small in a big way

In ALL, JUDY BLUME MOMENTS by Stephanie Klein

There comes a moment when you become disgusted with yourself.  For me, it was beyond clothes not fitting anymore.  I could afford new ones.  It was autumn; everyone makes new purchases come fall.  Name-calling used to do it for me when I was younger, but now I hear less of it.  I read plenty of it, but I shrug my shoulders and cough out “small.”  The people who play the "I know you are" game are small.  I’m not.  In fact, I’ve begun to notice that my double chin isn’t just happening due to a bad camera angle; they’re all bad camera angles lately.  I have enough to worry about in my life.  Weight shouldn’t be a worry for me anymore.  I’ve been worrying about it since I was twelve.  I should have this down.  I will struggle with my weight for as long as I live.  Sometimes it will feel easier than it does now.  My first moment of disgust didn’t come while shopping for bathing suits; it came while trying on ski jackets.  Unusual.  My boyfriend watched as I zipped my way into a black puffer coat.  I smoothed the fabric over and looked to him for a thumbs up or down, thinking maybe it was too informal of a coat to wear out at night.  He didn’t know what to say.  “Well, do you think it was, I don’t know, hard to zipper?  I mean it looks like you could use one size bigger.”  I felt small.

It was worse when I came home to a photograph of myself in New York Magazine where it looked like I ate Jenny Craig.  I went to sleep that night dreaming of a personal trainer.  I didn’t want my boyfriend to see me the way I see me.  I bit my nails and wondered if I should go back to the weight nazi.  Clearly, I need to be held accountable.  I need to pay someone to make me afraid.  I am miserable like this; it’s no way to live during a time in my life where I should be my happiest.

I got on the scale today.  I didn’t want to.  136 lbs.  That’s not even funny.  I’m ashamed.  I feel like a failure.  I’m afraid to go back to the nazi, that he’ll judge me and say, “I told you so.  How could you even think of not continuing to see me all this time?”  It’s exactly why I need to go back.  Being afraid is no way to live.  I will stick with this, for my health, for my happiness.  I want this.  I know how to do it.  Today is my new beginning.