I AM WORTH MY WEIGHT!
by Rachel Leah Cohen
I could hear it with each step I took. DA-DUM. DA- DUM. The theme from Jaws, getting louder as I got closer. DA-DUM DA-DUM DA- DUM...louder...closer...my heart pounding...and I step on the scale...WHAT?!?!?!How in the hell could I have GAINED two pounds when all week I only ate grilled chicken, snow peas and celery. Do you know what grilled chicken tastes like with a side of snow peas and celery? It tastes like a diet.That was me for most of last year, in fact for most of my life. My life WAS a diet. Worse, it tasted like that, day in and day out. I was playing by all of the diet rules, the weight wasn't coming off, and I was a failure. I was lost.In addition to being a dieting failure, I also happen to be an actress. As a creative outlet, I decided to tell my woeful tales of dieting through writing a script.
Didn't really have any idea what I was going to do with it, but as I wrote more and started to share my stories, I realized that I was far from the only big girl on the block going through these ups and downs.
Hell, the block was filled with big girls, little girls, guys of all shapes and sizes...low self-esteem is not picky. We all succumb to it. We all look in the mirror and find something not to like. Something that makes us less than perfect. A fat roll, a wrinkle, a pimple.Strangely enough, as I dove further into my exploration of various dieting catastrophes, I actually started to lose weight. I went to a nutritionist and discovered that I'm allergic to certain foods that were preventing me from doing this before. So, physically, I was starting to get answers. Spiritually, I felt like I was confronting myself through my script, which I cleverly titled My Life Is A Diet. I wrote and produced the first episode and now it’s in the process of being sold to network television. I was releasing all of that pent up negativity and frustration. I was forgiving myself. Ironically, if I continue on this wonderful path and the show goes to TV, I may end up being too thin to play the role of myself because I have lost 80 pounds since this journey began. Ahhh, Hollywood.
You never open a door without closing a window. Seriously, now I'm healthier, happier, and liberated.
In fact, I may be going crazy with my new found freedom, because I've decided to run a marathon. I'd be lying if I said this was a lifelong dream. I actually made the decision after seeing the contestants run a marathon on The Biggest Loser (SUCH a great show) and wondering why the hell I couldn't do it too.
Honestly, though, these are people who had never run before in their lives, and there they were, pushing themselves past their limits, crying and sweating, and it was beautiful. I was inspired.I did my research on marathon training. Five month program, five days a week. Didn't know if I had enough inspiration in me for that. I needed something to run towards. Lucky me, I found Team In Training, an organization that raises funds to fight leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma and myeloma. When I started training, I didn't know anyone with blood cancers but that actually made the process more powerful for me. Over the course of my training, I have met people with lymphoma, heard stories of struggle and hope, and I carry ALL of these stories with every mile that I run. I'm running in honor of all individuals battling blood cancers. (See? Hollywood taught me something. When you run low on inspiration, borrow someone else's!)Life tastes a lot better these days. Even if it's the taste of my own sweat and spit as I pass the 18 mile mark. (Can you believe that?!? I ran 18 miles last week!!!) Having this goal helps all of that grilled chicken and celery go down a lot easier.
When I was in 6th grade, my parents gave me a postcard on the first day of school that I kept in my locker and still have today. It reads, “You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying.” Those words keep me moving, physically as well as emotionally.
I'll have more struggles, I'm sure. And my weight might even fluctuate a bit from time to time. But one thing I'm entirely sure of, this is the role I was born to play.