TW: Weight, Diet, Numbers. NOTE: Just a warning, this post gets really deep into my internalized fatphobia, so if you aren’t up for that topic right now, please skip this one. I wrote this last fall. It’s deeply personal. I’ve never shown this to anyone, and it’s been buried on my Google Keep app for months. I wanted to share it now because I’m hoping someone else will see themselves in these words and realize they aren’t alone. As I mentioned in my last post, Heather Armstrong’s recent death really impacted me. Maybe I should see it as a warning about the dangers of sharing too much of myself online, but I don’t. I see it as the opposite. I see it was a warning about the dangers of keeping too much of my work locked away for no real reason. We’re all going to die and none of this matters, so I may as well tell the three people who actually read this thing about my silly little life in the meantime.
My eyeballs feel like sand and my lips taste like gravel. Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Phentermine.
This is my losing effort to lose.
To banish the weight my body desperately wants to hold on to. The weight it claws back any chance it gets. Obsessively hoarding it in messy piles all over my body. Refusing to let go.
I did not lose enough weight last month, so I have earned a lecture. “We really need you to keep losing,” the nurse says, with a mean girl sneer.
As though I didn’t need the same thing.
She does not follow up with any advice on HOW to keep losing. Instead, she flashes me a fake smile, and asks which arm I’d like my B12 shot in. Left. Always the left.
She doesn’t know.
She doesn’t know the Hell I subject my body to each month in hopes of being just a smidge lighter when I step on the antique balance scale in their sterile office every 4 weeks.
She doesn’t know how desperately I want the big balance weight to stop at 150 one day, finally, beautifully weighing me in at under 200 pounds again. How I pray for it. Beg the skinny gods for it.
She doesn’t know about the fasts or that even though I’m already vegan, and have thus given up multiple USDA food groups, I am now debating giving up all oils as well.
Constantly calculating: What else can I cut out to cut out the fat sloshing under my skin?
She doesn’t know.
And I don’t tell her.
Because I know that prolonging the conversation will only make things worse. Instead I nod and agree.
Yes, I need to keep losing. You’re absolutely right.
Of course I have been tested. For every conceivable reason my body could possibly have for being so large. Vials of blood leaving my arm because the fat cells surrounding my veins refuse to budge.
And then, casually, medically, I am told: The tests are back and I am “normal.” Well, except for the abnormally large stomach and the upper arms that wiggle statistically more than average woman’s.
The only remaining option I have is to hate my entire self. My body, for its fat, and my brain for allowing my body to be so fat.
Worse than that, I’m ashamed of my shame. Why do I insist on adhering to the same body standards I despise? I never want anyone else to do this. I never care how much other people weigh. Why do I hate myself so much?
Why can’t I just be normal?
Then, right when I started to allow myself some hope that a new cultural focus on body acceptance meant that maybe I could finally just fucking *exist* in this 39-year-old body that I have — a new trend. Y2K skinny! Now! Back in vogue!
The bright, pink neon world screams at me.
💗 GET YOUR LOW-RISE JEANS TODAY! 💗
💗CROP-TOPS, HALF OFF! 💗
💗VISIBLE THONG TREND RETURNS! 💗
💗ISN’T THIS AMAZING? 💗
To be fair, Y2K skinny never went out of vogue. We just started calling it, “wellness.” Claimed we were suddenly so worried about everyone’s heart. As in the muscle — not the soul. Why? What do you think? What?! Gross. Nobody cares how you FEEL! Stop being so emotional!
I am never as unhealthy as when I am restricting. 12-hour fasts. 18-hour fasts. 24-hour fasts. It’s. Not. Working. THIRTY. SIX. HOUR. FASTS!!!
And of course, the 1950’s Housewife Regime: Five cups of espresso to suppresses the appetite and stimulate the bowls. Lint brushes to collect the hair falling out in clumps. A bottle of ibuprofen capsules to ease the debilitating hunger headaches. And of course, saline drops for the eyes that feel like sand and balm for the lips that taste like gravel.
All punishments I’ve convinced myself I deserve.
Come on ladies! Beauty. Is. Pain. And it is always, above all, skinny!
📣WE MUST! 📣WE MUST! 📣WE MUST decrease OUR BUSTS! 📣
It’s not just beauty though. That’s what they don’t tell you. I am more than happy to be quite ugly. Unfortunately, everyone else can’t stand it.
I have to conform. I must waste hundreds, nay thousands of days.
Squeezing myself into their standards.
Salaries, job offers, friends. They all rely on my restriction. I know because I’ve had a front-row seat to all the ways the world changes for you when you’re thin. And all the ways it changes when you’re not.
Filled with praise for my will power, my dedication, my work ethic the more I waste away. “I’m so proud of you!” they beam, like a living heart-eye emoji.
But I can never be thankful. Never relax. Never reach the end. I know that my body will always, forevermore, claw back the fat the first chance it gets.
Obsessively hoarding it in messy piles all over my body. Refusing to let go.
One day, hopefully, I will die. And then, they will finally, permanently, burn all my fat. Turn me into a pretty little pile of ashes.
Me?! Little??!! Wow! What a dream!!! 🥰 Truly the best a girl could hope for!!! 💗
If only I could survive to see it.