here and now and then

It came up at a party, the fact that I had had weight-loss surgery. I’m not even sure how, and I’m a little ashamed that I was tempted to deny it, and say no no, it was exercise and a lot of protein! I’ve been feeling pretty defensive, lately, about having had it, after reading in several spots, in a relatively short period of time, how it is the easy way out, and plastic surgery, and deadly mutilation, and cheating.  But I owned up to it, because none of those things are true. Yes, I said, surgery. Almost a year and a half ago. This is the amount of weight. I know, I can’t believe it either. I know, it’s crazy. Here is a brief explanation of the surgery, here is how it works, here is how I live. I know, it’s crazy! You can’t imagine me weighing that many pounds? Oh, I said. Ha, I said. You betcha.

I felt like she wanted me to say “Thank you! Isn’t that so great?” I am relieved that thank you was not my first instinct. That I am still loyal to that person I was, all these years, and who I became, and how I got there. I gained a lot of weight because of biological issues, and psychological issues, but also because of choices I made, over and over. I am responsible for my physical being, the flesh I inhabited. And that body of mine is responsible for the person I became, everything I am and who and how and why. My body and what I think of as myself–I act, all the time, as if these are separate entities, completely unrelated, but I know they are completely inextricable. To suggest otherwise is dishonest, and lazy and feels, to me, treacherous and unfaithful. I am treacherous and unfaithful, though. When that woman said “I can’t imagine you weighing that much!” I realized that I can’t imagine it any more, either.

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