It's strange, but it's widely accepted in our society that "You've lost weight!" is considered to be high praise. You could be ill, you could be on your deathbed, you could have a stomach bug that takes all the joy out of food and you could be shaky and weak, but damn it, if you've lost weight, you’ve done something right. And you are expected to take the compliment just like a kind appraisal of your new shoes; you are supposed to let the person know your secret, so that they too might drop a few pounds. Are you supposed to ignore the implication that you somehow looked less great before? That your extra weight was a fault? What if, through all that weight gain, you’d simply been trying to lose weight all along?
I am fifteen, and I have been living off of a daily regimen of a tall coffee frappuccino light, a fruit cup, four gallons of water, and half a cup of fat-free/no-sugar-added/taste-free vanilla ice cream. I run a mile a day and perform the "total body" circuit workout I pulled out of Seventeen, to the motivational beat of Kanye West's "Workout Plan." In September, I weigh 35 pounds less than I did in April, and when I return to school, stares follow me in the hallway, but I don't know this until after I snap in October. All of the restriction falls by the wayside. I make up for lost eating time, and then some. I gain weight. A tremendous amount, in a tremendously short period of time. At five foot five, I weigh 200 pounds.