We’ve spent so long together, I don’t know where to begin. I want to tell you that although I won’t miss you, that I truly loved you, for so long.
I’d quietly noticed the way that my mother had spent her time on you over the years. I was confused as to how she had allowed you to interfere with her home-life, marriages and her happiness and I was sure I wouldn’t make the same mistake.
I recall that just before we met my mother had remarked that I was eating too much, and had barked that my clothing was becoming a little tighter. I hadn’t noticed myself but none the less, the comments stuck and I became increasingly curious about this ‘weight’ thing women were so caught up in.
This one day, following a particularly harsh bust up between my mother and I about my body and habits; I was brushing my teeth and there you were. You were looking right at me. Suddenly the tightness in my waistband seemed to intensify. It was as if you knew and your arms were extended to me, number ready to roll, you offered to help.
Your shiny surface spoke to me. I knew from the the moment we met that we’d be friends. You told me that you understood, that you were there to help convince my angry mother to love me. You waited for me to step on, reassuring me that you wanted me to show everyone that I could be beautiful.
I was infatuated.
We began a relationship, and it was perfect for a while. I recall the times I’d hop on you secretly, at my Nans house in Lundwood… Blisteringly naive at the age of 13 of how you were causing me to abuse myself. I’d silently pray and beg you to make your numbers stop rising on the numerical dial before reaching that terrifying number ’11’**.
It felt wrong, this relationship of ours, but we continued none the less. I began to cut down on my food and our meetings increased, you told me you wanted to help.
Yes, there were the sneaky morning, afternoon and night time weighings. The before, during and after eating weighings, the peeing and poo’ing and coming back again weighings…
The Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Atkins, Cambridge, Low Carb, No Sugar and ‘British Heart Foundation Pre-Op Diet’ weighings.
The crying in the dark wanting it all to end weighings. The euphoric (and simultaneously fatigued) post-work out weighings.
We were inseperable – and much like had happened to my mother, you began to interfere beyond the bathroom. You began to dictate and shape my mood, my personality, my life.
Yes you had followed through; you had helped me become and learn to measure my own version of ‘beautiful’.
Everyone was full of praise as I arrived at my mothers second wedding in 2006 . All the bystanders told me how well I’d done to get down to such a weight and how much better I looked.
People who blanked me before, now talked to me. Men who didn’t see me before, now saw me so clearly. ‘So this is why she did it’ I remember saying to myself. I finally understood; I sighed sadly thinking about my mum, breathing in under her wonderful red dress. You nodded and agreed.
While I often bathed in the rush of adrenaline each time someone mentioned my weight loss, and how dedicated I must be, I was still troubled privately by you.
I was trying so hard to ignore you while you scowled at me from the bathroom floor every morning. I was with all of my willpower working to block out your screams, to ignore you when you told me that what I’d done wasn’t enough, that we still had so much work to do to be pretty.
But it was never fucking enough.
Over time, I hate to say it, but you wore me down. I made decisions that I know with absolute clarity I would never have been so distracted or eager to make had I left you sooner.
I chose jobs, places, friends, men; all while resting on the idea that I was never good enough for anything. The idea being happy and fulfilled was simply not an option for me – not while the numbers read what they did, never while the numbers read what they did.
And so, after many shared memories and time spent – I’m breaking up with you, forever.
I’m afraid that it’s the old cliche of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’.
I’ve changed, you see, and these positive changes mean I just can’t and wont be sharing my days with you; not anymore.
I know you’re going to take this rough. I know, we’ve been together so long, you’re probably wondering what on earth we will do without one another? I know I did.
Before I decided on the split I asked myself; “How will we move forward?” and “How will we know who we are without one another? ” But those are questions I’m giving myself the time and space to work on, and I’m enjoying the process. I’m enjoying the freedom.
I switched out your numbers for sunshine and smiling. I switched out your control and inaccuracy for love and acceptance. I’ve changed my perspective on life, and I’m done paying rent to exist by means of being ‘pretty’ or ‘thin’.
I’m ready to let you go.
I’m ready to wear what I want again, to eat what I want again, to BE who I want again.
I know you’re going to fight a damn good argument as to why we should still spend time together; once, twice, even three times a day… But please, listen and believe in me when I tell you this time:
I’m not coming back, I’m never coming back.
The picture is so much bigger than me now. I have my children to honour, protect and cherish. I have my husband to love and grow with.
I have my fucking life to live.
**11 being the eleven stones marker on the scale, also measurable as 164lbs.