Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Coffee Heath Bar Crunch

I just ate a full pint of ice cream for what I think is the first time since before treatment.

You will not never binge again, I remember someone Staff saying. For so long that wasn't true. I don't mean until now, but for months and months I kept a very, very tight rein on my eating, counting exchanges, worrying if any extra bite or thought of biting was disordered.

And so what? I have done an eating-disordered thing. I am having the worst week of my life, and I was in the supermarket because I needed groceries and I knew it was perilous to be there, but it was also perilous not to be, and I just could not find a reason not to comfort myself in what is still one of the very few ways I know how.

And the things just keep coming, the stressful frightening things, and I just don't know how to survive them, weather them, and the kid with whom I host lunches for prospective students came into the admissions office today where I was already sitting, all ready to engage in an I-have-so-much-work pissing contest, and I nearly cried. That's the way to sell the school!

I have done an eating-disordered thing. I have done eating-disordered things before. I will do eating-disordered things in the future. It doesn't mean I have an eating disorder now like I did then, not the same magnitude. It is not all or nothing; surely I've learned that much.

I am going to survive this week and I am going to find some small form of stress relief that is not food. Something that allows me to recognize my feelings instead of swallowing them.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cute as a (fat) button

I feel kind of weird saying this (the reasons why are a whole different post), but: I'm feeling pretty body-positive these days. Perhaps it's partly that I'm recovering, and I'm very keen on the fact that I can do things like walk, and stand up, and lie on my stomach. And have sex. But I was getting into the shower today and looked at myself in the mirror and felt pretty cute. Okay, better than pretty cute. Totally did a couple of cheesecake poses in the mirror. Totally thought (for just a second!) about becoming an internet alt-porn fat pinup girl.

Yes, there are things I don't like about my body. Things I hate about it. Things I would consider fixing with plastic surgery (especially considering how well my gallbladder scars are healing! I am so excited that I scar well!). Interestingly, most of these things have to do with the effects not of being fat, but of weight fluctuation, being thinner than I used to be, losing and gaining weight repeatedly and quickly—stretched skin that leaves me baggy in places I totally do not want to be baggy.

There really are people who think if you are fat, you are ugly. I am not one of those people. I may have been at some point, but I definitely am not now. There are so many more important factors in beauty. Bone structure and proportion and the skills of presentation. And there are people who believe in the "pretty face," who can deal with your face but not your body if you are fat. I have been one of those people. I am not one of those people any more.

Honest-to-God, I loved my body in the mirror today. Squashy and baggy and cellulitic, porous and hair-dotted, smooth and pale and curved and cute as hell. I loved my body like the my-mom's-a-hippie puberty guides tell you you're supposed to. For a few minutes. It was great. This is so, so new. I cannot even tell you.

More and more and more, I think, Okay, I could do this. Fat my whole life? Cool. It would mean never being the girl I was supposed to be. But think of the girl I could be instead! She's pretty fantastic. She's tough and straight-talking and fascinating, she's funny, she's smart and thoughtful. She is not an ingenue, but she is pretty fantastic.

Also, if she would get her ass to the gym, she would be smoking hot. I should probably talk her out of plastic surgery, though, right?

P.S. I do not get all the credit for feeling super-cute. I put up a picture in a fatshionista thread and got several truly lovely compliments from several truly lovely (& fashionable!) women. That helped. Credit where it's due.

I am thinking about the following two things: intersections of fat and class (pursuant to discussions on fatshionista; the weirdness of fad diets that DENY YOU CARROTS, because WHAT THE FUCK? Those posts are coming. Long overdue, though they won't be definitive. Also about opening an IRA, but that has nothing to do with fat.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Different Body

Over the past two weeks, something truly unpleasant happened to me. I got sick, in the mode of what my doctor (see: "blame it on the fat") thought was acid reflux. I did all the things that I was supposed to, all the things that have worked in the past. Nothing. Called my doctor, doubled the dose of medication. Nothing. Finally, I went to the emergency room, where I was summarily informed that I needed my gallbladder removed, right away. I had emergency surgery in what turned out to be the nick of time. Because the situation was actually rather dire, the recovery process is a little grueling. I've had a drainage tube embedded in my abdomen, which is sliced open in three places. I've been on Vicodin for a week. My stamina is nil, and pain persists.

It has made me think of my body in a different way. I mean, it's brought up some body image stuff in general (the feeling of being gross and not intact is a familiar one), but also: fat or not, I am pretty happy in my body as a matter of general principle. It is sturdy and serviceable and healthy. It doesn't hurt when I sit in weird positions. I can walk long distances at good speeds with my hips swinging, looking confident in a way that makes me feel confident. I can't do that right now. I walk slowly and shufflingly, hunched, like an old person. Can barely stand up straight. It's hard to think of myself the same way when this is the way I walk. Normally, my body is tough and resilient and ebullient, I can wiggle and dance and bounce. I am agile. I am durable.

Not so of late. And it makes me realize the things I normally take for granted. All the things my funny imperfect wrong body, over which I do a lot of hand-wringing, can do for me, and does do for me, without complaint and without recompense. I am not glad to be sick and weak and in pain, but I am glad to have the little refocusing of attention.

On the other hand: Today in the doctor's office, before he came in to remove the drainage tube from me (a procedure that has the following steps: cut cord anchoring tube through holes in skin; pull hard to remove eight inches of coiled plastic from abdomen) I (for a change!) could not resist the attendant scale. I shucked off my heavy shoes and weighed myself (at the end of the day! in clothes!) and discovered I'd lost about ten pounds. I wonder how much an inflamed gallbladder weighs.