“That is why you look like this….”

“That is why you look like this….” 

She meant it as a compliment. I didn’t take it that way. I wish I gave a damn. Wish I saw myself how others see me. 

As I was at the gym for the third time today, my coworker was there and came over to talk. She asked what I was doing as she saw the barbell weighed down, laying there at my feet taunting my spinning head. I told her I was doing dead lifts, and that I had just got done doing plank with a 25 lb plate on my back, if she wanted to do either of those with me. She laughed, declined my offer, gestured to me and said, “That is why you look like this….” What she meant was, “I can’t do that stuff, and that is why you’re smaller than me.” I took it as, “Yeah fat ass, you are here for the third time today and still look like THAT.”  

Now, as we all know, there is a huge difference between what she said, and how my eating disorder manipulated it into taking. 

I have also begun to step on scales. It isn’t to get an exact weight, but mainly so I know what I’m under. It’s one of those doctor scales. As I stand there in the gym, it feels like a stage that I’m stepping onto. Everyone is judging, waiting for me to forget my lines, waiting for me to trip up, get stage fright, cry, run off stage.

I slide the main bar down to some number that I couldn’t reach if it was Thanksgiving, I had drank five gallons of water, with my book bag on, and ten layers of clothes on, 180, 200, something. I stop at a certain point “Let’s see how close to the edge I can go without falling off the cliff.”  So I know I weigh under x… of course I wanna weight x-10, even though I don’t even know what I weight besides UNDER some number x. 

I got home and had a motivated moment. I’ll call C, set up an appointment, get help, maybe do more appointments, look into other places. Then it faded…. “You are not emaciated.” “You are not sick.” “Look at you, you’re healthy enough to go to the gym, you’re fine.”  I told a friend about this faded motivation, she got irritated, said I was emaciated, and I need help.  Everyone else sees something I don’t. I see a bloated stomach, love handles too wide, boobs too big. Yes, I lift, I squat, dead lift, run way too much, stay on the spin bike until I can barely stand, etc, unfortunately I have realized my weight won’t be low enough to be in what Laurie Halse Anderson called, “Dangerland“, until I just completely stop working out and allow my body to eat all of my muscle. I cannot just sit around and do nothing though. The irony of realizing that I feel the most alive when I am practically dying during my runs. 

Sometimes I just wish I would pass out at work, get hurt, throw up large quantities of blood, lose a tooth or two, SOMETHING to wake me the hell up and scare the shit out of me. Am I doomed to remain where I am, stuck on this hellish merry go round, until I am ready to “wake up”, acknowledge I need help, accept I am “sick”?

If that is the case, I am royally fucked


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