Exercise #8: The Other Me

Exercise 8 instructions

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.  :\


9 thoughts on “Exercise #8: The Other Me

  1. That’s so interesting. My problems with eating aren’t at all visible. That can be both a positive and negative thing. It’s not about eating or food at all, actually, something more to do with a lack of focus, fractured thinking, living too much inside my head.

    I’m hoping to have all the schoolwork and my blogs finally well-organized enough this coming week so that I can enjoy doing some of these exercises.

  2. hi hi, my name is jocelyn and I found you through a search… your post sounds so familiar to me. i am also feeling the same way, I hope you know you are not alone in this!
    Stay strong, sending you positive vibes!

  3. She saw one of the tenants in the complex that we’ve seen but don’t know and used her for reference. She was pretty skinny.

  4. Thanks for your comments, everybody.

    @allycatadventures- That’s a philosophy my dad ascribes to. I haven’t been able to make it work for myself, yet, but I suppose you’re right. I’ll try.

    @merbelle- You’ll get there. However, when you do, I’d love it if you could post links to your stories in the comments for the appropriate exercise here. I could use the pingbacks.

    @joceycakes- It’s nice to know I’m not alone. There are so many other women in the US who are dealing with eating problems of one stripe or another. Most of the time it’s not so much about discipline as it is about having a semblance of control in your life. If you think about it, about the only thing you really control is the food you eat or don’t eat.

    @jaklumen- That’s right. You were there and saw her and her little family when I noticed her going by. I have to say, writing from her perspective gave me a new perspective on myself, just like the exercise said it would.

  5. You did a wonderful job illustrating the complexity of the way people see themselves and the damaging things they do to try to make themselves feel better. It can be such a struggle at times.

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