“Do You Ever Want to Be Thinner?”

Today Cool Co-Teacher and I got talking about Korean women and how much plastic surgery and dieting is done in this country. She asked me if I ever want to be thinner.

I thought about my weight over the past ten years. About how the scale hasn’t proportionally matched the waist size of my jeans. About being able to wear anything in a store. About the side effects of the Pill. About giant clumps of hair falling out in the shower. About how every doctor I’ve discussed it with has warned me that my PCOS makes it “extremely difficult for [me] to lose weight and keep it off.” About denying myself something and thinking that denial made me a better person than I was before. About jumping rope 2000 times and earning two black belts and dashing up the stairs after a student. About losing weight without trying, probably due to the stress of a really bad work situation. About not being comfortable eating. About loving running and how it damaged my knees in a way that $500 orthos (after insurance!) couldn’t repair them. About my taekwondo involvement fluctuating with my general level of happiness in Korea. About “love weight.” About the fact that many Korean women are thin but still mostly made of fat, even if they look tiny. About how my current crop of friends—and Good Man, most definitely—don’t give a damn about my weight. About which dresses and cuts of clothing look great on me. About being emotionally and mentally consumed with calories, fat, fiber. About being consumed with this and yet being told by society that this obsession was perfectly appropriate and considered “healthy.” Healthy?!?

I looked at my co-teacher. “Do you know Margaret Cho?” She shook her head. After a brief explanation, I quoted her.

“‘For me to be ten pounds thinner is a full-time job, and I am handing in my notice and walking out the door!'”