It’s that moment when I allow myself to “lose control.” I eat my weight in all-Natural nut butter in the evening and early morning hours. That moment when my bowels are so backed up and my caloric intake so high, that night sweats set in when during the daytime hours, my low-body weight makes me susceptible to feeling chills, and having painful gashes from cracking dry skin, exacerbated by late fall elements.
I wake up at 5 on the Sunday morning of Thanksgiving weekend, feeling all at once regretful, proud, without anxiety from not having eaten enough but also anxiety from having eaten too much.
I come downstairs with a plan: eat regularly scheduled breakfast early on, have the remnants of nut butter that I should have had for lunch anyway but without the accompanying Icelandic Skyr and granola. Then, have a light dinner- falling below the caloric intake I should be consuming - something egg-centric. Eggs are my comfort food - carb-absent lean protein with satiating fat from a decadent runny yolk. Then watermelon and continue on as if nothing had transpired last night and this morning. I’m trying to undo that which can’t be undone. But just as we cannot achieve perfection, we similarly can come close to achieving something.
I have begun to embrace recovery which is mainly a disguise for “gaining weight.” I am trying to show myself grace. I have taken on my first real job- minimum wage - but it is my form of self-care. I am in high fashion. I am around aesthetically beautiful things all day long and am viewed as a reflection of these things. I am thought of as beautiful and I feel somewhat beautiful as well despite all the feelings of fat and possibly flab that may develop with recovery from anorexia.
Before work, I lay out my outfit on my bed, color and pattern coordinating separates, scarves, kerchiefs, shawls, and purses, socks and shoes. I spray my discontinued, tracked down Jo Malone fragrance in Saffron, it’s intensity kept safely in a dark black bottle that I was hell-bent on saving. I swab on my lips my Yves Saint Laurent lip stains instead of my CoverGirl products.
I have shopped more than ever, investing in high-quality pieces. I am showing myself self-love. I am attempting to feel good about myself in spite of the disgust and grotesque feeling for having eaten as much as I have, for finally gaining a smidgen of weight, with a good 30 pounds left to go.
I light a Blueberry Sugar candle to offset the remnants of my nut butter binge. I try to walk in circles around my kitchen and dining room, attempting to side step creaks in the hardwood floors and step in tandem to the generated central heat. Though I am trying to work off something- I’m not trying too hard.
I head up to my bedroom and lay out a pin-striped lightweight button-down shirt with “100” embroidered on the chest. I am attempting to feel “100,” and not like crap-how I truly feel. This will be tucked into a pair of gray straight-legged pants that waver between a gray and mauve, and has a tie belt around the waist. Next, I grab my lace gray bra and a striped brief-panty in a blue-gray. I take out a pair of knee-high gray socks. Lastly, after at least 30-minutes of idle, non-caloric burning debriefing with the contents of my closet, I decide on a multicolored floral kerchief to keep wound tightly around my neck- it is in an array of burnt orange amber, navy blue, and white.
I am expected to eat more and more each day and move less and less, in turn making me feel less and less worthy of anything. If I could work everyday, I would. If I could stay out of my house, I would. And so I devise a way to stay out longer. I want to leave early so that I can first pick up watermelon for later, then head to the job, possibly pick up coffee to fill me up and generate heat and energy since I’ll be outside and nothing opens until noon.
It’s some days later now- I have only had one day off this week and that one day was hell. I took up an extra shift, devised my outfit and spread my charm to whomever I encountered: be it as a personal stylist, a confidante, or a sisterly mentor. I feel part of a sorority at my workplace - everyone older; some ever so slightly and other more so; and one or two younger. And without my period for over two years, or curves, I feel more womanly than ever and I feel like a mentally strong women- one who doesn’t compare or envy, but instead, one who lifts up, supports, recognizes others’ beauty without forgetting my own.
Do you have a boyfriend? I was asked by my manager - the one male in the entire company. I replied negatively. He said, “this will be your year- I can feel it,” referring to exactly one month from tomorrow. That will be my year.