Playing Russian Roulette with Your Stomach

The Garden DietI know what it is like to play Russian Roulette with your stomach, to know that you’ve been eating so much, so badly, so consistently, so long, that with any next bite it could throw you in to such an extreme state of pain and damage that it could all be over.

What would make anyone eat this way? Do I need a time-out so badly that I’d put myself in the hospital to get it? And if I realize it before hand, could I heed my own cries for help and maybe find a better solution to that need? Like asking for help from someone who loves me? Or is it too hard to imagine/believe that someone loves me in this condition?

I was all set to have a really yummy, decadent raw ice cream from the store. And then I made my daughter a fruit slushie. And it tasted better than the store ice cream. But I was all set to lock myself in the bedroom and watch a TV show and eat my decadent raw ice cream. And for some reason this is a really big deal and ritual for me. But at the same time it makes me feel horrible about myself – especially after a day of overeating in general – I get that binge-guilt.

I do binge eat. I put myself in to a little food coma. But it isn’t like real binge-eating with 5000 calories in a sitting. It is just a way I have of over a few days eating out-of-control and taking in more than I ususally do and feeling guilty about it. The guilt is important. The sneaking or eating on my own is important. These release a chemical cocktail in my brain that I’m addicted to.

I seem to play around with eating disorders and addictions, – flirting on the edge of them. It doesn’t take much overeating, or much cooked food, to make me feel like I’m out-of-control or in a little food coma – probably because I’m so sensitive after being mostly raw for so long.

Yeah, this sounds like a disorder, I know. And yet, anyone with a real eating disorder would say I have no clue what a real eating disorder is like. And they would be right. I don’t really know. I’ve just had a little taste of what it would be like – and maybe I needed this to do my work, to be able to help people who struggle with the serious stuff.

You know, it got worse after I studied about the various eating disorders. It was like I learned the mind-set, and I had people with whom I shared something in common, and it made it more OK. This was bad at first, enabling me. But it was also good, relaxing me.

When you are very scared and uptight it is harder to change. You feel more stuck. But when you relax and let go and don’t worry so much about your issues, don’t think about them as much or as negatively, you are more able to change, to be fluid, to be malleable, to let go. You just aren’t as locked in.

For instance, I was on my way to that little binge session, my little time-out from the day, but then I had this inspiration to write these thoughts and so I sat down to write them and I realized this is what I wanted to do right now; it was far more interesting than watching a TV show, and so I allowed myself to do this.

At first I thought I could use this (writing) to avoid the binge. Well, I avoided the TV part, but I still ate the store-bought raw ice-cream. But I only feel half as bad as I would have. And not at all as stuck. I’m creating. I’m being positive. I’m helping. I’m doing what my passion is to do. When you’re loving, you aren’t dying.

Some days I think I have no right to be a raw teacher. It is the blind leading the blind. I haven’t overcome my eating disorders. I’m a mess. But then I think, I could be a lot worse. I am alive. I have great days. I have great weeks, months, even years and several years in a row. But I’m a work in progress. A wounded healer.

Through sharing my journey openly I can walk the walk of imperfection, lovingly, together with others in the same boat, at their various points along the jagged journey.

And I’ll ask you now, if you are in the throes of addiction, depression, obsession, anxiety, fear, etc…Is there any one little tiny, small step you can take in any positive direction right now? It doesn’t have to be the best step, but just any one. Any positive thing that would be good for you or for someone else? Don’t give it too much thought, just get up and do it, now.

And as you go on, one little positive movement at a time, your energy improves and increases, and you find your way out of the horrible mess and into the joyous mess. Life is messy. You can’t much get away from the mess. But you can live fully in this messy, messed up world. And that’s a beautiful thing! That’s the best thing we can all hope for. Maybe we can’t live fully all the time. But we can have our moments, our times of being on full, fully giving, fully doing our best, being fully alive.

In Joy!

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13 Responses to Playing Russian Roulette with Your Stomach

  1. Christina Majsztrik says:

    Jingee, The reason I love your site, and your family is because you are so honest. I once bought a raw food book(rawfood real life) that looked so cool and expensive, tried a few recipes, then went online to learn more from that authors. It turns out by the time I reasearched them, them the woman was unhappy, and the male chef moved on to a new foodie fad. No longer true to the raw food way of life. I am trying your, 21 day cleanse and I know that there may be some cheeting, but I will give it my best. You are such an inspiration to so many. Tina:)

  2. junglegirl says:

    PS, forgot to say that I think a strong physical exercise regime, like taking up a sport, is possibly crucial to success with raw. Mind, BODY, Spirit. So many, me included, have neglected to bring the body into the equation and I think it hinders things, massively.

  3. junglegirl says:

    Interesting. I’ve been thinking of this exact subject the last couple of days, trying to feel my way into what exactly is going on, because I am going through a very similar thing after over 10 years of all raw/high raw. The most I’ve come up with is that I’ve purified down to emotions that are too big to deal with, and that I am only barely willing to be conscious of without an atmosphere that is as supportive as I’d like. I can set up that atmosphere but the options available are not to my liking, (even thought they are pretty good, really), and so food is a punishment of sorts, for not having the power to provide the environment I would wish for. Or, more truthfully! for not being able to trust that what is available is exactly perfect. I’ve somehow grown to become very attached to MY vision, as opposed to trusting what the universe provides for me in the moment, as I used to do. I’d like to get back to a place of trusting the flow, even though it’s super scary for me to let go of that control right now. Whew.

    Part 2, lol, is major. Major, major. Am feeling that at the root, this food issue has to do with self-sabotaging the journey to the next level of personal evolution. There is a subtle fear of moving into the unknown – all on our own, unsupported by anyone other than our own commitment. Because we may no longer trust ourselves due to poor programming from the past, we may be unconsciously self-sabotaging with food in order to fulfill a self-destructive habit – one that has taken a more subtle expression the more we’ve grown. Also, this may mean we are so close to a clear recognition of these mechanics, and that makes the shift a really easy one if we take the recognition to heart. I just had this insight in the last day or two and I thank you for giving me a forum for sharing it here! It’s helped me to write it out. Hope it is understandable and helpful in some way.

  4. Kathy says:


    Does going raw vegan help with menopause symptoms? I just turned 40 and it has not been a very good year for me. I have a severely autistic son and I am going through a lot of stress. I am not sure if it is from moving (and we are getting ready to move again) or am I going through menopause. I have been vegan for over 3 years now and I have not slipped. I am 100% committed to veganism. My youngest is 16 months old and he is very demanding, more so than my other 3 sons. He is not autistic, but with his demands, moving and autism, I feel like I can not handle the stress. I do not know if it is the added demands and changes or I am starting menopause.
    Please help!
    Thank you

  5. saragrace says:

    wow, I so appreciate your honesty, Jinjee and everyone else’s who who commented!
    I have to say, I need to work and OA program to keep myself on the straight and narrow with my eating issues. I am recovering from compulsively overeating, food addiction and food obsessing! I have been in OA for the better part of the last 24 years and thank goodness my sobaticals have been short lived when food has become and issue for me once again…seems like for me, truly, I need to stay in the rooms of OA.
    I have been doing raw on and off for the last 13 or 14 years and my issue is sticking to raw… nature intended!!! I do believe, while I do not binge on cooked food and I do eat what would be considered a very healthy cooked food diet in which I do not binge, I still believe I am addicted to cooked as I want to do complete raw and I am right now eating one cooked meal a day…..and can not seem to give it up. Everyday is my last day to eat a cooked meal and every day I continue to eat cooked food. Truly, I still question whether I should be following 100% raw or the Ayurvedic principals of eating… a vata, I should be eating basically a cooked food diet. And yet, I keep getting a major pull to do raw. My problem is I don’t stick to one way of eating and this to me is playing Russian Roulette with my stomach, digestive system and messes me up emotionally and spiritually as well as physically!!!!!! I drive myself CRAZY!
    I really do want an accountability partner in the raw world as I see how much that has been vital in staying abstinent from compulsively eating what doesn’t belong in my body……
    I would say, eating disorders come in every different flavor…
    Thanks for “listening”

  6. sylvie says:

    I am currently struggling with binge eating disorder/general disordered eating & thinking and getting treatment for it. it makes me feel a lot better that someone else struggles with the same things that I do and hopefully we can all get through it. I’m signed up for the 21 day raw cleanse so hopefully that will also help me get on track and connect with people who want to be raw.
    I can recommend this book: 8 keys to recovery from an eating disorder. It includes writing exercises and it’s a really good book.

    thanks for sharing Jinjee.

  7. lisa says:

    hi jinjee..i am a serious sugar addict (12 wks clean..and about an estimated 20 lbs lighter by NOT focusing on weight..nor even weighing myself.)/binge overeater/ex-exercise bulimic, and i would not think for a minute that you don’t know what a “real” eating disorder is like. as a long time attendee of Overeater’s Anonymous meetings, there is no one “face” or behavior of someone w food issues..

    your statement… “And yet, anyone with a real eating disorder would say I have no clue what a real eating disorder is like.” is one i, a person w a “real” eating disorder, would certainly not agree with. for someone with this disorder, if a cookie is not abstinence for them, then eating a bite IS breaking their abstinence. for me, i am not a bite or one cookie kinda girl. i am not capable of least not in 99% of the times I would choose to eat something with refined sugar (agave, dried fruits for the most part, honey, etc). it’s russian roulette with all the barrels filled.

    i know what you mean about feeling like a you are the blind leading the blind as a teacher. i’m a yoga teacher and holistic nutritionist, and yes, i feel way more authentic when i am aligned on a higher vibration and eating according to the way that is biochemically the best for me. HOWEVER, it is also my imperfections that attract my clients and students. being real. a 46 yr old single mom who has the same cravings, insecurities, old patterns that end up being current patterns sometimes..these are things that are just part of being human and perfectly imperfect.

    i appreciate you sharing where you are today. and being honest. real. your realness is probably going to help as many or more people as when you are not indulging in foods/behaviors that feed your addiction.

    and for the record, in the past 12 wks, i have definitely overate a few times and realized ea. time…too much of a good thing is STILL too much. i’ve binged on brussels sprouts, organic sprouted hummus, raw crackers, soaked seeds and nuts, etc. sure, the hangover isn’t as intense as the other more sugary/desserty binges, but my physical and mental discomfort is still present and loud and clear. i feel so much more authentic teaching yoga and giving nutritional advice when i am also walking the walk, however, no matter where i am in my journey in that moment, i can be of service to others. and so can you jinjee. much love and light…lisa

    • Jinjee says:

      Hi Lisa,
      I really appreciate your view on this. I think the pressure of being in a position of “guide” can contribute to the eating/food issues sometimes. Because now our integrity is all wrapped up in it on a whole different level – and the way we make our living is affected by our food choices too — so all that intensifies the pressure and the levels of “trippiness” that are present with this whole issue. Interesting.

    • Christina Majsztrik says:

      Lisa, I wish there was a support group for those of us trying to quite sugar. I did it for @ 2 months once. Later, I considered going to a local AA meeting but not tell anyone why I was there(sugar not alcohol). I am reading Lights Out, and it tells about how the body needs natural sunlight or else artificial light makes us think we are hibernating, & makes our body process carbs differently. I am trying to be outside more now. It also talks about sleeping at least 9 hours a night. Anyhow, I am facinated with nutrition & hope for many health benefits from this diet. It helps me to hear comments, where others do struggle with the same issues in health. Tina (mom, 35 yrs old)

  8. Thank you says:

    ps. You are BEAUTIFUL!

  9. Thank you says:

    Thank you Jinjee. That was EXACTLY what I needed to read today. I almost felt like I wrote it myself! ;) We are never, ever alone Xx In joy!

  10. Jill Sullivan says:

    Jinjee – WOW, you really hit the nail on the head! This is exactly the way I have been feeling. I have been a raw foodist for many years and I just completed a 41 day master cleanse (May 1 to June 10) my longest. I felt great! Then, what did I do (of all things) I started binging on cooked food. I haven’t done that for so long. I currently feel like crap. I haven’t been able to to get back into control yet. I’m a strong woman and know that I will but it just amazes me how strong of an addiction the cooked food has on me and many others. Just shocking! Thank you again for your sharing – it really touched and helped me! This is coming from Seattle, Washington. Keep up your sharing you are touching many.

    • Jinjee says:

      Thanks Jillian, I hope you are feeling more in control. One subject / question I’d love to debate here is the effect of identifying with an eating disorder or similar label such as food addict or compulsive overeater. It seems at some point it could be helpful, such as admitting one has a problem, getting help, etc.. But it seems at another point that it could be worsening the problem to delve too much in to it. It can exaggerate the focus on the self, which seems to me to be a part of the problem (for some) to start with. I’m sure this is a generalization. I’m thinking about the quantum effect too… of what we focus on becoming more real. Any thoughts?

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