needs improvement

Tomorrow I leave for Chicago, and it is kind of killing me. The excitement is killing me, because after lousy days like yesterday, I need a very good weekend. And this will be, if I am not mistaken, the very greatest weekend of all time. Well, in the top five, anyway. It’s up there, for sure.

I get to see excellent people
I have not seen for far too long. I get to meet excellent
whose sites I’ve been reading since the Internet was just a baby, which is,
like, totally cool and a benefit of living in the future with space age
telecommunications. I get to rock star karaoke in front of a live band, and
fail spectacularly. There will be an amazing dinner, which will feature an
amazing array of desserts of which I will eat a spoonful each, and then there
is dancing all night, in a fucking awesome dress I found at Forth & Towne, RIP, for $19. There is nothing at all that will be bad
about this weekend.

There is plenty that will go wrong in my head. The plane will blow up, Chicago will sink into the–sea? River? Bowels
of the earth and dissolve into a pit of boiling lava that springs from the very
gut of hell itself? My hotel will say, "You do not have a
reservation!" and then spit on me and then my heel will break while I run
to catch a cab and it will splash me with dirty water as it zips off and I will
make a terribly sad face as my umbrella blows inside out and then despairing
music will play and the announcer will say, "Sometimes…life hurts."
And then you will be moved to start taking Zoloft, but I will still be

How could I possibly be screwed? I can bounce back from
travel delays and mishaps and wacky misunderstandings and I don’t wear high
heels or carry an umbrella, so I’m safe there. I think what I’m afraid of is
being fat. A fine time to think of it! you say, chuckling heartily. Yes, you’re very funny, I reply. But it is
the prospect of being in a new place, doing new things, getting up on a karaoke
stage in front of people, all of whom, it is suddenly unbearable to think,
might look at me and say in their heads as people are wont to do in the privacy
of their own heads, Hmm. She sure is fat!

I’m not sure exactly why this is a problem now. After all, I
spent the majority of my life knowing that my appearance means in that first
split second of first impression, I am saying Hallo! I am fat! It’s something
that I absolutely agonized over when I was a teenager. It made me want to say fuck you right off the bat when I met
someone, to short circuit the recognition and let them know I just knew what
they were thinking and I didn’t care because I am so tough. And in the past few
years, it’s become something that I have not really cared about, much. I am fat–that is a descriptor of my size, the weight I carry on my body. You
can’t use it as an insult, because it is a fact. How can a fact be a slur? Also, fuck
Just in case.

Now, though, I am newly conscious of my body. When I got the
largest and in chargest, I sort of–disconnected. I dressed myself well and took
care of myself, but it was like I was crossing my eyes every time I looked in a
full length mirror, and I did not really allow myself to pay attention to my
actual size. It was easier that way. Does that mean I copped out? Was I not
really into size acceptance, beauty at any size, loving your body no matter what,
because I didn’t really comprehend what that size I was supposedly loving was? 

That makes me angry at myself, and makes me feel like a
hypocrite. Almost as much a hypocrite as I feel now, worried that Chicago is going to be
ruined by my fat. I have lost so much weight that I am so totally practically
not even fat any more, and while sometimes I feel like I need to hide the fact
that I used to be morbidly obese, I want to get credit for not being
practically just overweight. I want it to count, and for people to ooh and to
ahh and to call me so skinny and that is so ridiculous. Objectively, I’m not.
Subjectively, I am. In reality, who the fuck cares?

This whole thing, this weight-loss thing, was supposed to
make me worry less about my body, help make me more comfortable in my skin,
help me feel less conspicuous, help me stop spending my entire life worried
about what people will think and how they will use my weight to try and hurt
me, and sometimes would, no matter how positive my attitude about my own size
was. I could find being fat just descriptive, but if someone finds that description
disgusting–it is hard not to be affected by that, sometimes profoundly, when
that disgust is thrown in your face.

It’s not happening. It’s getting worse. I look at my body
every day, when I’m getting dressed. I examine the lumps, the bumps, I check from
every angle, I squint to see if I notice a difference in my face, my thighs, my
waist, my ankles, for fuck’s sake. My image has become a proving ground, and my
self-esteem is starting to show the wear and tear. I have lost 111 lbs., but
I don’t look good enough, I don’t feel good enough, it’s not enough. This is
not something I ever expected to happen, and it sometimes feels like something
I’m just barely surviving. Is it going to stop? Am I going to get to my goal
weight and still feel like I am falling short? Jesus Christ, I hope not.

I will pack carefully for Chicago, and stand up straight
(minimizing rolls) and I will get up on stage and be a rock star, and think fuck you if I have to, and say it if I
have to, but maybe, I won’t. Because I
really, really need a good weekend.

3 Replies to “needs improvement”

  1. And it’s suppposed to be a beauty here, too. I’m pretty sure the Chicago River and Lake Michigan will still be in place when you leave, and I hope you enjoy my city — I think it’s the best place in the whole world to live. Enjoy!

  2. Have a great time in Chi-town and don’t sweat the fat. Folks in the Midwest are, by and large, less body obsessed than Cali kinds. My DH’s first reaction when he visit Chicago as a Native Son of the GWl, was “Are we in the nexus of ugly here?”. So no worries – you’ll shine.

  3. Of course my first comment is: You’re a beautiful human being, inside and out, and stop worrying!

    But, sadly, my second comment, which is more like a confession, is that I understand all to well how you feel, and I hate to admit this but I have to say that as I have lost weight I too have become more aware, more obsessed, more conscious of my body and the failings it still has.

    Or the ones I think it still has. I don’t know, because I can’t see myself objectively. I’ve lost a lot of weight and I’m basically at goal now. But still I see flaws.

    It shouldn’t be this way. I shouldn’t feel this way. You shouldn’t feel this way. Damnit. So please refer to my first comment. And have a ball.

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