i’m feeling especially vulnerable

First there was the foot incident. Six weeks of no exercise, lots of doing nothing, not to mention that it overlapped with a Hawaii vacation that didn’t exactly encourage healthy, slim living. Follow that up with ten days in Texas and a two week battle with bronchitis that included a four star popped eardrum bonus and you’ve got a hell of a two months. My body composition is tapioca.

I’ve been working on being Zen about the whole thing. My body is clearly trying to tell me something. As a dear friend pointed out, I’ve been particularly “sickly” this year and there’s got to be a reason for it. It could be bad karma, as I havent exactly been inoculating orphaned babies from Haiti in 2010. (I don’t know why I chose to type it like that, in a way that suggests that I was actually doing that in 2009, or 2008.) I know that this body is temporary. I’ve got a half marathon coming up in October which will surely give this fat kid some motivation to sweat off the extra lbs, but in the moment, doing the naked mirror dance, temporary doesn’t seem to matter. It shakes like it’s gonna be there for a looooong time.

I’ve done my best to avoid direct contact with my body. I play a game where I pretend that my body is like Medusa. If I stare at it directly it will blind me. So I don’t. I look myself in the eye as I pass the mirror on the way into the shower. Sometimes I have to face the wall because the temptation is too great. (I was the girl who couldn’t help but clench my teeth when I’d just gotten my braces tightened. It just hurt so… good. There’s a similar psychology here. I dont want to see it, per say, but this sick, twisted, dark part of myself really does.) I also haven’t weighed myself. Actually, that isn’t entirely truthful. About a week and a half ago I did it just to torture myself. I have problems.

But that all changed yesterday. I finally decided to go to the doctor about this killer disease that had the nerve to fuck with my eardrum and wouldn’t you know that they feel as though in order to find out what is wrong with my lungs they need to weigh me. Now, there are two paths to take. The first is just to get on the scale like a normal person. The second is to get into an argument with the GED VoTech nurse about why on earth she needs to know how much you weigh to give you antibiotics. From experience I can tell you that the second is inadvisable. Super inadvisable. Not only does it make you sound crazy, nothing goes to shit quicker than an argument with a person whose job requires that they fill out a form. Their one and only purpose is to fill out that form. If you dare to get in the way of the form filling out, you’re going to get bitch slapped. Ever told one of those ladies (or gents) that you’re “not sure” of the answer to the question they’ve asked? There is a slight twitch that creeps over their faces. You may not even realize the power it has over you, but suddenly you just pick a medication to be allergic to so that you don’t have to endure the uncomfortable stare. Allergies? Err. Umm. Penicillin? Sure.

So then you find yourself at another cross roads. You have to get on the scale, but how much clothing can you subtly remove on your way to the platform? If you’re wearing slip ons, awesome. Done. Kick ’em off. If you’re wearing boots, you’re going to spend the rest of the day agonizing over how much a pair of riding boots can possibly weight. Ten pounds? Twelve? The truth is they probably weigh less than three pounds and it’s that knowledge that picks at you all day long. The best course of action is usually to just take off all excessive clothing the minute they put you in the room. If you know you have to have your blood pressure taken, go ahead and make a fuss about making it easier for them by removing your jacket. You can try to get your belt off, but be cautious. You don’t want the nurse to think you’ve got the wrong idea about her. If you’ve never been beaten with a clipboard, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

In my experience you’re stuck with your pants and shirt. Even if you manage the shoes, belt, and jacket you’d have to be a pro to be able to get down to your skivvies without the nurse freaking out on you. I’ve been doing this for years and I’m lucky if I even get to take of my blazer. Yesterday I was so panicked about the experience I went into a trance for a solid thirty seconds after she asked me to “hop up on the scale.” I lost valuable time and didn’t even have a chance to kick of my ballet flats. Even worse, the appointment was at 1:30 but I hadn’t eaten breakfast so there was no way to psyche myself into thinking those extra lbs were my breakfast. I hadn’t even had a sip of water.

I tried to do a tricky belt-removing maneuver using one hand, but I ended up just twisting it around awkwardly. In the end I just sat there calculating how much a pair of skinny jeans and a cotton shirt weigh. Nine pounds?

The nurse told me that the doctor “could be a minute” and then closed the doors. It occurred to me that I could quickly remove all my clothes, jump on the scale, reweigh myself, and change the chart all before she returned. I would have done it too, but then I remembered that I wanted to ask her for a psychiatric referral and I was concerned that after a stunt like that she’d give me one unsolicited.

The experience has left me feeling really sorry for myself. My pants, which fit fine yesterday, suddenly don’t fit. (In my mind, of course.) In mourning for my skinny self I decided to dress in a circus tent today and sip somberly on soy berry smoothies. I’m hoping that I’ll have an opportunity for a naked weigh in before I have to go to Chicago. Nothing ruins a vacation quite like starting it feeling like an orca.

5 thoughts on “i’m feeling especially vulnerable

  1. You are not an orca! I’ve paid a lot of money to know that most of this is in our heads, no matter how much you think it is real. Injuries and sickness suck, but you can’t survive on nothing and expect your body to heal. That is only going to make things worse…way worse!

    Sometimes when I need a pick me up, I go to Operation Beautiful. http://operationbeautiful.com/. It’s amazing what a positive sticky note can do!

    I swear those Dr. scales are not correct. Those ladies just want to fill out the form and move on. Time of day (whether you’ve eaten or not) makes a differene. The point it…the number doesn’t matter. Your pants fit, they are not too tight, you are fine!!

  2. You come over to my house any time you like. I bought a scale that is magically off by 2 lbs making you feel like a super model every morning! (clothes off, obviously)

  3. I had a “heavy clothes” experience recently, myself. I went to the gym one morning and weighed in at a svelte 248. Went to the doctor at 2:00 and weighed with clothes, blazer and cowboy boots, and sirens started going off at 257!! I think the doc has lead tape on the sides of the scale so that she can keep me returning to “monitor” stuff. (Biotch…)

  4. this past march, after eating my way through the holidays, the remainder of the winter months, and several months of blissfully inactive unemployment, i went to a drs appt. when on the scale (shoes off of course), i covered my eyes with my hands and demanded the nurse give no indication whatsoever as to what my weight may be. i elaborated for her(hands still over eyes), in case i hadn’t been clear, “please don’t sigh, or cluck or even tell me that it’s a totally normal healthy weight. i don’t care what a healthy weight is i just care what i weigh. so please don’t tell me, ok? oh and when you fill it in on the computer – please turn the screen away from me. thanks.”

    i would imagine she was rolling her eyes at me as she watched me wiggle around in my tiny american apparel leggings, but i’ll never know for sure as my hands were over my eyes.

    hope all is well and that you’re feeling better.

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