The Truth about Really Skinny
When my relationship with the Father of our young son dissolved exactly two years ago, I lost 28 pounds.
I didn’t lose it immediately, of course, but over the period of six months – from January, when he left, I went from a healthy (if a little hippy) 155 to 126 pounds. I am six feet tall. 126 pounds on my formerly athletic frame left me looking gaunt, hollow, and skeletor-cheeked.
I was sick with anxiety about what the future would hold, I was white with stress and every time I thought about food, I’d vomit. Sometimes I wouldn’t eat for a day or two, until a flash of realization would consume me as I struggled to stand upright to brush my teeth: crap, I need to get something in me. And then I’d eat a handful of cheez Dorito’s and a carafe of coffee and ignore the rumblings of protest in my stomach, my core.
I am the opposite of so many of my friends who crave ice cream and chocolate fudge sundaes when they get stressed out. If I am hurt or worried or really damned scared, I lose every bit of appetite I have. This is a bad thing, and I’m ashamed that, for spots last year, I secretly thought that maybe it was kind of good.
I ran into a University friend while I was getting ready to move from my city, away from the shadows of my ex and closer to my strong family support system.
“Wow!” she exclaimed, “Kristin, you’re so thin! Have you been working out? Or changed your diet? Tell me!”
I smiled ruefully,”It’s the stress diet,”I said,”The breakup from hell diet, it works every time!”
I made light of it. I underlined the unhealthiness of it all. But truthfully: I looked in the mirror at the jeans sagging off my butt, at my alarmingly skinny arms and I thought: I look a little bit good. Skinny is not all bad.
Though I was 100%, dubiously unhealthy, I relished the fact that I had to buy all new clothes, that I could sometimes fit into a size 4, when all my adult life I’d been an 8 or a 10. My face was gaunt, my lips were peeling off my face and my hair was falling out in clumps, and though I professed to be ashamed of my rapid weight loss in public, my dirty secret was this: I liked being skinny, unhealthy or not.
As of tonight, exactly two years after the dissolution of the relationship of the man I thought I’d call my husband, I have gained back every pound I’ve lost. Eating, it seems, will do that to you.
I’ve been remiss writing here, because I’ve guiltily back-slidden away from Jillian Michaels and away from my three-times-a-week running sessions over the last few months because – well, tis the season, but also, have you seen the damned snow in the Pacific Northwest? Not conducive to hesitant slipping, let alone running, and…and….sigh. I’ve been making excuses.
Starting tomorrow, I’m on the bandwagon to health. Not to unhealthy skinniness, not to fit into my size four skirts, but to be healthy and robust and kick-assed toned. I have my strength and joy back, now it’s time for the outside to match the inside. I have everything to gain.