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 123 lbs. I could get a deferment. So I dieted. Every day, for three weeks, I ate the following:
1 can of water-pack tuna.
2 slices lo-carb bread
1 can of green beans
8 oz of unsweetened yoghurt
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 some new states of mind. A sense of serenity, a sense of self-control.
I can understand how "Anas" (Anorexics) can really get into being thin. If you have little control in your life, to be able to have some sense of power is extremely gratifying. What I started to lack 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 did it twice, then the draft was over. I managed to keep my health, stick to my diet, and 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. There is some idea which has taken root, and cannot be removed.