My Friends Ana and Mia

My Friends Ana and Mia

A Story by Exa Lectric
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A journey through eating disorders, and a hidden life exposed.

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I was always the ‘fat one’. All my friends were skinny and gorgeous. I’ve always been so large. Guys never say “oh she's hot” or take a glance at me. I am afraid of going to the beach, or shopping, or leaving my room. I am afraid of the judgement. I am afraid  - because it means I am not strong enough to overcome hunger. 

I want more than anything to be skinny. I don’t care how much I have to sacrifice to get there. I will give up food. I will give up a social life. I will give up my friends. I will push away my family. I Will Be Skinny. Because if I don’t get there, then I’ve given up, and then I’m weak. I want to look skinny in everything I put on. I never want a store to not carry my size because its so large. I never want my thighs to touch again. I want be a bombshell. I want guys to wish they could have me. I never want someone to say I’m fat to my face or behind my back again. I want the whispers to say I am skinny. I want “one size fits all” to be too big, not too small. I want to look in the mirror and love myself. I want to look good in a bikini. I want to feel comfortable in my skin. And I will not stop until I get there. 

The more I think, the fatter I am. Every bite of food is filled with guilt. But once I start I can never stop. There’s so much deliciousness in every bite. And then its too late. Then I’ve eaten too much. Then I hate myself even more. Then my weakness shows. I hate seeing people gawk at how much I consume. Its like I can hear them thinking, no wonder she's so fat, look how much she eats.  And when I silently sit and watch, and eat nothing, I can still hear them thinking, fat girl must be trying to lose weight, she needs it. And no matter what I do I can’t get the thoughts out of my head. I can’t stand it anymore. But now another voice echoes in my head. I love this voice. She will make me strong. She will make me skinny. 

I hear her whisper in my ears constantly. Water, coffee, pills - this makes skinny girls. And I know if I follow her lead I will be skinny. Because she is skinny. And this is what she does. My own mind screams this is so unhealthy, but I don’t really care. I want to be skinny more than anything in the world. My own mind screams she isn’t real, if I stop listening she will go away. But she is real. My best friend hears her too. And her twin sister. Together the four of us will be skinny. I will never be alone, I will always have them. 

As time goes on, I listen more intently. I find new ways to hide our secret. I confide in my best friend, and she in me. And we listen to Ana and Mia to the tee. We help each other this way. When food calls my name, they give me reason to fight it. And then I can win. I could never do this alone. Together we are stronger. Together we will be skinny. And skinny is everything.

The more I obsess, the more I want. Looking back, how did I ever think THAT was skinny? Fat fat fat. Nothing is good enough. I’m basically a morbidly obese whale. Skip dinner, wake up thinner they tell me. And I listen. And every day I get on the scale, Ana is right. When I let food win, I am reluctant to find the scale. Even the scale is disappointed in me when I eat.

And when I think I can’t go on, I think to myself how gorgeous I will be. I envision myself as the bombshell I will be. They will all be in awe over me. They will regret calling my fat. They will want to date me. They will be jealous of me. They will stop thinking I can’t do it. I will prove my worth to them. Because I long to be worthy. I long to be skinny. I long to be beautiful. And I long to make Ana and Mia proud. 

I think to myself how great it will be to be skinny. How much self control I will have. I want to be skinny enough people worry, to be checked into a facility, to have a thigh gap and flat stomach, to make people jealous, to look good in crop tops and jeans, to be confident in my own skin. Ana says I can do it. So does my best friend. And I know I can. Together she and I will look so skinny and so beautiful. Everyone will wish they could be us. And as we walk down the street we will look behind us and smile, invisible to everyone else, Ana and Mia will follow close behind, proud of us. 

Ana says girls who are naturally skinny are lucky, but girls who fight to be skinny are strong. She says I am a strong one, and I believe her. My best friend says I am strong and it gives her strength to fight too. I can’t let her down. And she won’t let me down. No one notices you’re not eating until you’re skinny, Ana tells us. I believe her. They haven’t noticed yet, I am still fat. My best friend was found out once, but now they tell her she looks like she’s eating again. That means she’s fat now. So we continue to listen to Ana, more secretive now. We won’t be found out this time. 

Starving is harder to see than cutting. And starving makes you beautiful, cutting makes you scarred. I have a new outlet for that now. Tattoos make you beautiful, they cover perfect bodies with perfect art. And they let the fat bleed out, leaving only beauty behind. My best friend isn’t eighteen yet, she doesn’t know the wonder yet. But she will in time. And we will be beautiful and have our scars, and the world will tell us how beautiful they are. 

A body with tattoos is awed by all. Skinny girls with colorful tattoos all over are perfect. I want that. Tattoos are a reward to me. Once a part of me is attractive enough to get a tattoo on it, I can start to love it. If you love the skin you’re in, you’ll slowly start to love the body inside it. Or so Ana tells me. She understands it. People ask why you get tattoos in places and they have meanings, but there’s always a secret meaning that it gives you motive to keep working and confidence to fight to be skinny. 

I want to be as thin as a skeleton on the outside. Because I feel like a void on the inside. There’s no feeling left inside me except self-loathing. I want to be skinny enough that I can stop hating myself. I will die skinny. I will never let the fat creep back in. I'm not losing fat, I’m getting rid of it. I have no intention of ever finding it again.

Want to know a little secret? I’ve been taking a fat blocking pill and a diuretic for weeks now. I’m afraid to stop taking them. Afraid I’ll gain weight. I can’t gain weight. I can only lose it. Ive been thinking of adding another. One that you just take right before each meal. If I stay friends with Ana then I won’t need it much. But if I get closer to Mia I need something more. You can never get it all out. But with another pill, then it won’t matter. The last bit of food won’t be digested. I’m already lying about what the pills are for. I hide my secrets behind my vitamins. I tell her its for my salt deficiency or my vegan diet. She believes me. They all do. Even my best friend. I haven’t told her yet. Its too soon. Ana and Mia aren’t as close to her as they are to me, yet. But when they are, I will tell her. I hate keeping a secret from my best friend, but I’m afraid she will think I have gone too far. And she will lose Ana and Mia, and I will lose her. I can’t do this without her. 

I want someone to love me as much as I hate myself. And my best friend does. We love each other more than anything in the world and would do anything for one another. Even Ana and Mia aren’t as close as us. They’re still on the outside, but my best friend is everything. That’s why I’m not afraid. I hear so many stories of Ana taking too much control over people. But they don’t have my best friend. Together we can let Ana in, or we can push her out. We kicked Ana out for a while, and together we decided to let her back in. She’s helping us, for now. I know someday I will have to stop being friends with Ana. But not yet.

You will be skinny, but you won’t see it, because Ana will always be whispering you’re not skinny enough. Ana doesn’t control me, I let her in. I have the control. I won’t become one of the failure stories. My best friend and I keep each other in control. We promise to stop each other when Ana takes us too far. We’ve thought long and hard about this. 

I eat when I’m not hungry because I simply want to feel something, even if its self hatred. I heard someone say that once. I understand. Sometimes I eat because I want to prove to Ana and Mia that I’m still in control. Every now and again, I think Ana might be taking my control, but I show her I take the lead. After a binge I hate myself for giving in, but the real strength comes from giving up the food after you’ve tasted it again. Even Ana isn’t that strong. She’s forgotten what food tastes like anymore. I have the power to taste it and give it up again. I have control over the food. Ana is afraid of it, and Mia loves it too much. I’m stronger than they are. 

Sometimes people ask me why I love tattoos so much, or why I read vogue magazine. I tell them because I like them. When they say that isn’t good enough, I ask them why they like their favorite color, and then they go away. But I know the real reason. I read vogue, and analyze every picture because I want to be that skinny. I want to be skinnier. I analyze every detail of it because I need to know its achievable. And I love tattoos because skinny people look the best with them. Because when I am skinny I will be covered in gorgeous tattoos. And people will wish they could be as skinny as me and have such gorgeous tattoos. I also love them because it makes me perfect. You wouldn’t make art on an broken canvas, or use an ugly frame. I make it my reward. When I’m this skinny, or look this way, I will get a tattoo here. Its my own personal ice cream.

When I step outside myself I realize how crazy I sound. How unhealthy all this is. How people can call this a disease. And inside, I can see how so many girls, like me and my best friend, let Ana and Mia in because they give them home. I can see the worry family on the outside has, and the sick obsession the girls hold to being skinny. I understand both sides, and I'm told that’s hard to do. I wish I could explain to those outside that Ana and Mia aren’t really bad. They’re just helping girls get what they want. Its the girls themselves that push it to the extreme. Ana and Mia just want us to be happy, and they help us get there. I understand when we lose control that we blame it on Ana. It’s easier that way. But that’s also why we never get rid of Ana. That’s why we “relapse” after “treatment”. There isn’t treatment, because it isn’t a disease. Its like greed. There are people who will do anything for money, but they don’t have a disease, they’re just greedy for money. People who befriend Ana and Mia aren’t “sick”, we’re just greedy for skinny, and will do anything for it. That’s why we can’t get help. That’s why we never get better. Because we don’t want to. Most of the time we want to live, but we never want to be fat. Just like greedy people never want to be poor. So we let Ana and Mia stay and keep us thin. We’d rather die skinny than live fat. I guess its a sort of ultimatum we make for ourselves. So maybe we are mentally ill, but I still don’t think you can cure it. 

I want to be thinspiration to others. I want to feel proud that others look to me for inspiration. The girls who are so skinny, are so strong. I want that. I want my collarbones and hip bones to stick out, I want my ribs to show when I suck in my breathe. I want a gap between my thighs. And I want others to look at me and see beauty, and want to be me, the way I want to be them. And I know I can be them, because Ana helped them too. It sounds sorta twisted and deranged like that, if you’re an onlooker who isn't affected by Ana and Mia. It sounds like I want others to be mentally deranged too. But I believe Ana and Mia stop by every girls door at least once in their life. The fearful are the ones who don’t let them in, the strong open the door. Because the strong know they have enough control to be skinny, and don’t just pretend they’re happy where they are. That sounds warped too. I don’t mean to be. 

I’m envious of those who love their bodies and are comfortable in their skin. I think confidence and love are more beautiful that skinny. But for some of us girls, we can't feel the confidence or the love. Ana and Mia show us confidence and love, and skinny gives us a goal. When we reach it, we are confidence and we feel love for ourselves. They saved me. They gave me a reason to keep going. I was so close to giving up on life altogether. But now I have found a way to get confidence and feel love for myself. Every pound I shed, I love my body more. And every meal I skip, I feel stronger. Strength gives me confidence. Ana and Mia are only trying to help me feel love. Ana and Mia aren’t to blame. 

I often wondered how Ana and Mia could be such close friends. They’re opposites in every way. But now I get it. When I let Ana down, which I always will, no matter how strong I get. You just can’t live forever following Ana. So when I do, Mia is there to console me. When I hate myself for binging I have Mia to hold my hair back and help me feel better. She lets me get my strength back. She makes it okay when I let Ana down, so it isn’t worthless. I don’t really enjoy Mia’s ways. I hate them actually. But she gives me an out when I’m weak, because I can’t let myself gain weight. Then I’ve let myself down.

If its only for a second that I feel good, or a glimmer of what I can become in the mirror, its worth it. Ana and Mia let me see how great I can become. I live for those few moments, because I know some day those moments will be everyday, every mirror, every scale, every compliment. That’s what Ana and Mia are really teaching me. They are teaching me hope.

I know I have extreme views. And I know some day I will falter and might even die. But I don’t really care. I guess its like people who do drugs or smoke cigarettes. They know how horrible they are for them, but still do it anyways. The benefits they get from the drugs outweighs the problems they make - its worth it. Being skinny is worth all the things I do with Ana and Mia and my best friend. We want it so badly, we will do anything to get there. And we don’t care what happens otherwise. I suppose that makes me as addicted as a drug user or alcoholic. 

A second on the lips, forever on the hips Ana whispers to me when I want to give up. No food is really worth giving up my dream of skinny. Once I am skinny, I can enjoy food once in a while. Once I’m skinny I will just have to maintain my weight, so I will be able to eat that quesadilla or the chocolate bar once in a while. But right now I need to lose lose lose, so I can’t give in or I will fall behind. I do it for the days in the future when I will go eat in public and people will think how can she eat that and still be that skinny? And then I will smile, because I have my secret friendship.

Its crazy bad for you, but it works. That’s why we get attracted. That’s why we let Ana and Mia in. Because we know they can get us to our goals. The “healthy” ways take too long, and we get discouraged too quickly. And then we start thinking what if I cut this food out? What if I skip this meal? Then how much can I lose? And then we won’t give up any more, and we will start to see the number on the scale drop. I hate my fat. Ana and Mia help me get rid of it and keep me motivated. 

Fasting also makes you appreciate food more. If you always eat it, you never stop to think how wonderful it actually is. When you don’t eat for so long you almost forget what it tastes like, (cuz lets face it, you can never forget what food tastes like, its what you obsess over), you will savor each bite so much more. And then its that much easier to give it up again, to wait in anticipation for how wonderful it will be when you eat it again.

Speaking of which, they say it takes 21 days to create a habit. If I can go 21 days without  binging, then whenever I eat, (so I don’t die), I know I can do it again. If I make saying ‘no’ to food a habit, then I can get skinny. Then I can go forever without binging. Then I can reach my goals. And I might not even need Ana and Mia to get there. I will be able to do it on my own.

I love the sensation of fasting. I feel so strong and energetic when my stomach is empty. I love knowing I can go days without giving in to the temptation of food. I love knowing none of my peers even notice. I love that my best friend and I do it together. Even though we’re two states apart right now, its like we’re next to each other. Every time I start contemplating giving up and snacking, I hear her voice telling me not to give up. I know she feels the same thing with me. As strong as Ana’s voice is, my best friend’s is stronger. I know I can’t let her down because we’re doing this together. Ana is steps ahead. She’s coaching us, but my best friend and I are in it together. Together we are stronger.

Everything in moderation my dad always told me. Its funny how fitting it is to eating disorders. It means that, I should not binge. It means when I fast if I eat a little, it is forgivable. It means, I cannot fast forever, and I should not worry that I can’t. It means that, I am human, and I am flawed, but I should not give up because I will eventually get there.

Whoever invented no calorie soda is a genius. Without that stuff, I would have failed long ago. Don’t get me wrong, I love water and I drink a ton of it! But soda gives me sugar and caffeine - energy to keep going. I swear I could go weeks on water, diet soda and pills. Pills for everything. Pills to keep me from bloating when I eat. Pills to give me the vitamins I’m missing in food. Pills to give me calcium. Pills to help me burn fat. Pills to make my hair and skin healthy. Pills to help my memory. Pills to give me energy. I can go weeks with just this stuff. 

I watch the scale go down slowly. I wish it was faster. I starve for 24 hours at a time usually, before a friend forces me to dinner with them. And I usually can’t refuse, without suspicion I assume. I wish Mia could help me right now, but I seem unable to fall back to her ways. Its funny how people succumb to her tactics when they try to avoid her at all costs, but I seem unable to join her ways. I don’t know why. I just can’t seem to make myself do it. And believe me I’ve tried. I guess I’ll have to exercise more and become better at avoiding meals. 

Being on my own is so much simpler. I can avoid temptation so well. I can avoid peering eyes, and family dinners - because there are none to be had. But winter break is fast approaching. And I can’t avoid it there. I will have to embrace Mia when I go home, or I will have to get fat. And I’m not willing to do either at this point. I feel so trapped. I have only one wish in this world - to be skinny - so why can’t I achieve it? Am I really that much of a failure?

OVERWEIGHT. That’s the scariest word I can find. I hate it, but I’m in that category. My BMI is “overweight”, and my body fat is above 30%. That’s disgusting. If I needed more inspiration to be thin, that is all I need. More than a third of my body is made of fat. Disgusting thick blobs of fat. Its repulsive actually. I can’t stand it. I have to change it. Or I will never love myself. Because I can never love fat.

You burn more calories when you’re cold than when you're warm. I think that’s a subconscious reason I love the cold so much. Well, I hate being cold, but I suffer anyways. When I’m upset, I sit in the cold and stare blankly off into space, almost like I’m catatonic. But that’s another story. When I’m walking to class and its 20 degrees and snowing, I’ll wear a hoodie over a tank top. My friends will be wearing hoodies with winter jackets, scarves, gloves and hats. They’ll ask if I’m cold and I respond just a little, but Ana is whispering me the real answer when I shiver and want to scream and go sit in front of a fire. You’ll burn more calories this way. You’ll get skinny so much faster if you’re cold. The cold makes you stronger, you can survive it. Your friends are weak. Then I feel better and bite my lip when I want to tell them I’m freezing, or accept the scarf one attempts to give me. And sometimes, when even that won’t change my mind, Ana gets frustrated. You’re too fat to need a jacket. You have as much blubber as a whale! And its true. Why should I have as many jackets as my friends? They’re skinny. They don’t have over 30% of their body made of fat to keep them warm. I can’t complain until I’m skinny. But I realize even then, I’ll probably still insist on being cold. I’ve gotten used to it in a warped way. Being cold makes me happy because I’m burning calories.

Watching the weight tracker slide across the screen gives me a high. Even though I have a long way to go, its satisfying to see how much I have achieved in such little time. I feel like its a slap in the face to anyone who said I couldn’t do it. Even though you can’t tell I’ve lost weight when you look at me, I look at my tracker and feel satisfaction that I have. My trusty scale wouldn’t lie to me. Even Ana is proud of me, giving me more motivation than ever. Look what you’ve gotten with your hard work. If you work even harder, you can lose even faster. Think how awesome it will be to reach the end. Think how skinny you’ll be, how at home in your body you’ll feel. And I know I can, because I can’t let Ana down - or myself. I will be skinny. I know I can.

Brilliance. Ana and Mia revolve around my diet, but sometimes I can’t help myself. I want to eat it, even though I know I will hate myself even more later for eating it. “A second on the lips, forever on the hips”. Ever wonder why vegans are so healthy and fit? They have a secret. It forces them to comply with Ana and Mia. Vegetables have so few calories, I can get away with eating them and not needing Mia’s help. Its a perfect plan. It keeps me from tempting myself with ice cream, pizza, alfredo pasta, butter and so much more. And then others don’t question me for my eating habits. They see me eating with them, and they assume I’m eating as much. But they don’t have my addiction to counting calories. They don’t realize a cup of spinach only has 7 calories, and a whole tomato is only about 15 calories. Being a vegan lets me get away with so much more. It’s brilliant! Even Ana didn’t think of that on her own. Its those of us affected by her wisdom that come up with ways to cheat calories and Ana at the same time.

Ana holds your hand when you’re alone. Sometimes when you’re out with friends, they speak louder than Ana, and they coax you into food. But when it’s just the two of you, its so much easier to avoid eating. I’m afraid to eat on my own. Afraid if I eat unhealthily, people will judge me and say that’s why I’m so fat. Afraid if I eat healthily, they’ll assume I’m a fatty trying to diet. So I simply don’t eat, and no one can watch me and judge what I consume. Ana will never judge me for not eating. She hold’s my hand when no one else will.

Such a small thing, jean sizes. The difference in sizes is so minute. But when you fit (comfortably) in a smaller one, its a momentous step. I don’t see myself shrinking, even though the scale tells me I am. When you lose a size, you start to notice you're shrining. Even just a tiny bit. Eventually it adds up. I want to be a size 2 but for now I’m at a 7. There’s still so far to go, but I’ve com so far as well. I’m appalled at myself when I look back to when I was a 15. That number scares me. I’m afraid of double digits. I would never forgive myself if I went back up. Not that I’d forgive myself for going back to a 9 either. When I finally reach my goal, I’m going to try on a pair of size 15 jeans and look at how huge they are on me. Then I will finally see how far I’ve come and how much strength and self control I’ve had. 

Do it for every time you’ve cried over your body. Do it for every time you’ve dreading going shopping with your friends. Do it for every time you despise what stares back at you in the mirror. I always look at the lowest points when I want to give up. Because I will never be that low again. I will never be that fat again. I will never hate myself that much again. Every pound lost, is love gained. Every compliment is motivation to keep going. Every new size is confidence to fight harder. 

FAT. Those three letters might possibly make up the scariest word I know. FAT. Its my nightmares, its my fears, its everything I want to avoid. It highlights my failures, and my dependance on food. It shouts in my head, and covers the mirror, and whispers in food. I am afraid of everything relating to fat. I am afraid of fatty foods, I am afraid to be fat, I am afraid I’ll become fatter if I eat fatty foods. I’m afraid to be seen with fat people because I am one of them. I'm afraid to say it out loud, because that means its real. I can whisper in the back of my mind I am Fat. But I might fall apart if I say it out loud. I have nightmares that I don’t fit in clothes, or through doors, or on roller coasters. I'm afraid to touch fat, as if it will cling onto me. My fear of fat isn’t realistic. Its completely absurd! But I can’t get over it. I can’t stop obsessing over fat. Its everywhere. The food, the part of the body, the adjective. I want to be skinny more than anything in the world so I can stop fearing my own body. 

Fearing the fat around me, and fat in foods is one thing, I can deal with it. But fearing the fat on my body, and hating myself is entirely different. Have you ever hated yourself so much you wanted to tear yourself apart? Have you ever wanted to pull your soul out of your body because you were so ashamed of it

Sometimes I sit alone and crave food. I start to think no one can scold me for eating, no one’s here to judge me. But then I also think no one’s here to check if I’m eating. And that means I can avoid a meal in the future AND the current food I crave. Because no one will know if I say I already ate, no one was with me to check. Then I can get out of two food confrontations. Then refusing food is worth it. And I have the strength to laugh at my stomach’s pleads. I don’t have to give in. Its like a rainy day fund. Skip a meal here: have an excuse to skip one later, and forgiveness when you can’t get out of food in the future. 

Mia has been pretty quiet lately, and Ana has been forgiving. It scares me how many calories are in alcohol. I consume so much beer, I’m afraid to count. Instead I give up food so I can drink without total hatred for myself. Does that make me an alcoholic? Or a really terrible anorexic? Or both? I guess I’m just my own thing these days. I look to Ana when I’m feeling particularly down. I confide in Mia when I’ve let myself slip up. I hang out with Al when I need to forget and pretend I’m a normal college student for a moment. 

The advantage of having all guys as friends, if you buy a pizza and bring it over, they all thank you for the food and get so caught up in it they don’t notice if you ate any of it. And because you drink just as much beer as them, they don’t suspect you’re anything but normal. No one would jump to an eating disorder with someone who drinks beer. That’s one of the first things people omit when they try to diet or lose weight. Its a sneaky secret. Slowly drink a few beers and once they’re beyond drunk, they won’t notice if you lie and say you had 6 when you really only had 3. They don’t know the difference if you’re actually drunk or just a little buzzed and amping up the effects consciously. Besides, eating disorders just aren’t on guys radars. They might notice if I look hotter (skinnier) or are wearing less clothes (lost weight), but they don’t obsess over their looks or weight or eating, so why would I?

That’s the other wonder of it all, they don’t judge and compare. When its just me and the guys I don’t obsess over the skinniest girls, I don’t think of them as guys to judge me; they’re just my friends. I can relax and enjoy my time with them and forget about food and have fun. It gives me memories of happiness and freedom from my thoughts that I can go back to when I’m feeling down. I can store up the good memories and think about them when I want to eat, or when I spend too much time analyzing myself in the mirror. 

Some days are horrible, some days are great, and most days just keep going by. I hate the days I feel like I weigh as much as a truck, when I’m so frustrated at myself. Then there’s the days I actually feel kind of beautiful, and I never want to stop. But for the most part, I keep hoping things won’t get worse, and wishing I was better. Those are the days I have no self control and all I want to do is binge and cut. I know that isn’t the way. I still cheat every once in a while, and indulge in a slice of pizza, or an egg salad sandwich, or pasta with alfredo sauce. I always make it up afterwards by being strict and healthy to compensate. I also consume a lot more alcohol than an anorexic should, but I give up food instead. What’s the point of spending my college getting skinny if I have no one to hang out with? 

I want them to look at me and realize I’m shrinking and I’m attractive, and I still drink beer and eat real food. But lately I’ve just wished I could eat pizza all day and drink beer all night and never go to the gym and shed pounds. But life doesn’t work that way. 

I hate that I’ve stopped losing weight. I know that means I need to cut my intake and exercise more to keep going, but its hard. I love food, and I’ve lost my will power to say no. Instead I’ve started sabotaging my progress and its only a matter of time before my weight goes back up again. I’m afraid if I don’t regulate what I eat, I'm going to lose control and eat everything in sight. There’s no one telling you to pick the salad not the cheeseburger when its time for food. No one will hate you for picking the burger, and no one will know how much you’ll hate yourself for it. No one will know you’re fighting your own body for a dream, and no one will know if you reach it or give up. 

The non-affected say its society’s images, its parents neglect, its friends ignorance, its low self-esteem. But it isn’t any of these things. Its totally in your own head. Its an obsession with control. Its torture when you lose it, self punishment to get back on track. Its proof that you can do something you say you can. Its showing others how strong you can be. Its making others jealous of your will-power. Its not something a trip to rehab can cure, its your whole being. They can make you fat again, they can make you see what you’ve done to yourself, but they can’t make you change. The point where a girl turns to Ana, is when she’s set her mind and refuses to give up until she’s dead. They teach you to be sneakier, they prove you did it once, you can do it again. That’s what its really doing to girls affected by Ana. Its letting them know they made it to the end of the line. It actually makes them stronger. When you run your first marathon, you don’t know if you’ll make it to the finish, but once you do, you know you can get to the finish of the second and third. 

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Everyone has beauty, you just can’t always see it because of all that gross stuff on your body, commonly known as FAT. I swear this is what I think every time someone says I’m pretty of beautiful. I know I am beautiful somewhere, but I can’t see it on the outside. Sure there are things that come through. My eyes are always complimented, and people obsess over my hair styles, and I know plenty of people who love my shoe collection. But when was the last time I was told my body was gorgeous? Or I was sexy? N.E.V.E.R why? Because its not there. Because I don’t have a nice body and i’m not attractive that way. It isn’t anyone else’s fault but my own. Only I can fix it, and Ana is helping me stay focused to get there. It will all be worth it when I’m finally told my body is beautiful and I can be proud of my silhouette. 

Makeup cannot hide obesity, starvation can hide fat. Choose control over your body or stare obesity in the mirror forever. When your insecurities are exposed for all to see every second of every day, its impossible not to fear and hate. You have to feel comfortable in your own skin they say, but they don’t tell you how to do it. Sure, some people can say they don’t care what others think and they love themselves for who they are, not their reflection. But for me it has never been that easy. I love myself and my life, most of the time, but it doesn’t mean I’m comfortable in my skin. I realize what respect I deserve and I can live my life just like everyone around me. It doesn’t mean I won't fear how obese I am and I won’t hate myself for letting me get there. Behind closed doors is when I break down and freak over it. If you hated how bad you were at a sport, you would practice to get better. I hate my body and I practice to get a better one. My kind of practice is just a little different. Because if I don’t have total control over it, then I will have no control over it at all. If I eat anything, I will eat everything, so I eat nothing. 

Successful people attempt what the unsuccessful are afraid to try. I stand by Ana for every failure I’ve had, for every time I was unable to reach the finish of a project, for every time I gave up in defeat. This is something I want enough, that I cannot fail. I will be skinny and beautiful, or I will die trying. There is no “give up” button. There is no “short cut” to the end. I have to work for it and when I finally reach my goal, then people will be jealous of how I made it and how successful I’ve become. Then they will wish they could keep up with me and they could have what I have. When I’m skinny, I will have succeeded. 

Sacrifice is giving up something good for something even better. So I’ve given up food, which is wonderful, and I’ve given up the pretend friends I have. And what am I gaining? An obsession to keep me sane, to keep out the sadness, and a willpower to prove to them I can be better than they think I am. People wonder why girls cave and fall for eating disorders. But its so simple. They see problems they can’t control in their lives, so they focus on the things they can control instead. You can’t make your friends like you more, you can’t force yourself to fit in anywhere, but you can choose what to eat or not eat, and you can choose how your body looks and feels. Its always been about control and security. When you have no control, you’re vulnerable, but as soon as you gain control of one thing you feel less vulnerable. And what you eat is probably the easiest thing in my life to control. I realize its not the best way to think, and its going to screw me over in the end, but I haven’t gotten to the point of caring yet. I'd rather watch myself fall happily  than continue flat line, hating myself and everything around me. 

Sometimes I pretend I’m beautiful just to see what it would be like. I dream that I woud fit in better and people would accept me. I hope that I would get along with the brothers more and I wouldn't always feel left out. I wish I was skinny enough to be wanted here, and I wouldn’t just be that fat chick that is good friends with two of the brothers and therefore they have to put up with me being around. Because right now, this is the worst possible feeling I could be having. 

Maybe I should be glad I wasn’t offered alcohol. Theres too many calories in it anyways. And if I just sit here and don’t fit in, then I don’t have any temptation to go sulk and eat food. So really this is better for me. This way I can be closer to Ana. She wouldn’t ever desert me or make me feel like an outcast. She always wants to be my friend. 

I sit here and try to drink away my problems. But its totally counterproductive. Because I swear all my problems stem from my excessive weight and calorie consumption. So drinking isn't solving anything.

At least I know Ana will always be here for me. It seems my friends come and go, but I know I will always have Ana to rely on. She believes in me, and she includes me in everything she does. I never feel left out or out of place with her. Ana has never betrayed me, she wants to make me happy and skinny and beautiful. If anything, I’m the horrible friend to her for deserting her and binging on ice cream. She says people come and go, but skinny lasts forever, and I believe her. I know I can be skinny if I put my mind to it and focus and want it enough. I can’t make people like me, and I can’t make myself fit in if people don’t want me to. 

I think its finally time to abandon my quest for company and focus on what I really want - to prove to them I can be skinny and beautiful and I don’t need them to be happy and reach me dreams. I want them to wish they had the will power I do. I want them to wonder what my secret is. I want them to try and be my friends and have me turn them down instead of the other way around. I want them to know what I feel like. I want them to find out what its like to be a walking skeleton with no reason to keep going other than to spite them all. One day I will have the upper hand, and I will be able to prove I don’t need them. I am strong, and nothing can get to me if I don’t want it to. So let the hunger in, let it rack my body and fill me with strength and power and control over my own life. 

When you take a step back, it scares me how insane I’ve become. A total intake for a day that’s over 500 calories, puts sheer terror in my mind. A single meal over 250 calories is also as terrifying. Every morning I’m afraid to step on the scale. I’m afraid to measure myself too. I don’t think people realize how gripping eating disorders really are. I mean, I’m literally afraid of eating food. It’s gotten to the point that if someone put my favorite foods in front of me, and I was starving, I still wouldn’t be able to eat it all. That’s how gripping the fear of calories is for me. And I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this way. 

I refuse to eat desserts and candy. I refuse to eat fast food when I can, but sometimes its unavoidable. I refuse to drink anything but no calorie soda and water, sometimes I won’t even have the diet soda. I refuse to eat cheese unless I have to. I refuse to eat meat in general. I refuse to eat wheat products, unless I need bread to get my vegetables. Someone reading this would probably think I’m crazy, and I’m missing out on so much delicious food. Honestly, I wish I could stuff my face with ice cream, pizza, alfredo pasta, and candy. As much as I crave these things and want to, I can’t bring myself to eat them. I’m that terrified of calories and gaining weight.

If I could think of the one worst thing for someone with an eating disorder, its gaining weight. The scale never lies. If the number goes up, you’re weak and fat and ugly and terrible. If it stays the same, you’re not trying hard enough. If it goes down, you can always make it go down faster. Its a spiraling obsession really. Nothing is good enough until you’ve gotten to your ultimate goal weight, which is usually incredibly unrealistic. There’s positive moments when those jeans aren’t tight anymore, or you’ve dropped 10 pounds and reached one of your intermediate goals. I live for those few split seconds where my reflection isn’t totally repulsing. 

Not everyone with an eating disorder obsesses with being under 90 lbs, for a lot of us its an obsession with our reflection. The mirror never lies. If its not beautiful or skinny enough, you keep going until you get there. Its the thought in the back of your head that says I wonder how much smaller I can get that gets you into trouble. Its like trying to outdo yourself, and push yourself to your limits. That is what gets girls in trouble with Ana, because the race to be skinnier than Ana will only land you dead. But when Ana is the only friend you have left, what else do you have to lose? 

© 2014 Exa Lectric


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Added on March 18, 2014
Last Updated on March 29, 2014

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Exa Lectric
Exa Lectric

Annapolis, MD



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