Getting into My Body

One thing I learned about myself on “Dancing with the Stars” is how startlingly insecure I am about my body. I am thin enough, I suppose, but I know I am not as healthy as I can be. I felt clumsy and awkward among the svelte, swanlike figures of Jennifer and Brandi and Audrina – I am not ‘in’ my body as they seem to be, and my dancing was heavily influenced by that.

When you are dancing, you have to constantly look at yourself in the mirror, which I had great problems with. I don’t look in the mirror much. I never have. I never watch myself perform, with the exception of when I am playing music, but then I am usually looking for mistakes I have made on guitar so I can correct them, or I am watching the other musicians. Having to watch myself and preparing for other people to watch me dance was nerve racking, not because I expected myself to be such a good dancer, but because I am so unaware and out of touch with my physical body, it was like I was having to power myself with a remote control with fading batteries. There was a tabloid story about how I was the obnoxious one backstage at DWTS, but I don’t know who could have said this because frankly I never said a word backstage. I didn’t speak at all because I was so terrified of having to be compared to the beautiful dancers next to me. One contestant and corresponding partner would say almost every taping, “Stop being so nervous!” which just made me feel worse.

What sucks is I danced beautifully in rehearsals whenever my wonderful partner Louis and I were alone, but this was completely frustrating because when we would get out on the ballroom floor I couldn’t replicate it because I felt so weird about the way I looked. This hit me as so strange because I thought I had left all these physical insecurities and self doubt behind, but what truly happened was I was just in denial about how much self hatred I had left in me. Now I really need to let this go, not just for myself, but for everyone in my life, everyone who comes to see me perform, everyone who hears my voice and gets it and loves it. We need to feel good about ourselves, not just for competition shows or dance contests, but so we can truly live.

I started to regress into bad habits while DWTS training. I would put on my eating dress and panic-eat entire pizzas and boxes of chocolates. I have no problem eating this way to satisfy hunger, but I wasn’t eating two whole pizzas and entire boxes of sees candy (large from Dominos with extra pepperoni, sausage – seriously along with one bite each of every chocolate in a big boxed assortment because of pickiness) because I was hungry. I wasn’t hungry – because I was already eating these balanced meals we got for free so we wouldn’t pass out from all the training – there was no starvation going on, that’s for sure. I was eating because I was so scared all the time (golden oreos became my life). I could tell that this obsessive behavior wasn’t about eating, it was about escape. My mouth would be all torn up from biting the insides of my cheeks, because I was so desperate to get the food down so fast I wasn’t chewing properly. I was trying to run away into the cheese, into the caramel filling, into the creamy lard middle of the golden oreo. This was super scary.

I don’t want to do this to myself anymore. I have been trying to eat healthier to get some sanity around food. I know that I am an addictive personality, especially when it comes to food, but you can’t give up food like you can give up drugs and alcohol. We have to eat, so we have to face food and face it several times a day. I am making a commitment to myself to eat better and get into my body. I am trying to work out more, not to lose weight or get fit, but to get inside my skin. I did this briefly with bellydance and burlesque, but now DWTS has shown me I really need to get more committed to really living my life. I know it’s just reality TV, but interestingly enough, it made my reality more real and I am changing my life for the better.

I will be back in the audience next week to cheer on the stars and their pro dancers, feeling radiant and confident and happy, knowing I will dance again another day. And though it was hard, I have fond memories of dancing on that floor. Although it unearthed a world of pain I didn’t even know existed, there were moments where I have never felt so beautiful (especially in the gay pride rainbow flag dress).

I’d love to hear your stories about body issues like this. I need some help and guidance and support. Also I am getting physical trainers in every city on my tour, so if you do this for a living, I’d love to meet you!

69 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. Thank you for sharing yourself so honestly. I can completely relate to the stress eating and body insecurity. Please know that your words are helping the rest of us. Well at least me in realizing that I am not alone in this crazy insecurity and stress eating.

    BTW-you were awesome on DWTS. I think the judges were way too hard on you. You deserved better scores!

  2. Aww, baby girl. Chin up. You’re beautiful and you’re taking the right path to overcome your insecurities.

  3. Actually those bad foods you listed ARE addictive – just like cigarettes, alcohol, etc. You need to treat them and understand them as the drugs they are. I doubt you would compulsively eat the good stuff. Once you give them up for a period of time, just like with cigarettes, you won’t even crave them any more. Some of them may actually repulse you. Eating better will not only improve your body, but it will improve your psyche as well. If you have issues with depression, those will disappear if you feed your body properly. Good luck!

  4. I have so much love for you Margaret. I voted for you every week and was crushed when you were eliminated. Your words resonate deeply for me, and I identify with your struggles around body image. Good on you for doing what what you need to renew your strength and self-confidence.

    I take bellydance classes, and I love the feeling of joy and physical release that dance gives me, but in class I keep my eyes locked on the teacher, because it makes me sad to watch myself in the mirror. I don’t look like the young, thin college girls who are my classmates. I have to focus on the skill mastery and block out what I think a dancer “should” look like.

    I can’t figure out how to reconcile my queer politics with what bellydance represents, so I think I’m just strengthening my body and challenging my mind. To start looking at myself without the judgment, and even to perform, would be the biggest challenge of all.

  5. Margaret, maybe that is exactly what DWTS was about for you. Maybe it had nothing to do with dance but everything to do with working on your self love. Since getting sober I’ve begun to realize that nothing happens by chance.

    You know you have a crapload of fans that will love you no matter what you look like. Keep that in mind. We would all love to love ourselves and feel love from others. All any of us can do is work on it one day at a time in our own little ways. And you can make sure we are laughing as we do it!!

    Keep up the great work!!!!!!

  6. I have been struggling with these same issues my whole life. I had gotten to a point after my divorce where I was feeling so good about myself and my body. I wasn’t thin by society’s standards, but I was healthy and really living my life. I met the love of my life, and we had a baby together and were so happy. And then came Hurricane Katrina. We lost our home, most of our possessions, and worst of all we lost our sense of purpose and family. Now it’s five years later, and some of the emotional wounds are healing, I cannot lose the weight I gained after the hurricane, nor have I found my happiness or sense of purpose. You are not alone!

  7. For whatever it’s worth, I honestly think you’re one of the hottest, sexiest, most beautiful women I’ve ever seen (this, by the way, is coming from a heterosexual man). I suppose some of that comes from your personality and because I find you to be so smart, funny, and talented. But beyond that, you’re just hot. I could go into depth about how hot I think you are, but it would come across as creepy, so I’ll spare you the details. But I think you’re gorgeous and I’m still holding out hope that you’ll end up posing for Playboy (I’m still hoping you weren’t joking about that). Love you!

  8. I feel the same way about my body. I have exactly 2 mirrors in my house. 1 in each bathroom. In the one I use the mirror is attached to my medicine cabinet. Which I leave open so I don’t have to look in the mirror. The inside of my mouth is also torn up. Mostly from nerves.

    I’ve had issues with food all of my life. My mother put me on my first diet when I was 3. I remember my godfather trying to buy me an ice cream from the ice cream truck. I kept saying no mommy says I can’t have any sweets. He kept saying I won’t tell her.

    I’ve been as fat as 250lbs. I’m also a shortie. About 5ft1in. So you can imagine just how fat I looked. This past year I lost 60lbs. I honestly don’t know how I did it. I am eating less but I didn’t think it would make that big of a difference.

    One of the hardest things is I don’t feel like myself. I look down at my legs and think hmm who’s legs are those. I’ve talked to a couple other friends who lost a ton of weight and they said the same thing. It didn’t feel like their body anymore. As time goes on with my “new body” I’m feeling less unattached to my body. I still have a long way to go before I look like a normal weighted person but it’s happening for the first time in my life.

    I suggest you don’t lose a whole lot of weight. Quite frankly I don’t think you need to. Just get to where you feel healthy because I’ve noticed that no matter how much weight you lose you’re never completely happy. There are always going to be areas that you “feel” you need to work on whether you do or you don’t.

    As far as foods go I’ve also noticed that natural foods tend to help you lose weight more quickly. I had an argument with my mother a while back because she’s addicted to pasta and she tells me I shouldn’t eat rice because it’s fatening. My comeback was Mom look at the people from Itally and look at the people in Asian countries. Now tell me how pasta is less fatening than rice. I’m totally convinced my diet of rice and vegtables has actually helped in me losing weight.

    Just do your best to stay away from processed foods. Those things are horrible for you and tend to pack on the pounds. I try to stick to foods that are naturally grown. If it grow that way then it has no business being in my stomach is how I look at it.

    Anyway good luck with your diet. I’m sure by this time next year you’ll be one of those svelt woman. :)

    P.S. I think you’re the funniest female comic and I LOVE when you do your bits on your mother. Make me laugh so much I cry.

  9. I have struggled as well with body issues for a very long time. I have recently begun a program of “clean eating” that limits some fat and calories and adds activity. Nothing extreme but for me it has worked. No chemicals or Rx. I have lost 67 pounds since March. Now, that being said, I still obsess over every glance in the mirror, but I am doing some work on me inside too and it is getting a tiny bit better. I loved you on DWTS. You ARE NOT the size 0 dancer but you are the honest, this is me dancer. I applaud your courage and convictions. Muah.

  10. I really appreciate your honesty in talking about these issues, not just now, but throughout your career. Getting this out in the open is so important, and your openness and public vulnerability about this allows so many other people to know that they are not the only ones who go through this sort of experience. Don’t underestimate the value in that!

    My work is all about helping women of all sizes, ages, etc. feel comfortable and sexy in their skin through Pin-Up and Burlesque, and also recently through other projects. I recently started a blog (http://allkindsofsexy.wordpress.com) to address issues like this and (starting soon) to offer positive role models of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages, because I think we really need to see that there are all kinds of sexy in this world.

    You are that kind of role model, whether you feel like it or not. So don’t be so hard on yourself, beautiful. :)

  11. I’m a pianist who has loved and lived with Dancers most of my life and TRUST me when I say that “Dancing with the Stars” would make anyone who was not a professional athlete or dancer question the very mechanics, aesthetics and beauty of their body in all SORTS of new ways (some harmful, some insightful).
    You have given us so much love over the years Margaret—please know that our love is with you always.

  12. Honey you should be worried about your smile rather than anything else with all that eating!! I lost all my teeth from, well from eating dick and doing drugs, but I thought I was cute before that, until my smile was gone, and I shoved myself back inside my closet. I have dentures now and my smile back but my whole point that I am trying to make is, and I have no doubt that you do appreciate who you are, but maybe someone needs to remind you because someone reminded me once, that things in life could be much much much more worse than that little gut your are worried about. Girl keep sucking cocks and take that protein because thats a healthy diet. Well not all the time…LOL. But moral of this story which you already know but I just want to tell ya, you have only one life to live honey and you are living it making people laugh. When you feel those bad feelings you feel when u look at yourself in the mirror, it’s probably the mirror that’s fucked up and its not you. I LOVE YOU MARGARET CHO…I laughed myself to sleep after I finally got to see you at the Saratoga Winery. So remember if u feel an insecurity, imagine if you couldn’t make people laugh.

  13. Thank you Margaret for posting this blog. I too have major issues with my body image- as so many do but I think that if more people shared their destructive habits- it would help inspire others to talk about it. I am thirty three and have mostly been over- weight (ten-thirty pounds) but have dabbled in Anorexia and am still participating in the binge and purge game. I am much better than I was- I have maintained a healthy weight for two years. I walk everyday and I always eat breakfast (never did until I was thirty one). I eat when I am hungry- and it generally helps me stay in a good place. Once in a while I crash and as you say- I put my eating dress on and it is a long day of binging and purging (I completely get that this is a form of hating myself- it is punishment). Many of my friends are aware of my insecurities and my past struggles with food but even now- they don’t know about my bulimia. It’s my deep dark secret. When I listen or read you talk about your struggles- I feel a relief. It’s like the most real thing I could hear. I know that these habits are hard to break but you are doing the right thing. It can’t be about trying to look as pretty as someone else- it has to be about you and the way you want to feel when you wake up everyday. I feel like everyday is a crap shoot. People like yourself- who are brave and honest will open the doors of communication for some many. Take one day at a time and look at yourself in the mirror everyday and pick one thing you like about the way you look. The say something out loud that you are proud about. Do that every morning- it really does help. Keep strong and keep inspiring. Love, Tara.

    P.S. Have you every thought about getting a few other celebs and do a documentary or live show about eating disorders?? I bet you could do something wonderful:)

  14. Girl, you are so beautiful… and I know just hearing that from someone won’t totally sway you one way or the other… but I, like a lot of people who have read this blog, understand the body complex…. I feel that I am way too skinny.. but I also know that it is only in comparison to the gym bunny gay men that I compare myself to. I just want you to know that by sharing your stories in your comedy…all the way to these blogs and on the Cho Show, you’ve helped me to better accept myself on MY terms and not societies. I think you’re awesome, and a lot more strong in every way than you give yourself credit for. I admire you and everything you do.

  15. Oops I ment If it DOESN’T grow that way then it has no business being in my stomach is how I look at it. :/ (Stinking brain decided to take a vacation day I guess)

  16. I appreciated this posting. A lot. I’ve been following your career for years…your tv shows, books, comedy tours. I’ll be honest, I had come to admire in the last few years how much you come across as having it all figured out. By “all,” I mean body image issues, unconditional acceptance of who you are. I’m not taking comfort in the fact that you don’t, I’d much rather be right and see you kick that crap in the ass….but I appreciate that you have been honest here and admitted its still a struggle. So, thank you.

    I also like what you had to say about the reasons WHY we should pursue good health and taking care of our bodies: not just so we can look good for others, but so that we can “truly live.” We both know that spending our time picking ourselves apart, pressuring ourselves to meet certain beauty standards is not really living.

    As for what I am *doing* about it on my end…well, like you, I refuse to give up and accept this mentality as just another part of life.

    I’m going to keep fighting it, every day.

  17. Thanks for this blog! You are so honest and real. I am a male with emotional eating problems. I also grew up in the Southern part of the USA. This makes it very difficult to talk about food addiction. Boys are “just greedy” and southerns are “just hearty eaters.”

    Over time, my weight has gone up and down. I eat when I am sad; I lose weight when I pull my life together. Currently, I am in a good place. A few years ago I read a book called “Emotional Eating.” I cannot remember the author, but he is a California psychology professor. The book really helped me understand why I turned to food. Even though I always knew it had emotional roots — the book gave me so much clarity.

    I have to admit that I also take antidepressants, which have worked tremendously. I also got a dog — for campionship. She is the best trainer I have ever had. Two 1 hour long walks every day and lots of love.

    Finally, I treat emotional eating as a chronic illness. It’s like cancer, diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses. Accordingly, I always try to stick to my routine and keep my head clear. Good luck Notorious!!!!! And much love to you.

  18. Margaret, I just want to thank you for your courage and your honesty in writing this. When you wrote your other entry in which you talked about not being “in your body” and your feelings of living in your head, it was as if I had written the words myself. I had a best friend once who told me, “Cathy you live like your a head just floating thru space.” It’s mostly true. I only pay attention to my body when I’m totally forced to — when I’m so hungry I realize I forgot to eat or when I’m so sick I can’t ignore it anymore .. or when the woman I love says “I’m sorry I just don’t feel like we have any chemistry” because of my lack of connection to my body.. and hers.

    I sent my gf your first entry on this subject and told her that’s how I feel. She was sympathetic but I wonder if she saw hopelessness in it.

    Through your dancing you’ve reconnected. I’m also dancing and I’m working on reconnecting to my body in therapy and in several other ways too and making good progress. I just hope it isn’t too late.

    I’m good with using words to show love and loving actions too. In the physical realm though… I was inadequate and I may have lost the woman I love because of it. Your story gives me some hope Margaret and your comedy has always inspired me (as an aspiring comic and just as a person).

    You go grrl and as you go along, I will too. Keep writing about your struggles. You help more ppl than you probably know.

  19. One of the things I’ve always loved about you was how real and amazing you are. When I’ve heard you talk about the self-image issues you had when doing All-American Girl, I completely was there with you. A lot of us get it in very real, powerful ways. Even when we’re at a point when we’re SUPPOSED to feel good, we never forget where we were.

    I’ve never been thin. Ever. No clue what it’s like. I was diagnosed with asthma at birth back in a time when they said you couldn’t get asthma until you were at least 3. (yay ’80s medicine!) Tell that to my parents’ years of hospital bills, doc…. Anyways, the most common treatment for severe asthma – EVERYTIME – is breathing machine treatments and steriods. I’ve been given steriods for every little wheeze for almost as long as I’ve drawn breath. No one stopped to think about the long-term consequences.

    Now, at 30, I’m still asthmatic, but also have an auto-immune disease called Devic’s Syndrome (Or neuro-mylitis optica, aka NMO). Basically it’s MS that likes to eat your spinal cord and optic nerves more than it likes to eat your spinal cord and brain mylen. And guess how it’s treated? 1,000mg of steriods *intraveniously* (about 100 times more than a single dose of asthma steriods….), for three days straight. GAH. It seemed like I’d lose 5lbs., have the NMO flare up, and gain 10-15lbs fighting it.

    I’ve been doing Weight Watchers with my husband now for several months. I KNOW I’ve got all of these “additional factors” as to why I’m not losing weight. Since I can’t feel my feet most of the time, and I’m in constant back pain, jumping on a tredmill for any legth of time isn’t gonna happen. I love watching shows like DWTS, but I’ll be honest, part of me weeps because I’ll never have the ability to feel enough parts of my body to DO what you did. I would love to dance. I would love to lose weight because I’m dancing.

    My family always tells me how proud they are of me whenever I lose an ounce, but I think even if I were to shed all extra 100+ lbs I think I need to lose, I don’t know that I’ll ever feel beautiful. Part of me will always feel like I’m walking in a fat suit. I’ve considered weight loss surgery, and got even so far as to have an endoscopy… well, to the appointment anyways… only be to too difficult to put under anesthesia to get the scans done. (Granted, I TOLD the doctor that what he was using as a sedative was a pain killer I’d just come off of because I’d been on it and become immune, but that’s ANOTHER story, and this is long enough.) They dropped me as a patient immediately, citing me as “combatative” because I dared tell the doc his drugs weren’t gonna work… and was RIGHT. *sigh* And I have to admit, a huge part of me things short of surgery, it’s hopeless to even THINK I might ever be a weight where I don’t have to shop at plus sized clothing stores, feel like my jeans are midevil torture devices, or be embarrassed if I actually DARE order anything dessert-like at dinner.

    Anyways, what all of this typing really boils down to is three things: One, thank you for being open about your feelings involving your weight. So many of us feel like we’re alone or that no one will ever understand how we feel. You remind me, often, that is not so. Two, to let you know how blessed you are that you CAN go see a physical trainer and dance! It made me want to fight to get enough of my own physical self back that I might at least attempt smaller measures to BE more active. And maybe I’ll dance one day, too…. :) And three, to tell you that as far as I am concerned, your worth is measured a million times by the amazing, brilliant, passionate, funny, and thoughtful person you prove yourself to be whenever I read your musings, see you perform, or watch an interview with you. No one can give you self worth save yourself, but I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that we, your friends and fans, see you as someone we’d all very much love to be like, and love very much for the you that you are. *hugs and kisses*

    Always,

    Jenni Skelton
    Milton, WA

  20. Margaret, first I want to applaud your awareness because you can’t achieve a goal without the beginnings of awareness. I started my own journey with learning how to be comfortable in my own skin a while back… It’s been a wild ride. I have used food either in eating or not eating to deal with my emotions and in my own recovery found it helpful to change my relationship with food. I know it sounds kinda hokey or at least it did to me when it was first suggested that it would be helpful. It turned out it was more about changing my relationship with myself. One of the moments that stuck out for me on DWTS this season was your talking during rehearsals one week about when you gave up dancing. I am not sure if it is true for you but for a long time I carried around messages about myself that in some respects measured my worth more on achievement and it was always someone else’s perception rather than what I knew to be true that ended up on top.
    You are absolutely right that sobriety or abstinence in the realm of food is so much different than with other mood altering substances like drugs or alcohol. It can be very hard to find what this will look like for an individual I know it was for me and I also know that for me it has changed over time. Back to the whole relationship idea… I had to make a commitment to myself- it was a commitment to nourish and cherish me like I try to those who are the most important to me. The first thing I did for me was find some people that seemed to understand what I was trying to do and we made a commitment to each other to be vulnerable enough to each other to be able to hold each other up when we needed and accountable. I decided on the bare bones of what my abstinence needed to look like as well. At first I went to a dietician to get some ideas and suggestions.
    At this time, for me, I guess I had to accept a few things… here is another thing that might sound weird… I don’t see me very well. On a day when I am not feeling great about me I will almost always have a distorted view of my body, my worth, and my abilities- I still get nervous about having to be in a role that places me in the center of attention though today I get to joke about it and it isn’t as intense as it used to be for me.
    I don’t know…. I had hoped to encourage your journey as I read through this I am not certain that I am conveying my thoughts in a clear and concise manner as I had hoped. So, I will wrap this up with a few parting thoughts I know that it is possible to live in my skin today, one day or moment at a time, I am not always arm flapping happy however, I am more often than not at peace and that would be my wish for you. I hope you will let us know how you are doing, I will be sending blessings your way.

  21. I love you, Margaret but I think we need a little dose of reality here! DWTS does not exactly promote a “normal” body image, between the super-fit professional dancers and the wacked out “celebrities” on the stage. How dare you compare yourself to Audrina and her vacant stare. She’s like 20 years old or something girlfriend and you have more talent in your belt buckle than she will have her whole life.

    I actually feel like you did a great job on that show of being yourself, to the point where I thought you were doing some kind of subversive DWTS performance art thing. I loved the rainbow dress you wore and the attitude you brought to the stage and the fact that you did not become a DWTS zombie robot.

    You’ve been doing what you have been doing for so many years SO WELL! and you have the right to be you. I mean obviously scarfing down a whole pizza is not good for you, and you shouldn’t do it any more, but at the same time, it probably wasn’t as bad as you think considering you were working out 8 hours a day.

    DWTS might be reality TV, but it is not reality. Keep on keeping on, Margaret Cho.

  22. As I sit here tippin the chip bag up so I can get the last of the greasy deliciousness, I am moved deeply by your sharing. This past year I have been plagued by bad body image, subsequently putting on more weight and becoming increasingly lazy.
    For the past 20 years I have lost and gained the same 50lbs (a terrible blow to my self esteem each time I gain it back). I have never been a successful dieter or found some great program to follow.
    It is simple, when I am busy and active I feel good and the weight comes off. When I am hurt, sad, or bored I gain it back. I know I need to get healthy, (not gettin any younger) and there are sooo many things I still want to do.
    I have been active most of my life, and I am terrified that I may not be able to do some things ever again. Over the summer my husband, my teenage son and I stayed in Big Bear. We really wanted to go horseback riding, which was a big deal because my son had not been since he was small and we finally talked my husband into it. Apparently I am too heavy for the horse. What a major disappointment! Not to mention the embarrassment. I am recently married for the first time (another big deal for me I will be 43 in December). My man and I are growing and changing together, really trying to stay on the same page and actively participate in our relationship. However in the begining we both made some big mistakes and although I know we will get past the ugliness I am having trouble “bouncing back” from my hurt feelings. Something I know I must heal from, myself. I plan to go back to school in the spring and I have a new rule to do one thing at a time focus, do it well, and maybe regain some of the true satisfaction I will never be able to know if I continue to anesthesize my self with food. Thank you again for your bravery and honesty, and providing me a place to express myself.
    BTW we think you are f&*%ing HOT!

  23. Thank you for posting this, Margaret. Sometimes I am so uncomfortable in my own body that I can’t enjoy my surroundings. My intellectual mind knows it’s not true, but I often feel so self-conscious, as if everyone is looking at me and judging me. I recently turned 40 and hoped that by now I would have achieved some level of self-acceptance. Now I understand this doubt is a condition of my existence which I will fight til I die. I truly appreciate your honesty. You are truly a woman I admire.

  24. YOU are the real-est person ever on this DWTS season.. Feel bad that you got eliminated/booted off cuz Me & My Asian family has been voting/routing for you. Anyhow. You were Sensational and Inspirational.. there’s just way too many ANTI-GAYS and/or GAY haters out there watching the show. So it was somewhat POLITICAL too, especially when You and your dance partner did that RAINBOW costume and music, thats why you guys were eliminated/booted off. Not fair, Not right.. You guys deserved to stay there longer cuz You can dance way way way better than that PAILIN gurl, but its TV Realityshow & its ABC trying 2pull/put in more Ratings + Publicity!

    However, Ms. Margaret Cho.. Never ever feel bad bout your body or yourself cuz You’re created BEAUTIFULLY by God. “We are beautiful no matter what they say, words won’t bring us down..” So please please please DO NOT get intimidated or get carried away by Other ANOREXIA or BULIMIC SKINNYASS Celebs or Negativity like that.. Shut em off!

    YOU are very Beautiful and Flawless not to forget, Fabulous Hilariously Divine!!! We luvs ya and We voted for you. Oh yeah, YOU did great-amazing job in DWTS!

    Just stay/eat healthy, Less portions, Exercise, continue Dancing, Enjoy and Have fun.. Luv Life and Luv Yourself.. the other bitches can bitch or hate or make u feel intimidated but DO NOT LET IT GET TO YOU ever. Ignore them. Forget them. Nevermind them. We luvs ya just the way you are!!! *hugs*

    (You are one of my inspiration to stay funny friendly fabulous n hilarious) You are my all time fave Comedienne Diva Queen of Comedy!!! ;op

  25. Margaret I know EXACTLY how you feel and so do many many other women. I applaud you for being on the show, esp. if you were feeling the way you describe. Imagine what we all could do if we didn’t have our own low self-esteem as an obstacle every day.

    from a fan

    P.S. You look great and can certainly hold your own against anyone on DWTS or anywhere else.

  26. #1 You are not crazy in the least, I am on the exact same journey
    #2 Know that You Deserve it, you deserve to take care of yourself and be all that you can be
    #3 I think you are the bomb !! Please keep me updated, if you ever want to relate and see someone elses pain, feel free to ready my posts – I worked hard to be as gut wrenchingly honest as I could be.

  27. I’m a horrible, horrible compulsive as well, Margaret. any advice you get that hasn’t been posted in the comments of this post, I’d love to hear. any help you can offer us, I’m sure we’ll all appreciate.

    that said, one book that has helped me immensely is “Why Weight? A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating” by Geneen Roth. I assume you haven’t come across it, but I do recommend it.

    we love you!

  28. Your desire to be healthier and more comfortable is deeply admirable, but remember that wanting to be better doesn’t mean you’re not already gorgeous and amazing! You’re an inspiration to me, a beautiful, hilarious inspiration.

    Nothing but hugs, love and support, girl!

  29. Hey Margaret,
    I’ve been a fan for years and I love that you are such an honest real person. I loved watching you on dwts. I loved your first dance and thought the humor with the wings was hilarious. I’ve been going through the same struggle with food for quite a long time as well. I feel like I’m finally starting to get a handle on it and it comes down to mental conditioning and accountability. My blog has kept me interested in trying so you’re on the right track by talking about it! Just know that you have been such an inspiration for people like me. I completely value celebrities like you standing for the things you believe in!

  30. I too have struggled with weight all my life. I finally decided to get real with my issues 4 years ago and slowly lost 100 lbs and have kept it off. I now compete in body building shows. I feel the same sense of discomfort at the shows that you mentioned you felt on DWTS. The reality is you did it!!! You looked beautiful and were amazing!!! What you have to change is the message you are sending yourself that you don’t belong, because you do!

    Lots of people will try to sell you on the latest fitness fad or diet, but 6 clean meals, weight lifting, and cardio will get you really healthy and sculpt your body. I am sending you a link to my transformation info and pics (so you know I am telling the truth about the 100 lbs)

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/rebin-lost-100-lbs-to-become-a-competitor-and-role-model.htm

    I KNOW first hand how fantastic you look because last Saturday after 6 months of diet and training, I decided to kick off my off-season by coming to watch your show. I had looked forward to it for months and it was worth it! Thank you!

    Coincidentally, while getting healthy I decided to follow MY dream of becoming a stand up comic. You have always been an HUGE influence!

  31. Aw Margaret I totally understand how you feel and what you mean about being so out of touch with your body. I often feel the same way. I think people like us just feel that living inside our minds is so much easier and everything is perfect in our heads that we don’t come down to earth to experience things as they are. DWTS was something that was ment to happen for you for this very reason I believe. Because of this awesome experience you went through, you were able to realize the physical side of yourself. Awhile back I took a yoga class and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. I so wish I had the money to be able to afford it all the time. I do not know if Yoga is something that you have done before, but honestly, I think if you found a really awesome teacher, someone who knows not just the moves and the physical side of it, but also the spiritual side, it would really help you get in touch with your physical body. Bellydancing and burlesque and all types of dance are great, but i think Yoga has that spiritual connection that would really facilitate the connection to your body. I have heard of people discovering muscles they never knew they had and how in control and comfortable in their body. I think you are an amazing person and such a big rolemodel for alot of people. I loved you on DWTS! :) You should definitely give yoga a try and let me know how it goes for you! I think you will be totally satisfied with it. :)

    Love ya girl and stay strong!

  32. ~*~*~*~*~*~HI~ *~*~

    I have been asking myself why I want to lose weight all day long. I don’t think I’ve ever weighed this much in my life. A whopping 292lbs at 5’8. Chuuunky Fat!!

    A few months ago I was visiting with my sister. She was eating a taco icecream, and I asked her for a bite. It looked so good, and she wouldn’t give me one little bite!! I was so upset, and I started telling her that I thought her butt started looking bigger than usual. And she couldn’t even enjoy her icecream in peace anymore.

    I think she wears like a size 0, and she got upto a size 2 or something. Anyway, despite my rudeness, she actually thanked me later because she said it was the motivation she needed to lose that extra 10lbs she wanted to lose and was putting it off, until I said her ass was lookin fat.

    I noticed she had lost weight months after and was complimenting her when she told me what the final push was to motivate her. That’s nice for her. We’ve never competed with each other, and grew up fat together. She’s a nutritionist now. ;o)

    Melinda, my sister, has drawn me so many diets to follow and has given me advice for several years. I had every intention of following it to, but I just wasn’t motivated. I had other things on my mind. Like where I was going to my next high, and who was I going to fuck to get it. Point being I was no where ready to take her advice to heart as much as I wanted to, just so I could be where I am today.

    The times I am most insecure abotu my body is when my boyfriend, Brent, is checking out other guys and telling me how hot they look or is panting with googling eyes over them as they pass by. And when he’s batting my bitch tits like fuckin cat toy. What the turning point for me was seeing pictures of myself at a camping trip I went to with friends.

    I hate the way I look in those pictures, and they’re all over facebook for all to see. ;o) There I am, Gabe, miserably stoned and looking fat – ass ever.

    I enjoy working out. I never understood why the gym was covered with wall to wall mirrors. I spend my time looking at others through them. Watching the way they lift, how some admire all the hard work they’ve put into their body, and you can tell some just can’t get enough of themselves. It’s kinda cute, because they are so happy and confident. But are they really? Regardless it’s still fun to watch.

    I’ve read all about your experience with DWTS. I don’t watch much TV at all and never caught your performance there, but it lingers on, you know.

    I find more comfort in food now than I ever could with any drug, because they stopped working for me some time ago. I could eat an entire large pizza easily and still be hungry. No matter how much I ate I wasn’t ever satisfied because I knew I wasn’t eating like I should and it was keeping me from doing things I enjoy. Simple things, kinda like the way smoking cigarettes was stealing a part of me. All that energy adds up.

    I started my diet today. I read everyones entry to your post, and I got tears in my eyes.

  33. I felt so much for you as I read this post. Over the last 3 years I’ve lost a little over 100 pounds, my highest was close to 300. I spent most of the years of my life (even before I started to have weight issues) never EVER looking at my body. Full length mirrors scurrrred the hot crazy shit outta me (and still do sometimes). I would look at my face and just pretend the rest of it didn’t even exist. I started to lose the weight as I got out of a terrible relationship and started to really pursue my passions and work towards “coming into my own”. As the weight came off it seemed like the hardest thing was just to believe it when people told me I looked great, and then it also became a battle not to become obsessed with what I was eating and losing more and more weight so that I would keep getting the same reaction. I had gotten so used to being the fat friend with the pretty face and now, well I’m never going to be a bikini model but I never hesitate to say that I am fucking adorable and I feel sexy and vibrant like I never have before. But that’s only on the good days, there are still days where I get downright nasty with myself and want to cocoon my now cute ass in sweats and eat spaghetti carbonara until I pass out. I think that the best thing a person can be in life (their real life, not their performing/work life) is kind, and the hardest person to be truly kind to is ourselves. Keeping your body healthy and strong is a kindness. Eating good nourishing things is a kindness. Looking at yourself in the mirror and accepting flaws as part of your intense beauty is a kindness. So this is what I try to do, just be kind to myself one day at a time. Doesn’t mean I’m never a god awful asshole, but one bad day doesn’t have to send be back into years of being as cruel to myself as I have been. You are so fucking beautiful and hearing your material over the years – surrriously, the “fuck it” diet was a revelation for me – has made me feel fucking beautiful too. So I truly wish for you to get where you need to be to believe it, and I hope that I can get there too. Stay sassy <3

  34. Wow, I am really touched and impressed. It’s great to discover a renewed sense of self-awareness like the experience with DWTS gave you!! I am really happy for you and glad that you are being positive and taking better care of yourself by addressing your fears and growing as a person. It’s great that you can share your experience and reach so many people.

    I think so many women struggle with body issues- even the ‘svelte, swanlike figures’ tend to never feel beautiful enough. I work with a boudoir photographer, and almost all of our clients have some type of insecurity that we try to help them overcome.

    I think it’s really great to do a sexy photo shoot, or take belly dancing or burlesque lessons- heck even pole dancing, or maybe just ballroom dancing or yoga lessons! Anything to help give you more confidence within your body and empower you as a woman!

    We are all unique, we all have beautiful qualities. In this society we tend to focus on our negatives and never enough on our positives, and that’s really sad. I am glad there are people like you that share your story and inspire others to learn to love themselves and have a dialogue with themselves.

  35. thank you for this. you make me stronger and you make me feel less alone. i teach your stand up to college students and it’s touching them and shaping them and helping them become writers with a voice. i share you with my friends and they are moved to tell their truth.

    thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  36. Hey Mags. I live in New York and I met you backstage after one of your shows. I guess all my Asian gays know you. Yeah, I’m gay too, but I don’t really come off as gay. Clearly, I have some issues to deal with too. First, I have to tell you that you are so smart with your humor. I am a closeted comedian. I actually just listened to one of your shows on my ipod earlier…weird coincidence. OH! I remember talking to you after the show because I had to tell you how hilarious it was that right after I heard your joke about your mom’s jewelry hidden under the mattress…literally the next day my mom said the exact same thing. I’m half, but my mom is country Korean.

    So, to my point…We Asians that live here in the U.S. have a lot of underlying issues…obviously. It’s always a struggle to stop worrying about what others think about YOU. The amazing thing is that you talk so openly about it like therapy. By the way, it is also therapy for us fans that are thinking the same thing…so thank you. I am going to gross for a sec, but I hope you get my point. People have always said that I am a good looking boy. That means nothing to me. I am half asian, I grew up amongst Americans with Barbie and Ken. I still to this day don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. But just reading what you wrote is just another kick in the ass to wake our slanty eyes open more…without surgery. Who f’n cares anymore? When can we SERIOUSLY just not care. It better happen soon. I’m turning 35 on Halloween and my birthday wish is for me to have some confidence and not care anymore. In kindergarten on Halloween, there was a parade. All the kids had those awesome mask and plastic ensembles. My mom, on my birthday, put a brown paper bag over my head, arm and head cut-outs…ROBOT. BUT! I remember that I didn’t care! Well, anyhoo…I didn’t really watch the dancing show, but I did youtube you. There are few people in this world that make me happy and you are one of them. So, I am telling you to stop caring about that physical b.s. You HOOOSband better be saying the same thing.

    Love ya.

    Douglas

  37. Margaret, you’ve long been a source of inspiration to me for several reasons, one being your unflinching honesty. Sometimes it is hardest to be honest with yourself, as you have shown. All the things happening in the gay community right now with the recent spate of young suicides, the fight to repeal don’t ask/don’t tell, the bullying around the country, and even your own blog about not feeling comfortable in your body and being insecure…they bring back a lot of memories. In short, I don’t know how I survived all of the bullying and the battles with depression and my own self-worth…and yet here I am. And there you are, fabulous and fine (whether you like to think so or not), continuing to give me strength by admitting your own problems. As long as you continue to do so, maybe it will help me continue to stand up proud and clap for you from the audience, and perhaps save a few of our young people who are going through the same issues. This is not a time for having “no labels”….it is a time to stand and be counted, and I count you as my friend. You are beautiful.

  38. Margaret:

    First, let me say thank you for sharing your thoughts about “being in your body”…as, I’m sure this is NOT an easy thing to do/achieve, since being in LALA land is quite surreal….

    The “diet” industry coupled with the MSM DOES NOT support anyone who wants to be “in her own body”….as, I’m sure you’re aware, we are told from the cradle to the grave how we need to look if we are to be successful, beautiful/handsome…yada, yada, yada…we’re surrounded by it.

    You’re doing the right thing by getting rid of the negatives (junk food, etc.) and getting some healthy movement for your body….as are all of you who wrote in…..

    Yes, bellydance and burlesque WILL “get in your face” about your body…and force you to really look at it (I know…I went through it too….and have NO regrets)….dance of any kind will put you in touch with your body AND soul….

    Personally, I think it’s a remnant of organized religion….but, that’s another story entirely *wink*….the body/physical plane is always viewed as something we are to “transcend” or “escape”…not respect for the fine piece of machinery that it is…and, to boot, we’re ALL individuals….not one of us looks the same…and that is what MSM encourages, unfortunately….CONFORMITY in everything.

    I’ma keep it short, but all in all….stay brave y’all….keep the faith….

  39. I had a slight eating disorder in high school. Not as bad as some of my friends, but enough that I woke up one day and thought “what am I doing to myself?”

    I’d encourage you to take up yoga. It will help you “get into your body” as you very articulately put it. It will also help you become a more aware and peaceful eater.

    You’re so amazing, as a person and as an entertainer. I’m so glad you had this experience and it has given you motivation to become even healthier. You’re beautiful and strong, a true inspiration to your fans. We love you.

  40. Thank you. For just friggin everything you do but especially for this post. NO ONE but you could be as honest and open…and talk about body image & self loathing and just the SHIT we all have going on.

    You inspire me. You teach me. You make me laugh & you make me cry. Thank you.

  41. Margaret, I respect and love your honesty. And I saw you at Massey Hall last night and LOVED your show! I’d been looking forward to that for many years.

    I grew up with a single mother who had a stressful job that kept her tied up for long hours. As a result, we didn’t have the healthiest eating patterns, and it caught up fast. I was bullied at school every single day from ages 8 to 12; the other kids were always calling me fat and ugly. And my mom was always putting me on the same diets she was on (she didn’t know any better). I became increasingly introverted and self-loathing. There were many times when I would feign illness to get out of going to school because I couldn’t face the torment.

    When I was 13, I lost weight, so my peers backed off a little and only made fun of me occasionally.

    I chanelled all of my pain into my drawing, music, and eventually, writing. My teenage years were pretty normal. I was still struggling with body image, but the struggle with my sexual identity was much greater. I didn’t start accepting who I was, in any respect, until I was 18.

    I’m still struggling. A few years ago, I became thin for the first time since I was a little kid, but it only lasted a little over a year. Admittedly, it was great, but more than anything, I’m interested in being healthy, physically and emotionally.

    No one calls me ugly anymore; in fact, quite the opposite. Most importantly, I don’t think I’m ugly.

    And you are beautiful!

  42. I’ve been reading everyone’s comments — very touching and so interesting to read. Am having trouble reading them though. The graphics on the page are great, but they come out right over the text of the comments – the smiley face and the fish. I don’t know if the website design folks read these comments but is there any way that can be altered so they appear smaller or on the side or something?

    Do others have this issue? Maybe it’s only on my end but it makes it very challenging to read and the blog is so good and the comments are so interesting from others that I really want to be able to see them. I think it probably is not just on my end though since I\ve checked this on other computers.

    Thanks website ppl. Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but I couldnt find a feedback section regarding the website.

  43. I thought you looked slim enough and I think you have great legs and footwork for a dancer. Where I noticed tension was in your neck and arms when you were dancing. Knowing that you were so afraid, it makes sense — it looks like that was the part of your body that held onto the fear. Me being an amateur dancer, I want to say: you seemed to have no trouble with your hips, legs & feet, which means you can absolutely can dance. It was the fear that held you back. I don’t think you have to worry about your size or your ability, just about how to release that fear & tension that settles into your neck, shoulders, arms & maybe upper spine. That might put you back “into your body”. Working on your spine should do it. You’re a very good-looking person, that’s not your problem.

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