Tag Archives: skinny

Overheard

I was standing in line at the DMV and the lady next to me was renewing her license. She was asked to look over her information.

“It’s correct except I don’t weigh 50kgs anymore.”

My ears started flapping, but I prevented myself from turning to stare at her. No one wants to be gawked at like a freak on a Tuesday afternoon.

“Ok how much do you weigh now?”

“I think, maybe 60kgs?”

She doesn’t look self conscious. She doesn’t giggle shyly or hang her head ashamed. No one can say for sure, but to an onlooker it seems like she gained 10kgs and that is just fine. Normal. Unremarkable. Not noteworthy.

I have never put my correct weight on my driver’s license. I always lowball – within REASON.

At ballet school we were taught to subtract 10lbs from our actual weight when asked for an audition. As a rule of thumb I have continued to do this because it seems REASONABLE. Reasonable to lie about my weight because no number is ever really acceptable.

Today I went to get a cup of coffee in the mall and a shop employee was hob nobbing with the barista. No one can say for sure, but she looked like she was afflicted with the rex. I had admired her skeletal like arms as she handed me my coffee with trembling hands and a smile that lit up her pale, hollowed out face.

The shop employee was showing the barista his lunch. She looked at it like a maniac. Like she was fascinated and revolted at the same time.

“I’m not going to eat all of it now,” he informed her and her co-coffee worker. “I guess I’m telling you so that you don’t laugh at my fat ass.”

The other barista comments on how she likes to tell herself she will save food for later and then eats it all in one sitting instead. I’m stirring my coffee slowly, deliberately eavesdropping.

The rexy barista hasn’t moved. She is in the same spot still transfixed by this lunch that has wandered in to high jack her shift.

He gets his coffee from skinny and skinnier behind the espresso machine and looks at his lunch with unbridled delight.

“I’m only 15lbs away from my goal weight anyway.”

I pick up my coffee and stroll out into the banal abyss of mall. I take my extra 15 pounds of “baby” weight with me. My extra 15 pounds of sleepless nights, more calories for breastfeeding, anxiety, bad day with the babies, hormonal, postpartum, non exercising excuses, sneaky glasses of wine and a few too many chocolate binges of baby weight.

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Undefined

I am triggered by everything:

A photo of dancers I used to idolize when I was 16 and starving, desperate to be even half as skinny as they were and still are. I scroll past them. My brain does a double take. I back track. I scrutinize their emaciated arms, their collar bones, their sunken cheek bones. They are all smiles, superior in their anorexia, mocking me. Twenty years have gone by and they are still thinner than thin.

I see my reflection in an unsafe mirror…so that’s what thighs and hips and stomachs look like after two babies in quick succession – well mine anyway. A vast, mass of undefined lard, rolling and oozing and overflowing, fleshy like raw dumplings, doughy like unbaked bread, ever expanding…never ending. Never ceasing to amaze me in horror to fascinate me as I stare. “Is that really me?” I don’t recognize myself, this untamed, unmanageable, out of control lump. I don’t fit into my clothes or my brains neatly, compartmentalized boxes: bulimic ballerina has been replaced with fat stay-at-home-mum. Fat, frumpy, fleshy, unfit to be a mother or an anorexic.

I read an ED memoir a friend lends me. I stop. I put it away on a shelf where I cannot see it. I pick it back up a week later. It makes me remember that I used to purge just as easily as I breathed. After this long, would I even notice if it crept back in? If I slipped a couple of times that were more intentional than unintentional? After all, there are days where I seamlessly substitute my calories as I go. Latte? No, americano. Vegan mayo? No, mustard. Salad dressing? Not necessary. More pasta? No, more veggies. Two slices of toast? No, three quarters of one slice is more than enough for breastfeeding two babies. I shake so much, so often from hunger. I don’t get any thinner.

I don’t want to think of the other bad days where I unintentionally eat two muffins instead of one. When I eat half a bag of chocolate chips and then wonder why I’m carrying this “baby weight” 7 Months later. I’m surprised when these things happen. Half a packet of digestive biscuits later I am unsure where I went wrong. But I’ve never pretended to know so why start now?

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Words Of Wisdom From A Stick Insect

I shop at a very expensive yoga clothing store. As a ballet teacher, I wear that type of clothing 6 days a week for work and get a special discount there because of my position.

A few weeks ago I had a gift card to said store and went to buy a new yoga top and pants. I don’t try things on there. I just grab them in a size 6 and they fit***

I got home and put the yoga top on and it looked awful. The built-in bra didn’t cover my boobs – it fit in the band around my ribs, but the length of the material was just to short to comfortably cover everything and not squish them awkwardly. I was disappointed as the top looked pretty on the hanger, but I knew a size 8 would be too big around the ribs so I went to return it and get my money back.

“What was wrong with it?” the stick insect behind the counter asked as she rang through my exchange.

“It just looked lovely on the hanger but horrible on,” I responded without going into detail about how a 6 fits in the ribs, but doesn’t have enough material to contain my boobs.

She looked disparagingly at me, “yeah you do have to have that certain body type for this top.”

I think my jaw hit the floor.

She kept looking at me.

“Well obviously I just don’t have that body type,” I responded incredulously.

She smiled in mock sympathy, “I know what you mean.”

I took my money and left in disgust.

*** I used to be a size 2 or 4 in this store. Barfing at my own fatness.

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The Slow Fade

The comments started this week:

“You are so skinny.”

“She doesn’t eat.”

“You don’t look ok. Are you starving?”

“Aren’t you hungry? You’ve only had coffee all day.”

“It’s like you have ’empty’ tattooed on your forehead.”

I ignore them because I can be thinner still. I have only lost 11lbs since the beginning of June. I have many more to go…the slow fade, the long waste away, the disappearing act. I am emptying myself of disillusion, of sorrow. I am comforted in my distress by the dull ache of starvation and the acute pain of hunger. I need not to need; not to want. I know no other way, but this: no food will fill me with the love I cannot give myself. I, so undeserving, have looked for it in another. It eludes me like my bones which will not show themselves.

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The Numbers Game

The Numbers Game

The numbers tumble at first, falling rapidly, swirling past my stout calves, up along my tree-trunk thighs and settling on my broad, starving, ever-expanding stomach. The thrill of the numbers shrinking is a high no drugs could ever reproduce in me. I laugh from my double chins, my rolls shaking, heaving. I have done this before; I can do it again. I will do it a million times over if I must. The first few days are heady with delight and obsession like a new lover but an old love affair remembered. I am beside myself with starvation, with renewed determination to see the scale swing down to where my self-worth was last seen waiting for me. Perhaps my sanity will be there too?

After a few days they stop, stalling. A stalemate. We stare at each other; this is hostile territory. A new lover becomes an old enemy. Swords drawn at dawn after a night of purging, I step on the scale to weigh my loathing and self-hatred. The needle swings past numbers that I long for, that I dream of, that I want more than this life itself. They speed past – up, up, upwards to places, figures, sums that I know will eventually kill me with their truth. I would get on my knees and pray if it would help my quest for thin. Plateaus of pain, of discontent, of frustration and the foreshadowing of what will come. There will never be a consolation prize for fat.

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Hollow Girls

Hollow Girls

They are concave, made of bones and sinews and tired muscles. Their feet are over arched and much abused as they float across the stage, ethereal and see-through. Clavicles and scapulae are on display for all to see. Chest bones, rib bones, hip bones poke through scanty costumes. Tutus and tiaras on skeletons. They sit pale and wasted through rehearsals. Not all, but many. Some wear their thinness like a badge of honour. Others follow them with envious eyes. They stare at their reflections in too many mirrors. Those asked to lose weight take note of their fraying forms. They have made the leap towards perfection.

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