From what I can best tell, this was the last full length photo of myself that I was prepared to post online:
It was about three years ago and I’d just started to put weight back on after a period of terrible anxiety where I lost kilos and kilos by being too nervous to eat anything besides two pieces of toast each morning for months. I remember taking this photo in part because I was wondering if I was too fat to wear shorts that short.
No, you goose, you were fine.
B posted this photo of me online over the weekend. He didn’t ask if it was OK to do so because he didn’t know I’d spent the last three years meticulously making sure I only posted photos from the shoulder up and heavily filtered at that.
When I saw it, it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. There were things I didn’t love about it, I don’t know what I’m doing with my face, for example, and my shorts could definitely use a good hoist but it didn’t make me cringe enough that I wanted it taken down.
I thought about who I was hiding my weight from. People who knew me three years ago, but who hadn’t seen me since, seemed to be the answer. I thought about these people and why we hadn’t seen each other since and mostly it fell into two categories: they were people I drifted from, which is fine and happens all the time and is it no way related to what either party brought to the scale, or they were people who just weren’t good for me or me for them.
So why did I care if they saw a photo and realised I gained weight? Why didn’t I care about the thoughts of the people I’ve met face-to-face in the last two years since my thyroid destroyed itself and I started eating all of the things, plus dessert?
It’s because I’ve spent years imagining what people would think if they hadn’t seen me since 2012. Those ghost voices have been echoing in my head this whole time and all of them were taunting me. All of them thought I was a bad person who deserved to be fat and mocked for it.
The people who’ve met me since only know me like this and those who’ve become friends don’t seem to care what I weigh and those who might have certainly never said anything.
So I’m only hiding from people online, who probably don’t give a shit anyway.
I’ve started to lose some of the thyroid weight. Not huge amounts, four kilos so far in total and again, some of it through stress. I’ve made peace with weighing whatever I end up weighing when we get married because it’ll take me more than a year to get to where I need to be and there’s nothing I can do about that now.
One thing that has disappeared for the most part though, is the anxiety I used to have every day about tomorrow being the day I’d start to eat healthy or exercise. That anxiety lived with me for almost a decade and spoke to me hundreds of times a day. I started and it faded and it’s stayed that way, even when I don’t have perfect days and that’s worth so much more to me than curating photos of myself so when I’m old and grey(er) I can pretend I never got fat.
So yeah. All that’s left is a funny photo of me and Delilah on the red carpet and I’m OK with that.