Saturday, August 4, 2012

Reflective Essay

I've been really busy with school so I haven't been able to do a lot.  The quarter is almost over so I have a lot of homework.  I got my Reflective Essay back last week.  100%  Yay.  My teacher said it perfectly captured what the assignment was about.

This essay has trigger warnings.  It is about weight, discusses self harm fantasies, weight gain and loss, with specific mentions of size and pounds, and dieting.  I just figured out how so, the essay is below the jump.

Black Jeans

I had a pair of jeans, perfectly black with a soft velvety texture and fashionably tapered legs. They were bought to be saved for the start of the school year, but before I could ever put them on I hit puberty. I rapidly gained weight and the jeans would not fit.
The weight pulled on my skin and caused stretch marks, pale purple furrows that spread across my belly, thighs, and chest. I was disgusting. A monstrous 145 pound thing in a pantheon of slender goddesses. They were beautiful. I wanted to be one of them.
My mom and I joined a gym together and we went three times a week until she no longer had time for it. When a teacher commented that an occasional dessert I would allow myself was “hefty” I started splitting it with my friends. I took a weight training class that made me stronger but also made me constantly hungry. I hit 165 pounds and I was still ugly. My beautiful pair of jeans sat in a drawer, unworn and perfect.
Every night I dreamed that an alien space ship would abduct me. They would show me bodies, perfect and beautiful, that could be mine. All I had to do was pick one and they would send me home inside of it. I would wake up, still fat, and cry.
I longed for someone to shoot me in the stomach in a way that the bullet could only be removed by the doctors sucking my fat out along with it. Sometimes I would sit in my room and fantasize about taking a knife, cutting open my belly, and pulling out the fat in greasy, white, handfuls. It was a calming vision and I brought it out whenever my body became more than I could endure. I hated what I saw in the mirror so much that I would have done anything to change it.
I cut my hair short and dyed it copper. Everyone said I looked amazing. One of my friends said I looked like a fire demon. For a little while I was beautiful, fat and all. Then came a warm day and I wore shorts. I overheard someone's comment that my legs were too fat. I wasn't beautiful anymore. I was ugly, and always had been. I needed to feel pretty again so I got a tattoo, pierced my tongue, got a buzz cut and dyed my hair blue. Each change brought on a short high. I would feel beautiful for a moment and bathe in the admiration of my friends, before crashing down, my heart and chest crushed with the pain of knowing how awful I looked. I still had those black jeans. They judged me from my dresser.
I was 185 pounds. My deep loathing and disgust had faded into a general dislike. I was ugly but I wasn't going to cut open my belly. Sometimes I could look decent, with the right clothes and makeup, but I still had my unworn pair of jeans. I started to take diet pills. I tried a few different ones but none of them worked and some of them made me sick. I was still ugly.
Finally, when I was 20, I found something that worked. I used Slim-Fast to keep my calories down to 1200 a day. I was always dizzy and cold. I didn't care, people commented on how good I looked. I was melting away and I couldn't be happier.
I got down to 125 pounds. I was so skinny and beautiful. It was all I could talk about. Everyone was so proud of me. The first day I pulled those jeans out and tried them on was amazing. They were seven years old but still in perfect condition. They pulled up easily and I didn't have to struggle to zip and button them. No fat spilled over the top, they didn't look stretched over my belly and thighs. They fit. I wore them almost everyday and I would stand in front of the mirror, admiring my new body. I was joyous, soaring, but it didn't last.
I had an ugly nose. I had that ugly double chin that wouldn't go away. I had deep stretch marks. I slouched. My hair was dry and brittle. I was stupid. I was too skinny. I was still too fat. The jeans I was so proud of were outdated. How could I have ever thought I was pretty?
I tried to keep the weight off but I couldn't resist the siren call of food. Slowly the weight crept back on. It resisted all efforts to keep it away. My weight climbed up to 145, then 165, and 185. I walked everywhere. I ate salads. I went up to 200 pounds. My once loved jeans had long since been replaced with a succession of larger sizes.
After more than a decade of dieting, taking pills, and hating myself I found the Fatosphere. It was a group of blogs written by women of all sizes but with one message, “Love your body.” The message was counter to everything I believed, but I kept reading and I moved on to other size acceptance blogs. I read stories from people who felt just like I did and I felt peace. I didn't have to hate myself.
Today, I am 240 pounds. I am healthy, low to normal blood pressure, no signs of diabetes or heart disease. I have a new pair of jeans, dark black and boot cut. They fit and I enjoy wearing them. Still, I sometimes feel ugly. On a bad day I can tear myself apart about everything from my weight to my haircut. Those days come less often now but some habits are hard to break. Packed away in a closet, I have a bag full of black jeans. Their sizes vary from the size 10 I wore at 125 pounds to the size 18 I wore when I was 180 pounds. I can't bring myself to give them away, so they sit and wait.

No comments: