I woke up to my cat tossing my pill bottle on my face. It was about a half hour before my alarm was going to go off for me to wake up and take my pills. Shooing her off my bedside bookshelf, I pulled the covers around my shoulders and attempted to doze a few moments more. Monday could wait a little longer. It wouldn’t mind.
The alarm sounded.
My stomach growled viciously at me as I stepped onto the scale. I was 24 hours into my three day diet, and I was starting to feel that hollow burning sensation that most proana sites warn you about (don’t ask). The kind that your body uses to indicate that you’re not eating as much as normal. Trying to trick you into eating the normal amount it had begun to crave. I looked at the scale beneath my feet as it calculated with red digital numbers. In a moment my weight flashed across its screen.
I was down 6 pounds in 24 hours.
You would think I would be happy about it, but I’m not. I started the diet the same day I started my period. For those of you who don’t know, many women feel a constant state of hunger during the week of their period. I’m not sure why. Probably some kind of weird hormonal thing. Maybe it’s an emotional thing. I don’t know. All I know is my Monday was only going to get worse from there.
Breakfast was disappointing. One egg on dry toast and a glass of water. Part of me would have preferred to starve to death than eat so little. It was like being teased. What was even more upsetting was my sudden obsession with food. My desire to eat anything and everything was stronger than normal. This was precisely the feeling I was trying to ignore when I went away to college. It was the feeling I was fleeing from when I found independence from everyone trying to tell me how to take care of my diabetes. It was the feeling that got me into this heap of diabetic problems I was just now discovering I had. Thyroid was shot. A1C so above range I wasn’t sure I could recover. Always tired. The feeling I was trying to escape now had to be my driving force. I hated that.
At work I found it even worse. Every few minutes I kept going to the drinking fountain to try to make my stomach feel full with water. I was counting on being busy, but only to be disappointed, because I finished all my projects for the day before opening at 10am. At least I would have my conference call to kill an hour. Nope. Turned out the call was canceled, as was the managers meeting.
I took my lunch at noon, when my conference call should have been. A half hour full of a hard boiled egg, a cup of cottage cheese, and 5 saltine crackers. I felt tired. My stomach sloshed with water. I had no caffeine and felt like I just wanted to be back in bed. To smother myself in my comforter and sleep between meals so I wouldn’t have to sit there thinking about food. I tried to close my eyes for a bit, but only feared not waking up in time to clock back in. So I paced the small room, trying to keep my gaze from straying towards the snack and soda machines.
Clocking back in, I busied myself the best I could. I kept looking in the mirrors I walked by, wondering if my weight loss was noticeable. I didn’t notice it. That’s what made it feel even worse. I couldn’t notice any difference. My face was still chubby cheeked. My waist didn’t look any thinner. Thighs still jiggled like usual. It felt useless.
Maybe it was a dumb idea.