To my Adipose
My Fat, you are part of me – a well-worn coat I have developed against the cold winds of self-doubt and fear.
Bit by bit I added to you and I grew you so that I could feel I was enough for the task of taking care of my family and being the sole or main breadwinner. You are made of all the times I sought comfort in food, and you grew out of the shadows of my hiding and avoiding exercise because I never could run anyway. You padded me up through the months of my first pregnancy and stored up against the lurking doubts of how we would cope. You have been with me through job loss, moving cities, moving countries and all the early anxieties of settling in to a new life and a new culture.
And you are there, still keeping me comfortably “enough”, as I have built up my self-esteem and found new depths of peace.
Even now, you are by no means an enemy. Any exercise I do is weight training in the forty or so kilograms of bodysuit that you have become. Underneath, my muscles grow stronger because of you and I have more stamina than may be apparent at first glance.
But times are changing. I have grown dependent on you as if you were a talisman linked to my happiness and peace, as if letting go of you would throw me backwards through the years to the young woman I once was, full of fears and uncertainties as I navigated my decisions, choices and depression. You are the comfort of an old, soft dressing gown, but as the years go by, to be honest, you are becoming shabby.
Not least, my personal summer draws near, where an extra coat is too hot to wear and too difficult to shed, and I will need all the good health I can muster.
So, over the next while, I will be letting go of you, little by little, tiny step by tiny step. I know if I’m not gentle, I’ll panic, and quickly rebuild you to your former glory and hide away again. One cannot hasten these things. Indeed, the work has already begun and my body is relishing the healthy food. I know it won’t sustain you in the long term but that’s all right.