MaggieMay, I’m not ignoring you! It’s just…that request is a lot harder to fulfill than it should be. (I was going to say this in a comment, and then I figured, what the hell, I’m closing in on 500 posts…might as well let this help me get there.)

A lot of people have been posting about body issues and weight lately. I’ve held back from joining in these conversations–not out of disinterest, because I’m desperately, painfully interested in this topic–but because it’s something that’s really, incredibly difficult for me to talk about. And I’m not going to talk about it much–not in anything close to the detail I feel like I could. Let’s just say this, for background: I come from a family where eating disorders are pretty much genetic. My mom, my sisters and I all have different varieties and different manifestations, but we all share a complete and utter hatred for our bodies, whatever size they might be. I’ve felt awful about my body for, literally, as long as I can remember.

I’ve fought it really hard. Hanging out in feminist/queer/generally-rock-star circles has helped–a lot, sometimes–but it’s always still a problem.

Long story short: karma kicked me. About two years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease (which causes hypothyroidism), and I gained 20+ pounds in about three months.
Then I quit smoking, and discovered that quitting smoking in your 30s does, in fact, also wreak havoc with your metabolism. And–despite all these people going, oh, walking is such great exercise, I also learned that walking 5 miles a day does not make the tiniest dent in your weight if your metabolism doesn’t cooperate.

So why am I telling you all this? Is it just so I can wake up in the middle of the night and think OH DEAR GOD WHY DID I TELL THEM THAT?

Nope. It’s because I used to have all these clothes that made me feel sexy and powerful and rockstar-ish. And now none of them fit, and the few things I have that do fit are kind of boring, and I don’t feel especially good in them anyway, and I wonder if I’ll ever feel powerful or sexy again.

I mean, sometimes I feel that way in my head. But will I ever feel that way in my body?

So what I’m saying, I guess, is that I’ll work on fulfilling MaggieMay’s request, but I’m going to have to think about it. And I feel like I might have said too much about all this, because I’m pretty sure I just chipped my cool facade. Whatever. The fact that it feels like I’m telling you a secret probably means it’s a good thing for me to talk about.