Lighter, except I don’t feel like it.
Smaller, except I still feel the same size.
Attractive, except I can’t see it.
Nothing fits anymore. Nothing looks right or feels right and yet I’m more than one hundred pounds less than I weighed a year ago. One hundred pounds less than December 2013. Before I could use pregnancy as an excuse do eat a box of cookies from the store, eat pasta like Italy had banned the export and wolf down bread in case the French decided they’d recall the secret recipe. My clothes fall off me (no, literally, they fall off me) and apparently I look “great”.
There is a barrier in being so large and then so small in a short time. I have the mentality of a very large woman. I slink past people to avoid being looked at. The women who I compare myself now are probably at least 50 pounds larger than me but I feel like I need to look more like them. I’m sure there’s a whole psychology textbook devoted to people like me, who are fat in their heads and skinny in their bodies.
This isn’t to say I’m not proud. I can look at the scale in the morning and realize that I’ve achieved something I never thought was possible. I derived pleasure from people who I hadn’t seen in 8 months not recognizing me. I’m very proud.
I’m also very confused.
When you live your recent life as a fat person, you learn tricks to hide yourself, to hide your body from sight. This goes above and beyond the normal chassidish tznius mentality, above covering your body. There’s a way to dress there at least that still acknowledges you’re not morbidly obese (which I was). I have no idea how to dress. I have no idea how to style myself in a new wardrobe. I have no idea how I’m going to pay for the new clothes I’ve needed for months (thank you, for now, credit cards). I have no idea how to break the news to people I haven’t seen in a very long time to expect something… someone… different.
Sitting in my way-too-big-for-me dress as I write this, logically I can understand that I’m different. So why do I feel like exactly the same, obese and disgusting, person inside?