I know I can be thin. Been there, done that. I didn't get a ribbon or a pat on the head; I got amenorrhea. I didn't get a boyfriend or magically acquire the knowledge needed to succeed in college. Being thin didn't solve all my problems.
I know all these things. Yet these past few weeks I've been slipping back into that magical thinking: that being thin will make me happy. Nervous about the future? Scared of your thesis? Lose twenty pounds and everything will be great! Everyone will be so amazed and impressed with your self-control that they'll like you and respect you no matter how badly you fuck up everything else. Right? Right?
Not the case. Bad things can still happen to you when you're thin; in fact they happen quite frequently. You can't go out with your friends because you might eat something; you can't pay attention to a joke. You lose the hair on your head and gain it elsewhere (btw, that doesn't go away. I'll show you my shoulders sometime). Kids stare at you.
So I know I can be thin, yes. But I have to do so many unhealthy things to get there. I have to exercise at least two hours a day and eat a single serving of low-cal yogurt for lunch. Grumbly stomach? That's just all the fat and ugliness leaving your body.
My body is not naturally thin. I like to exercise, I like to work out and eat veggies, but my body will never look like a personal trainer's or a lingere model's. Fuck what all the TV talking heads and nutritionists say. Sure, I could get a six-pack and thighs like Michael Phelps. But to do that, I'll have to push my body to the extreme; I'll have to monitor everything I eat down to the gram. And it's not worth it. It's really, really not. Every hour I spend working out is an hour I'm not working on my thesis or spending time with people I care for. Every moment I spend thinking about food is a moment I could be thinking about something that makes me happy.
I know I can be thin. And there's a voice in me saying you don't mean all this, you know that being thin really IS what you need; it's so easy, too. If I had my boots on I'd squish it. It's not magical thinking; it's hateful and harmful thinking that I do not need.