Fine–I am not fat any more, where it counts to the outside world. I am still a fat girl in my heart, but here where everyone can see me and judge me, I am not, by any objective standard outside of Hollywood or mental illness, fat. I am maybe chubby, a little fluffy, not skinny, or, medically speaking, overweight. But I am not fat. I spent a good 25 years of my life fat, and now that is not me any more, goddamn it. Now what the fuck am I supposed to do?
I recede back into that vocabulary, when
I’m feeling uncomfortable–I feel fat, I look fat, I am fat, all used in
a negative way, with negative connotations. It’s not simply and
elegantly a marker of size, the way it should be and needs to be, but
instead it’s a put-down in the old-fashioned, needs-to-be-obsolete
sense. I’m insulting myself with these words I have no right to use
any more. I’m feeling a way that is completely
at odds with the space I take in the world, and the shape of that
space, and it is harder than I thought to shake out of it. I am
starting to believe in my size; yes, I am, quite literally, about half
the size I used to be, and yes I will fit in that chair or between
those two columns or in this pair of pants that still, for an instant,
look much too small but I can see how it will work. I’ve
adjusted in a lot of ways, and my head’s caught up with my body in a
lot of ways, but sometimes I am not sure my body has caught up.
In the pictures from the wedding, I can see myself still standing the way I used to when I was very large. My feet are spread apart, planted wide as if I am supporting my weight, still, and needing to be sturdy and stable. As if my thighs still were fighting for space beneath my pelvis, where there is only limited room, as if I still couldn’t, due to the laws of physics, put my knees together, stand primly with my ankles locked. In the pictures, I feel like I look a little graceless, a little uncomfortable in my body in a way I don’t remember feeling. My shoulders are still a bit rolled over and down, and I am still hunched, my head tilted, as if I am asking you to please not look too closely at me, and I am smirking at the camera as if to tell you I already got the joke and there is no need for you to make it. I know what I look like, thank you very much, and I’ve already said all the "ew" that needs to be said.
All leftovers from all the time I spent hating myself. Those years I did okay, I stood tall, I felt hot and lovely and full of curves–it’s like they never happened. As if I am still that film spinning in reverse, but undoing all the years I have spent in this body as I get smaller and smaller. I have flown past loving my body, in a blink of an eye, and I am back and mired in this feeling of inadequacy, imperfection, and floundering because I no longer have the words to talk about it, and I feel like talking about it makes me seem ungrateful, ridiculous, will make me look full of guile, as if I am begging for compliments and reassurances–no no, honey. Not fat. Now that you’re skinny, you’re so beautiful and perfect.
I’m not fat anymore, but I’m certainly not skinny, and I have never felt less beautiful or less perfect.
When does that part start? I’m sitting in the station, with my valise in my lap, waiting for my train to come on in.