Monday, January 19, 2009

Losing it

It's time for a burden-dumping. Please forgive me. I feel it's necessary if I'm going to make any go of dropping my extra weight. Everyone who struggles with their weight has this post in them, I think; each person who WISHES they were thinner has a reason for the wish.

My wish is selfish, shallow, horrific in its self-centeredness, but it is my driving force at this point.

The reason I want to be skinner is not that I want to be healthier. It's not to fit into clothing that is threatening to become too small for me. It's not that physical, if you can pardon the pun.

The real reason I want to lose some weight more ephemeral: it's so the first thing people use to describe me isn't "chunky." In all honesty, I don't really KNOW if people use 'chunky' to describe me, but I've seen the pictures, and I would use that term, or go so far as to say 'fat.' It's not the me I see in my mind's eye though; that woman is 20 years younger (a difficult enough blow to reconcile with what's in the mirror) and 50 pounds lighter (at least) than the me of any recent photo.

A little history: All through high school and college I weighed around 145 pounds and was a size 10/12. At my thinnest ever, I weighed 138 pounds and could squeeze into a size 8. I think it's important to note is that I am 5'10", and according to charts of frame size my wrist circumference and elbow width would put me as a 'large'). Therefore, hanging 138 pounds off a tall dense framework equated to being very thin indeed.

It was glorious. I was THIN! I was skinny as a reed, wispy and lean, I was tiny around the middle with an ass the size of two grapefruits (or perhaps nonexistent, if my brother's long-ago question of "where'd your BUTT go?" is correctly remembered). I was in CHARGE of my body with my diets and my 2-hour workouts, they made it so I could see my skeleton, made it so that my hipbones jutted out beyond my belly, that you could almost see the BACK of my clavicles.

In the pictures of me at that time, I looked spectacular, disco thin, coke addict skinny, all eyes and cheekbones and glamorous angles.

This should have made me happy, but I took only twisted pride in how I looked. The skinnyness demanded (wrongly, of course) that I compare myself with every woman around me. I could not let any ONE of them beat me at the appearance game, even my best friends who I love dearly to this day. It was a game played in a very shallow pit of dark slippery egotism. No matter what skin I put on (depending on my current boyfriend, which is also as crying shame) I had to be comparing myself with the other females of the group. Had to be 'the best,' which equated to 'having the best (idealized, and totally in my head) body.'

It was exhausting, but hey, I looked hot and could get just about any man I wanted, but please don't take my picture because I'm not skinny enough yet and there's this ounce of fat on my thighs that simply must go but they're almost to the point of not touching when I stand with my ankles together and then maybe then I'll be happy with my body, so just wait until then, OK?

Sick, yes? Spending all that time comparing myself with other people who didn't even know they were my enemy and couldn't give two figs about me anyhow because they were off having their own lives that didn't include some shallow-headed skinny bitch like me glowering in self-loathing in a dark corner of her own mind.

And yet....that body was hot. I'd like to get back to somewhere in that neighborhood, so that I can drop the 'chubby' from the adjectival roster of terminology people can use to describe me. In my head I'm not fat. The photos prove otherwise, unfortunately.

The 25 pounds I told myself I'd lose will get me noplace NEAR that skinny bitchdom of yore, but neither am I in the place mentally where I need to compare myself to other women. I'm too old, too self-aware, too lived-in for that. This then becomes is a race for myself. Can I do this thing, tip over the edge of trying to control my body again without face-planting into the chasm of self-obsession? Can I just take this one little step without having it take over my life, to prove I'm more mature than that monorail mindset girl I used to be, to do this for MYSELF, for once, to present the me I think I am to the world instead of hiding behind 50 extra pounds that I pretend don't matter?

I should damned well hope so. And when I do, I'm putting on that wedding dress again and taking some better photos. I am just shallow enough for THAT.


Hey, this could be like my personal "I have a Dream" speech. Happy birthday-ish day, MLK. The world still misses you.

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