Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tired and Ready to Move On

I've been thinking for a couple of weeks now that I want to make a vlog about this, but I just have yet to sit down and do it. So I'm writing about it, too, because it's sort of important to me and I don't want to forget about it. I may also need help sticking to it, but here goes.

I still fit into my high school prom dress.

I have told a couple of people this tidbit and their jaws kind of drop, like, "Oh my gosh, you're so lucky that you're still the same size you were in high school!" Thing is, it's not a tiny dress. I've never been the sort that fits into the tiny dresses. But I do still fit into my high school prom dress. Which means that even though I'm not tiny, my body hasn't changed all that much since high school.

I have spent I don't even know how much time dieting since then. I've tried Weight Watchers and SparkPeople and plain old calorie counting and some weird thing that was supposed to help me lose eleven pounds in ten days and I've tried various pills and cleanses and various workout programs and spent I don't even know how much money on gym memberships and supplements and other assorted associated crap. And for all of that, my body hasn't changed that much since high school.

Yes, there was probably a time between then and now when I was smaller than I am at this very moment. And there may have been a time when I was bigger than I am at this very moment. But the net gain/loss is about zero since high school.

The net gain/loss is about zero since high school.

So you know what? I'm done with it. Or, at the very least, I want to be done with it. I want to stop obsessing about how much ketchup I put on my soy dogs. I want to stop counting celery sticks. I want to stop berating myself for eating when I'm hungry or skipping a workout when I'm sick. I want to stop doing these insane things to my body chemistry that will ultimately end up leaving me with a net gain/loss of zero. I want to stop wasting the energy hating myself.

Now, I'm not saying I'm going to totally let myself go and let my health deteriorate. I still like going for walks, and I'll still do squats in the ladies' room when nobody is looking. I'm still vegan, so I'm still going to get my six or seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But I'm tired of limiting myself to twelve grapes when I want a snack. I'm tired of feeling guilty for eating! I'm sick of it. People need to eat to live. People need to eat carbohydrates for proper brain function and fats for proper nutrient absorption. I'm tired of not eating mashed potatoes because white starches aren't good for you. I'm tired of not having spaghetti for dinner because my lunch was kind of carb heavy if my body is really, really craving spaghetti. I'm tired of berating myself for having a snack at 10:00pm when I get home after a show and my stomach is growling. I'm tired of restricted calorie diets that leave me grumpy. I'm tired of hating myself for my food choices which are 80% of the time very healthy.

There are those who would argue that as an actor, I am acutely aware of things like this and that there is extra pressure on me to look a certain way so I can get certain types of roles. Thing is, I have come to the conclusion in the last year or so that I wouldn't get those roles anyway. I'm not an "ingenue type." I never have been. The closest I got to an ingenue type role was one I played in college because the girl who was originally cast got really sick and they needed someone to fill in and as the costume designer, I already knew the whole show so I did it. I would never have otherwise been cast in the role of the sort of flighty girl looking for her best friend's approval of her new boyfriend. I'm usually cast as the best friend from whom the flighty girl is seeking approval. Which is fine. Those characters are much more "me." So why am I killing myself to look a certain way so I can try to get roles I'm completely wrong for? It just doesn't make sense.

And how sad that it has taken me this long to figure that out?

But I am figuring it out. Which is the good part. Thing is, I have a pretty face. And I'm not obese. I am a very healthy person - good blood pressure, good cholesterol, all of that stuff. There are men out there who find me quite attractive, just the way I am. Not all of them, but that can be said about stick-thin women, too.

Being thin won't make me smarter.

Being thin won't make me a better actor.

Being thin won't make me a nicer person.

Being thin won't increase my contribution to society.

So why do I do all of this shit to try to be thinner?

I'm tired of it. And I want to stop. I want to eat when I'm hungry and listen to my body cravings to tell me what to eat. My body is pretty smart - if I need more protein, it will tell me - and if I listen to it, I'm pretty sure I'll get what I need. I want to enjoy a slice of cake on my birthday without feeling like I've failed as a person. I want to stop getting angry when I eat a meal that is 400 calories because that is too much food to be eating in one sitting (even though I'm perfectly happy to eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting). I'm just sick of how much time and energy I waste worrying about food and exercising because the majority of it is negative energy. Really negative energy. And I would like to be done with that.

I'd just like to get to a place where my body can kind of self-regulate. So far, it seems to be working, too. I'm not spending time hating myself for eating, which is actually getting rid of some of the urge to overeat.

So I'm going to stop worrying about my cravings for Fritos. When I want Fritos, I'll pick up a bag, eat a few until I don't want them anymore and put the rest away for later.

And I'm going to stop worrying about days when I don't work out. There are days when I walk six miles, and there are days when I spend the evening curled up with my cat on the couch.

What it all works out to is I am still a healthy person, a nice person, a talented person, a kind person, an intelligent person, an attractive person and a lovable person. Regardless of what size dress I wear.