Liberation!!!

Dear Oprah,

This isn't something I talk about openly, at all! But, I think it's important and I think, after I did...what I did, and started opening up a dialog with other women about...what I did, I think we should make a movement. I know if there is one person to start a movement, you will be the person.
Well, I read Portia deRossi's book about how she struggled with her weight and eating disorders and trying to fit into an image that seems to be so prevalent in Los Angeles. It's only when I leave this city that I see how screwed up it is, and I'm not even on television. Ok, I'm trying to be, but mostly and more passionately, I'm in the fitness industry and in that industry as well, it's super important to 'look' the part otherwise people won't take your classes or hire you privately. You want to look the way others want to look. But, you also need to walk the walk you talk to them about - living a healthy lifestyle of balance with a healthy and balanced view on food and exercise.
I have a very stable, strong and balanced viewpoint on fitness and food and live it.
I love it and think it's why I do well in an industry that is so dense with professionals trying to make it their life's work.
It's not a 'day' job for me. It's a mission. And it has been since I was very young.
You might not have been able to see it in me because I was an overweight kid with a lot of self esteem issues.
Now, here I am in my late 30's and not by any egotistical means do I write this, but I am in my peak. I am healthier and happier than I have ever been, because I live my 'life's work.' And I know, for that, I am fortunate. Do I have a house and tons in savings? No. But I live each day in service of helping others and for that, I am living my dream.
However, I struggle with me weight every day. It's not a bunch of weight but the 5 pound gain and loss that annoys 'most' people every so often - stress, break ups, weather. And for this, that's where I make most of my living - with clients that want to 'maintain'.
I live my days eating food that fuels me and occasionally indulge in the 'taste' for 'fun' that makes it ALL worth it.
I am going home to NY where my family abode is filled with devilish temptations that my svelt family never minds. They can live around multiple bags of potato chips and cookies and never bat an eye. They will graze and enjoy. They are balanced.
And yet, when I go home, the person paid money to make others healthy, can actually hear the Lays, Cape Cod and Chips Ahoy screaming at me from the kitchen a flight of stairs away. That voice is processed and loud!
I'm not around it, ever, unless I'm in a store and I walk right by never thinking about it twice.
But now I am here and it's free and abundant and I am in prison.
It's a disorder. I know. I've had it since I was heavy, then thin through Weight Watchers, then anorexic. I thought I made up anorexia when I was young. That's how 'little' I knew about what I was doing.
I thought I was so clever, fooling my body, testing my will and my mother, tossing away school lunches and weighing myself every day at the nurses office instead of hanging out with pals.
I was amazed at what I could do. And really, all for attention. Because, I didn't 'feel' much better. I still felt rotten about myself.
And now, here I am, in my late 30's and really happy with what I've done with my life and body...although I could use that house and I am still in prison.
It's much harder now. I work out all the time, with myself because I love it and with my clients. So, I need food, a lot more of it, to maintain my energy and stay at my peak.
I count every calorie and every indulgence and balance it out with my work outs.
THAT alone might seem extreme but once you do it for a couple of weeks, it becomes a habit that takes as long as it does to do your toenails or chat online.
Knowing what's in your food is important and what fuels you as opposed to fills you is also important. What are your trigger foods that make you reach for the salty or sweet?
I know it all. I know the times of day I emotionally eat and when I reach for the cookie out of stress or solitude. I monitor and adjust. I know it and yet, it still, for lack of a better word, consumes me.
I listen to all of my instincts but still starve and fill myself. No matter what, my body always knows the weight it wants to be And it still knows better than me because it's the weight I'm at my prettiest, healthiest and glowing. I get the most compliments but there's just one thing.
In my mind, that weight is about 3-5 pounds shy of my ideal.
It's the weight that keeps me from fitting into my skinny jeans.
3-5 pounds are a challenge that is absolutely crippling for me to maintain.
And I'm a girl that fasts with the change of seasons. No food, for days. And those skinny jeans fit...for a moment.
And I look great...amazing really...not unlike, um, now...except there's a little piece of cloth hanging in my closet that will tell me otherwise. I'm not fasting and I do not fit.
Fasting, for me, is more for the mind and a cleansing that allows me to turn down and in and adjust to the changes in the outside world.
But, I also lose weight. Not a bunch, just...
3-5 pounds.
I can feel my bones. There's a clip in Portia de Rossi's book about how she would wake up and take her hands along certain parts of her body. If she could feel the bones she knew it would be a good day.
I read that, the first chapter and thought, hmmm, I thought I was the only one who did that.
I know I'm not alone.
I know if I can feel my sacrum and there isn't a cushion of flesh, I am thin, but if there is, I feel bad about myself.
Does anyone notice?
They notice if my attitude is bad, but if I'm carrying a pound extra from the day before, not so much.
I wouldn't mind being a hanger, but if I was less funny and cool, then it's not worth it.
Attitude is more important and effortless if you aren't arrested by the feel of flesh on your backside.
It might not seem like a lot to most people, but when you are at the weight you are supposed to be at, you don't HAVE to count calories, you just have to be careful and maintain.
For me, maintaining is super easy and effortless.
3-5 pounds.
And so, Dear Oprah, I implore you to read closely.
I was out to lunch with one of my most beautiful and healthy yoga teacher friends. She had mentioned that she gained a few pounds while she was on holiday with her husband, that she put on her skinny jeans and couldn't even button them up, not even lying down and holding her breath.
I told her I had the same problem the day before and I hadn't even been on holiday.
I don't indulge in pizza or fast food, not because I'm 'trying to be careful' but because my body just doesn't crave that junk. It craves what it needs and gets me to the weight IT wants.
So, when I thought about her trial and how she said she would just cut back for the next couple of days, I thought about mine...
there is none.
I didn't go away and indulge in foreign foods.
I didn't go on a bender and eat a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies.
I didn't order the large popcorn at the movies.
It's winter. I'm getting older. I use my body a lot and so it is HOLDING it's weight differently to adjust to the time, it's purpose and cold (yes, even in LA!!).
I might not have changed anything in particular, but the jeans I NEVER wear, that sits in the closet, weighing heavy on my brain every day to test me is making me crazy.
They are loose!! Yea, I feel good...for a moment, just one, then I go about my day.
They are tight!!! BOO, I feel horrible, for a full day and I still go about my day and feel good about what I do.
SO, Dear Oprah, I have decided this.
I will not conform any longer to fit -YOU-(jeans, not you, Oprah).
I'm selling you on ebay.
I think all of us women should have our jeans that we feel good in. That fit our body and when we are feeling extra skinny, well so they will hang looser and make us feel even more skinny.
To struggle to conform to fit is just IMPOSSIBLE.
When I teach, I don't conform to any model of any teacher I know. I am myself and bring to the table something altogether unique that people enjoy.
The same goes for my writing and acting.
So, Dear Oprah, why then, would I need so desperately to fit into my size 24 Joe's Jeans.
They don't want me right now.
Some students, they don't need me right now.
The Mentalist and The Office, they bring me in all the time, but right now, I'm not what they want.
I am what I am now and I don't want to wait to be ready for anything else.
I am ready for now and right for later when later is ready for me.
I don't want to put myself in limits. I want to be free, unbuttoned and breathable.
My yoga teacher friend and I teach how important it is to breathe. Yet, we both feel bad about ourselves because we hold our breath to fit.
That's not yoga. That's not life!!
What does that say for what I do?
To me, that means that I doubt what I do and who I am.
I am a fitness professional that charges money to help other people feel good about themselves, be fit and happy. It would be more unprofessional to tell them lies and consistently struggle with the 3 pounds to get me into a pair of jeans for a day then live every day feeling good about whatever I put on my body.
I put on the size up. The not so skinny jeans I should pay more attention to anyway because I'm always in yoga pants. I look great. I look skinny. No one else gives a rats ass and certainly no one can tell the difference between the 3-5 pounds.
A woman today told me tonight that I radiate joy. And I'm heavier than I've been in a long time. Just three pounds.
What do I want to focus on? The joy or the three pounds?
Give me the fuckin' joy...and a fuckin' cookie. You can keep your pounds and your Joe's.
I sold my skinny jeans on ebay and made enough to buy a whole batch of cookies and put some money into my savings for that house. And I feel so much lighter.
Go fuck yourself skinny jeans.
Oprah, I think we should all get rid of our skinny jeans. Make it a movement.
We don't have corsets anymore and should not be bound by our clothing.
Our denim should not designate our happiness.
I can't believe I never did this before. And all on the inspiration from my dear friend.
I really think you should have a show about this and have all your audience members give their skinny jeans away or to a friend.
I don't ever want to think about this again.
I work really hard. Every day. And food is my fuel.
AND, I'm going home to NY, to be with my family, and the devils in the kitchen.
And I want to be with all of it and BE with them and not think about the size of my waist band.
I'm so glad there is nothing left in my closet to make me feel bad, only beautiful things to enhance the beauty that's already within. And that's not ego, that's not skinny. That's joy.
Happy holidays! Now indulge,
Laurie/Lady

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