Fifteen pounds doesn’t sound like much.
I suppose it isn’t. I mean, it’s not fifty.
But then I remember not THAT long ago, I weighed thirty pounds less than I do now.
That’s a sizable, noticeable difference on someone that’s five foot three inches tall.
That was the summer of the green string bikini and the bare mid-drift shirt and the endless flirting due to reckless confidence.
It was also the summer that I could eat half of an Amy’s Kitchen saag paneer frozen meal and throw the rest of it away and had a trainer from $19 Fitness who told everyone I was his best client and didn’t drink much because I was living at home with my parents and was depressed that my boyfriend of three and a half years dumped me over the phone.
If only I could have that summer back or again or forever.
I don’t think I’m fat, but I’m definitely overweight. Not only do I fall out of the “normal” range for my BMI, but my pants are tight and my lower belly hangs over my underwear in a way that I can no longer hike them over it.
Lately I’ve been more comfortable in Larges. I’m definitely pushing it when I try to squeeze into any single digit size pieces of clothing. My bra is barely hanging on by the last row of clasps.
Maybe the fact that no one sees me naked is keeping me on this slow upward climb as I down frozen pizza in bed. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had to buy a new wardrobe. Maybe it’s because everyone around me seems to think I look fine.
I recently stepped on the scale and to my dismay, am at my heaviest. This shook me momentarily, but after a day of near starvation I was reminded of how much it sucks to be hungry. This feeling is in direct conflict with my need to binge eat in the privacy of my own home and order whatever the hell I want when I’m eating out. Oh and finishing what’s on your plate is just like, the polite thing to do, even if you did only pay $.37 for that chicken wing.
I recall living in New York and testing out a scale at a Bed, Bath and Beyond and nearly breaking down into tears when I saw the number. I got on a diet that lasted a few months, saw excellent results, and then because bingeing has been a part of my life since I was young, started to slip. I was living with a boyfriend at the time (oh hey, the same one who broke up with me via cell phone!) and was so embarrassed by my cheating, I’d hide it from him. I’d stop at a bakery on the way home from work and eat a scone or muffin or giant sized rice crispy treat before I hit the door. Once I sat on the stoop of our building so I could finish something. I spent our last month there claiming I needed to try every slice of pizza from as many different places as possible, because NEW YORK.
Salads are hilarious because I shove the lettuce down my throat, barely chewing it, while thinking about how all of this glorious stuffing of my face is hopefully burning more calories than what I’ve just ingested.
I mock myself for thinking I was heavy at nineteen pounds less than my current weight.
I laugh about adding five pounds to my driver’s license and still weighing ten more than that.
I pretend what it would feel like if I was face to face with my crush and weighed fifteen, no, twenty pounds less.
I try to remember what it’s like hanging out with girls who wear a size two.
I tell myself that summer would be more enjoyable if I didn’t feel so bloated and flabby in all of these flimsy dresses and tank tops.
I look at pictures where I appear enormous and try to shame myself.
I remind myself of the flush in my face when someone referred to a girl as chubby and I was definitely bigger than her.
I compare myself to every stranger on the street. Am I larger or smaller? Is THAT how I look?
I gaze at the mirror to inspect my double chin and puffy cheeks.
I imagine the conversations the people in my life have about me behind my back about how I’ve put on a few.
I scroll through old Facebook photos of when I was skinnier.
I envy friends who get sick and “can’t keep anything down” for three days.
I enjoy being a nanny and carrying around a baby because I look “pretty good for someone who just had a kid.”
I tug my underwear out of my buttcrack, suck in my stomach, and try to wear heels so my legs look smaller.
I replay that one glorious summer over and over and over again in my mind.
And then on my way home from work, I stop and get a McDonald’s ice cream cone. I probably already ate breakfast there that morning. I go to the store and buy pasta, sauce, parmesan cheese and bread to slather with butter and garlic.
I feel like I’m losing my mind waiting for that water to boil.
I don’t eat.
I have seconds.
I have thirds.
When I’m done, I feel like the most worthless, pathetic person on Earth, but am already dreaming about the next day’s meals.