I sat nervously glancing around my Sunday School classroom, hoping no one but me could see Ana's skeletal figure in the chair next to me, her hand on my shoulder. There were 7 girls (not including Ana and myself) in the class. 3 were overweight, 2 average, and 2 painfully thin. I turned in disgust from the overweight and average girls and let my gaze rest on the skinny ones, counting how many bones i could see, imagining how their ribs must show. That must be such a beautiful sight. Wasn't i supposed to be learning about God? Instead i was obsessing over bodies. This had to be some sort of sin.
The lesson, however, held a point of interest to me. It was the ancient, over-used story of Adam and Eve and the fall of mankind. As many times as i'd heard the story, this one time, it held something new. FOOD had been the downfall of mankind, his first failure, his first sin.*
Ana took my notebook and quickly scribbled down:
Food was man's first downfall (Adam and Eve in Eden), and it continues to be just that: a downfall, a weakness, and an unreasonable sin.
"Hang that up on your wall," she whispered to me.
I nodded. How fascinating that no one had ever mentioned it quite that way before. Obviously it was the truth. Why had no one seen it before me?...
Later that day, as i sat pondering this new and interesting venue and fussing with my belly button ring, Ana came and sat next to me. i felt like a bloated hippopotamus beside her. She'd given me a break-day from the ABC. I was allowed to have 1500 Calories today, and i'd had every last one of them (but not over, thank goodness). "How do you feel?" she asked.
"Fat," i whispered the abominable word, then quickly changed the subject. "I think this is starting to get infected." I pointed at my new piercing, which was a bit sorer than it had been yesterday and now had a little pink at the top. "I don't know why. I've been cleaning it like crazy."
"If you'd be stronger and stop eating, it wouldn't hurt," Ana mocked.
Some crazy part of me believed her. "I'll fast tomorrow instead of eating the Calories i can for the ABC," i told her.
"Excellent. That ought to fix it."
I shouldn't have believed her; i knew better than to think food was infecting my piercing. The piercing was on the outside of my tummy, the food inside. But i did believer her; i always believed her. Ana would never lie to me.
*Further reading on this subject can be found in the Bible, in Genesis 3.