by Eleanor Brown
For two years I was skinny. And for two years, I was beautiful.
I knew I was beautiful because of the way everything would stop when I entered a room. It was something that had never happened to me before.
At one point in my life, I was positively roly poly. Then, as I began putting on the years, I started to do some simple exercise, and cut out the junk food. My weight stabilized – I was still a happy plump lady, but a healthy one.
And then I got skinny. Really skinny. A commute that involved bicycling or walking, much less of an appetite (induced by stress), and almost zero alcohol. Women I had considered out of my league suddenly paid attention to me. (Men too, but you’re not my thing; sorry guys.) People sought me out when they had never before. The lighter I became, the more weight my opinions were given.
It was a different world. And it was overwhelming. It was hard to cope with so much attention after a lifetime of being able to choose to sit quietly and eavesdrop on the world from the sidelines. (This is a particularly useful thing for a journalist like me.)
When my life circumstances changed, so did my commute. I began walking from the bedroom to the dining room to work, plopping the laptop daily onto the table for the ole nine to five. Stress went down, exercise went down, and menopause hit.
I slowly turned back into the pleasantly plump, far more average-looking gal that I had been. The gal that I was used to being.
When I returned to that home workspace, I started walking an hour, daily, on a conveyor belt. But that was too boring, and too time consuming. So now I’m on an exercise bike for a half-hour a day, staying healthy, but eating pie and ice cream whenever I want. No one notices me when I enter a room.
I think I like it that way. Although every so often, I miss the attention.
Eleanor Brown is a freelance writer living in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She’s a former managing editor of Pink Triangle Press’ flagship publication, Xtra, in Toronto, and the former editor of a daily newspaper, the Sherbrooke Record. She can be reached at ebjourno at gmail.com.