Weight has always been an issue for me, as it has been and is for every woman (perhaps for every person) in Hollywood. Perhaps for every American. Perhaps for everyone in the world. Even when I was young and lithe and limber and strong, I never felt thin enough. But I do love me some food.
Three times I have had dramatic weight losses. What is common to them all is that they happened to me and were not the results of any commitment or resolve on my part.
1) In 1976 I had a bad sore throat for 12 days, couldn't swallow at all. The weight I lost then stayed off for a long time.
2) In 1991 my thyroid went hyper-active and my metabolism speeded up so drastically that I lost weight no matter how much I ate. I went down from the size 10 I had been to size 4. It was several months before I finally went to the correct doctor, got the correct diagnosis and the correct medication. That weight came back.
3) In 2000 I moved away from Los Angeles, lived on the central California coast, and started a new life. I exercised more, discovered all sorts of community dances, and fell hyperbolically in love. Weight simply fell off without me thinking about it. That weight stayed off until menopause hit me like a hot brick.
I'm not happy with my weight now, and with more reason than I had at any of those other times. The trouble is that I haven't proved to myself that I can lose weight by choice.
I exercise every day, sometimes two or three times a day. Clearly my problem isn't activity but food, which I use the same way I use video games and movies - as a way to avoid deep, troubling, sorrowful, conflicted feelings. So naturally I'm not eager to deny myself one of my avoidance mechanisms, when it will mean experiencing all those feelings: what it's like to live with the tensions, anxiety, and rancor of the COVID era; my outrage at what the Republican party has turned into (I never would have thought that Liz Cheney would become one of my heroes, but she certainly is right now. Surely some of her Republican colleagues are squirming with shame as she models integrity and courage. No wonder they want to kill her off. She's making the rest of them look like the stinking cowards they are.); how much I miss my mom and being near my family; my feelings about my sister-in-law; doubts about whether I have it in me to write a superb play; terror about the inevitable fact that I'm going to die without knowing when and how.
I have to believe in myself right now, tell myself I can instead of that I can't. "I can't" is a powerful phrase and takes a lot of spine to overcome. "I can" has a different power, the power of the possible, the power of the unknown, the power of belief over certainty.
So here goes. I can.