Counting Calories

By: Neha Sridhar

(A palindrome poem meant to be read top to bottom,and then bottom to top)

I need to starve my body
because I refuse to believe that
the figure I have is beautiful as it is
my life and
my future
will be defined by my bad choices
I do not accept that this weight
will not stay the same
Because my counting and my tracking and my planning
melt my curves into nothing
My wide hips and my soft thighs and my shapeless waist
transform into hollow expanses
All of the choices and decisions I make
will dig into my soul
My body changes with every pound but it isn’t enough
To believe thata
I am beautiful
is a lie
I am a horrendous monster who no one will ever love
The idea that
my body’s size or shape is not as important as my attitude towards it
stinks of fake kindness
“You would look so pretty if you just lost a little weight!”
I am not willing to spread body positivity
I can’t expect society to accept me as I am
My weight is inherently a value of who I am
I refuse to believe that
I can overcome this part of my life.

And my anorexia nervosa will sabotage everything that matters in my life,
unless I learn to shatter its hold on me by reversing this inner mantra of mine.