By Molly, age 13, CaliforniaKate woke up, got dressed in her size zero clothes, stepped on the scale, and looked down at the scale that displayed her weight: 80 pounds. She brushed her hair quickly and walked downstairs. She barely glanced at her breakfast as she kissed her dad goodbye.
After school she was sent to her mom's house. Right now Kate's life wasn't going so great. She felt like she wasn't in control of her life anymore. Her parents were divorced, and they only paid attention to her siblings because they had acted out physically and verbally at school. The only thing she felt like she was in control of was her weight.
Now Kate had stopped eating entirely. She could survive on one apple a day. She was proud of her eating habits and how she could control her hunger. No one could make her eat. She was starting to look like a skeleton with skin on it. All of her clothes were now baggy on her. She adapted by wearing sweats under her jeans and two sweatshirts on top of each other. It solved two problems. It didn't make her look so scary thin and it kept her warm. At school everyone gave her worried looks, but she dismissed them and told herself that they were just jealous of her perfect, skinny body. She adjusted her backpack that was slung over her shoulder.
"This backpack is getting heavier and heavier," she complained to her best friend Mia. "Probably all the homework Mrs. Bradbury is giving us."
"I don't think so," Mia mumbled to herself.
After school, Kate went to her job as a hostess. From there she went home in her brand new car and did all her homework. Then she went downstairs to get note cards to study for her test. Once she was downstairs, her sister Lauren grabbed her hand and led her over to the dining table.
"Sit down please," Lauren said to her. Kate did as she was told.
"Eat up," Lauren said, putting a plate of steak in front of her. Kate looked at the meat as if it were cockroaches instead of juicy steak.
I can't eat this! she said to herself.
"I'm not going to let you leave this table until you finish," Lauren said sternly. Kate knew that no matter how much she complained Lauren would not let her leave the table. She also knew that if she tried to escape, Lauren would catch her before she could even take a step. Lauren played competitive soccer so she was fast and strong. She didn't have a chance.
Kate moaned. I might as well just get this over with, she told herself. I will only eat one piece and then sneak the rest to Snickers. She meant to stick to this plan, she really did. She ate one bite. She felt the juice inside her mouth and the fulfilling feeling in her stomach. She couldn't stop herself from finishing her entire delicious meal.
After she had finished, Kate sat there for awhile. Then she realized what she had done. She had lost control. She ran to the bathroom and shoved a toothbrush down her throat. Right before she felt the steak coming back up, her sister yanked her away from the toilet and grabbed the toothbrush out of her hand. Lauren was so mad she smacked her across the face. Kate knew what she had done was wrong and instantly forgave Lauren for smacking her across the face. She would have done exactly the same thing if the positions were switched.
"Now that you have gone against everything I taught you ..." Lauren said, glaring down at Kate. Lauren grabbed Kate's arm and yanked her back into the dining room. Lauren sat Kate down into a chair and put two sandwiches in front of her.
"Same rules apply," Lauren said simply. Kate ate the sandwiches without a fight. Lauren didn't let Kate out of her sight for two hours. She wanted the food to settle in Kate's stomach.
After that Kate decided to start up normal eating habits again. She realized what she was doing was not only affecting her own body but upsetting her family and friends as well. She decided, if she wanted to control something, she should control her future. Kate applied to Stanford and gained 10 pounds. She was starting to look and feel like a normal teenager again. Her energy returned, as well as a better relationship with her parents and sister.