Magnificent Obesity

No, I’m not going to tell you how fabulous it is to be fat.  I want to give you an example of When Life Gets in the Way.

Magnificent Obesity is the name of the book I am currently working on, a memoir about trying to move forward when you feel that life has left you behind.  The intention was to neatly sum up the crises and opportunities I encountered four years ago when a mild heart attack turned my stubborn quest for absolute truth and bliss into a life lesson in letting go.  Confronted by numerous longstanding obstacles to wellness and wholeness — from a stifling preoccupation with death to a forty-year, two-pack-a-day smoking habit — I spent the next four years changing what could still be changed, transforming an existence that had been wrapped around fantasy, fat and fear into a can-do life driven by passion, purpose and authentic power.

Or so I thought.

After four years I believed I was ready to write the memoir because I thought I was “done.”  Having faced my demons, having worked my way through intense existential pain and gruesome physical symptoms, having finally gained control over a lifelong anxiety disorder, I began to find room inside my head to write about the experience, to make sense of it and make a gift of it to others.

I had completed the first five of the seven stages on the path to radical transformation as defined by Sally Kempton, an instructor in meditation and transformative practice.  I had received my Wake-Up Call and moved quickly to the next two stages of Holding Uncertainty and Asking for Help.  I had reached the point of Grace, Insight and Awakening and was entering the Honeymoon phase, which is when we get to savor the breakthroughs we have made.

What I hadn’t reckoned on was the intrusion of another fairly traumatic health crisis.  It threw me.  It threw me back to square one.  I had just finished creating an annotated table of contents for Magnificent Obesity.  It had a beginning, middle and end.  This sudden new Wake-Up call disrupted the creative process and compelled me to re-evaluate my original outline in an effort to include an alarming discovery made during a “routine” trip to the emergency room.

I don’t know why I’m so surprised.  Didn’t I say there were seven stages to Sally Kempton’s path to radical transformation and that I had experienced only five?  The last two stages are these: Fall From Grace and Integration.

I’m beginning to think that the real story of Magnificent Obesity will turn out to be a story of the telling of the story.





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About Martha

Martha M Moravec is the author of the memoir Magnificent Obesity: My Search for Wellness, Voice and Meaning in the Second Half of Life, (Hatherleigh Press/Random House). She is also the author of two novels: an epic historical fantasy, The Secret Name of God; and a sci-fi eco-fable for young adults, The Odd Body Vanity Squad. Before committing to prose, she wrote the book and lyrics for five original full-length musicals, all of which were successfully produced in southern Vermont and Boston. Martha blogs at Mad Genius Bohemians about the mysteries of the creative life and the persistence of one's dreams. She also blogs at Magnificent Obesity about the hazards posed by anxiety, addiction, aging and agnosticism to personal growth and transformation. She can usually be found at home in Vermont working on her next seven novels, four novellas, second memoir and a sweeping revision of the five musicals. She is currently seeking further publication opportunities, a hundred more years and God.