Living with Ed

By , Hudson, NH
As young females, we are often subjected to the ideals of what should be considered “beautiful”
and how we can properly attain this aspect of life. Some girls don't concern themselves in this
mental battlefield of superficial faces and plastic bodies while others take risky, dangerous, and
sometimes fatal methods of how to keep their bodies ‘fit'.

I am sixteen years old, and I have barely begun to live. For almost two and a half years, I have
been struggling with someone who believes they know exactly how to keep my body looking as good as
it does. They have a solution to my problem with food; with how in love I am with it and how out of
control we all sometimes feel when faced with the dangers of chocolate and cakes. Some time ago, I
simply turned my nose up at this, at food. I wanted nothing to do with fattening indulgences. I ate
nothing over two hundred calories per serving and I rarely consumed more than six hundred calories a
day. I was so obsessed with what I ate, my friends stepped in.

Living like that was hard. I missed the foods I loved, the ice cream, the pastries, all of the
things I "wasn't allowed' to have. Ed wouldn't let it happen. He would look at me
distastefully if I so much as considered letting myself go for just a moment; for having a cinnamon
roll drenched in icing instead of a toasted slice of thirty-five calorie bread for breakfast. He
would look me back in the mirror and tell me how despicable I am for even considering it and he
would remind me of how I used to look "the five foot, four inch teenager who weighed almost one
hundred and seventy pounds.

Even having more than a serving size worth of celery would be enough to throw him off the handle. He
would make me run an hour for every ounce overboard I had gone. The only thing he would allow me to
have in abundance was water, and that was only so he could keep me running.

That was only last summer; the summer of 2008.

I walked back into my high school and wowed everyone with how much weight I had lost. I walked back
into school and everyone fell in love with how much happier I looked. I walked back into school five
feet, four inches and weighing one hundred and twenty pounds. I could wear something other than that
baggy sweatshirt and loose fitting jeans. I didn't have to hide in anything anymore, because I had
nothing more to hide. I would wear something with no sleeves; I could wear a skirt that stopped
above the knee. I could wear a spaghetti strap dress with nothing covering my man-shoulders that
seemed to fit me better now.

But everyone scared me. They invited me to parties where there would be food. There would be soda,
chocolate, sugar. I couldn't turn them down, I couldn't say no. They were my friends. So Ed came
up with an idea for me.

I am now constantly sick, it being winter. I get dizzy if I move too quickly, and my stomach is
always craving food. I can out eat anyone, even my great uncle who always used to knockout anyone
who dared think their stomach could hold more. My body can barely process food now; it doesn't
know what to do with it because I rarely keep it in my stomach.

My mother used to joke with all of her friends when they would comment on how I stay so thin. She
would say "I don't know where she puts it all!"That would always make me sad because I knew
exactly where it would go. Down the toilet.

Ed's still in my head. He still controls almost everything I do. He still takes my focus from my
studies and talks me into what food should I see if I like next. He still keeps me up at night, or
haunts my dreams with binge trips to grocery stores running up the neighborhood of hundreds of
dollars per trip. He still there, making me lie to everyone, making me distance myself to lessen the
chances of anyone finding out.

He's still in my head; my eating disorder.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

musicgirl757 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 31, 2009 at 2:57 am
My God, I feel for you. You captured the true thoughts in an eating disorder and the fear of food. The need to be thin. The will to give up everything. This is a beautiful piece of work. Be strong, life without ED is so much better.
 
Ashley T. said...
Jul. 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm
You're referring to the book Life without Ed?
 
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