The Blue Dress

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I have this dress. And I look freaking the BOMB in this dress hahaha

When I wear it people lose their minds a little bit. Which is a bit weird. I mean, compliments are lovely, absolutely – we all like them even if we’re awkward about how to receive them. It’s nice to be told you look nice! 

But it can get really weird reeeaaaaally  easily. 

I haven’t worn the dress in a while because I gained a loooot of weight last year. I wasn’t well, wasn’t doing well, and just spiralled out of control, self-medicating with food. It was gross, to be honest. 

Now, though, I’ve lost all of that weight, and a teeny bit more, and I’m feeling good again. And I have the confidence to pull the dress from its home in the back of the closet, and give it a whirl, see how it goes. 

People go nuts. Which is kinda’ cool – hard work is paying off, you know? I’m not imagining it, I actually am seeing a difference, and the dress makes it hard for anyone else not to see it, too. So… yeah, I guess that’s sweet. 

Yeah, we do good-looking and anti-social alright sometimes.

Well, I wore it to church one Sunday to a different chapel than I usually attend because I had a special event to be at for some extended family. I haven’t been to this place in a while, definitely not since before my hair turned blue, and definitely never in the dress. So I suppose I probably stood out a little as I rushed in with two minutes to spare before the service was to start hahaha 

And in that two minutes I was hugged, poked, prodded, I was made to stand up, I was spun to check out my ass, and then the question. 

Oh, I hate the question. 

It’s always asked in jest, or if not it’s presented in such a flippant, off-hand way, like it’s no big deal. 

“Are you eating?!” 

Like, the only way to possibly wear this dress is to have stopped eating. Like, thanks so much for that incredible vote of confidence. SHEESH. 

Most of the time I can brush it off like the nothing it’s meant to be. 

But sometimes the question smashes through me and opens up the hollow so vast I can hardly breathe. 

That was the case on this Sunday.

No, I haven’t eaten in days, I thought. 

I USED to eat, I did. A lot. Too much, in fact. For the amount of physical activity that I am involved in it’s always been kind of crazy that I’m as fluffy as I am, or I guess, as I used to be. But I always felt like I had no control. Last year’s immense weight-gain attests to that, I think. 

I used to learn about people with eating disorders and be envious of their self control: what do you mean people just don’t eat? HOW? I can’t not not eat. But ohmigosh, have you ever seen a recovered anorexic who is FAT? So lucky!! O_o How do they do that?! I want to do that. 

But I never could. Food just had too much power over me. I couldn’t walk past it. Couldn’t NOT eat. 

Couldn’t not overeat

I do remember being in nutrition classes in school and learning about different types of bulimia. Reading the assignments in my dorm room and thinking to myself, huh… this kind of sounds like me… 

Then, later, I don’t remember what the catalyst was, but I finally ended up seeing a therapist. I don’t remember much about my visits with him, but I do remember when I left that school – I contracted mono and just packed up my stuff and went home to my mommy – he sent me with a letter for my family doctor that said I had been being treated in therapy for depression and an eating disorder.

And I was like….wait, what? I don’t have an eating disorder. I’m not skinny! 

But no one ever did anything about it. No one ever acknowledged that it’s even there. STILL. 

So I guess it never really went away? I don’t know. It’s not something I used to really think about. Maybe in the very back back back echelons of my over-addled brain it’s always been there. 

But I never stopped eating. Never. I could out-overeat the best of the best. My kids think I’m a garbage disposal – mom do you want to finish my _____ ?  I mean of course they do; if they don’t ask I just reach across the table and grab their leftovers anyway, after already eating scads from my own plate.

Everything changed, this year, though. 

I learned control.

Preparing for the kickboxing tournament in March I, for the first time, learned mindfulness with regards to my food portions. I couldn’t tell before when I was full, and was challenged then to stop eating when I was only EIGHTY PERCENT full – that took some serious attention while at meals – I usually just fly right past full and keep stuffing until it literally hurts. So stopping BEFORE full was a real challenge. But I managed it. 

And I lost some of the weight. Which was awesome. 

Then after the tournament I was pretty banged up; I came home to one of my favourite meals and the scent of it just made me so nauseated. For days I couldn’t bring myself to eat anything more than an apple, which I forced down just to have had something in my system, and when I say forced I mean FORCED. I finally felt hungry after a while so we ordered a celebratory pizza and it was all I could do to choke down a slice – I forced a second because I hadn’t eaten more than an apple in a few days. 

It took nearly 3 weeks for my appetite to return. I lost 10lbs in two of those weeks while on vacation in Florida. 

When my appetite came back, though, I was paranoid that eating again would immediately put the weight back on. I tried to be so careful about my portions, and stuck to the 80% rule. I weighed myself every morning to see if yesterday, finally, had been the day and my miracle 10lbs had been glued back on. 

To my delight, the weight didn’t come back. Nor has it, yet.

But the cycle of binging, purging, and starving creeps in. 

A couple of days before the family event where I wore the dress I had gone out with some friends after a boxing class at the gym. We went out and gorged ourselves on hamburgers, poutine, tater tots, pop, and to top it all off I ate way too much ice cream when I got home that night. 

I had to negate it. 

So I didn’t eat the next day. 

….or the next day. 

“You need to eat more; you’re wasting away!” You’re right, on both accounts. But thank you for acknowledging that it’s working. 

I haven’t gone as long without eating, since. But I don’t always eat. I usually eat at least once a day, but not always. I can’t train how I like to if I don’t eat something, which is annoying. 

But I haven’t cooked a meal in…. Goodness, I don’t even know how long. Been a WHILE. 

I look damn good in the dress, though. And that’s what it’s all about it, right? It’s okay that I’m not eating because, spin me in a circle and check me out, that’s the most important part, right? I finally look like an athlete, and not just a frumpy mom-bod. And you want to know the secret and what the quick fix is so you can lie to yourself that you’re going to do it, too. Starting tomorrow. Mmmm…. Maybe monday. Oh, look; cupcakes! 

Maybe today I’ll finally buy some groceries.

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