I wonder at the many compliments I’ve received because I’ve lost weight. This morning, the receptionist at my dentist’s office wanted to know what diet I was on. Oh, if she only knew it wasn’t an intent, but suffering.
If only I could patent suffering, mine, my longing as a diet plan, I would be a very wealthy, unhealthy person. For all to admire at how much I’ve lost in such a significantly accelerated motion. You’d know the day it began. If you we were paying attention.
I marvel at my own response to the sudden regard. I feel like at least something “good” came out of suffering, even if I was to be turned inside out, and any person, reasonable or not, would be repulsed by what I looked like on the inside: a soul that no longer soars, but who’s wings have been clipped; a mind that is stroked with obsessive thoughts of yesterday’s singular mistake; a diseased liver; blacken suffocated lungs; and a broken heart that can’t even catch every other beat.
Oh yes, I’m very happy to be thin!
5 thoughts on “You Look Good… As You Suffer”
my grandmother used to say that worry was the best diet. i remember wondering if it was the only way to lose weight easily, did she look forward to it? no i think not, back in the olden olden days and in some cultures being thin was/is perceived as a sad thing, it meant you were uncared for or too poor to afford enough food. this made me remember the poem you wrote about doing the laundry and the scent of the tshirt i think it was. there was a cushion of protection around those emotions, there had to be, or it could not have been expressed any other way but now the cushion is dwindled to a thin drape. the energy is there even if you dont sense it, the trust in ones own vitality returns again like seasons
my buddy coined the phrase “the misery diet” after all the compliments he got on his weight loss after his horrible divorce. just shed those ugly pounds of fat by literally tearing yourself apart!
I can empathise with this. Several years ago I fell very ill, and everywhere I turned people were complimenting me on my svelte figure. My boss even said to me ‘I wouldn’t mind some of that illness…can you spit in my coffee’. What a bizarre and superficial world we live in.
hear ya. was there. unfortunately pour moi, if I don’t eat at work I start swearing like a mofo and am super grouchy and forget stuff. I had that for about a week and then had to switch to eating instead so I didn’t kill people at work. literally.
I agree with maxine.
When I lost the first 20 lbs in my sophmore year of high school when I had a full blown eating disorder my mom was so proud, she told all her friends I finally lost all my baby fat and how pretty I looked. I had also just confessed that I cried a lot and felt like I was having panic attacks because I wanted to eat but couldn’t.
She patted me on the head and said, just drink a glass of water, or have an apple.
I could have spoken those same exact words when I was going through a crisis in 2005. Worry, smoking, and drinking…that was my diet. People kept telling me how “happy” I looked, too, which killed me.