I'm sitting here in Starbucks, sipping my skinny vanilla latte and anxiously counting how many calories this adds to my daily allowance. I'm cold. I'm tired. I'm depressed.
I look around at the other people here. I am curious. Of course, the first thing I focus on is their weight. The young lady to my right is slender and gorgeous, and I immediately focus on my thighs. She is eating a sandwich, while I settle for my XXX-calorie meal bar. Did I mention that I was hungry?
In line are more slim women; women wearing leggings and close-fitting tops; fearlessly order frozen drinks laden with sugar and fat. I am envious, and I do not like the feeling.
I notice another young lady, also slender and possessing smooth skin and perfect make-up. I realize that everyone is able to pull themselves together except me, and I stand out with all my fat. I think.
There are several men here, but I do not care about them or their weights. They are average; forgettable.
An older man walks in with a bouquet of red roses. He is middle-aged, perhaps in his fifties, and balding. He sits down next to a Hispanic woman. I had noticed her earlier — also middle-aged, heavy-set, much bigger than me. This made me feel safe.
I had dismissed her as yet another overweight American, one of many who eats too much and just doesn't care.
She breaks out in a smile. A stunning smile, full of joy and life. She takes the roses, and gently grins at the gentleman.
They talk. I watch. I wonder about their relationship. Are they lovers? Married? Is he going to ask her to marry him?
It is almost too intimate to watch.
Now she is showing him some pictures on her phone. Their heads bend together, brushing against each other.
Now she laughs at something he has said, bringing her hand up to her chest.
I do not know this woman. I do not know if she has ever starved herself, or purged her food, or been on one of a million diets out there. I admire that she seems okay with her curves and bulges; indeed, she seems very comfortable in her own skin.
I envy that.
But I doubt that she has starved or purged or desired to slice the flesh off of her bones. She is full of life, obviously in love with this balding man and herself. I bet she doesn't know or care how many calories are in her latte or cappuccino or macchiato. I am sure she didn't anxiously plug the numbers in her phone's calculator, hoping that she didn't go over the self-imposed limit.
There are still here. She is sipping the last of her drink, and I can almost taste the full-fat milk and chocolate. I can almost remember what it felt like to have that cold sensation on my tongue, swirling it about my mouth, no thought of calories or carbs or fat grams.
She tosses her dark curly hair, leaning forward as the man speaks. He also leans forward, and I am sure that he loves her for all of curves, that she draws him in with that smile and the life that shines within.