“You’re so thin. Are you a dancer?” a fellow intern asked after looking me up and down. I had just turned 21 and was starting my first summer internship in the accessories closet at a major women’s magazine. I was awkward. I was going through overwhelming life changes. I was sad. I was emaciated.
My body–or what was left of it_soon became the envy of fellow interns. Obsessively counting calories and finding new ways to limit food intake gave me a false sense of power over my life, which I felt was quickly spiraling out of control. I didn’t have a trust fund or designer clothing, but I had my body, a body I would try to starve into perfection.
Spending 14-hour days running errands and organizing the fashion closet accelerated my weight loss. I pushed through headaches and dizziness to haul heavy bags across town and carefully photograph and organize jewelry, shoes, and handbags. At times, I almost forgot that I was running on a sugar-free Jello, coffee, and a bagel with the dough ripped out of it. I used to call my sister in a panic when I ate a granola bar.