Every once in a while it really hits me how ironic my mental state is. I mean, for some reason I feel compelled to always be on the lookout for those pesky things called calories. I resist and restrict. I scrimp and save. And where does that get me? Nowhere. Certainly not where I want to be. I find it somewhat hilarious that the one thing I can do right, is starving myself. I am stick thin, and…not proud of it. I hate my skinny state. I see “normal” women and girls, and long to be able to pull off the looks they have. Shorts, tights, leggings…these items of clothing seem somewhat elusive to me and my wardrobe. “I can’t wear those! They’ll make me look skinny!” is how my internal monologue goes. I know I am freakish. I know I don’t look my age. I constantly see people looking me over, sneaking second (and third, and fourth) glances. But the funny thing is, I am doing the same thing to them. I am peering at them and studying their bodies, trying to imagine what those nice curves would look like on me.
I find people to be a constant source of amusement and inspiration. It’s almost as if I am not me. I don’t realize how thin I am, and that I have a “disease” sometimes. Most of the time I remember, but there will be days that I see a woman who is very thin, and think “Does she have an eating disorder? How can she do that?” in response to the sight of her. I don’t realize that I could just as easily be looking into a mirror as gazing at this woman wandering by. But then I have to eat something or see a poster with a delicious looking hamburger on it, and I am brought back to reality.
Most often, I find myself thinking about how fat would feel on me. There is a severe absence of it on my body, and second to calories, fat is what I fear the most. But here is where the contradictions enter: I yearn to have fat on me. I want to have curves and look good in clothes. I desire to be able to take pleasure in the clothes I wear and the way my hair looks and how these shoes bring out the definition in muscles on my legs. I want to be able to look in the mirror in nothing but my underthings, and be amazed at how my body has changed. I know, I know. I did this to myself, so I can surely undo it. I, too can have those wonderful curves and belly that I long for…the answer is simple: eat. But it’s not that easy. Or maybe I am overcomplicating things. Some days the voices in my brain, the constant calculating and adding and subtracting, stop. Usually only for a moment or two, but it does happen, Suddenly my mind is crystal clear, and I can see myself eating a meal and enjoying it, knowing it is fuel for my body, and healing for my brain. And then. Then I think, no. No, I will not allow that! If I eat those things I long for, my belly will be full. I will feel satiated and bloated, and it won’t be good, it will be horrible. I won’t be able to live with myself.
So I become paralyzed. I go back to my carrots and chicken sandwich and my chips that I have counted out carefully. I don’t know where to start, so I don’t. I imagine that tomorrow will be different, that I will eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, at a normal time. And then when I become hungry again, I might just eat another bowl. And from there, who knows! The possibilities are endless. And that is what makes me freeze like a deer in the headlights. There are other components too, but the thought of all of those choices…there are so many things I would like to try. I don’t know where to begin…maybe here, with this glazed doughnut? Or how about a few slices of pizza, with extra cheese…no, maybe if I’m really good this morning, I will let myself have some ice cream tonight (isn’t Bunny Tracks the most delicious thing ever?), but only if I make sure that I have the lower calorie snack bars and use a smaller piece of chicken for lunch, and don’t eat too much for dinner…and when the time comes I decide that nah, I’ll just have a little slab of chocolate instead. It tastes ok and is fewer calories and I’ll feel better about it in the long run. But on the nights when I do eat ice cream? I find that I don’t feel guilt over it. In fact, I hardly think about it.