let’s talk about body image. and how mine has been garbage most of my life. for a long time i believed everyone that i was less of a woman, that i looked childlike and weak. i am so far from weak, the idea is laughable to me now.
i’ve been made fun of for being skinny for as long as i can remember. i grew up underweight, both of my parents did as well. i’m lanky. part of that is ehlers danlos syndrome (marfanoid habitus anyone?), part of it are the bowed legs i inherited from my father. i didn’t wear shorts in public (outside of playing basketball), i constantly paid attention to the positions i was in and the clothing i wore, if they made me look too bony, i didn’t like to look in the mirror, i hated the scale, shopping for clothes made me cry. can you imagine what it must be like to have strangers constantly walking up to you asking how much you weigh, if you’re anorexic, or worse, trying to measure parts of your body with their hands? i reached 120 lbs (i’m almost 5’9″) in college and started to feel comfortable with that. then i got sick and anxious.
by the time i was 23 i had been so sick and anxious and my medical treatments had been so harsh i was about 110 lbs, then 10 more fell off when i had my PICC line. the problem with being so skinny is that every time anything bad happens, whether it be mental or physical, you have no reserves. you go from thin to scary really fast, and as a hard gainer you stay there for a while. i couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. there was a glass shower door in my house, i hung a towel over it so i wouldn’t have to see myself in the mirror while i showered. everyone, everywhere made comments about my weight or what i was eating. i still get anxious to eat in front of people for fear they’ll think it’s not enough. so what’s the point of all of this? i moved to seattle, i’ve gone to therapy of the mental and physical varieties, i’ve had surgeries and taken medications, i’ve chugged countless nutrition shakes, i’ve force fed myself, and my doctor is happy with my weight, 35 lbs up from my lowest. but what’s better? i’m happy, i wear what i want, i’m not ashamed to go to the beach. people still tell me i’m too skinny and make rude comments about my weight, but all i see evidence that my body can rebound from whatever hell it has to go through.