Tuesday, August 17

Charlie meets Charlie

First of all, I want to thank you all for the avalanche of comments, emails and facebook messages that made my inbox explode. The support found here is beyond words. Thank you all for your tender letters and prayers. Even though it wasn’t a bonafide loss, but rather a major disappointment- your concern and compassion was extraordinary. Again, thank you.

Next, I have got to share something very very very diety with you. Today, my mailman delivered an impulse purchase from my Amazon cart. (Stupid one-click buying) It’s a book by Australian born author Shauna Reid. “The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl.”

To be frank with you all, as I pulled it out of the packaging and took my first look at it I was quite shocked to see it was a beefy 400 pages. I started to read at 2pm. By 8:30pm I had finished the book and was composing a letter to Shauna in my head. Also, I was resisting the urge to go back through the book with a highlighter and color the pertinent parts.
This book spans the entire length of her 350 pound to 175 pound journey, and it is nothing short of remarkable, inspiring, and downright funny. She is quick with the profanities, abundant with the word “crap” (which secures her place in my heart as kindred spirit/hero) and her honesty is gut wrenching- pun intended. And I felt as though I was looking through my own personal journal if I had been born on the other side of the world.

No matter where we are from, the language of the fat chick is universal. We shudder at the same things (airplane seats, cafĂ© chairs, full length mirrors) and use the same excuses (I’m too fat to …fill in your blank…). We also struggle to see ourselves for who we really are behind and underneath the fat. My goodness, how my head nodded in agreement over and over again while reading her book. So much that my neck has a kink.

And it got me to thinking (which we all know means some wacky illustration is brewing).

What things in my life have I avoided doing because I thought I was too fat?

Not just the little things, like wearing a bikini. You would have to be half off your rocker to WANT to prance around in the little bits of floss they call a bikini these days. I’m talking about the big stuff. The stuff that when I think about it I snicker because it’s so ridiculous to even THINK it, let alone try it for real.

I want to be in a movie. And not as the fat friend.

I want to get married again (same husband) in a stunning dress that makes Matt faint.

I want to sit in the box seats at the Opera and not fear for the lives of those sitting under the box.

I want to get up on a stage and talk to women about life, faith, motherhood, and dieting without being afraid that they can see my backfat rolls from the nosebleed sections.

I want to learn the tango.

I want to be a real published author who isn’t afraid of rejection.

After reading Shauna’s book, I realized something brazen that I had never considered before. I use my current bodyshape as reasons not to reach out for my crazy dreams. But it’s not the fat that is holding me back.

It’s the ME that is underneath the blubber.

I stop myself short of achieving lots of things. I don’t give my best to dieting because I know eventually the new found courage will wear off and I’ll be diving into a package of double stuffed oreos and eating all 3 rows. WHY do I condemn myself before I have even tried?

I don’t dance because I consider myself clumsy and uncoordinated. That has nothing to do with being plump. I will still trip over my own feet when I am skinny. And the contestants on Dance Your a$$ off seem to not care about their size. WHY don’t I dance?

Just because I am a big girl doesn’t mean that I don’t have something encouraging and funny to say to 1000 women. To make gals laugh and feel better. And lots of them have fat rolls too. WHY don’t I speak?

Matt is completely and utterly smitten with me. (No idea why, but I’ll take it.) And I am over the moon for him. WHY do I assume I can’t take his breath away just as I am?

I’m not trying to fill this post with a bunch of psycho babble and introspective crap. My point is that I have blamed the fat all along, when it was Charlie inside who had the real problems.
Real insecurities, paralyzing fears, more phobias than a 4th year psychology textbook.
So what would happen if I stopped blaming the fat for my shortcomings and cowboyed up to the table? What would happen then?
If I stopped acting like the fat was the root of all my problems, could I start being the person I know is fighting to get out?

Can I stop obsessing about the scale? Can I stop the mental self flagellation everytime I eat a bowl of ice cream? Can I live life like it was meant to be lived if I just start living it?

Maybe it was this brush with being knocked up that has changed my perspective on things.
Maybe I realize that disappointments are never going to end- regardless of how positive I am about them- so perhaps the best thing is to put yourself out there for the world to see. They can love me or leave me. And having met the world, they will most likely do a little of both. But I can know that I experienced ever joy and every sorrow there was to experience. And that sounds like a refreshing change. I need to stop fearing the unknowns and start experiencing them.

Here’s my point. I spend hours obsessing about this blog. I hide behind my computer screen and spout out nuggets of wisdom, tell funny stories, and pour my heart out. But when it comes to interacting with others, I don’t do so good on the face to face stuff. I love the virtual relationships I have formed with many of you! These relationships mean so much! But if I met you face to face, I am sorry to say that I am NOTHING like my online persona. I get nervous. I get tongue tied. My jokes are hit and miss, with a 40% average of being worth even saying. Here on my computer, I can obsess about how each word sounds, how the sentence reads, what my message becomes. You can’t do that in real life. Not unless you memorize a script.

And I want to change. With all my heart. I want to be as outgoing as I sound. I want to talk to women face to face and learn their stories. While I can’t rack up frequent flyer miles seeing each one of you, I want to know more about you. So here’s the plan.


Every Thursday, I will post the stories of 3 women (if I even get that many stories). I want you to share about your struggles with dieting, with being confident, with being yourself- whatever the reason is you keep reading this blog. If you have a personal blog, I will link it. All I ask is that you send a picture of yourself with your story. (Please, though, send the story in with good grammar!) It doesn’t have to be a long piece, but it must be sincere. You don’t have to admit your weight or anything, but I will tell you there is a freedom in doing so- it’s like telling the biggest secret you have ever had to keep. But no pressure. This is going to be a first come, first serve kind of thing. So type fast!

Send your stories and pics to my email – oscbb@yahoo.com and in the subject line put “MEET UP THURSDAYS” so I know it’s something you want shared with my readers. Ooooh, this is making me giddy with excitement! Not to mention nervous as heck- nervous that no one sends in their stories and I will be left with a blogpost to write on Thursday.

So there it is: My feeble attempt to reach out from behind the computer screen and socialize. I’m changing things up in my life. I’m going to start living. And I’m dragging you with me. Cause that’s how I roll.

Speaking of rolls, I am at 182.6- not bad considering I have been moping on the couch since last Thursday! But tomorrow, it’s back to water aerobics and healthy eating. No more pizza and ice cream this week. I’m going to be too busy becoming the woman I’m supposed to be. I can’t wait to meet myself!

AND…I can’t wait to hear your stories!


Leebird said...

Stand by! :) LeeBird

Mari said...


Lauren Thomas said...

Ok Charlie, a few things:
1. You inspire me. Seriously.
2. I'm gonna buy this book TOday!
3. I'll totally participate in your Meet Up!
4. I know this now exceeds a "few" things, but, I think we could seriously be real life BFFs! :) Now that just sounds stalker-ish right? Oh well, just wanted you to know. We share soooooooo many of the same struggles!

Angela Pea said...


I'll send a story ASAP. BTW, I think Lauren is adorable, too, and yes, you two could be good friends!

Jess said...

You've offered a profound challenge...Get to know your true self and conquer those "attitudes and emotions" that hold you back from truly enjoying life!

Count me in!

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