Monday, June 20, 2011


Good morning,

This is long, so read it in chunks if you want.

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I had a marvelous day Sunday. Letting go of the salt for the 2nd day in a row, i felt rejuvenated and full of energy. I also ate less, and felt more energetic for it. I had smoothie for breakfast, cherries for lunch, an apple before dinner, a big salad with avo and cashew for dinner, and pineapple for dessert.

Cliff and i frolicked in the pool all afternoon. We have so much fun together.

I felt good and positive all day. It was a pure raw joy kinda day.

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Monday morning, i am somewhat humbled again, discouraged, down, battling myself and my desires, questioning what is best for me. I have so much on my mind.

I had 2 no salt raw days. But in those 2 days, I overate fat. [subsequently, it's been 3 no salt days]

I have been having a hell of a time emotionally over the past few days when it comes to my overeating fat and my weight. I have been so discouraged and i've been writing a lot about it and rambling and erasing and writing more, writing over it.

Then, finally, coming to terms with it. It takes that much internal work sometimes.

[Just know that we CAN get through these troubling questions in our lives. Writing can be an important tool. I usually share with you everthing i write, my long, long, long blogs, but negativity begets negativity and the negative frustrated "venting" writing i do is cathartic, but i think it's better to share with you more positive oriented posts, even if they are long, long, too.]

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Anyway, a friend, Sheryl, and I are going to support each other on our diets. I think it will give me the structure I need. Left out on my own without a good healthy support and structure to what i'm doing makes me feel anchor-less and somewhat lost.

I'm looking forward to feeling more positive about how i'm doing, getting better results and feeling better physically. Eating too much fat depresses me physically and emotionally and stunts my weight loss.

My efforts in the next weeks with Sheyl will be on increasing exercise and monitoring/decreasing fat.

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Well, here are some of the writings i did the other day on the internal struggle i go through, that i think merit including, and which i subsequently expounded hugely upon, but i think it's worth it:

I was at the market this morning and saw some raw cow's milk cheese. I wanted it.

But I asked myself, "Is this really in your best interest?" And the answer was, "No."

It occurred to me that saying 'No' to myself is difficult, but necessary.

It also occurred to me as I watched mothers pushing shopping carts with children in them that there are all kinds of parents in the world. There are parents who say 'No' to their children, and parents who are permissive. Some children are completely out of control. And some children are controlled.

It also occurred to me that the expression 'self control' meant that there are forces within us at war, similar to the struggles between parent and child. As adults, we are parenting ourselves all day!

My rebellious nature (rebellious internal child) would usually have screamed and hollered, "I want that cheese!," and my permissive internal parent would have bought it for the kid. The kid would have eaten the whole thing, and i would have unwittingly triggered the binge cycle again.

Today i watched my desire for the cheese, realized i was in a battle of wills between what the rebellious child in me wanted and what the caring and loving parent knew what was best.

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There are all kinds of parents, right? Some are wise and strict and use tough love to discipline their children. Some parents are abusive.

i'm going to continue on that theme.

Who is to say what is abusive and what is tough love? Well, we are! We need to determine that.
Some parents believe the bible tells them to beat their children. "Spare the rod, spoil the child."

Some parents never lay a finger on their children because Dr. Spock told them not to.

Some parents let their kids get away with anything because they don't want to exert control.

When you get down to how someone raises their child, there are always extreme passionate differences of opinion.

Now WONDER why it is so hard to decide how to parent ourselves!!!

How were you parented? How do you parent yourself?

We really need to evaluate what we consider abusive and what is tough love, concerning ourselves, and set some rules before we even START an exercise or diet plan. Otherwise, how can we see it through???? We'll always give up!

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Do you put yourself on plans that you never follow through on?

You have a very permissive parent in you. Either that, or you have a child who is wiser than the parent and thinks they know what is best. Maybe the child does know what's best. Maybe the parent creates outlandish plans that are unrealistic.

Do you put yourself on plans that are achievable, but when you start to do them, you realize it's more than you bargained for?

Who wins? Parent or child? Who's in control?

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I think anyone who is not having success in their life has an out of control kid, throwing a tantrum, in control of their life. And that ain't good and it ain't gonna bring you success.

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Making yourself do something when you don't want to is HARD. Usually we give up and let the kid win.

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Not getting the cheese for myself was tough love.

But it felt like ABUSE. Poor me, i suffered.

And i ask myself, 'Is this really the wisest course, to eliminate whole food groups. Isn't it better to learn how to eat them in moderation?'

My parent and child don't understand yet what the deal is. I have a parent who waffles alot because she doesn't know what is right, and a kid who'll take any opportunity to find a chink in the armor for an out.

That is part of my overall confusion. If i am going to succeed, my internal parent needs to decide what the deal is, and it has got to make sense. And, my parent has got to be in control. The kid has to submit, and be better for it.

What makes sense? I'll be writing more about it at another date.

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Does anyone come from overly controlling parents??? I do. And thus, i never really learned how to control my own life because someone else was always controlling it for me. I'm stuck an eternally rebellious kid.

No wonder i often bristle against overly controlling diets. "Give me some freedom! Let ME take a little control."

So much of this dieting business has nothing to do with too much fat and not enough exercise. It has to do with psychologically WHO is in charge. The rebellious kid....or the GOOD parent. Not the abusive overly demanding parent.

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When it came to the cheese, my answer to myself this time was, "You are a raw vegan. Vegan. That means no cheese. Don't you usually binge on it?"

The answer was yes, so i didn't get it. I think that was wise. But, it would be so nice if i were normal and knew how to control myself. Why is my kid always out of control. Can't she be tamed? Can't she enjoy the pleasures that life has to offer without always spinning out of control. Hopefully someday she can. When she is more integrated. When the parent is more in control. Hopefully that day will come, someday.

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Alot of parents would have bought the cheese for their tantrum throwing child so the child wouldn't suffer.

Wouldn't that have been enabling?

Do you enable yourself?

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When it comes to exercise, what is tough love and what is abusive REALLY comes to light when you see the end result.

Are you so worried about being abusive to yourself, "take it easy, honey," that you lay around all day so as not to disturb the peace. "Relax, have an iced tea and watch some t.v. You worked hard today," when you know that you didn't.

We "lye" like dogs.

We lie to ourselves.

We're afraid to be tough.

You know what? We're afraid to achieve our goals. Who am i to be fantastic and powerful?

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I'm thinking of EXTREME MAKEOVERS WEIGHT LOSS EDITION and how hard Chris Powell pushes his clients.

Did you watch last night?

Chris Powell took a 651 pound man, James, and made him exercise without water to show him who was in control. His control may have looked like abuse but when you see the end result and how happy the man is, i don't think it is.

"Do the 10 lifts first and then you can have water! I'm going to break you like you break a horse. Do it!"

Was that abusive?

Most people would say YES it is abusive to deny someone water, (i acknowledge this is TELEVISION), but the 651 pound man now weighs 300+ pounds less and has a new life.

So, was it really abuse to push him? Or was it really abuse to just let him go on killing himself like that every day, while appearing to be 'kind' ???

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The super obese man, James, was also afraid he would fall if he walked to the lamppost. But Powell made him do it BECAUSE he was afraid.

James did it. And instead of walking, he RAN. And he didn't fall.

Falling was a constant FEAR that kept him from even contemplating wellness.

"You did it," Powell hugged him, "and it didn't kill you and you didn't fall!"

Sometimes what seems like abusive is just tough love.

Allowing fear to control us is abusive to the powerful person stuck inside who can't do anything because she's afraid.

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Take Gordon Ramsey. He is no doubt abusive. But he's wise, and his abuse is always to make someone BETTER. If you are too cocky, he will bring you down. But if you don't believe in yourself enough, he will lift you up. He's an amazing man. I adore him. I see through his 'abuse.' It's well meaning. He demands excellence.

We should all demand such excellence from ourselves.

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I came from an abusive and controlling background, so i'm sensitive to people telling me what to do, trying to control me, get in my business.

After watching the last episode of EXTREME MAKEOVERS, i realized there are people in your life who WANT to push you and that we should LET them.

For instance, Arnold wants to tape me monthly to keep me on track. I resisted. i don't want to be controlled.

You know what? It's a support and i should be GRATEFUL for it. He wants me to succeed. He wants to push me in the right direction...and i should let him.

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Somebody pushing you to be better may not always FEEL good, but it IS good.

Like Powell said, "I want James to know how immensely POWERFUL he is, that he is an incredible person and can do ANYTHING he wants!"

The 651 lb man could have been an all star football player if he had people pushing him. He had that much talent. But no one did, and he gave up on himself.

Sometimes people with the most to offer, retreat, they have so much they don't know how to direct it. Easier just to let it wash away.

Tiger Woods wouldn't have been the golf star he was without his dad pushing him. (but look what happened after his dad died...)

I could have been a famous opera singer if i'd have had people pushing me and if i would push myself. I have that much talent. But my parents aren't musical and they never valued my musical gift.

Today, i'm a talented "kid" whose internal parent doesn't recognize just how talented her kid is. If she did, she'd be pushing her to audition, to achieve more, to record, to perform more.

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Most of the time, people don't want to push someone or themselves because they don't want to offend, upset, rock the boat, disturb.

And when we don't push ourselves, it's because we don't think we're worth the effort.

There's an internal parent who is neglecting her deserving child. We're probably modeling what we grew up with. Do we REALLY wanna continue THAT legacy?

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We're all so nicey nice and let each other get away with so much shit. We let each other get away with being sick for years and don't push each other because we don't want to hurt someone's feelings.

#1 - push yourself. You CAN do it. You are more powerful than you could ever imagine. We are as powerful to succeed as we are to not succeed. How sick are you? How powerful are you in your sickness? That's how powerful you could be in your wellness. Sometimes the people in the worst shape are the strongest. They've just given up or gotten caught up in something they can't get out of. Look at Robert Downey Jr. He was a total fuck up and in prison until he got sober and now makes millions again in the movies. As fucked up as you are, that paralells just how great you are and can be.

#2 - push your loved ones. James, the 651pound man said to Chris Powell, "It's one thing to inspire someone, and another to get involved and to change their life. Thank you. I wanna give back and inspire other people."

That's the whole point. When we "get" it in life, it's our duty to see that others get it, even if they don't wanna hear it.

Abusive? Making waves? maybe.

"Don't you feel more alive than you ever did," asks Powell to the super obese man, at his brink exercising.

"Yes!" he exclaimed.

Now, wake up. And do something.

xoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Karen said...

Hi Michelle - what a powerful post, and it speaks to me directly because I'm going through the same self-parenting vs rebellious child issues. That child doesn't even want to HEAR about the effort and discipline it takes to make positive changes, never mind actually DO them. But when I do push myself to do something I don't want to (like wait until I am physically hungry to eat and stop eating when my body has had enough), it feels so empowering. I try to remember how good it feels to make the effort to do something that feels hard, because that ultimately feels better than taking the easy way out. Love from Karen