That Thing

That thing where you see a picture of yourself (or, in my case, a large number of pictures of yourself in rapid succession) and you suddenly realize that the picture you have of yourself in your head, and the picture of yourself you get when you look in the mirror, are both terribly, impossibly skewed, and that in reality, the sheer, nasty, morning-after sort of reality that smacks you in the head and screams “IT’S TIME TO GET UP!!!” when you really just want to sleep, sleep some more, sleep the alcohol and sadness and emptiness away, but you can’t because reality is busy smacking you in the head and you realize that you don’t look anything like you do in your own special reality, that you have stretched out with age and inflated with pounds and pounds of ill-advised hunks of cheese or crispy fries or slices of cake or whatever the hell it is you’re eating that’s gotten you here and now here you are, inflated, the real you that you can still see in your head and even in the mirror trapped somewhere beneath dripping fleshiness and you want so badly, just so badly, to rewind the clock and tell yourself that Fat Acceptance is GREAT and you should feel GOOD about yourself and you should eat and feel happy and feel comfortable…but maybe you shouldn’t eat that or that, maybe you should keep the food-obessed part of yourself that kept you thin(ner) and happy(er) even if it IS truly “disordered eating”, because “disordered eating” is what got you to both the good and bad places you’ve been, disordered eating is what makes you roller coaster from one to the other, disordered eating is what thin people struggle with or don’t struggle with but just adopt so they stay thin and happy and not like you, all inflated and miserable and looking nothing if not like someone who isn’t going to do a damn thing, not a damn thing at all, and you look back and realize, again, that you’ve somehow changed from the person who nodded absently but then later laughed to your then-boyfriend-now-husband about how your tubby fatso friend was mocking people who didn’t want to eat soup that had cream in it, and you thought it was hilarious because DUH, THIN PEOPLE LIKE ME DON’T EAT CREAM OR WE GET FAT, and now you’ve inexplicably become a fat person who would say that some things should have cream in them, would eat the cream, drink the cream, defend the cream, all the while saying you can’t understand why you are so fat, so fat, so fat when you eat well and exercise and everything else you’re supposed to do except you maybe were doing the right things before when your belly was concave with hunger and you ate very little hoping to lose more but mostly you just maintained your weight and ran  3 miles a day and worked and worried and wondered who you’d become and probably would have screamed in agony if you had shown yourself then a picture of yourself now, inflated and stretched and bearing so little in resemblance to the you of then.

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