step number one: read the book wintergirls.
tuck away every detail like you're cramming for a test.
dog-ear the pages and carry it with you like a travel guide.
decide that with your fingers and toes always icy cold for as long as you can remember,
you were destined to be a wintergirl.
reread it periodically, for inspirational purposes.
step two: download the myfitnesspal app.
use it to track every calorie you put into your body.
memorize that an oreo has seventy calories, an apple has one hundred, a cup of hot chocolate has eighty,
a bagel has two hundred seventy (a number that terrifies you),
and on and on and on.
let numbers float behind your eyes just before you go to bed,
and let them stay there as you throw off the covers to do guilty pushups and situps in your room
for twenty minutes (burning one hundred and twenty calories).
ignore the warnings shouted at you in red text
when you eat less than twelve hundred calories per day.
look at the projections it gives you for five weeks from now
with weights that seem both too small and too large at the same time.
when your net for the day hits the negatives after weeks of trying,
feel the slightest pang of satisfaction.
step three: find your "thinspiration".
make a tumblr just to look at pictures of jutting-out spines and thigh gaps and ribs.
hold your phone up next to your reflection in the mirror
and pick out everywhere your body differs from hers.
when the girls on the fitness blogs start looking too heavy for your goal,
find the eating-disorder blogs.
obsess over their bodies almost as much as you obsess over yours,
but not quite as much.
step four: begin losing weight.
imagine yourself floating away, feather-light.
imagine yourself becoming skin and bones.
imagine this as you drag your heavy body from class to class,
as your muscles waste from malnutrition.
imagine this as you have to clean your hairbrush out
three times while you work tangles from your hair.
imagine this as you snap at anyone and everyone,
as you spend hours locked in your room.
step five: become a poet and write about yourself.
romanticize your own demons, just by calling them demons.
use as many metaphors as you can,
to avoid the harsh language of the truth.
and especially avoid writing about the crippling guilt
that hits you when you eat too much,
you're fat you're worthless you'll never be anything,
and hits you when you don't eat enough,
what's wrong with you how did you let it get to this point
voices in your head never abating.
avoid writing about your lack of motivation and constant exhaustion and always,
always, use words that imply mystery.
describe your mind as foggy, call your body diminishing.
never say it how it is, because you could convince yourself to quit.
never say that it's torture and you're in pain
and you just wish you were eight again, never considering this path.
never say that you need help but you don't want help.
if you have the urge to say these things,
say only that this disorder is not one you would willingly give up,
because you finally have something to control.
because it is the truth,
but it is also the romanticized truth.
trigger warning, obviously. this just came out of nowhere the other day. apologies for how harsh/offensive it may be.