All in my Head

Thoughts are weird. They can be good or bad–in various ways. They can sneak up on you when you least expect it or haunt your mind for days. We all have a voice in our head, whether it sounds the way we think we talk or like a stranger’s; it’s what this voice says that changes with each individual. Or these voices because sometimes you hear more than one.

Sometimes, these voices in our heads tell us things we don’t want to hear, or they react to things we don’t want to see. They can overpower other parts of you like your heart or your stomach or even other parts of your brain. You can talk yourself into being sick or being not sick–I do this whenever I feel like I might throw up. The mind is a strange place. It’s an enigma.

Warning: if you suffer or are recovering from an eating disorder, I advise you not to continue reading.

Lately my mind has been talking my body into believing it doesn’t need to eat, telling my stomach it’s not hungry, no matter how much it growls. But I still eat because I know my body needs it. Yesterday, I had over 2,000 in just my dinner. I didn’t eat it all and I shared the dessert, but that’s not the point. My heart dropped when I saw how many calories the “Grilled Chicken Pasta” was on the BJs menu. And I felt sick to my stomach because I know the s’mores Pizookie has at least 1,700.

It probably wouldn’t have bother me as much if I was 110 pounds, but when I weighed myself that morning, I’d been 114. When I see that number, I feel sick. Like I do right now because I just weighed myself again. I cut down so much eating to drop ten pounds, like my mother wanted. And now it’s all going away. I am in no way saying that weighing 114 pounds is bad, but now it’s not good enough.

At first, I just knew I had to eat healthier–I was snacking way too much and consuming a lot of junk food. I knew something needed to change, so I started ordering salads at dinners out and taking smaller portions of things. Eating in moderation. It was hard to say “No” to chips and cheese-itz after school, but my face was paying the price when I ate them. Acne was a big reason for my diet change.

The more my mom commented on my eating habits and how I needed to lose weight–despite the fact that I was trying to eat healthier–the more I felt like I wasn’t good enough for her. Just to spite her, I wanted to eat more. I knew that was a bad choice. I strived for her acceptance; it’s all I’ve wanted my whole life, but it’s always out of reach.

A while ago, I made a really drastic decision: what if I just stopped eating? I mean, how hard could it be to just say no to my cravings? I couldn’t just quit, though. People would notice and my body wouldn’t be able to take that sudden change. I started by cutting out lunch. Instead of a sandwich, I’d have a few crackers. This was with cutting out snacks and eating smaller portions. It was so easy.

What if I barely ate at dinner, too? Would people really care?

While eating nothing would cause the results I desperately needed, I know the dangers of eating disorders. I know that my body needs 1,500 calories per day just to carry out bodily functions. A breakfast bar and I small dinner would have to suffice for me. I probably wasn’t taking in enough, but it didn’t matter to me. Soon I had a real thigh gap.

I know that not everyone can have one; you have to have bigger hips and some curves. While I have a small waist, I also have big hips, so I thought it was fine. My thighs, which I’ve hated for a while–mostly because they are not very muscular–were noticeably thinner. I liked the results I was getting. A lot of people noticed. Everyone who noticed mattered to me, but the one person that didn’t was the one I needed to hear it from the most. She still comments on my eating habits.

Days were hard because I hadn’t realized how much I ate when I was out with my friends. It was so tempting. But it can also be so simple to just say “No.” To tell yourself that you don’t need a piece of pizza, all you need is a salad or some fruit. But there was always a fear that they’d realize something wasn’t right.

Regardless of all that, I made it to 110 pounds. I was so happy; eating–or not–like this was so easy. Except it wasn’t. I’ve been at a steady 112 for a while and all I want is to be below that. The last two days I have been at 114. Today, all I’ve eaten is a bowl of Grapenuts: “Fit”–a cereal I enjoyed long before this for reasons I’m not quite sure of–and Pirate’s Booty. This is all I eat everyday until dinner. That meal always varies; it’s the worst one because of that.

The question is: will I eat something with substance tonight? Or will I eat a bar or something reserved as a snack?

All I know is that I am hungry, but the thought of having a meal makes me sick.

I really hate myself for having these thoughts, for letting myself live this way, for needing my mom’s approval so much it’s caused me to develop…this. And I hate that I hate myself. I despise that I am not good enough in my eyes.

So what do I call this? An eating disorder? A weight disorder? Or me just being stupid?

I still am not completely happy with my thighs. Or my stomach. They say you are the last one to notice a change in your weight and appearance. It is so true. But what if I realize it too late? I don’t want this but I can’t stop. Being anything more than 110 pounds is a disappointment. I actually believe this about myself. I am a disappointment.

What’s even worse is that I didn’t want to be this way because of my now ex-boyfriend’s sister. When I met her, she was extremely thin, but I did not think very much of it because so is he and he eats like it’s his last meal. It wasn’t until she posted a “Transformation Tuesday” post on Instagram that I realized she no longer was this sickly skinny girl. I almost cried because of the progress she’s made. I just couldn’t put him through anything like that again, which is why I didn’t have the heart to ever completely stop eating. It’s why I ate everything on my plate when I ate dinner with them. Now that I am no longer dating him, I don’t have that incentive anymore–wink wink–other than the fact that I know I have to eat something.

Despite having depression and believing I had no reason to live, I cannot die this way.

But I don’t know how far I will go before I am happy with the way I look and the way I am. I need to be healthier than I was before this because, well, acne is the real issue for me. If there was a bright side to this, it’d be that my skin is much smoother than it used to be five months ago.

There is nothing but downsides to this way of life, especially because I’m not exactly sure what this is. But I don’t think I can stop. I mean, it can be super easy to just eat, but I’d hate myself even more if I did that.

Yes I do have a problem. Do I know my limits as well as I think I do?

Dear Lord, help me. -A

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