your weight issues are getting old

In ALL, DYSFUNCTIONAL DIETER, INTROSPECTIONby Stephanie Klein32 Comments

From a no-bullshit reader named Maggie: The weight stuff is getting old. You wrote a book about your weight issues and it seemed at one point you were happy with yourself. Shit or get off the pot with this and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

FROM MOI: The weight stuff is getting old. And so am I, but “sorry for myself” isn’t how I’d categorize my feelings. It’s more that I’m mentally bitch-slapping myself into action. Because the truth is, I am happy with my bod; it’s just not happy with me. And my clothes fucking hate me. So, there’s that.

But, sweet Maggie (I love that name btw), I feel deliciously empowered when I remind myself that everything I do is actually a choice. We forget that sometimes. I’m not forced to do anything… save for taxes, death, and yes, the JCC bake sale where I’ll be making Red Velvet cake balls. Because balls are a good time.

Know what else is empowering? Sitting back to watch my mini-me parts scrap it out. There’s the part of me in a ruffled apron, all Anthropologie-style, who obsesses over bread puddings (omg, I have the best recipe ever!), who knows that no one remembers us for what we weigh—that our weights aren’t etched into our headstones. And with a marble rolling pin, she’s chasing the tyrant me (who unfortunately wears Lycra) who’s busy commanding that I eat clean and lean before the back of my neck starts to resemble a pack of hotdogs. That’s right, I get a front row seat, then recline with a bowl of imaginary cherries, snacking and loving up on the sweet me and the me who tends to complain about the pits. I’m just now beginning to accept and adore, quite frankly, both parts of me. Because we’re all like this about something. This happens to be my thing. As old as it is, if it’s not going anywhere, I might as well learn to love it (plus cherries have a low glycemic index).

Comments

  1. Here’s what is hard for me to stomach (no pun intended):
    From reading Moose, and your blog (where you once said that to lose 30 pounds in a month or two you need to diet something that involves powdered shakes), it is clear that for YOU, food loving, amazing baking, genetically pre-destined YOU, to be thin, you need to go to extremes. At what point do you say, I will never be thin but I will be curvy, gorgeous, happy, and FULL in all possible ways?

  2. For a long time now, I have been in the in-between state of figuring out if I hate my body and will fight against it, or if I will accept it and love it. I imagine its the same space you are in. I haven’t been able to commit to one side or the other, and I have been so mean and disrespectful to my body in the process of figuring it out. That’s why one of my new years resolutions this year is to accept and honor my body, no matter what size, and to treat it with respect. Of course to take on such a seemingly impossible endeavor, it might be helpful to have some tools and an action plan. These are the four things that I am using, maybe they will be helpful for you too:

    1. Do something creative everyday. (maybe instead of putting something on your mouth when you’re not really hungry)
    2. Start a committed yoga practice, with the intention of every yoga session to view yourself without judgment. Every session is like a meditation on acceptance of self and others.
    3. I am reading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, and navigating my way through transitioning into a whole foods, plants based diet. I have also been reading up on the PCRM website, and other published scientific research studies about all the health benefits of a vegan diet. I am finding the transition to be painless, and I feel great so far.
    4. Start thinking about body acceptance in a different way, try something new. See http://www.bodypositive.com

    My husband and I are thinking about starting a family. My mom passed on her issues with food and her relationship to her body on to me. I don’t want to continue that legacy to my children, its an awful burden for a little girl to have when they have enough negative messages about women thrown at them everyday from elsewhere. Its time we start treating and feeding our bodies as the goddesses we are.

  3. Weight issues are like alcoholism…they never go away, they are just “controlled”. One Day At A Time.

  4. I don’t think your weight issues are getting old at all. I think alot of people identify with the struggle. I am one of them…buffet panic and all! I’ve been up and down. I know how to lose weight and stay thin, but so many things get in the way – truly loving to cook and bake being one of them.

    Personally, I am inspired by your internal struggle between the ruffled apron-ed homemaker and the health nut. Where’s the fun in a life of protein shakes and steamed veggies??? But not being able to wear skinny jeans isn’t fun either.

    In your last post, you publicly stated your conscious desire to make the right food and health choices for yourself. You weren’t going to crash diet or workout incessantly, but rather you were making sound, balanced decisions toward a happier you.

    Well there you go…you were taking action! That was your shit or get of the pot moment. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you keep us posted on your progress…

  5. I thought the same thing after your last post. Weight. Again. Another “choose life, not food” post. I read the comment from one of your long time readers (and dare I say-superfans) that said “be kind to yourself, your children are watching” and my thinking immediately shifted to picturing your daughter (or son) talking about her weight from the time she’s able to write through her 30s and beyond on whatever medium the kids will have that’s akin to blogs or facebook or whatever in 2041. And I thought, how sad.

    Having said that, I get your issue. I get being tired and not liking the way you look when you’re rounder or your pants no longer need a belt because they are so tight they hold themselves up. I’ve had the same issues since my early adolescence. I get it. So where’s the draw. Do you continue to talk about this every few weeks (now months since you only blog once or twice a week now)? Do you continue to make the same claims late December/early January because it’s your blog and you can do what you want? I’m not sure. But I will tell you it’s become a bit ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ year after year.

    Something akin to “I know I shouldn’t because my pants are tight, but there’s figgy pudding to be made for the beans country club party, tra-la-la!” in December. Then come January and the year beyond, “I wish I hadn’t and I vow to only write/eat clean/workout.

    Then comes the boredom. “I need stimulation! Coffee Shops! Solo movies with malt balls in popcorn! Sell a tv show! Be on OWN or in O Magazine! Be thought of as a better hostess! Be thought of as the best, most gracious guest with the best, most gracious hostess gifts! (those last two are all about some deep seeded need to be seen as thoughtful, different, and unique…another tired theme around these parts).

    It’s hard to tell where you’re at. You only ever seem to get excited about paper products (stationery) and throwing parties where you surround yourself with people only to feel fat self conscious about how ravenous you are.

    You don’t write about your next book (girl scouts?). Maybe being a published author isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? You don’t write about your scripts unless you make a vague reference to flying to LA or how they rejected them. You don’t walk around Austin and take pictures. You haven’t made a video with Phil in a while. There’s gotta be more going on in your head other than weight and parties that leave you feeling inadequate.

    What else is in there?

    1. Author

      I totally appreciate this comment. Seriously. Thank you. So here’s the deal: I don’t write about my next book because, well, it will be in the book, right? I mean, why bother with the book when you can get the general gist of what I learned, how I suffered, the new issues in my life, here on the blog? To me it just makes the material feel stale once it’s in the book. It is the same reason I don’t write about what’s going on with my “Hollywood Life.” Because executives read the blog and don’t want to see me giving up the private details of a deal, of a show, etc. It’s why I didn’t mention the subject of the show I was pitching until I finished pitching it. But I was living it… day in, day out, in my dreams, but I couldn’t blog about it. So, that’s one thing that sucks.

      I have just created deadlines for myself, which means writing, like it or not, for the next book, and the Moose screenplay. I’m also working on a new TV series with producers attached. All that writing, plus a blog. A blog where I feel I can’t, where I feel my hands are tied. Where I don’t leave the house with a camera because I’m locked up in my snot-stained sweats, writing. Writing that no one sees until it’s published, which, again, sucks. Maybe I’m self-imposing this “can’t,” and maybe this “can’t” needs to change somewhat. But an example is this: I work so hard to come up with the right pitch for a show idea, 3 ideas, whatever it is. And I CANNOT share a single detail on my blog because that defeats the whole purpose of these pitches and deals. And believe me, I’ve very very fortunate to be represented by a literary agent, plus CAA and Kaplan/Perrone (more agents and managers). So, what it comes down to here is priorities.

      When I began this blog in January 2004, I was working in advertising (where I didn’t write for a living), so I could write anything on my blog. It was my writing outlet. Now, my writing outlets are my books and scripts, plus show ideas, and a show, plus magazine editors coming to me asking if I’ll contribute (I’m not complaining; it’s awesome!). So, I’ll admit it, I’m often left feeling like I have nothing left to say here. Other than my day to day… today I did this and this and this. And really, do people want to read that? No insight, just what I’ve done with my day?

      Plus, who am I kidding, I haven’t been good about doing morning pages (where I get really creative). And I guess, Danielle, you just helped me really find my new year’s resolution: to do my morning pages and take myself out once a week on artist dates, like it or not. Those morning pages are something I can share on the blog.

      Phil, oh, Phil. That is part (not a huge part, but a part) of the material for my next book. Therapy, the fights, the opinions, the bully, the love, the sex, the power struggles, parenting, the exes.

      Again, it comes down to priorities, right? Shooting those videos, editing them, takes time. I love doing them, and would do more if someone else edited them, filmed them, dealt with them. I just have too much going on.

      When I work on a writing project, I want to crawl into a cave and just write write write, for days. I don’t want to stop because I’m “in it.” It excites me. I love everything about it. I become alive. But the rest of my life kinda goes away. I’m working on the hard-stop at 4pm thing, but man, it’s really really hard to stop when I’m in a flow. And so easy never to start writing when I’m instead shopping for wedding gifts, wrapping them just so, baking, cooking, searching for recipes and kid-friendly cooking and activities, working with Lucas with occupational issues, etc. Some days I just feel stretched too thin, and unfortunately, blogging then feels like a chore instead of a “I can’t NOT write about this on the blog!” So, sometimes I have to step away. Does that make sense? It’s why the Straight Up Answers is so good… someone else gets advise/help, and it’s easy and quick for me to weigh in.

      I’m sorry if I’m letting people down. I’m doing the best I can.

    2. Author

      Oh, and as for the “how sad” remark about my daughter… she would NEVER know that I don’t absolutely love myself.

      Almost daily she sees me prancing around naked, dancing, not ashamed. I look in the mirror and tell her she’s beautiful, just like mama is. She sees me love myself, and she has never ever heard me complain or say I feel fat because I don’t say those words to anyone. I write them, might think them, but I don’t say them. Not to her, not to Phil, not to even aloud to myself.

      We always eat dinner together, the four of us, and we all eat the same things, no special meals for anyone. So, it’s not like mama eats salad. Mama, why don’t you eat what we’re eating? No and no. Doesn’t happen.

      1. I appreciate your first response. We all get spread thin (no pun intended). We all have classes to race to and from, meals to cook, work to do, flights to catch. I’d rather read a post about that than Straight Up Answers, Which do feel quick, and frankly rather lazy.

        In regards to “how sad” I believe you’ve stated that you’d never hide your blog from your children. It’s available to them, it’s for them (though not about them, even though they are in it. It’s about you), it’s here as part of you.

        Good habits are incredible. Healthy dinners and family time go a long way. But you don’t ever think 14-year old abigail will be reading this and think about how her pants fit? Or ask mama why she was so unhappy at 118, but always complained at 140? You don’t think she will wonder why all of this was going on inside and she never saw it? Like you were wearing a mask of happiness and comfort when inside you felt uncomfortable and there will be archives-years of archives that will tell her just that.

        Maybe all those emotions are a bit too sophisticated for a 14 year old, but I would wonder. I’ve always seen my mother as a confident, professional, kick-ass business woman. I’m in my late 20’s and a few days ago she confessed that she didn’t think she was a very good mother because she focused too much on her career and traveled a lot in my youth on business (this isn’t a SAH v Working Mom debate, she just wished she was around more). She had just gone to confession to talk about it (again). It shook me. I never saw that. I never saw anyone but a hard worker and a great mom. But she felt it, and I guess still feels in inside. I disagree, but knowing that’s how she felt even though she never showed it had a surprising effect on me.

        Don’t discount the possibility that despite what you show, what Abby will read will influence her more.

        1. Author

          I believe that we all have our own journeys and truth, gut, whatever you want to call it. I sincerely doubt my kids would even want to read my blog, but I have nothing to “hide.” Am I going to worry that they’ll one day read about my finger up the ass maneuver with a dude who sprayed PAM cooking spray on his Johnson? No. Because the minute I start to worry what someone, anyone, will think about how I feel, what I’ve done, etc. is the minute I stop being truly authentic and real and honest. I want my children to live the same way, to be true to their own guts, and not let fear of what anyone (including me) will think, or how they’ll be influenced, etc.

          Know how prego moms sometimes keep journals and give them to their child once they’re all grown up? Most of us don’t care. We don’t want to read it. It’s boring a lot of the time (my parents didn’t do this, so I don’t know exactly, but I can guess). It’s old news. It’s not now, how they feel right now, in the present, is so much more interesting than how they felt, what they thought, ages ago.

          Like I said, we all suffer in this lifetime, we all have our own battles, with something. For me, it’s weight, and more recently it’s about dreams and figuring out what they are (not quite suffering, but there’s angst there). I think what matters most with any of it is learning how to move through it, to keep at it, to continue in the face of setbacks and uncertainty, to risk, and to learn. That’s what I hope to teach my children.

  6. I’d probably replace my love of cooking all things fatty & sugary with another creative outlet — oil or watercolor painting or sculpting…you’re artistically talented; maybe worth giving a shot. I keep my cupboards pretty bare of temptations, and use unsweetened applesauce with crumbled graham crackers to satisfy my cravings.

    1. Author

      Yes, promise. See, it’s not my recipe. A new couple came to my New Year’s Brunch, and this man made the very best bread pudding I’ve ever had in my life. So I am getting the recipe from him, and I guarantee you, if you make it, and bring it anywhere, people will feel the need to touch you. To lean on you. To want to have your babies, or give you babies. It’s that good. So, as soon as I get it, I will post it.

  7. The thing that gets me when reading about your weight is I’m the same weight/height as you (at least, the last time I heard you reference either number, we were). Do I feel better at 140? Yes. Am I fat at 150? No. At least, I don’t feel fat, until I read your blog. Then I kinda feel like sh*t, because even 140 seems to equal fat (and I looked and felt my best at 140, when I was hitting the gym and not worrying about what I ate – much better than 125 and living on brownie pie and Mountain Dew — ahh, the college years).

    It’s your blog, your platform to say what you feel, and that I applaud you for (“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” – Anaïs Nin <– this quote reminds me very much of your writing). But, for the record, I do get where Maggie is coming from.

    1. Author

      I’m 5’5″ and right now weigh 148. Before I left for Vegas and NY, I weighed 135 and my clothes, ya know, fit. Now, my fat clothes are tight, cutting into me, shirts buckle. It ain’t good. FOR ME. Courtney, if I read somewhere that someone who was 5’5″ weighing 125 felt fat, it would NOT make me feel fat. I feel fat when my clothes don’t fit, when everyone around me is slim and fit. Because I used to be slim and fit. I’m not asking for miracles here. I just want to fit into my clothes.

      And, just FYI, the whole, “I can have more of this any time I’d like. I needn’t shovel it all in and eat my plate clean, now. I can always have more” thing doesn’t work when I’m in Vegas and NY because I CAN’T have it any time I’d like. So I loaded up and never stopped, wanting so much to eat every last opportunity while I had the chance. Now, I’m back in Austin, where if you ask for a napkin, they slab a piece of brisket on it, and quite frankly, I want to become a vegetarian again (I did it for 9 years once upon a time ago). But I won’t because I love lamb too much. And lean turkey rollups keep me from starving.

      1. If I read somewhere that someone who was 5’5″ weighing 125 felt fat, it wouldn’t make me feel fat either, because I would then just think they were nuts; they’re on the lower end of a normal BMI.

        My main point was I get where Maggie is coming from – hearing you’re 148 and referring to yourself as chunky is old/annoying/whatever you want to call it. You’re a writer, your writing evokes feeling in your readers, and that’s the feeling this topic highlighted in this manner evokes for me, so I shared.

        I can identify with the last part of your comment, though. Every time I go back home (Tennessee – good ole Southern food) I gain 5 pounds, literally. Because I want all of my favorite foods. Because I usually only get them once a year. Except this year, when I’ve been home 3 times in the last 3 months. So it’s time to start eating all the fresh veggies and fruits California has to offer so I too can fit back into my jeans comfortably.

  8. So grumpy readers are bored with the topic? tough for them,I always find your blog stimulating, entertaining and unique in comparison to most of what is out there. I find you to be an original thinker and an original voice.

    re: weight loss. If the richest woman in the country, with every resource including a full-time chef, has to revisit this issue annually, if 95% of the folks who lose weight regain it, if weight loss is the most psychologically, emotionally, physically complicated medical challenge that remains unsolved, then you are in good company when you have to revisit the issue. Good for you for having such small “fat” clothes.

    Say what you want, when you want, how you want, and let the grumpy folks read elsewhere. You don’t owe readers anything, they have thousands of other blogs to choose from if they don’t like yours.

    To the dissatisfied i say: Leave Stephanie alone to do what she does best – to express herself.

  9. I don’t mind your weight issues, ’cause unfortunately, I relate to them as well. Weight management will always be a struggle for me..one that unfortunately I’m not doing shit about at the moment. I’d love nothing better than to be over that crap, but how to do that exactly eludes me. So I can’t help but wonder if it’s an inability to relate, or just straight up tired of hearing about it. I wish I didn’t relate!

  10. Danielle, I get where you are coming from, some of this occurred to me also as I read.
    Stephanie, I pretty much figured that the reason your blog feels “neglected” of late is the reason(s) you point out.

    But: I think it’s so ironic that the blog that was the catalyst for all the rest (books, TV, movie) has fallen by the wayside for these other forms of media. Don’t blame you for your priority shift. Just find it ironic. And maybe even in some way reassuring, in that old media are surviving.

    But the blog used to be fun, interesting etc. and it’s none of those things now. Another way you might look at it is that the blog keeps your readers and potential readers involved with your life and awaiting the…book? TV show? You can’t assume they’ll all be waiting when this finally comes to fruition if you have not continued to cultivate them. The throughline gets lost. For example, as much as your openness about your relationship shocked me, it was just as jarring when you stopped mentioning such things as Phil’s health, your therapy, etc. It’s like you got us started and then–gone. Never mentioned again.

    It’s hard not to lose interest and move on to the next blogger who has a throughline. Just saying.

    1. Author

      Woman, I hear ya. Wish I knew what was fun and interesting. As for Phil, we’ll see how he fucks things up next. My tongue is getting used to my cheek. And believe me, I don’t take my blog or its readers for granted. So, thank you for sticking by while I’ve been stuck. Topics and suggestions do make it easier it on me because then I get to think, you get to think, there’s a discussion (that was, indeed, a hint). I think people respond to different topics depending on where they are in their own lives, too. It’s why I don’t always write about parenting or food or marriage or Austin. Though, my passions change every now and then. Sometimes I’m obsessed with makeup and accessories, recipes, craft projects, so I want to share. I know one of my strengths is writing about relationships. I don’t know why. I think what so many readers really relate to are feelings, no matter where they are in the game. So, I’m taking that to heart. My feelings always come out in my morning pages. So, I’ll start there.

      And again, thank you.

      1. I hear you. You’re a mom but not a mommy blogger. Although I think your regular readers love the kid stuff. We are investedin Lucas’ MRI. (what did the doc say) We’re invested in Phil’s health (how is he?) Those loose ends….

        Having a blog with mixed content is always hard but at least you established a readership with your original SATC type material and they grew with you. And you added others.

        Your best material has to be reserved for the other projects. I so get it. I agree that you’re good at the relationship stuff. And we all love a window into other relationship dysfunctions. And they’re all dysfunctional, to one degree or another. And we all love to give advice, even if we aren’t all that good at taking it.

        I love reading your candid takes on marriage. But my God, how on earth do you manage to keep a healthy marriage if it’s played out in media? That’s definitely something I wonder about.

        Anyway, I’m sticking with the blog and you and watching as you expand into other media. (Didn’t read Moose, though. Don’t like reading about weight issues, have them, myself)

        I’m loving the pix of the twins growing up, so beautiful, both of them. Your photos are exceptional. And I do kind of like Phil as a foil to you. He seems like a great guy and a fabulous dad but I sure wish he were more respectful of you. And hope his health is ok. All of that makes for an interesting blog–just your day to day fascinates.

        Keep doin’ what you’re doin. Scare us, entertain us, piss us off, drive us crazy, inspire us, make us laugh–you engage your readers in a unique way, Stephanie, and that’s what it’s all about. From one writer to another.

  11. Even as a ‘super fan’, I must agree with Danielle and Carol. Danielle in that no matter how great you think your mask is – the fact that all of the ‘truth’ is out here will be fascinating reading for your daughter. My daughters love nothing better than coming across some old yearbook or love letter of mine…drives me crazy. I can’t imagine what they’d do with a public account of the private stuff of life. But that’s why I don’t blog.

    And to Carol’s point – I used to cringe and squirm when I’d read the blog. I would go away and it would stick – would bug me – would make me think. Now I appreciate it like a nice bunch of flowers – and move on. To me – it used to be like watching “Six Feet Under” or “The Sopranos” – I’d hold my breath and dread what was coming next – but I wouldn’t consider not watching. Now – it’s like a pleasant re-run of Martha Stewart.

    I don’t envy you – I’ve always wondered how you could bear to bare your soul and balance the world.

  12. Just wanted to chime in and say how nice it is to hear YOU again, even if it is just in the comments. I miss that sassy voice (wow-remember that magazine) no matter the topic. Also, not sure if 148 pounds qualifies as a weight issue. I know what you mean when you say you want to fit into your clothes and can lose 10-15 pounds, but you are still healthy and normal. What happened to normal? Why is it always skinny vs. fat. Surely there is some room to be neither, right? You are a normal weight and probably want to feel better, and I am right there too, but not sure if that would objectively qualify as a weight issue.

    Good luck with all the writing. Exciting to see what comes next. I for one will always check in, sometimes not as frequently as others, but you are still a great writer.

    1. Author

      Thank you. I needed that. See this isn’t coming to me as “news.” I feel it too when it feels like a chore to have to blog, so of course it’s not what it always has been. And I totally needed that reminder about being a great writer. Some days you just can’t see your own talents and gifts. So, I am now inspired to be me, the real ME on the blog. It might be TMI, though. Just saying. And the only thing I “can’t” write about besides my writing projects is my mother-in-law.

  13. I thought I would add my perspective as a new*ish* reader. I am Happy with everything you are putting out…Keep up the awesome work!

  14. The irony here is that you aren’t overweight! If you were to sign up for Weight Watchers right now they’d certainly take your money and register you, but after weighing you they would also say you are in what they consider a healthy weight range for your height. Are you ‘fat’ by Hollywood standards? Most definitely! But so am I and 99% of the population. But it’s ridiculous to hold yourself to that kind of standard and will only make you miserable (I know, you’re not saying you want to be a size 0, but for some of us a size 4 is just as elusive).
    I am your height and just a few pounds lighter. So say you want to lose weight, fine–we all have different notions of what weight will make us happy. But don’t say you have a weight problem because you don’t. And to claim you do is just insulting.

    1. Author

      Okay, let’s put this to bed and tuck it in. I am actually 5’4 1/2″ tall, but I round up to 5’5″. Let’s just assume I am, indeed exactly 5’5″, weighing in at 148 lbs (though today I was 146). That gives me a BMI of 24.6. That puts me at the very high end of “normal” teetering on being classified as overweight. I’d prefer a BMI of 22ish. Now, if we round down to 5’4″ at 148, that puts me into a BMI of 25.4, making me officially overweight. That’s too close for comfort to unhealthy for me.

      I’d like to be in the middle of normal, not tipping over into the overweight zone. And for the record, I never said I was overweight. I said I was fat. And, I have zero desire to be a size 4. I was a miserable motherfucker as a size 4. But somehow, as a size 6, I was strong, didn’t have to work too hard, clothes felt good, and I didn’t feel self-conscious. I guess what I’m saying is this: I think we all want to be at a place where we feel like we’re our best selves, not perfect ideal selves, but we’re doing our best. We want to feel at ease about our bodies, to not feel self-conscious. I don’t care what a scale or BMI chart tell me. I just want to live life a little lighter, breezier. I want to be able to run, to keep up, to feel fit. AND I want to be able to make raised yeast waffles for the kids and have one myself. I think that’s attainable and realistic. No matter what any of us weigh, as long as our doctors tell us we’re healthy, then we should aim to live a breezy life. And that’s my goal, to feel breezy.

  15. Thanks for the clarifying comments, it all makes more sense now. Rut or no rut, I keep coming to see what you have to say all the time anyway.

  16. Steph, I too am 5’5″ and 148-ish pounds and I too feel F-A-T. I am also perfect at a size 4 but happiest at a size 6. Rock on sistah. And good luck on your morning pages and artist dates. I am starting those this week myself. Thank you for sharing yourself.

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