When I sit down, I can wrap my arms around my legs in a hug. And when I'm in the passenger seat I can bend down and adjust the hem on my jeans. I can sit cross legged and lean forward. My legs twist this way and that as I adjust my sitting position over and over. So many possibilities. I fit in the chairs now. When I go out to eat I don't have to worry about the table pressing into my stomach in those booths.
Apparently, a strong man can carry me on his back. (Although I did worry about said strong man during the experience.) And I don't feel like a huge, hulking monster all the time. I'm starting to feel smaller. I can reach places on my body that I couldn't before and it doesn't tire me just carrying myself around. I am strong. And I'm not a burden to me.
Sometimes I absentmindedly run my hands over parts of me that have changed because I like the way it feels so much. My hand cup my neck that seems so much smaller now and my fingers trace my stronger jaw line, no longer hidden behind the double chin. Back and forth my fingertips slide over the sharp edges of my collar bones. I grip the muscles in my upper arms and measure them with a squeeze. I like the firmness I find there where once it was just soft.
And when I'm hungry and I think about what would be good to eat, my brain goes to things like cottage cheese, slim fast, baked chicken, lean cuisine, whole grain breads, peanut butter, lean lunch meats and hummus where I used to think of hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, ice cream, and mashed potatoes. I don't even want those things now. Now I crave the foods that make me feel good more than the ones that taste good for a few minutes. How will I feel later? This is the important part.
Now time with friends involves activity and moving instead of just sitting around together. We can ride bikes or walk together while we talk instead of eating horrible foods and then going home. I don't feel guilty about pizza if we bike two hours first. And I don't have to choose between spending time with friends or being healthy.
Somewhere I lost that shell of protection that told me that I was a good person, despite being fat. Somehow I lost liking myself. I began fixing one problem and then saw all kinds of others. I suppose the more changes I see in myself the more it becomes glaringly obvious that I won't be able to change everything. I can't fix it all. I will never, ever be perfect. But I sure hope I can be good enough.
I don't really know who I am anymore. The me, as I see myself, has been shattered like so many pieces of a mirror and I feel like I'm peering into partially glued-together mess trying to see whats left. What pieces survived the crash and what crumbled beyond all saving? Who is this girl walking around with my name and my voice and some something vaguely similar to my body?
I guess I just keep hoping someone else will tell me that they see me. This new me. And that they still like what they see. And then tell me over and over until I believe it.