I know exactly when it started. I know the exact moment my mind went from not caring to making it my first priority. I went to the doctor for a physical and stepped on the scale like always. And instead of a normal, underweight number popping up, like 105, or even 110, it was a whooping 119. And I know that seems like a great weight to some, but to me it was just the first step in losing the one thing that I had going for me—being thin. All my life, I’ve been a rail, growing taller than my classmates and staying tiny, all the while consuming as many calories as I cared to. And of course, like my larger cousin warned me, “One day your metabolism won’t be able to keep up with you.” While I was staring at the nurse in shock as she told me my weight, I realized that day had come.
When I asked my mother if 119 was overweight for my height, she said no. Then I asked if it was underweight, and she didn’t give me a direct answer. That was when I knew one thing. I wasn’t skinny anymore. That night I looked at myself in the mirror. I saw my new huge hips, surrounded by fat. I tried sucking in my stomach, and I saw that I couldn’t suck my stomach in like I used to. I was too fat.
That’s when I made the decision to diet. I didn’t care what it took; I was going to shed those pounds. I would get back to 110 pounds, no matter what.
So I began skipping meals. I would sleep in instead of eating breakfast, and instead of eating lunch, I would go straight into the library and work on homework. I wouldn’t snack, and I would have a little something for dinner. A few times, when I felt I ate too much, I would make myself throw up. Week by week passed by, and the pounds began to shed. Jeans that used to fit me perfectly now were loose. Layers of fat vanished, and bones began to appear. I became obsessed with my bones. I loved how when I would stretch and lean backwards, my ribs would stick out. I adored feeling each vertebrae of my spine. Something about my bones was so beautiful, so pure. I wanted my whole body to be that way. I was convinced that once I lost the weight, I would beautiful—and truly happy.