When I was in my early twenties, Uncle Sam thought it would be a good idea if I joined in the quest to make the world safe for democracy. I didn't think so. My draft number was 88, so I needed a plan. At my height (6’0”) if I weighed less than 127 lbs. I could get a deferment. So I dieted. Every day, for three weeks. I ate the following every day:
1 can of water-pack tuna.
2 slices lo-carb bread (it had sawdust in it!)
1 can of green beans
8 oz of unsweetened yogurt
1 small apple, or carrot
I ran five miles a day.
I went to school and worked a part-time job.
I ate about 500 calories a day.
I lost 20 pounds, getting down to 118.
When I was thin, I discovered that I had acquired a new state of mind, one with a sense of serenity, a sense of self-control.
I can now understand how “Anas” (Anorexics) can really get into being thin. If you have had little control in your life being able to have some sense of power is extremely gratifying. What I started to lack after a few weeks of dieting was a sense of perspective. It was all me, all the time, all in my little head. When the other voices started in my head, I knew it was time to stop.
I didn’t have a continuing problem with my weight, I had a short-term problem and I successfully dealt with it. I dieted twice and then the draft was over. I had managed to stick to my diet, keep my health, and also gain some insight.
Why is it that it is impossible for most anas to do this? There is some self-loathing element present that I don’t understand. Anorexia is a noxious weed which has taken root and cannot be easily removed.