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Five Pounds

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

5 pounds. I woke up this morning and discovered I had gained 5 pounds in three days. I know it is from the medicine they just put me on, but somehow that doesn’t make me feel the least bit better. My first thought was, what do I do?

Do I restrict my food intake to an unhealthy amount?

Do I eat but then throw it up or take laxatives to get rid of the food?

Do I obsessively exercise to try and burn extra calories?

Do I stop taking the medicine, which seems to be working, because while improving my mania is more important to everyone else, losing weight is more important to me?

I was never skinny, it just wasn’t in my DNA, not like my sister was. But I don’t remember REALLY worrying about it until I was thirteen. I was a competitive artistic roller skater, and my coach kept telling my mom that I could never place if I didn’t lose weight. For the first time I felt super self-conscious in those bathing suit-like costumes.

Then I had some problems with my thyroid and they had to remove half of it. Not only did I have a gigantic scar like they had slit my throat (well, really, they did) but I gained a bunch of weight while they tried to level out the amount of hormones my remaining half-thyroid was producing. I was horrified.

It never got better. I didn’t always talk about it, but I have hated my body every day since then. At different times it has looked better than others, but then it’s almost worse because people compliment me and I feel like, oh my gosh, what were they thinking last week or last month when they didn’t say anything?! Were they horrified at what I looked like? I can’t let that happen again!! I pretty much torture myself every day.

5 pounds is not a big deal. It will come and go in the circle of life. But to me, it is an ultimate failure and a threat to a downward spiral. And I know I’m not alone. I hope one day it won’t matter so much, but right now, it does.

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