Before I begin, I’d like to apologize to all my readers for letting this blog go for a while. I was sort of hoping to give you all a chance to catch up. I figured, what with me posting a new story every day that many of you were yelling, “AAAUGH! It’s too much!” I was basing this mainly on the number of new comments I’d had in this blog (at most, three). After a week and no comments at all, I begin to realize that what you’re waiting for is a new story. With that in mind: Here’s Exercise 8, which, strictly speaking, isn’t really a story so much as an exercise in character development. Yesterday, as we were coming home from a long car-trip out of town, I happened to see the subject of today’s exercise.
I wake up this morning to find that I am horrifyingly thin. Not just slim, or even slender. I’m so thin I can see bone sticking out when I look in the mirror. The reason for this drastic weight-loss stands close to my side, a little girl all of about two or three years old. As I look at myself in the mirror again, suddenly,, though my eyes tell me differently, I feel horribly fat, rather than frighteningly skinny. Not wishing my little girl to see me worrying about my weight, I smile at her and quickly get dressed. I fix my little girl a healthy breakfast of Cheerios and milk with raspberries. While she eats that, I mix up a glass of Slimfast Strawberry. I wouldn’t even drink that except that I get headaches if I skip breakfast.
Once everyone has had breakfast and my man has gone off to work, I take my daughter to preschool and go to my aerobics class. I follow aerobics with half an hour on the treadmill. It feels like nothing to me. However, I do draw a number of pitying looks from the other patrons. I try to ignore them. After a while, I start to feel a little dizzy. I figure that I’m feeling hungry because of all the exercise I’ve been doing and sit down to eat half of a snack bar. As I eat, the pitying looks stop and people go back to what they were doing. I slip the rest of the bar in my pocket and try to forget that it’s there.
I head for home, after that, and try to get my housework done. It’s hard for me because I’m easily tired. I tell myself that this is because I just exercised, but I know it’s because I’ve barely eaten anything all day. Even considering that, the idea of eating anything so that I’ll feel better feels abhorrent to me. When lunch-time comes, I have another Slimfast shake. Then I sit down for a while to watch some television. Unfortunately, even considering how tired I am, I don’t feel comfortable sitting still for the entire half-hour it takes to get through a television show. After a while, I start to feel like I’m gaining weight again. Frightened, I stand up and start jogging in place. It’s not long before I start to feel dizzy again. However, before I can dig out the other half of my snack bar, I faint.
When I wake up, I’m myself again, fat, rather than thin, and still unhappy. I sit and think about the difference between myself now and what I just experienced. It was like what I experience now, but turned rather completely inside out. Rather than eating to feel better, I was starving to feel better. It’s this realization that makes me see that, one way or the other, what I’m doing to feel better emotionally, is killing me physically. I realize that I can’t afford to let my emotions dictate my eating habits to me. The trouble is, how do I get this realization to filter through to my habits.