“None of my pants fit,” a friend admitted to me on a walk. It was something I heard a lot and was comforted about – no one’s underpants fit after the past year. I join many in the club to buy new clothes, except that my weight gain was more than just a few kilograms …
It crept up on me because last year stretched from one horror to another. Before I realized it, I had acquired two sizes of dresses. The famous panic washed my skin when I realized that I have to increase myself this summer when buying shorts. I’ve been struggling with pounds since elementary school, and the familiar fear of being in a body that didn’t look the way I felt was something I thought I was done with. Then came the additional guilt of gaining weight in a romantic relationship with someone. I still struggle to accept my partner’s unconditional love when my body looks drastically different than when we met. This is inconvenient, because in my brain, I am thinner than another person who has a different life. That person could put the boy down, but that person never.
“You know it’s just a number on a scale, don’t you?” I heard my therapist on the phone the other day. That number from the scales flashes in my head again, as it has so many times a day. What if I treated the number as what it is – information about the body, which is not related to my dreams or what kind of friend I am or even my health?
I talked to a friend about the fact that our bodies are created – and uniform meant be – different sizes at different times, and that our weight will increase and decrease and that’s fine. We don’t learn about these facts about our body until they have already led us to believe in the lies of food culture and fatphobia. It clicked into place a little more and made me feel human – as if it was my right as a human being to go through the natural progressions of sadness and survival in my body. I started thinking of ways to hug my body the way it stands, even when I want to take my skin off and get away from it.
I give myself a chance to really be present this body, not turning to my old weight from 13 months ago. I go for a walk around my neighborhood to make my body feel connected to nature and because I want it to feel good and be strong. I buy clothes of larger dimensions, between deep breaths. This summer I will be swimming in the ocean, probably in a bikini, wearing short skirts and laughing at a louder volume than is appropriate for a brunch. I hate my body for too long and I’m tired of it. I just don’t want to anymore. This constantly moving vessel has even more rights to enjoy what it has survived.
(Photo by Chelsea Victoria / Stocksy.)