“You’re looking great,” she said to me, and I internally winced a bit, hoping that it didn’t show on my face. I was supposed to be flattered. It’s a compliment, kind words that sting because I know that it’s temporary, my “weight loss”.
Maybe not. But I know that, most likely, I will gain the weight back according to a study a friend sent me on Facebook. And according to my vast experience with my own body.
“Thanks,” I say and change the subject. To anything.
I’m down about 40 pounds. I’ve been here before. A couple times actually.
If you go by the rules of every “Look at this amazing weight loss success story!” article, I could say I’m 50 pounds lighter because they really like to take that top number, regardless of whether it was the most recent “highest weight.” It’s so much more dramatic, much in the way that you take the total number from each 1 or 2 inches you lose off of the girth of each body part. People love drama in their success stories. Not that I would know for sure what that highest weight would be because I hated myself too much to get on a scale again after I hit 262 that one time. Or that other time. Forget about “inches lost”.
I’m at a weight now where I’m straddling clubs.
I’ve lost enough weight to not currently be in the “completely invisible as a human being” club.
Or the “won’t get a serious shot at a job with most interviewers” club.
But I’ll still be ravished with “I don’t usually like larger women, but there’s something about you” comments from men who don’t understand that I don’t care whether or not they are attracted to my body. But they’ll still tell me. I’m supposed to be titillated that they’d be willing to put their dick inside someone fat. I’m special to them, you know.
I’m no longer in the “don’t bother going into the Misses section, i.e. acceptably sized female section of that department store” club because some of it fits now, but still very much in the “don’t even bother going in that boutique club” and definitely in the “feel very awkward when you go into that boutique with your skinny friend who DOES shop there” club, the friend who says, come on, just try something on, everything here is so cute when you know that there’s not one damn thing in there that would fit your frame.
Maybe a scarf might be nice.
It’s so great to finally be back in the “girl who will be believed if she says she’s raped” club with the added bonus of absolutely being in the “blamed for it” club. I’m never sure if that’s better or worse than the “too fat to be raped” club. Or the “she should be flattered that he paid attention to her” club.
“Keep it up!” she says to me, indicating that I haven’t yet reached a size that is satisfactory, sending me into an immediate failure spiral.
“Keep going, you got this.”
Because I will try to “keep it up.” And then I won’t, something will happen, things “happen” and the next time she sees me she will quietly wonder if that’s a few extra pounds she sees on my body or if it’s just that time of the month. “Maybe she’s just a little bloated,” she’ll think until our next run-in where she can confirm my failure to “keep it up” because I don’t, in fact, “got this”.
“I’m just so happy you’re trying to get healthy,” she says, “diabetes is nothing to mess around with. You know my uncle struggles with his cholesterol and high blood pressure. Maybe you should eat fewer eggs.” Never mind that my blood-work comes back fine after a check-up and my blood pressure is perfect. She wouldn’t believe that anyway.
“Are you sure? You should get it checked again.” I was there last week. She eats the last of her fries and slurps down the remnants of a chocolate shake as I finish my grilled chicken salad, hoping that there weren’t too many carbs in it.
“But you’re looking great,” because that is, after all, the most important thing.