Friday, July 25, 2014

Age 24

Sometimes when I look in the mirror I feel powerless.

My once perfectly flat stomach is rounded and hangs over my jeans when I bend over. My thighs are naturally voluptuous and covered in self-inflicted scars. My body makes me aware of its imperfections as I carry out daily activities. My thighs rub together when I walk, it takes me ten minutes to pull up the zip on a dress; I find crumbs in the creases on my stomach when I am eating in bed.

I feel ugly.

But other times I look in the mirror and I feel…



My body has presence. My body has power. It has carried me this far and will carry me further. It has healed when I have damaged it. It has been the object of many people's desires and admiration. It has swum for hours in the sun, danced all night and made love to wonderful people.

And when I catch myself feeling this way, I am overwhelmed by how beautiful I am. How fortunate I am to have this amazing body.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Age 20

Every. Single. Reflective surface. I cannot look away. I am constantly looking…not out of vanity, but concern. I look and I critique. My stomach (Does it puff out too much?), my thighs (Is there cellulite? Why are they so thick?), even my head (Why does it look so big? Why do my cheeks puff out so much?). I’m told that I’m beautiful. Gorgeous even. Their words are hollow and empty to me. To myself I am disgusting and cannot be convinced otherwise. How do they not see what I see? When I squeeze my thigh I see a bumpy ripple of cellulite. When I squeeze my stomach there is a thin layer of fat. 

I run cross-country and distance track. I love to run, but even when running I cannot run away from myself. Short, muscular legs feel disgusting to me. I want to be a svelte, graceful runner that makes everything look easy. Running is easy when you have long legs, right?

After I binge I feel heavy and tired. The twisting pang in my stomach and headache I get when I do not eat enrages me. Why am I so obsessed with food? Why is that all I seem to think about? WHY CAN I NOT HAVE A FUCKING NORMAL RELATIONSHIP WITH FUCKING FOOD?! Food. Food and exercise. Food and exercise and mirrors. When I was little, my body was a comfortable home that I cuddled with, played with and cared for. Why has it become a prison? How? I am trying so hard. When will it get easier? I am almost 21 and have felt these struggles since I was 13 when my health teacher taught us about calories and how you should have 2,000 each day. You also must exercise every day. Potato chips are bad. High fructose corn syrup is bad. If you follow THE RULES you will be good. You will be happy. Why am I not happy?