“You’re here for your physical?” asks the nurse. “Let me weigh you.”
“Please, please don’t tell me what I weigh,” I beg.
“Really, it is better for me if I don’t know my weight. I will be happier.”
“Close your eyes then,” she says as I step on the scale. “I want you to be happy today.”
She weighs me and measures my height.
“It’s not bad. You’re not heavy,” she says as I step off.
“I’m in ballet,” I retort. “I’m always heavy.”
She laughs again. She pulls out a tape measure to measure my waist. I squeeze my eyes shut as she writes my stats down. “Tiny waist. I would love that waist,” she says.
She puts the piece of paper with numbers on the doctors desk. “Put this gown on and wait. Doctor will be in in a few minutes.”
She walks out and closes the door. She leaves me alone with that piece of paper that taunts me and mocks me and begs me to look at it. I sit on the bed in a gown looking at my horrible legs. I am rooted there. Weighed down.
I couldn’t look at that piece of paper. All of me summed up in numbers that are too big. I didn’t have the strength. It seemed time had stood still as I sat there deliberating what to do.
At last the door opened and the doctor walked in. She checked my over; looked at my bloodwork; refilled my prescriptions. “Any concerns?” she asked.
“My weight,” I replied.
“I can give you a referral,” she replied. My heart sank. She had not refuted my comment. She didn’t look at me and say the magic words ‘there is nothing wrong with your weight’.
I know she thinks I am crazy but, I took that as damning evidence. I took the referral and left. I crumpled up that little piece of paper and tossed it in a garbage can. I walked on into the day into starvation and bingeing and purging.