Don't focus on pounds gained, but on fears lost.
Transfer their attention from my bigger body to the growth and fulfillment in my life. Away from the flesh and the numbers and towards the intangible.
Don't view me any differently, becuase I'm still me.
My anxiety is insurmountable. What if my body is too much?
The tremendous experience (this life itself) is worth more than 10 pounds, even 15. Its value cannot be quantified. It's far more than the brief elation of "you look so skinny," and undoubtedly more valuable than the hours of excruciating pain and loneliness spent to achieve it.
To be relaxed in my body is not a passive choice: I must constantly remind myself that I am worthy of self-compassion and kindness, that a number sewn into the waistband of a pair of jeans is no more than an arbitrary design created thousands of years ago, intending to gauge that which was unknown. I deserve to fill up the space around me; to breathe and love and let go and need and cry and feel and be held.
Back in the space I occupied as a child, I am aware that my flesh is more noticeable than it was before. But I am at ease; I do not fear the food in the refrigerator, I can enjoy the pleasure of nostalgia. I have energy to write and think and explore and hopefully to cry and mourn. Because that is the life that I want and need. It's what I deserve.