On Being a Fat Person With Anorexia

“It doesn’t matter how you do it, just lose the weight”

Zoey Jordan Salsbury
Human Parts


Photo: Arno Images/Getty Images

Note: This essay contains mentions of eating disorder behaviors, self-harm, fatphobia, and weight loss surgery. Although I tried to be as vague as I could around specific behaviors, there are parts of this that may be difficult to read if you are actively struggling with an eating disorder. Help and support are available. Please reach out to the National Eating Disorders Association. Recovery is possible.

TThe first time my doctor mentioned my weight, I was about 11 years old. I was a chunky kid, like I’d always been. When I came up to the plate during kickball, the other kids shouted “easy out!” I was often teased about my body. But back to the doctor: As I sat there listening, she told my mom that my weight was fine as long as I only got taller during puberty and not heavier.

You can guess how that went. I gained weight. And that wasn’t wrong. In fact, it was completely normal. Research shows that 50 percent of your adult body weight is gained during adolescence. But I only knew what my doctor and the kids at school said about me.