As far back as I can remember, I’ve always felt like I was in between. Not fat, not skinny, not even thin, just something in between. Chubby from some angles, athletic or muscular from other angles, or just a little too soft to be considered thin. You see, I’m only 5 feet 2, and believe me, you don’t have to eat much at all to fill this up.
This in between state has never been comfortable for me.
When I was a little girl, I remember standing on the playground with the sun at my back, casting a slightly elongated shadow in front of me. I’d twist my legs together to make it look like my tall, thin shadow was wearing a mermaid gown and I’d toss my hair behind my shoulders so that my shadow would look like she had straight, thick, long hair like Cher. In reality, even my hair was very so-so. It was thin, poker straight, baby fine and ended up full of split ends when it hit my shoulders.
In the mirror, the image I saw has always been okay, but not quite beautiful. Not interestingly ugly either. Just in between. Why couldn’t I at least be interestingly ugly?
Oh how I longed to look like Brooke Shields when I was a teenager, with those gorgeous eyes, tall thin build and those fabulous eyebrows. I tried to mimic her “nothing comes between me and my Calvins”, but I ended up looking like a sausage stuffed into the jeans, that were always just a bit too long and that I had to roll up. Rolled up jeans are not sexy.
Sometimes I wished for a prominent nose, skin that would tan deep and dark, because my skin tans, but only very gradually and you can’t tell unless you see the actual tan lines, so that too is sort of so-so and in between. Besides, I don’t go out in the sun much anymore.
It was as if someone tried their best to erase me, to make me nondescript, but didn’t quite succeed, condemning me to the in between, forever.
Two years ago, I tried a fad diet and lost 17 pounds. I felt fantastic. My collarbones stuck out, my clothes were loose, I actually felt confident in skinny jeans. I even kept the weight off for over a year. But then I started eating real food again, the pounds crept back on, and now I’m back to… in between.
In my defense, I work out, I do cardio, I eat well, I have pretty good muscle tone. I think the goal is being healthy.
You’d think that being exquisitely beautiful or very large would be exhausting. To tell you the truth, I think being in between is worse.