Friday, August 19, 2011

Body Image Redux: Fantasy vs. Reality

My name is Charlie, and I'm a compulsive overeater.

::Hi, Charlie!::

I'm also at my "maintenance weight." But guess what? I don't look like Brad Pitt.


I've been pondering that this morning. I think somewhere in my subconscious mind, I was living with the fantasy that once I hit my "magic number," I would somehow look like a sex symbol. As if somehow shedding the excess weight would change the basic shape of my bones, the structure of my chest or the size of my muscles... or, for that matter, the amount of money I have in the bank, the amount of debt I carry, the amount of "success" I have in writing and performing music, or the happiness of my marriage and family.

I've lost 80 pounds in the last 18 months or so, and I have some excess jiggly flesh around my belly. It's very, very slowly going away, but I don't know if it ever will completely. Am I OK with that? I don't know. I guess for today I have to be.

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes." - AA Big Book, p. 417

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