The thin woman line
So then - it has finally happened. The completely, yet still somehow surprising, expected. I've lost a lardy three stone in weight since the 29th March, and until today, I had been looking in the mirror and seeing somebody quite slim, or at least someone much slimmer than 3 stone ago, without an unwieldy double chin or a few spare tyres of après baby belly. These are things I only ever notice in myself. To me, everyone else looks effortlessly amazing in their shape; desirably clothed - the clothes being the desirable factor, nothing else - and at home in their own skin. I am of course not kidding myself that the feelings of everyone else match up to they way I perceive them, hell no. I know what it's like to watch someone you love unconditionally suffer because they view themselves to be the opposite of what they truly are.
However you put it, I had been pretty chuffed with my 'achievement', although it was achieved under less than honest conditions: "Oh, I just stopped snacking/boozing/bread/meat (delete as appropriate)"; "I've been going to the gym 3 times a week at work". For the record, I did start out doing those things (obviously the booze being a notable exception), but I neglected to factor in my tendency to a) go to extremes, and b) see something other than reality in mirrors, shop windows etc.
As much as in my head I'm still churning out "I can only ever gesture towards the truth, lest I be revealed to be the ridiculous, petty charlatan that I am", I'm forcing myself to at least admit my short fallings, now that people (you, dear reader) have shown an interest in reading about my many and various 'quirks', shall we say. That is, assuming the stats don't lie, which we all know they do, and repeatedly. But this is not a tabloid newspaper, thank a deity, and although stats do not a fact maketh, in this case they do at least tell me that someone is reading a word or two of my blog. Once again, I've digressed quite spectacularly in the name of 'word smithery'. Whom as it happens is the only deity I shall give credence to under these circumstances.
Onwards to my point; I'd almost forgotten what it was, so no doubt you had. Today I looked in the mirror and I was three stone heavier again. The labels in my clothes didn't make sense anymore. Logic and reason became like oil to the water of perception and understanding - they had grown to loathe one another and separated.
I had felt rather apprehensive at the thought of what might happen once I'd reached my goal weight - that magical number you see on the scales, the one that means normal service can resume again. In my heart I knew exactly what would happen, but it somehow hoped I might surprise myself. I wanted to attain my magic number and skip off into the sunset, feeling content and happy in my new slimmer self. Instead, what happened was I reached a goal of sorts about a month ago, and then decided that as I'd smashed that, I'd just keep going until I reached the weight the eating disorders clinic had once told me was what I'd need to get to before they'd discharge me. Having reached this new milestone, I stripped naked to get on the scales, and looked up to see my poor mistreated body as if it were the 29th of March all over again.
Would laser eye surgery help? Is it something to do with the shape of my eyeballs that makes me unable to perceive myself as I am below a certain weight? Lately people have been remarking that I 'look really well'. I am, of course, suitably gracious, but at the same time suspicious, because I don't understand what they mean: I look red faced? Fatter? What?! I am very aware of how paranoid this must sound. Painfully aware. But I am also painfully aware of this belly I have yet to shed, the wobbly layer of fat around each thigh that I've never seen on another human being, and the enlarged upper arms that may, or may not, be as a result of having a very solid 15 month old son to lift. I will never be happy with my weight. At 6 stone I saw the same image of myself in the mirror as I do now.
I've picked up on people's subtle ways of asking me if I'm planning to trek off into the jungle of eating disorders again. I know how it works. "But you're eating normally again now of course?" They might say. "Well, I just don't feel like eating the fatty stuff anymore" I say. It all seems laughable, when you consider that I'm pretty much bang on normal weight now. That's the brilliance of it - people will keep telling you you look amazing until right before you've gone too far. That's how we're conditioned - a society hellbent on vilifying celebrities who get fat, and patronising those who lose it. You have to not be famous for it to be an eating disorder, and even then you're weak and selfish.
I'd love to be able to enjoy food whilst fitting into the template of what we expect women to look like, but frustratingly, those two things do not fit together. I'm sure one day I'll be too old to care.