Today I went shopping - reluctantly. I love spending my days outdoors, amongst the light breeze, in the humidity, rain or shine. And though I cannot tolerate cold temperatures, I seem to thrive under the heat, balmy and dry alike. The former - the humid days - are a newfound treat- perhaps out of the regrowing out of my hair post-fasting state while with with anorexia or perhaps it of my age-acquired experience for knowing how to nourish and care for my hair, that I no longer have to fear humidity’s affect. My hair, at most, develops wild ringlets that soften and straighten out a bit later on after I wound it into a messy bun atop my head while at home.
Today I decided on self-care to a small extent: I still got less than 4 hours of sleep in order to sneak in a body weight routine, go up and down the stairs a certain number of times, and do a set of hellish lunges. But this time, I watched television with my mother. I took the time to make my bed and then took a shower in the morning despite not working today.
I agreed to a manicure and pedicure first thing in the morning, and ironed my wrinkled denim jumpsuit beforehand instead of slipping on my one time used Stella McCartney for Adidas exercise leggings and a collegiate sweatshirt. I still restricted my eating but I went out of my comfort zone, let curiosity win out, and ate the higher calorie, palm oil and maple sugar-added, roasted instead of raw, cashew butter. This should probably be a snack, but I had it as lunch. I ate my favorite Panera black bean soup, that they, for once, skimped our on the amount of beans and didn’t throw away all of the bread.
I have a long way to go from my relapse. But today, my mother and I bonded. She didn’t do her yoga - at least not yet. After all, we were on our feet all day long. She hasn’t gone on the treadmill and has not remarked on how much weight she has gained. Then again, it is raining tomorrow and she knows I will be at work. That’s just it: I plan on driving myself to work instead of walking a mile and a half after being asked to be dropped off by my father who secretly agreed to drop me at the cafe over 5,280 feet away in hopes that I might acquire an appetite or return the favor by eating more. I plan on wearing a new floor-skimming dress that will be destroyed if I were to walk in the rain. I also plan on not only finishing up an assignment last minute, but also writing up an application to a grant for anorexia treatment also due tomorrow.
But today, my mother ate and enjoyed the chocolate marzipan “Scloaf” I baked for her. It is a trademarked hybrid between a scone and cake loaf created by newly minted Food Network host, Molly Yeh. She too is a native New Yorker, a graduate of a prestigious university, and a blend of eastern paternal and western maternal roots. Yesterday night she let me cook her a basil cheese omelet on pan-seared country white bread.
Today we went in and out of shops. She agreed to try on clothes and actually smiled at what she saw in the mirror. I know she was satisfied with the way she looked because she called me over to the fitting room two times to see how she looked instead of shooing me away or refusing to come out.
I cooed and guffawed over her- and it was genuinely heartfelt. I was so moved at my mother’s beauty, her feminist defined, her supple beautiful skin and figure that I began to cry. She knew why I was crying even though she asked. She said I needed to gain weight and that I would fill out the clothing as a women should.
In the nail salon I stared at other mothers and their daughters. I stared at young women my age, thighs bare and rounded arms peeking out of sleeveless tops, shiny hair cascading over shoulders not carved out like bones. I longed to look like that, but more so to feel like that - normal, healthy, capable of walking without reliving flashbacks in the hospital as I see my feet turning yellow. I still see my old self in their reflections. I feel haunted. I feel scared. It’s an it-of-body experience when I observe my self in people who aren’t me, who are without my mind, my family, my memories.
I am not soulless but it’s difficult to fathom when looking at my gaunt face.
I purchased an organic SPF-50 sunscreen fragrances with mango and decided to use my points at Sephora for an organic Korres pomegranate moisturizer. I also purchased a shirt my mother chose from J. Crew. It was exactly my aesthetic: quirky-prep. A short-sleeved white button down in lightweight by starched cotton with alternating highlighter neon green and pink on the collar and sleeves. It was in XXS but still fit loosely. Then again, my mother purchased an XS Shawl collar cardigan from J. Crew despite being almost 50-pounds heavier.
This weekend was eye-opening. I’m hoping many more days are like this to come, without anxiety of my feet giving it beneath me, without restriction, and without a reflection of someone dying both inside and out.