Does this blog make me look fat?
I’ve been thinking a lot about my body image disorders lately. Body image has been coming up in the media quite a bit, of course. But for me it has a weird extra layer, because I was so fat for so many years. Not just fat by Hollywood standards (which I still am, by the way…at a size 6. To which I say eeewwww.) But fat by any standards.
I very often don’t know what I look like when I am not standing in front of a mirror. I mean that in all seriousness. (It might be why I like looking in the mirror so much. I am incredibly vain!) Sometimes I will catch a glimpse of myself in a store window as I am walking down the street, and it will take me by surprise. Wait! That’s me!?!? It happens less as the years go by with me living in a little body. But it still happens pretty regularly.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I still think I look like I weigh 300 lbs. But that’s part of why it’s so sick. It’s subtle. It’s sneaky. It’s an interesting look at the ways I’m still messed up in the head. And heart.
“That man thinks your ass looks huge in those pants.” “That woman thinks you shouldn’t be wearing that dress.” “Everyone is looking at your stomach.” “That cute guy would never talk to you. You’re too fat for him.”
These are the kinds of thoughts I think all the time. I’m 5′ 6 1/2″. I weigh between 131 and 135 lbs on any given day. And I have plenty of muscle. These thoughts are ridiculous and irrational. But they are a part of my daily life. And they are between me and me.
I’m not a model, a dancer, or an actress. I don’t work in any industry where people are telling me I need to lose 5 pounds. Yes, I think that’s gross. Yes, it upsets all of my sensibilities. But it’s not the world I live in. In fact, I don’t even think about it terms of losing weight to “get thin”. In my mind, I both understand that I am thin, and conversely, that I will never get thin. There is a corner of my mind that holds the belief that I am fat. As a way of being. Not that Kate’s body is fat, but that Kate is fat. Like there’s nothing to do about it. It’s just the way it is.
It’s funny because I do know that I’m attractive. Ok, hot. (I should call it like I see it. False humility is ridiculous.) But, like many other aspects of my eating disorder brain, much of my thinking about my body and my self is warped. Knowing I’m thin and hot, and knowing I’m fat and unattractive live side by side. It doesn’t make rational sense. But it makes perfect sense to me.
I wore a path in my mind with thoughts about the inevitability of my fatness. The undeniable “truth” of it. And wearing a new path of thinking of myself as thin, even having a beautiful body, often means wandering untrodden territory in my head. But I do it. Even though it can be scary and uncomfortable. Because I believe in the power of thoughts. Because I don’t want to think myself back into compulsive eating.
I want to note that I do not live in fear of being fat again. I know it’s possible, because my eating disorders and my sugar sensitivity are irreversible. (You may disagree about the nature of such things, but please, keep it to yourself. I have no shame in my weakness/sickness. I have no need to become “normal”. It gives me peace to surrender to the “forever” of my disorders.) But I don’t clutch at keeping my food under control with white knuckles. I have every intention and expectation of keeping a handle on my eating. I have peace around food. I do the work I need to do daily. The practical part, the emotional part, and the spiritual part. And one aspect of that work is to start thinking new thoughts about what it means to be Kate.
I’m telling you this because since I’ve been writing this blog, a lot of emotional and spiritual wounds that I have written about have healed inside me. Or have at least begun to heal. And I would like to heal this too. I would like to honor my body exactly the way it is. So it is best to acknowledge what is so. What is so is that I am thin. And there is no honor in clinging to obsolete thoughts of self-deprecation.