I say, “I’m not hungry”. What I really mean is, “I’m starving.”
I read eating disorder stories like fucking How To manuals. Make note of things I haven’t tried yet. I lay in bed and imagine flattening out until I’m as thin as the sheet draped over my bulbous body. My stomach clenches with hunger pangs. I chug a bottle of water to make it stop. Stupid stomach, you think you’re full. I try to wrap my arms around my body. They only reach my sides. I grasp onto the rolls as hard as I can. I squeeze and I tug. Hope that if I pull hard enough, I can separate them from the rest of me. A piece of gum has 5 calories. A sugar-free mint has 10. They say, “you look good.” I hear, “you don’t look good enough.” I’m aware of every part of my body. I feel my sagging neck. Compare it to a rooster’s wattle. Will it sway if I turn my head from side to side? I take naps when I get home from work. Pray my parents don’t realize it’s to skip dinner. They’re lying to you…a stalk of celery has 6 calories. They say, “keep it up”. I hear, “I still think you’re fat”. My head is dizzy. Stand up slowly. My stomach rumbles. Chug more water. The mirror is my best friend. The mirror is my worst enemy. It tells me the truth. I’m constantly covered in goosebumps. Put on a sweatshirt. The layers help hide the fat. I have knees that ache. I remind myself it’s because of all the weight they carry around every day. On my chart the doctor wrote “obese”. I read “Disgusting”. I read “Unlovable”. I felt Nothing. Step on the scale. Take a deep breath. Look at the number. Jot it down. Chug more water. Come back in an hour. Repeat. I buy clothes that I know will be too small. I use skeletons for inspiration. I chew so slowly it’s like my jaw isn’t moving. MyFitnessPal tells me I’m not eating enough. MyFitnessPal is a fucking liar. I kneel in front of the toilet, mouth open, fingers poised. I hear my mom change the tv channel. I stand up. I think, tomorrow. I hope tomorrow I’ll have the nerve to go through with it. I hope tomorrow never comes. There are 69 calories in 10 almonds. There are 6.08 grams of fat in 10 almonds. I survive off water, fruit, and willpower. I miss red meat. I glare at my stretch marks. Dig my finger nails into them. Drag them all the way down. I hate them. I hate them for reminding me of how disgusting I am. I’m sorry skin, you’re only trying to hold me together as I tear myself apart. Fad diets are just short-term anorexia so you might as well go all the way. Go big or go home. Get small and get love.
They say, “what you’re doing isn’t healthy”. I say, “you made me this way”.