while everyone was deep in slumber
I tiptoed down the hallway
opened the fridge
and ate leftover birthday cake with my bare hands.
I woke up
shaking from the sugar rush
subdued by the shame
just like I used to do with the empty booze bottles
I cleaned up the evidence before anyone had a chance to see what I had done
But the problem is
I knew what I had done
Moms, this is especially for you.
Please, Oh Please, help stop the vicious cycle.
Be careful what you say in front of your children when it comes to food and weight.
Be careful what you say about yourself in front of your impressionable young girls.
I’m 34 years old
but when I eat the way I ate last night
I’m 9 again
sitting in my bedroom after ballet class
the door locked
shoving Neapolitan ice cream into my mouth at the speed of light
my belly hanging over my too-tight-tutu
and my pink leotard crawling into cracks it doesn’t belong in
while I think of the million reasons
I’ll never be
like Ashley White
(who sits next to me in homeroom and taunts me daily with her perfectly curled bangs doused in Aqua Net)
I should know better
and I should DO better
but food is the last thing I’ve got left
to abuse myself with
and don’t I HAVE to abuse myself somehow?
The other day I read about a mom who put her daughter on a year-long diet
the way she deprived her child
and gave food more power than it deserves
made me mad
made me scared for the little girl
made me picture her
locked in her bedroom
shoving ice cream into her mouth
Little girls shouldn’t be saying things like “That frosting looks really good but I can’t have any because it’ll make me fat,” at little girl birthday parties because they may turn into adult women who eat that frosting with their bare hands someday, but they do and I’ve heard them and I worry.