By CATHERINE RODIE BLAGG
“I’m going on a diet.”
I was twelve years old when I wrote those words into my diary. Twelve. I remember it. I remember trying on new clothes and needing a bigger size and feeling ashamed and embarrassed and wanting to go home and not get anything new.
PE was the worst. I would change into my gym kit as fast as possible praying that no one caught sight of my monstrous body.
“She is so fat,” I heard them whisper.
My face flushed, tears stung my eyes. I concentrated hard on the chips in the faded yellow paint and willed myself not to cry. I could tell you every one of their names, those girls that said things.
The comments went for years, the other girls caught up and developed curves of their own, but I was still ‘the fat one’. It was all I saw when I looked in the mirror.
I was ‘on a diet’ for most of my teens. I knew the calorie content of everything in the school canteen. I skipped meals. I weighed myself almost every day. Hormones raged, chocolate soothed, ‘I’ll start again tomorrow’.
I was sixteen when I first rammed my fingers down my throat. I was caught in a classic cycle of comfort eating, guilt and self loathing and it somehow seemed like the perfect solution.