I used to be able to look down.
I can't remember how long ago that was, but I remember it happening. I don't think it was a particular year, I just remember certain days when I looked down and was satisfied.
The last day I remember was the summer of 2012. I was fourteen, walking in the low tide bay waters in Orleans. I was wearing a hot pink bikini from Old Navy. I remember being excited to have my first "real bikini," instead of the "two pieces" I had worn previously. I remember walking in the shallow water, trying to catch the eye of some boys my age. I swore some were looking. I got a sunburn.
A week and a half ago, I was okay with it. But that was during a long dance class and I was wearing all black. So I shed my shirt and did the rest in my sports bra. And I was fine. I was too busy enjoying the time dancing with friends. I felt like I was burning calories.
Even an hour ago, I was sort of okay with it. Even after I stuffed my face with two different types of chips. Even after I ate a plate of cheese fries for dinner and a slice of pizza for lunch. Maybe because I was going to the gym and I felt like my white, tight, workout tank top would suddenly stop being so tight on me and would make me look skinnier.
I actually felt fine today. Best I've felt this year. Until I walked into the bathroom to remove my makeup. I couldn't avoid the ocean of the bathroom mirror.
I saw the way my top bunched around, and how my pants just put emphasis on my muffin top. I ran to my room. I threw the top under my bed. I put the baggier shirt on that I had worn earlier. I felt better.
I think this started in sixth grade. When the curves seemed to appear out of nowhere. When I bought a shirt that "supposedly would tighten my abs." When my dance leotards got tighter. When Jackie pointed said I shouldn't be snacking so much before dance class. When I skipped breakfast so often, and when that caused me to lose consciousness in school. When I tried to convince myself that I fell over because of the gross article we were assigned to read in class.
But it's not that serious. It's not like I'm starving myself. It's not like I'm placing my fingers in my mouth and bending over the toilet bowl. It's not like this is an issue. I don't have an eating disorder.
I haven't skipped a meal in years. Sure I forget to eat at times, and I feel guilty when I eat a large bag of chips and don't work out. But doesn't everyone?
I just want a six-pack. I just want to get rid of the muffin top I've been saying I wanted to get rid of for years. Is that so bad?