As long as I can remember I’ve always had this fantasy that I’m a beautiful butterfly. Not your average brown butterfly with yellow spots, but shiny shades of blue with dark trim and a wing span that flows effortlessly in the breeze. A sparkling butterfly.
My favorite thing about butterflies is that no words need to be spoken. As they flutter about I’m desperate to stop time and admire their beauty. Their presence is captivating and I notice nothing else. The blue of the sky, the vibrant colors of flowers and the deep green shade of grass. It all fades and blurs into the background.
When the butterfly flies away the background comes into focus again. The moment is over and it’s time to face life.
This morning when I got dressed I struggled to get my jeans up past my thighs. I wiggled and squirmed and sucked it in, and wiggled and squirmed some more. I jumped up and down as if going against gravity were an actual thing. Finally- whew, but when I tried to button them I couldn’t. Muffin top prevented that from happening.
I bought those jeans five months ago. Humph.
Wearing them was my first mistake. Standing in front of a full length mirror was my second. I was bulging out everywhere- thighs, butt, all the way down to my ankles where they began to loosen up.
I squatted down in attempt to stretch them out. My blood stopped circulating. I stood there looking at myself. I felt bad. I felt gross, but only because society wants me to. I have no other reason for questioning myself.
According to the National Institute of Health I am well within the normal BMI range. Okay, so maybe I’m not statistically fat, but I undoubtedly fit the description of chunky.
My body is uncomfortable. I’m carrying extra weight. I feel it. It doesn’t belong there, but it’s also given me curves and bigger boobs. Something I’ve always wanted.
It’s a double edge sword.
I’ve lost count of the days since I last ate a piece of cake. I walk miles of track every day at the Recreation Center. I do push ups. Yoga. Meditate. I don’t eat healthy and exercise because I’m hefty. I do it for the same reason skinny people should do it. So I don’t die of heart disease.
Yet, I still gain weight. I defy medical science, at least the medical science printed in fashion magazines. I’ve gained over 20 pounds this past year.
Thank you, Lexapro for making me sane. For helping me feel good. For providing me the will to get out of bed every day. For allowing me the space I need from myself in order to breathe.
I embrace your side effects. I embrace my body.
Weighing in at 100 lbs for the majority of my adult life surely everyone has noticed. People will say, Wow, you look healthy!, and, Are you still going to the gym?
I want to respond with, I know your definition of “healthy” so please spare me, and yes, I exercise every damn day. I want to say, I take psych meds but hey, if you’d judge me for my weight you’d probably judge me for that too.
I don’t care what anyone thinks, I tell myself. But is that true? Sometimes I question it.
Society tells me if I’m skinny I’m beautiful, if I’m overweight I barely qualify as adequate. Am I expected to feel badly because of what society thinks, projects or has us believe?
No. No, I’m not and I won’t.
I won’t because let’s be realistic, if we all compare ourselves to society’s standards then everyone of us, for one reason or another is just an average brown butterfly with yellow spots. No one sparkles and therefore it’s not possible for one to judge another.
Anything is possible but it doesn’t make it right.
I may be an average butterfly, but I’m still a butterfly. If gaining physical weight manages the weight of depression it’s good enough for me.
Not to mention I can always wear larger size pants and wear them just as everyone should. With pride.