Today I am going to write about something I have never written or spoken publicly about in my entire life. My weight. But I am ready to take charge of my life and become who I really am inside and am tired of hating the way I look. I want to be healthy. I need to lose this weight.
As far back as I can remember I have felt like a fat girl. This doesn’t mean I was always fat. Quite the opposite in fact. Throughout my school years, I was always pretty thin, honestly. I FELT like a huge fat girl, but in reality I was 135lbs – not exactly tipping the scales. I was wearing a size 9, but I felt inside like I was wearing a 16 or 18. Losing weight has been an obsession for a long time and I have tried all sorts of things. The Atkins diet (which made me cry), karate, swimming, dancing, health test groups for infomercials – and sometimes I would even lose a significant amount of weight – always to gain it back within a year or so. In 2007 I lost 20 pounds and was down to 140 – a healthy weight for a girl of 5’6″. Even then in my mind I still wasn’t thin enough.
Then, in 2007 I went on anti-depressants. I had had problems with depression before – my senior year of college was a low point – but I was waking up 5 or more days out of the week and not wanting to get out of bed. I figured when the bad days start to outnumber the good ones, something needs to be done. I fought for a long time mentally, thinking if I could just think positively hard enough, I could fix myself and shake myself out of this funk. When I finally decided to see a doctor and told her what I was going through, she laughed; “You have a chemical deficiency in your brain – you’re not retaining your serotonin. You didn’t do anything wrong. Its like believing you can cure your diabetes by thinking about it hard enough, it just doesn’t work that way.” I think that’s something about depression a lot of people don’t understand. NO ONE wants to be depressed. (Except maybe Morrissey.) If you could choose, of course everyone would choose to be happy. It’s not something you can just will your way out of.
Of course, the road to recovery is a hard one and finding the right medication for you can take a while. The first one I took did nothing but make me sleep and I gained 60 pounds in two months. Sixty pounds. When I came to and realized what had happened, the weight was already on. I switched medications and am on one now that I like tremendously. I felt like my old self again, inside, but outside? 200 pounds. The heaviest I had ever been in my entire life. I felt horrible. My friends subtly voiced their concerns. My parents subtly voiced their concerns. My boyfriend at the time (a personal trainer) very aggressively voiced his concerns. Repeatedly. And when he saw that this weight was probably not coming off anytime soon, he dumped me.
Going through all this — going on medication, getting dumped, turning 30 – caused me to do an awful lot of introspection. Probably too much. But, when I emerged mentally from the other side, I liked who I was. I finally realized that I am a good person with an honest heart who only intends kindness for others. I like my quirkiness and my enthusiasm, my city and my friends and my family – and that gives me confidence. I know that I am smart and funny and talented, and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I take care of business in a flash better than Elvis ever could. AND YET. I am still 200lbs. How could this be? What is the mental block that has kept me from losing this stupid weight and being 100% happy with myself? I never had an eating disorder, my family was always good about food and appearance and never made me feel bad about myself, I honestly couldn’t tell you where it stems from. I have no idea why I have felt like a fat girl inside all of my life, when in fact I have really only truly been one for 5 years.
It bothers me that there are a lot of people who only know me this way. My boyfriend, David, met me at 200 pounds. He has never known me as ME. He has only seen this heavier version of me. And although he loves me very much and tells me I am beautiful constantly, he is worried for my health. He wants me to live a very long time, and is worried that if I keep living the way I have been, I will end up sick. And he’s right.
My parents have both recently lost 30 pounds a piece using Weight Watchers. They urged me to join as well, and I did, but something about the meetings always made me feel really bad about myself. I would sit in the corner and look at the floor and be miserable inside, even though the program was reasonable, the leaders super helpful and the members incredibly supportive. Two weekends ago I brought David to a meeting with me. He is a wonderful boyfriend and supports me in everything I do and promised to join me in whatever diet I chose, and to help me to stay active. He has seen me break down and cry over my weight several times in the 2 and a half years we have been together, but he was gobsmacked when I ended up sobbing in that Weight Watchers meeting. I sat there for the whole half hour in tears, while the leader cheerfully chirped weight loss advice, occasionally sending glances of alarm my way.
I fled the meeting the second it ended and then sat and cried in el pollo loco with David for a good hour. I felt absolutely defeated. Why couldn’t I accept the help? Why was Weight Watchers making me so upset when it was nothing but positive advice? I had to wake up inside and admit to myself that as of June 1st, 2013, I weighed 212 pounds. I weighed more than my six foot tall boyfriend. I was only going to get bigger if I didn’t do something about it. Yet when I thought of having to eat right and exercise for the rest of my life it made me want to give up before I even started. I am a foodie and love to eat. I never want to become a Hollywood girl, going on cleanses and living on salad. There’s no way I can live without cookies. They are my favorite food in the world. And I HATE exercise. I have never been interested in being an athletic girl – I would rather read a book or watch a movie than go for a hike any day of the week. I could see my future – and it was fucking bleak.
And then. Somehow.
I woke up the morning after the meeting invigorated. Excited. Determined. I am doing this. I am going to lose this goddam weight and be thin and healthy. I went to the gym that day and lifted weights and didn’t think about anything but how happy I was that I was on my way. I ate healthy all day and was happy about that too. And then I did the same thing the next day, and the next. I know its not much, but I have been to the gym 5 times in the last week, and have also been very careful about what and how much I eat. I have been drinking protein shakes and way more fresh fruit. I have cut way back on my baked goods consumption (my downfall) and on diet soda too. And I feel great. It’s only been a week, and normally I would not slap myself on the back so much, but somehow I know this time its for keeps. That little voice inside of me that has been asleep for FAR too long? Somehow she woke up and she is here to lose weight and kick ass. I don’t doubt that I can do this, I KNOW that I can.
I quit Weight Watchers and decided to do this on my own. Eat how I normally would – just better. Allow myself treats here and there, but just not everyday. I have a long way to go. It is going to take me a long time to take all of this off. I will probably have a period where I want to give up. I guarantee you I will have days where I will pig out. And you know what? I’m not even worried about that. Because I know that in the end, I’m going to be successful this time. I have been waiting my entire life to look on outside how I feel on the inside and even starting on that path is incredibly exciting. Just that I am writing this should be hard proof to those who know me well that something is different.I have spent my whole life avoiding the topic of my weight. It is a big red button that, if pushed, will immediately bring me to tears. Nothing scares me more than being called fat. But I need to get over that. Its just a word. It doesn’t define who I am inside.
And yet…when you’re an actress, who you are on the outside IS who you are.
I moved to LA to be a movie star, and while I was never going to be a bikini babe, I am talented and pretty enough to be a lead. At least I was, until I gained weight. Then I was the “funny best friend” and the “quirky Rebel Wilson type”. Let me just say, my talents go way beyond fat best friend. But when no one gives you a chance to prove that, it starts to get to you after a while, and I started hating going to auditions because I knew I would be judged the second I walked into the room. The success of the petition and Out of Print plus everyone’s support has helped me more than you all could ever know. I am finally being rewarded for what I believe in and who I am inside – not what I look like – and that has been incredible. But as the movie finishes up, and I get ready for the roller coaster ride of festivals and whatever else this film might bring, I don’t want to spend my 15 minutes of fame feeling embarrassed by the way I look. I want to feel glamorous and confident. I am already dreading the questions about being a female director (Is the movie good? Yes? Then it doesn’t matter if I am a man or woman.) But dreading questions about being a FAT female director? Nope. Couldn’t do it.