he got chills!!! Then he said he thought it was "a fluke", and questioned the direction i'm going in with my teacher. I came home severely distressed and ate. CAN i do that again, let go and allow the miracle to happen, or was it just a fluke? And do i have to eat over it just because his questioning my direction was distressful and unpleasant? Do I have to be supported by EVERYONE? Can't i handle a little irritation without eating??
Facing other people's opinions is a terrible challenge, sometimes. The Black Swan is ripe with backstabbing and gossip and underhanded actions and underhanded compliments and motives and insecurities and aging in art and questions about who to trust. Who DO you trust??? It's sometimes HARD to figure out just WHO to listen to, which direction to go in...
I actually trust my teacher. How amazingly i sing in my lessons gives me hope for the future some day. It's ME i don't trust, that i can accomlish it. [That has to change. I need to practice more.] I need to work more, and work more on my terribly lacking confidence. Confidence!!! [There you go. WORK MORE.]
Sometimes i think i should run back to my old teacher, who had me singing at a very good level... But, it was not 'free.' Yet, in trying to achieve freedom in my sound with my new teacher, i've experienced a collapse of many things i worked for years for, like a low larynx and an engaged diaphragm. Yet, something in me says that this new direction is worth it, that i will get there,...but it will TAKE TIME, will take PRACTICE...will take CONFIDENCE..and BALLS to actually relax and allow all of that to happen, naturally, instead of forcing it. My old teacher taught me to force. I may have to get through some imperfect and forced singing until i realize i CAN let go and relax, and learn to get good at trusting the new way. Basically, i have to teach my body to let go of control....in order to achieve control of my voice. Perplexing but true.
It begs the question with food. I'm in severe distress about what to do now with food. "Let go of control...in order to achieve it." What does that mean in terms of my food? Do i implement severe rigidity again? Or is rigidity and discipline exactly what i need??? Do I learn to "let go" and "trust my body"...and just eat what i want and forget about raw??? Or submit to a discipline that I know has worked for me?
Another thing that really has been bothering me is - if i do indeed have the ability to go professional with singing. Everything is against me, my escalating age and weight, but, YES, i have the voice, no doubt. But can i control it or learn to let go of control, learn to MASTER MYSELF in time to really DO something?
There is talk lately about really successful opera singers having a tough exterior and a nervous system that can handle severe stress. I am delicate, i really can't handle much without breaking down, and i have a jelly interior and exterior. One person says something to me negative and i crumble.
I so lack confidence.
Insecurity haunts me.
[I need to meditate more. I need to practice more. I need to want it more and stop complaining.] Yet, i remind myself that many of the best most talented people who have achieved great success in their fields have battled terrible insecurity and addiction.
All of this eating has so much to do with the mental state i am in this week - very, very depressed, very, very hopeless on so many levels. I guess these demons have always been at my door. Finding pleasure and stimulation in food has become a habit. I need to find a new way to cope.
Does the EATING cause the depression and the mental breakdown?? Or does the depression and the mental breakdown cause the eating???
The role I have for February is Lady Macbeth. Do you know Shakespeare? Verdi took Shakespeare's words and turned them into a masterpeice opera. The Lady is a heavy duty role and the music is NOT easy, but i can do it. I did it VERY WELL with my old teacher. Now, CAN i do it with my new one? Maybe if i relax and trust [and practice the new way], i can do it better than i did it before. That is the hope, but i seem to let myself down repeatedly recently. Can i let go and turn the tide? [practice more.]
All of this eating is a huge expression of nerves, sadness, lack of confidence, insecurity, fear, the list goes on and on. Poor singing is also a barometer or how i'm feeling. The soul sings. The sad soul can't sing.
And gaining weight makes me feel like the biggest failure on the planet, too. And not feeling able to get my food back under control makes me feel the same way.
How do i get my food back in control? 811? Raw Gourmet? Vegan? Vegetarian? Eat whatever the hell i want? Legalization? Weight Watchers? OA? What will work? In a state like this, i feel like NOTHING will work. How do i harness my power to succeed?
There are other stresses in my life, too.
I feel a tug of war between Cliff and my mother. He wants me to stay home with him. She wants me there with her. Now Cliff has not been feeling well and is worried about his health and he needs my help with eating better. Why is his eating better my responsibility? Men have become too used to their mother's cooking for them. I have to cook for my mother, too, that's been my responsibility for her, since she doesn't do it for herself. I feel so much co-dependance going on. Where is the line drawn between helping someone and them growing dependant on you? Do i have to take care of everyone? I'm going downhill. I need someone to take care of ME!
[I realize now that Cliff needs my support as his mother is dying.]
My mother is doing better this week and maybe she can let go of me a little and do more on her own? She has been. She's had a solid week of being active. It seems the time for rest is fadig and she's growing into the next stage of recouperation. She is not just lounging around the house, moping, feeling depressed and exhausted anymore. Her mood is much much better and she's able to accomplish more. Bravo, Mommy.
I added another day at work. I want to add more. Work at Arnold's is a pure raw joy and if i'm busy and not bored there, i thrive. Arnold's is such a magical place. Dustin and Meredith www.therawseed.com came from COLORADO to visit! What raw inspirations they are!
I used to be a raw inspiration. I still could be one if i could clear away all of this fog and actually become disciplined and work at it.
I'm thinking about getting a real cooking job somewhere. I CRAVE stimulation. EATING Food has been substituting for WORK stimulation. I need to get busy. Can i get busy MAKING food...and get PAID for it? Or should i just throw myself into my singing and practice at LEAST an hour a day?
Bills, bills, bills. Money is a stress, too. When you don't work and take care of others, you don't bring in the bacon. I have to take care of MYSELF better.
Some days i feel like the scarecrow in the wizard of oz. you know that scene on the yellow brick road where the scarecrow gets an arm pulled off, then a leg, then the other arm? I feel like i'm being pulled by everyone else in so many directions that i don't even know who i am. I feel like i want to throw myself into a job i love and let that help me to do better with myself. Hanging out at the Retirement Village with my parents is not stimulating.
Cliff and i also saw the movie, "The Fighter," which was not a very well made film, but had some really nice life lessons in it that were paralell to the Swan about confidence, about finding your personal power, about practice/rehearsal/discipline/sacrifice, about trust, about questioning who is really supporting you... And....about addiction.
Feeling very much like an addict lately, i could really relate to the crack-addicted brother in the film. A washed up Has-Been, he's constantly promising everyone he's going to make his come back into boxing. And then in the very next scene, he's back at the crack house getting high and missing important appointments that could help him and his brother, an up-and-coming boxer, himself.
Watching the crack-head brother self destruct, i saw myself. Food and binge eating have become my drug again and i'll do anything to get some food, even if it means my life is going down the tubes. My raw inspiration story is cooked. I'm getting fatter and fatter. Everytime i get in and out of the car, it's harder and harder to squeeze myself out and in. Yoga on Thursdays is a joy, but all of this extra weight on me reminds me of when it used to be easy.
This week has just been a wash out. I stopped writing Megan daily. I've not been able to stay on any plan and i'm just eating all of the time, feeling hopeless and frightened for myself, where i will take this. Back to 425? Maybe 450 this time?
I saw where the black swan took it. She had to die in order to achieve artistic perfection and allow her passion to take over her dancing. I don't want to die.
If my life is too stressful that it's causing me to self destruct, then, I have to learn to handle stress better and meditate more or change my life. Get a more alkeline diet. Work the Secret. I can't keep doing what i'm doing. This doesn't work.
I saw the brother in "The Fighter" overcome his crack addiction and go on to success, to creating something wonderful and powerful within himself and for his brother.
What do i want? To eat non stop and kill myself? Or to overcome my demons and MASTER MYSELF and become the person i so want to be - the successful singer, the succcessful former binge eater, the successful formerly obese person...the successful raw foodist?
I wake up and say, "I'm going to only eat bananas for the rest of this week." And then i'm in the kitchen eating bread and butter, like 10 peices of bread and a 1/2 stick of butter.
Try, try again.
Once i do that, i feel excited and rebellious and triumphant in "doing what i want." Wow, isn't that great? After i walk down the block and my legs rub together or i can't fit in the car anymore i realize what i want is sick and not the best thing for me and it confirms what a failure and fuck up i am and i say, 'fuck this" and just eat all day. [There is ALOT to say for DISCIPLINE and PRACTICE in ALL THINGS. If I want raw, i have to practice it.]
In that kind of state, the worse i feel physically, the more i eat. I start to smell and leave the house a mess and litter my car with food wrappers all over and i say to myself, "you are a peice of disgusting shit."
But i know i'm not. I'm the Swan. I just don't always act like it.
After watching both movies yesterday, i recognized myself in both leading roles. I suffer terribly from lack of confidence like Nina and Micky. I keep getting knocked down, like the both of them also. I suffer from depression and maybe some sort of mental illness like Nina, and terrible insecurity like both characters, making success seem elusive.
Success has felt...ELUSIVE.
But both of these movies end on a high note. Nina becomes the swan. She achieves artistic perfection! (But at what cost? Her life.) Her teacher KNEW she had it in her and she proves it to him. "I felt it," she says with her dying breath. And Dicky and Micky win fight after fight.
Triumph. Achievement. Success! They didn't THINK they could do it, but somewhere deeeeep down inside, they KNEW they had it in them.
I know i have it in me.
I just have to act like it. I know it is within me to succeed. "The only person standing in my way is myself. Let go and watch the miracle happen."
xoxo michelle joy
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Hope you all are well.
I'm having a great week!
I write Megan daily and report everything I eat, my exercise, my struggles, my successes, and funny stories from the day. Megan writes me encouaging emails that i feel so blessed to receive (with funny stories of her own that i soooo enjoy!) as she continues to write her new raw cookbook while residing temporarily in Arizona. (Her cookbook, "Easy to Be Raw" continues to be a big seller at Arnold's Way. http://www.meganelizabeth.com/.) Megan's support means the world to me and provides me with the structure I need. I LOVE to write to her daily! I sometimes write several times a day, and she never discourages it, only encourages me. It's pretty awesome....i'm blessed to have such a good friend, coach, pal, buddy! She also gives me plenty of room to wiggle around and find my own way. I used to weigh myself daily. That was cool with her. Now i'm on a new path with that. And that's cool with her, too. Her easy going style suits me perfectly right now. I ultimately rebeled against the strict dictatorship of Carlene and Dr. D. Flexility is SO much better! And most of all, it's just comforting to know I have Megan in my corner. "We're routing for you here!," she told me at the conclusion of our last call. So simple, but it made a big impact. "We're routing for you!" Megan and her boyfriend, Joey, are routing for little old me? Aw...shucks. THANK YOU! It's a tremendous help and support. I need that. And i'm so entirely grateful for it.
So, what am i eating these days?
I have green smoothies for breakfast on most days. This week, I think one day i had fake "snausages" and toast instead.
I usually have some sort of a snack before lunch. Today it was a few fingerfuls of raw cashew pate. Yesterday, it was oatmeal.
For lunch, i've been wanting something cooked vegan, so that's what i do. Today i had rice vermicelli noodles with raw veggies and summer rolls with tofu. Yesterday i had rice vermicelli noodles again with veggies and a vegetable spring roll.
I usually get hungry again in between and will snack on clementines or grapes. Today I had a vegan hot chocolate.
For dinner, it's cooked vegan again. Today i had steamed tofu with mixed veggies at the local chinese place. Yesterday, I had a fake bologna sandwhich on whole wheat bread with fresh veggies.
And, before I go to bed, i'm hungry again and enjoy something fruity. Sometimes i'll have like 5 clementines. Tonight i had a thick smoothie of banana and berries. The night before i had a thick smoothie of frozen peaches, bananas and berries. I like to eat these with a spoon.
I eat when i get hungry these days, instead of eating compulsively. I tend to have 3 meals and 3 snacks.
I meditate now in the mornings and throughout the day. The meditating is doing WONDERS for me.
The meditation is an observation exercise i learned at http://www.fhu.com/, that i've known and practiced and fallen off and back into and back off of for YEARS. I'm back on...and it WORKS when i WORK it!
How does it work? It's pretty amazing. Here is an awesome explanation. Especially read the part below that describes how life is like being at a movie... http://www.fhu.com/meditation.html
Doing the meditation, my ego takes a back seat and all of a sudden, seemingly without effort, I'm doing what I "should." It's quite miraculous.
Hey, good news, I'm also exercising daily! Today i swam and water walked for a half hour at the gym. Yesterday, i worked out for 30 mins on the eliptical trainer at the clubhouse here in my parents' community. Other days I walk for 20-40 minutes around the neighborhood while reading a fabulous crime novel.
Cliff and I also jump on the mini Needok trampoline daily. We set it up at my parents, in the basement, in front of the fish tank, and the fish are having so much fun watching us bounce around like idiots, having fun! I'm up to 4 minutes a day!
Binge eating is GREATLY diminished. How is THAT for new? I think i had trouble last week. This week is free and clear. Food doesn't cause binge eating. Otherwise I'd be binge eating today. It's NOT the food. I needed to figure this out.
I don't weigh myself anymore. I'm somewhere in the 330's. Maybe i'm in the 320s? I've decided to let my BEHAVIOR determine my mood/self worth...instead of my WEIGHT for today. This way, i feel good all of the time, because my behavior has been really commendable. For an out-of-control binge eater like me, having self control feels frickin' unbelievable.
I find if I start my day with my meditation, everything falls into place and I WANT to do the right thing. And you know what? When you do good things, you feel better and you want to do good things. Exercise FEELS good. You start to WANT to feel good.
My raw days are coming up again! Tomorrow and Friday I work at Arnold's Way, so they will be my 2 raw days again this week. Yay!
Tomorrow night, I start a weekly yoga class at 7pm after work - that's a new fun thing. I haven't done yoga in MONTHS and MONTHS. It will feel good to stretch out again!!! I'm taking the class with my high school girlfriend, so it will be a social visit, too! I'll kill 2 birds with one stone!
And, Friday night, there is a 811 Buffet at Arnold's Way, being prepared by a wonderful well known vegan chef named Wendy Landiak, who once owned and operated a very popular vegetarian restaurant in Emmaus, PA, called BALASIA. Here is a nice article on Wendy. http://www.balasia.net/natawake.html .
Tomorrow's raw dinner promises to be something special. Wendy, who is not a raw chef, will be one for the night, and will prepare everything 811 style, using no salt, little fat (avocado, nuts), and raw fruits and vegetables only. The real kicker will be to notice how incredibly well we all feel AFTER eating such a light and healthy meal!!
I acknowledge fully that my weight was MUCH MUCH better when i was 100% raw.
I look at myself in the mirror today and see a different me than the one I became accustomed to seeing in the mirror everyday for over 3 years. BUT...this is where i am today and I accept it. I have to be HERE. Self LOVE will show me the way back. I once said it, and i'll say it again, "You can't hate yourself into eating bananas." It won't last. I'd just gain the weight back. Everything has to eminate from self love, from wanting to FEEL good. Looking good is no reason to do something. It's not strong enough motivation. And it's all EGO. The motivation has to come from deep within. I'll get there!
To elaborate on that idea, I've realized that when i use "effort" and "ego" to accomplish something like dieting, losing weight, it always backfires, and i end up binge eating anyway out of frustration because the success is not overnight. SO WHY BOTHER???
Slow and steady is my motto these days. Consistent good behavior brought about by me relinquishing control to my HIGHER POWER by meditating, and with the supporive gently guiding friendship of Megan are controlling me today instead of food compulsions. AWESOME!
As for my weight, I'm much more concerned with ceasing binge eating than with dieting today. What helps me to stop it is allowing myself everything i want within reason. The point is i'm NOT dieting. I've eaten fried plantains and fried spring roll this week. The nice part is, the more and more I fall into a routine and I drink smoothies for breakfast and snacks and eat fruit between meals, that's what i want! The more I do it, the more i want to do it!
The unfortunate part is, the more i eat fake wheatmeat and bread and noodles, that becomes what i want, too, for lunch and dinner. For today, i simply enjoy it and have gratitude that i'm not binge eating. I want to allow it to drop away in it's own time. Force doesn't work. Does it work for you? In the long run, it NEVER works.
The meditation also helps incredibly with self control around food. I notice that i am alot calmer around food. I just make better choices. I'm alot more reasonable. And don't just pick up food because i "want" it. Something else is controlling me besides that old-binge-me i became again. This "better" me is being reborn. I feel like that old me at the raw retreat that walked miles and miles a day...not because i HAD to, but because i enjoyed it...and wanted to!
My energy is...ehhh, okay, good. But not great.
I remember on raw experiencing incredible surges of energy and blissful happiness. I feel happy today and like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, which i am grateful for, but i don't get surges of energy. I usually nap daily actually on cooked now, and now that i'm exercising.
2 days of raw this week will be examined. How do i feel? Do i have energy? Could i continue for a 3rd day into saturday? Pure Raw Joy will eventually win out.....if it's best for me!
xoxo michelle joy
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I feel a new energy, a new love, a new wonderful something growing in me. I had two full days of raw and working at Arnold's Way. I have the curious feeling that what i've been looking for has been right under my nose all along. Megan http://www.meganelizabeth.com/ is my daily confidant, my daily encouraging buddy. She listens. She encourages. I've started a new relationship with God again, too.
Here are some spiritual insights and eating insights i have been having:
- Self control is a gift of the Spirit - I prayed and desired it, and it came, miraculously. It's amazing! It's not the FOOD that gives us self control, it's the Spirit!
- Raw food can seriously help with self control, but self control doesn't come from it. Self control comes from love, belief, faith, connection to a higher power.
- Out of control eating can be stopped by recognizing it and asking the Spirit for help. God provides amazingly when I let Him! Such wonderful timing He has, it has amazed me the last two days and I have been filled with gratitude!
- My attitude and the openness of my heart have everything to do with how well I do with food or don't!
- Raw food is energizing! It feels wonderful to feel energized!
- (On a good day when the Spirit is in control) Cooked vegan food is also fabulous and energizing in it's own way. It's a choice I make. I can choose to enjoy it with the right attitude!
- Raw food is always there for me to go light, clean out, feel renewed and open the channels for the Spirit! I can trust God to lead me!
- I feel my ENERGY moving and it feels so much better than walking around like a dead huge zombie in pain when i binge eat and turn from God. The channels are closed to energy, to Spirit, to life....
- Walking with the Spirit and paying attention to the world and my friends and loved ones and myself, not being "caught up" in my emotions or internal drama or reactions, but detatching from that and letting it go (putting it all in God's hands) and switching my focus OUT while gently watching and observing myself and others......is such a much better way to live.
- When I am not self focused and self absorbed like i usually am, I can respond to my and other's pains, needs, wants, true desires.
- The meditation exercise I practice works when i work it!!! I learned it at The Foundation of Human Understanding: http://www.fhu.com/ . Paying attention and observing myself and others has NO JUDGEMENT in it. Only LOVE. It is the ONLY way!
- Staying close to God and choosing raw are like any new practices - they need support to thrive, they need attention and focus and constant encouragement!
xoxo michelle joy