Thursday, June 28, 2012


Under cover of night I put a pearl in the ground. Where did you go? Not so far. Please don't go, not too far. 

You don't mean that, say you're sorry. You don't mean that, I'll make you sorry.

He leans back in his swivel chair, that permanent jeer plastered on his face. The earring glitters as he turns and points at me. I give an answer and he moves onto the student next to me. The correct answer is the sentence that he is thinking in his head and it's a waiting game to see who he points at and it's a matter of time before one of us gets the answer and this is when the game begins again. 

I'm not really listening. I know all I need to know about population health and so his words flow over me without making any impact at all yet the tension that he generates keeps me rooted to my seat and facing him with eager eyes. He's talking about BMI and how different races have different amounts of fat free mass. It's not news to me, and I'm still barely listening. 

"And it may sound harsh, but if you are Asian and you have a BMI of 21, then you're probably obese." 

Now I'm listening! And my heart feels like it's been kicked in the testicles. Based on that premise, I'm Asian, I have a BMI of 21.7, therefore I must be clearly obese. That is the only conclusion that can be drawn. 

I'm surprised. It's not something I expected to hear. And immediately, I know that he is right, so right and so wrong at the same time. All my years of teaching seems to reel in my head. I know that he is referencing children's BMI ranges, I know that for Asian adults, a BMI of 23 is what constitutes being overweight. I know all this, I know, I know, I know. 

But at the same time, I've just been labelled obese and it's not something that I can shake. I'm obese. I'm obese. I'm obese. Each repetition of the phrase echos a beat of my heart, thudding, faster and faster, panic rising, breaths becoming shallow, mind racing. I'm obese. I am. I am. I am. 

There are 2 voices that take over then. One is the professor. He tells me that I'm not fat, I'm not obese. That my BMI is perfectly normal, and that it is nothing to worry about. But this time his voice is so quiet, like he is talking to me from inside a sealed box. I've been trying to contact him for 2 weeks now with no reply. His hold on me loosens. 

The second voice is a friend. She tells me that I have to face the truth. I have to acknowledge my obesity. "So what, you're obese. So do something about it you lump." So do something about it. There is a rising anger within me. Why would someone say that to me? Why? I'll prove them all wrong. I'll get myself thin. I'll make them sorry they ever called me obese. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

in this white wave, I am sinking, in this silence

Heaven holds a sense of wonder and I wanted to believe that I'd get caught up once the rage in me subsides. 

Thank you my Sammy, your comment means a lot to me. I love you girl! Also, to all you lovely readers, how have your exams been? Hope you all kicked ass!

Weight loss for this week? A BIG FAT ZERO. And whose fault is that? MINE. 

It sucks ass but it's my own fault so I've just got to face it. I ate too much. I didn't work out enough. I'm way too stressed. I don't sleep enough. I didn't work hard enough to lose weight and so I didn't lose weight. 

I'm so tired. 

Tired physically, tired emotionally. I just want to go away for a week and just lie still and do nothing. I must try harder, I must do better. I hate being this size. I must get smaller. Simple. 

Meanwhile I'm drowning in silence. Silence from the university who needs to give me something for my visa. Silence from the professor who I have tried to contact a few times now (and riding on this is panic because I have just found out that the lady working on my paper is struggling through the data). Silence. Out of my control. Everything is out of my control. 

I feel so lonely. I feel like that I need the professor. And in a twisted series of events somehow I am wanting to meet up with him and he is unreachable. Wildly different from earlier this year. I feel like something must change. 

Things are going to get busy now, busy at work, busy with plans for Europe and the UK, busy at the gym. I'm praying to a god that I don't believe in to make the weight will drop off.

The upcoming period of business is spurring me onwards. I must make this trip deadline, I must lose enough weight. I will have to make some changes next week and see how that goes. Weight must come off! I hope to be 115lbs by the end of next week. Wish me luck, I'm going in.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

pretty hate machine

I got my heart but my heart is no good. You're the only one that's understood. I come along but I don't know where you're taking me, I shouldn't go but you're reaching back and shaking me. 

Turn off the sun, pull the stars from the sky. The more I give to you the more I die. 

You're the perfect drug. 

It's almost 10pm and I'm standing outside ED in the rain. I wrap my coat around me and look up and down the quiet road. There are a few patients smoking in a corner, there is a hobo lying in the bus stop, then there's me. I've not eaten all day, I've been working almost 14hours and I was shaking with the cold. Lights. Blinding. She pulls up and I clamber in. She deposits me at home and drives out and buys me fried chicken. We share it. 

I know the fried chicken was a very deliberate choice. She knows I've not eaten all day. I find it hard to be mad at her. She's one of my best friends, she's my flatmate, she's my colleague. She's been staying up, waiting for me to call her to pick me up because she won't let me walk home in the dark. In a way, I've never been cared for like this before. 

I swallow my chicken, fighting the rising bitterness. I know she's taking care of me. And I do love her for that. This is just an ED, ruining an otherwise lovely moment. 

Paediatrics. I love it, but it's not my thing. Being around kids disturbs me, and this sounds stupid, but it's because they are smaller than me. I feel some sick sense of satisfaction when I see a child who weighs more than me. I want the long, lean, boney appearance of the young girls. I want to look like that. This must be why I hate my boobs. I'd much rather be flat chested. 

I must be the only female I know to complain about having size D cups. My guy friends are apparently very fond of my boobs. Just the other day one of them told me that he and his now ex-gf had an argument over me and my boobs. 

I've been away from this blog for a while because I was PMSing and somehow my hormones convinced me to have a crack at recovery. The thought process was this: if I am this miserable when I'm trying to lose weight, so miserable that I want to die, how bad can it be if I stop trying to lose weight. How bad can it be if I just give in, do what my boss wants me to do and just stop trying and even gain some weight? I can't imagine it being worse than wanting to die. 

And I have to say, that was some solid logic. Pity it didn't really transpire like that. I upped my calorie intake. Probably not by much because I didn't have any high calorie foods in the house, maybe to 1000cal a day. Then I just worked out harder at the gym so that my net calorie intake was about 500cal a day. And I can tell that I've lost some weight doing that. I've not weighed myself yet but I can feel that there is a small change, maybe 2lbs. 

2lbs loss. And that kicks off the vicious cycle. As usual, nothing in this life will feel as good as seeing the number on the scale go down. Now I'm back to restricting. I'm going to keep my calorie intake up a bit more, because I loved the difference I felt at the gym. But the strange thing is, when I wanted to lose weight, all I wanted to do was eat. Now that I'm actually making an effort to eat more, I'm finding it extremely difficult. 

Ah well, see how it goes, I'm so far down that if I go down any more, I'll be 6 feet under. Which is fine too. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

lovers in japan

Tonight maybe we're gonna run, dreaming of the Osaka sun, dreaming of when the morning comes. 

Issy and S-babe pull up their seats and we each clutch our cups of coffee. "We're convening." Then conversation and laughter flows without any effort and we catch up on half a year worth of missed time. The same happens a bit later with T and J. It's been so long since I last saw them and it shows me just how lonely I have been this year and it shows what a difference it can make to be around people who care. 

S-babe tells me that T was really, really excited about seeing me. Haven't seen him for a very long time. We talk about Europe, England, holidays and I walk away feeling very excited about my 8 week trip when I had really worked myself into an anxious frenzy about it. Being with people on my wavelength, who I get along with and who care about me is so refreshing, it almost worked away 6 months of stress and loneliness. 

I didn't get to see the professor. I avoided it. I didn't really want to see him. I'm scared that if I see him there will be a wave of untold stories that will just burst forth and then I will be riding tidal waves of trouble. I can be rather pathetic about this. There is a huge amount of pressure when it comes to the professor. It's an emotional bottleneck when I'm faced with the one person who knows all my secrets, seems to care about me but also wants to help me and in doing so could stop me getting what I want. Thrown in there to complicate things is the fact that he determines my future in medicine. 

It was the wrong thing to do. I should have seen him. I don't know. I feel like such a burden to him. I don't know what to do. 

In the meantime, my weight loss efforts have gone down the drain as I entered my hungry part of the month. I've been binging for the past 2 days. I think I had about 800cal today, but I had waaaaaaaaaaaaay over 1000cal yesterday, too many to count. I'm too scared to weigh myself because I'm too scared to see a gain. 

I haven't been working out because I'm so stressed about my visa, about seeing the professor and about sitting my full driver's license test that in my spare time I'm absolutely paralytic and I just sit and fiddle around on my laptop. And in doing that, I'm getting nothing done. I just need to snap out of this, but I can't. I hate this. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

naso-gastric consequences

My smile was taken long ago, if I can change I hope I never know. 

There's a hand on the back of my head, making sure I can't move away and a hand on my chin to stop me wriggling out. All down my nose and throat there is a trail of fire and pain and I clutch my vomit bucket with all my might. My stomach is heaving and my eyes are squeezing out tears at an alarming rate. 

"Swallow, swallow, swallow, swallow, swallow..." and I obey because the cold water is at least attempting to quell the flames. Then I vomit up all the water I have just swallowed but the voice keeps going, "swallow, swallow, swallow..." and I can feel the naso-gastric tube advancing further down my oesophagus. 

All that comes up in the aspirate is a tiny amount of coffee, enough to confirm the tube is in my stomach. People seem surprised that there wasn't more, but I didn't have any breakfast or lunch and the coffee was my only intake. The pain of NG tube insertion subsides, but the burning irritation remains. 

I gag some more as I pull it out and sip on cold water to calm myself. The things I do for my love of the art. Try a NG tube, they said, know what your patients go through, they said. 

His face flashes through my head the entire time. I wipe away at my watering eyes, disguising the fact that I'm crying a bit, almost glad that NG insertion makes everyone's eyes water. Somehow, sitting in the procedural skills room in the hospital, I'm transported to somewhere completely different. 

I can almost feel the fabric restraints on my wrists and ankles, the hand on my chin and the back of my head and that same awful tube advancing down my nose and into my stomach. I can feel the tears, the retching, the burning pain. I can see him standing at the door, afraid to enter the room but unable to look away. I can't turn away from him when everything is done because the restraints have been left in place so I close my eyes. 

I'm ashamed of myself, I don't know how things got this bad, how did I get this sick. But at the same time I feel a pulsating resistance within me. With every beat of my heart, for so many years, all I've craved is to be thin and I would do anything to stop people taking that away from me. Eyes still closed, I start to wonder if he's left but then I feel him wiping the cold sweat from my face. I ignore him. 

I don't ever want a NG tube again. And I'm scared of it now. But it brings another issue to light. Somehow I've come to rely on the professor. I'm projecting like mad. Just because he's nice to me, that doesn't mean he will transform into the father that I crave. It doesn't mean that he will be there for me on all the occasions that I imagine him to be. It doesn't mean anything except that he is a nice person. I think I need to work on extracting myself from anything to do with him. 

And see how all that goes. Lose weight. Lose weight. No food. Work out. No professor. Just study. And be thin, finally thin. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

skinny and the negative plus

"Skinny..." all my voices singing..."skinny..."

She's aloof. She bites her tongue but when she does speak, her voice is too loud, too judgmental, scathing, loathing. And when she looks at people, she looks down her nose. I would hate her, I would hate everything about her but I'm forced to respect her because she is so thin. Her thigh gap makes me drool with jealousy and longing. 

She has long, thin, gazelle legs. And a pretty, thin face. She's everything I want to be, minus the attitude. She's my thinspiration. I want to look like her. I want to be that pretty. I want to be that thin. I want all that. She looks good in everything. She looks like a guy could easily lift her. 

She makes me feel awful. Ugly. Unattractive. Invisible. 

And so I run. I run till I feel like I'm going to faint but I only manage to work off 300cal at the gym. My intake for the day is 500cal. So my net intake is 200cal. Which makes me feel like shit. 

I've failed. I always want to have a negative calorie balance. To be in a positive balance makes me feel terribly insecure. It makes me feel like I'm not going to lose any weight at all. And I just have to lose weight this week. I am going to be distraught if I don't lose any weight. After all this effort, I just need to see some results. I want to be lower than 120lbs. Surely that's not too much to ask. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Für Sammy - no hullaballoo. just chemicals. and no one looking down on you.

They want to take our light, make us fight, but never cry for the ones you love. I'll be your warrior, warrior. 

The world isn't perfect. It certainly isn't what I would wish it to be. It's not even close. For one thing, my perfect world wouldn't be inhabited by cockroaches. But that's beside the point. 

Oh what it would be for each schoolgirl crush to be reciprocated by a tidal wave of affection, or for each cut and bruise to be showered by angel kisses, or for each kernel of pain and despair and worthless stored inside the heartwood of our souls to be seen without being seen. 

It's not easy to find joy in pain, or to find success in sorrow, sometimes it feels damned near impossible to even try. Sometimes we choose to bare our hearts to reveal the cowering, crying, love-starved child hiding inside to those who should love us the most, only to have her trampled upon with mockery and jest and words that sting more than ice rain. Sometimes we wish we hadn't. Sometimes it helps us grow. And sometimes, just sometimes, it helps us recognise who loves us the most. 

Is having an eating disorder a weakness? No. Us girls, we are some of the strongest people I've ever come across. We face each day with a smile and a joke for society, a kiss and a hug for friends and family, a good few hours of our life for work and study, all the while a voice gnaws at us and we are waging a war in our heads and hearts. The basic human desire to eat, and that voice that tells us we must be thin. But we don't crack. And when we trip, we get back up. 

It's moments of stress and conflict, not moments of joy, that define who we are, and my friends, we are strong, we will succeed. It might take a year. It might take two years. It might take ten years. But we will get there. Which is more than most people could hope for. It's this strength that binds us together. It runs to my veins. It runs through Sammy's veins. It runs through the veins of everyone reading, and every girl who is on our journey. 

Who are they to look down on us? We have something they will never have. We have power. We have support from around the world. We have a common enemy. When I fast, I feel so accomplished, I can do something they can't do. 

Sammy, if I could turn back time, I would make your family mourn for you. I would make them see what it's doing to you. I would make them see that you are not being silly, you are not being stupid and you are not being weak. I would show them how strong you are, how you function despite all the shit. I would do so much. 

But I can't Sammy, all I can do is to do all that stuff on their behalf. If you can't get your strength from them, my love, take all of mine. 

Though oceans may part us, I sometimes feel you in the room with me. And I can wipe away your tears and take away the hurt and make you understand that you're beautiful. And it doesn't matter if you don't believe the world thinks that. But you have to believe me when I tell you that I think that. If you can't feel their love, dear Sammy, take all of mine. 

What will it take to make you wake up another day feeling less empty inside? When all you've worked for your entire life ceases to hold any meaning, what happens then? Does it matter if we have a purpose? Is it not enough to go through life and try to do as much good as we can in the time we are given, to recognise the blessings, apparent or hidden, and to rest peacefully knowing that we did all we could, and that we could do no more. If you can't find a reason to live, dear Sammy, take all of mine. 

I'm sorry for all that you've gone through. I'd change it, if I could. You truly deserved better, you deserve what I have, but I was luckier, nothing more. If it was mine to give, I'd give you happiness, and everything you had ever dreamed of and more and the will to battle on, no matter who knocks you down. If you can't find strength in the world, dear Sammy, take all of mine. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

if I ever meet that dirty policeman who roughed you up...

I'll tell you things that I don't believe if it will help you sleep. Strange mercy. 

I open my email. I close it. I open it again. "New Message" - click. I stare at the blank message screen for a few moments and then give up. I close my email and resolve to write it tomorrow. A daily ritual that progresses a varying amount each day. Some days I might type a few lines, other days I won't even open a blank message. 

The idea of seeing him terrifies me. And I try to talk myself round to it. Remember all the times he's driven you to your car because he doesn't want you to walk alone in the dark. Remember how upset he gets when you tell him some guy was being lewd. Remember how much you love his hugs. Remember the good times. I smile, but no, I can't email him today. 

The professor crosses my mind every day, but more and more often when I know that I will inevitably have to meet him. A wild flutter of goals floats around my head. Should I be trying to lose more weight? Or should I try to gain a few pounds so that I'm a bit fatter when I see him? Should I talk about my weight loss? Or my cutting? Should I mention the suicidal thoughts? And what will he do if I talk about one or any of the above? 

I will have to see him next weekend. If not next weekend, then the week after that when I am on holiday. I'm so, so scared of it. The past few times have been okay, but things have changed a lot since then. My mindset has changed since then and I'm terrified that he'll notice. 

The conversation falters and he's giving me a strange look. If it wasn't for that look, I wouldn't have noticed that I've stopped talking. The effort of keeping up the conversation is almost too much. When our lunch arrives, it's all that matters in this world. I eat the salad, that part is easy. Lettuce and tomatoes, easy to eat, so guilt free. It's the panini that trips me up. Carbs. One of the roots of evil. I nibble at it, unable to think about much else. 

He can see my struggle, but he also sees that I've gained weight and his mind is put to rest.  He doesn't mention anything during lunch but he grabs me before I get into his car. "It's abnormal. Tell yourself that. Repeat after me. It's abnormal." 

That was last time. This time, I'll have to use all my willpower just to force myself to eat. I don't know if I can hold things together. I'll have to try. I don't want to do anything that will perk his concern, and this isn't the concern of a normal person, this is the concern of someone who is acutely aware of eating disorders. 

I open my email. I close it again. Maybe tomorrow. 

Meanwhile I'm mentally preparing for a harrowing week. I intend to tackle my weight head on starting tomorrow. Gym. Many sessions. And almost no food. I want to be eating around 300cal each day, and burning off at least 450cal. If I can stand it, I will be fasting for several days. I want to lose weight this week, and I want to get below 120lbs. I want to lose a lot of weight. Get this journey started. I will be 100lbs by the end of August, even if it kills me.