And then, that comfort was gone. I’ve lost the best friend I never had the courage to acknowledge but who was my constant, loyal companion nonetheless. I am left holding the shattered pieces of whatever has been left behind, trying to assemble them into something new, something that serves me better.
I had weight-loss surgery, but I am still the same person who went under the knife. I still have that yawning cavern inside of me that I want to fill with food, only now I cannot fill it with food. I’m rarely hungry, but I am ravenous. Want continues to rage desperately beneath the surface of my skin. I turned to food when I was sad and happy and lonely and scared and anxious. I turned to food, and away from everything else; it was my comfort and my friend. Food helped me survive something I did not think I would survive. Food numbed the uncomfortable feelings I very much did not want to feel.
I’ve replaced one set of anxieties with another. I worry I’m eating too much and stretching my new stomach (something I was warned about, repeatedly and vigorously). I have brief moments where I allow myself to imagine hiking Runyon Canyon or wearing a fabulous outfit because it is available in my size or going to see a musical without making special arrangements…and then I tell myself to get ahold of myself. I tell myself not to want. I tell myself that I’ve failed to discipline my body before and I will probably fail this time, too. I tell myself these things because I’ve carried this weight for almost 30 years and it is terrifying to face who I could be without it.