First, I would like to say that I am sorry for being late with this today. It’s raining and I slept a little later than usual. It’s one of my days off that I had nothing planned but to relax. Can you blame me? If you follow my blog you know how busy I am most of the time.
Also, before I get into this story I would like to share a few things. This story was not only inspired by the prompt itself. It was also inspired by two other things. The first being the Dove campaign about women feeling beautiful just the way they are. You can watch the video HERE that inspired the story.
Second, the story was inspired by my own battle with PCOS. You can read more about PCOS HERE. While I do not want symapthy or attention because I have this, I do want to bring light to it. There are still so many women that have this and don’t even know, not to mention there is still much to learn about it.
What all that said, let’s get into what you all came here for! The story!
It was the same doors that she came to everyday; the same two doors that sent her home. They were simple doors, one saying “Beautiful”, the other saying “Average.” Susan didn’t want to pick either, because she didn’t feel like either. Beautiful was so far from who she was, and average didn’t make the cut either. She was plain, frumpy, fat, and ugly. At least that is how she felt about herself. Actually, it was how most people she met felt about her. These two doors were the reason she had not been to work in a week. She would probably lose her job today, but she just couldn’t bring herself to walk through those doors and there was no way around them, she had tried.
“The ugly door is closed today.” Shouted someone who walked through the door with the sign saying beautiful over it. If anyone was being ugly, it was that person. Who was she to judge someone she didn’t know? It didn’t help Susan though, and thinking poorly of the woman didn’t help either. Susan turned around and took the path home. It was the same path she had taken to get there, the same path she had taken every day for years to get to work. Now this path was littered with anxiety and self hate. Though, if she really thought about it, her whole life was littered with negative thoughts of herself.
Susan was always the overweight girl. Her friends were always skinnier and therefore, always the girls guys wanted to date. While all her friends were married now, Susan still lived a single life. She lived in a small apartment with her cat, and no one disturbed her. Of course, that was her own fault. She had pushed away all her family and friends over the years. All she had was her cat, her job, and herself. After work she would go straight home and sit behind her computer, playing games that allowed her to forget who she was. She was trapped in a body that she hated.
“It’s time to change that.” She said to herself as she made her way back home. She would clean out all of the junk food in her home. She would go to the grocery store and buy all the healthy foods they say help. She would eat oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch, and fish for dinner. She was going to do it right this time. No more playing.
Several hours later, Susan sat at her kitchen table polishing off the last of the cream puffs in the box. It was a full box when she started, but she was so depressed by time she made it home that she just couldn’t help herself. Beside her sat a bag full of junk food, her cabinets where bare. She had been filling her body with so much processed foods and sugar, no wonder she was fat. She was going to start her diet today, but the day was almost over and she decided to treat herself one last time before she took away all happiness. She would start her new diet tomorrow…always tomorrow.
The next day started as any other day. She took out the garbage, which included all of the junk food from her home. She fed the cat and headed out to the grocery store. She was determined to start the day right. She bought all the healthy foods she thought would work. Veggies, fruits, nuts, fish, and green tea. She had read all the articles, she knew all the tricks. She was also starving and needed to get home to eat some oatmeal before she made a terrible decision.
The oatmeal wasn’t great, though it wasn’t bad either. She read article upon article about what to do with oatmeal to make it taste better and still be healthy. She read about what to put in her salad to make it tastier and speed up her metabolism. And for dinner she tried a new recipe for fish, which was better than she thought.
She went to bed hungry, but that was okay, she could feel the pounds dropping off already. In the morning she was going to get up and do one of those work out videos she had stashed away in her closet, she might as well use them after all the money she had paid for them.
Susan stayed on track with her diet and exercise for a month. She had found a new job away from the wretched doors and she was feeling better than ever. It was time to weigh in and she knew that she was going to like the numbers. At least she thought she would like them.
The scale told her she had lost 2 pounds. In all the time that she had been working so hard, giving up sugar, sodas, and chocolate, she had only lost 2 pounds. How was that even possible? She had worked so hard. The first thing Susan did was reach for a candy bar, but put it away quickly. She would not sabotage her journey, but she would see a doctor.
“PCOS.” The doctor told her. “It may be the reason you haven’t lost weight. It can cause other problems too.” Susan had a syndrome. Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. Her body didn’t work like it should, producing more testosterone than it should, and not enough estrogen. “It can be controlled. You may not be able to have kids. And while you can lose weight, you will have to work harder than everyone else.”
Susan felt the world crashing down on her. Something was trying to keep her from being the woman she wanted to be. Someone was standing in front of her dream. She would never be able to walk through that door marked for beautiful people. She would never been seen by anyone as beautiful. She wasn’t even average. Susan wanted to crash and burn; felt like she already had. She wanted to disappear from the world
Medication helped Susan feel better and while she didn’t like the idea, she did work harder than everyone. She lost, on average, about 2 pounds a month. It wasn’t ideal, but she knew if she kept losing weight, no matter how slow, she was going in the right direction. She was feeling better, eating healthier, and even found that she liked to run. She decided that her diagnosis would not stop her from being who she wanted to be. She would work harder than everyone. She would put in the work and she would lose the weight slowly, she would become healthy and happy.
Within a few months, Susan realized she didn’t care about the weight loss anymore. She was happy with how she felt. She felt stronger and could run longer. Sure, she was losing a little weight, but that just didn’t matter anymore. What mattered is that she was feeling better about herself.
One day, on a jog through the city, Susan decided to go a little further. She wanted to beat her time and stretch her run just a little. She was training for a marathon and she wanted to push herself. It wasn’t until she was there that she realized what she had done. The door’s stood tall and proud in front of her. The words were as bright as ever. Two doors, one saying “Beautiful” and the other “Average.”
Susan realized that the path she had been running along, ran right through the average door and she kept on her path, not slowing or thinking about it, but right before she went under that sign she stopped. She wasn’t average. Nor was she less. No matter what anyone thought of her, she was beautiful. She didn’t need anyone telling her that because she felt it deep in her bones. She was beautiful and she would walk through those doors that said so. She would hold her head high and she would claim her rightful title.
Susan’s hand landed on the door handle to the “Beautiful” door, pulled it open and walked through. While no great crowd of clapping hands waited for her, she was clapping for herself. She had finally figured it out. What made her beautiful was thinking she was beautiful.
I hope you enjoyed the story. Sorry it’s fast paced, I am trying to keep the short stories short enough to be read in one sitting and not take up your whole day.
As always, if you would like to read more short stories you can go HERE. I will be updating it soon.
Thanks for reading and any feedback is welcome. Even if it’s to correct my grammar or spelling.