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Just a List of Things I'm Noticing




I'm seeing strange new things when I look at my face in the mirror—fatness is no longer the first thing I see. My jaw is newly prominent, my neck asserting itself. I have high cheekbones; they catch the light.

People's attention registers me in a new way. It lingers longer; it checks in. 

I'm wearing a size 14 dress from ASOS Curve and it's gotten too big for me. It drapes over my hips, pools at my feet, makes me look a little boxy. Simultaneously, there are two pairs of size 14 jeans (one pair of skinny jeans from the Gap, one from Lucky Brand) that I can't even pull up all the way. 

I climb out onto my fire escape and I am not afraid that it will buckle under me. I have put a little outdoor rug on it, because I have been sitting out there in these first days of spring, watching the neighborhood's rhythms at intervals. I have put out a plant-pot full of soil and sprinkled wildflower seeds. I have imagined having phone conversations out there. Good ones. I was sitting out there the other day thinking about how hard it is to know what I want when it occurred to me that all I had ever wanted was to be thin. Not that I haven't been fighting the dominance of that ambition for fifteen years now (I have), but that nevertheless it had occupied space, that it had squashed some parts of the organic development of my own sense of where I was headed. The blight of that ambition; its radiating rot. 

I am making more social plans, including with people I would not have wanted to see at my biggest. 

I am less averse to making a trip downstairs at midnight with a bag each of trash and recycling, more likely to make a dedicated trip instead of waiting until the morning, and less winded by the return trip (fourth-floor walk-up).



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That jump between 14 in plus sizes and 14 in straight sizes is quite a chasm, I find. Both physically and mentally.

I love all the interesting little changes you've noticed. Lots of little differences add up to a different way of looking at the world. How is your sense of identity holding up and developing? Well, I hope. I very sincerely felt like I was a different person, in my essence, after losing a lot of weight in my late 20s, not because my beliefs had changed, but because everyone treated me differently, and because my inner dialog had also changed - no more fretting about the things I had always fretted about. There was a lot more headspace to think about other things. I have, while regaining weight, sort of retreated into my old, more fearful and self-conscious mindset. The mental aspect of losing (or gaining) weight is a much bigger deal than most people know if they haven't experienced it. 

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