Sliding Scales

“A bright blue neon on a wall reads “Work harder”” by Jordan Whitfieldon Unsplash

India stood there watching the water pooling at her feet from her naked body. Here she was about to face her biggest enemy, scared and naked. She took a deep breath and looked down. Her heart stopped that can’t be right. Looking down again she studied the numbers 14 stone. She stepped down, bloody scales are laughing at me she thought. One week in Spain and her best friends wedding couldn’t have done that much damage.

All India’s friends commented on how well she looked. Girl code for fat she told herself. Still, the scales didn’t lie she was at least 2.5 stone too heavy for her 5’10” height.

India had watched her weight since she was 13. When she was younger this was a problem. Counselling at 16 hadn’t helped, it taught her how to hide her dieting from others.

She had met a bloke. She had enjoyed herself and now she was paying the price. You don’t count every meal this is what happens you get fat. At least 2.5 stone of fat.

Rob have loved her. Rob liked her the way she was. For the first time in her life, she was accepted. No longer did she watch what she ate. She could eat freely and without guilt. Rob had left her, for a size 8. Now she was fat and single.

For the next month, she went back to clinical ninja mode. Count the calories, exercise them off. Drink water, more exercise. Every day on the scales. Up one pound, down another pound. Up and down but still 14 stone or thereabouts.

At the height of her depression, she excepted a lunch invitation from a friend. Fi sat opposite her stuffing fries into her mouth whilst India nibbled on her lettuce.

“I don’t know how you do it?” India moaned. “Eat what you want and never put weight on.”

“ I run,” Fi said spraying fries out of her mouth.

“ You run,” India said.

“ Yea once a week with a club and sometimes on weekends if there is a race. I can eat what I want, I never put a pound on.”

By the end of the meal, India had all the details of the running club. She reasoned that if she ran and watched her calories she would lose the 2.5 stone in 6 weeks.

That was how she found herself the following Thursday. She was dressed in a bright green top and track trousers. She was following Fi through the streets. After India had run for 5 minutes she thought she was going to die. Her lungs were going to burn out of her body. After 20 minutes she started to feel better and enjoy herself. She had found her rhythm and could feel the pounds fall off.

Tommy left his mates at 8 pm in the pub after having a couple after work. He turned the music on and opened the window to take in the warm spring air. At one point the radio played his ex’s favourite song. Looking down he searched for a station rather than listening to that crap. When he looked up he saw the runners face as she hit the windscreen.

India knew nothing of the next month she lay sedated. She was sedated when Tommy was arrested for drink driving. She was sedated when the local papers ran the story of the drunk driver who had mounted a curb into a group of runners.

She woke on the same day Tommy went to court. She woke up for 2 minutes the next day it was 15 minutes. Slowly as the days ticked away she recovered and built her strength up.

Three months after her accident she sat ready to be discharged. Discharged to her parents for more recuperation. Nurse Susan came in and smiled.

“All set?” She said.

“ Think so, yes,” India replied.

Susan and India had grown close over the last couple of months.

“Right we need to weigh you before you go. Make sure we have the right dose of pain relief.” Susan said.

India took a deep breath and looked at the scales. Old habits died hard.

10.5 stone she had done it she had finally lost her 2.5 stone. That’s when her stumps started to itch. She looked down at where her legs used to be.

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