It’s hard to explain how my mind works on any given day. I once tried to explain how I thought about calories to my mom, and I don’t know if she understood, but I still think of a piggy bank when I ask myself why I am restricting. All right. So, imagine you are an anorexic. You know you really need to eat more, but for some reason unidentifiable to you, your brain enjoys making you think that every calorie that passes your lips could be the one that makes you pack on the pounds. You’ll have already checked out your body in the mirror that morning, and noticed that you are still as slim as ever, no spare fat on any bit of your body. But then, after lunch, you happen to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and you have suddenly ballooned into a figure that is unfathomable to you. Though this has never happened to you, and never will, because it is impossible, your mind won’t stop returning to this horrible situation. You cannot, will not, allow this to occur. And so, you count your calories like a good anorexic, because that is what you do. No one taught you how to be this way, it is like second nature. Each calorie takes on the sheen of a brand new coin in the palm of your hand. And each quarter, dime, nickel, penny…they all count.
You tell yourself that if you refrain from enough brassy pennies, you might be able to have a mug of coffee tomorrow. If you only take a piece of that nickleshaped pizza, then you can still have a Snickers for your night-time snack. Why have that regular lemonade, when you can have the sugar-free kind? Why make yourself go through the misery of trying to justify the taste of those shiny dimes, if you can avoid it all together? Clink. Clank. Clunk. That is the sound of all of the calories you are saving, going into the invisible piggy bank that resides in a minuscule part of your frontal lobe. You imagine that some day, if you save up enough cash, you will actually have that coffee, Snickers, anything at all that you are really desiring. This never happens though. The bank that you deposit this loose change into seems to have a never-ending appetite. You scrimp and save, making cuts here and there and everywhere…and yet it is never enough, You will never get the satisfaction of taking that heavy hammer down from the garage wall and smashing that bank to smithereens, because you’re not good enough. You know you’re not good enough, because the one person that is your hardest critic says so. You.