I’m Much More Than Compulsive Eating!

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I’m proud of myself for actually making a business card prior to meeting new people.

Laurie in bike gear under a market umbrella.

I’m enjoying the shady umbrella at Descanso Gardens, the half-way pit stop on our hill workout. I’m a bundle of nerves about meeting new people on my own tonight, so it felt good to work off some of that nervous energy.

Who am I?

In less than two hours I’ll be driving out to meet a group of people whom I’ve never met. They are a social and networking group of working voice actors and people interested in voice acting.

As you might know, if you listen to my podcast, I am NOT a working voice actor. I am a lady who decided to do an experiment and talk out loud attached to a digital recorder and a collar mic about compulsive eating while walking and hiking. Yowsers, what an odd idea. How do I explain THAT to anyone who doesn’t understand?

In my college days I spent three years intensely studying drama and writing before I ultimately finished college with a degree in education. I was exposed to voice acting and loved it, because even then, I felt uncomfortable in my body. I have always loved telling stories and I have always loved portraying characters with my voice. I always WISHED for the bravery to pursue voice acting. It is one of those impossible dreams, like singing.

Here in Southern California, there are many studios and production companies. Also classes and master classes and improv classes and acting classes. Likewise a zillion people migrate here all of the time with a dream to enter the “business” in some way. Some of them are my friends.

Most waiters or waitresses here are actors or writers or directors.

I feel like I’m too old for such nonsense.

And yet, somewhere there is still a spark of interest and ‘what if?’ stirring.

I’ve been fairly successful talking about my compulsive eating issues, and I will continue with that. But once the food is no longer my master, once its hold is no longer the glue that holds my life together, nor the excuse of why I can’t even try, what then?

Who am I under it all?

Who am I to go to a meeting designed for folks who know their path. Who have had talent and training and who have actually booked a job or two? Who am I to dare to be something new?

Mark and I are going to ride a 50 mile bike race come Nov. That’s a different high than eating, or planning to eat. That’s riding. That’s climbing the hills with sweat and toil and flying down the other side, free as blazes while our hearts pump steady with the joy of life. I’ve done this before. I love the feeling, I love the training, and even though I’m not the fastest, the thinnest, or the youngest, I feel a part of that world.

So I have one thing at least under the food.

I also love to speak and create talks and classes and interact with live people. That’s a different thing than climbing hills alone and talking into a recorder, creating thoughts that you can edit. Speaking in person is risky and alive and things can easily go wrong. But I’ve done that before. I’ve survived that before. I’ve been a wonderful speaker and had the time of my life, several times over. Even with the fear of how my brain is now, my mouth is now and my attention is now, I feel a part of that world.

But to have another wish. A secret wish. A wish to try to pursue a long held dream. The dream I let go to follow teaching. I told myself I was practical to become a teacher. There were jobs there, and I supported myself since the day I was 18. I told myself I was grown up and mature. My friends went to LA and New York to try to be actors. I cried and waved good-bye. I visited and kept books of their clips. I clapped and cheered and wiped their tears. Some worked awhile. Many died. It was the time of aids and drugs and rock and roll. I retreated into safety. I was happy to be alive and have money.

But inside my heart broke not to try.

I had a normal life. A usual life. A life with many adventures. I left teaching and my home and made a new life in California.

But again, I didn’t try to do what I wanted.

I did what was safe and made money. I did that until I retired.

All the while I kept eating my pain or dieting thinking that thin would make me happy.

Today is the scariest day of my life.

I’m not waiting to be thin. I’m taking a risk. I’m taking my first step toward something that interests me, that isn’t sensible or wise or about making money.

Who am I under all of this fear and food obsession?

Maybe today I’ll start to find out.

Comments box:

8 thoughts on “I’m Much More Than Compulsive Eating!

  1. Dawny

    You are SOOO awesome..
    this is So exciting!! thanks for sharing, and proud of you!!!

    Im learning so much from you!!! and Im so THANKFUL you keep on keeping it so REAL

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Dawny, just as I emailed you, I wanted to thank you for posting this when you did. I had just left my car and was walking to the restaurant where the meeting was held, and sweating like mad, tempted to bail, when I checked my phone for email and saw your comment. It gave me the extra courage to hold my head up, take a deep breath and go through that door. 🙂

  2. Cheryl

    What a beautiful way to end your blog post! Almost poetic. And you struck such a chord in me. HOW MANY DREAMS DIE BECAUSE WE CHOOSE PRACTICALITY? So for right now you are out there doing this for all of us, showing us the way to be brave. Can’t wait to hear how it went!

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Cheryl, this so gets to the crux of some of what I’m working through:


      We all have dreams and desires and wants. I think we too have regrets. I struggle with the regret aspect, because, I, like most of us, often did what I had to do to survive or to keep on keeping on. It’s very popular these days to feel that if we aren’t living our passion as a career, or as the main aspect of our lives, our lives are just a little bit less. In therapy, I’m learning that all of our choices make us who we are. Just like eating, some days I FEEL like a light salad, some days ice cream, some days a steak. My life choices all entailed the best I could do with the information and experience I had at that point. However, I must say I am very grateful to have found some more passion in my life after retirement. Do I wish I’d pursued it earlier? On the surface, yes. But below, I’m starting to think no. I’m ready now for what I must face. Passion isn’t all roses. It’s risk, and failure and disappointment, and to grow, I must accept true criticism without letting it devastate me, do you know what I mean? I had such a thin skin (as well as nice thick padding), that I don’t think I could have survived any true attempt at singing, acting, voice acting, writing, or even actively pursuing paid speaking. Will I have success at any now? I don’t know. But I am feeling that I am finally understanding the journey is the thing with all of these dreams and pursuits. I’m getting slowly to the stage where trying for real is as fulfilling, or more so, than the actual moment of accomplishment. Just like I’m slowly getting to where living well in my own skin is better than weighing less. Lots to ponder. Amazing what your comments bring up in me! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings with me and the other brave companions, my friend.

      1. Cheryl

        Your comment about regrets reminded me of one of my favorite parts of Tolkien’s “Fellowship of the Rings.” After my mom died I landed in grief counseling because of a stupid thought that went through my head when I got to her house that morning. She wasn’t answering the phone, I couldn’t get in because she’d locked the screen door which I had no key to. (It was only later I realized after repeatedly telling her to not do that, that she had anxiety issues about being alone just like me…) Had to break a basement window and crawl through. I yelled, she didn’t answer. And on the way up the stairs I thought, “Please God, let her be dead.” But I was there in her room before I could finish the thought, which was, “Don’t let her have laid on the floor in pain all night alone. I couldn’t stand that.”

        As it turned out, she had died peacefully in her sleep from pneumonia. But that whole alone thing eats away at everything in my life. And it has occurred to me that part of what I fear in losing weight is that it will somehow separate me from my friends, most of whom wrestle with eating issues the same as I do, and I WILL feel alone. At any rate, I struggled and struggled with the guilt of that one short phrase for months until I finally went to get some help. But as so often happens, it didn’t really. Help, I mean.

        That was in 1998. In 2001 the first installment of LOTR came out, and though I’d read the book, there was just something about the movie that got its hooks in me and wouldn’t let go. I had this feeling that I was missing something important I needed to know. I was obsessed! I went to see the movie every day for 48 days straight. His lordship thought I’d gone round the bend! But I was on a mission! And then I heard it, something I really needed to know.

        In the scene where Aragorn finds Boromir wounded after he’s not been able to save Merry and Pip from the orcs, Boromir tells him he (himself) has failed. But Aragorn says (paraphrasing here), “No! You haven’t failed. You did the best you could with what you had and persevered to the end.” (He goes on to promise Boromir that he’ll go to Minas Tirith and save his people.) It was what Aragorn said to Boromir that I needed so badly to hear STILL after all those years. Though I had many, many regrets about not being there for my mom as much as I should have been (our relationship was rather rocky), I had still done the best I could with the resources and experience at my disposal. I didn’t need to continue laboring under that burden of guilt.

        What I’m saying is you are absolutely right. You could never have done this before because you didn’t have all the personal experience you needed to bring the subject matter to life. Now is your time. Now you are wise enough to be able to sift through any criticisms and not let yourself be devastate because you are learning to find your own true way through this jungle. The book Intuitive Eating has been a big part of that. You found it when the time was right. (I’m quite sure Gandalf would agree!)

        That fact right there, should be an encouragement to everyone. Our time will come. Till then we must persevere, learn, and do the best with what we have. It’s wonderful that we can have a fellowship of Brave Companions to make this journey with. So do you think we should change your name to Laurigorn??? (wink!) And shall we all go get BC tattoos??? Can we, please, huh???

  3. Max

    You were very brave to take that first step! In spite of your nervousness, you were very well-composed and a great conversationalist. I’m so glad you came out to join us!

  4. Pingback: PNP049 Laurie Weaver Followup: Being a Perfectionist, Voice Acting, Bravery and Intuitive Eating

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