By KELSEY TRIBE
I will run my hands over my stomach and smooth them over my hips. I’m looking for bulges and bumps. When my body feels smooth – like a doll’s – I am reassured, my mood uplifted. When I detect unwanted lumps and excess, it plummets.
This is a reflexive move now, I am unconscious of it, just of the results. I will do this 50, 100 times a day. I will sit with friends or at work, my hands twitching the material of my top over my stomach.
I move to angle and position myself flatteringly, always concealing, adjusting. I am relentlessly aware of every fold and crease in my body, every lump. I abhor the feeling of flesh touching flesh involuntary. Thighs touching? Repulsive. The folds of my belly? Disgusting.
My mood fluctuates constantly throughout the day depending on glimpses of my self in reflective surfaces. Up and down, I alternate between feeling confident and absolutely despising my body. I am rarely relaxed. I am a tense, stiff individual. I don’t want people to touch me.
I don’t want people to see me or feel my misshapen figure. What are they thinking? Can they see weight gain? Are they as aware of it as I am? Am I just another young woman without self control to them now? An overeater, couldn’t say no, can’t stop self indulgently feeding herself.
Every single thing I put in my mouth leaves its impression on my mood. I tabulate how much I’ve eaten, I think about it before I eat it, I think about it after I eat it. I regret everything I’ve eaten. I resent everything I’m about to eat. I am very hungry.
I do menu research online before going out to dinner, I make room for anticipated future food by withholding during the day. During the week. Unexpected high calorie meals can make me spin out of control. Control is key. I want to go running and not stop until I’ve left a trail of excess flesh behind me.
This is “healthy” me. Recovering from an eating disorder is exhausting. I am obsessive, I am compulsive and I am controlling. I am unreasonable and I am irrational. I am my own worst enemy. I am one of the lucky ones. Was it worse before? In a way it was better.