I used to be fat. Really fucking fat. Like 5′ 3″ and 187 pounds fat. And then some boy I had a crush on made a mean comment about my weight and I went straight home and threw out every single item of food in my apartment. I decided to stop eating. Then I decided to exercise obsessively. The pounds melted away along with the shame of being fat. It was wonderful!
The compliments about how great I looked started rolling in and I had a surge of confidence that felt as good as cocaine rushing through my bloodstream. Oh, and I also started using cocaine because it turns out you don’t feel like eating when you’re fucked up. I would buy jeans from The Gap and within a week they would be too small so I would take them back and secretly “exchange” them for a smaller size in the dressing room. I never looked at this as stealing but more as a means of trading.
In the meantime I graduated college and moved to Seattle. Things were going fabulously until my hair started coming out in clumps and I began passing out on my way to work. Turns out my diet actually had a name and it was called anorexia. I already knew this but I always associated that term with supermodels so it took me a long time to accept the Kate Moss diagnosis. My boyfriend threatened to break up with me if I didn’t stop obsessively working out and counting my calories. I even knew how many calories were in a tablespoon of semen. Yep, I was that serious about staying under 1200 calories a day. That often determined whether I spit or swallowed.
I shoud note that my boyfriend at the time was also the same guy I had pined away for when I was a fat girl. He moved away and we didn’t see each other for several months so when he returned I was only half of the person I was, literally. What I had lost in weight I had gained in self-confidence. He would tell me the reason he was suddenly attracted to me now was because of my self-assurance but I know it was probably because I wasn’t a fatty anymore.
So to make him happy I started eating again but just in small amounts. I would weigh myself every single morning and if the scale went above 100 I would panic. To counteract my eating I would secretly exercise more but he caught on to my tricks. The scale hit 105. I was terrified of him dumping me so then I had another idea. I’ll just purge after I eat.
This also has a name and is called bulimia…and then there’s the fancy bulimia anorexia nervosa. It sounds like an exotic dish at a Mexican restaurant but it’s basically just a cycle of starvation, followed by a binge and then topped with a purge. I quickly discovered how much I enjoyed eating 12 doughnuts all at once and then throwing them up. It was a win-win! It was exhilerating and tiring all at once. I could have my cake and throw it up too. This all worked well for about a year and then my boyfriend came home from work early. I had my head in the toilet and an empty bakery box by my knees. It didn’t take much for him to figure out what had been going on and why I always had busted blood vessels in my eyes.
I started seeing a psychologist who specialized in eating disorders and eventually it resolved itself. The relationship with the guy didn’t last but my relationship to food improved. I have the ability to eat normally without the desire to starve myself or binge/purge. But I don’t like this.
I miss the need to obsessively exercise two hours a day and wear a size 0. I miss surviving days on only carrots dipped in mustard. I miss annihilating five pounds of baked goods in one sitting and then flushing them goodbye before they make it to my ass.
I want my fancy Mexican dish back honestly.