Countlessness

Like most fat women, I have quantified my body — and especially the food I put in it — endlessly. I have hated and loved the numbers, signing my power over to a broken math.

pounds

calories

points

steps

sizes

As I type these words, I feel them in the depths of me, like a soft chant.  poundscaloriespointsstepssizes poundscaloriespointsstepssizes … They whisper a promise to release me from their power, unraveling a spell that’s bound with sweat, blood, vomit, and decades of trying to be less.

It began in adolescence. The first time I joined the well-known healthy eating plan, I went to the classrooms above my youth group church and learned to count starch servings (these were the food pyramid days). I was surrounded by older women, and I was afraid to speak about it in school. We had cardboard guides and small binders. 2 milk, 3 fruit, 1 protein. It’s much more complex now, powered by research and metadata, but somehow I’m still the girl who is too fat too young, too broke, and too ashamed to be here.

pounds

calories

points

steps

sizes

inches

bmi

What would happen if I made the rules? +3 KatePoints for walking the dog in the sunshine. +1 KatePoint for eating a pear. +4 KatePoints for asking for help. +3 for potato salad that tastes fresh and filling. No points for self-doubt. +5 for writing. +1 for rubbing my feet. +2 for rubbing theirs. I’ve been humming a thought in my mind today, a sweet melody of freedom.

I want to quantify my kindness, my wholesome, nurtured self. I want to remind myself a hundred times a day that it’s alright to take up space. I want to be weightless.

I’m going to count my fucking blessings.

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