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hello i am fat

cleaning out the closet

The thing about having been skinnier than this, but also way fatter than this, is that I am suddenly trapped in a terribly unfashionable in-between state from which there is no escape, because I really don't want to spend money on new clothes. By which I mean "am so poor I cannot afford to spend money on new clothes, especially clothes that will last me a whole month, max, but probably not even that long."

I know, wah, poor me, who it is so hard to be. It remains frustrating. The clothes I have, the smaller clothes – some fit me, but most are still ever-so-slightly too short or too tight or ride up or cling to things that haven't gone away yet (go away, go away, go away). They need about another ten pounds for fitting correctly. The larger-size clothes I have that used to fit me, they are mostly swimming on me, big fashionable sacks, which makes me sad because I'd like to say hello, world! Please enjoy my littler waist! But in these things, not so much.

I have got to go through my closet and separate out the larger sizes from the still-larger sizes from the medium large sizes to the smaller sizes, because while it sounds like a lot of fun to surprise yourself every day when you're getting dressed – to what degree will this totally not fit? let's find out! – it is not, and it is frustrating.

But I have been putting that off. Mostly, I think, because I'm going to miss (some of) my clothes so much. I had some excellent clothes, and I am unearthing things I haven't worn in ages, as I dig through my closet, desperate for something to wear. All of them are too-big things, but I am wearing them anyway, because soon I will not be able to wear them at all without social embarrassment, and I am wearing them happily, even though they look really stupid. On Monday I wore my awesome silk-screened Pirate Love blouse, and on Tuesday, I wore my long pleated denim skirt, and Wednesday was my pink t-shirt with the birds and swirlies.

Today, it is a long satin skirt with sequins sewn on. It was originally ankle-length, but since it no longer sits at my waist, but instead rides down on my hips, it is even longer. And it swishes and is ridiculous and I love it. I loved it less when I was getting on the bus, and I stepped on the skirt. Which meant that I yanked it down, which meant that despite how fast I pulled it back up, all the way to my neck, a good three-quarters of the bus enjoyed a long, leisurely look at my leopard-print underpants (which, incidentally, are also becoming far too large on me. Sexy!).

So maybe this weekend I will do some closet purging and say some sad goodbyes and maybe see if I can break into my neighbor's house and steal some of her pants.

dispatches from the front: part two

I crossed my legs. I sat on the couch, and swung one leg over the other, and pointed my toe, and there I was, sitting on the couch with my legs crossed like a normal girl. I uncrossed them, and I did it again. And then I did it again. Floop, up and over. And I said to my friends, I said "Oh my god, you guys, I crossed my legs! Do you see? Wait, look, watch!" And they said "Oh, that's very nice," and I don't think they understood, because they have never had a problem such as being unable to cross their legs, but they were very happy for me, if a little confused. Me, I cried a little. Piece by piece, I'm getting my body back.

downward spiral

The weight is falling off so quickly, now – two pounds, three pounds, five pounds a week, gone (and I want to say gone forever, but there are no guarantees, even now). This is one of the reasons I chose this surgery, one of the secret reasons I am not supposed to talk about. Weight loss surgery is a last-resort, health-focused, flashing red lights and sirens choice to make, and losing the weight so quickly, that’s a side benefit, a bonus that is all about getting you out of the danger zone of diabetes and heart attacks and apnea that chokes you while you sleep, kind of like when my cat, for whom I am considering weight loss surgery, sits on my chest.

But I am not going to lie – on all the weight loss surgery blogs I found, I read all their information carefully and I considered the pros and the cons, and then I looked at those pictures people posted, their monthly weigh-ins and their photo updates, and I could not stop myself from thinking about how, if you put those pictures together, if you flipped through them fast, letting the months fly past under your thumb, you would see a miracle, an enviable, unbearably wonderful miracle. Being fat, and then, suddenly, not being so fat any more, shrinking and shrinking and shrinking down to nothing, down to something so utterly unlike where you started, all spectacularly Alice in Wonderland.

A goddamn miracle! Sign me up. Oh yes, health benefits, those are nice too. Goodbye, cake! Hello, GAP jeans! Wait, don’t take the cake away so quickly. We need to embrace one last rich and fudgelicious time.

It was the part I thought I looked forward to the most, my blink-of-an-eye transition from morbidly obese to girl at whom you won’t look at twice, and it has been one of the biggest shocks of this whole experience, the thing that’s left me vulnerable and scared, even more than my realization that I no longer wanted chocolate cake and who was I, and what the fuck had they done with me?

I am losing weight so quickly, that it is hard to get my bearings. I do not understand my body anymore – it changes its shape under my hands every day, in ways I can’t predict or plan for, and it has me wondering what I am doing to my body, exactly. It has me standing in front of the mirror and looking for signs of change, but more often, for signs that the body I knew is still there, and I am still me.

My body is shrinking, and soon I will be in territory I’ve never been in – I’ve lost weight before, gotten down to the two-teens, but after that, what happens? What will I look like, and how will I feel, and how is my body going to change? I have spent my entire life plump, chubby, overweight, fat, obese – who I am has been shaped by who I have been, and if you catch me off-guard, and ask me point blank, I will tell you: I like the person I am, the reader, the writer, the bad-joke-teller, the oversensitive person I am and would not be if I had not grown up looking the way I did and feeling the way I did. And now I am undoing all that, film spinning in reverse and I am becoming lighter, less substantial and solid, turning into something I am afraid I will not recognize.