I am More

Jan 24, 1:15pm

I just weighed myself and weigh **0.7. Two days ago I was **1.7

I looked at my weight loss tracking app.

I saw that my weight loss has been .29% per week since December 3 2019. 3 pound weight loss in almost 3 months.

I stepped back from the scale and said aloud to myself as I was picking up quarters ($3.50 to be exact) to go to do laundry in my near-empty apartment where my girlfriends sleeps soundly in the next room.  

I said aloud:

“ I am more than that. I am intelligent. I know words. I am compassionate, I am beautiful because I have freckles on my beautiful brown skin.”  

 I started to tear up when unconsciously I said words in which I don’t believe “ I am more than that number on that scale. I am worthy of love. Of receiving it. Of Giving it.” A voice that spoke words as if they didn’t come from me lovingly cascaded out of my mouth because I don’t believe them. But this was a gentle reminder or rather affirmation from deep within. A truth I push away because instead the lie that I am “fat” beats me over the head daily and rips me apart, tearing my self-esteem and any possibility of self-love away and out of my grip.

So. I am more.

I am more than the names that I was called thought elementary school and the nickname they gave me about my body. The name that the popular girls at the sleepovers branded me with at the parties I used to get invited to. I am more than the hurt that still haunts me from the boy that told me he’s “seen uglier” when I was 11 at a party in a hot tub when it was time to play “who would you date” I am more than the trauma that began when the boy who told me to “sit down Rilen, nobody wants to see your fat” when my pre-pubescent, lanky, tall 5’5, size 6 body rose from my desk and I outstretched my arms above my head to simply stretch and my favorite magenta shirt rolled up, betraying me by exposing my then, non-existent “muffin top. I am more than the permanent message that from that moment forward that my hips were bad, gross, disgusting and the eventual stretch marks that showed up in adulthood were wrong and something to humiliated about. I am more than that debilitating fear that forces me to wear leotards when I perform out of sheer terror that my shirt might fly up and my “fat stomach” and “hips” will fall out mid-performance, leading me to be self-conscious and unable to stay in the moment during a scene because that voice will scream at me how disgusting I am and how embarrassed I should be. 

I am more than the deleterious nickname my mom gave my breasts in high school that mocked the color of my skin and the shape of my body. Goddamnit, I am MORE than any mean word and slur that anyone believed they had the agency or permission to pass judgment about my childhood body and my body now in my adult years.

I deserve nothing but respect and admiration for my body. For its shape, its color, the ripples on my thighs, the scars on my skin that I self- inflicted because I needed to feel something in moments of distress. The freckles that litter my face that seem to multiply every year, my 3 tattoos on my body inked in by a stinging needle with each holding deep meaning and representing a piece of my identity. 

My mind deserves to be respected for its intellect and capabilities. My gifts to express myself through word, song, and acting deserve acknowledgment, not my untoned arms and stomach. My mind needs to accept that I am everything I need to be at this moment. Would I like to lose weight to feel more confident in my body? Yes. Does that mean that because of weight loss I need to do in order to be healthier that was unfairly added to my body as a side effect of psychiatric meds to help with other aspects of my mental health that debilitate me equal me being gross, a failure and lazy because it hasn’t happened yet?  Does that fear that freezes me from making changes cross my mind that even if I lose weight I will still hate myself as much as I do now? Undoubtedly. But when all is said and done, I am enough. I am all that I need to be. A number on a piece of glass with batteries and a number on a size of pants or shirt has absolutely no merit or any standing in who I am as a human. I am more. So, so much more.

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