30 days of OA and body image story

Monday, October 27, 2014

My dear sparkfriends, you may remember 6 weeks ago when I posted my blog, Stopping my Slow Suicide by Spoon, www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
. I stated that I was going to find a eating disorder specialist for help.

Well, my insurance doesn't kick in till November 1. I did get a recommendation for a specialist, and I will see if they are on my plan when I get the paperwork. So, I chose a free option and began to attend Overeaters Anonymous meetings.

I found a wonderful group of people in OA. Understanding and acceptance. It is wonderful to be able to talk about compulsive eating and all its weird behaviors and be understood. Tonight, I received my 30 day chip. Each meeting, I find it easier to share and communicate to others and myself. I am still finding my way, but it is wonderful to have hope.

On another topic, I attended a free writing workshop run by a MFA professor here in New Orleans. We studied creative nonfiction, and she asked us to write about a memory of the lunchroom or cafeteria. What came to my mind was a merging of the OA meetings and my omnipresent ruminations on female beauty. Constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Till later, sparkfriends. Here is my memory......


I was a revelation of 2nd grade beauty. Sun kissed blonde hair teased to 80s perfection and frozen in time by Aqua Net. One of my five older sisters had been my beautician, and I was confident I was just like them – a magnificent Grigsby girl.

Sandwiched between 5 older sisters and 1 younger brother, I lived in my imagination. That day, with my new outfit from the Knoxville mall and big hair, I was consumed with wonder that I had ever questioned my beauty.

I strode into the lunchroom heads above my classmates, but not caring for the first time. I scanned the noisy cafeteria for my older sisters, finding them in a sea of laughing teenagers, each sister more beautiful than the last. And finally, I was like them, belonging in beauty.

I happily chose a green plastic tray and milk carton. The tasty smell of greasy pizza floated around the large cafeteria. I pointed at a pepperoni rectangle and went to the cashier. The buffet line opposite me fed another blonde 2nd grader to the cashier with me. We saw each other with wide eyes as the cashier loudly proclaimed, “TWINS! YA'LL ARE TWINS!” as she began to laugh.

My twin had my special, non hand me down, straight from the big city outfit! I stood there, suddenly too tall, chubby and awkward for the tropical print halter top short set. I hung my head and stared at my matching gel shoes. Beauty dissolved as I paid for the food and ran to the corner to seek comfort in the pizza.

Comfort that grew uncomfortable over the years as weight became another factor in my anti-beauty arsenal. The red faced 2nd grader and I share much for I still search and rarely find the smiling, confident Grigsby girl. I am a woman comfortable in discomfort, sheathed in fat and confident only in my unworthiness. I hear the smiling girl whisper to me, connected by this pen, laugh with the laughter and accept your powerlessness. The secret to learning to fly is accepting the possibility of the fall and trusting the sky.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for sharing this!
    It's great to hear you've found great support in OA. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    2356 days ago
    2356 days ago
    WONDERFUL writing. Just beautiful. So glad you've gotten the support form OA that you need . . . that's awesome.
    2359 days ago
    What a great piece of writing. Your description of the awful "balloon popping" moment where the idealized image of yourself in your head crashed into your unhealthy self image and left you stricken with shame was so powerful. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    2359 days ago
    OA is in my roots, too. Glad you found a home. And a voice. Beautiful sharing of your body image story... and you ARE beautiful!
    2359 days ago
    ((((HUGS)))) It's beautiful and sad at the same time. A reminder of how easily our "mantel" can be stripped away. ((((HUGS))))

    You know you are a beautiful woman. One who is smart and in her own right successful. One who routinely puts herself out there and makes sure life runs as smoothly as possible. Beauty isn't in your size. It's in the head you hold high when you figure out a way to steer people in the right direction without ever having them know what you are up to (yes you do this. You've done it with me). It's in the confidence you exude when you push people to be better than who they think they are. And it's in the courage you show when you keep fighting you demons instead of letting them win your internal war.

    Amazon warrior. They kept fighting until they the bitter end. They never really gave up. That's you. ((((HUGS))))

    2359 days ago
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