I had norovirus, the kind where you are this pathetic, shivering creature crouched on the ground beside the toilet at 3:47 a.m. In the process of this unwelcome “total body cleanse,” pounds fell off my body.
Okay, they didn’t fall. But providing accurate detail about what happened is too disgusting.
It’s at least as disgusting that it’s an option to say someone looks good after they’ve been sick, or that it’s cool to lose weight on illness.
Not that my post-eating disorder brain wasn’t willing to play this trick on me. Of course I stepped on the scale after that night from hell, and of course it was shocking how much weight I lost.
And the old gremlins flared up. Maybe it’s a good thing, I wondered.
But actually fuck no.
Losing weight by process of being miserable always sucks, whether via stomach flu, eating disorder, or this week’s ridiculous dieting fad.
The way to look radiant is to feel radiant, and the way to feel radiant is to possess outrageous courage in a world that tells women we must keep ourselves in check, in line. Losing weight is not an act of courage. Losing weight possesses no intrinsic value, but we do — and it’s a radical act to accept ourselves as we are.
I’ve probably gained all my norovirus weight back by now, and thank goodness. My body knows exactly which size it wants to be, and I’m proud to have flipped my old eating disorder the bird one more time.
Every day presents these little opportunities for resistance. Against our own demons, and/or against societal things that suck. We should be so grateful to take them all.