Numbers game

by MB


I don't need to be a size 0. There. I said it.

I don't need the baggage of an arbitrary number - 0, 2, 25, 26 - to catapult me forward, to punish me when I'm guilty, or to pick me up when I've fallen down. My life is not an exercise in negative reinforcement; my happiness is not corollary to a diminishing return.

There is no more self hate left for me to practice. I've memorized it all to the point of recitation, studying its intricacies and reviewing its most confounding principles with harrowed eyes.

I've run the gamut from not good enough to too much.

I ended up here.

I don't need a reminder of what the body beneath the size 0 looks or feels like, nor do I want to relive the nightmares of sleepless nights and the agony of groggy days she called reality. 

I can recall (with explicit detail no doubt) the food I saw but did not eat, the party that passed but which I did not attend, the work I had but lacked the energy to complete. The expansive closet - the collection of dresses and pants of diminished size and numerical value - of clothes I did not wear to all of the things I did not do.

The girl in a size 0 has a life overflowing with memories unmade.

I've seen my body acquire and then rid itself of 40 pounds. I've worn prom dresses in size 8 and suits in a size 0. I've been myself each and every time. 

Jon Kabat Zinn, the contemporary Buddhist scholar, has devoted his life to exploring this very deceptively simplistic statement. Just as a neurosurgeon methodically completes a procedure, his last  step executed with no less precision than his first, so too does Kabat Zinn approach this thought, this realization of presence. 

Whetever you go, there you are. 

Today, I am here. I am uncomfortable. Alive.