If you are mentally ill, you shouldn't be here. If you are happy and
headed in the right direction, you shouldn't be here either. If you are
a person in control, in command of her own destiny, a person who
doesn't believe that anyone other that YOU should tell YOU how YOU
should live YOUR life, then this is where you should be. This is where
This is not a place of criticism or judgment. This is a place of
acceptance. A place that acknowledges you for what you are, for what
you will always be, for what you've chosen to be. A place that admits
you serve a purpose (otherwise, why would you exist?). Here, you are
normal. Here, you are good. Here, you are wise. Here, you are healthy.
Now, choose your category of interest and click the link:
Tip: Find something that makes you feel vaguely ill, get a picture of
it and put the picture beside your food. Make sure to look at the
picture while you eat. Really stare at it.
Three strawberries — 15 calories; 4 ounces pineapple juice
— 50 calories; bag of baby carrots — 150 calories. Total: 215.
stopped crying when I was small, because crying got me spanked and made
fun of by my father. After a few years without crying I was afraid to
start again even when I knew I was safe. I thought that once I started
crying I'd never be able to stop. I feel that way about eating now.
Tip: Paint your nails. The smell of nail polish is a great appetite
suppressant, and if you go all-out with base coat and top coat and
everything, then your hands are occupied for hours.
Diet soda — 0 calories; 1/2 cup lima beans — 60
calories; 1/2 bag rice cakes – 75 calories; 3 slices fat-free
turkey — 90 calories; 1 cup chicken broth — 30
calories. Total: 255.
trying to decide where I belong. Where I want to be. My body takes up
too much space to fit anywhere. I need to be small so I can fit into a
safe place. My emotions feel too big for anything.
Tip: Sabotage your meals. Make them with too much water, too little
sugar, an ingredient you don't care for. Add too much salt or pepper.
Make it taste bad.
Two ginger snaps — 50 calories; piece of Trident gum
— 15 calories; 2 slices of fat free cheese — 100
calories; 3 saltine crackers — 60 calories. Total: 225.
miraculous how normal you can seem on the outside when on the inside
you're nothing but floating shreds and itty battered bits of sawdust.
It feels as if everything I do hides a scream.
Tip: Pick apart your cravings. For example, if you're really craving
pizza, think about what it contains. Then, drink a can of V8 or eat a
tomato. If you still want pizza, eat a rice cake. If you still want
pizza, have a piece of cheese. There, you just had some pizza.
Subway turkey club with potato chips — 425 calories (before
purging); 215 calories (after purging). Total: 215.
breathtaking, headspinning, to see my bones emerge... But it's very
lonely here and I can't keep doing this. When did this become less a
desire to be thin and more a desire not to exist at all?
Tip: Take a shower. If you feel clean, you may not want to dirty
yourself up with food. Spend some time in the shower counting your
ribs. You may find a new one, sweet success.
Sugarfree hot chocolate with water — 0 calories; bowl of
shredded wheat with skim milk – 100 calories. Total: 100.
think that when I'm falling I need to know that if I were to hold out
my hand, someone would be there to take it.
Tip: Check the fridge when nobody else is around. Find foods that you
would have eaten and get rid of them. For example, three eggs and a
piece of butter. Then if someone asks, you can say you had scrambled
eggs (it's possible to can convince yourself that you had scrambled
Three large rice cakes — 105 calories. Total: 105
what about smells? This one has been getting to me lately. If I go past
a bakery or a deli or a chocolate store, and it smells really good, do
infinitesimal calorie bits get into me through my nose or mouth? I
wonder if anyone's ever studied that.
Tip: Throw food away before you eat it. A lot of people feel guilty and
don't like to toss food, but that food gets discarded any way you look
at it … purging, digesting, tossing … Isn't it
better to get rid of the food before you eat it than after? If it still
bothers you, hand it to someone on the street. Everybody likes free
Four slices of apple pie — 800 calories. Total: 800
disgusting. I hate the sensation of rotting gunk packed into my
abdomen. I wonder what my hair weighs. It's thick and fairly long. If I
shaved my head, would I lose a pound?
Tip: Brush your teeth. A clean minty mouth makes the thought
of eating less attractive.
Water — 0 calories; fake sweetner — 0 calories.
wish there were fewer people in the world. I wish I could look out the
window and just see white blank nothing for miles. I wish I had armor,
a thick soundproof shell that nothing could get through. I wish I were
hungry. It's settled into a constant gnaw that makes me act like a
marionette on strings. My mouth is peeling, the skin inside sliding
away like paper-thin slices of jellyfish. It feels like cobwebs
clotting around my teeth.
Jamy Bond is a fiction and non-fiction writer. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, The Sun, The
Washington Post, NPR's Sound of Writing and others.
Detail of art on main page courtesy
of Gwendal Uguen.
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