As I get thinner, the rate at which I'm losing is slowing down dreadfully. It's hard not to beat myself up when I step on the scales in the morning and see the same number as the day before. It's hard not to feel disappointed because I know that I'm working so hard and doing the maths so well.
I sat with a child at breakfast this morning. "Could you have eaten as much as I did?" she asked me when she had finished.
"Oh yes", I said, "Of course!"
"But how can you be so skinny?!"
"I'm not skinny!"
"Yes you are!"
I tried to contain my joy. "Oh, well, I eat loads, I promise. I eat loads."
At night I run my hands along my body with glee, feeling my rib cage grow closer and closer to the surface all the time. There was a fabulous quote which Harlow posted from Crystal Renn's book 'Hungry' in which she says: "I wore my hip bones like a trophy. At night, in bed, I'd hold them as if they were the handles of a loving cup."
At night I hold on to my hip bones as if they are the handles of my trophy.
My dresses hang more loosely off my body and I nip in my cardigan about my waist to show the world how much it has shrunk.
I've been doing well, the strength has returned, the bulimia has been banished. I am the girl I used to be. Now I'm going to surpass the girl I used to be.
I workout every day burning between 200-800 calories depending on the exercise and I consume less than 1000 calories in lean protein/vegetables every day on the Dukan Diet (which I am happy to report is clearly going very well!).
I'm not sure if I just don't feel hungry anymore or if I just can't understand what the feeling of hunger is; all I know is that I couldn't eat more even if I wanted to. I can say with certainty that I am far more hungry for success than I am for food. It is ambition that drives me, the hunger in my heart and soul and not my stomach that controls my actions.
How Did I Get Here?
- I have to be honest, for almost all of 2010 and until very recently, I would never have thought it possible for me to get back to the wondrous realm of restriction. I just wanted to get rid of the bulimia and the binge and purge monster than infested me. I think the turning point was starting the Dukan Diet, because I am a lazy cook and all I can eat is plain chicken and fish and skimmed milk. I found the ecstasy of control again and embraced it. Control, wonderful, serene control.
- Maybe returning to restriction was the only choice for me once I got rid of the bulimia - perhaps I refuse to give up having an eating disorder of one kind or another because without it I am nothing and have nothing. Perhaps it is just another form of my rebellion against being controlled and adhering to convention. Nothing makes the anger boil up in me faster than hearing someone try and tell someone else they should be eating. Having an eating disorder is my secret rebellion against everyone - everyone wants to destroy me.
- Then again maybe I'm completely wrong. I was thinking today that if I were a child in a school, the teachers would be worried about me, but because I am an adult, I shouldn't need looking after, I should know better, and so, no one cares. But the fact is, I've never been looked after by anyone, and I think it's possible that deep down I want to be cared for and looked after more than anything. Perhaps that explains why I've never gone to great lengths to hide my disorder.
- Maybe I have an eating disorder because I'm a bitch. I want to succeed so much that I'll destroy anyone who stands in my way - even myself. At law school I was friends with a dreadful girl who had no shame in using people to climb the social ladder and get to where she wanted. She now works for arguably the best law firm in London and frequents the guest lists at all the most exclusive clubs. I find myself being inspired by her. Being nice never got me anywhere, being nice was a weakness and has made me a failure. Ambition rears it's beautiful head.
It's true, I did want to get better, the bulimia and depression made me suicidal. But now I've got hold of something better than the recovery she offered me - I've got hold of control and exercise and restriction.
When I reach my ultimate goal weight - I swear when I reach my ultimate goal weight I'll stop and be normal and happy - I swear. But until then, I must remain unrelenting and closed off in my little world of control.
I have another stone to lose.
Last night was the date in my diary - scrawled in red pen across my bathroom mirror to remind me of my goal.
Last night was the night that I stepped back on the stage, floodlit by the lights of The Strand, after nearly a year away.
The whole week in the lead up I stayed serene and controlled, pushed my body to it's limits, worked out solidly and then fasted for the last 48 hours, clearing everything else out with diuretics and laxatives. The night before I sat on the floor of my bathroom crying uncontrollably with anxiety and fear. All I could think was: what if I suddenly become bloated tomorrow morning, what if the ugly ducking shows up, what if I can't cope with the pressure, what if I still look ugly - it would be impossible. I was petrified of failure.
But the day came and it was fine, my tummy didn't curve out even slightly, my waist was the smallest I've measured, I was doing this, I was holding my head high. I put on my brand new five inch heels and strode.
Before I went out with my old friends from 'The Club' I had agreed to meet a guy for a quick drink first- I suppose if you were being official it was 'a date' - the first time I had agreed to such a thing since I've been single. The idea that I was going on a date would have been a really big deal were it not for the fact that I didn't really know this guy and didn't really care what happened.
As it was, it was much better than I expected. My readers across the Atlantic will be interested to know that he is an American boy, a trader for a US company based in their offices here in the City of London. I felt at ease with him as I leaned happily against the railing, one hand holding my wine glass, the other gently caressing the hip bone I could feel through my dress.
At 27, he's only slightly older than me, but old enough for me to feel the need to be on my best and most professional behaviour... and at times it almost felt as if I was having a drink with a client. For this reason, while I think we got on, I'm not confident of a second date, simply because - as I put it to my friend afterwards - I am more used to the cheeky and flirtatious kind of getting on... In addition, I almost certainly came across as being ordinary, nice and dull - which is really false marketing on my part. But he was nice and it annoys me that I can't seem to get him out of my head now.
Anyway, after I left the American I headed over to where the gang were. This was the main role.
Familiar faces chimed that I was looking 'really well', men wanted their hands about my waist, the head held high, the eyes flashed, Odile danced.
"You've proven to everyone you've lost a load of weight you didn't need to lose," one longtime admirer told me. I beamed. "Hard work and dedication," I replied.
"Every time I see you, you get thinner and more beautiful," said another.
I thanked God; it was noticeable, it wasn't just numbers on a scale, it was visible in the flesh too...
And that's it really, I wasn't there to pull a guy or give the gossips any gossip. I was there to prove a point, to prove that I had made it back to where I used to be, to prove that I was strong enough to fight hard for what I wanted and to win.
I made my way back to the train station on my own, stuffed my starving body with pasta and bread and McDonalds, ran away from a taxi driver who got in the back seat and tried to kiss me, apologetically stuck my fingers down my throat to throw up my binge in front of a nice office, sat hunched at the train station with a newly bloated stomach for two painful hours. But it was ok. All that is irrelevant. Because I can say with complete confidence, nothing tastes as good as thin feels. And that is all that matters and all I will remember now.
I carry on, I want more, I'm ravenous.