Since it seems i have little idea how to control my weight as of late (i've gained 100 lbs since going off of raw and have been unable to reverse the tide much), i'm involving myself more and more in spiritual and mental ways to conquer it. When i just focus on changing my food, i constantly fail as of late and end up binge eating or overeating invariably.
I realize that when i lost my initial 140 lbs at Optimum Health Institute, i was in an atmosphere of total hope, total surrender, total gratitude, total faith, total focus on exercise and feeling good and loving myself and accepting myself totally and completely. At OHI no one walked around apologizing for the poor state of health they were in. We were all there, in the same boat, grateful to be taking charge of it. I never realized just how powerful all of this was in my recovery, and how no wonder just focusing on the food seems to keep failing. There was so much more to my recovery, and it unwittingly slipped through my fingers.
Well, it's now time to reclaim success. Below are some ways I am working on improving my situation. I like to write, so set aside time to read this long entry if you like.
To improve my general outlook on life, I and a co-worker created a "The Secret" class at Arnold's Way. And true to form, since doing focusing more on the teachings of "The Secret," my level of gratitude has increased, i feel happier and more willing. Our plan is that developing our sense of gratitude will "attract" success into our lives, be it financial or weight success or career success, as "The Secret" teaches.
The first week of class, participants created vision boards. The second week we watched "The Secret" DVD and had a supporitve chat. This week, we will likely watch the DVD again, or a portion of it, and will work on changing our complaint lists into gratitude lists.
Come join us. THURSDAYS at 7pm for "The SECRET," Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe and Education Center, Lansdale, PA 19446 / phone: 215 361 0116
I've also participated in a few RAW OA phone meetings and have been emailing a fellow compulsive eater.
In case you might be interested, this OA phone meeting takes place on Monday nights and focuses on alternative diets. It's on from 9 to 10 pm EST.
You have to call 712-432-3900 and enter the access code 186262#.
It can be helpful to hear people in OA who are raw, partly raw, vegetarian, vegan, or who have other "alternative meal plans" (gluten free, etc...). The meeting has an alternative diet focus, but the meeting is open to anyone for participation.
Readings come from 12 Step books, which if you own, can be helpful to have on hand for the call, and there is also open sharing, and open fellowship from 10pm-10:30pm
OA Program of Recovery_ _ _ _ _ _
Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive eating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Worldwide meetings and other tools provide a fellowship of experience, strength and hope where members respect one another’s anonymity. OA charges no dues or fees; it is self-supporting through member contributions.
OA is not just about weight loss, gain or maintenance; or obesity or diets. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet. If you want to stop your compulsive overeating, welcome to Overeaters Anonymous.
FOOD COMBINING and EXERCISE
Cliff and I are still working our food combining program (though i fall off of it regularly and he does not), and doing this together has strengthened our relationship, and has really helped his health. He is down 15 lbs, is never bothered by reflux or postnasal drip or shooting pains in his liver anymore. We eat fish and quinoa and millet and salad and veggies for dinner; fruit smoothies every morning for breakfast; and salad and veggies and gluten free starch for lunch. When I do not eat outside of this plan, like landing at McDonalds for filet o' fish sandwhich binges, i do pretty well, meaning i still generally overeat, but don't binge at home. There's nothing illegal here to eat, and i haven't ordered fried stuff from the corner restaurant in a few weeks. Things are improving ever so slowly..., but it's the mental and the spiritual that are going to have to be the focus, i think.
Oh, and exercise. I walked 1 hour with Cliff the other day. Was that a struggle... But i felt like a champion when that was done, and have the best of intentions for continuing in that direction. Exercise raises the feel-good feelings and burns calories and revs the metabolism. Any plan for regaining health must include it - the body and mind are ONE. I know that at OHI where i lost my initial 140 lbs, i walked and swam DAILY and that that was a MAJOR MAJOR influence on my success, in terms of weight loss, overall fitness, and mental health. I have to exercise to get healthy.
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The Real Cause of Weight Gain
Directly below, you will find a blog post by Jinjee Talifero concerning compulsive eating and the real cause. I thought this was a fantastic post that a fellow compulsive eater sent to me. It was posted on February 18, 2011 by Jinjee Talifero on her Garden Diet Blog page. I cut an pasted the article below, but here is the link to the blog in case you would like it: http://jinjeetalifero.com/?p=395#more-395.
Since reading this blog article, i've purchased the Marianne Williamson book from Amazon, and the meditation CD. I'm looking forward reading and meditating on letting go of fear, as Williamson points out fear and love cannot coexist, and that healing comes exclusively from self love. I recognize how fear has played a huge part in my disease with food, and my reluctance to pursue singing professionally... I'm looking forward to sharing more with you on this topic.
THE REAL CAUSE OF WEIGHT GAIN by Jinjee Talifero
Why do I still struggle with food issues 18 years after going raw? I lost about 45 lbs. in the first few months of being a raw vegan. 18 years later I’ve put back on about 15 of those pounds, which isn’t bad, considering I’m now 43, have had 5 children, home-school and run a business. Also I’ve built some muscle, which weighs quite a bit more than fat. But what I don’t like is my often erratic relationship with food.
Sometimes I cruise along eating 100% raw for months at a time, and I’m really grateful that I have those times! I’m grateful for the days I don’t think about food, and for the times I’ve managed to do a water fast. I’m grateful that I enjoy exercise more and more as I get older, that I enjoy movement, and that I like a lot of things about my body. I’m grateful that I am happy with who I am and learning to fully accept myself, the whole package, inner and outer, as I am.
That acceptance and self-love is a new development, on this level anyway, for which I have in part to thank the book “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson.
I mentioned that for periods of time I do fine with my relationship with food. But then there are also times of stress, whether financial or emotional stress, or whether related to my children or my work, or times when I may stagnate in my spiritual growth, or I experience disappointment, low energy, or depression. During these times my relationship with food is not so healthy. Sometimes I will eat constantly, eat too much, eat things I know are not good for me, indulge in cooked foods and even junk foods, stay up too late, stress too much, stop working out, stop drinking water. It would puzzle me that after all this time, I could still be battling these demons. It would puzzle me that being a raw vegan for so long did not heal my food addictions or my self-destructive behaviors.
Through working in this field and talking with hundreds of people online in my 21 Day Raw Cleanse and 28 Day Transition-to-Raw Program, and through my own experiences, I had begun to realize that going raw was not the complete answer to healing our relationship with food. It is the greatest diet in the world, no doubt! And plants are obviously the most natural and most nourishing foods available. But I realized that if we do not desire to live, then we will find ways to hurt ourselves even on the best diet in the world.
So, I began to focus on the things that brought me the greatest joy and peace and “life”. These included love, positivity, happiness, forgiveness, pleasure, time out, and dedication to doing my best work in the world. To anchor these things in my life took a lot of journaling and a lot of praying. And I began to write about these things, and developed a motivational “happiness” or “well-being” program to go along with our diet and exercise programs.
I so much enjoyed writing this program, that I thought I would like to write a book called “Spiritual Weight Loss”. I googled it to see if anyone else had done it, and “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson came up. Marianne is a best-selling author of many books based on “A Course in Miracles”, including “A Woman’s Worth” and “A Return to Love”. After she started reading “A Course in Miracles” she automatically dropped all her excess weight without particularly trying to. “A Course in Miracles” is a spiritual teaching about the nature of God. The main philosophy of “The Course” is that love and fear are opposites, and where there is fear there can be no love, and where there is love there can be no fear. They cancel each other out.
Hence the teaching in “A Course in Weight Loss” describes our excess weight, our dysfunctional relationship with food, as a manifestation of our fears. To be free of these fears, we simply need to love ourselves completely. So a lot of the exercises in the book are designed to help us love and accept the unloved places within us. And as you practice this, you stop counting calories and thinking about food and playing the hate games with yourself, and your whole life just starts to come in to balance and harmony, you find meaning in your life, everything makes sense and you become whole. And all the reasons you abused food are gone, and the habit of abusing food simply dies away as if it never was.
Many of the chapters in “A Course in Weight Loss” mirror my own daily exercises in the motivational section of our Go Raw Programs. Marianne Williamson and I both write about conscious eating, loving yourself, surrendering, allowing yourself to feel your feelings, allowing yourself to feel pain, putting together a support network, finding ways to embrace discipline, the importance of and methods for forgiveness, and doing your true work in the world.
Here are some of the beautiful concepts you’ll find in “A Course in Weight Loss”
“Love is that which both created and sustains you. It’s both your connection to your true reality and your alignment with the positive flow of the universe. Remembering this Divine truth – that love is who you are – is key to your healing, for your relationship to food is an area where your nervous system has lost the memory of its Divine intelligence. As you remember your own Divine truth, the cells of your body will remember theirs”.
“Reconnection to your spiritual reality is achieved through a force called here Divine Mind. It is a gift from God that will return you to your sanity, whenever you choose to call on it. Your compulsion is a place where, in your spiritual forgetfulness, you go temporarily insane if even for a moment – just long enough to open the bag of potato chips that’s the trigger to your binge food mania”.
“The consciousness of the human race is dominated by fear, which has coalesced in your life in the form of a particular behavioral pattern: compulsive overeating. In doing this course, you will command the spirit of fear to depart”.
“The power of love is perfect, creative, self-organizing, healthy, self-healing, and abundant. The power of fear is insane, destructive, violent, disease producing, and lacking. It expresses itself as an impostor self, perverting your true nature and making you behave in a way that is opposite of who you truly are. It is spiritually immature to underestimate the power of either of these two forces. Both of them are active, and both of them have their eyes on you. One wishes you well, and the other wishes you dead”.
“Whether or not you are a food addict is something only you can say. Every food addict is a compulsive overeater, but not every compulsive eater is an addict. The principles in this course apply to both”.
Jinjee’s note: In my opinion this course/book would benefit anyone who experiences any kind of self-destructive behavior, ever!
“It’s all right if this part of your journey is not pleasant. Part of your repatterning is learning to be with unpleasantness in a healthy way. The mature and sober person knows that on some days things simply feel rotten, and that is okay. You are learning to move through distress by simply being with it, without the need to overeat or to act out in any other way”.
“The weight you are seeking to let go of was added to your consciousness before it was added to your body. Your body is merely a screen onto which is projected the nature of your thoughts. When the weight is gone from your consciousness, it will be gone from your physical experience. In asking God to remove the cause, you automatically remove the effect”.
“A Course in Weight Loss” contains 21 chapters with 21 Exercises to help heal your relationship with food. I am recommending this book as an additional and optional study aid for our 21 Day and 28 Day Go Raw Programs. In the online forum for these programs, in the next sessions starting March 14th 2011, we will have a “Group” in the community for those who would like to do the 21 Exercises day-by-day together, and discuss them in the online community. If you would like to join in you can purchase “A Course in Weight Loss” here…
You can participate in our 28 Day Transition-to-Raw Program starting March 14th and/or our 21 Day Raw Cleanse starting April 11th and work through “A Course in Weight Loss” in a supportive online forum while eating a 100% raw vegan diet! I believe that Marianne’s book will help our participants stick with the program, and that eating a raw diet while reading “A Course in Weight Loss” will give readers the mental clarity to fully absorb these incredible lessons!
Our link is below to find out more: The Garden Diet “Go Raw” Programs
xoxo michelle joy