The older I got, the more I ate. I didn’t feel the need to have prominent cheekbones as much I felt the need for a large fries. Eating became a joy, or something to do when I was happy, sad, or angry. All the while I thought I was still skinny as a rail, still skin and bones. It was when my mother told me that I’d outgrown a pair of trousers that I’d been wearing for ages and I realised I’d gained weight. It didn’t help, either, that I was watching far too many fashion shows on TV, and all I saw were these beautiful, emaciated models strutting down the catwalk in nice clothes.
After a routine physical I realised that I gained weight from my last one, and I went on the crash diet of crash diets, the one that you didn’t have a name for: I stopped eating. When I was at home, my mother didn’t suspect anything; I ate breakfast and I ate dinner (albeit in small portions). When I was at school, I drank water to stave off hunger pangs, and didn’t buy food at the canteen on the pretence of saving money. I felt weak and dizzy a lot of the time, but it didn’t matter, because I promised myself I’d come out of it a happy size zero. A friend of mine started to notice I wasn’t being my usual self and I wasn’t eating much. I told her I was fine. She knew I wasn’t and forced me to eat. She actually made me eat. I’m sorry, Kate Moss, but there are a lot of things that taste much better than skinny feels, and my friend made me eat one of them. I was broken up about it, the loss in my willpower; I didn’t eat the next day.
Lately, I’ve come to terms with my body. I’ve accepted the fact that some girls are built skinnier than others, and rather than stop eating, I’m better off owning whatever I have. I know this isn’t a new story, but it’s comforting to know (to me, anyway) that somebody’s been there. So if you’re reading this right now, trying to ignore your growling stomach, and you’re telling yourself mind over matter, mind over matter, I’m not hungry, it’s time to eat. Just take a deep breath, take a bite, and forget about the whole thin-blonde-lovely combination. It’s OK to want to lose weight because you want to be healthy, and it’s OK to have inspiration for it; but don’t forget that when you love your body, it loves you back, and if you’re getting into fitness because you think that a size 4 is massive, that’s not OK. Do things like that if you want to get into fitness; love what you have. You’ll be surprised by the amount of people who love you the way you are. As for me, I’m going to eat. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s better that than my hair falling out.
- Pia Marie