I need to get used to this new body.
Instead of frail skin dripping down my arms, there’s flesh — a full, protein-rich slab cramped under my once soft skin. I am heavier. Weightier. I feel the gravity from my waist down where the former centimeters blew into new numbers. It wasn’t just twenty-three anymore. Or twenty-four. The ring of medida that goes around it expands to an unforeseen value.
And I thought I would stay the same.
There has been a change. One I welcomed. One I embraced. One I spoke into fruition when I decided to “take up space.” I said that metaphorically, and now I am, figuratively, only with no new territories conquered, just extra inches on my clothes.
That’s the hard part: the things you loved no longer fits you.
My dresses used to fall down on me like they were two sizes bigger. Sleeves droop off. But now, they rolled around my arms as if I was longganisa — encased meat. Jeans are trickier to slip into. The once-loose shirts are not loose anymore, just right. Sometimes, tight.
There’s a new adjustment in my innards. My spine felt the tug whenever I’d sit down, as if my bone plates were pushed and pressed, my organs slump inside my ribs. Movements, sluggish; sometimes wobbly. Maybe it’s because I rarely moved at all.
The worst: being constantly hungry, as if this monster of a machine requires perpetual fueling. Coconut-freckled crackers. Sour cream and onion glazed chips. Caramel filled chocolates. Bowls of rice. Pasta. Last night’s pizza.
Life is too wonderful not to eat your favorite things.
I’d see it in the mirror. I have lost the molded lines underneath my cheeks, only the big mounds when I’d smile. My face, rounder. My neck, almost not there. I’d hunch my shoulders down to make way for it, my hands trying to find the bony crevices that once have been there.
They weren’t. Not as blatant as before.
I have always been thin. Always been flimsy. Everyone who knew me would categorize me as “weak” from first sight. Here’s one mellow-eyed, quiet string of a girl, small and petite, easily conquered, easily swayed. Being thin and being small must have gotten into my brain. That’s how I thought of myself, too — weak, fragile, easily broken, would snap in two.
But now, I feel stumpy. Many times, sturdy. The pull of the gravity is a reckoning. The extra creases on folded flesh is telling, “I’m here. I’m you. You are full, and you are filled.”
Weight is a friend. Weight is a wonder. Weight is the armor you put in not to conceal your frailty, but to boast of your bones. Your flesh. Your gravity. You put your feet down and you don’t slip at the puff of the wind. You are a mountain. You are the earth.