"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