Saturday, January 6, 2007

Lauren's Body Image

auren stood in front of her full-length mirror, bra, and shorts on. No matter what she did it wouldn't go away. The fat stayed there like a lingering nightmare. She asked herself, "What time is it?" How long had she been there in front of the mirror? Was it one, two, three hours? She couldn't leave the mirror. Nothing would make her leave.

The radio blasted the current dance hits and Lauren continued to dance and dance. She had to. Thoughts raced through her head. The fat had to leave. She needed to go to class. She was ruining her only chance at a life. So many people would be disappointed in her. She had to do well. She had to graduate. This was the fifth class that she had missed. Why? She couldn't leave the mirror. Tears welled up in her eyes. She continued to dance. She wiped the sweat away. Her legs ached, her stomach ached. Thoughts of eating entered her mind; she stopped dancing and looked into the mirror. Convincing herself that she needed to eat for more energy she made her way into the kitchen.

The kitchen floor was cold beneath her feet. She flipped on the light and opened the bare cupboard, nothing but a couple of cans of 3-ounce tuna and a box of Melba toast. She took the toast and one can of tuna. She opened up a kitchen drawer and took out her diet diary.

The pages were worn with doodles of pigs all over the pages. She read, "Monday, breakfast one cup of black coffee, boiled egg. Lunch nothing, you did great! Exercised two hours, Great work Lauren!" Taking the pen out of the drawer she wrote down, dinner, one half can of 3 -ounce tuna and half Melba toast. She then wrote, "I am so proud of myself today." A smile came across her face. She closed the diary and carefully put it back into the drawer.

Standing at the counter she took the tuna and carefully spread part of it on half of the Melba toast. She took a bite of it swallowing it fast without really tasting. If it were in her mouth too long she would want more. Tears welled up in her eyes again. She thought of her grandfather, who had died three years earlier. He was smiling at her and so proud that she was going to college. Oh how she didn't want to disappoint him, but she couldn't leave the house weighing 121 pounds. It was entirely too much for her 5'5 height. She couldn't take being laughed at anymore. Wiping the tears away and she poured a glass of water. Putting the cold glass to her lips, she drank it all. She grabbed the edge of the counter as she sat the glass down. Her legs felt weak, but she had to finish exercising.

Walking back to her bedroom she sucked in her stomach and straightened her shoulders. The radio now was playing one of her favorite dance songs. She positioned herself in front of the mirror and started dancing as fast as she could. She shut her eyes as scenes raced through her head. Perfect body, great boyfriend, Lauren was rich. Her mother was nice. No one called her names. Her grandfather was alive. As the music grew louder she saw a group of people, beautiful people holding signs up, like in a protest march. On them the signs said, "Pig, fat pig, go away!"

Within seconds Lauren felt very dizzy. The room went black.

(c) 2005

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