One day she decided to just be herself…

Laurie pointing at a colorful fridge magnet
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Here I am pointing to my new daily inspiration. I found this magnet in a cool, hippy dippy, zen store on my way to stand-up comedy class.

Hand painted magnet that says One day she decided to just be herself

Close up of the inspiring fridge magnet I found.

Check out the wonderful poet and artist who made my inspiring magnet, Marylou Falstreau

So what does COMEDY have to do with it?

Well BCs, since last we spoke/wrote/thumbs-upped on Instagram to each other etc., I’ve been off being incredibly brave (or crazy) or maybe it’s the same thing? BESIDES live acting class, auditioning like mad for voice work and flitting around with laryngitis and other flu-like concerns, one of my voice actor friends persuaded me to join a beginning stand-up comedy class. You all know how I LOVE to tell funny stories, and often have an instinctual wit, so why not?

OMG!

Telling jokes off the cuff and writing jokes are not the same. Noooooooooooooo! This has been the hardest kind of writing I’ve ever pursued. I shared this fact with my story writing group.

“But Laurie you are HILARIOUS, you MUST be exaggerating. When’s your class showcase, we want to come!”

“Well guys, I’m NOT exaggerating when I say I SUCK AS A COMEDIAN and I have Noooooooo intention of letting you know when my class-required show is going to be. I’m hoping to slink on and off stage incognito.”

“Where are you taking comedy class?” one of my writing buddies asked innocently.

“Flappers”

“WhhhhaaaaHaaaaaHaaaa, Got you now! I know a person who works there, and I’ll find out.”

My buddy went on to mention the person in question who turned out to be my comedy teacher.

Blast!

I never thought in one million years that I would let anyone actually know the deets about my comedy workshop appearance. The Bravery Coach was not demonstrating the best form of courage right then. I was hoping to change the subject and get off of this track, which I did.

Soon after that I was struck dumb with laryngitis and had to miss one week of comedy class. Dang it! Now I’m behind in learning how to write and deliver my set and I’m freaking the heck out. My voice actor/comedy friend came to the rescue. She arranged that all of us beginner comedians go together to an open mic and watch the other comedians work out material. Two from my class were even brave enough to jump right up and do their material for the first time. So inspiring. The comedians that day killed and died and everything in between. They all got feedback and none of them fainted or had heart attacks or were carted off by Martians for being unfunny. They all had fun and so did we.

It made me stop to consider what was creeping me out so much?

When I podcast, I’m either reading your comments, or talking off the top of my head. When I’m voice acting, I have a script. I have not had to memorize anything since the head trauma from my bike accident. I’m terrified that I will just blank out. It isn’t even worry about being funny or not, though I would LOVE to be funny on stage, it is fear of the stutter and the brain freeze in front of all of those people.

Then I REALLY had a new thought, “Ok Laurie, if you ARE going to stutter and brain freeze in front of all of those people, wouldn’t it be better if the audience was filled with those who love and support you?”

Good point! I am so used to hiding my imperfections that it didn’t cross my mind that I need to be myself. I need to admit my comedy and invite my friends. I need to trust myself that I will live through whatever happens and it will make a grand story to share together one way or another.

So I’m putting myself on the bravery report because I just emailed a bunch of friends and admitted I’m doing stand-up and let them know that they are welcome to come view the spectacle. And even if not one person can make the performance, I will tell my jokes with pride, because I learned to be proud of who I am in this moment. And I hope all of you BCs are proud of who you are too.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Bonus Medical Intuitive Eating Update

I just got all of my test results back from my blood work and annual checkup. After one year of non-dieting, and next to no bingeing or diet mentality, my weight is slightly down, all of my numbers are excellent and I’m in better health than ever (excepting the laryngitis). I have to admit I feared the cough drops might have pumped up my blood sugar, but nope, better than it’s been in years. Cholesterol great, kidneys great, everything great. And this morning I felt like eating coffee cake so I made one, ate one small piece, put the rest away and forgot it. It struck me just how different this felt from last year. Nothing felt out of the ordinary. I haven’t eaten coffee cake for months and months. I haven’t even really been eating sweets outside of the cough drops. I naturally eat when I feel the energy dip without thinking about it at all. I stop easily. I don’t think about food until I’m hungry. The only time I crave food sometimes is from a passing good smell when I’m out and about. If it strikes me hard enough, I will on occasion get some of that tempting food, but usually I just shrug it off saying, “Hmm THAT smells good,” and go on with my day. When I started this experiment almost 2 years ago, I had no idea this is where I’d land. In fact one of my beginner comedian friends was working on a joke that he feared might be offensive to those with eating disorders and asked if any of us in the class had one. I started to raise my hand, and then I thought, “No I don’t. I don’t have an eating disorder anymore.”

Time to let go of my eating disorder identity and move on to being an actor/storyteller/comedian who weighs whatever she weighs and eats when she’s hungry. Not a bad thing to be.

PS. My comedy teacher told me I am NOT FAT ENOUGH to tell fat jokes. Made me mad at first, but then I realized just how crazy that was. I’m not fat enough to be a fat comedian. I’ll just have to be an aging hippy, dippy, zen comedian with an attitude. Teacher says I’m great at that!

Comments box:

22 thoughts on “One day she decided to just be herself…

  1. Vickie

    I LOVE you new artwork and need one for myself – actually it was part of my therapy session yesterday. The stopping of trying to be what others want me to be, or the constant shame of not living up to my own potential of the expectations of others.

    At nearly 55 I just have to accept that I am different, think differently, have strong boundaries, put fairness, kindness and generosity above all, and that I will always be a quirky offbeat contrarian Aquarian gal.

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Wow Vickie that was fast! Yep we ARE different and wonderfully wise in our 50s+ (at least compared to earlier in life). My potential will always exceed my ability – dang it, but that’s how it is and I have no control over it. BUT I do have full control over my courage and how I respond. So I try now to live up to my value of courage and kindness and find my life is better thinking that way.

      strong boundaries, put fairness, kindness and generosity above all, and that I will always be a quirky offbeat contrarian Aquarian gal

      and THAT sounds like a wonderful, interesting, warm hearted person. xoxoxoxox 😉

      Reply
      1. Vickie

        Hi Laurie :
        I am so far behind in the race, I fear I won’t make it to the halfway point, but am determined to do something before I go on to glory.

        You see I was raised by an extremely damaged, violent and abusive mother, so my whole childhood was one of fear, shame and abuse. ( physical, verbal and sexual ). I escaped a pedophile at age 11 and all other assorted things that made me a self loathing, binge eating, train wreck by age 19.

        I have very very few tools in my toolbox and my life has not been a success in anyway , shape or form. I live on SS disability now.

        However I am determined to accomplish something and to throw out the old tapes, the ones my mother and others implanted of me being garbage, worthless, should not have been born, being disposible, valueless. My 55th is in Jan and 2016 MUST be the year, that I make sweeping changes and salvage whatever time I have left.

        Vickie xxx

        Reply
        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Big Hugs, that is quite a story to carry around in your heart. I do understand that mindset of needing to accomplish something in this life, even though my historic challenges are different from what you describe here. One thing that comforts me is that through the show, I found out from getting to know the BCs, that even the smallest encouragement from us means the world to others. The fact that you took time to comment and reach out today encouraged my heart. You are making a difference right now, in this very moment. Your life matters in the small moments as much or more as in the big achievements. I think the connections that we make and the love we show is the most important work in life. Anyway, we are all on our own paths in our own time, and I send you the very best vibes and next time I’m on the mountain I’ll stack some prayer rocks just for you, madam Aquarian. xoxoxox

          Reply
          1. Vickie

            Oh wow !!!!
            28 years of on and off psychiatry, meds and therapy and NOBODY has said anything so meaningful to me before and I am taking it on board at once.

            I don’t have to accomplish anything super big or super important, little tiny acts of kindness, thoughtfullness, generosity, support, love, hugs when needed…………may be my accomplishment in life, iin fact it may even be my life’s calling, so what if I am not CEO of anything, so what if I got kicked out of my Masters Degree program at the end for having an eating disorder. Little bits of love spread around may be all I was meant to do in this life.

            Laurie – you have opened my eyes !! YOU ARE A SUPER STAR. YOU ROCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

            Ah gosh, I am just a mirror reflecting your own kindness back at you! You may be a virtuoso encourager, and that may indeed be your talent and calling! Eating disorders are tricky, bastardy things, but they are not who we are nor the measure of our value. I believe that once we figure out our own worth to ourselves, we are more able to navigate a path that helps us. My way doesn’t work for everyone. And other people have success with things that don’t help me at all. But the common thread for all success is belief in our own inner wisdom and that our own opinion matters. (I think People pleasers, abused, and those who never had good models with connection etc. struggle with this). It is tough to truly trust yourself. But once you do, you will become much more in tune with what feels right and peaceful and easy (at least I’ve experienced this and have heard this from others too). I wish you so very well on your journey, and am glad you are joining us here as a brave companion. xoxoxoxox

  2. Sue

    Woo hoo, I had just been wondering what was happening with you and then the blog appeared. I am full of admiration for your bravery. Do let us know how your comedy night goes.

    I love to read that your relationship with food has changed so much over the two years. It is also good that your health is so much better.

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Sue, thanks for stopping in the old place, haha! I’ll try to put out a new show before the end of Nov., but since my laryngitis limits my speaking time, I thought I’d sit down and write in case any BCs were still out there 🙂 Happy Holidays my friend. We are about to have a HUGE feast next week for Thanksgiving. I’m happy to report that I have no worries about it. I even got through Halloween here without eating more than a piece or two of candy. It is certainly a different experience. How are you feeling? Are you about to get some holiday time off for Christmas break? Still having fun singing and quilting? xoxoxoxox

      Reply
      1. Sue

        I had another chest infection in October but now back at work. I am looking forward to longer off for Christmas this year and having all my children with us. Before then we have a concert (I am playing and singing in it) and Final Meeting (like a Carol Service) so we end the term really busy.

        I am still enjoying the quilting and towards the end of one of my major projects. I wanted to start making things for Christmas presents but realised that this was only putting pressure on me at a busy time so I have given myself permission to enjoy the hobby without the “ought to” compulsion.

        As for the eating bit I am probably as heavy as I have ever been. I will think about that when I am less stressed/fighting chest problems. But I have just bought some nice clothes that suit me now and got a decent hair cut so I am giving myself permission to make the most of the current situation.

        Hugs to you all xxx

        Reply
        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Hooray! It sounds like you are practicing great self love and acceptance. In the end I think we make more progress that way, but even if we don’t, it makes for a happier life. I’m glad you are keeping quilting for fun and not turning it into another chore. Xoxoxo

          Reply
  3. Amy from WI

    Hi Laurie,
    I, too, was just wondering how you are doing and what’s been up, so very happy to hear from you. Your medical check up sounds wonderful. I hope you’ve gotten all the GI symptoms taken care of. You are so brave to try this comedy thing. I know that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I also have no desire to. Go for it, girl! Enjoy, do your best, and trust that all will be well in the end!

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Amy, yep my GI thing is all good. We think it was the bacteria in my tummy that Angel Doc found during my upper GI. I went through 2 weeks of heavy antibiotics then a lot of probiotics and take benefiber now morning and night. Ever since, right as rain. Funny the things we can become thankful for 😉 How are YOU doing? From your FB pics it looks like you are having fun with this year’s crop of youngsters. I got into the comedy class more as a way to do something with my voice over buddy, and to extend my bravery boundaries. Boy I got THAT in spades! I’m not really bit with the stand-up bug yet, but have grown a HUGE appreciation now for comics. It is really, really tough. But I DO LOVE hanging out with the comics old and new at the comedy club where I’m taking lessons. That is really fun and a creative place to be. It reminds me of college when I was in the drama track and we hung out. It feels good to be risking and living and doing things I never imagined. xoxoxoxoxox

      Reply
      1. Amy from WI

        Taking risks and having fun sounds like a great plan!

        My kiddos are keeping me busy, that is for sure. Had a little set-back with the food compulsion, but I’m back on track now. I suspect I will have a few more set-backs as I get used to using other things to relieve stress and just kinda calm me down. It’s one of those things where it is good to know that you can live through it and come out the other side!

        Reply
          1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

            Hi Vickie, you might like to check out Dr. Nina’s site at Win the Diet War. You can contact her and ask to be added to her private FB group. She is all about understanding the emotions and working from inside out. I’m part of her group as a participant and she also has many free and low cost resources on her blog and website. Most of us around here have tangled with donuts or other unexpected eating so we all understand. But for some more ideas, unlike me, Dr. Nina is a licensed professional in the eating disorder realm so I feel comfortable recommending her as a resource to BCs. xoxoxoxox

          2. Vickie

            Thank you so much for sharing !
            I am a 32 year sufferer of binge eating disorder and it has been hell and it is over half my life. It started at age 22 while I was in college and I will be 55 in Jan, and it still has its tentacles wrapped around me.

            I have already clicked the link you posted and signed up.

            Sharing and caring – a winning combo !

            Oh and I also bought 3 of the cards yesterday, including the one you have, as I am tired of apologizing for being me.

            Blessings. xxx

  4. Cheryl

    LOL! Girl, does nothing ever slow you down? You’re such an inspiration. Wish I were there so I could come have a listen to your material.

    Am very proud of you and your test results! Healthy is the very best place to be. I’ll be curious to see if the good report spurs you on to do what you said — forget about your eating disorder identity — or if it will make you take a few more risks with food.

    Hope by now you’re feeling better. You sure have had your share of “sick” downtime this year. Take it easy there, Scrappy!

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hey GF! Glad to see you! I’m going to try and record a bonus episode today and include a snippet of my FIRST open mic I did last night. I still have a lot of work to make my set funny for the showcase next week, but I am SO proud that I did it. This was also the first time I performed by memory and I was so glad I had some left in my head. As to my test results, I feel really good. That horrible flu/laryngitis was sweeping through Los Angeles, so I’m glad I’m over it. Nasty stuff. Hit up many actor pals too. I was glad I didn’t have to fight it to do a live stage show like they did. As to food, I’m happy to report that at this point, I don’t have any fear of food or temptation. I’ll talk a bit about that today. Still not thin, but not gaining and losing very, very slowly. I just don’t want to eat most things unless I’m hungry. SO WEIRD that I feel that way. IE really worked for me, so I am grateful that I stuck to it. It is not the easiest path, nor the fastest, but I’m happy not to have to care at all whether it is holiday time, or there is a party, or other social engagement. This is the first holiday season I can remember where I actually feel free and can focus on other things besides calories or carbs. Of course this leads to CRAZY stuff, like trying comedy. Life is definitely for living these days. I stopped by and skimmed your blog this week, and I especially liked your take on grudges. I think I had a grudge against my folks, myself and God for making me fat. Not fair. But now I’m starting to let that go and not waste energy there. Tough one my friend, thanks for bringing it to mind with your wonderful writing. xoxoxoxox

      Reply

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