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This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week


She was thirteen when she first stood upon them. Naked.

Awaiting sentence. Someone had told her she looked like a boy.

And it stuck.

At fourteen every day after judgement,

she would make a promise to herself

to try harder, exercise more, be a better person.

At fifteen she stopped growing, wore t-shirts with pockets

over her boobs to hide her flat chest and prayed

the boys would never try to ping a bra strap that wasn’t there.

At sixteen she started counting. She could tell you the calorific value

of every thing she ate and

every day became a balancing act.

At seventeen she was able to calculate weight and energy,

set it against exercise and activity

and worked out that twice round the park was equal to a guilt free bag of crisps.

At eighteen she calculated her worth in arbitrary units,

stones and pounds, calories and kilojoules

and, some-what ironically, less felt like more.

At nineteen she met a boy who told her he loved her

but didn’t understand she didn’t love herself

then left her for some one prettier.

At twenty she stopped caring,

no longer worrying about her future,

because she wasn’t planning to be there.

At twenty-one there was no epiphany. No great revelation.

She just learnt to live with it.

And every day she stands upon the scales.

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1 Comment

Nigel Smith
Nigel Smith
Mar 01, 2023

Clever, engaging and vital. It is good to recall that Parkies don't have a monopoly on hardship. Let's keep our humanity, Mr P can't take that.

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