The college where I work as librarian has a Physical Therapy Assistant program. In the office of the director of said program is a skeleton. It’s not a real one, like, y’know, from an actual body, but one of those artificial ones made for anatomy classes and such (though I realize in some cases actual skeletons are used).
The first time I happened to notice said skeleton in her office, it totally freaked me out. I know it’s fake, but it’s still weird, y’know? She laughed and pointed out the rather obvious fact that everyone has a skeleton.
Look, I know that every one has a skeleton. I broke my wrist as a child and my elbow as an adult, I get how the human body operates. Still, it’s easy to forget when you are obese and have a rather doughy body. It’s easy to forget that underneath all that plushy flesh is a hard solid frame.
Which is why I also freaked out in the shower this evening: Standing under the nozzle to rinse off, I put my hands on my waist and felt bone.
For many people, this is not a big deal. They are use to feeling the bones of their body. Not for fat people. I mean, okay, I could feel them in some of the more leaner parts of the body, like my fingers and wrists, but beyond that, there were no bones to be felt. Everything was hidden under layers of fat and extra weight. Now, though, I can at certain times not only feel but see my collar bones slowly popping out. My face is becoming defined with the reappearance of cheekbones. At night, if I’m lying in the right position, I can rest my hands on my hips and feel my pelvic bone.
And now my waist has gotten so small, my hands come up against the resistant of solid mass.
One reason last week’s shopping trip to Old Navy was so exciting is because it was a store I was sized out of years ago. I’m talking a decade or so. That is until they offered their Plus Size line in 2004. The majority of the clothes are only available online, and that’s how it was back then, too. A few flagship stores offered some of the pieces in person, which is how I managed to purchase a corduroy skirt on a family trip to either Chicago or New York in late 2004.
I only know the date because I still own that corduroy skirt and it’s on the tag. Of course, I’m much smaller now than I was when I purchased it and haven’t worn it in months.
A few months ago I was in need of jeans and bought two pairs at Old Navy, both marked a size 18. One pair I had tried on at the store, the other I found on the sale rack and just grabbed because it was, like, $7 or something ridiculous. (Let me tell ya, fat girl jeans are fucking expensive as hell.) When I got home, though, this second pair didn’t fit. While they said they were an 18, they were closer to a 16 and so I just threw them in my closet, knowing eventually I’d be able to fit into them.
Tonight I am.
Love from the ashes,