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I’m going to talk about me. I avoid it unless I’m dredging up past awfuls. I can be general, and describe my day, but I don’t like to talk about me. My body, for one. Even before my mom blew away my self esteem for decades, I was informed that if you said nice things about yourself, you were conceited and selfish. Well, I say it’s okay to be nice to myself. This is mine.

Alot of blogs have been doing a list of eight things you like about yourself. I’m giving it a shot.

 1. My eyes. I have beautiful bright blue eyes that are very large and vibrant. They’re my favorite thing about me. They’re the first thing a stranger will ever compliment me on, and they’re also my father’s eyes. My sisters don’t have his eyes, so I feel special.

2. My feet. I have cute feet. They’re not very tiny [size 8], but they’re smooth and well shaped and pretty.

3. My legs. Most people who know me well will be shocked that my legs make the list, but I’ve decided they do. I have major issues with my legs- they’re big and muscular and disproportionate, but lately I think that’s kind of cool. They’re unusual, and they surprise people. I don’t let them see the sun much, but they’re sturdy, strong, shapely parts of me. They serve me well.

4. My face shape. An old guidance counselor at a high school I attended, gasped when I entered her office, and announced that my face was a “perfect inverted triangle!” Heh. It’s actually not all that angular, but I’ve been told I have a heart shaped face as well. I’ll go with that, sounds nicer.

5. My wrists. I have wide, flat wrists that go awhile before they become arm. I like that.

That’s all I can think of. Maybe I’ll add to this later, but probably not. It’s a process, this learning to like myself, and if I over-analyze, I could sabotage things.

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I find that I relate, sympathize and agree with everything in the realm of fat acceptance. Dieting is ridiculous. WLS surgery is dangerous and unnecessary. Some people are just designed to be large, just like some folks are short, or have blue eyes.

However, I’m a small fattie. And I’m a little scared that I’ll be booted out on my derriere because I don’t know the real stigmatism that big girls and boys face.

But I do. I’ve been anorexic. I’m still fighting bulimia [though I haven’t had an episode in a month- knock on wood] and I’ve never seen myself as anything but obese. My grandmother, my aunt, my fiances parents… The fat people in my life don’t realize that I’ve been the same size as them all along. I’m working to see me- but even if I can one day look in the mirror and see myself looking back, and not some snaggle-toothed pig monster, that doesn’t erase how I’ve felt in the past. I haven’t had people call me names in public- but I’ve been sure they’re thinking bad things about me. I haven’t had a doctor order weight loss as a remedy for what ails me- but I’ve been certain that he’s going to suggest it the next visit.

 I am extremely big-boned. My legs are disproportionately huge compared to my upper torso. They are almost cartoonish- like big tree stalks with thick ankles, giant knees and calves nearly the width of my thighs. They still give me grief- I haven’t worn shorts in many years. I don’t go to the beach. I don’t wear short skirts. Pants that fit me in the legs, don’t fit me anywhere else. I don’t have a butt- and no, it’s not a weird blessing. It’s kinda silly. I’m one of those people who’s always inadvertantly showing everyone what kind of underwear she’s wearing, because the pants that will fit my legs won’t fit my ass. I’ve never found a pair of knee high boots that fit me. Even boots made for larger women don’t want to accomodate a big calf, and a big ankle. It’s not as bad as facing a clothing line that defines “plus sizes” as 12-14. But I’m feeling ya. Fashion is often my enemy.

 I’m at a transitional point in my life. Since high school I’ve been forcibly taking my weight by the shoulders and marching it in whatever direction I wish. I’ve dieted to hair-falling out weakness, and I’ve binged so hard that I’ve put on over 15 lbs in one week. I don’t know what to expect, now that I’m eating to live, and eating for enjoyment. Now that I have a full, satisfying meal and don’t find myself crouched over the toilet bowl ten minutes later. I could become very large. I could stay right where I am, give or take. I’m impatient to be there. To be consistent and familiar with myself.

Whatever transpires, I can handle it. Because I’ve been there. It’s an odd cycle. I’ve spent most of my short life “obese”- and now that I’m starting over again, I’m eager to see where it brings me. Even if I end up as fat as I used to imagine myself.

* I’m going to discuss my life in segments. I find it a little exhausting to dredge it all up, and I start to lose coherency.

 So… this is what I’m about.

 When I was nine years old, my petite, small-boned mother told me I needed to cut down on my snacking, because I was getting fat. Until this moment of illumination, I had been a girl without reserve. I was the first one in the water when my class went to the beach. I dressed like many a Disney princess on Halloween. I was confident, goofy and bubbly. A normal, optimistic child who was only a little shy. With my mother’s gentle admonishment, it was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes. I saw with utter clarity that I was wrong. I was undesirable. Ugly. Different. FAT. By weighing more than my thinner peers, I had somehow become less.

 I went through school with a crippling lack of self esteem. I was the ultimate wallflower. I burst into tears at the most benign criticism. I had few friends, and the ones I had I clung to with a paranoid ferocity, certain that they would abandon me at any minute. I was jealous of classmates who were thinner than me- relieved at the presence of those who were larger. Puberty came early for me- I had large breasts and big hips in a sea of boy-shaped girls. I was teased and sexually harrassed. Where I once had a healthy relationship with food, I entered into an emotional one. I ate to make myself happy. Entire boxes of Cheez-Its while I sat immobile in front of the television. Several bowls of cereal in the morning if I could get away with it. I grew larger, and I hated myself.

 In my junior year of highschool, I stopped eating. My depression, carved from years of my mother’s emotional neglect, my father’s battle with alcohol and drug addiction, my failing grades, sprung forth to fuel my new eating disorder. I went from 145 lbs to 120. And then the school nurse caught me. Alerted my mother. I spent a few weeks in a locked ward, suicidal and mal-nourished. When I emerged, I had a brief respite from my food and body pains. My wonderful boyfriend [now my fiance] was there for me. We ate together. We ate poorly, and more than we needed to, but he made me feel beautiful. For a time.

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