learning to love.
I didn’t cry this time. I was proud of me.
But I did hold my breath while I waited. The scale flashed three zeros at me, and I hung in the balance. It felt like forever. Flash. Flash….Was it as bad as I imagined? Was I going to fall apart? I ran over the last three months in my head. Innumerable calories, meals, days, even weeks that I wished I could erase from my food diary. I’d not even tried to say no. Life had been a 24-hour buffet, and I’d not left for 90 days.
One more flash of zeros, and then a number. And not a happy one, for the girl who had previously fought so hard to take off every ounce. There it was—concrete, numerical evidence of my sins, and there was no denying it. I felt silly, standing in my bathroom, wearing only a towel, like someone would catch a glimpse of me, and I’d hear them call me chubby. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, overwhelming shame brought the sudden need to cover up. Every wiggle, every jiggle seemed more jiggly than before. Hot, angry tears behind my eyes threatened to spill onto my cheeks, which now felt like the size of giant Christmas hams.
The words of a horrible, selfish man I once dated echoed in my mind, "Your achilles heel is your weight. No man wants to fall in love with a girl who's practically overweight...she'll only get worse with time."
And then, so filled with hatred for the wretched man, I swore that not a tear would fall. I looked myself in the mirror and thought, "Absolutely not. I will not let that terrible man win...or tear me down anymore. I will learn to love myself, beyond the bounds of numbers and scales."
I have so much love for others. Regardless of height, weight, age, hopes, dreams...I easily see beyond these things, find the worth in the person next to me and love all of them for it. But, I feel like I'm just beginning the long journey of learning to love myself. I can think of a million reasons why I shouldn't love or accept myself. And I'm not entirely sure how to start.
Can one ever, truly accomplish this or is it only a pipe dream?