Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Like This Kind of Meltdown

**NOTE: I'm taking a sabbatical this week to heal from a minor injury and rebalance some energy. So this week, I've updated and reposted my most popular post to date. It highlights my encounter with miracles and a magnificent seven-month healing experience that involved losing 85 pounds and 7 dress sizes by literally disposing of dead weight. I used to worry that sharing my awakening in a tongue-in-cheek fashion might embarrass the incredible healer who continues to help me. But, he's used to me now. So in addition to entertaining you, I hope to inspire each of you to step outside your comfort zone and become who you are meant to be. New original one-liners will fill the Jokebox next Wednesday. May your week be filled with love and laughter! Nancy Jo

If your waist size exceeds gas prices, you don't need a psychic to tell you you're heading towards tubby time.

Take that from someone viewed as vivid– someone such as me. While I've often dreamed of becoming larger than life, I never intended to become so large that I simultaneously transformed into two lives. After all, why would I want to double my pleasure and double my fun? I'm not a stick of gum – although plenty of relatives and companions have taken the liberty to chew me up, spit me out and stick me under the table.

Yep, I grew up feeling unloved and shoved aside. So early on, I developed a love affair with food. I just managed for the most part to find ways to keep the weight near the 127-pound range. It wasn't so much that I detested being dowdy. I was simply too cheap to invest in new clothes.

So imagine growing into your own. In my case, growing into my own involved blossoming into 256 pounds of pure me. Now, let's toss more pain into the dish of discomfort. I live in Hollywood where obesity experts view two out of three people as three out of four. I use that as an excuse of why my momma gave this Texas gal two first names.

Well in this amazing success story, I am the big winner in a losing battle that began 10 years ago – when I was 12 and had natural pseudo-red hair. OK, there's an element of fiction woven into this tale! But it's my story, and I'm sticking to it just like the weight used to stick to my hips.

It's a testimony of tragedy. It's also a love story. Our protagonist is misconception disguised as dead weight. In the first act, hate takes center stage and puts self-esteem in jeopardy. It is going to take insight and ingenuity in psychic proportions to heal the heart of the heroine with divine love.

It just so happens I play the lead. The supporting actor calls himself an intuitive "healer with psychic gifts as a by-product." I call him Paris because – well, that's his name. I'm not sure about his age. But if life begins at 40, I'm pretty sure he's a toddler. Plus he's in Hollywood so he needs to be that young.

As the story unfolds, I was between jobs when I headed for Cody, Wyoming, in search of fame and fortune and a free place to stay while I visited Yellowstone. Part of the deal in exchange for room and board was to step on stage as a star in a play. I thought, "I can do that! It is my destiny to become larger than life!"

My stunning performance literally shattered life as I knew it in a matter of seconds. On the second day of rehearsal, all 127 pounds of me was jostled from the stage. I'm proud to say I landed on my feet just like a cat. But, I didn't walk away gracefully with feline finesse. I didn't walk away at all. I dislocated and sustained multiple fractures to both ankles.

Surgeons took my smashed smithereens, seven hours, super glue and several screws to literally reconnect my feet to the rest of me. Three surgeries and 12 days of morphine later, experts predicted this human hardware store would never walk again. I thought perpetuity would include orthopedic shoes, a cane and patience for when all that metal sets off the TSA scanners at the airport.

Immobility put a halt to meaningful activities such as martial arts, which had kept me kicking and slightly slim. So when I had to hang up my frayed brown belt that was on the cusp of turning black, my self-esteem went down and my weight went up! It didn't stop until I tipped the scales at 256 pounds.

The downward spiral into the basement of dismay continued for a decade. I actually thought I was cursed. Nothing I tried helped. I lost my mind. I lost hope. I lost touch with my dreams. I even lost my car keys. But I never lost the weight.

An abusive family and companion compounded to the problems. I was at wit's end. That was bad since possessing wit is part of a comedy writer's job description.

Some of you are now saying, "Nancy Jo, you could have gotten rid of 128 pounds if you had just gotten rid of your companion."

My answer to that is, "Don't be cruel! My companion only weighed 118 pounds." Sheesh! Why make this a bigger issue than it is?

Fast forward to mid-February of this year when I was cast in a pilot for a possible show starring Paris the psychic healer. Scoff if you want, my family did. But, Paris saw all kinds of self-loathing, fear and pain hiding under the poundage packed into my plumpness. He pulled and tugged until I let that energy go during a half-hour made-for-TV exorcism.

The result was an honest-to-goodness spiritual awakening that lifted dead energy, a life-time of lies and images of non-loving deceit. Oddly enough, those traits literally weighed 85 pounds and took up seven dress sizes. Now when I look in the mirror each morning, I want to call the police and report an intruder because I still don't recognize me. But I'm beginning to love that image and the dreams of what the woman facing me is yet to be.

In the course of working with Paris, I have become closer to God than I have ever been in my life. Some of you will believe this story. Some of you won't. And, I really don't care where you fit in. I view this experience as miraculous. This process uncovered my heart! Years of useless, ugly decoupage was stripped away and is now being replaced with love for my creator and love for me.

After all that flab flew from my frame, I now spend a mile in solitude each day, literally walking through my neighborhood, up four flights of stairs and right beside God. I no longer need a walking cane, although I suspect I'll always raise cane. That is simply a part of my DNA makeup. Three or four times a week, I also participate in a Zumba class, where I am able to engage in almost all the full-impact exercises – with the exception of trying to shimmy. And that is only because this white girl lacks rhythm.

Amazingly, I continue to drop pounds – and dress sizes – on what I'm calling the "Casablanca Diet." That's because Humphrey Bogart would say, "We'll always have Paris."

And I don't care who knows it. I'm shouting news of my progress from the mountain top. Hey, I can't afford to be humble. I need to buy some smaller clothes. And I don't need a psychic –or a healer – to tell me clothes are more expensive than gas prices.

** Nancy Jo's Note: The facts of this essay and psychic healer Paris are real. If you think he could help you unload dead weight, leave a comment here, join me Facebook or e-mail with Nancy Jo's Jokebox in the subject line. Messages will be forwarded to Paris's staff.

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