The other day at my therapist’s office, I was talking about this post I wrote, in which a polo shirt became a symbol of finally being just like everyone else.
Somehow the conversation turned to my upcoming trip to Kansas City to grade AP exams, being out of my element and having to learn to get some measure of control in an eating environment I have little control over with regard to food choice, portion size, and frequency of feeding. I mentioned that I planned to take a small food scale and quarter-cup measuring cup in an attempt to better control what I ate each day. I also mentioned I was a little uneasy about this because it would look odd to others. Even though I’m now built differently than others on the inside, I want so much to look like everyone else on the outside, right down to my eating behaviors. I want to fit in. I want to be like everyone else.
But even though I’m looking more and more like everyone else, I’m still not the same as everyone else.
I’m missing 75% of my stomach. I’m restricted by my anatomy from eating a full plate of food. I leave food behind. A LOT. I count every protein and carb gram. I take 2 multivitamins and 2 calcium supplements daily. I take a magnesium supplement 3 times a week. I take an iron supplement 4 times a week and a B12 supplement once a week. I count every calorie that passes my lips. I’m learning to run again after not being able to do it for 21 years.
I’m not just like everyone else.