Monday, April 30, 2012


Hello there!

Spaghetti at Arnold's Way Raw Cafe'
I've had a very good day food-wise!  No binge eating, only sensible healthy food in a mixture of cooked and raw, eaten when hungry, in sensible meals.  It's very "lifestyle-ish" and feels absolutely wonderful to be on track.  Lots of raw, almost entirely vegetarian, just kind of intuitively driven.  It feels just fine.   This is the 4th day in a row I've done well.

Cliff and I were swimming today and I said to him, "You know, I've had 4 good days in a row!"  He congratulated me, of course, but cautioned me to stop counting days.  "Focus only on TODAY," he said.  "If you count good days and fall, you'll feel dejected, like, i just ruined so-and-so number of days.  If you only focus on today, you don't 'lose' so much if you have a little screw up, and you have less excuse to binge."  It made ALOT of sense and I do DO that, count days and then feel terribly dejected if I lose them.  "Just focus on TODAY and keep looking FORWARD," he said.

I have a such a smart good guy.
Cheeze Burger at Arnold's Way Raw Cafe'
Gorilla Wrap at Arnold's Way Raw Cafe'

I taught a raw cooking class on Thursday at Arnold's Way and the class attendees were so great, it really inspired me to get back on track.  Kathy wrote down my recipes for me and is helping and encouraging me to write my raw cookbook!

One of my class students, Fred, 85 years old and feeling better than ever eating mostly raw, has been such a huge support, too.  He's read my story in Lisa Montgomery's book, "Raw Inspiration."  He knows I was raw and lost a lot of weight and that I have Binge Eating Disorder and fell off of raw and have gained a lot of weight back.  He's compassionate and accepting and so wise and kind.  Fred is always there before class with a pat on the shoulder and a hug and encouragement.  "You'll get it back!"

Fred also offers reminders to take responsibility for myself.  It's a message I never seem to tire hearing from him.  He says, "When you start to feel really sorry for yourself, look at yourself in the mirror and say, 'What are YOU going to DO about it?"  And, somehow, when I feel I have no more strength and can never get back on track on my own, Fred goes and says something to nudge me forward...with reminders that no gurus, no retreats, just ME, the man in the mirror has to take charge and make it happen.

And I've needed the nudging.  I've been in a lot of distress over my right leg and foot that have really been bothering me.  With my weight and with all of the hours I stand on my feet cooking, I have serious cause to be concerned with the broken blood vessels I've been watching grow on my right ankle.

I need to lose weight.  And to lose weight permanently, I need to stop binge eating.  And to stop binge eating, I don't think putting myself into boxes anymore is the solution.  A person always fights their way out of a box at some point or another.  "Grey" seems like the answer today with a mixture of raw and cooked.  It takes the FEAR out of food.  I think the binge eating is more a product of my mind than a reaction to what I've eaten.      

Something emotional that usually would have derailed me today, didn't.  My mother is suffering from chronic back pain and numb legs, and the Dr. visit today only served to discourage us further as to her prognosis, and at one point, I felt so discouraged, so hopeless, (but i realized it), and i saw myself start to beat myself up and immediately it made me feel like binge eating.

I heard myself tell myself that 4 days of doing well were not good enough and I might as well throw in the towel and give up.

What was so amazing was that I realized the assessment of little progress and the prompting to give up were just critical irrational "tapes," and the desire to binge in reaction was just purely learned behavior.

Thoughts...are just thoughts.  They have no power over me.  

These thoughts were totally unfounded and irrational and thank God I have the awareness today to label binge thoughts, "obsessional irrational thinking."  Doing so saved me from a potentially destructive episode with binge eating again.  

My Thursday Arnold's Way volunteer, Sunny, a vegetarian Seventh Day Adventist, has been emailing me almost daily and has really been a huge support, too, sending me lots of beans recipes and reminding me to pray.  It's been very very helpful, and I've not only been enjoying my daily can of garbanzos, which are so delish and so very very filling and satiating, but I've been feeling very blessed and very connected to God.

I also taught a private raw cooking class in a students' home Saturday that encouraged me to continue doing well and moving forward.

I feel a lot of hope today!

Hope begets hope!    

xoxo michelle joy   


an experiment in happiness said...

I think Cliff has given you the golden advice. You can't worry about yesterday and who knows what tomorrow will bring, all we have is today, this moment.

Anonymous said...

Have you read the book "Shrink Youself?" I just got it on Amazon and so far (I'm halfway in) it is the best book I have ever read for addressing the emotional reasons behind overeating. Have been crying all morning because it describes so exactly what goes on in my head, but am hoping it will help me!

Get Skinny, Go Vegan. said...

Love your posts. And they always make me want to go to Arnold's Place!!!! They should pay you big time for advertising!!!! Also I am sure we all "get" the constant struggle with trying to change old is tough, but by replacing bad with good, eventually you can do it......we all can!