Well, folks, in exactly 20 days – less than 3 weeks! Yikes – I will go into rehearsals for “Stuffed,” the play I’ve written about food and body image. So there’s literally no turning back. The play shows “the real me” – the “me” behind the Queen of Mean stage personae, and while it feels somewhat liberating to have my authentic self step out of the shadows, there’s still a little fear. Fear of my fans not accepting that real me. And that would be where the true hurt would lie. I mean, it’s one thing if people reject a carefully constructed stage personae, but it’s quite another when they see someone for who she really is and turn their backs. Now, THAT’S rejection.
That’s why I started this blog, “The Real Deal.” To put a toe in the authenticity pool a week at a time. To get used to putting the genuine me out there week after week. That way, by the time the play opens, I’ll be used to it and, hopefully, be ready for anything that comes my way.
So, with that being said, here is the second installment of my blog, “The Real Deal.”
Last week when I was on the phone with my life coach – that’s right, folks! Insult Comic Lisa Lampanelli has a life coach – I was beating myself up for once again losing interest in my exercise routine. I was repeating over and over some variation of, “What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I stick with something that’s so good for me? I’m such an idiot. I should know better.” After I was done with my self-flagellation, she was silent for a moment and simply said, “Lisa, no one ever changed permanently by being yelled at.” And, it dawned on me that she was absolutely right.
Sure, we’ve all eaten well, gone to the gym, kept a food diary, kept to a writing or studying plan, but was the change long-lasting? Or did it fall by the wayside because it was beaten into us by a trainer, a teacher, a nutritionist, ourselves? Well, if that was the case, isn’t it worth trying a different approach – something like, forgiving ourselves for the behavior we didn’t like and then waking up and doing it gentler – the next day?
This week, I am working on the practice of forgiving myself. Kindly and calmly looking at behavior that doesn’t serve me, and trying again the next day. No yelling, no beating myself up, and no beating others up in the process in hopes that permanent change comes through me being softer on myself.
So, here is my very abbreviated list of things I forgive myself for today:
Today I will forgive myself for not looking like I did in my ‘20s. I didn’t sign paperwork where I agreed contractually not to get wrinkles or thinner hair or a menopausal belly. And I’m not going to go insane trying to get rid of those things now.
Today I will forgive myself for my cellulite. I didn’t put it there, I can’t get rid of it, and I have to accept it.
Today I will forgive myself for my ever-fluctuating temperature sensitivity. Yo-yo dieting from the age of 18 to the age of 50 has left me feeling physically cold in almost any temperature under 75 degrees. That’s okay – I’ll bring a sweater.
Today I will forgive myself for only working out three times last week. It is completely up to me how much I move my body. As long as I understand and accept the consequences, I am allowed to choose.
Today I will forgive myself for eating that additional Quest bar or ½ pint of Halo Top ice cream when I wasn’t physically hungry. It could have been MUCH worse: I could have chosen a candy bar or Haagen Dazs instead. At least I picked high-protein, low-calorie, low-sugar options. Nobody is perfect, but at least I make better choices than I have in the past.
Today I will forgive myself for my saddlebags. I got them when I hit puberty, I have them now, and – guess what? – they’re part of my genetically engineered shape. So, while I might not love them, they are part of what makes me me.
Today I will forgive myself that I don’t have the body of an Olympic tennis player. First of all, I’m not 25. Second, my body looks great considering what it has gone through in the last 55 years. And that’s good enough.