by Emma Boyns
My feet are bare, soles cold on the lino floor. I step onto the scales, one foot after the other, teetering on one leg for a fraction of a second as my mind gives its last words of reluctance and dread. I can feel the needle climbing the arch of numbers on the analogue display even before I dare to look down. ‘You’ve lost half a kilo.’ The nurse’s tired voice cuts through the silence and reverberates around the spartan room. My eyes flick down to check the needle’s final resting place and confirm her unexpected words. I breathe a shaky sigh of relief. I feel my smile widen, bite my lip to prevent a full-on grin emerging. An energy pulsates through me, an excitement at the thought of inching closer and closer to weightlessness, clawing back fractions of control.
But I have since come to realise that glory is a transient and ever-changing state of pride.
Two years on and such achievements fail to arouse the same sense of accomplishment. Instead I revel in the control that I have truly attained; each kilo I have gained that has put me further away from anorexia’s selfish grasp, each meal that has brought me memories, lined my lips with laughter and tales to tell. Now, glory hides inside the perfect lemon meringue pie, living in the sweet layer of curd beneath toasted meringue clouds, until it touches my taste buds and ignites my senses.
“Now, glory hides inside the perfect lemon meringue pie”
It can be found on the lips of a lover, their kiss reminding me that I am loveable and whole and strong, even when harbouring a food baby and bearing thighs that, perish the thought, touch. I am glorious because I am free to live and laugh and love, and these actions are far more precious and beautiful than an unstable needle on a set of hospital scales.