Sunday, July 17, 2011



So after a total DAY of laying and lazing around yesterday and not doing much beyond making dinner for Cliff and practicing my vocal program for the VIBRANT LIVING FESTIVAL on Sunday, July 31st in Sellersville, PA, I finally broke free from my stagnant state,.....and walked this morning.

But it wasn't easy at first. And i didn't want to. I had to be pushed.

Luckily, i have a good babe.

Ring ring.

"Hi Babe, where are you?," I groaned. I knew what this call meant.

"At boat house row. I'm taking a break and then heading home." Cliff was on his early A.M. bike ride. He huffed and puffed,"You gonna meet me on Main Street on my way back home?" [We have this routine, where, as he returns from his bike ride, i head out for a walk, we meet for a cold tea, he rides home, i continue to walk, and he picks me up when i'm done, so i don't have to walk the hills of Manayunk back home to save my knees.] He wanted me to meet him...and there I was flipping channels in bed.

I whined,"Uh, (yawn) i'm still half asleep. It's only 8:30a.m.." I yawned on purpose to drive the point home.

He heard the TV in the background.

"Hmmm, so, you're NOT gonna meet me?" He was confronting a wall.


Louder, "Should i wait for you at Starbucks or meet you at home?" He was laying it on the line.

"Uh," my voice trailing down, "I'll see you at home," i sheepishly confessed, and continued to click channels.

"I figured as much," he said, and ended the call sharply.

Ooops, I was in trouble. The guilts got to me and i got my butt up.

By the time i was dressed and out the door to walk, he was already making his way up our street on his bike.

"Oh, you're a good bunny," he said with a smile and a kiss.

With me on foot, him on bike, we went together to Starbucks for an iced herbal tea and to shoot the shit with the "Yunkers" (Mana-yunk locals) who hang out at Starbucks every morning.

I was so thirsty i got a refill for my Venti iced unsweetened herbal. With all of the heat, i get so dry. Gotta drink, drink, drink.

Cliff headed home on bike, and I headed out for my walk all the way down to the movie theater and back, about 2.5 miles, a good walk.

Cliff picked me up at Starbucks.

_ _ _

That's how it went.

But, it more complicated than that.

On my walk, it dawned on me that I'm lucky to have Cliff. We all need exercise buddies or partners, because we are often not strong enough to push ourselves to exercise when we don't feel like it.

The ease with which we say to ourselves, "I don't feel like it," and follow that with inaction, is astounding. We really believe we are doing what's best for us at those times by continuing to lay, cause we don't feel like it.

The problem is, the next time it comes to walking, we don't feel like it then either.

When i started the walk, i really didn't WANT to. I was really grouchy and my legs didn't feel like walking. My head didn't feel like walking. Nothing felt like walking.

But as i walked, my mood lifted eventually, I started practicing my music in my head, and before I knew it, I was really enjoying myself. The longer I walked, the more I wanted to walk, the more and more pepp entered my step.

I went longer on the walk than i have. And this walk had all started with a grouchy negative attitude.

We can do MORE than we think we can when we casually react to our lack of present desire (all they while knowing better) and say, "I don't feel like it."

_ _ _

So, it dawned on me, that with anything we do, the more we do it, the more we want to. The less we do something, the less we want to.

We probably get stuck in ruts not exercising just because we've allowed ourselves to get in a rut, and really for no other good reason. Inaction begets inaction. And we have no positive memories at the moment to remind how great we'll feel if we DO do it.

_ _ _

Similarly, with my messy house, I've allowed this rut to happen, just because it's become habitual.

Sloppiness begets sloppiness. Inaction begets inaction.

I see the mess and say, "I don't feel like bothering," and my mess just grows and grow. I step over the messes, and soon stop "seeing" them. They kind of dissappear in my denial, and the bigger and bigger they grow.

_ _ _

Same with our bodies. We think, if I don't confront it, it'll go away.

10 years later and we're fatter than ever because we've allowed ourselves to believe the lie that it'll get better on it's own.

_ _ _

With messes, they can be overwhelming. You don't know where to begin. You just want to forget about it.

With a fat body and an eating disorder, we're overwhelmed, too. How do we attack this? We wanna forget it. We mentally masterbate 5,000 diet plans, but do nothing. We're overwhelmed, we're scared. We don't wanna fuck up, again. We don't wanna fall into the same traps we've fallen into before. So we do nothing. A year later and we're still mentally masterbating the same 5,000 diet plans.

_ _ _

When Cliff and I came home from vacation to a messy house, i said to Cliff, "I HATE to come home to a messy house. I wish someone would have come over while we were away and cleaned up the whole house." The dissappointment i felt returning to my mess, it's like i expected the Windex Fairy to come over and clean while i was away.

(I was raised with neatfreak parents. The house was always clean. If i didn't clean my room, my mother cleaned it for me.)

Go figure...

_ _ _

When thinking about exercise, who really wants to move when you haven't been moving? There's no momentum. You just don't feel like it. The energy is not there.

After resting a whole day yesterday, the last thing i wanted to do was walk this morning.

It's a good thing i have my babe to stick a prod in my butt, and it's a good think I realize that every walk will bring me one inch closer to my goal.

_ _ _ _

You know, we probably get stuck in patterns or ruts with binge eating or chronic snacking, purely because binge eating and chronic snacking begets binge eating and chronic snacking. The more you snack, the more pleasurable you realize it is to constantly have something in your mouth, and you're like, "Damn, i want some more of THAT!" You don't always have to be going through deeply emotional crisises to be stuck in snacking. It can just be...because it's fun, it's pleasurable, it takes on a life of it's own.

On the other hand, we can use it like a drug. Everytime we feel a troubling emotion, zing, snack. It's like Pavlov's dog. We've trained ourselves to snack everytime we feel emotional.

_ _ _

It's like a groove on a record. The more the needle scratches that groove on the record, the easier the needle falls to that spot. The more often we perform a behavior, the more automatic that behavior becomes, the more habitually we do it. We just fall into the groove, the pattern we've set up for ourselves.

When push comes to shove, it doesn't much matter WHY we do it, if we keep doing it, we'll keep doing it.

_ _ _

The only reason i'm doing well probably because i'm doing well now! I'm wearing a groove into the "doing well" song on the record.

If i started doing shitty, i'd be into that groove, and get on a roll with that, too.

_ _ _

Sometimes I'll have an awesome singing practice, and the next time I go to sing, I'm awesome again, because I'm reinforcing the correct vocal technique pattern.

Sometimes, I'll go to sing and be awful and i'll be like, "oh, wow, i must not have been that awesome before when i was thinking i was awesome. I must have unwittingly been practicing negative patterns because here they are staring me in the eye."

Then i start to freak out and feel frightened and bad about myself.

No, no, no! It's just time to get OUT of the bad pattern. "I'm not bad."

Break the pattern. Reestablish the correct vocal technical pattern.

_ _ _

Success breeds more success. Success feeds on success. Do well with your eating and singing today and you're more likely to fall into that pattern tomorrow.

_ _ _

Raw begets more raw!

The more raw you eat, the more you want to eat. Your body feels great, you're losing weight, it tastes great, and soon, your body actually starts to CRAVE raw. You wake up thinking about a great smoothie, and the thought of an egg never enters your mind. You've gotten yourself in a good groove.

Since i don't cook veggies now for myself, i don't imagine what i'm going to do with veggies that has anything to do with a stove and olive oil and sauteeing anymore. Now, I see a vegetable, and i start think of interesting ways to blenderize it raw, or chop it in a nori wrap, or spiralize it into spaghetti.

At the produce truck, i bought asparagus. What was I going to do with it?

I blenderized it into asparagus soup! Man, yummo! It was good! Asparagus and corn and avocado, blenderized with garlic and onion, miso and lemon juice, black pepper. MMM!

Do i PREFER roasted asparagus? You bet your bottom dollar.

But, it's not an option today. Once i'm roasting my asparagus, soon i'll be roasting hotdogs.

The raw groove has become habitual, just like the cooked groove HAD BECOME habitual.

_ _ _

As eaily as we get INTO new habits or routines, be they positive OR negative, we can similarly tear ourselves out of grooves, be they positive or negative.

You're on a good roll. You fuck up once. You wanna fuck up again.

Failure feeds on failure.

You're on a bad roll. You're fucking up ALOT. You SEE it. You don't take it personally and beat yourself up. You NOTICE IT. "Oh, i'm in a bad groove." STOP. And start the positive behavior. NOW.

_ _ _

The fact that degraded and harmful cooked foods like potato chips and deep fried donuts just so happen to be addictive makes it more challenging. These types of foods actually make you hungry for more of the same.

These foods are acidifying to the body. Once your body goes acid, you crave acid.

Raw foods are alkelizing and send your body good feelings and make you wanna eat alkelizing foods. Raw foods change how your body works and processes food. Raw foods take away that out of control appetite.

_ _ _

Us food addict types are probably the worst offenders of falling into habitual grooves. If we give an inch, we take a foot. I bite into a chicken breast today, tomorrow i'm eating 10 buckets full of fried chicken. That binge groove is so old and well worn, the old ways re-establish themselves quickly if i let them.

_ _ _

If we want to stop doing something, we have to stop, make a real clean break, don't take it personally and get "upset" about it. Just DO the new behavior.

Soon, THAT will become our normal.

_ _ _

If we constantly snack, the only way to stop is to STOP. Resist. Wait until hunger, consciously. When we're hungry, eat a MEAL.

Do THAT long enough and you'll form a new groove.

Snack daily and your belly starts to groan every time it's snack time. Train your tummy to get hungry all day for snacks, and you'll be like Pavlov's dog, looking for a snack every hour.

Train your belly and mind with 3 meals, and they shut up all day, let you live, and don't nag you all of the time. Your body and mind fall into the no-snack-groove.

_ _ _

This morning, i would not have walked had not Cliff pushed me.

_ _ _

We NEED to be pushed from our stagnant states of inaction.....into action sometimes.

But, then, once we have a taste of action, and how great it feels, we are often off and running on our own, like i was on vacation, walking as soon as I woke up, with no one reminding me or having to push me.

I WANTED to do it. I couldn't WAIT to get out there! I felt so free walking!

_ _ _

Along the same lines, clean also begets clean.

Now that our kitchen is so neat and tidy, we're washing dishes after we use them RIGHT AWAY because we're enjoying the kitchen's clean state so much.

When the kitchen is sloppy, we leave more and more and more dishes lying around. Why bother, then.

_ _ _

We are ALL prone to these cycles to some extent. Maybe some more than others.

I am particularly suceptible to falling into these types of cycles, usually in a negative way.

My ability to stay raw today for over 7 weeks is proving that i have the ability to stay in a groove in a positive way. I stay in the raw groove, because with each meal, i make choices that continue to keep me in the raw groove.

_ _ _

The trick is to be aware if we are in a negative cycle, recognize that we are not "bad" or "defective," we're just stuck in a negative state, pattern, or groove, and get out of it.

_ _ _

All it takes is ONE POSITIVE ACTION FORWARD to start a new positive cycle, which will start a NEW positive state, pattern, and groove.

All it takes is ONE NEGATIVE ACTION to start a good groove unrolling.

With every minute of the day, we have a CHOICE. Which way will we go?

_ _ _



I'm thinking this is a good thing to write on a yellow post it note and stick to the bathroom mirror. When we don't "feel" like doing something, but "know" we "should," it could help remind us to make the right choice.

_ _ _

By understanding these cycles, we're forecasting the consequences of our behavior. We're predicting what the outcome of our choices will be.

This is pretty powerful.

When i LOST raw for like 1.5 years (!!!), i lost it with ONE bite of cooked beans. Once i had crossed that line, i wanted to cross the bread and butter line next, then there was no stopping me. I wanted everything! Before I went back to raw, i ate 5 hamburgers. "Oh, shit, here I am again. I promised myself i'd never be back here."

One bite of beans and I was back there.

That's an addict. (Not everyone is an addict,)

One behavior one day led to a year and a half of binge eating and 120 lbs gained. Had i seen clearly where that one behavior was leading, i might have been less likely to continue on in that groove.

_ _ _

It is good to remember that when we force ourself to enter a new positive groove, there will be resistance, but ultimately, we will feel BETTER and be BETTER! Cleaning is hard. We'll be happy for it. Exercise is hard. We'll be happy for it. Choosing raw takes effort. We'll be happy for it.

Starting a new groove is a very groovy thing!

Try it out!

xoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Karen said...

Excellent post and a great reminder that even if I've been heading back into a negative groove, I can choose positive thought and action NOW, in THIS moment.