Saturday, July 30, 2011

CANCELED SINGING AT THE FESTIVAL

My apologies to all if you wanted to come to the Vibrant Living Festival to hear me sing! I've let the festival coordinators know that i'm unable to sing tomorrow, but am late notifying you...

I am terribly hoarse after my last voice lesson and I'm afraid that i would hurt myself to sing tomorrow morning on a swollen throat.

I look forward to singing for you another time when i am feeling better!

xoxo michelle joy

RAW ODDS AND ENDS.....

IT'S A HAIRY SITUATION

When i was raw for 3.5 years, the hair on the top of my head was thinner than ever.

When i went OFF of raw for an entire year (and binged continually and gained over 100 lbs), my hair GREW IN and you couldn't see through the top of my head (a horse shoe shape of exposed scalp) anymore. When i combed through my hair or washed it, hardly any hair came out.

9 weeks into raw, and everytime i put my fingers through my hair now, it's like 25 hairs come out. Each time. I could run my fingers through my hair 10x in a row, and each time i produce hair with roots.

The other day when i said i felt like i was going crazy, i just kept doing that, over and over again, and hair just kept coming out, over and over and over again. I was in a panic, crying.

Is this detox and "nothing to worry about, it'll grow back" like everyone says, although it never grew back when i was raw for 3.5 years?

The major reason i've turned back to raw is because I BELIEVE it helps to control my compulsive binge eating. I really do BELIEVE it helps.

So, I'm a little frightened to start eating fish or cooked greens or beans or starches again because they're so freaking delish, i binge on them, but if it would help, at this point, i'm feeling like i might consider it....

Any insight?

_ _ _ _

IT'S A WEIGHTY MATTER
I weighed myself for the 3rd time in 9 weeks yesterday. I am really doing well with restraining myself from hopping on the scale daily. It really effects my mood, so i've given it up.

I was pleased to see I am down 40 lbs since starting back to raw 9 weeks ago and down 90 in total. I'm happy with the -40, as my MAIN GOAL is to eradicate binge eating.

I'm working a process of finding balance for myself with raw that includes PLEASURE eating (gourmet raw), considers HEALTH (low fat raw), and marries the two into a LONG-TERM liveable raw diet that i don't have to go ON and OFF of.

In doing that, weight loss may take a little longer, but it will be permanent and I won't be a binge eater anymore. That's more important than ANYTHING.

_ _ _

EARN YOUR BREAKFAST
I was very motivated by Megan's exercise video, "Hate exercise? So did I!" If you haven't watched it, you can find it on a blog entry below.

Towards the end of the video, Megan (a former sedentary person, 85 lbs heavier), speaks about the immense importance of discipline and consistency with exercise. She teaches to do as she has become accustomed to: "Exercise...even when you don't feel like it."

Her words were very powerful to me, especially seeing the HUGE changes in her body over the last year. I've only known Megan as a rail thin-type body. (She lost her excess weight before i knew her.) But in time that she's been working out with weights, running and rock climbing, the amount of muscle the little spitfire has packed on over the last year is amazing. From twiggy legs....to shaplier and shaplier every DAY....right before my eyes! Those legs are gorgeous! I can see her thigh muscles popping out in the video!

I'm amazed at what a year can DO!

Megan practices "earning her breakfast" by exercising in the morning BEFORE eating breakfast. This is a teaching from my boss, Arnold Kauffman, of Arnold's Way, and it is a hard one, but a good one to follow and consider.

_ _ _

Cliff and I just got back from a walk. I enjoyed a wonderful smoothie and am looking forward to lunch now. I earned it!

_ _ _ _


FOCUSING ON "ENERGY"
Overeating nuts/fats/salt de-energize me. When i eat them in moderation, I feel good!

Thursday and Friday at work, I kept the fats and nuts to a minimum, and I had energy all day at work!

So did Arnold. We even discussed it how we noticed it in each other. Both of us had not had a lot of nuts or fat or salt and we both felt energetic all day!

In fact on FRIDAY, I felt immensely energized, like i wanted to jump out of my skin! I felt like i could run a marathon!

_ _ _

Cliff took me to OASIS LIVING FOODS in FRAZER, PA on Saturday. We got raw lunch to go, for us, and for our friend, who we were going to go visit, and I bought some raw goodies for myself.

At our friends', I ate 1/2 of my nori roll with brazil nut pate, and 1/2 of a lime tart, eating until the hungry feelings went away and until i felt pleasantly satisfied, not 'stuffed,' just comfortably full.

Immediately after lunch, I felt so energized, my legs were, like, percolating! I wanted to walk!What an amazing feeling that overcomes you with raw food when you follow your bodies needs, eat just enough, and then feel like you could run a marathon!!!

Unfortunately, Cliff and our friend wanted to SIT and relax and chat!

Here i am feeling this most amazing feeling of actually MY BODY telling me it wanted to move....and i HAD to SIT!!! What an awful feeling not being able to move when you actually WANT to!

I should have excused myself and gone for a walk!!!

_ _ _

So what did i do?

I ate.

I snacked on some on my raw goodies, ate the other half of my lunch, and the spielkes in my legs dissappeared.

I de-energized....MYSELF!

_ _ _

When we finally left, i didn't want to move at all I was so irritated because i'd had the feeling of energy percolating in my legs, which doesn't come often, and I chose not to respond to it, but to stuff it down and shut it up. I'd failed myself.....

Nevertheless, even though I didn't "want" to, we forced ourselves to the gym and water walked together! Good job, Cliff and Michelle!

The blahs about failing myself vanished and we had such a nice time. 30 mins was enough to feel we did "something." It was really lovely, just me and my 'Bunky'!

(We've since been back to the gym pool together 3x for water walking...together! We love it!)

_ _ _

When we got home, i was feeling hungry. It was almost 8pm. A smoothie would be the PERFECT light meal. So what did i do? I ate the leftover Oasis Living Foods Brazil nut pate with flax crackers! The next morning i woke up and felt zapped of energy.

LESSON: Next time I go to Oasis, buy only what i can eat for one meal, otherwise I'll eat the whole thing in one day and don't get the pleasure of feeling energized!

I need to remind myself: MY GOAL is TO LIMIT RAW DE-ENERGIZING FOODS TO INCREASE and MAINTAIN MY ENERGY LEVELS.

This turning from a focus on "losing weight" to "gaining energy" is actually quite refreshing! Losing weight should take care of itself if I'm constantly in a state of feeling like I want to move because i've eaten lightly enough...and then move! I enjoy my food more. I just FEEL better!

Keeping my energy up is now becoming a goal. Why? Because I've discovered, it feels so freaking good to feel energized!

_ _ _

CONCLUSION:

On this journey, I will encounter troubling side effects, like losing my hair, but I've learned not to "throw the baby out with the bath water."

I obviously have a lot to learn, and I'm learning more and more every day.

I also recognize that my eating disorder and weight problem is so complex and multi-layered, I won't cure it overnight. Some days I'll progress forward in some departments, other days, i'll step backwards.

But if I keep examining my behavior, keep focusing on gaining positive energy and ways to do that, like earning my breakfast, I'm bound to get better, eventually!

xoxo michelle joy

Friday, July 29, 2011

THE NATURAL WAVES OF EMOTIONS

Howdy, folks!

Well, you know that day i had in Princeton, NJ, on Wed after my voice lesson, when i was sitting with Cliff at the pizza shop crying because i felt so depressed, watching everyone eat pizza, and thinking hopeless thoughts, and hating the way i looked in my reflection in the storefront windows?

Well, I've really turned a corner!

I feel SO much better today! I feel like a rainbow that's broken free from dark clouds!

I guess that's the advantage to feeling your feelings. It's no fun in the moment, but you get to move through them quicker than you would if you interrupt the flow with unneeded food. If you cork the feelings up, the self hatred persists and you never get to say the next day, "Wow, i feel so much better!" You just continue to feel like shit because you hate yourself for eating now too.

Hating yourself for eating is also a convenient excuse. What's really behind it? What really do you hate about yourself that you're afraid to look at?

Today was my 2nd day at work where i didn't compulsively eat raw nut pate' all day, YES!, and because of the lighter fare and just eating when i was hungry, I had energy all day, and I was even hungry when i got home from work! I just had some watermelon, mmm!

I can't believe how well and happy i feel tonight. I thought my period would be unbearable and that i wouldn't be able to make it through the day.

I hardly slept last night.

I was still up. Around midnight, I listened to my voice lesson tape from Wednesday.

I sounded like shit!

I've been trusting this new teacher who apparently is taking me down a path that is having a dileterious effect on my voice. I'm sounding worse, not better.

The problem with the voice is we HAVE to RELY on others EARS to tell us how we're doing. My teacher says, "Great," and i believe him. Cliff sits with me at my lessons, but he thinks i always sound great, even if i sound like shit. I'm really glad he bought me the amazing digital recorder he did and that i've been taping my lessons. When i finally listened in, I recognized i'm way off track vocally. That i was hoarse after the lesson was a big clue, too. Arturo is so wonderful and i adore him, but his technique seems to not be working for me.

Looking around for a "new technique" (this is the 2nd teacher i've tried in 6 months) has the flavor of how i look for new diets. Should i do THIS one? Or THIS one? No, this one? No, this one. Trying to figure out what is the "correct" technique to sing is so akin to finding out which is the "correct" diet. There are so many choices. How do you choose?

When it all comes down to it, we have to be so honest with ourselves and just ask ourselves, "What works for me?" And go back to basics. Go back to what works.

Arturo's lessons leave me hoarse and irritated. Something is not right. Either it's HIM or it's ME. I need to figure this out.

Nevertheless, how do you negotiate and navigate through the mine field of emotions around all of that? I wrote out my feelings of anger, distrust, etc... in a letter to him.

Smartly, I didn't send them. One always needs time to decide, not in the heat of the moment, "Do i really want to send this letter?" I've learned that one the hard way. Best not to burn bridges.

You would have thought i'd have had an awful day at work on only 4 hours of sleep and my period, and, before work, i sat Cliff down, I poured out my heart to him, told him how i feel about EVERYTHING, US, the HOUSE, ARTURO, my need for more WORK, just EVERYTHING. Instead of feeling awful from FEELING....i feel so much BETTER!

Food never made me feel BETTER!!!

I'm working the "process."

I'm not stuffing, binging.

This is some serious fabulous SHIT, people!

My clothing even feels a little baggier on me today, and my face looks thinner....after just 2 days of doing better with the food!

There is SO much HOPE today, I want to shout it! "Don't give up!" Even in the darkest times, don't ever give up! It gets BETTER!

And if you don't stuff your feelings down with food, you get the pleasure of waking up the next morning with some self pride!

Arnold's Way is a wonderful place with such dear friends and coworkers. I long to spend time with my ladies at the store. When we have our girls days, like we did today, with Joy and Megan and Steff and me all at the store, man, it is just SO MUCH FUN!

Exercise is calling me...and I think i will venture out tomorrow. I needed these two good days under my belt to feel....worthy enough to get back out there.

Depression is like a black cloud hanging over you.

It lifts!

If you let it!

During these 9 plus weeks of raw, I may have not lost a TON of weight, but i'll tell you one thing. I'm becoming a non-binge eater. I've had maybe 2 SMALL binges during these entire 9 weeks and some episodes of overeating, but overeating and binge eating are two horses of a different color. I'm doing frickin' fabulous!

Arnold asked me today, "What do you want?"

And when i thought about it, i honestly realized that i want to stop binge eating. Even MORE than i want to lose weight. That's why the slow weight progress is actually not SO unbearable, because i know if i stop binge eating, i will eventually lose all of my weight...and keep it OFF, permanently!

I know I can lose weight FAST, and then gain it back fast. There's lots of evidence of THAT on this blog.

Today, I want to overcome binge eating completely so that i will never be plagued with it again!!! And so i can help OTHER women suffering.

Don't plug up the hole you express yourself from! Let it flow! Tears, anger, depression....all give way to happiness, fun, JOY. LET IT OUT, BABY!

Trust me. I wouldn't lie to you.

And, everyday that i feel and acknowledge the pain of that little unloved girl inside me, the one that somebody out there gave up for adoption, the one that feels unwanted and unloved,....the little girl that was touched inappropriately by people she was supposed to be able to trust, the one that has trust issues today because of that, the one that learned HER feelings didn't matter.... Everyday i FEEL and really EXPERIENCE that pain....and work THROUGH it...instead of stuffing it, brings me closer to LIFELONG FREEDOM FROM BINGE EATING.

What have i been running away from all of these years? From feeling that DEEP PAIN? It is deep. And it does hurt when you sit with it. This morning talking to Cliff i told him i felt like i was going insane. I'm not. But when you feel deeply and don't binge or plug it up, you feel out of control. Binge food is like car brakes. You stop the flow. Out of fear. You're stronger than you realize. You can do it. Get to the other side and let yourself SEE that you made it!

DON'T BE AFRAID to confront your core belief that you're not good enough and that no one wants you. Because when you wake up the next day, the grey clouds have passed, and you realize that, yes, people DO want you, and yes, you ARE good enough.

YES, YOU ARE!

Ride the natural waves of emotions....and soon the binge days will be gone.

xoxo michelle joy

Thursday, July 28, 2011

STAYING INSPIRED TO MOVE THAT BODACIOUS BOD!




LaRhonda BEFORE....

And LaRhonda AFTER......!

LaRhonda lost 202 lbs with trainer, Chris Powell, on EXTREME MAKEOVERS WEIGHT LOSS EDITION.

LaRhonda's episode on hulu.com:

















Oh my god, I cried buckets as I watched LaRhonda's journey unfold on a past MAKEOVERS episode i missed.

LaRhonda is an incredible woman, so persistent, such a hard worker, she never gave up, she worked out 5 hours a day, 6 days a week for an entire YEAR!

I am SO INSPIRED to get MOVING again! (I got discouraged and it's been about 2 weeks since i've formally moved..... As a result, i've put on weight, even though i'm more than 9 weeks raw...)

Back to amazing LaRhonda - When LaRhonda went off of her low fat food plan a few times during the year, she never let it set her back, learning to "not eat the whole bag," and continued with her exercises and dieting...like nothing happened!

...She's unflappable...and i'm flappable!!! What's the difference between us?


Well, LaRhonda has a REALLY REALLY REALLY strong faith in God, is a STRONG BELIEVER, and it shows. She's not only a gorgeous woman as a super size 445 lbs, and a stunner at 230 lbs, but her inner beauty and Spirit, strong CHARACTER, and POSITIVE UPBEAT ATTITUDE radiate and shine from the inside out!

You know that bible verse about someone withOUT faith buidling their 'house' on 'sand'? That's the difference between us. LaRhonda relies on GOD...and I lose faith so frequently...

_ _ _

LaRhonda teaches me more than the importance of STRONG SPIRITUALITY.

She reminds me of Jack LaLayne's famous words, that "EXERCISE IS THE KING," and "DIET IS THE QUEEN,".....and that diet 'fudges' don't do much harm when you're metabolism is burning on overdrive!

LaRhonda also reminds me why my days at OHI worked - EXERCISE, duh!

At OHI, I was walking and swimming for hours daily! And, incidentally, i ate a low fat raw diet.

BUT, and this is the big one - my low fat raw diet was supplemented OFTEN by incredibly delicious succulent high fat raw 4-course meals....at Ranchos and Cilantros - sometimes as much as 4x a week! My body was in BURNING MODE from daily hours of walking and swimming and i lost 140 lbs in 8 months even though i was eating raw PIE, GUACAMOLE, OIL on my salad, raw CHOCOLATES, etc..., SEVERAL times a week!!!

In the last 2 weeks, i GAIN eating those very SAME foods.

What is different? I'm sedentary for 2 weeks!

_ _ _ _

I had a singing lesson on Wednesday and my teacher said, "You are a VERY GOOD SINGER." Arturo was a PROFESSIONAL opera singer, who sang with so many famous opera stars, even Aprile Milo, one of my idols! What a lovely compliment! Cliff said I am sounding better and better and more and more "connected" at every lesson!

_ _ _

RAW EMOTIONS

Oh, I was so depressed all day Wednesday after my lesson. :-((

I just cried and cried... "But you had such a great lesson?" Cliff said.

I did. But i have so far to go still. And from my vantage point that day, not only singing, but my diet and weight and life...just seemed hopeless, like nothing would ever get better. I will honestly tell you that the thought to be suicidal even came over me. It was just a thought, like, "Nothing will ever get better, so what is the POINT of living?" Life can look so BLEAK when we filter the world through the lenses of failure.

Yesterday, every storefront i passed, I saw myself and how fat i am and i hated how i looked.

_ _ _

In Ohio, i was loving how i looked, i'd lost 50 lbs and was rocking a new raw vibe, exercising and eating lightly and a gourmet meal for dinner, and losing...and finding my balance!

And then i lost it... and with that, came discouragement. And overeating gourmet. And stopping exercise. And feeling HOPELESS AGAIN. And questioning what was WRONG with me? And questioning if i should CHANGE MY DIET again.

I was at the pizza shop with Cliff. Why can everyone ELSE eat pizza and be thin? What is WRONG with me? In the car driving home from North Jersey, i was staring at my fat arms in the rear view mirror on my side and was just disgusted. Do i really LOOK like that???? I never really examine my rolls so close up. Why did no one in the pizza shop look as fat as i do...even though they eat PIZZA...and i eat FRUIT and NUTS. Like, WTF, life is so fucking UNFAIR!

I was just feeling BEYOND discouraged.

_ _ _


I got my period today. Much of what i was feeling must have been PMS.

_ _ _

I'm so GLAD i didn't REACT to feeling so HORRIBLY and eat compulsively or eat cooked.

_ _ _

I'm telling you, I was ready to GIVE UP ON RAW. Watching everyone eating pizza, you should have seen me, crying in a pizza shop, i mean, literally tears streaming down my face. That is hard core discouragement on public display. Cliff was holding my hand eating his pizza, comforting me.

To make matters worse, then i went into the bathroom and the stall was so small, i could barely spread my legs far enough apart to wipe myself. More tears.

_ _ _

Yet i didn't take a compulsive bite. I didn't eat compulsively the ENTIRE day.

My heart was "contrite" (deep sadness), yet, despite feeling HORRIBLE, i didn't try to numb it.

Instead, I just allowed myself to feel bad, recognized all of my depressed thoughts as depressed thoughts (my meditation helps this ability), talked to Cliff when he noticed i was beyond miserable, and told him the truth of how discouraged i felt. I cried. I cried more. I watched LaRhonda's story at home later, i cried non stop through it.

_ _ _

I received the GREAT REWARD for my self control...today!

I woke up feeling so rejuvinated...and hungry....!!!!

_ _ _

And I had a GREAT day at work today!

I usually complain about having OVERDONE RAW at work, eating too much nut pate', CONSTANTLY, but i didn't today! I stayed low fat and didn't snack.

WOW! Where did all of that self control come from??? I don't know...i'm just GRATEFUL for it!

I not only did great with my food, i had so much SOARING ENERGY that it just made me feel so grateful for raw and so on fire for raw again!!!!

_ _ _

PURE RAW JOY LESSON: When we overeat raw, we feel drained of energy, and we may look TOWARDS heavy raw foods then...to "make us FEEL BETTER." This can become an obsession, like it becomes with me, looking for excitement in raw gourmet to make me feel better.

It's pointless, it doesn't work and only makes you feel WORSE, not better, and it can be incredibly difficult to break yourself free from the loop you got yourself into!

I was stuck in the loop....and it took me 2 WEEKS to break free!

_ _ _

But once you break free, return to INTUITIVE EATING only when you are hungry, oh my god, raw is a JOY again!

It was a pleasure to actually FEEL TRUE HUNGER again! It tells me I'm eating appropriate amounts of food for MY BODY and that i'm not FEEDING my disease, but feeding my RECOVERY!

_ _ _

MORE HOPE ON THE HORIZON
I spoke with my coworker, MEGAN, http://www.meganelizabeth.com/ today about creating a GYM WORKOUT for me because i know the more i move, the better i will feel, the thinner i will get, the more higher fat raw foods i can enjoy GUILTLESSLY without suffering such depressing consequences like enjoying them, but gaining over the last 2 weeks because i stopped exercising.

We're going to go to her gym, PLANET FITNESS, after work tomorrow!

(Guess what? Megan is maintaining an 85 lbs weight loss, never liked to exercise, and now exercises DAILY, as well as eats low fat raw, and she's cured her adrenal fatigue, which was literally KILLING her!)

WATCH Megan's video, "HATE TO EXERCISE? I DID TOO!"



_ _ _

I'm singing this Sunday, July 31st at the VIBRANT Living FESTIVAL...at 11am! So, come on out early to hear me sing!

All the info you need is here -
WWW.VIBRANTLIVINGFESTIVAL.COM

Plus, you can get discount tickets online using the word: JOY!











xoxo michelle joy

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TEARS OF INSPIRATION DURING EXTREME MAKEOVER WEIGHT LOSS EDITION....TO EXTREME DISSAPPOINTMENT W/CHRIS POWELL'S NEW HOAX DIET,"ReshapeTheNation.com"


Howdy,

So did you catch the latest EXTREME MAKEOVER WEIGT LOSS EDITION last night...with Krista, the 445 lb wife and mother?

Uy, uy, uy, i LOVE that show. I was crying, i was elated, i was so motivated, i was just blown away by how amazing and kind (but also insanely tough) trainer Chris Powell is, and how Krista reminded me so much of myself. I so identified with her.

I know i'm strong and when Krista found out she was ALOT physically stronger than she ever believed, i just shook my head in agreement and cried in recognition of myself - she's...ME! I'm so much stronger and able than i give myself credit for.

And so are you...

Powell pushed Krista so hard. And she needed it. (So do I!) Powell made Krista literally push a CAR around a racetrack! And she DID it! She also jogged in marathons and against her intentions to give up, completed them!

Watching Krista, with her pretty face and super fast weight loss made me think of my OWN miraculous 140 lb weight loss in only 8 months. My God, i DID it once before! Why do i so often think i can't do it, when i KNOW i've done it?

I also related to Krista as a bride. Krista wore a black dress to a quickie wedding that Powell deemed sad, so as a special incentive gift, Powell bought size 32 Krista a new beautiful dream wedding gown, in a size 18, so she could have a proper wedding. I'm waiting until i get THIN to get married and wear my beautiful gown. I should just BUY the thing and work to get IN IT!

Krista was frustrated with dieting. "I try to figure out the best way to diet. I just can't seem to figure it out." Either can I. It feels like rocket science to the sufferer, but what they show on the screen demonstrates the basis of the approach - EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE and EXERCISE, and a low fat diet.

"Are you ready to be a hero?" Powell asked Krista. I remember what it felt like to be a raw hero. Her face lit up, "I am!" "Then let's do it!" Powell said after a big hug.

"Health and happiness, Krista, health and happiness, do it, do it!," he encouraged her. "You're not giving up, are you? Are you giving up, are you giving up?" "Come on, fighter!"

She fought.

This episode was one of the most uplifting of the series. I heard so much wisdom! Powell said, "Krista, you weigh 445 lbs, and I promise you, that any pain you'll go through working out with me will pale in comparison with the pain you've endured at your weight." That really touched me... We obese face such intense pains DAILY! Physical aches and pains of carrying so much weight, humiliation and embarrassment not fitting in seats, on chairs, in cars, emotional pain when we get turned down for jobs, people snicker at us, people look at us disgusted, friends turn from us.

Krista was also full of excuses (like i am, and so many of us are), and Powell pushed her, yet seemingly never without compassion. He comforted her when she hit her breaking point and could go no further in their first workout. "I know your back hurts. I hear you. I'm here for you." (He hugged her and she cried.) Now that she was in a more receptive emotional space, he smiled and said, "Now i want you to do something for me. Do 20 more lunges."

He got his way...

Krista did more than she ever THOUGHT she could. The pain didn't kill her and in fact, she realized that her body hurt from head to toe after these intense workouts, but she welcomed the pain now because of the self pride she now felt.

The voice that talks to us and tells us excuses, that we're in too much pain, to stop pushing us, Powell understands. He told Krista, "You know that voice you hear? I'm going to push you so hard, the volume will turn up louder than you've ever heard. I need you to push through that and don't listen to it!"

With Powell's help, she did it. She followed through. Despite all of the excuses and pains. Despite the volume turning WAY up!

What a lesson! What inspiration! That means WE can do the same!

Powell simply wouldn't let Krista get away with giving up on herself. Later in her journey, she was running a marathon and wanted to stop before completing it. Powell knew if he lost her now, he may lose her forever. He reminded Krista of her true motivation (to be well enough to care for her ill daughter) and used that to bring her back around. What a psychological genius he is. "Krista, didn't you say you wanted to finish so you could take care of your daughter better and she would see you cross the finish line?"

Feet that wouldn't move began to jog again. He'd touched a nerve.

How many times do WE make excuses? How many times do we make excuses, and people BUY them? "My knees hurt, my feet hurt." Who says to you, "Do it anyway! and give me a hug when you're done."

Powell seems to be the perfect mix of compassion and toughness. I usually HATE the trainers on these shows, but Powell has heart. Oh, God, i love HIM, AND...he's HOT!

Also, the show, weekly, just totally puts into perspective how CRITICAL exercise is. Powell has these super obese people working out for 4 and 5 hours....a day! When was the last time YOU moved more than 2 hours in one day? Do you think you CAN'T? I bet you can. And so can i. If 500 lb people can do it, hell, i can and you can do anything.

Jack Lalane was fond of saying that exercise is KING...and diet is QUEEN. How often i forget this! I get overly obsessed with dieting and watching my food, get discouraged and give up. If i only would just continue to exercise, I'd eventually get HUNGRY and WANT to stop eating when i've had enough. These days, I overdo it with raw food, don't exercise, and then eat more later when i'm not hungry. What a dissappointment i am to myself when i get into these negative cycles. Whereas, if i would just exercise daily, my weight and compulsive eating wouldn't have the CHANCE to ever get so bad off. I know i'm doing wrong, I beat myself up, i eat more, i deny myself movement because i don't feel i deserve to be good to myself. I'm "bad."

Powell reminds me how beautiful and strong and able i am. He believes in Krista and he believes in ME.

I really related when Krista went through similar cycles of confidence/ strength/ positivity/ routine....versus.....overwhelm/ inaction/ excuses/ negativity/ depression/ laziness/ weightgain that I go through. In fact, each episode of this series brings to light that EACH super obese person on the show goes through the VERY SAME cycles that i do, losing sight of their goals and falling back into old habits!

ALL of the episodes have featured failure, faltering after the 3 month "honeymoon" when Powell lives in and trains the super obese daily. When they need to do it on their own, they've all faltered, gone back to old habits, old foods, old compulsions, stop calling and emailing Powell, avoid him.

Maybe this is the human condition....to lose sight of our goals...and to need to be reminded, motivated, pushed in the right direction.

Isn't this what every GOOD and CARING parent does for their children?

We, super obese, are children in need of a good strong parent. We need MORE support than we're wrangling in for ourselves to overcome the fat obstacles and emotional and spiritual obstacles we've created for ourselves.

Powell shows us the hidden strength beneath all of the fat and all of the excuses and all of the low self esteem and believing we can't do anything. He shows us who we were meant to be by being a good, tough, loving and caring parent.

My parents let me get away with murder. Did yours? Is that why we have food problems? Are we just grownups with an out of control rebellious streak that our parents never wrestled from us?

Please watch Krista's entire Makeover episode here on ABC: http://abc.go.com/watch/extreme-makeover-weight-loss-edition/SH55124938/VD55136516/krista
_ _ _ _

CHRIS POWELL'S NEW SUPER HOAX DIET-WEBSITE, "RESHAPE THE NATION"
I have begun to think so highly of Powell, that it really tremendously DISSAPPOINTED and SHOCKED me to find out that the new weightloss website he is a spokesperson for is such a joke.

During the Makeover episode, Powell nonchallantly mentioned his new online weight loss program http://www.reshapethenation.com/.

You know that I and millions of others bit last night, and ran to the computer to bring up the diet site on the internet. Powell's picture was on the front page, along with a man he helped to lose 400 lbs.

Man-o-man-o-schewitz, if i could follow a program built just for me, as the website promised, and begin to do heavy duty workouts motivated by my online trainer, CHRIS hotstuff Powell, man, i would be so happy!!

I clicked all of the buttons to sign up for the program, gave my credit card number, and clicked through pages to figure out HOW to do the program.

After each click, I waited. I waited. I was still waiting!

Screens took excessively long to change.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a video came up that didn't feature Powell, but some other guy, who was he?, talking about us having a carb day today and that today would be an 8 day and all of this stuff i had ZERO idea what he was talking about. "You're gonna do a 2 first, then a 5 here, then a 7, okay people? Make it a good day and i'll be here for you tomorrow."

What a LOUSY intro to the program. First no Powell, no 'hello, welcome to the program, i'm going to walk you through it,' and worst of all, nothing made sense. And when the video was over, i couldn't get out of it. I had to reboot the program to move forward.

Everything i clicked on took at least 5 minutes to come up.

Ah, i see, i'm supposed to eat cottage cheese for lunch on spinach. Breakfast would be a peanut butter smoothie. Dinner would be steak on a salad.

Whew, if i ever missed Weight Watchers with the ability to use POINTS to choose foods you like or need to substitute, i missed it now.

The exact menu i was supposed to eat was so specific. Well, i suppose i could have eaten soy powder as a sub for each meal. That would have been soy powder in my smoothie, soy powder on lettuce and soy powder on spinach. Delish!

I figured it'd be challenging, but assumed I could use nuts/seeds as subs.

There were no raw vegan proteins listed as substitutions for flesh.

One of the comments i caught said we could leave Powell a facebook message if we had a question.

I went to his facebook page.

Nowhere to leave comments.

pffft! I think i've been had.

I read what looked like hundreds of comments below from others who were also intensely frustrated with the program with no one to answer their questions.

It's not as if it was set up well and we were all just whiney dieters wanting to be spoon fed the program. It was, above all, SLOW.

I clicked to another area...and the wait was even longer, 6 or 7 minutes.

Was i going to have to deal with this slow ridiculous sham program DAILY?

I called up immediately to cancel my order.

A man with a Phillippino accent said, "I'm sorry, the $49.95 is non-refundable".

"Let me speak to a Manager."

"The manager is not taking any calls right now," he said.

I bet he isn't. He's probably too overwhelmed with cancellations.

"So, you are going to cancel my subscription and i won't receive any further charges on my credit card, right?"

"I'm happy to report that you'll be receiving an 8$ discount next month, ma'am," the Phillippino said proudly.

"Wo, why are you talking to me about next month. Hang on a second here, there is going to be NO next month, do you hear me? I am requesting to cancel immediately and have no other charges added to my credit card! I am not remaining a member for next month. Do you hear me?"

"Oh, i thought you said you wanted to continue," he said.

"When during this entire conversation did you get THAT message??"

They are so sneaky, reading those scripts. You MUST be really aggressive to get what you need with these salespeople, and say it over and over and over again. They will twist anything you say, do what they want and hang up on you.

I hung up and called my credit card company and explained that the website was a hoax, it didn't even feature Powell on videos, and that the thing was so slow, it was unusable. I explained i was told the fee was non-refundable but i wanted to get a refund nevertheless.

After a 3 way call between Visa and Reshape the Nation, in which i demanded Reshape refund my unrefundable money, I got a promise for a refund, witnessed by Visa, and a promise from Visa that they would see to it that I get it.

In a familiar accent, I heard, "Don't worry, ma'am, you called the right place."

The Visa guy was a Phillippino, too.

_ _ _

Lesson 1 - Never sign up for something online without reading the fine print. Most people won't go to the trouble to contact their credit card company to negotiate a refund. Reshape The Nation is going to make a lot of money even if people are NOT using the program because the initial fee is non-refundable!

Lesson 2 - Powell must have agreed to this venture and sold his image as a front man for it....without checking out if the website was functional and good. It is HORRIBLE.

Lesson 3 - Even though Powell seems like a total ASSHOLE now, I don't want that to discourage me or you from watching the Makeover shows...they are SOOOO inspiring. In fact, i should watch one episode DAILY! They're available online. And if you lack motivation and a strong internal parent, maybe you need to watch the episodes, too. www.hulu.com/extreme-makeover-weight-loss-edition.

Lesson 4 - Though i feel OFTEN, "I can't do it on my own," I can do it on my own. That is an excuse and I just listen to my own excuses and believe them because i'm a shitty parent to myself, i'm not tough and i'm all compassion. "Poor baby, rest if your feet hurt," i tell myself.

If i did it before, i can do it again.

Furthermore, everytime i have a set back, i just have to get right back up and start all over again. Forgive myself and move on. Stop moping about what "IS," how fat I am, blah blah blah, and get about working on what i "WANT."

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, July 25, 2011

SPROUTED QUINOA SALAD....YUM!

Hi there,

I made the most DELISH dinner tonight! I'm so excited to share it with you!

I bought this truRoots sprouted quinoa, i think, at Wegmans, or maybe at Arnold's Way????, I can't remember!!

I never thought to do anything RAW with it. I was planning on cooking it for Cliff, when i found it in the cubbard and was inspired to use it for my own dinner!

From http://www.truroots.com/

-Quick and easy to cook
-Low Glycemic Index
-High fiber
-Gluten-free
-Great protein source
-Rich in iron and antioxidants
-Complete amino acids
-Excellent source of lysine
-Alternative to pasta, rice, and couscous

truRoots produces the finest quality quinoa in partnership with organic family farmers on the high plains of the Andes in Bolivia. This tiny seed is one nature’s most healthful and rejuvenating foods – delightfully sweet, fluffy and moist. truRoots Organic Sprouted Quinoa is the perfect blend of traditional ancient wisdom and modern technology and convenience. Rich in nutrition and taste, quinoa has it all.

Cultivated for over 5000 years, quinoa was a dietary staple of the ancient Incas who called it the “mother-grain.” To the Incas, quinoa was more than a food. It was also currency and medicine. Its mystical properties were revered. The Incas believed quinoa gave life-supporting and healing gifts to their people. Modern science reveals that quinoa contains a full complement of amino acids and is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than cereal grains. A good source of iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, including folate, quinoa is also a notable vegetarian source of lysine, the amino acid that supports tissue growth and repair.

truRoots sprouts this extraordinary, ancient food to release its full nutritional potential. Not a true grain, quinoa is closely related to spinach, chard and beets. Sprouting increases vitamin content and activates natural enzymes. truRoots Organic Sprouted Quinoa unlocks the superior nutritional value of sprouted grains and brings it to your plate in a convenient form.

Versatile and easy to prepare, quinoa has unlimited potential. From breakfast to dinner, sprouted quinoa can be used in a host of recipes – cereals, salads, wraps, stuffings, soups, and stews. Substitute it for bulgur, rice, couscous, barley or millet. Fresh and lively, our truRoots Sprouted Quinoa can be cooked in as little as 15 minutes or left as a raw food and soaked in hot water for 30 minutes. Quick and easy to prepare, a meal can be made in 20 minutes or less.

truRoots Organic Sprouted Quinoa is rich in nutrition, taste and possibilities. Share the wealth. Add quinoa to your table!


_ _ _ _

What a quick fabulous product! They presoaked, sprouted and dehydrated for us already! We only have to rehydrate...and enjoy!

I felt so much like eating CEVICHE tonight (a chopped raw fish dish marinated in lime juice). Sooooo....instead of doing that, i made CEVICHE-inspired raw quinoa salad! It was SOOOOO good!!!

CEVICHE INSPIRED RAW QUINOA SALAD *
In a large bowl, add:
-1 cup of the truRoots sprouted quinoa
-1.5 cups of warm water
-2 Tbsp of garlic herb infused olive oil
-10 leaves of basil, shredded
-the juice of 1/2 lime and 1 whole lemon
-1 tsp of celtic salt (try 1/2 tsp first)
-2 drizzles of agave
-1 minced up tiny hot yellow pepper without the seeds (super hot and tiny, we're growing these in our garden)
-1 tsp garlic powder or some fresh chopped garlic
-1/8 cup chopped onion
-1/8 cup chopped green pepper
-1 stalk celery, chopped
-1/2 carrot, shredded
-3 large yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered

Stir up wet soupy salad and allow to sit for about 1.5 hours out on the countertop until alot of the liquid is absorbed. It will still be somewhat soupy, but it is yummy that way! Taste for seasoning and readjust. By then the quinoa kernals should not be crunchy anymore, but nice and soft.

Enjoy!

Man, oh, man-o-schewitz, this was SOOOOO good! The leftover "juice" was flavored so incredibly, i just slurped it up! It was like a soup, i loved it, i'm glad it was soupy!

* The amounts are all guestimations since i guestimated amounts after the fact of creating without measuring, so go easy on the salt and taste test for a pleasing balance of flavors! This was super citrusy, but that's what i was AFTER! The salt and spice and sweet hint from the agave perfectly balanced the ultra citrusy dressing.

This recipe contains all of the desirable 5 flavors to make raw savory food DELISH!
-salty (celtic salt and celery)
-sweet (agave and carrot)
-spicy (hot pepper, garlic, onion)
-bitter (basil)
-tart (lemon and lime juices).

The bland mild taste and grainy mouth feel of the quinoa created a wonderful backdrop for the delicious "ceviche" inspired marinade.

p.s. I didn't have any cilantro or you KNOW i would have added that! You know what would have been good in this, too? Some chopped fennel bulb with it's licoricey flavor...mmmm!

_ _ _ _

DONT FORGET! Will i see you there?








The 2ND Annual Vibrant Living Festival 2011

Harmony Hill Gardens
1341 Mill Road
Sellersville, PA 18960

JULY 31st, 2011
10am-7pm


All day passes are on sale now for only $15 per person when you follow this link and use the discount code "JOY"

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1587541379/ShareAbundance/16363922197


Featuring:
-Group Yoga
-Guided Meditation
-Musical Performers, Opera with Chef Michelle, and a DJ
-Delicious Low Fat Raw Vegan Food by Megan Elizabeth, Smoothies, Banana Ice Cream, and DURIAN ICE CREAM
-Lectures on Creating Healthy Bodies, Minds, Spirits, and Relationships
-Low Fat Raw Vegan Food Prep Demo by Megan Elizabeth
-Ending with a Drum Circle and Bonfire! (and smores? JK)

Check out the Schedule for the festival here: http://vibrantlivingfestival.com/ and please use the link above for purchasing tickets with the discount code "JOY".

Here's a fun video from Vibrant Living Festival 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M90NQWiUVe0


I hope to see you there! :)

xoxo michelle joy

Saturday, July 23, 2011

GRATITUDE TO THE RESCUE!

Balance sometimes gives way to seriously unbalanced...in just a matter of days, in my life.

It seems when i got back from vacation, my motivated daily walks and the amazing newfound discipline I had with low fat raw, enjoying light and lean smoothies for breakfast, light and lean fruit for lunch, and a moderate gourmet raw dinner...evaporated into a poof!

I risk discouraging readers by being forthcoming about my constant struggles, but we are none of us created the same, and this is apparantly my pattern, my great struggle. I think it's the most honest thing to do to report the truth. We're all learning, we're all cycling to some extent with something in our lives, and there's strength in admitting the truth.

On Wednesday, I'll be 9 weeks raw, with what feels like not much to show for it. I was doing so amazing on vacation, i surely touched down around 325 lbs with all of the exercise and self denial and lost 50 lbs.

When i came home from vacation...

No, actually on the RIDE home, eating gourmet raw zucchini spaghetti at the Turnpike stop because i was bored, not necessarily hungry, started a cycle of not listening to my body (eating when i wasn't hungry), and resisting exercise, that i've not been able to break free from, and it's 10 days later.

Add to that some super emotional hurtful things with family have taken place, and here I am back in that low vibrating, high fat raw, sedentary, weight gaining state i used to be so familiar with.

I never thought i could be back here. I'm back.

Yesterday, i broke down and said to myself, "This is awful, how am i going to get out of this?" I haven't been meditating or praying, so i can't get that to work. I haven't been choosing low fat. I haven't been exercising. I feel bad about me and just want to mope.

When it dawned on me that the one thing i could control....was my attitude, things began to perk up.

I decided to be GRATEFUL for everything yesterday. Grateful that we came home from my parents' house, otherwise the ripening bananas would have overcooked in the heat, grateful that i have a great caring guy to love, grateful that i'm still raw even though cooked food tempts me daily, grateful that i'm not as heavy as i once was.

In changing my attitude to an attitude of gratitude, something shifted in me, and i actually didn't do too bad today with my eating. My legs also felt twitchy and wanted to walk. It's a start.

What the Secret says seems to actually be true, that the more grateful we are for what we have, the better we feel, the better we do.

SO SIMPLE.

The effortless effort way of breaking out of a bad cycle. Change your attitude and your behavior changes....automatically without force.

Good lesson, and something I am going to work on with a newfound appreciation today!

_ _ _

Today i am grateful for: my hot messy house! At least i have a roof over my head, and the rooms with A/C are super cool! I am so grateful to have so much, so many nice things, and the potential for such a beautiful home. I am grateful i got all of my laundry done, too.

Today i am grateful for: my singing! Shaie, an amazing actress/singer, was sharing with me about how us artists can be so unwaveringly critical of our own art. She shared this charming figurative description with me: "When you sing, it's like you just took a shit, and you look at the shit and say, 'man, that stinks, it's ugly, it's smelly, it's disgusting,' you find everything that's wrong with it, where you SHOULD be realizing that the shit you just shit is actually a golden nugget that just fell from your ass! You should admire it and say, 'you are a thing of beauty, thank you God for what i can do right, at least i got through the whole song once.' Thank you, Shaie! You are so right. Vocal control is a gift from God I receive when i am in a high vibrational state. Gratitude for what i CAN do right brings me more into alignment with my best self and my best singing self. Thank you for reminding me!

Today, I apply gratitude to my still raw state! I wanted Cliff's pasta last night, but didn't eat it. When would it stop? Staying raw i still have a chance to get back under control. I recognize that things could be MUCH MUCH worse...with 10 hamburgers a day, fried fish and french fry binges, ....and here i am complaining about eating too much raw delicious "Sea Greens Salad" from All the Way Live!

Today, I apply gratitude to the love I have with my honey. Our relationship may not be the most romantic, passionate, but we have a true love and concern and support for each other. That is ALOT more than many couples have and I consider myself lucky on a daily basis.

Today, I am grateful for my body. I'm still better than i was BEFORE raw. There is still a modicum of control to my behavior and no matter what, i still know i am doing better for my body drinking too much smoothie than drinking too much soda. I'm grateful i have legs to walk and some hair, at least, on my head!

Here is a nice article: http://zenhabits.net/why-living-a-life-of-gratitude-can-make-you-happy/


_ _ _

FEELING ABUSED LEADS TO RAW FOOD ABUSE
Yesterday I was feeling so wounded, i'd had a run in with my abusive self centered father and another with my insensitive brother. (How to be grateful for THAT when i'm still left reeling???) I cried, i felt my feelings, and then...

I knew what i was doing - medicating with food - but i did it anyway.

I ordered 3 raw meals from All The Way Live and polished them off, in addition to about 3/4 of a pound of assorted raw cheeses from the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop.

It was all very delicious and heavy, and, i did it.

Did it change anything about what happened with my family? No. I'm just fatter now.

_ _ _

In 10 days my wonderful new plan of raw eating...unraveled.

Stress? Emotions? Just plain returning to compulsive eating instead of intuitive eating? Just allowing myself to get sucked into a negative downward cycle? Beating myself up? Discouragement?

_ _ _

I know it's preferable to be a raw VEGAN and my eating raw cow's milk cheese, i failed at that, but with my thinning hair (from being back on raw), I figure that maybe the extra protein may have done my hair follicles some good, though it hasn't done my waistline any favors....

Megan asked me, "Are you eating enough greens?" I suppose i could do alot better.

_ _ _ _

FRUITARIANS CONFERENCE
On Friday at work, it was as if God was sending me messages loud and clear to focus on fruitarian.

Matt Warner of http://www.rawnaturalliving.com/ dropped by, as did it seemed every fruitarian on the face of the earth. It was such a funny day. Was God talking to me?

Shaie came by and I told her, you know, i wasn't doing great, and she could see in my demeanor and in what looks like no more weight loss than the last time she saw me (i did lose but gained back from lack of movement and from too much salt and fat).

Shaie does not eat salt or nuts. She is 65 days raw, I am 8.5 weeks, yet she is having dramatic amazing results, and i have faltered and fallen back into compulsive behavior.

"Michelle, it doesn't sound like salt and nuts are serving your best interest."

I have to laugh now as it makes sense, but seems so ridiculous. Only people who struggle with raw food would understand.

Matt Warner seemed to second that opinion, "I used to be addicted and binge on gourmet raw, too," he offered. "On fruitarian, i only eat when i'm hungry."

Well, you can't argue with results. I've been there before, too.

It was a message that was being shot to me left and right on Friday. Pat called and we chatted. Pat also struggles with wanting more gourmet than she feels is good for her, "Oh, God, the raw burger and raw lasagne at All The Way Live are soooo good, but they have a thick layer of nut cheese on them," she warned me. "Don't order them!" Pat is focusing more on fruit these days and liking the results.

I know, girl, i know, but....

I ordered them, both!

I keep thinking i can return to those balanced days i had at OHI with low fat raw as the bulk of my diet, intense exercise as the rule, and gourmet raw for fun.

Why can't i keep all three of those plates spinning at the same time....LONG TERM? Things spin easily out of control for me.

I'm also thinking that more than ANYTHING, my problems are all about DISCIPLINE.

I just need to learn DISCIPLINE and I can achieve ANYTHING i want.

_ _ _

VIBRANT LIVING FESTIVAL

No matter what...., we raw folks have got to celebrate, have fun, support each other, make time to learn, relax, and enjoy!

If you're in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, take a short trip to the beautiful countryside and spend the day with me and some of my friends at the Vibrant Living Festival! I'll be singing some pretty stuff, so come on out!




The 2ND Annual Vibrant Living Festival 2011

Harmony Hill Gardens

1341 Mill Road
Sellersville, PA 18960


JULY 31st, 2011

10am-7pm


All day passes are on sale now for only $15 per person when you follow this link and use the discount code "JOY"

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1587541379/ShareAbundance/16363922197

Featuring:
-Group Yoga
-Guided Meditation
-Musical Performers, Opera with Chef Michelle, and a DJ
-Delicious Low Fat Raw Vegan Food by Megan Elizabeth, Smoothies, Banana Ice Cream, and DURIAN ICE CREAM
-Lectures on Creating Healthy Bodies, Minds, Spirits, and Relationships
-Low Fat Raw Vegan Food Prep Demo by Megan Elizabeth
-Ending with a Drum Circle and Bonfire! (and smores? JK)

Check out the Schedule for the festival here: http://vibrantlivingfestival.com/ and please use the link above for purchasing tickets with the discount code "JOY".

Here's a fun video from Vibrant Living Festival 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M90NQWiUVe0

Hang in there, Be grateful for where you are today (it could always be worse), and i hope to see you there! :)

xoxo michelle joy

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"FEELING" CAN FEEL LIKE MOURNING... BUT GOD CHANGES US LITTLE BY LITTLE!

I had such a day yesterday. I felt like i was dying i felt so bad, but it is good to come out of such strong emotions and be able to tell you first hand, that strong feelings....PASS.

Us food addicts are so scared to FEEL. We'd rather numb out on food than face our real feelings.

But, if we eat and push the feelings down, instead of just feeling them, we're doing ourselves a disservice.

Yes, we may feel like we're going to die from feeling so bad..., like I did, today, but we don't. We don't die. We just feel awful. And incapacitated from feeling so bad.

But, we feel better soon.

The way i felt today was akin to how i imagine a person would feel when a beloved close family member dies. You feel like you can't move from bed, you feel like you don't have the energy to even raise up your arm. That's what it felt like today to feel strong emotions of discouragement and failure from facing my shortcomings.

THIS is what i used to eat 10 hamburgers over.

I don't do that today.

I know now that soon I will feel better... If I would eat the 10 hamburgers, feeling better never comes.

This is what helped: Talking about how i felt to close loved ones, crying, getting in the pool, even though i was not even being able to swim a lap because of the intense weight of the emotional burden, getting in the hottub at the clubhouse and closing my eyes, talking more on the phone about it, doing a few water calisthenics even though i was crying in between moves and i felt absolutely zapped of energy, I made a good dinner for my parents and Cliff, I helped my parents pack for their vacation - it all EVENTUALLY made the burden of feeling so bad, lift.

Eating 10 hamburgers would have made me incapable of helping my parents, incapable of talking through it. You push it down and push it down and all of those bad things you think about yourself fester and grow. Plus, you're fatter, and you can add that to your list of failures. It's not a good way to live.

Even sunning outside for a half hour, closing my eyes, and just trying to meditate, felt at least like a small accomplishment. "Hey, what did you do today?" "I got a little tanner today."

Low self esteem, underachievement, and a feeling of "i'm not good enough," and "no one wants me," are at the root of of my eating disorder, and at the root of the choices i've made in life.

It's hard to look that right in the eye, it's hard to sit with that and FEEL it, but, i found out, you don't die from it, and now, i have a chance to work THROUGH it.

There is also a fair amount of bitterness built up from all of the years of abuse for being fat and people judging me negatively because i'm fat, and it just seems like I can't break free from it. If i lose weight to be "good enough," i resent that. If i stay fat to say, "f.u.," I don't get anywhere. If a thin person and a fat person apply for the same job, the thin person usually wins it. There is still such descrimination in the world. We have to learn to fight stronger for ourselves and our rights.

There's this vicious circle - you're fat, so people don't hire you, you lose confidence and turn to food, so you're fatter, and people won't hire you, so you lose confidence, and turn to food. You weaken and weaken yourself in the process. You may even more MUCH more qualified than the thin person, but you've been squashed down so many times, you lose confidence, you lose the fight.

Sticking to raw food is at least another small accomplishment on a day like today. "At least I stayed raw through it...," you can say.

Overdoing raw food is not living my best life and is not best for me.

On the other hand, a person can only do what they can do for today, and you have to be grateful you're doing as well as you are, even if it's not perfect.

The raw honeymoon I was on...seems to have changed dynamics to a raw struggle over the last few days. Too many bags of raw chips, just eaten for comfort.

At least, raw food, even when you overdo it, doesn't put permanent weight on you like cooked does. At least you know you can always juice or do fruit for a few days.

When you're feeling like you can take some control back, you can assert these kinds of disciplines on yourself, and win back your self confidence. Walking and exercising also burns up raw food so fast. I experienced that first hand when i was away. I ate a hearty raw gourmet dinner and because i was walking daily, i just burned it up!

I can't let raw discouragement get to me.

I ate watermelon for breakfast and for snack today, instead of that friggin' bagel i wanted so bad that my mother had defrosting on the counter. That felt like a huge accomplishment.

I emailed some raw food restaurants my resume. Another small accomplishment.
Small accomplishments add up and each action forward seem to pick you up a little.

_ _ _

The bible says we will have VICTORY over addictions (including food addiction and binge eating) if we turn to GOD every day and ask Him to remove our compulsions.

I can't forget to keep praying and asking for His guidance. I can't forget to keep meditating and filling myself with a peaceful ground base from which to live life. Why I am so easily derailed? I need to establish a spiritual routine.

When i'm feeling really bad, like life will never get better, like I will never get better, it feels so good to trust in Him. I feel purified and cradled and supported, even if just for a moment. Burgers don't do that.

No matter how much armchair psychologist "wisdom" I have, if I don't ask for His help, I don't get the benefit of His supernatural power to resist Temptation.

When we take matters into our own hands, we always screw up. Isn't that the way it is? Put it all in His hands. If we eat, we're saying, "Forget you, i can handle this all on my own, and i'm going to show you how! Chomp, bite, slurp!" He can work it out better than we can. Or, it's just better for us to BELIEVE He can. Learn to trust and leave the results to Him.

Even the best wise diet or life advice seems not to make any sense in the face of food Temptation. That's why, the only one who can save us from compulsion, is GOD. We need supernatural power to overcome the pull of food. Plain and simple. Period. End of sentence. We cannot do this on our own.

_ _ _

Writing a blog entry, when I'd rather be eating a bucket of fried chicken, is also a positive step. It teaches me I can manage my emotions by writing instead of eating, and if you're still struggling, it teaches you, that there is another way.

At least if you push THROUGH the pain, like a BIRTH, you have a chance to redeem yourself at some point. Take what you've learned about yourself and go about fixing it. Eating hamburgers only drags what little self esteem you have even lower. And then when you look at yourself in the mirror and you're all bloated and puffed out, you're back in the loop. More eating to make you feel better to forget what you just ate.

I wanna be free of that loop, forever.

At least when you don't resort to eating, but just feel like shit, that's a huge accomplishment in itself. You can be proud that you're growing. You're getting better. Even though you feel worse.

_ _ _

Joel Osteen says, "God made each one of us with ROYAL blood running through our veins!"

Amen! We were made for GREAT things, GREAT accomplishments! He created us to do ANYTHING! When i hear that, i am reminded of the greatness in me. Suddenly i can sing better, i can walk, I can do anything!

We just forget that over and over.

We need to hear it everyday!

_ _ _

Constantly going to food for comfort...is a MAJORLY destructive habit. We may feel better for the moment, but food binds us, and we are soon in bondage, with no hope to escape it's hold over us.

We need to Break the chain!

_ _ _

Don't base your self esteem on your long list of failures.

Base your self esteem on how many times you pick yourself back up.

_ _ _

Good fortune is around the corner.

THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HATH MADE! I'M GONNA WORK THIS OUT!

_ _ _

When you're feeling bad, reach out, sit with it, don't eat, and use some good resources. Here is an excellent Christian video I watched yesterday, even though i'm Jewish, it has so much common sense wisdom, and an article on the meditation technique i learned at www.fhu.com , which has it's roots in Judeo-Christian teachings. As a matter of fact, i'm going to go do my meditation now. We have to learn how to release our burdens to God and trust in Him, daily, and this is one way. Extra Food is not the way.

VIDEO: HOW TO BREAK ADDICTIONS AND FORM NEW HABITS - Joel Osteen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUvqFK5vp3o

ARTICLE, "MILITARY PRAISES FANTASTIC NEW POST TRAUMATIC STRESS THERAPY": (The meditation technique i always talk about has been being used by war vets for many years now, thanks to the www.fhu.com., to help with post traumatic stress. If the meditation works for them, there is NO reason why it shouldn't work for US! If they see bombs and attackers everywhere, isn't that akin to us being attacked by FOOD and FAST FOOD restaurants left and right? It seems sometimes there is NO escaping food. But there is. There are links in the article to the meditation which is originally sponsored by www.fhu.com , a non-profit church organization, whose teachings i have supported for years.) http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=319737

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, July 18, 2011

THE MOST DELISH RECIPES I EVER MADE...TODAY!


As a raw chef, I come up with new recipes from scratch all of the time, and I think, "Man, this is the most delish, ever!"

My trick is - I use the 5 basic principles of taste to guide me - meaning, with every savory dish I make, I add at least one or more elements from each "taste," and because each dish has all 5 flavors, it is always delicious! The tounge has 5 taste centers, so when a dish pings all 5 taste centers, you go, "Yum!!!" Nothing ever tastes flat this way. I thank Victoria Boutenko for teaching me this. Now that you know, you can be your own raw chef!

Here are the 5 flavors:
-spicy (garlic, onion, cayenne, etc...)


-salty (shoyu, celery, kelp, dulse, celtic salt, etc...)

-sweet (carrots, beets, raw honey, agave, raisins, etc...)

-tart (raw vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, etc...)

-bitter (all green leaves, etc...)

Here is a yummy yummy lower fat pate' I came up with using ingredients I had on hand, following the 5 flavor principle. I got the pic above online. (My camera is out of commission). The pic looks similar to what i made, except the tomatoes look dehydrated above. Come to think of it, dehydrating the little "pizzas" would be delish!

LOW FAT BASIL CASHEW ALMOND PATE' PIZZAS

PRE-RECIPE STEPS
1). Put whole organic cashews and almonds in a large bowl and fill with lots of water the night before. Soak overnight on the counter.

2.) In the morning, drain nuts, and rinse repeatedly until water is clear.

Why Soak? Soaking nuts reduces their fat by 40% and removes the enzyme inhibitors that coat nuts and keep nuts dormant (asleep). Soaking them begins the process of germination which means they fundamentally change internally and think they are on their way to becoming a tree or a plant. They are actually a changed being and become ALIVE! Soaking nuts turns nuts into more of a vegetable and improves their digestibility immeasurably. SOAK YOUR NUTS. Soaking nuts also makes them less addictive in my opinion, and probably improves their alkelinity, rather than leaving them acidifying.

3.) Dehydrate soaked rinsed nuts on a teflex in an Excalibur Dehydrator at 105 degrees until dry (1 day to 1.5 days)

4.) Store in ziplock bags and use these nuts as you would any regular nut

RECIPE:

Pizzas:
Set aside:
Large Zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
Fresh red ripe tomatos sliced into rounds, salted

Pate' Ingredients:
-about 1 cup of basil leaves
-2 cups of germinated almonds and cashews (not necessary that they be dry at all or fully dried)
-1 tsp of celtic salt
-1/2 tsp of agave
-juice of 1 small lemon
-1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast
-1 slice of white onion, about 1/2 inch thick
-2 large cloves of garlic
-2 tsps of dried fennel (optional for italian sausagey flavor, i loved it!)

* Have 1/4 cup of water on hand

1.) Add all ingredients except water to food processor with S blade

2). Grind all ingredients, opening processor to scrape down the sides repeatedly.

3.) Taste mixture when well ground for seasoning. Adjust if needed using key:

ADJUSTING SEASONING KEY:
*If too bland, add salt or lemon
*If too salty, add a touch of agave
*If too sweet, add a touch of salt
*If too flat, add more lemon juice or garlic or onion
*If not enough herbal flavor, add more basil
*If too spicy, add more nuts
*If too dry, add water or lemon juice

4.) If needed, add a little water to mixture if you would like a mushier pate'. My nuts were partially dried (4 hours), so they had a little moisture in them. I didn't need any water.

The recipe will produce a thick, olive green, slightly dry, mealy pate' that formed a ball in my hands. Kind of a gross description, but, man, oh, man, it is so delish!

NOTE:
For a more "authentic" pesto, add olive oil, if desired, but this defeats the low fat nature of the recipe. Unlike this pate', full fat nut pates come out like cream cheese consistency. Nut pate's from lower fat germinated nuts like this recipe will not create a smooth cream cheese consistency, but will come out mealy and slightly chunky. Just so you know it! Personally, I did not miss the extra fat or creamy texture at all! SO YUM!

TO CREATE PIZZAS:
Add a mound of pate' on top of each zucchini slice. Top with a salted fresh organic tomato slice! Eat like a little pizza! Repeat and enjoy until satisfied! Dehydrate if you can't eat them all...at 105degrees! That would be delish!

Another Idea:
This pate' could also be used as a filling for "rawvioli!" since the texture is ricotta like and the flavor is very italian!

_ _ _

Here's a great smoothie!

FRUITY GREEN PROTEIN SHAKE

In a vitamix add:
-2 Tbsp of raw local honey (optional, but good for the summer, helps to relieve allergies)
-1 Tbsp of spirulina
-1 cup of strawberries, frozen
-1/2 cup of mango chunks, frozen
-2 bananas, frozen
-6 mint leaves
*cold water

Blenderize all ingredients with just enough cold water to form a frosty thick shake. This is so refreshing and the fruit and mint cover the flavor of the spirulina, which i don't always love, though it is so good for you! This is a generous portion! Serves 2.

DID YOU KNOW?
Spirulina is yummy and chock full of PROTEIN!

(Unfortunately, my hair is thinning again after 7 weeks of raw, so i'm wanting to be conscious of eating more protein. Maybe this will help.)

Please read about spirulina here. Lots of interesting facts! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_(dietary_supplement)

_ _ _

Let me know if you make any of these recipes and enjoy them!

xoxo michelle joy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

IT'S GROOVY, BABY!

Howdy,

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.

Silence.

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.

Click.
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 now...is 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?

_ _ _

ACTION....BEGETS MORE ACTION.

STAGNANCY....BEGETS MORE STAGNANCY.

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

Saturday, July 16, 2011

AFTER VACATION REALITY...

Hiya :=)

Back home...

Kind of a serious letdown after a fun time away.

Today was one of those days where I was unable to accomplish much. I think i just needed to retreat and recharge my batteries.

Ken and Deb's home life is so organized that Cliff and I were so inspired to come home and get our own home life more under control.

We're packrats, the both of us. It's a challege having each of us prone to the same sloppiness, with neither one of us the "neatnik" in control, pushing the other towards cleanliness and organization.

We're at our best when we are working together getting stuff done. We can be very productive.

We're at our worst when we just let each other get away with being out of control sloppy.

Until we get a live-in maid (my DREAM!), we just have to bugger down and get working and start bringing out the best in each other, instead of the worst.

Deb and Ken are really good examples of how to create a managable, functional, pleasurable home life. We really aspire to that.

We have a big wonderful home, but we rarely have guests over because the house isn't in order.

Today, we had the best intentions to work together to get the kitchen organized and rearranged, old stuff donated to the Salvation Army, throw out ineffective storage, etc..., but I became overwhelmed, and like a typical food addict, dug my head in the sand.

On the positive side, instead of binge eating to forget my overwhelm, I went to sleep until 3:30pm. It's not really a great way to cope, but it's a lot less calories.

_ _ _

I have a lot on my mind, overwhelmed in many areas.

I'm broke with a bill due Thursday.

My car brakes died, again, and to fix them would be $2,000. We're considering buying a new car, but can't afford it.

I have music to prepare for the VIBRANT LIVING FESTIVAL, http://www.vibrantlivingfestival.com/, in which i'm singing opera, on July 31st. (Hope you'll come!)

I have an opera to prepare for which i'll be performing in November, Rossini's MOSE', the story of Moses.

On top of that, i have a mess of a house.

_ _ _

Just like the out of control behavior of binge eating, creating messes is a similar coping mechanism that i use to deflect myself from my real issues, i suppose. I am messier when i am stressed. Money stresses seem to cause the bigger messes.

There are things I can do to make money. I just haven't been willing to do them yet.

I sang so well today, creating my 7 song/aria program for the VIBRANT LIVING FESTIVAL, i'm left wondering why i'm not making more money singing opera. I have to get out there and audition. I have to create a website.

You know what? It's a really good time to give all of my "to-do's" to God, ask Him to help me get everything done that i need to. I am too tired of carrying around all of these burdens.



"Lord, i need your help with money. I'm going to trust you that i'll be able to pay this bill on Friday. I'm going to trust you that my singing career is in your hands. You know I want to sing professionally. I'm going to trust you that this house WILL get in order this summer. I'm going to trust you that my car situation will be resolved. Please find me a new car or help me fix the one I have. Please continue to help me sing beautifully and optimally. It feels so good to sing at my potential. Please help me to continue to take singing lessons with Arturo. It's $100 a lesson and I'm going to trust you for the funds. I put all of my burdens and needs in your hands, Lord. I trust that they are all being supernaturally worked on as we speak.
Thank you, Father."

The rest of the summer, I just have to focus on getting the house in order, getting my finances in order, getting my singing career in order.

_ _ _

Cliff did a great job in the kitchen without me, while i hybernated in bed. He's a good guy. He got rid of the excess furniture that wasn't working in there, he moved the kitchen table, reorganized shelves, rearranged storage. It looks better in there.

Our environments really affect how we feel.

Suddenly, we're hanging out in the kitchen more, because it looks so nice and feels so nice to be in there.

I tend to get depressed in the living room because it's messy and makes me feel paralyzed to do anything to help it.

_ _ _

I am reminded: Cleaning is like exercise. No one wants to do it. But you feel so much better afterwards. It just takes a little effort, and then the positive action creates momentum, which creates more positive action.

_ _ _

No exercise today. But, it's ok to take a rest. I've been working hard on exercise the last week, even on vacation! Everyone needs time sometimes to recharge their batteries.

_ _ _

Yesterday, i ate heavier on the road than i had during the week away.

I remind myself that patterns are meant to be broken. We have to take each day as it comes and go with the flow of our complex desires.

Yesterday, I had smoothie for breakfast.

For lunch, I had salad at Wendy's with homemade cashew cheese and raw pizza flavored crackers, which felt appropriate to my hunger level. I was feeling very hungry and was satisfied when i was done.

For dinner, I was mostly just bored from the 9 hour drive home and not terribly hungry. Nevertheless, I had the zucchini spaghetti with leftover cashew cheese and homemade marinara sauce with 1/2 avo over it at the Turnpike Rest Stop. Though it was a ballsy thing to do which carried a good share of raw pride, I didn't really enjoy it. It was very rich. I hid behind my large bag so i wouldn't cause too much attention, and it was a too heavy meal which didn't really match my level of hunger. Traveling in a car for 10 hours is bound to make anyone even normal with food go a little batty and want to be stimulated, let alone someone with food issues. All in all, I can't really complain too loudly about spiralizing zucchini at a rest stop. That's an A+ just for the effort.

Cliff and I shared a banana whip at home, which i enjoyed very much.

_ _ _

Today i had barely an appetite, and that's to be expected with yesterday's heavier fare.

_ _ _

Yet, this morning, i was obsessing about going to eat out at ALL THE WAY LIVE http://www.alllivefood.com/ and get 3 take out meals!!!! I so want to try their new raw burger and raw lasagna, and i love their 5 plop platter where you choose from among 8 or so different raw salads they make: squash toona, wild rice, corn salad, cabbage slaw, kale salad, marinated mushrooms, seaweed salad, etc... The 5 plop platter is really enough for 2 meals, and I knew the idea for these excessive takeout meals, which would really amount to 4 meals, was a set up for trouble, but it's really what i wanted....

I didn't do it. But, i wanted to.

But no wonder i was obsessing over food. I'm stressed with money and music and needing to clean and get organized and coming back home from vacation is a let down.

Facing reality is often no fun when reality is not a pleasing sight.

I'm glad at least i didn't give into food compulsion.

Time to get cleaning up my various messes....

At least my food is still under control.

FOOD TODAY
Br: Smoothie - choc, banana, raspberry, raw honey

L: fresh homegrown tomato with basil flowers sprinkled over it and 1 tsp of infused olive oil and a little sea salt. Mmmm, so good!

D: fruity tootie smoothie - mango, raspberry, purple grapes, banana, raw honey. So good! tasted just like sherbet!

S: green smoothie - collards, banana.

xoxo michelle joy