A snapshot of ED
Half-eaten granola bars. An iota of peanut butter on each banana bite. Sugar-free, low-calorie ice cream. Bones protruding more and more as I see my reflection in the dorm bathroom mirror. A certain number flashing back at me when I step onto a scale. Measuring cups utilized for chips and cereals. The red glare of numbers from the elliptical, announcing calories burned.
Each of these snapshots have been collected during my eating disorder. And some days they’re the only pictures I know. Rather than feeling trapped by their power, however, I’m disgusted by my reaction of pride.
Let me show you how little I can eat. Prove how much I can push tired muscles. Let me grow in supposed self-discipline as I say no to dessert again. Look at what I’ve accomplished. See how capable I am of achieving my fabricated idea of healthiness.
Without realizing it, I’ve scrapbooked these photos with colored washi tape, attractive patterned paper, and sequins galore to give the pictures extra allure. I love them. Yet in spending such copious amounts of time displaying them, I forgot their danger. They spin a story that I’m in control and can have it all: worth and healthiness.
These photos mask the truth: I do not control the food; rather, the food controls me. Demanding restriction. Bellowing for more exercise. Whispering degrading names when I fail to obey.
This doesn’t deserve to be scrapbooked. No, these pictures need to be burned, lest I never escape the voice of the ED. The good news is that I still have a camera for new pictures. More scrapbooks are waiting to be filled with new pictures. Ones that point to truth.
New Snapshots to Fight Your Ed
Having a donut at Sunday morning church. Going on an impromptu ice cream run late at night. Skipping workout to sit and talk with new friends. Accepting a car ride from my roommate instead of biking to the store. Buying a box of cold cereal without looking at the nutrition label. Relaxing at a park with my sketchbook instead of dragging my body on a run.
My camera is merely waiting. Begging for new snapshots. The question, however, remains: Do I want these new snapshots – opportunities for freedom – more than the photos I’ve prided myself in?