Moving Away From The Want To Be Skinny.
What she wants is to be skinny. That, it seems, is all she has ever wanted. Deep down, her want remains.
Skinny is what it comes back to, down to, time and time again. It doesn’t matter how she fights it, how she rails against it. It is what she wants. It is how her mind is wired. And she must act to trip the current. The idea, born inside, cultivated outside. She chose it, and it chose her.
There. Now it has been said.
And what she wanted was for people to say, to breathlessly exclaim, “Oh you, you’re so skinny!”
She wanted her high-heeled, snarky, diamond-dripping friends to giggle and squeal, “Oh you, you’re such a skinny little bitch!” with envy, when they saw her, when they ran their hands down her shoulders, along her matchstick arms, pressing, searching for meat.
She wanted them to covet her superior control, and to witness the evidence of her strength.
Behind her back, when they nervously whispered, “She is too skinny,” she couldn’t help it, she wanted that too.
Make no mistake, she is ashamed. She is ashamed of wanting this, still. But feeling shame is nothing new.
She still wants her clothes to drape loosely. Then, she wants them looser still. She wants her body to be but a hanger for a dress. She wants to eat just like a little bird, satisfied with crumbs, needing less. She wants to subsist upon the absence of substance.
In the morning, the first thing she does is feel her stomach, a concave bowl. She strokes her bones. And empty feels divine. It is the way she measures the pleasure of her day. Make no mistake, even now, now with her healthy thoughts and actions, empty still feels good. And that, just that, is the scariest truth to tell.
She always found comfort when she gripped her protruding hips, when she laid herself flat. She still wants to see her clavicles, tenting her blouse, pointed, sharp.
And she still wants him to softly strum her ridges, her ribs, as though tickling a harp.
She wants him, her darling, to run his finger down her spine. She wants to feel the delight she feels when he slowly counts her notches. She wants to feel him feel her blindly. She wants him to wrap her in a blanket, his tiny, shivering girl, the broken bird he may never understand.
She wants to feel small beside him, to disappear in order to be seen.
She wants all this. Still, she does. And the yearning creeps inside her. It is never gone, you see, this illness, her defiance, disguised as a virtue.
But, then, just like that, she snaps herself out, she remembers. She remembers that what she wants is to be smart. She wants to write a book and run her miles, and keep it all up — her schedule, those genuine smiles. She wants to continue along her new-found, fruitful road. She wants to feel it blossom within her soul, the gift of her life.
She wants to be a good mother, a loving wife. A funny, bright, generous woman, because she is not a girl. She wants to feel important. She wants to feel big. She wants her presence to take up space, to be both felt and known.
And then, again, and yet again, a craving stirs. The unbearable allure of lightness returns. Skinny laps and nips and tries in vain to remain. The discipline, and the quest for perfection, surfaces anew when praise with words like waif and lithe and feather and slight are used. They are dumped upon her like buckets of rain.
A bouquet of pretty language, blanketing pain.
She is careful with these thoughts, these thoughts that still creep in. Her want is precarious. It’s ugly and fucking boring too.
But she still wants it. Her graceful suffering. She remembers what she was willing to put into her mouth. The lengths she went to make sure it was not digested. To make sure it was burned off. To make sure it did not settle inside. To make sure it did not stick. To make sure it did not hit the spot.
What she still wants is hollow cheeks and twiggy wrists, and small, bug-bite breasts. What she still wants is to be skinny.
Now she is moving away from it, the want. She feels the distance growing. She feels her holes filling. It’s fullness she is facing. She knows her life is worth living. She has so much to do.
Controlling her desire to control will always be the heartbeat, the lifeblood of a battle that will never fully recede, though it is indeed a war she is finally winning. She wins every time she stares her want down cold. Her steely eyes work to stop it dead. It’s her wielded weapon, this recognition. Her enemy is weak now that she’s watchful.
She knows Skinny. Skinny lives inside her. Skinny will crash her shores like rushing waves forever. Skinny will hide behind dunes, under the cover of both rot and roses. Skinny, her broken lover, will wait and wait for her. Skinny will never completely let her go.
And though Skinny is now a mere beggar, quietly insistent, imploring her soul to bleed — her soul won’t spare a single drop — it wants to, but it won’t. It now has a whole and happy person to feed.
Kimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She feels creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinion on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. She believes that life is indeed a journey, and that precious moments appear (like magic) when you surrender, hold hands, and fling yourself into the great, wide, open.