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“I look in the mirror. Fake tan skin, full of redish blotches. Bloodshot eyes. Unconvincing smile. That’s all I see.
Except for my weight.
That gets a category of it’s own. It consumes me. It get so hungry that it has to eat my thoughts away, I know I can’t starve it anymore, so I eat. And I eat.
But the food doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me feel sluggish and slow, like I have to get rid of it, it makes me feel disgusting. And I can’t stop thinking about it. The hunger should have been satisfied long ago, but its still eating my thoughts! Munching them up like that fat ass it is!”
“So you throw it up?” I said.
“Yes, I throw it up.” The girl looks at me with her young blue eyes, I quietly take notes on my clipboard. “I can’t… It gets to where I can’t deal with it!” I nod, and continue writing. “But I know I’m not the only one!” The girl insists, defending herself as her eyes well up with tears. “Katie does it too. I know it. All the girls talk about her. How else can she be so skinny?”
“Katie Blanch?” You ask, pausing from your notes. She nods her bleach blonde head quickly. “How do you know Katie, Rachel?”
“She’s in my grade. She can’t weigh more than 90 pounds. That stupid bitch…”
“I’m not bulimic, Doctor, I swear,” Katie Blanch says, sitting across from you in one of her weekly sessions. “I know you don’t believe me. No one does. And I’m not starving myself, I don’t even think it’s possible!”
“You don’t think what’s possible?”
“To starve myself. Cuz I don’t get hungry. Food makes me sick. In the morning I can’t bare the thought of breakfast, at lunch, I look at pizza, and all I see is the grease.” Katie brushes her dark brown hair out of her face and looks up. “No one understands. My friends all tell me they wish they were me, they wish they were this skinny. But why? Why would some one want to be 30 pounds underweight? Why would someone want to drown in every item of clothing they try on? What could possibly fuel the desire to look like you’re balancing on toothpicks every time you wear shorts?!”
“I don’t know.”
“And that Rachel Burke! She spreads rumors that I throw up in the bathroom, stupid bitch. She thinks she’s so perfect with her fake blonde hair and perfect tan. I know why she spreads those rumors at least.”
“And why is that?” You ask, looking into Katie’s pale face.
“Because that’s exactly what she’s doing. She just can’t admit it.” She looks at you with her wide brown eyes and leans forward. “I’m not stupid Dr. Grey,” she whispers. “I know you think I’m anorexic.”
“I’m not. I just have a fast metabolism. And I exercise. With Gracie. She’s a friend of mine…”
“I like to exorcise. It keeps me healthy. People try to tell me that I’m not healthy. They’re wrong. I have abbs, I have muscles, what have they got? Only fat. They’re just fat and jealous.” Gracie looks at you in defiance. You sigh.
“There is an eating disorder called bulimia-“
“I eat like a normal person dammit!” Gracie yells, jumping up from her seat. “Nothings wrong!”
“You exorcise too much,” I counter.
“Shut the f*ck up, who are you to tell me how to live my life?”
“Your mother sent you here, she wants you to get better-“
“My mother,” Gracie scoffs. “Have you seen her? She weighs more than 200 pounds. She’s a f*cking planet. I won’t be like her. I won’t-“ She stops, there are tears in her eyes.
“…My mother was recently diagnosed with diabetes.”
“Did you know it’s hereditary?” Gracie says cutting me off. I nod. We sit in silence as Gracie composes herself. Then she looks at me. “Still want me to stop exorcising doc?”
I gather up my notes and leave the office, as I walk out, models on the covers of magazines in the waiting room catch my eyes. I see billboards with stick skinny models lounging in bikinis. I turn on the TV, and I see more unhealthily thin women. I can’t escape the images as I slip out of my clothes and look at myself in the mirror. And I know how bad it is, but for a moment, I wanted to be skinny too.