for over a decade, i had myself thoroughly convinced that the thinner i was or could get, the better i would look. i ignored obvious signs that my body was unhappy. i saw a skipped period as a signal of victory, thinning hair as negligible collateral for a thinning frame. as each inch disappeared, my aesthetic value went up. the less of me there was, the prettier i became.
fast forward to now. i am easily the smallest i have been in years. and i cannot wait to gain back the weight i have lost since surgery. right now, i don’t recognize myself. i look in the mirror and i see this oddly small and frail-looking version of somebody i used to know. my hips are gone, my butt, all of the muscle i loved having – it’s all kaput.
if i were a body positivity purist, i would, i suppose, be writing about how i love myself anyway. and it’s not that i don’t – it’s not my body’s fault, per se, that surgery has screwed things up in so many ways. but this is not a natural, normal state for me. i’m a dense little nugget of a person; when my muscle fades away, i’m left with nothing.
all of those years, fighting and restricting and exercising and purging just to get myself smaller and smaller – prettier and prettier, i thought. and now, completely out of my own will and control, here i am shrinking. only “getting prettier” isn’t even on my radar. i want the old me back. the seven weeks ago, heavier, strong and capable ass-kicking me.
okay maybe i never kicked anyone’s ass…but if i needed to i think i would have fared pretty darn well.
and it’s not only about the way i look. i want to know that i’m okay. that my health isn’t being compromised. i want to be comfortable with the way my body is because i know that it’s working the way it needs to for me to live my best life. and right now, that’s not what’s happening.
for probably the first time in my life, i’m praying for my crazy, voracious runner’s appetite back. i’m crossing my fingers that my stomach rights itself and that i can go back to eating enough that my body can start rebuilding all of the muscle i have lost. i’m going to tell myself a hundred times over when the weight starts coming back on that it’s not making me fat or ugly – it’s making me ME again.