05 August 2013

Witnessing a Love Story

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.


I Hate to Weight said...

i have been thinking about you a lot.

i've thought exactly what you were thinking. exactly. i still look at slim people eating big meals and wonder how they do it. i also look at heavier woman with doting partners and get hope from that.

the one thing that has helped me is neutralizing food. it doesn't hold much interest other than feeding me. and i like it to taste nice enough.

BUT it doesn't comfort or thrill. It does nothing for me emotionally, so it doesn't much matter whether its a skim milk latte or a frappucino with whipped cream. i don't feel deprived when i choose the lighter drink, because there's no emotional charge.

and i do usually choose the lighter fare because my body feels more comfortable when i do.

for me, the most helpful is working on the underlying stuff ( fear, anger, et al) and filling myself up spiritually. it feels a lot better to me than any fattening food ever will.

be well, Angela. take really good care

faithandmeow said...

I'm so sorry you are struggling, Angela. You have come so far - and to struggle now by no means cancels out all the hard work you did before. Relapses are part and parcel of this disease and many of us will have to guard against them for the rest of our lives.

I do this a lot - look at people I see out and about and wonder what their lives are like in an ED context. Have they ever starved or purged or binged or taken laxatives or exercised until they collapsed? Sometimes I can pick them, it's more a shared 'something' that each of us usually picks up, and we might make eye contact, look away, shamed, in shared fear of acknowledgement (still so much shame about having an ED). Sometimes it's just that something about them and their manner, their self-consciousness, them still being careful over their choices.

But mostly, I can't tell. That lady you felt had never had an ED could very well have. She might have spent her entire life battling her weight and other's pressure on her about her weight - and finally, after all those years and tears and therapy - come to a place where she's accepted this is who/how she IS and there is nothing wrong with that - it's society that's the problem. And come to a place where she's no longer going to restrict her food or count calories or try and squeeze herself into things that don't fit and are more camoflague than clothing. She's going to LIVE instead.

I know a few women like that. I don't know enough of them. Too many are still fighting their food/weight demons.

I hope so much you and I and everyone who has ED demons or struggles with their bodies - is able to get to that kind of place. One of acceptance and self care and being able to truly LIVE.

There are plenty of people out there who are at peace with their bodies, with food, and who aren't slim or slender and still are loved and romanced. I just hope we get to be one of them some day.

Keep fighting, Angela. Remember life is so worth it. You ain't got time for this ED crap! xxx