What My Brain Tells Me Would Change If I Were Thin


My brain tells me I wouldn’t want to buy more clothes if I were thin. That I’d suddenly open my closet and love every piece hanging there, many of which aren’t even two years old, but that I constantly fling to the floor in frustration when I can’t camouflage the extra weight I carry in my tummy and hips. My brain tells me I’d grow out of my need to wear mostly black.

“You would dance if you were thin,” my brain tells me. My hips would move in the subtle, joyful, graceful way of girls with actual rhythm. That I’d jump up and down and whirl round and round with my arms in the air without worrying that my shirt would ride up and someone might catch an offending glance of the less than perfect me that I’ve worked so hard to hide.

“You’ll measure up to the people you admire” it says when I see lithe young women my age laughing together in groups and taking pictures that will receive 100 likes and at least 20 comments on Instagram. I’ll fit into those pretty photos; all gleaming straight smiles and collarbones and good eye makeup.

“You’ll make more money,” says the part of my brain that remembers the reports that say that pretty girls and tall men are the most successful in business. And with all that extra money I can afford the SoHo Equinox where the thin people go to make sure other thin people see them staying thin. I’d breath my perfect yoga breaths and press my palms into the floor, flexible and serene, not worried about who might b peek at my rolls while I stretch.

“You’ll be proud to run into people when you go home” it coos to me. The image of being thin and beautiful in the face of people who hurt my pride so many times is delicious. I wouldn’t ever need to flush red like I did then, during that time that hardly seems real in my sepia memories of it. High school reunions are too soon already. I have to be thin by then. I have to be thin.

But the constant, heartbreaking echo of my mind, louder than all the others, is this: “Someone will love you if you’re thin. You’re not ever going to be loved otherwise.” It tells me if I’m thin that one of the men “worth having” will love me. One of those flawless men who interact with cool girls who wear roomy shirts from All Saints and leather leggings, and look like they slept in them… One of those men will love me.

One of those men will look at me and think to himself “This girl is the best I could do,” instead of “This girl is the best I could do?”

10 pounds, they might.

15, it’s likely.

25, I might as well start planning the accessories for my wedding reception photo booth.

But that’s what my brain tells me. TC Mark

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