For a short, pale, slightly overweight girl, Los Angeles was not an easy place to live. She was busty, with large hips and an ample backside, but she also had the stomach to match. She hated her body.
Just last week, she was picking out some food at the grocery store and a man asked her when her due date was. It was probably her fault for wearing that empire waist top, but it hid her belly and highlighted her chest. Or so she thought.
She was in school and had a full time job, but she always made time for what was important: partying with her friends. She barely had time to exercise, and the only thing that would cure her hangover in the morning was greasy food. She knew she had unhealthy eating habits, but, that was her lifestyle.
One day when she came home from the store, her mother was in the kitchen. As she was unpacking her grocery bags full of ice cream and chips, her mom made a comment about her weight.
"You know, if you didn't eat like that you would be a lot thinner."
She looked at her mother, grabbed her snacks, and went into her room without a word. She didn't need more people putting her down for her weight. So she ate until she was sick.
She reached the bottom of the bag and the whole pint of ice cream was gone. She started to feel guilty and, at that moment, a Victoria Secret commercial came on the TV. She remembered how much she wanted to look like them. But how could she after this point?
She decided to sneak off to the bathroom. She locked the door, knelt down before the toilet and lifted the seat. She'd never done this before. I mean, she starved herself in middle school for a few months. And in high school she used drugs to stay skinny. But she never thought of throwing up her food.
Her fingers slid down her throat with hesitation, but once she felt her throat fight back from the gag reflex, she sent them down further. Everything came up easily because the ice cream had coated her throat. She instantly felt smaller. She flushed the toilet with a strange sense of pride and went back to her room. She had her cake and ate it too.
A couple of months later, she stood naked in her mirror, proud of her accomplishments. She had only lost five pounds, but on her frame it looked like ten. She decided to treat herself with some fast food from down the street.
She came back with bags of food fit for a feast. She inhaled everything in site, and then walked into the bathroom ready for her trusted routine.
With confidence, she stuck her fingers down her throat and gagged up everything that hadn't been digested. As she worked through the next five minutes, she noticed blood. She started to panic.
Her fingers were coated in a thick film of stomach acid and a clear red substance she was sure was the blood, but she didn't know where it was coming from. Was it internal bleeding? Did she scratch the back of her throat?
She decided she had to stop there and tried to flush but nothing happened. Oh fuck. It clogged again.
In a state of shame and anxiety, she lifted the back off of the toilet and tried anything and everything to get the damn thing to flush before her mom came home. She took out the plunger and used it until her arms were sore. She finally got it to flush a bit, but it was about 20 more minutes until it all went down. She washed the plunger, and her hands, brushed her teeth, and sat on her bed thinking about the close call. She had to stop.
It had been a month now that she was keeping a calorie journal. She was only allowed 700 calories per day and exercised at least an hour 5 times per week. She had lost about 15 pounds and felt amazing when she put on clothes, but mostly felt weak and tired.
Her phone rang and she picked it up with excitement. It was an old friend that she hadn't seen in months! She couldn't wait to hear her voice.
"Hey girl, how are you?!"
"I'm amazing! I'm in town and want to take you to lunch. I can pick you up in 45, will you be ready?"
Her hair was still sweaty from her workout, but she could get it together in that time. Plus, she couldn't wait for her friend to see her transformation.
"Yeah definitely, see you then!"
She hung up the phone excited, then rushed into the shower. As she was lathering her hair, she started to panic. Lunch? But I've already had 300 calories today...
Her friend picked one of the fattiest fried food places in Culver City. When they sat down to their table, she wanted to ask her how she had been and what her life has been like for the past few months, but all she could focus on was the calorie content.
"You look incredible by the way! Have you been working out?"
Perusing the menu, she picked up her head.
"Oh yeah, just a lot of cardio."
She finally decided on her meal, but how could a salad be 1500 calories? Maybe if she only ate a quarter of it...
She tried not to think about her food and focused on her friend. While her friend spoke of travels and love, she picked at her salad and moved it about the plate. It was like the dressing was holding her hostage.
She decided the only way she could focus was if she just ate and threw up later. As their meal was winding down, she excused herself to the bathroom. She knew anymore than 20 minutes and her food would start digesting. She couldn't let that happen. She'd gotten so far at this point.
She came back from the bathroom, eyes red from choking up a salad, and sat down with a runny nose.
"Are you OK? Were you just crying??"
"No, no, I think it must be my sinuses. I have terrible allergies lately. Anyways, what were you saying before?"
Her friend went on to tell more of her story about her big and beautiful life, and she started to tune out, staring at a piece of bread lying on her plate.
Published by Shawn Engel