I guess there's a reason you always hear the same old warnings about extreme weight loss: because they're true.
Last February 1, if you had told me that in one year I would weigh less than my driver's license says, I would have high-fived you. And I don't high-five. I leave people hanging all the time. But I would have made an exception and gone high/down low/too slow/fist bumped you.
Likewise, there would have been a high-five if you had told me that on January 30, 2011, I would walk into the Gap and try on a pair of size 10 trouser jeans that would be almost too big. Which is sort of what I did over the weekend.
I can't remember the last time I fit comfortably into a size 10. I think I skipped that size, going from a 6 to a 14 somehow. So I was pumped when the jeans fit.
Then I freaked out a little bit. Even though I was all alone in the dressing room, I suddenly felt so exposed. I felt embarrassed and conspicuous. I realized that if I were to buy that outfit (I didn't) and wear it out, people would (gasp!) look at me.
Of course, people looked at me when I was heavier. My friends and family looked at me. My co-workers looked at me. And I was fine with that. These were people I had a personal or professional relationship with. I felt comfortable with them on my terms and didn't mind them looking my way. The problem was strangers.
When I weighed more, most strangers ignored me. Those who noticed me at all usually just glanced then quickly looked away. The more sensitive souls would give me a kind, apologetic look (kind of the way you might when you catch yourself staring a little too long at someone with a physical disability).
This is when I realized what a control freak I am.
I have often heard that people with eating disorders are controlling and I definitely have obsessive, controlling, bossy personality traits. But, the way I used to eat was utterly out-of-control and reckless. So how could that be a trait of a controlling personality?
I never connected that binge eating gave me just the kind of control I needed: it allowed me to be very judicious about whom I let into my life. I had a way to vet people and make sure they were genuine. I used my fat as a way to distinguish between the people who were shallow and those who saw beyond my weight to my personality or my mind or my heart or whatever.
Now, that fat filter is gone.
I am struggling with the realization that I am exposed. Anyone can see me. And let me tell you, all that crap you hear about eating disorders and control issues and fat being a way to shield one's self? It doesn't sound like such crap to me anymore.
Dude. I am still freaking out.