I weigh 70kg today. A mere matter of grams and I will be back to under 70 for the first time in years. Since before I got pregnant with the Grot. Back into normal territory...
Except I dont' feel normal. I feel hideous. I look in the mirror and I don't see 8kg lost - I see 20 kg left to go. I don't see curves - I see lard. Mountains of it. Ugly purulent lard. It creeps up my thighs, encircles my waist, strangles my arms and infiltrates my brain.
I look in the mirror and I see the hair that won't be tamed, the features that are even more prominent and more ugly. That will never go away no matter how many servings of dessert I nobly pass up.
I look in the mirror and I see nothing attractive whatsoever. I glance beyond at my sleeping husband and know that he is lying when he says that he is attracted to me. Because no one could be.
I look in the mirror and think about all the overcompensating I do for being both ugly and fat. The losers quinella. I think about my marks and my art and my music and my work and my "niceness" and all those other things that I strive to be good at so taht people forgive the other stuff. But as I stare back into those brimming amber eyes I know that no one cares and that they can see through all those attempts anyway. A genuinely good, sweet, smart, friendly, artistic, clever person would never have to work at it. They just would be.
I look in the mirror and remember those same eyes before me years ago, the pale and naked and thin body, but still ugly. I remember the beautiful sting of cold steel as it brought ruby red blood drops onto my palm. The way that pungent metallic smell would curl upwards; the striking beauty in blood before it oxidises and turns black and tarnished.
I look in the mirror and I wish that I could smash it, slice myself with the shards. Cover myself in that awesome pain.
I look in the mirror and I suck in a deep breath between my teeth and shake my head. And the clouds disperse and that black inky tar that descended over me dissipates. I breathe deeply some more, feeling it ball up and then release. Then sigh it out. Gulp in the air.
I look in the mirror as I do my hair for work, feel confident that I look presentable and appropriate. I smooth down the untamable hair knowing that it's futile and grab my keys and sunglasses before running out the door.
I look in the mirror and see the shadows under my eyes, violent indigo, like a lovers punch. I know that I'm tired, but I see it for the first time, how the stress and insomnia and the juggling and being everything to everyone is sucking me out and leaving that shell I left behind so long ago.
I look in the mirror and I stand tall. I am wearing soft cotton pyjamas and haphazard hair and unplucked eyebrows.
I look in the mirror and I see the competent hands, soft, strong hands. Hands that felt new life today. Hands that gently reassured and manipulated and soothed. Hands that stroked silken hair and creamy cheeks.
I look in the mirror and see beautiful golden eyes, still fighting back tears but beautiful.
I look in the mirror and I see my strength. I see the black ink around me but it is not touching me. I am holding it back with superhuman strength.
But sometimes I need reminding that it's there. Always there. Always waiting for me to slip.