At 92 pounds, vestiges of my old anorexic self yelled YAY! but the deeper me, the truer me, the Me who wants to live and love and feel all the yum life has to offer, was appalled. This body could do better. Would do better.
So I worked it.
I ate all the time. Nutrient dense foods. Healthy fats. Occasional treats. My days revolved around eating and the question of how could I cram as much into the hole in my face as possible. Some days I felt like an eating machine. I WAS an eating machine, day in and day out. And the weight crawled slowly up.
I worked out. Hot power yoga 5 times a week. Heat to help kill cancer cells, movement for strength and balance and flexibility to build muscle atop the wasted flesh eaten by cancer. Some days I felt like I was building an entire new person. Slowly, muscles took form. My calves filled out, no longer sad sticks below bony knees. I had biceps again. Shoulders. It was exciting, building this new person. Better than before!
I did emotional work. Deep soul diving. The more I let go, the less resistance my body held to living. Happy bodies = natural weight equilibrium.
And the numbers on the scales slowly crept up.
The last thing I did, as flaky as it sounds, was to tell my body what weight I wanted it to reach. 114, I said — with muscle. Body said sure, we can do that, and the next thing I know I’ve jumped from 108 where I’d been holding out all summer to 111. Could be a fluke. Could be gluten-free cupcakes. All I know is that I feel more substantial again. I won’t blow away in a stiff wind. I can’t turn sideways and disappear. I’m still much much thinner than most women my height (I’m 5’7″) but I no longer look like a hooded guy with a scythe is hot on my heels.
Call me crazy (people do), but I’m conflicted about this. I’ve discovered in many instances I’m an instant-gratification sort of person. I fight against that tendency, because well, how’s that working out for you Talyaa? I want to look good and feel good. My body says YAY, more weight to play with! A little cushion for the pushin’. A fallback system in case things go awry again. I remember Cancer Guru Guy saying I wasn’t a candidate for a cancer healing protocol that he knew works really well and really fast, because at 92 lbs I didn’t have the luxury of temporarily losing 20-30 more pounds, which the protocol would have caused.
I don’t want to lose the little bit of feeling-good that I worked so hard for these past two years. I still don’t live like a normal person. I still spend hours every single day doing things to keep healing. I still have at least a year to go of hard work and a lifetime after that. I’m not done yet, not with healing. I know that.
So, one-eleven is good. I still fit in my clothes, most of them, that I bought when everything else I had fell off me. I still do yoga and still do resistance training and still want muscle and still believe my body can change.
But I’m wrestling with ghosts of the fears I used to have. I am not yet fully satisfied with my body. It’s not yet fully satisfied with me. For now, sure, 111 is good. But I’m holding out for awesome.