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"Encryptions" by Alexis Takahashi

*trigger warning: eating disorder


Before, when passing a mirror

I would lean in, gazing at the soft curves of my eyes,

and think in a shameful whisper to myself,

‘I am beautiful.’

The Body Mass Index (BMI) provides a reliable indicator for body fatness.

The formula for BMI is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.

Example: Weight = 68 kg, Height = 165 cm (1.65 m) Calculation: 68 ÷ (1.65)2 = 24.98

‘Did you notice how much weight she gained?’

My mother and father always return home with the same analyses

‘I wasn’t really paying attention’, I reply.

But I learn to.

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Exposed, nothing between us except our alcohol stained sweat.

“What size pants do you wear?”

“2,” I lie. “That’s a good size,”

he comments offhandedly, candidly, piercingly.

307.51 Bulimia Nervosa

*Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain

*Self evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight

Purging Type: the person has regularly engaged in self-induced vomiting

Now, when passing a mirror

I see only my tumescent, tumorous parts

Fat crawling under my skin, defiling me

It permeates everywhere, an insidious virus taking over



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