Chapter One.

So, they say everything comes full circle eventually, but why confide in a cliché? Its moral seems straightforward, almost too simple to be true. If it is true, surely it isn’t something you need to experience yourself to fully understand it, right? You can learn from other people’s mistakes to fully comprehend its meaning. Then again, to subscribe to such a trite expression seems kitschy, too obvious to take at face value, as if it’s some form of reverse psychology playing a sick trick on you to prove a point: the antithesis of what you thought you knew.

I thought I’d moved beyond this.

Feelings of shame, resentment, isolation, and inferiority are all too familiar. I was under the impression, after I had lost the

excess weight

four years ago, that I had solved all of my problems. Disillusioned by a new and improved self-image in my bedroom mirror, hubris kicked in. I had always known that all of my insecurities and my future happiness were directly correlated with

excess weight.

After three years of uncomfortable immobility in my own skin, three years of hiding my disgust underneath XXL sweatshirts and baggy pants, three years of hating my body and thus hating myself, I had finally (without humiliating myself by asking other people for help)done something about it: I lost the

excess weight.

I was twenty at the time, and with a little discipline and a 500-calorie-or-less-a-day diet, I lost around 35lbs in 40 days. It was an idea that seemed nearly impossible, but I plowed through the hunger pains, chugging water as a substitute for food. Marijuana every night before bed remedied the headaches and fatigue; it kept me focused on how much I had to gain through caloric restriction (a future of confidence, success, and happiness), and ever aware of how quickly those possibilities for my future could disappear if caved and quit dieting prematurely.

Even after I dropped the

excess weight,

I kicked myself for lacking the willpower to do it sooner…

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