It feels like a precious wound that I am cradling.
Not firm now, but shrinking inside as the cells desiccate. They grow smaller while the outer covering of winter-pale skin sags, wrinkling down as it empties out inside. I am soft and loose all over. I am a melting ice cream cone, a slowly disappearing snowman.
Time passes and I starve and starve it, forcing it to tap into years worth of stored history. Forcing it to activate a system designed to keep it from dying when there were no resources to be found, a system meant to bring it through a long, cold season of constant deprivation. I am spelunking into the past of what I was doing/thinking/eating/feeling when that overabundance of energy was secreted away for later times.
This isn’t about beauty.
I run my hands over it and feel the bones beneath the skin where before there was only rolling acres of flesh. Hard angles pressing my knees against one another when I lay on my side, prominences of hip when I lay on my back. My cheekbones stand in relief on my face where before they were buried, pillowed by my round, baby-fat features.
For the first time in my life I think that my face looks old.
I look different in pictures but the same when I stand naked, looking down. I don’t see that I have really changed and yet I don’t fully recognize my own face any longer. The angular, older-looking face in the mirror isn’t yet me, and I don’t know when it will be. I don’t know if I lived large for too long to ever heal the slowly hanging scars that are being left behind.
Losing weight isn’t healthy, being at a lesser weight is. The process of losing weight is a system of slowly doing damage.
I don’t know how to be a “normal” sized person. I don’t know how that feels, or acts, or looks. This is exhilarating, and victorious, and frightening, and painful, and more difficult than almost anything I have tried to do before.