View Full Version : Early relapse, moving on... (advice please!)
01-11-2008, 12:06 PM
This week has been very challenging for me. I have been experiencing the pain of mourning my recent life as a compusive eater. After the excitment of making the commintment to be raw, and after 3 weeks of succesfully living this, i found myself feeling bouts of frustration and depression this week. Frustration that "i want something hot, godddammit!" on a cold, wet London afternoon, depression over leaving a whole life behind which has been so deeply rooted in me for so long- using food as means for extreme emotional numbing. I managed to recognise that i was entering into the stages of emotional detox this week, and the thought that this pain would pass was in the end not enough to keep me from bingeing for the last three days quite heavily on non-raw foods. It was like i wanted to prove Alissa, Victoria Boutenko, all the other raw-food teachers and of course my own inner voice wrong with the whole 'choosing to eat a cooked item will just set off a whole chain reaction and lead to biingeing' theory. Me being me, i wanted to prove that no bag of tortilla chips will make me throw in the towel on this commitment...and low and behold, it did, for a few days. Last night my body was so cramped up in pain, i reasoned i CAN'T be doing this anymore, i can't keep repeating this cycle, and today it repeated. I guess i'm writing this because i still consider myself to be a raw-foodist, despite this relapse, and i wish to continue on with the process. These last few weeks being raw has helped me so much and i just want to give myself a chance for once and stick with it!
My question to all you very patient peeps reading this is:
When you turned Raw, what were your experiences of mourning what you left behind (if anything) particuarly if the major thing you said goodbye to was food abuse?
Thank you in advance for your answers!
01-11-2008, 12:12 PM
I write a lot about this in my bad words blog. My biggest challenge has been self-medicating with food. I'll go about what you said, three weeks and then be a huge, raw nerve. There's a lot of emotional gunk I need to clear out.
The thing that frustrates me is that I LOVE raw foods. I really do. I have been all but vegetarian for many years because a big ol' plate of veggies is a lot more appealing to me than a burger. Cravings aren't the issue. It's the addiction.
No one finds solace in the bottom of a bag of carrots but at the bottom of a plate of fries? You can drown out any emotion with a plate of fries. It's terrible!
I've been playing this little game with myself when I'm craving a slab of bread (bread is like my crack): Thinking of bread: STARVING. Switch gears-Thinking of smoothies and fruit and a big salad-am I hungry? No. Ok I don't need to eat.
I'm still very new to this and have a lot of emotional baggage to clear up. Raw food doesn't make me feel deprived at all because I'll eat veggies all day long. Sadly I'll also eat 2,000 worth of junk veggie food, too. That's why I was never the typical 120lb vegetarian!
01-11-2008, 12:52 PM
I just want to make sure you know you aren't alone! I know that when things were going bad in the past I would bury the bad feelings with food. Now when I am having a bad day or feeling down I missing being able to comfort myself with food. It's not so much the food I miss but the way I used it. I also miss rewarding myself with food! Being raw really brings out all our unhealthy ties to food.
I also have the problem if I start to slip it is very hard to stop. One piece of veggie pizza turns into three, and some icecream and some popcorn. It is so hard to stop that runaway train.
Just stay strong, remember why you are doing this, and love yourself even when you think you have messed up.
Lore-ah: Bread and refined sugars are my drug of choice as well and I really like your trick to see if I am actually hungry.
01-11-2008, 01:02 PM
I guess i'm writing this because i still consider myself to be a raw-foodist, despite this relapse, and i wish to continue on with the process. These last few weeks being raw has helped me so much and i just want to give myself a chance for once and stick with it!
Of course you're still a raw foodist! If you want to be. This is all part of the process. You go forward. You have a relapse. You're more tuned in to your body, so you end up feeling terrible (more terrible than you did when you were eating SAD and would abuse food, i reckon...). You learn about your triggers. You get up, dust yourself off, and go onward.
Be gentle with yourself. Progress, not perfection. Getting down on yourself will only feed the addiction, and you know that. The only bite that matters is the next one, not the last one.
You are an amazing, revolutionary, strong, conscious, health-focused human being who, despite the amazing societal and conditioning forces around her, is getting better every day at giving her body everything it needs for its optimum health and well being (and NOT a weak addict trapped in a neverending cycle).
Welcome back to your path!
01-11-2008, 01:13 PM
I am with you Lisa - i understand. The cycle has to stop at some point, and again there are weak moments. I am having my days of frustration too and see also the difference and progress. There is a way out. Keep raw keep strong. Knowing myself help me, i am aware when and what can happend. I avoid dramatic emotional situations untill i will be able to face them and in the meantime i live one day at the time. When my emotions are balanced i am too. Did i master them - not yet, but i will and i know that now and you will too.
01-11-2008, 02:14 PM
We are who we define ourselves to be, so you are what you say you are. Don't let these three days turn into something that makes you turn away from raw food. Actually, it seems that the three days, however difficult for you, has taught you something about yourself. Use this and move on. Do something nice for yourself and grab a green smoothie and enjoy. 3 days will not make or break you in the larger scheme of things. You can do this!:)
01-11-2008, 02:40 PM
You are not alone-and you have a entire forum family cheering you along.
Emotional Detox is the worst part for me.........when you keep the uncomfortable feelings at bay with carbs-all kinds of emotions come out of the word works once you've said good bye to the bread! Thanks to a great insurance plan-I got myself a shrink this time-I'm ready to deal with these bad boys and get on with my life once and for all.......do I still stumble along the way? You bet I do-but, I get up, dust myself off and make another go of it-Don't waste time beating yourself up-gets ya no where fast. Upward and Onward! One thing I read this summer sums it up for me..."Challenge the pain, not the peanut butter"!
YOU CAN DO IT! You DON'T have to "start all over from the beginning" You just have to start again from where you are now.
One more thing....What's your screen name.........Healing lisa.......well Lisa, looks like you're healing!
01-11-2008, 03:31 PM
The hardest thing for me is changing the way my husband and I operate. After a stressful day of work we would go and get a bottle of wine/cheese/bread and have a little feast. Our relationship has always been centered around food and alcohol. So I often worry about our relationship especially when my husband said "your diet is tearing us apart!" he said he was joking but I know there is a grain of truth to it. But if this marriage can't survive a diet change...then something else would have torn us apart later. The thing that keeps me going is that I want to live a long and healthy life...I want to be the best I can possibly be. And I know that I am always doing better when I am on this diet. And because I'm so competitive (just like you wanting to prove everyone wrong) I want to prove everyone wrong by sticking with it!
01-12-2008, 01:14 PM
I've used food as an emotion drowner for decades! Am back on the raw diet after one previous attempt.
Had the urge to use food to comfort/suffocate feelings, realised that's what I was using it for, and made myself do something else instead. I know that sounds v preachy, and just what 'they' tell you to do in the dietary section of the magazines, but it really did work. Instead of food to change my emotions, I used different situations/settings.
If it's really food nourishment you need, then maybe try thinking what nutrient it is you need from the hot food, and substitute a raw alternative? And if a raw alternative won't do it, even after eating, and you really, really have a craving that won't go away, then maybe your body is trying to tell you something?? (or would a hot drink help? I use fruit teabags with a HUGE dollop of honey for that warm, sweet 'hit')
Absolutely agree with the poster who said something like, it's an ongoing process.
Each 'fall' off the raw food wagon will actually take you further into it. We're so programmed to believe cooked food/meat/dairy is what we need, and they ARE such good emotion drowners, that it probably will take several attempts to reprogramme our subconsciouses(!) Good news is that every time you 'fail' and feel awful, it's one more boost FOR the raw food diet.
I guess this is a marathon, not a sprint!!
Hope you're feeling good!
01-12-2008, 02:24 PM
i just wanted to relate to the whole "chain reaction" when comes to SAD.... after just one piece of SAD food that i didn't even want... i had a whole week of SAD....i could not stop- it was insane. it was an unpleasant but necessary realization- it is not good for me and not worth all the trouble
01-12-2008, 02:52 PM
For many people its not as easy as giving up cooked food just like that. Its a gradual process. You could read Shazzie's blog, she talks about times when she eats cooked food and she doesn't consider it a relapse at all, same sort of thing in Kate Wood's books. Even the 'raw food gurus' are only human!
01-12-2008, 02:55 PM
Excellent point Subbacultcha!!!;)
01-15-2008, 08:02 AM
Hi everyone, just wanted to say thank you for all your encouragement. It took me another couple of days after my original posting to re-align myself with what i am trying to achieve by being raw. Cinammon, i think you're right about how each 'fall' away from this path actually can work to really strengthen the overall resolve and commitment in the long run- i definately feel surer about everthing.
Anyway, i just wanted to sneak in this thank you in my lunch break now, have to go!
Have a good day all,
01-15-2008, 09:47 AM
Hi Lisa, I also used food to comfort and numb myself for years. I have been raw for only 40 days now. I tried to really narrow down what was comforting to me about food. For me it is warmth. I hate to be cold. It depresses me and makes me feel sad. I grew up depressed in a house with just a wood stove and I associate being cold with many old sad feelings. I have compromised with myself and now allow myself to have hot herbal teas or a warm miso soup if I really need that feeling of the warm cup in my hands. I have also been finding other ways to make myself feel warm and nurtured. I made some corn packs that you can microwave and I snuggle up with them on the couch or take them to bed. (that is the only use for the microwave anymore) Sometimes I take a warm bath, wrap up in blankets and I got some warm slippers. When I feel those cold, sad, lost feelings coming on, I say to myself " how can I nurture myself without food?" This is just my little humble method, and it does involve some not technically raw teas and miso, but it has helped me.
3 weeks raw is a great accomplishment! You will find your own ways to comfort yourself and deal with all those feelings in time!!
01-15-2008, 10:38 AM
Dear Lisa, I've been using food to fill holes since I was young child. Being a vegetarian wasn't enough for me, though I was fooling myself - still eating a lot of junk and processed crap. It takes years to build up to a food addiction and sometimes it takes some time to let it go when you're ready to make health changes.
Emotional detox can be rough and can show up when you least expect it, like if you already experienced it already! lol. I've had about 4 emotional detoxes during my fasting and raw food journey in the past 10 months. I'm fasting right now and guess what I'm craving? Cooked food! At first I was craving avocados and bananas, now my detox is reaching deeper into my cells and getting some residual cooked food memories and stuff that is clinging to my cell walls out of there is how I see it. I personally believe when we have those cooked food cravings while on a 100% raw food diet, it's Detox and it's a good thing! A very good thing because it means it's coming out - finally. The key is to continue to eat the raw, do whatever you can. Each time it gets easier. Just remember it's detox, don't beat yourself and think you're lacking in willpower. You're not lacking in will power at all. You're amazing, strong and a visionary. You will breakthrough the cooked food thingy. You will. Hang in there and just go back to raw. You are a raw foodist my dear.
01-15-2008, 10:48 AM
Most people seem to need a few years to transition gradually. You have to think of becoming a rawfoodist as like learning a skill, it takes a few years of practice and training for your body to do it effortlessly. The people who go raw too fast always seem to fall off just as fast.
01-16-2008, 08:00 PM
I am new to this forum and raw food. I was surprised to read this as Alissa reccomends going 100% raw from day 1. Is this true? I don't want to fail and I want to do this right. I was on your typical SAD for 41 years so there is a lot of history for me to change.
So far the only problem I have had is with caffeine. I am gradually weaning myself, but am 100% raw otherwise.
01-17-2008, 06:51 AM
The need for warmth is definatley something i can relate to shashibala. At the end of the day i equate warmth with love and nurture, and while these connections are true in many ways (whats more comforting than snuggling up physically with someone you're close with, etc?) when it enters into the arena of food then the whole realm of conditioning can take over. Just because a bowl of hot thick soup is comforting on one level, it doesn't mean that its truly nurturing the parts of us that truly need the nurturing, usually emotional (if that makes any sense!). I will try what you said about baths and blankets and basically using other ways to experience this warmth, other than unnecessarily eating when not hungry, even on all this nutritious raw food.
Crystalzgoneraw, you know i never thought about the detox process as how you described it! Your insights about how gunk being digged out from our deepest cellular reccesses as often being the trigger for the emotional cravings just made alot of sense. Its not all about mental weakness- something very deep physically is going on too that corresponds with it all. I guess that why its important to keep going and trusting in the process.
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