I don’t feel like a fat girl anymore.
When I walk into the grocery store and see myself on the closed circuit security monitor hanging above the welcome mat, I know that average-sized girl in the black coat is me and I’m not surprised. I am surprised that I feel this way. Back when I started this journey, I was concerned a part of me would always think of myself as the fat girl.
I’ve read other weight-loss blogs where the authors have lost lots of weight and still have trouble thinking of themselves as a thin person. They are constantly surprised that they don’t have trouble fitting in chairs or cars. This weekend I attended a play and didn’t even think about the fact that I wasn’t spilling out of the seat or banging my knees into the head of the person in front of me, not until a larger man sat down two seats next to me and experienced all those problems. I feel very comfortable in my body and I believe my self-image pretty closely matches my actual image.
I have some guesses as to why this is. First, I’ve lost the weight slowly so my mind has had time to adjust to the changes. There were certainly days when I wanted to lose 3 or 4 pounds a week, but the slow and steady way worked pretty good for the tortoise and it seems to have worked pretty well for me. If I’d gone to bed weighing 372 and woken up weighing 186, not even Freud or Jung could have been able to help me with my body issues. Another advantage is that even though I was overweight and obese for most of my life, I was only morbidly obese for maybe 3 or 4 years. Perhaps if I’d spent a decade or more at over 300 pounds it would be more difficult to make this adjustment. But I’m not sure if my mind every fully accepted the fact that I weighed 372 back when I still did.
I also look in mirrors constantly. Last year the mirror in the ladies room at work went missing for two days and I nearly threw a tantrum in front of the paper towel dispenser. How was I supposed to check out how cute I am? Take a look in the toilet bowl reflection? My apartment’s dressing area has a huge mirror that I adore, though I might feel differently if a tornado were ever to blow through town. It’s positioned so I can see it when I’m cooking in the kitchen, so I frequently check out my ass while I’m sautéing chicken or chopping up red onion. Maybe I just like to check to make sure I’m still thin. I’m starting to feel compassion for Narcissus because it’s becoming quite clear how you could fall in love with your own reflection.
Lastly, exercising has made me very familiar with my body. I know what it’s capable of. I know I can run 3 miles. I know I can bend my leg up at a right angle to my body. I know I can squat and stand up without pushing off of the floor. Me and my body used to be estranged, like I was a brain squatting in a run down tenement, but now we’re best buddies working in synch. I know it very well and that includes knowing what size it is.
So, you can count me down as a total freak because not only am I comfortable in my body, I love my body too. I should probably check down below and make sure I’m still female. Such a state of existence doesn’t seem possible for a woman in today’s world. Just admitting that I love my body seems rather bold. It’s a bit frightening too because I don’t know if people will actually believe me or understand how I could love such an imperfect object. But you can see it’s true when you look at my smile in my fat pants photo. I wish I could tell everyone how to get here, but the location doesn’t seem to show up on Google maps. I guess you’ll have to find it yourself.