I was lying in bed this morning, my stomach lurching in pain and revolt to a combination of pills I am neither proud nor particularly regretful of taking. (Clearly, the monster in my head has taken back some control, as this is something I should be utterly ashamed of – instead, I find myself thinking, “Eh, it had to be done.”) As I lay there, I was struck by the fit of my pants.
I adore pajama pants – in fact, over Christmas, as I tried to clear some clutter from my life, I found that I own no fewer than 14 pairs of pajama pants. The pants I am wearing this morning were a gift for my last birthday. Some girlfriends and I rented a hotel in the downtown area of our city, got all dolled up for martinis and nachos, then came back to the hotel and busted open a pinata.
I remember the fit of the pants, the way the waistband left an impression, the pants ever so slightly tight. I remember the shirt I wore (strangely, also the shirt I am wearing today), the way the fabric pulled across my chest, how the sleeves grazed my arms.
But this morning, I looked down and saw pools of fabric where thighs and hips and stomach used to be. Fabric that lay flat and limp across chest and ribs. And I thought, Oh, that’s what XX pounds looks like. I lifted my shirt, examined my bare stomach, creeping fingers across, inspecting to ensure that the ratio of skin to bone to fat is ever moving in the right direction.
Saw, for the first time, the changes that have been written on my body over the last nine months. The new scars, large and purple and screaming. The old scars, no longer stretched and thin, more visible to the eye. The soft layer of hair that now covers my stomach, my ribs, my chest, my arms, my face. The bruises, more each day. The tired, vacant look in eyes that used to glow and laugh. The pursed lips, constantly furrowed brow. The hair that falls out by the handful, leaving bald spots and a receding hairline.
I walk to the bathroom, stand in front of the mirror. Take inventory again, try to recognize this strange body in front of me.
Okay, I think. Thinner. I’m definitely thinner. But we’re not there yet. Not thin. Soon, maybe. Just a few more pounds.