Just after waking up last Monday morning, I felt…..fat, obese, humongous. I thought I might run, but being Monday morning, I woke up too late and felt too tired. I weighed myself and although I knew the number was not completely accurate (being the end of my menstrual cycle), I was still appalled and honestly a little bit ashamed. I shook it off, though, took my shower and got dressed. My clothes didn’t feel quite right, but according to the bathroom mirror I seemed to look ok, so I avoided the full length mirror in the bedroom. I just didn’t want to face it.
As I ate breakfast, I wrote down the number of calories I was consuming. I wrote down what I made for lunch as well, and the snacks that I packed. I already knew how many calories I would consume throughout the day and how many I would have left for dinner, all before 8:30 in the morning. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? In some ways it can be exhausting, but on that day, it’s the control that I needed. To not feel that I was going “back” to the person I used to be.
I drove to work, listened to an audiobook for escape, and tried to ignore how uncomfortable I felt in my clothes, in my skin. I squirmed in my seat for the first few miles until I finally settled down and lost myself in the story I was listening to. When I got to the library, I lumbered up the walkway, carrying my purse and tote bags. For just a second, I stopped in front of the glass door as I looked at my reflection. I was stunned. I thought I would see the me I saw in my head, the 252 pound me from over 20 years ago. I thought my face would be round and my arms thicker and all in all just…bigger. But instead there was this 40-year-old woman, looking fit and fairly slim, with a thin enough face for me to realize that she was kind of pretty.
I liked the looks of this gal.
The rest of the week was filled with little battles within myself. I still counted calories on most days, ran when I could but had a hard time with the heat and humidity, and just tried to feel good in my own skin again. There were a few days when I wore clothing that was baggy and sometimes not even appropriate for work, but I just couldn’t deal with anything form fitting. I’m sure most people wouldn’t even be able to tell that I’ve been carrying these 5 extra pounds for the past six months (nor would they care), but it feels like it’s tattooed to my forehead. I forced myself to look into that full length mirror, and told myself that what I saw was real and really ok. I’ve never been diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), but I know this can be how it feels. And as a former bulimic, it can be damn dangerous.
I want to say that everything is just fine now and I love the body I have and it doesn’t matter what I weigh, blah, blah, blah.
But that, my friends, would be a bunch of big, FAT lies.
Instead, I’ll say that TODAY was a pretty good day, although I didn’t run as much as I wanted to, nor did I lift weights like I planned, but I ate ice cream….twice. So what else did I do? Well….I played Whack-A-Mole with my son, cheered my friend on (via facebook) as she ran her first 5K, took a short nap in the hammock, ran beside my boy while he rode his bike and watched Spider-Man cartoons with my family.
You know, when I lay it all out like that, I have to say that it was actually a GREAT day. And maybe tomorrow will be great, too, and I really will love the body I have and it won’t matter what I weigh.
Maybe. We’ll just have to wait and see what the mirror says.