I wrote this entry a week and a half ago when I was having a few bad days. Now I’m at the beach in a bikini and life is grand, but I really wish it were a little grander. …insight into life as a high strung 20 year old girl who has yet to mature enough to accept her own flaws as much as she has accepted the flaws of the ones she loves. Because I’m supposed to love myself too, right?
I call this one “girl who used to have a borderline eating disorder now works at a restaurant.” Can’t you see it? Someone famous who looks like me (Natalie Portman, Kierra Knightley, Jennifer Connelly–because we already have a lot in common) worries about her weight then overcomes it by surrounding herself with food and arming herself with the willpower to love her body after a plate of fries. Yeah I was having trouble imagining it too. Not the actress part but more the plot line. It seems a little too clean and maybe even a little false. And I hate a lie.
By “borderline eating disorder” I mean I never stopped eating or made myself throw up or exercised to excess but I always really really wanted to. I was an anorexic with no self-control, a bulimic who couldn’t pull the trigger, a fitness freak who didn’t have time for the gym more than five times a week. To a degree I still am the flaky girl who can’t commit to any sort of diet or exercise regime. I still worry, every day about my weight, my body my ability to look like anyone but myself. How do I manage it? Better than I used to. With shrugs and sighs and the occasional “well you look ok now.”
Talking about this body obsession makes me as uncomfortable as too tight jeans. It’s trite, isn’t it? For a girl to worry about how she looks. To pinch her stomach and grimace. To flick the skin under her arms and watch it shake back and forth. To, like me, put her hand under her shirt to feel her stomach and try to will it back towards her spine like some sort of prepubescent teen’s tiny frame.
I’m not going to “accept my body.” I know that it can look different if I exercise more and eat less. Therein lies the disease, the creeping painfully frustrating notion that I can always do better, look better. Just because I don’t starve myself doesn’t mean I don’t hurt. “I’m not tanning because it’s too hot.” No, I’m not tanning because I haven’t been comfortable in a bikini since 10th grade. “I can’t run because I just ate dinner.” I ate dinner hours ago and now feel bad about it and would rather lie in bed then fight a futile battle. “I think I’ll just stay home.” Because my shorts felt too tight when I tried them on and I don’t want to walk around like that all day.
I can just hear my mother now: “but honey I thought we were over these problems.” She doesn’t like me to hurt, especially when the pain is in my brain where bandaids and neosporin can’t reach. Most of the time I ignore how much I want to change my body. A lot of the time I admire my body. My legs are strong. My arms are long. My boobs are extremely small but hey they don’t take attention away from my face. I like my face just fine. I have people tell me I’m “skinny.” I could give a shit. If I don’t think it, the compliments ring in my ears as empty words, possibly offered as malicious taunts. My beau seems genuinely perplexed when I jokingly call myself fat. I don’t think I’m fat. I just don’t think I’m “right.”
My last blog was unresolved. I can put my life queries on hold but I’d like to maintain my sanity. Instead of needing a cup of coffee, a shot of liquor, my sister’s reassurance–all to help me see beyond what’s below my neck, I’d like to look in the mirror and say “Hey hot stuff (or something wonderfully complimentary like that)” after I’ve run 6 miles or I’ve eaten two cheeseburgers. I’m a waitress. I take people food and wonder how their mac and cheese tastes while I decide that my salad tastes delightfully bland. Lettuce gets old. So does being stagnant. This is not a cry for a McDonalds run, nor is it a cry for a marathon run. It’s just a cry of “well damnit!” I don’t want to feel like this anymore. Sissy hugs me when I get upset about my body because she knows just how it feels. “You look good Sissy.” Yeah this one has a happy ending–I want to be able to tell myself that too.
below: a picture I didn’t put on Facebook because I thought I looked fat. Well, here it is.