The worst thing about weight loss is that I created a more perfect version of myself. When I reached my lowest weight of 170 pounds and looked in the mirror, my reflection spun herself off into her own world of possibilities where she still exists today. No matter how much I weigh for the rest of my life, I will always know that on one day in November of 2007 I was that thin.
I was never a skinny child. I never had a thin version of me to compare myself too. I only had the morbidly obese Jennette who spun herself into her own world of possibilities, one that exists in a parallel dimension from the skinny version. When I was losing weight, I would compare my current body to the fatter version of me. I could hang out with this fatter friend of mine in my mind where she made me feel skinny in her shadow. Even at 230 pounds I was 140 pounds lighter than the fattest me.
This year I’ve been dealing with chronic pain, the stress of a book release, and a variety of other happenings that are not ready for blogdom. Eating well and exercising shifted from being my top priority to being number four or five in my top ten life priorities, so I gained 20 pounds. On the way down I compared myself to the fattest version of me, but on the way up I compare myself to the thinnest version of me. Instead of seeing myself as 170 pounds lighter, I see myself as 20 pounds fatter.
I know this is silly. I know I’m not obese. I look in the mirror and think I’m pretty. I’m grateful that I can run and squat and cross my legs. I’m in better health than I’ve been for most of my life. But sometimes I resent making a slightly more perfect version of myself. I hate that I judge myself against her. I hate that other people compare me to her. I hate that I know I could be her again if I worked harder or cared more. I hate that she’s out there, existing as a possibility I one day made flesh, but faded out of reality and into the mirror world of what-ifs.