Howdy, fine folks!!
Hope you are all well! I have limited computer access and I wanted to fit a lot in here...sorry this is a longy!
I have been at the BETTER LIVING LIFESTYLE CENTER for a week and a half! I am fabulous! I will be here 10 more days. I'm so excited to update you and show you pics (lots below)!
You KNOW my history with various raw diets, trying to find "the answer," my battle with salt or no salt, my questions over cooked or no cooked ad infinitum, my chronic binge eating and morbid obesity.
All I can say is, I seem to be breaking many of my hard-won preconceived notions here, yet things are miraculously....WORKING!
- I'm eating salt here....yay, tasty food!
- I'm eating only 'mostly raw'...(we have cooked nut butter, some cooked veggies, some cooked cereal, even small slices of cooked cake on rare occasions, etc...)....
- I'm eating in moderation...what really feels like an answered prayer.
- I'm eating plenty of fruit, really as much as I want (without counting carbs or worrying about weight gain from fruit sugar)....
- I eat as much as I want at Buffet style meals...
- I'm eating plenty of nuts and NOT counting FATS...., wow, I can't believe this is working!
- I'm not Food Combining but eating Nuts WITH Fruit.
- I'm not counting calories or any of that....
And YET...and YET (drumroll, please), my body has released 32 POUNDS in only a WEEK AND A HALF!!!! It is TRULY amazing. I am so intensely GRATEFUL to have found this WONDERFUL program!
Yesterday we began a 5 day Cleanse (no solid food) which involves several different colon cleansing concoctions, one, a salty broth that has 5 tsp. of sea salt in it (!!) that induces almost instant mega-poops! I took 11 poopies yesterday!
My weight went up the next morning (scary!) even with the lack of any food due to my particularly sensitive body's proclivity for fluid retention - which we knew would happen and are monitoring exactingly.
Today, to give me a break from the salt, I received a salt-free-poop-inducing-Herbal Tea from the Dr., among many other Cleanse elements, such as herbal tablets and fiber supplements to propel the Cleanse along, in addition to my now routine 1.5 gallons of water daily and several cups of herbal tea on top of that!
I am 5 poops in so far today and it's only noon!
Even with the pseudo-weight gain, I am BEYOND THRILLED that I chose to come here.
Learning to trust the Dr.'s wisdom through the temporary weight gain (scary for someone with "an eating disorder") was challenging, to say the least!
HAPPY NEWS! I lost 11 pounds AFTER the cleanse was over! (Total of 32 lbs. in 1.5 WEEKS!) P.S. The Doctor prescribed pears and watermelon as a part of breakfast after the Cleanse, since I retained fluid. Pears and watermelon are natural diuretic fruits. Who knew? Hallelujah, they work!
I am learning SO MUCH! I really feel like I completely (completely!) understand the cause of my binge and overeating. Finally!
I am CONFIDENT that I will be able to follow the simple food plan, as well as follow the simple LIFE plan I am learning!
I know in the past I have often had great trouble following through with diets, but I am learning a LIFESTYLE, not a diet. There's a BIG difference! Yet, it's been a challenge to trust at times because I've been fearful of slight indulgences causing a loss of control or weight gain. The black-and-white thinking of an eating disorder is being seriously challenged here! Old dysfunctional thinking is going out the window! I'm amazed that I am doing so well while still indulging in small ways. I just can't believe it.
And I'm learning something even MORE important - that predicting the future based on the past is a BAD practice and all a part of living in FEAR. What was driving my binge eating? Plain and simple: FEAR. An all consuming FEAR had been driving my life!
I grow in confidence daily here by focusing on God's promises, and by replacing fearful thoughts with empowering ones that tell me I can do ANYTHING!
Positive actions follow positive thoughts. Self defeating thoughts propel self defeat.
According to Dr. Arcilla, there are 10 NATURAL LAWS OF HEALTH.
These are found in the Bible...so they are really GOD'S 10 NATURAL LAWS OF HEALTH!
This is how I am living them here.
- 1). Sunlight - I am so enjoying my morning time here, feeling the warm sun on me before I go into my morning prayers and body stretches, before my morning walk. It feels so nourishing! The sun's energy brings forth life...and healing...and Vitamin D! The sun's rays stimulate our 'third eye' or pineal gland which helps regulate wake/sleep patterns by producing naturally occurring melatonin. As I abide by waking with the sun and turning in early after sundown, the quality of my life and health have improved drastically. When I was acting out with food, I felt horrible, sick and drained, with only enough energy to lay in bed all day, and up all night watching TV. I abused food for STIMULATION, among many other reasons. Enjoying stimulating activity instead - in the sun - is a huge and energizing component of the program here.
- 2). Temperance - "Temperance" is biblical language meaning self control. Temperance has eluded me my entire life! I am learning here that temperance is AMAZINGLY POSSIBLE! Self control is so much simpler than I thought. It's a result of following this whole amazing program which addresses the spiritual, the emotional and the physical. In a nutshell, what I really feel is helping are the following:
- Simple raw food (for the most part) which reduces overall cravings/appetite stimulation because it is so nutritious and packed with enzymes
- Being part of an amazingly SUPPORTIVE program of people all doing basically the same thing (there are those in the group that eat much more cooked than I do)
- Someone trustworthy, wise and skilled to turn to anytime for advice/direction/support (the Dr and his wife)
- The inclusion of God into eating with prayers before every meal, and all day!
- Allowing at least 5 hours between meals
- Actually, we eat only 2 meals a day and this has been HUGE in reducing cravings
- Practicing ZERO (I mean ZERO) food/snacks between meals for optimal digestion and craving control
- Chewing 30 -50 chews per bite
- Savoring and really tasting my food
- Sticking to regimented meal times (10:30 a.m. and 4p.m. usually, and that's IT!)
- Recognizing HUNGER and FULLNESS and taking care not to eat extra food past full
- The LONG meals here (we eat SO SLOWLY, we sit and eat for 1-1.5 hours per meal!)
- Stimulating conversation at the table
- Busy and stimulating schedule
- Amazingly satiating and appetite-reducing effects of drinking the RIGHT amount of water for my body at the right time
- The practice of moderation, eating small amounts of cooked foods (even cake!), so as not to feel completely deprived
- Ability to CONTROL my own food intake as we are served BUFFET style and I am entrusted to control myself with portion size (with support and constant encouragement)...
Temperance, so far (Thank you, God!!!) is....EASY! This program is just SO GREAT! And know this: there is a fridge full of food not 10 feet away from me right now and all day, evening and night, but I've lost the compulsion! My connection to Spirit guides me, my Obedience serves me, my Mind is renewed constantly with uplifting words, my "new" Body (it feels brand new!) has changed it's desires and I've said good-bye to my former inability to control myself.
- 3). Air - Diaphragmatic exercises, deep breathing to cleanse the lungs, and several walks a day in the fresh air make me feel so good!
- 4). Rest - The quiet country life in the woods of New Jersey, a dark bedroom, going to bed on an empty (never hungry or growling) stomach, and genuine tiredness from so much exercise make for good and easy rest. When I first arrived, I slept as much as 10 hours a night. Mornings I feel rested and ready for my day!
- 5). Trust in the Divine Power - This is HUGE and SO MUCH of what had been missing in my life! Obedience to God and obedience to a sensible Lifestyle/Health Regiment and I am a completely NEW person! I know that as I grow to Trust God more and more and learn to continually let go of living in Fear, I will succeed!
- 6). Attitude - Attitude is HUGE. As a matter of fact, the Dr. and his wife are the epitome of a happy, sunny, joyful people, who are cheerful and a delight to be around. I had a strong inkling of this teaching before I came here with the www.abraham-hicks.com messages teaching us the way to happiness and success in ANY endeavor is to adopt an attitude of "happy under all circumstances." (I'm so grateful to Esther Hicks for giving me insight into this important practice). Now, seeing it modeled in action daily confirms my knowing that it is REALLY right. Why fret about ANYTHING? God will take care of it all. We just have to learn to "give problems to God," and TRUST and KNOW that there is ALWAYS a SOLUTION on the forefront. A happy attitude under ALL circumstances is really one of the MOST IMPORTANT answers to health and healing.
- 7.) Nutrition - I am following an AMAZINGLY SIMPLE FOOD PLAN here: Assorted Fruit and some Nuts for breakfast (10:30a.m.), Salads, Veggies and some Nuts for dinner (4p.m.). That's basically it! How simple is THAT? So much variety, so delicious, so simple. There can be SO MUCH complication in the raw world - With so many experts, my mind was reeling and I became incapacitated, paralyzed to even TRY to get back on raw it seemed so complicated. www.rawfoodbootcamp said this, Arnold says this, Doug Graham says this, OHI says this, etc... Calgon, take me away! I'm so ENTIRELY grateful for the simplicity of this program. And knowing that Nutrition is only ONE ELEMENT of the puzzle. Nutrition is NOT the solution. But it is PART of it. Not having to worry about food combining is so freeing. In the Book of Genesis, God says, "...of all of these trees, ye may eat freely." Not having to worry about constant hunger is so freeing! It's GONE- I get hungry 2x/day and that's it from two very filling (as much as I want) meals a day eaten excessively slowly...and lots of exercise....and that's it! Proper eating and digestive practices make the constantly grumbling tummy a thing of the PAST! Hairloss has stopped and weight is flying off of me so something is seriously working.
- 8.) Exercise - Exercise has been a HUGE component to my plan here. I worked up to one mile 3x/day. Today, day 11, I walked one mile 5x during the day. You know what? It feels wonderful! TIP: Frequent walks burn more fat that one long walk.
- 9.) Water - We have been instructed to drink half of our body weight in water...in ounces. For me, that's 1.5 gallons. Drinking so much water reduces the appetite REMARKABLY, makes your skin look smooth and feel soft, it cleans your insides, your organs, lubricates your joints and energizes you. The Dr. says water is ENERGY. No wonder I am not hungry in between meals or during the 5-day fast, I'm drinking so much water and tea! Water is also HEALING to almost ALL diseases. Almost all diseases involve not only inflammation but severe dehydration! We follow two simple rules when it comes to timing - no water until 1 hour after a meal and no water 15 mins before eating.
- 10). Cleansing - Internal Bowel Cleansing and External Body Cleansing keep the body healthy, no ifs ands or butts, oops, I mean, buts. If its colonics and enemas like we did at OHI, or more effective colon cleanses like I am learning here, it is vital we keep the colon regularly cleaned. The topic of Cleansing also includes Emotional Cleansing and Spiritual Cleansing, two ENORMOUSLY VITAL parts of the program that have made me feel renewed, recharged, reborn!
|One of the gorgeous breakfast smoothies here. We always get fruit, nuts and a gorgeous smoothie! A few times a week, we get raw cereal, too.|
|Mmmm...kale salad for dinner! I was on the fast and missed this one!|
|Raw soaked buckwheat groats for breakfast...along with a smoothie and more fruit and it keeps you full all day!|
|A gorgeous dinner salad here.|
|The Drs talented wife, Carmen, prepared this wonderfully filling and delicious raw meal to go with a salad for dinner and maybe even some dessert!! I was on the fast and had to miss this one, too. But be assured, we are NOT hungry here!|
|The Bowel Cleanse drink component of the 5-day Cleanse. The Bowel Formula contains charcoal, turning the drink black! Blech!|
|The Magic Bullet to the rescue! Whips up the drink quickly!|
|Yum Yum! 3x/day for 5 days....and not much else...except for the salty broth...below!|
|It actually tastes delicious!|
|Breaking the fast with the Dr.s amazing Zucchini Alfredo! Wow!|
|Salad to go with Zucchini Alfredo! He made Honey Mustard to go with it!|
|The viking ship! Watermelon Fruit Boat for breakfast, plus smoothie and nuts. Yum!|
|Raw Pad Thai! I got to play and helped make dinner this evening. That's the yummy collard "noodles" with my ginger garlic Thai sauce , chopped herbs and tomatoes. Everyone enjoyed.|
xoxo michelle joy