Eating Disorders, 12-step programs and just being okay being raw
I'm back again after many months of not even trying to be raw. I've been lurking for over a month now and I'm still convinced by watching all of you that are succeeding that raw is best way to live. . . .
I am really ready to Just Be Raw. . . .and unfortunately I'm still caught up in my head about the things I mention in the title of my post. . .I have been told for my entire life that I "have a problem with food". . this is true. . .not only have I weighted 285 lbs, I'm also obsessed with putting food into my body and trying to change my mood with food. . .this has gone on since I was little (or not so little) girl and was something I didn't would ever change. . .
Until about 7 years ago when I found myself in a 12-step recovery program (like Alcholics Anonymous for food) for food addiction. . .and that worked. . .I lost 127 lbs. kept it off for a year and found a spiritual way of living that changed my life dramatically. . . .unfortunately my own fears got in my way and ended up binging and gaining a lot of weight back. . I have been in this roller coast for the last 4 years and while I believe that I have learned many, many valuable things about myself in the 12-step rooms. . .I keep getting caught up in the place of great guilt when I can't do it perfectly. . . there is also a sense of skepticism regarding a raw way of eating. . . .I keep hearing the "it's just another diet". . .and I know that's not true. . . so I find myself feeling stuck in the middle. . . afraid to move from the 12-steps . . .fear of the guilt I will feel if I do it. . .fear of gaining even more weight back. . .and fear of disappointing other. . .ah, this is a big deal for me, this fear of what others will think. . .
Anyway, I know I'm rambling on. . .I'm just wondering if there is anyone else out there who has been down this road (or any part of it). . . .
I tired of "trying" and ready to "do it". . . . I seeking a daily support network and any guidance that you all can send my way. . . .
I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. . .Self-love is my goal, here. . . .
Thanks for listening. . any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
I so sympathize with you on this. I too have chosen a life of eating to numb my pain, pain and fear of not being good enough, which also make me an over achiever, which makes people think I'm bragging when I accomplish some great task, which also makes me obsessed with being perfect in anything I try, which also allows me to hate myself, because we can't be perfect, which makes me want to eat to numb the pain of not doing it right AGAIN.
I find that I say things, like, "Well, I could be addicted to heroin." like my food issues are better than any other drug.
But, just ask that herroin addict to ONLY take their drug 3 times a day, in moderation, in a "normal" portion, see it on TV commercials all day long, in every place you look there are herroin restaurants, kids taking it, at the movies, every street corner, at the circus, and fairs. in the malls, EVERYWHERE, it is there.
I think I may understand where you are coming from. We all have to hit bottom some time, sometimes, we hit bottom 5 or 10 times before we jump up, others hit bottom so often, they can't jump up anymore.
So, all I can say, is that you can do this, you've done it before, you can do it again.
All we can do is what we can do, every moment in time, we have the opportunity to do IT, what ever our "it" is, we can do IT.
And if we are not perfect, it just means we are human, we can get up dust ourselves off, and do it again, and again, and again.
I heard somewhere that the definition of failure, is not someone who tries and doesn't accomplish the task, it is someone who doesn't try.
Now, THAT is powerful mojo.
<<But, just ask that herroin addict to ONLY take their drug 3 times a day, in moderation, in a "normal" portion, see it on TV commercials all day long, in every place you look there are herroin restaurants, kids taking it, at the movies, every street corner, at the circus, and fairs. in the malls, EVERYWHERE, it is there.>>
Yup, you understand. . . .thank you for that. . . .it brings me tremendous peace, as I often find myself feeling like no one Â“getsÂ” me.
I wasnÂ’t aware of hitting bottoms along the way because I was so numb on food. Now that I have become aware, it feels like I hit them constantly. . . .
Loving my human-ness. . .loving my imperfection. . .loving all aspects of myself despite and because of who I am. . . .yeah. . . .
<<I heard somewhere that the definition of failure, is not someone who tries and doesn't accomplish the task, it is someone who doesn't try.
Now, THAT is powerful mojo.>>
Yes, quite powerful. . . .as is the statement on your signature line. Continuing to show up and being aware and just doing it does seem to be the path to take, at least today.
Thank you for your connection. . .and for the tremendous spiritual energy that I find in so many of your posts.
Karen, this was a great post....not that you're struggling, and not that I've been through even close to what you've been through, however, it got me thinkning. The one really cool thing that I've learned or that "snapped" in my head is that with this way of living, I'm in control....the way of living is not in control of me...the food is not, the people around me are not, I don't have to quit or stay on it for a period of time, and that is very freeing. "I have the con." :)
I think when I was eating SAD, it had a control over me....not that I didn't have any will power, rather there's something in the SAD food that makes me want to eat and eat and eat. And I know all about the eating my problems away...been there and don't want to return, and with this way of life I don't have too. The food doesn't do that to my mind, and I know I'm in control because of that. I also know I'm healthier.
To me, it sounds like you're taking control of your situation, and you know exactly what to do. Sounds like this is a big step for you, and I think you know what and how to do it so you will be in control. I hope I said that right :). I wish you well in your raw journey.
I'm glad that you decided to come back.
I, too am addicted to food, cooked food, processed food. While I've only been 100% raw for 40 days, I do feel like eating is finally becoming a physical process, not an emotional one for me. I truely believe there is nothing but 100% raw that could have done this for me. (mostly because nothing else ever did!)
I also have gone through fear in this process. What if this TOO failed? Then when I started dropping weight like crazy I got even more afraid - what if this DIDN'T fail??? I had tremendous fear of the unknown. What could my life possibly be like not dependant on food for my security? How will I cope?
Despite my fears, I pushed on. Let me say now, I'm diggin' this. I'm no longer afraid of being slim and sexy ;) I now know what it feels like to eat because my body is hungry. And I have no problem stopping when I'm no longer hungry. I don't even have to think about it!
I do have a couple things I think helped me to overcome cravings. My morning fruit smoothie has a big scoop of hemp protein powder in it, and a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil. I credit those two things with curbing physical cravings. Any cravings I have now are emotional, and I'm getting to a point (with the help of fellow board members!) where I'm able to reason with myself.
Another newly discovered tool is green smoothies. If you don't already know, it's greens like kale, spinach, romaine, mixed with fruit. Here again, I also stick a scoop of hemp protein powder. My morning smoothie has even evolved to being green :) But these keep me humming all day. I feel smooth and even. Not rocky.
Anyway, sorry for responding with a novel... I KNOW you can do this, cuz I'm doing it, and I was the choco-queen! I lived on cheese and chocolate. I ate every waking hour... or should I say minute.
My prayers will be with you, please let me know if there's anything I can do to help!
I too identify with your post
You are definitely not alone! I have been down that road for many, many years. In fact I think I could write a book about it! I am a woman, wife and mother of 5 boys, a former aerobic exercise instructor, yo-yo dieter, (you name the diet, I tried it). About 5 years ago I became interested in raw and have been studying and trying it ever since.
My motto is "Never Give Up On Raw".
I have succeeded for 6 months at a time and then fallen back into cooked. I did this many times until I figured out it's not about raw or non raw. It's about the part food plays in my life. First I called it BED (Binge Eating Disorder). Then I also joined the well known 12 step group to which I still belong. Now I call myself a Compulsive Overeater. I joined in January 05 but I am still struggling. I lost and gained even in the group. (Not to say it isn't a very valuable and wonderful group!) It's me, not the group!
Right now I am on Day 8 of a Master Cleanse and feeling wonderful. I want to clean out Spirit, Soul and Body in a way I never have before. I only weigh myself once a week. So far I have lost 7 pounds but I don't think that is the important issue here. Only God can direct me now to cut with my love of food, yes even thinking about raw which I can also overeat on! I want to eat the bare minimim to live not live to eat.
I say all this to encourage you and others. There is hope...We have to get our eyes off food and get on with our lives. Life is short and I don't want to burn out before I accomplish the tasks set before me. I want to feel thin, yes but also healthy, active and creative!
Don't give up.....Raw is definitely the way to go. Just don't be too hard on yourself. Even 85% raw or as much raw as you can in the beginning.
I think what everyone has said is so inspiring. I used to think I was the only one who could sit in front of a TV night after night and just eat and eat and eat, but now it's so relieving to feel for the first time that I am finally in my own skin, living the lifestyle that I choose. Some college students call me weird and give me that look like "I can't believe she's gonna eat all that rabbit food," but it doesn't bother me one bit b/c I am happy with myself. Also, did you ever think that when you sit down at the table for dinner to say a prayer before eating raw food that you're actually thanking God for the food that HE TRULY PROVIDED for us (How can man pray to God thanking Him for food that is manmade?!) We depend on the seasons to change and fruit to grow on trees. It's all been amazing. I think everyone is amazing. Have a great day!
Thank you all for you responses and kind words. . . .As I've been sitting in meditation these last few days, I'm getting a message that there is room in my life for both the 12-steps and raw food diet. . . .and response here have helped me to see that more clearly, too.
Raw feels right at a level I can even begin to explain. It's like my cells stand up and cheer when I feel my body raw food. . . .so different than my usual body response when I eat and want more and more and more. . .ad nauseum. . .
Kmik - thanks for the hemp protein idea. . .I do love green smoothies and I think adding the raw hemp protein will help! Do have any suggestions on where to buy it?
TimmyC - You've hit the nail on the head for me about raw being a way of life. This is certainly not about "dieting" but about making a complete lifestyle change and being committed to myself. . . .
RedRose - thank you for your understanding and for walking this path before me. . .I'm certainly not planning to give up on raw. . .even all those months of "trying" to do it differently, raw was always in the back of my mind. ..
Vandy - Thanks for the reminder to be daily thankful for the food I am eating. This is a practice I have done in the past, but not something I have been doing most recently. I will begin, again, to say a prayer of thanks before I eat my delicious raw food.
RawPrietess - You have such a wonderful way with words. Thank you for your understanding and for sharing your journey (on this thread and on so many others on this board).
So today will be today. It has started raw and I feel blessed to be here right now. I firmly believe that raw is where I need to be, so for right now, raw I will be : )
Alissa has it for sale under "supplements" I hope it works as well for you as it does for me!
I sympathise! I feel the same way. I used to go to Overeaters Anonymous. I am going back there when I've gone thirty days without coffee to get a 30 day coin. I have the 24 hour coin and that dime store coin gives me courage than most any other looney diet solution out there.
It is incredible. Sometimes when you feel "low" or even just lonely, you can come here and find yourself in someone elses post! I am all over this post... which is in it's own way very comforting right now. I am trying to come to grips with the fact that food is actually a huge addiction for me - I never realized the true extent of food being an ADDICTION before I found the raw lifestyle! My brain, spirit, emotions, etc all "want" to be raw, but I struggle so much. It amazes me how I can do something so 1000% for almost 60 days and then flunder around!
I have been contemplating actually going to Overeater's Anonymous just to get the extra support and accountability and encouragement. I have not mustered the courage to go yet though! (uh-oh, hope this is okay to mention that... I am not pushing to support them or anything).
Oh well, I do not even really know why I am posting this except that for some reason I am feeling low about my diet right now and my instability in my raw life.
I feel encouraged that so many of the others out here can understand what I am really feeling. And for the other's, don't get me wrong, I am not sitting here beating myself up over things I have eaten... I am paying for that in other ways... I just wanted to thank those out here who are willing to share thier feelings when they DO feel this way... it really helps others of us out here.
Teri H. :p
Growth is not steady, forward, upward progression. It is instead a switchback trail; three steps forward, two back, one around the bushes, and a few simply standing, before another forward leap.
-- Dorothy Corkville Briggs
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man have I battled food addiction. In my twenties (I'm 41 now) it was alcohol. I could function in life and only drank on weekends, but I drank A LOT. It was the "social scene" thing. Then in my late 20's realized I had a problem and quit drinking, lost all of my friends and social structure, and then 3 months later got pregnant. Had a baby, split from her dad, and with no more drinking to self medicate, turned to food, and more food and more food. Couldn't use drugs cause had to be there for my kids (had another baby three years after my first). I used to joke to people if I could mainline shortbread cookies I would've. Why bother with the baking and eating part?? lol. anyhoo, throughout it all I tried to go raw and would make it a few days, a few weeks, but always would get so stressed and couldn't take the stress without cooked food, and sugar. The last 4 years I added coffee to the list as well as alcohol..... again. Anyway....
What I eventually came to see was that raw food wasn't really even about my health (although that's what got me to pay attention). The only reason my commitment to be 100% raw is unwavering this time is because I get it's really a SPIRITUAL issue. I believe the reason raw is so incredibly challenging is because it's essentially asking us to give up our attachment to the aspects of the MATERIAL world which reflect fear and separation consciousness-which is NOT our true nature. Cooked food is the closest aspect of that part of the material world to us. It's a substitute for spirit, which I can see so clearly in how my vibration is rising and the spiritual insights I'm getting on raw are amazing.
So, for me, what's making the difference this time is choosing to be in service to the Holy Spirit through me, my higher self, and surrendering the ego-sacrificing it on the altar of becoming my true self. The ONLY way I can stay 100% is to choose to express the will of my higher self and realize my ego identity self is the one addicted to cooked food, and I'm not choosing to be that. That's NOT source, and I"m choosing to BE source. Yea!
Yes! That was beautiful to read. I feel the same way. :)
The only reason my commitment to be 100% raw is unwavering this time is because I get it's really a SPIRITUAL issue. I believe the reason raw is so incredibly challenging is because it's essentially asking us to give up our attachment to the aspects of the MATERIAL world which reflect fear and separation consciousness-which is NOT our true nature. Cooked food is the closest aspect of that part of the material world to us. It's a substitute for spirit, which I can see so clearly in how my vibration is rising and the spiritual insights I'm getting on raw are amazing.
Celebrating 5 years raw!!!
Magic Is Within You... With it you can create your dreams, heal your world, love your life and find the peace that lives in every human heart.
i agree, karotw. i've been in oa for about five or six years and at one point i came to the realization that i could follow the 12-step program while eliminating certain foods. i said that there were certain foods that it didn't help if i ate b/c it would get me down the road of compulsively overeating and throwing up. i think it's the same thing w/ being raw. it isn't countering 12-step. i can still take the first 3 steps w/ it, still turn over to God (or hp) my struggle w/ compulsive overeating and ask Him to help me stay raw, one day at a time.
Originally Posted by karotw
I've been in Overeaters Anonymous since 1989. I had great success for the first 9 years, then fell into relapse and picked up the food again. I've been clean from binging again since October 2000. What I love about the program is that it has three components. Spiritual/Emotional/Physical I use the 12 steps for my spiritual and emotional healing and use raw food as the plan of eating that I follow for my physical recovery. I've been in OA long enough that my best friends are all part of the program. On the outside we're the best of girlfriends, on the inside we have the 12 steps to use as a way to have healthy relationships with other people.
I don't think that raw eating and OA are adverse to one another. I don't necessarily voice off my eating to everyone who asks, but then again I don't share other private things where it's not appropriate. But, I will say that I find that I get a lot of support inside those rooms for my eating becuse we're all just so thrilled for each other when a day goes by that's not consumed with binging. OA gives my life a level of serenity and peacefulness that I didn't have before program.
For anyone that might be reading all of our posts and might be interested in OA.... some of us have a RAWVeganOA group over on yahoo. Stop by, we'd love to have you there!