Food. Eating. Drinking. Searching for a metaphoric, eloquent way to explain my relationship with food is like looking for a counterfeit bill. That’s a terrible simile and shows how much I can’t write about this.
Starting in 5th grade, going until my freshman year of high school, the peak of my day was right when I got home from school. I would fill a cutting board with various snacks and treats in exchange for effortless breath. Stuffing my face with processes foods was like an inhaler for me. It slowed my pulse and steadied my breathing.
The summer of freshman year I discovered “pro ana.” Tips and tricks to “become anorexic.” Take time to cut your food small and spread it out on a smaller than normal plate. Chew gum when you’re hungry or drink vinegar/hot sauce. No food with sodium, it makes you more hungry and thirsty. If you drink more, you’ll retain water. ONLY DRINK WATER. Drinking calories is a waste. Wear a rubber band and snap it against your wrist every time you’re hungry so your brain associates hunger with pain. Dig your nails into your skin every time your stomach growls. If you NEED to eat, put any type of spice, hot sauce or pepper on it (spice increases your metabolism). Put thinspirations on your mirror, door, planner, anywhere you look often as “motivation.”
I spent my day looking up these tips, watching videos on thinspiration and praying to God to “make me anorexic.”
The longest I went without eating food was 5 days. I sat in my desk all day - it burned more calories than laying down. I looked at my binder with cut out pictures of stick thin models who had been photoshopped to be as thin as the paper their pictures were on.
Sophomore year started and I still wasn’t eating more than a meal a day. I kept a “food kit” in my locker if I ever absolutely needed to eat at school. It had six rice cakes, a sleeve of saltines and two fiber one brownies. I didn’t need it for the entire year.
It was easy to fool people into thinking I was eating. I would get up from my lunch table of 20 people and walk around. I would walk to my friend Catherine’s lunch table, then Maire Cait’s. I would talk to Maggie for a while. I was never sitting on my table the entirety of lunch.
No one noticed. I only needed to eat a small dinner in front of my parents. It was usually soup with pasta. I always added too much lemon pepper to make sure as to not eat more than necessary.
I blame Kristin getting her license. After that, we were CONSTANTLY eating. I felt so happy around her, it felt okay to eat. (I didn’t feel guilty) We never really knew what to do when we hung out, so we ate. ALL THE TIME. We would go to dinner and then get Fro-Yo or candy after.
I was always with her if I wasn’t home, so I was always eating. I gained weight. A noticeable amount. My clothes didn’t fit right and I couldn’t stand people looking at me.
Instead of admitting how much I loathed my body, I “embraced” it. I spoke and acted as though I was comfortable and confident with my weight. Inside I felt every ounce of fat that clung to my body, suffocating me.
But with all this fake confidence (and an all-girls environment) I was able to breathe without a cutting board full of food.
It wasn’t until one of my friend’s started losing weight when the pressure to resist food started again. Physical anxiety kept me from accepting any offer of food. If I don’t eat, I wouldn’t feel my skin burn and my heart beat only to escape my chest. It didn’t feel like a choice, saying no to food. It didn’t feel like I was even the one speaking. It was an automatic response - someone holding the door and you saying thank you.
All of those ^^ tenses should be present because that is how I feel. I haven’t eaten today and I have my 4th shot of espresso to thank for that.
I want to push every piece and thought of food away from me.
I am not a sad story.
I am trying to learn to stop living like one.
Some days I still think this is poetic,
and I hate myself for it.
I am going to write a love poem one day,
and it’s going to be all about myself.
Go for someone who is proud to have you.Frank Ocean (via jasfuckinq)