Ah, 18 year old me.
I remember her.
She was terrified of getting fat. And so, she would starve herself for days, eating only a plate of white rice with lemon juice when she got hungry. Or she’d take a baggie filled with slimfast powder to school and empty it into a fat free milk carton for lunch. She’d only order salads at restaurants because she didn’t want people to see her eating fattening foods.
But sometimes, when no one was watching, she’d stuff her face with junk food. She’d feel so disgusted with herself afterwards, so she’d eat a few pieces of chocolate flavored ex-lax and find herself on the toilet a few hours later crying, cramping and shitting until she was shitting out air.
That wasn’t enough to rid herself of the guilt for having indulged in a bag of cheetos, so she’d layer herself in sweatpants and sweatshirts and workout in her room until she was drenched in sweat and feeling as though she may pass out.
She would spend a lot of time in the mirror finding chunks of fat to grab and feel bad about. “I must lose this fat right here on my stomach! I look so gross!” She’d cry.
Even though she only weighed a 125 pounds and that skirt she was wearing was a size 5.
People would tell her that she was “so skinny” and she’d think they were crazy because LOOK AT HOW BIG MY THIGHS ARE. People would roll their eyes and say things like “you’re sick in the head!”
Little did they know how right there were about that.
Then she met a sexy dork at church who thought she was beautiful and wanted to marry her. He would try to feed her avocado sandwiches and when she would refuse because she was afraid of getting fat, he’d hold the sandwich up to her nose and say “who cares if you get fat, I’ll love you no matter how much you weigh… NOW TAKE A BITE OF THIS RIGHT NOW!”
As scared as she was to take a bite of that stupid sandwich, she loved him so much and believed him when he said that he would love her no matter how much she weighed and so she took a bite.
And my GOD, she loved the taste of real food in her mouth.
So she took another bite and another one and then another one.
A year later, she had gained 20 pounds and that man who promised to love her no matter how much she weighed still loved her and would tell her how beautiful she was every single day.
She would go on crazy diets to lose the weight every time she would gain the weight. She’d always lose it, in no time at all. But, without fail, she’d always gain it right back.
Even though that man loved her and would never make her feel bad about having put on a few pounds, she was still terrified of getting fat.
Then she had her first baby. She gained 50 pounds and her body went to shit.
And as ugly as she felt, there was that man, right there, rubbing her stretched out stomach softly while telling her how beautiful her belly was because it had carried his child.
17 years, three kids, 70 pounds, 4 cup sizes and one stretched out belly button later, that man STILL loves that girl and thinks she’s beautiful. She knows she’s blessed, so damn lucky. But, she can’t help but wonder if deep down inside, he regrets the day he begged her just TASTE THE DAMN SANDWICH because now he can’t have one without having to share half with her.