Dear Fat Girl in the Mirror
Dear Fat Girl, how are you today?
I am guessing that, by the constant fidgeting and forced smile, today isn’t so hot.
I see you trying to pay attention to your face as you put on makeup and squint past the round cheeks and double chin that show up as you apply your powder. I watch as you focus on your neck and shoulders, as you get ready for the shower so as to avoid looking at your tummy and the tiny ridge you see that lives there.
It is probably no accident that the only mirror you have in your bedroom is perfect for putting on makeup but doesn’t give you a lot of room to get a full-length view of yourself.
It must be tough every time you put a fork to your mouth and you get a flash of shame not because what your eating is unhealthy, but self-loathing that you are even eating at all.
I hear your thoughts as you dare to indulge in that dessert and either secretly or apologetically enjoy it. And then hate yourself after.
I have watched how you buy your clothes, nothing too tight and you opt for buying things 2 sizes too big so they fit loosely. How you buy girdles and control top everything and are embarrassed about the fact that you prefer maternity bathing suits and pants when you’ve never even had kids yet.
I watch you compensate for your feelings of inadequacy with a fiery “don’t mess with me attitude” and how the degree to which you get angry almost always goes back to the deep self-loathing you feel for yourself.
But I wanted to let you know that I am leaving you. You have taught me a lot about how to be sensitive, what to cultivate beyond my looks and that authenticity and presence really is the best currency to have.
I want to thank you for keeping me in rapport with many other people and giving me something to talk about when I was trying to be funny by using self-deprecation and allowing me to be part of a conversation where many people sat around to complain, you gave me something to talk about and judge.
I am so appreciative of the ways you let me feel sad, vulnerable, insufficient and ugly as it has afforded me a softness in my heart for other peoples pain and an awareness of the inner game many of us deal with.
You have taught me all of these wonderful beautiful and important lessons and still today I want you to know that I am leaving you.
I am keeping my body and who I am but I am dissolving the woman who I saw as fat and unattractive.
This time it is for real. I have tried to divorce that title for a long time and have failed often. I have faked my way through the separation pretending I was done but secretly saying things that I really didn’t believe. But this time it is officially over.
I know this because last week when I was wearing my favorite yoga pants the seam on the inside of my thigh split and 2 inches of my thigh bulged through the material.
At any other time this would have sent me into a complete downward spiral. “These are stretchy pants!”, “how can one burst through stretchy pants?” , “WTF is wrong with me?, and of course “I’m fat”.
But surprisingly that was not the conversation that came into my mind or out of my mouth this time. Instead as I felt and saw my thigh poking out between the newly ripped fabric all I could think about was “man these pants are poorly made”, “it must be sign of poor craftsmanship and insufficient structure”.
For the first time in as long as I can remember I didn’t blame my body. For the first time that I can recall it wasn’t Her fault.
And so now I know that I am over being the fat girl, and that you are gone for good, I wanted to write you a love letter to thank you for being part of my life and to say a heartfelt goodbye. You deserve that.
The funny thing is that I have outgrown you. Before ‘outgrowing’ anything seemed like a knock against what I wanted but today as I sit here and write this I celebrate the outgrowing of things, the ‘getting bigger’ and the ‘expanding’. Today those words mean something new.
I will never forget you and will always honor what you gave me but for where I am going there is only space for one of us and so this is where I leave you.
Thank you for all that you offered me, but I can take it from here.
I’m ready, and so is the world.