To the too thin girl running at the gym

**Warning: Potential Trigger**

I see you every morning I go to the gym, see you pounding out a hard hour on the treadmill. I can count your ribs. Your collarbone protrudes. I see your sunken cheeks.

I was like you once. Not on the treadmill. The elliptical. I wasn’t thin enough, wasn’t fit enough. Wasn’t good enough. I pushed myself harder at the gym. At work (at a bakery, at that), at school, at the gym again. Harder. I began to feel stronger, even though my body was breaking down my muscles and my bone.

I hated myself.

Sometimes I still hate myself.

Please stop.

Statistically speaking, you are just another statistic. A middle-class white girl with an eating/exercise disorder. We talk about the first half of that, eating disorder, not the second. Exercise disorder. Sometimes it’s classified as anorexia athletica, other times EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). But giving it a name doesn’t give it–or you–any more power.

What is it you’re running from?

I’ll give you a hint: It’s better some days than others. You can say you’re better. If you can say this and mean it, likely you’ll have more days than not where you are better. But there will be days–weeks, months–where you start to slip. You’ll feel it. It’s addicting, that exercise high. I remember. Endorphins are great. But they’re not worth dying for.


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