Sunday, January 6, 2013

PICKING UP THE PIECES - A JOURNEY TO WELLNESS - A COURSE OF SELF STUDY


"Hope the fact that you haven't posted for so long doesn't mean things are going badly. By the way, have you read Brain over Binge by Kathryn Hansen? She also has a blog - google it. I had a binge eating/bulimia issue for 10 years which I thought was hopeless but using her theory I haven't binged or purged for two weeks - and it hasn't been difficult. I know it's early days, but this feels different to all the other things I have tried. Maybe it will help you too."  - Anonymous

Hi Anonymous!

Ah, you know me so well!  Yes, I've been having trouble the last month, and as sometimes happens when trouble arrives, I abandoned my blogging.  


I'm happy to be back blogging, however, and feeling very hopeful and motivated again for the future.

(A hug also to Lisa for her loving encouragement to begin blogging again!)

I have not yet read "Brain Over Binge" by Kathryn Hansen but I'm so glad you are having success with it and I totally support and encourage you!  Kudos on your two weeks of success!  Appreciate and have gratitude for every success!  If it feels right, it is.  You are doing GREAT and exactly where you need to be!  


It sounds like a great book and blog and totally right up my alley and 
I thank you for thinking of me and supporting and encouraging me, and if I weren't knee deep in my own study already at the moment, I'd take your cue.  For now, I'm feeling like I'm right where I need to be, learning so much.
_ _ _


Yes, I fell into a very bad depression the last month.  
Things began to fall apart with my program and I became increasingly discouraged.  Or more rightly, I became discouraged first, and then things began to fall apart with my program.  I'm learning that "feelings" always precede food issues.     

What's amazing is, all it took was the flip of a 'mental switch' to turn the feel-good lights back on.

Intentionally willing myself to feel good, no matter what my weight now, I connected to living in the Joy of the Lord.

I was suddenly blessed with a very powerful upsurge in energy, got back to living, and entered into a intense course of study to renew my commitment to myself to get back on my program.

With that, the depression lifted, immediately.

I have embarked on 4 new areas of study I'm excited to report on: 

  1. I happened upon an online eating disorder program, run out of Dublin, Ireland, by a Psychotherapist who specializes in Eating Disorders, called The Turning Institute, www.TurningInstitute.com.  Turns out, this program is award winning in Ireland.  By means of videos and tutorials and assignments, the self paced program teaches coping strategies for lessening eating disorder symptoms.  The website is confusing to navigate, but after I figured it out, Part I of the Mindfulness Seminar, which was free, was very enlightening.  I am now embarking on the Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Course.  Courses are about $65, (85 Euros), and take about 4 weeks to complete.  There is one other course offered, the Family Course.  In the free Mindfulness course, a simple, but amazingly powerful lesson was taught about emotions and food-free ways to deal with them. Learners are encouraged to write a list of emotions.  Next to each emotion, they are asked to write food/s which might match that emotion in a compulsive state.  For example - Bored - Popcorn, cookies.  Or Dejected - Icecream, grilled cheese.  Or Lonely - Donuts.  Then, we were asked to add an activity to match that feeling.  Bored - Popcorn and cookies - Visit a friend.  Dejected - Icecream and grilled cheese - Get a Manicure, Go to the Hottub at the gym.  Lonely - Donuts - Bring a neighbor cookies, Visit my mom, Go to the potluck, etc.  Now when I find myself thinking of food/binge eating at an inappropriate time, I am immediately drawn to ask myself, "What am I feeling right now?  Is there another activity that I might do that could address the emotion I'm feeling?"  Very powerful to associate FEELING FIRST, then FOOD, then ACTIVITY.  A particularly powerful statement on the website says, "IT'S NOT ABOUT THE FOOD, IT'S EMOTIONAL EATING.  One of the most common myths about eating disorders is that they are about food, or weight. This is not the case. Eating disorders are a way of coping with difficult feelings and emotions. A person engaging in abnormal behavior around food or weight, is doing so because they are trying to avoid dealing with something else."   I am excited to delve further into the courses in the coming weeks.                                          Turning Institute
  2. Around the same time, I happened upon a website called "Becoming Thin Within," written by a chronically obese women who finally lost her excess weight for good, and not by dieting, but by simply changing her thoughts and beliefs about herself, using the Law of Attraction.  Sierra was stuck in her obesity but decided to follow her dream of moving to Hawaii to work with dolphins and whales anyway.  She was tired of putting her life on hold until she got thin.  Paradoxically, when she began her soul's work and dream despite her weight, suddenly she began to lose weight.  Sierra explains, "I decided to live my dream life and feeling so happy, I attracted a smaller body into my existence!"  Sierra's website is www.iam-iam-iam.com and she has a lovely blog at www.sierra-goodman.blogspot.com.  I have begun to read her e-book called "Becoming Thin," and am looking forward to starting the guided visualizations, and the teachings on Emotional Eating, Body Image, Exercise and Metabolism, Fear, and Stepping into Your Thin Body that I purchased very inexpensively.  Sierra proves happiness is the source of thinness, not the opposite!                                          
  3. Thirdly I happened upon THE MOST AMAZING book in the oddest most innocuous place yesterday - a clothing store!  The generic looking diet book was on sale for $1, and I picked up "Never Be Fat Again" to peruse it casually.  I was like, "Wo, doggy."  Miraculously, the book completely supports what I learned at the Better Living Lifestyle Center.  I mean, how odd is it to pick up a diet book...just kind of waiting there for you...and to find it teaches a mostly raw vegan diet and outlines everything you needed to hear, to read, to know to pick yourself back up again!!  That is GOD at work, people!  This amazingly informative and well researched book is by an M.I.T. trained chemist who understands the science of regaining health and the science of weight loss.  There are endorsements from Dr. Joel Furhman, Dr. Harvey Diamond, and David Wolfe.  "Never Be Fat Again - The 6 Week Cellular Solution To Permanently Break The Fat Cycle" by Raymond Francis is going to help me get back on track, hallelujah!  Raymond Francis first wrote "Never Be Sick Again - Health Is A Choice - Learn How To Choose It," which details the same basic program for curing disease.  A link for
    "Never Be Fat Again" is www.amazon.com/Never-Be-Fat-Again-Permanently/dp/0757305318.                                                              Never Be Fat Again: The 6-Week Cellular Solution to Permanently Break the Fat CycleNever Be Sick Again: Health Is a Choice, Learn How to Choose It
  4. Finally, I am now watching videos of Esther Hicks/Abraham on www.youtube.com as well.  My wonderful friend, Joy (I love you, Joy King!!I) uses Abraham videos as an amazingly effective tool when she is feeling down or low and they always set her back on a positive vibe!  She suggested I do the same, and man, is it true!  These videos are just amazingly uplifting and re-directional and I'm so grateful she introduced me to them!  I am always amazed and inspired and uplifted in about 5 minutes.  I am truly beginning to understand more than ever that everything has to do with ENERGY, and either allowing it or disallowing it...   For specifics on diet, Abraham says (I'm paraphrasing), "There is so much contradiction out there, it's amazing anyone can find anything to eat anymore!  Between food combining and every book purporting food that's good or bad for you and all of the books contradicting one another, I'm surprised anyone has any food left to eat!"  This expression of utter frustration about knowing "what" to eat was so real and I really related.  So, what should we do?  Abraham simplifies it all and says, "Forget all of it."  "Eat what you believe will help you feel better and move forward."  A recent bowl of brussel sprouts and brown rice felt right when planning, and left me feeling energized.  How invigorating to feel in control. It's also nice that the "Never Be Fat Again" book and my Better Living Lifestyle program both supports those types of foods.  Here are a few particularly excellent youtube videos of Esther Hicks/Abraham: 
    • NATURAL WEIGHT LOSShttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5iwooFszo8
    • DESPERATE TO LOSE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhL0KVwapxg
    • VORTEX WEIGHT LOSS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlG9JT97zEk
        

SO WHAT HAPPENED???


I've given it a great deal of thought.  What led to me falling off of my program?

After leaving the Better Living Lifestyle Center on November 4, 2012, I did really well on my "S.T.A.R.T. A.N.E.W." plan I'd learned there for an entire month:


  • Sunshine - get outdoors daily
  • Trust in God - uplifting spiritual quotes and reading, meditation, Abraham
  • Attitude - positive no matter what 
  • Rest - 8 hours a night
  • Temperance - moderation with cooked and raw
  • Air - stretching and vocalizing daily 
  • Nutrition - mostly raw, chew, chew, chew, 2 meals a day, vegan, supplements
  • Exercise -  walking daily 1-3 miles daily
  • Water - 1.5 gallons daily for my body weight
  • Cleansing - daily colon cleanses, charcoal and tea

I didn't do perfectly every day, but I felt an easy going trust in the program and in God and more importantly, in myself!  I was learning to trust that success doesn't demand perfection, and I was happily just doing the best I could, renewing my plan daily, getting up whenever I fell.  I struggled with water, the next day I did better, etc...

I lost more weight and was feeling so incredibly hopeful!

I bought a 2x Michael Kors top at Marshalls and danced around the fitting room!  I was so so so happy!     


_ _ _

After a particularly troubling visit with a friend some time later in early December, things seemed to go downhill.

I was enormously emotionally upset after the visit.  I'd felt like my life was invalidated, that everything I believed in was criticized.  

And, worse, back home, I'd just eaten lunch and staring into the fridge, was honestly certifiably hungry again.

I didn't understand what was happening to me.  My hunger had been 
growing steadily over the last week, and today seemed like a breaking point.  True, I was emotionally upset, but real hunger pangs don't lie. 
The less live nutrition we receive, the hungrier we are.  "Never Be Fat Again" is hugely instrumental in my new understanding of that.  

Now, I understand, but I didn't then.

On a purely physical level, I had progressively been eating more and more cooked at my Linner meal, absorbing less and less nutrition, thus feeling hungrier and hungrier.  


We'd run out of bananas, too, which meant my morning smoothie no longer satiated me without that dense caloric load of bananas.  I was feeling inordinately hungry all week and scared.  

I was also running out of most of my supplements and m
y hair began to fall out again and was greyer.  
All signs of nutritional depletion, I now understand.


Emotionally, this left me extremely extremely fragile and vulnerable.  It was a crux moment.

Upset about the meeting with my friend, but buried down even deeper than that, I was scared, confused, lonely, lacking support, reaching out but getting no answers, and seriously losing trust.  I was losing my footing and didn't know what to do.      


An extra meal after that lunch out to satiate my hunger, turned into a binge later.

I continued to fall over the coming days and weeks, abandoning the 2 meals for daily binges including dairy again.

Gaining weight, lacking energy, losing motivation, 
I became angrier and angrier at myself for failing.  Again.

The more upset I got, the more I ate.

A chronic sore throat and flu symptoms plagued me for weeks.  It was a pretty rough time, physically and emotionally.  Not to mention spiritually.  I was angry at God, too, and at everyone else who wasn't helping me.     


I think I wrote to Joy finally, being honest, telling her how depressed I'd gotten.  

_ _ _

Alas, with the new year came new energy!


In the snap of my fingers, I'd changed my outlook, and my energy and hope changed for the better.    


I have a significant hill to re-climb, but this is where I need to be today.  I understand I hadn't learned the lessons needed to allow me to stay where I was.    

Wish me luck.

And let me know how you're doing.

My affimations:
I am worthy!  I am strong!  I am perfect....just the way i am.  I am exactly WHERE I need to be!  I am a work in progress!  It's not how many times I fall, it's how many times I pick myself back up again that matters!
 
Lots of love to you all,
xoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Alen Standish said...

To the note you got from Anonymous, I also loved the book Brain Over Binge and it helped me finally stop my own binge eating last year as well. I was able to understand that it was my "lizard brain" that was telling me to binge and her book helped me to realize that was just a junk message and to ignore it. Just a great book.

I was fortunate late last week to speak with Kathryn Hansen over the phone about her book Brain Over Binge for my podcast. She's a very neat lady and shared great details about her book and her personal life. Listen if you'd like at my blog or find the The Quit Binge Eating Podcast over at iTunes or on Stitcher. It was a great conversation!