I had a meltdown on Tuesday because I’m super fat. Okay, I’m not fat, but I definitely have put on over ten pounds in two months, which is 2008 Britney Spears out-of-control. I’m still not totally sure how I managed to put on that much poundage in such a short amount of time—I’ve been walking a lot, I feel like I’ve been eating at home more, I’m certainly not drinking as much as I have in the past—but somehow I went from 114 lbs to 127 and I can assure you none of it is muscle.
I knew that I had put on a few because my clothes were fitting a little differently. My dresses that were tailored to my body with a little wiggle room for natural female fluctuation were now super tight. My skinny jeans hadn’t moved from their shelf in my closet. I knew better than to even try. But whatever, I didn’t think much of it because it’s not entirely abnormal for me to gain five pounds and lose seven within a four-week window.
But then my boyfriend’s birthday came along. I booked us a res at this crazy romantic hidden gem of a restaurant and got us a room at Safari Inn, a trashy motel that was featured in True Romance, our favorite movie and one of the first things we bonded over. I planned to stock the room with his favorite wine and desserts and the presents that I’d been slowly collecting since March. I ordered thirty-five purple balloons in honor of his age and favorite color (he’s a Ravens fan). I wanted to get some mad whorish lingerie but somehow wound up putting that off until the last minute. Two days before the big celebration, I ducked into a Victoria’s Secret (I’m so ashamed) and picked up a couple trashy looking things in my usual size and walked straight to the register.
I wasn’t going to put the lingerie on until the night of because who the fuck has time to strut around their apartment in lingerie beside Jennifer Love Hewitt? (That is not a reference to The Client List, I read in her book “The Day I Shot Cupid” that she likes to turn herself on by getting vajazzled and walking around her place dressed like she’s about to fuck even when she doesn’t have anyone to sleep with. The whole book is kind of heaven, FYI) Then I remembered that I’m totally fat now and I should probably just try everything on and pick the one that looks the least offensive.
Obviously they all looked deeply offensive and I cried and that’s why I’m writing this. I was mortified. Victoria’s Secret is meant for America and America is fat. And I didn’t fit into a small there anymore. A small t-shirt at Old Navy is essentially a circus tent and Old Navy is basically Victoria’s Secret and if I didn’t fit in one of their smalls, then I am bigger than something made to house elephants.
I ran down to the front desk of my building in a haze of craze and was all, “DOES ANYONE HERE KNOW A PERSONAL TRAINER? I NEED A PERSONAL TRAINER! CAN ANYBODY HELP ME?”
Thankfully this chick at the desk did know a guy. He’s a sixty-something Panamanian and he wears a lot of Lulu Lemon. He diagnosed me as “skinny fat”—my body wants to be skinny but between my laziness and lack of self-control re: food/alcohol/everything I’m not allowing myself to shine like the petite diamond I am.
My relationship with my body/food has always been this: I was a chubby child/teen because I was a loner indoor kid who was left alone a lot and made most of my own meals. We never had processed foods in the house, but whenever I’d have a chance to buy candy, I’d buy a shitload of it and eat it all in one sitting because I was afraid I’d never have candy again.
When I was in college, I figured out how to be anorexic. I say “figured out” because I’d obviously had been aspiring to having an eating disorder my entire life. I was so jealous of the girls in high school that weighed like, 11 pounds and could wear whatever they wanted.
I realized that if I ate an apple and drank a can of Coke and smoked a pack of cigarettes, I was getting enough calories to feel full. Then after about a week of that, I eliminated the apple and just drank two cans of Coke. I lived off of Coke and cigarettes for two years before I started to gradually work in vegan sushi. I’m about 5’7” or 8” and I got all the way down to 96 pounds. I felt so fucking chic.
Anxiety and depression, two things that come pretty naturally to me, were huge in keeping the starvation going. At some point I got kind of happy though and got back up to 110, which made me look long and thin but not necessarily sickly. I maintained that weight for a long time because I’d figured out a new diet: Eat three bites of anything I want (burgers, pizza, Doritos, Snickers Ice Cream Bars) five or six times a day and throw the rest in the trash like the first world cunt that I am.
Then I got really really happy and started eating three meals a day and that’s where my general disregard for the food pyramid started to catch up to me.
The Panamanian Trainer and I have met three times in the four days that I’ve known him. He says he’s surprised at how athletic I am because when he saw me and my skinny fat he thought I was going to be a huge baby. I told him that I am an addict and that everything I do, I do it big and that’s why I’ve gone from not working out at all to working out hard for an hour a day.
He put me on a diet. In the morning I’m supposed to eat like a queen, at lunch I’m supposed to eat like a princess and at dinner I eat like a peasant. I’m not really sure what that means, so I’ve just been eating lettuce for every meal and in the morning I add a hard-boiled egg and an avocado.
For the birthday celebration, I took my weekend cheat day and ate lobster and drank martinis. My cheat day carried over to this morning when I ate a crème brulee over the motel sink at 10 am. I guess that’s what queens do.
Am I actually really skinny already? Nah. But I can feel the difference in my body and I bet by September my friends and family will be concerned about me and saying things like, “you have to treat yourself, Molly” which is really the only thing I ever want to hear. Ever.