When I look in the mirror I see a very lean person. I am not competing and yet I am only 1 kilo heavier than my on stage weight (which wasn't lean compared to other competitors but extremely lean compared to the general population). I can still see the muscles in my arms, stomach and back, my breast bones are visible and so are my hip bones.
Sometimes my reflection initiates a dialogue in my head that is quite disturbing. It is along the lines that I must have a severely distorted body image if I think I look good, when in actual fact, I am chronically underweight. And the fact that I am finding it less difficult than I thought to maintain this size, must mean that I am developing an eating disorder - the "A" word.
When I deconstruct these thoughts I am surprised, as a fiercely independent person, that they are focused on how others see me. I worry that others look at me and think I am sick. Actually, it is not that I care if they think I look (a) unattractive or (b) not well, I care that they think that I need 'help'. Appearing vulnerable or needy is not my intention.
It is strange that it is perfectly acceptable to be overweight or obese and people assume (rightly or wrongly) that the only issue is that I am eating too much food. There is nothing deeper or darker than too many burgers. But the same attitude is not applied if I am thin. They don't assume that I've lost weight on purpose the simple old fashioned way and now I am eating the right amount of food matched to my energy expenditure. It is not simply that I'm not eating enough burgers, I am thin because I have psychological problems.
In a world where I am now a minority, I sometimes feel like a peculiar freak show. I guess I wouldn't care if I had always been this size, but the extremes make me more sensitive. I have to keep reminding myself that I only have to love and nurture myself, and the rest of the world can go and get fucked!