Dear Body

Dear Body,

How are you?

I’m not too great myself, thanks for asking.

Ever since we were forced to be together (forever) about 17 years ago we’ve never quite come to terms with that, have we?

As much as I hate you sometimes, if I ever fully abandoned you, it will simply result in our time coming to an end sooner than I am ready for.

I have dreams to reach, places to go and by god if you’re the reason we can’t then-

just-fat1

In my childhood we didn’t fight much.

That is, up until I was 8 years old and my family took a vacation to Australia.

For some reason, my appetite just grew and initially my mother fed me accordingly, expecting me to shoot up vertically. Instead, you expanded like a beach ball, like the ones the other kids would throw around on Bondi Beach as we begged mum to let us eat that third ice-cream.

She said no, because we’re fat.

That word never left me. I escaped that label by others but not fully myself at about 12 years old when my height caught up to my weight, thank you body.

Unfortunately, that was the calm before the storm and this year our battle starts again.

I have never articulated the feeling it is like to feel fat. To clarify, we’re quite a while away from obese. In fact, 10 months ago, in hindsight, I was only slightly chubby.

I wasn’t particularly thin or fit but I had nice legs and a stomach without noticeable love handles but somehow we’ve managed to gain more weight these past few months than we have in the past 4-5 years.

It really snuck up on me. You’d think that I would keep a closer eye on you, old friend, due to my earlier experiences and oh boy, I really should have. Before I knew it, I felt uncomfortable, even when it was just us, alone.

It has been really hard to adjust to a life where I’m trapped under you, suffocating under layers of skin and lard. I sit and our legs splatter out a certain way, our stomach folds over a certain way and I’m left screaming internally with horror that this isn’t me and I want to escape from this bad dream. I want to escape from you, dear body.

Don’t forget the fluctuating emotions, one day I can tell myself that I’m not REALLY fat, I look at you naked in the mirror and somehow convince myself that the scales are lying. Then the next day as I struggle to find a pair of jeans that fit you so we can go out, we end up trying to pull the zip up, sucking in and it just won’t fit. It turns into a mixture of anger and sadness as I try to kick off that second skin that refuses to wrap around me, sitting in my underwear on the ground, pathetic, crying and crying and crying.

The worst part is when I no longer suspect people notice: I know they do. They say to my face that I need to lose a few pounds and all I can do is fake a laugh and make a lame joke at your expense. I can’t escape from their words and I can’t escape from you, dear body.

Obviously I take some responsibility. I’m the one that hasn’t been treating you right. With a few lifestyle changes, we could turn this whole thing around at a snap of a finger but why would I do that when it’s so much easier to eat my feelings away? I guess it’s my fault that we’re like this but it’s way easier to just direct my anger at you.

I hate you body, and I hate me for not having the willpower to change anything.

I can’t give up but I can’t keep this up. Isn’t it so sad that the world is a visual place where emphasis on the vessel rather than the passenger it carries?

Dear body, everyone will see you and choose if they want to know me.

There is no choice but to conform. To some extent, I *need* to conform to feel healthy, to be healthy but that’s so much easier said than done. Human minds are weak, body, so please bear me some slack. I haven’t fully grasped that the junk I shovel into you might result in my untimely end.

Let me believe, foolishly, in my invincibility just for a while longer or continue to punish me like how I deserve.

I’m going to commit to change, body, and if I don’t, I know you’ll remind me by the way I feel when I climb up a flight of stairs, the way dresses don’t fit quite right around my belly and the way my thighs rub together when I walk.

Sincerely,

me

p.s. why couldn’t you have just made all the fat go to my boobs?

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