Sunday, May 8, 2011


Today is my 6th day raw, so why do i feel so bad?






Nope. Social again, getting out!

_ _ _

But, I cry alot.

I'm sad sometimes. Then happy. Emotions feel like waves, and I'm getting used to it. As soon as a grey cloud passes, the sun is shining again.

I'm definitely in an emotional detox, alright.

Today, i respect the uncomfortable feelings and ask them what they want to tell me. I go easy on myself and don't place 'shoulds' on myself. If i feel bad, i ask myself what would nurture me until i feel better.

~ ~ ~

: cantaloupe, strawberry, banana smoothie (i know, bad food combining, but it was yummy!!!)

Lunch: salad with 1/4 cup of walnut pate on top (made with no salt, only some nutritional yeast), 1 stuffed date

Dinner: Cinnamon Apple Smoothie - 1.5 bananas, 1 apple, grapes, cinnamon
1/2 cup of raw tomato soup
3 stuffed dates

_ _ _ _

For followers of the blog, last you heard of me, i was doing my own version of "Weigh Down Workshop." I'd quit the real group outright since I'd discovered that WDW is really a tool used by a cult, The Remnant Church, to recruit members.

The WDW left it's emotional scars, even though i only was involved for a little over a week. My head was messed up something fierce. Today, I'm glad to be free of Gwen Shamblin in my head. Uy, that Tennessee accent...

Weigh Down is supposed to be about loving God so much you refrain from eating. It turns out that Weigh Down has little to do with a loving God, and alot to do with mind control and lots of insane rules and regulations, judgements, fear, falsehoods, and manipulations. Instead of being obsessed with food, Weigh Downers become obsessed with Gwen, follow her twisted lead like little robots, leave their husbands and families and move to Tennesse to worship 'her'.

I should have known she was nuts by that hairdo she wears.

_ _ _

On my own, I did well with my food for a few days, but then things went downhill. With one-bite-too-many of food, i was a "sinner." It was hard to get WDW out of my head. Now I had to fast for 24-36 hours after overeating to repent of my sin. Dizzy from diabetes, and a gnawing starving feeling constantly, I gave up. I'd have to find a new way.

_ _ _

I was beginning to become resigned to the fact that I invariably overeat, binge and lose control with cooked food. I was back to examining my eating from that perspective. It was the only thing left.

What had once promised so much freedom, cooked in moderation, now seemed not only impossible, but like the problem, a dream that I could never attain. It's that 'just one drink" mentality an alcoholic has.

I wasn't making progress on my own and I didn't have money to see a nutritionist or Eating Disorder therapist to help direct me. I also knew she'd suggest I take a multitude of medications for the depression, and be resistent to any ideas about raw. I knew i couldn't get a gastric bypass. I don't have insurance. "I can't make this work."

I went into a pretty bad depression. My mother was worried about me. I even called out of work. I didn't know what i was going to do to stop eating. My chronic and extreme water retention was debilitating. I couldn't bend my legs and could barely walk without feeling intensely uncomfortable. And, my knees were clicking and sending shooting pains, my lower back was in knots, my new high blood pressure and diabetes symptoms were on full force, I was dizzy and woozy often, my snoring kept growing louder, and I couldn't stop gaining weight and certainly couldn't stop eating. I was beyond depressed and hopeless. I'd gained 120 lbs back since going off of raw.

...You have to hit a bottom, they say.

_ _ _

The story of the 600 lb mother of 6 was playing on cable. Her 6 daughters washed her, picked up her wads of skin and scrubbed under them. They also brought her platefuls of rice and fried shrimp. "I love fried shrimp!" the 600 lb Haitian woman smiled as she chewed. I related. I love fried shrimp, too, and look where it's gotten me, too.

600 lb Dominique Lanoise could no longer walk, not even to the bathroom, or sleep without choking from the water collecting in her lungs.

A doctor assigned to her case put her on a restricted calorie diet, one that would help release weight, help release her from her prison of fat.

Dominique struggled on the new diet. She became angry and lashed out at her daughters. One of her daughters brought her fried shrimp and rice so she'd feel better. "I love fried shrimp," she said with that creole accent, smiling.

Dominique was in denial. The moderator observed, "The only thing that makes Dominique happy is to eat. Only it's food that is killing her."

I related. I soooo related.

_ _ _

My friend, Val, from Arnolds Way, and I began emailing each other in the midst of all of this. Val had been raw for a long time like i was, too, and had lost ALOT of weight and KEPT IT OFF, like I did, too. But as soon as she started eating cooked, she began to gain and her cravings for cooked food grew and grew. Soon, everything unraveled. She put it simply, "We're food addicts," she said. "We have to go back to 100% raw."

I still didn't like the idea. "Food is food. It's not the problem. It's my sin state or my emotions. I HAVE to learn how to moderate it!"

My friend, Karen, began emailing me. She'd been over 10 days back on raw. She'd now regained control of her compulsive eating, had renewed hope that the extra weight she was carrying (from going back to cooked) would fall away, was thrilled that the diabetic symptoms that returned with her departure from raw had now ceased, along with a nasty case of chronic daily diarreah that she developed after gallbladder surgery months ago. Raw was taking away troublesome symptoms...and she was relieved, recommitted, renewed.

The success and support of my email friends was opening a door to help me see the light.

_ _ _

I still wanted "it all." I love cooked food and if i could, i'd eat fried fish and fried shrimp like Dominique, and fried anything dipped in butter and mayo, all day, in huge volume, if i could...without gaining weight and becoming obsessed.

No such luck. With my metabolism, my proclivity to become obsessed and addicted to food, the only thing fried shrimp does is excite me, send me on a binge, and make me fatter and fatter.

Believe me, i did NOT want to stop eating cooked.

I cannot reiterate that enough. I did not believe i was addicted. I was through with that 'addiction' model believing it is the FOOD that is the problem. "Cooked food can be healthy!," I cried!

Yes, it can. But, in my present state, with my present health challenges, for today, i gladly give it up.

_ _ _

After the first day back on raw, I felt like i had COME HOME.

Raw was my last hope. I really didn't have a choice. I don't have insurance to take blood pressure and diabetes meds. I needed to heal, naturally, first of all.

....They say, you have to hit bottom. Mine took 2 years and 120 lbs gained to arrive. I started experimenting with cooked in May, 2009. Dominique's bottom still didn't come...and she's stuck in bed weighing 600 lbs.

I told myself i could eat raw for ONE day. I believed it. I made it happen. I wasn't committed to anything more than a day. "After that," i told myself, "i'll treat myself with cooked!," and was excited about what i'd choose! Fried shrimp, baby!

The first day, i drank smoothie for breakfast, had a big salad with an avo mashed with lemon and raw vinegar and garlic and nutritional yeast for lunch, and for dinner, some fruit and a smoothie later. Okay! I did it!!

The next day, i felt so much better, i wanted to stay raw that day, too. I followed a similar plan.

Soon, I was envisioning staying on raw a week! I'd actually followed through and gotten back on raw...! Jeez, louise!

_ _ _

Now that i'm back, I don't WANT to eat cooked anymore. I gladly forego all of those fun, spontaneous trips to exotic restaurants for vietnamese or mexican. The crunch of fried shrimp, the slurpy noodles.

The water retention. The constant dizzyness.

I couldn't handle where it brought me. I couldn't moderate it. I couldn't make it work for me.

Whether it was ME or the FOOD at fault, what i was doing wasn't working. If you walk down a street and fall into a hole, walk down another street.

I've never been able to stick to a diet for 3.5 years like i did with raw.

I don't want to return to out-of-control binge eating like i did on cooked. It's too nice here. I don't even wanna test the waters! I plucked out the chick peas in the salad my mom made me, not because i think chick peas are evil, i don't. I plucked them out because I'm enjoying the respite and peace that raw is providing, and i don't want to take any chances on fucking up and going back to where i was. I don't want to live in a prison of fat like Dominique. If i have to give up chick peas...and fried shrimp to do it, so be it.

My friend, Val, writes, "Be grateful for the past 6 days. The biggest thing is staying on the beach. You were out in the ocean with rip tides and now you are back on the beach. That is a big accomplishment."

I just LOVE that...."stay on the beach."

I don't wanna be out in the riptides anymore.

_ _ _

When and if I decide I want to incorporate cooked into my diet again, i'll find a good Eating Disorders Therapist who can help me gradually incorporate healthy cooked food, a little at a time, like beans, so i still have borders and parameters and don't spin out of control.]

_ _ _

Val said, 'With raw, there are so fewer options for eating. It's so much easier.'

She's right! It's what i needed again. It's a safe haven.

_ _ _

I'd been in so much fear. Having gained, i was afraid to see anyone. My face look awful. Big bloated. I wasn't even "pretty but fat Michelle" anymore. I couldn't stop obsessing about the parties i had coming up, wanting to cancel, the Bar Mitzvah in June, the concert in July.

After i went raw, all of those fears about who i was going to see, and all of that crushing shame and feelings of inadequacy....vanished.

Val confirmed the same thing happened with her, "Yeah, i was in a lot of fear, too. It's lifted also!"

Cooked food is acidic if you eat it like i do, all of the wrong choices in the wrong combinations in huge portions with mayo spread all over it and plopped in the deep fryer. It puts you into a highly acidic state. The overwhelming fear and depression i was feeling....were really chemical reactions from poisening myself.

In 6 days, the lightness and brightness i feel is extraordinary.

_ _ _

Yes, i have to feel my feelings now and sometimes i feel low and down inexplicably, but i observe, i ask, i write, i move THROUGH it.

MOST of the "I don't feel good on raw," fears I occassionally have, i'm seeing, have NOTHING to do with raw. And more to do with repressed emotion that needs an outlet. Plain and simple, I've taken away my drug, and the emotions are uncorked. Positive AND negative feelings start to come flooding to the surface. For people like me unaccustomed to dealing with their emotions, this can be scary to not "feel" good. Thankfully, I've been given enough grace to deal with it so far. I'm thankful.

I cry, I talk, I write. I stay aware. I investigate and question.

Right now, I'm discovering WHAT raw foods make me feel physically better than others. Avocado as a fat doesn't give me gas, but nuts do, i'm finding. And, after nuts, my energy drops.

I'm going to start soaking my nuts/seeds to see if that makes a difference.

_ _ _

Low-salt raw is also helping me stay committed. My face looks like ME again. I only use nutritional yeast and no salt outright (as I have such a tremendous issue with water retention).

Letting go of salt is SO helping me stay on track. I realized that much of my binge eating was in REACTION to the PHYSICAL discomfort i was in, being filled up with salt and water. I was poisening myself with the levels of salt i was taking in.

When i do eat salt in the future, i'll have to really focus to stay in control.

So far, i'm amazed how easy it is to stay OFF of salt, but make raw food taste AMAZING!

_ _ _

You know, the night before I did raw for that one day, i was so packed with fluid, i actually took a water pill because I couldn't bend my legs.

Looking back, it was a medical decision that saved my life.

....It helped me move forward.

And it relieved high blood pressure dizzyness.

Most importantly, it freed me up to feel physically better, so i could DO better. FEEL DO better.

_ _ _

Look forward to exciting low-salt raw recipes, and snippets of my correspondance with both Val and Karen.

I don't know if i'll be raw the rest of my life, or even tomorrow. But i am committed to it, for today. And that's an amazing place to be in.

Happy to be back.

xoxo michelle joy

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