Hi, I'm Shar.
I'm 30, new to OA, and I'm a professional singer with a rock band. I guess you could call me a "wedding singer" lol. I'm writing today because I have a big gig this afternoon and I'm lacking confidence. We are going to be filming for a DVD.... and since our last DVD I have gained 30 lbs. Am I huge? no. But I used to pass for the stereotypical pop star - skinny with boobs. I wore outfits that showed my flat stomach and everyone called me sexy. Now, people don't recognize me.
True, 30 lbs isn't the end of the world. I feel guilty being in OA with others who need to lose a hundred or more, but for me, 30 pounds has changed my life... for the worse. My husband (who married me in my only skinny fase) calls the weight disgusting, unattractive, embarassing. He says he isn't attracted to me any more. We've had no love life since the weight came on two years ago. I lock the door to take a shower. When performing with my band, people who haven't seen me in a couple years often don't recognize me.... sometimes make comments.... it's horrible. And me? well, I have to keep performing under a spotlight, trying not to cry, trying to look confident and happy. Gotta pay the bills.
I have fewer gigs now than in my skinny days. My musicianship is just as good or better.... but I can't help noticing that I don't get nearly as many compliments at gigs any more. I spend hours trying to come up with that perfect outfit to wear that will magically hide my 30 lbs. Of course, it doesn't exist. But I keep looking anyways. It's hard enough being on stage and overweight, but to have a husband who doesn't approve makes it so much worse. I look in the mirror and hear his voice. "disgusting" "you have ROLLS!" "having sex with you now is like making love to a man" "you're not trying to lose weight - you're lazy" I could go on and on.
My true friends, of course, could care less about my weight. But society holds pop stars up to the standards of exotic dancers. If I had never gotten skinny, possibly this wouldn't be a problem. People would have always known me as the slightly chubby but talented musician. They wouldn't compare me to the swimsuit model days of my mid twenties. But society can be cruel.
So. Here I sit in my living room, getting ready to "pump myself up" with inspiring music and house cleaning. A clean house will make me feel more in control of my life and just a tad more confident. I am so grateful to have found this website..... so thankful that there is somewhere that people can relate (at least a little) to some of the things I'm going through and my struggles with weight and depression and body image.
NOW: I will tell you what I wish someone would tell me. (and if you're reading this, this is for you, I really mean it!) "You are beautiful just the way you are. You are beautiful inside and out - your intelect, how you see the world, who you REALLY are, is beautiful. Don't let anyone get you down. Let it run off like water off a duck's back. Your inner beauty shines outward through your physical self. You are unique and special. You have something to offer the world that no one else does, and THAT is why you must keep fighting every day. Don't give up. The world needs you for what you can give that no one else can - that is why you are here."
P.S. I am looking for a sponsor, so if this post resonates with you....
Welcome to OA, Shar, welcome home :-)
In this wonderful program, I am only responsible for my actions. I can not control the responses and reactions of others. All I can do is try and clean my side of the street, and turn it over to my HP.
TRG has a Sponsor Program for those who need a Step Sponsor, a Food Sponsor or both. To get a sponsor, go to www.therecoverygroup.org/sponsors.html. This is only available for members of TRG. To become a member of TRG, all you have to do is join one of our loops.
You are loved, and are always welcome here.
I am so glad that you wrote about this issue. I too am a musician... An amateur but I still was doing a lot of performing and then I gained 25 pounds or more and did not get up on stage for a year or so and really missed it but felt too fat to go onstage. In one way I am lucky in that I am a performer in the classical field so covering up is ok but even so I felt gross. I have no answer for you except to keep working this program. I need to do that too. My ex said the same kinds of things to me and it hurt a lot. We are divorced now and since our divorce I have gained 100 pounds. Funny partly I had married him because he was thin and I thought that would help me. I always idolized thin people as if somehow they are better than me. I still struggle with that. I am returning to the program now and praying for abstinence