you love your body enough to criticize it
the piece of chocolate settled at the bottom of your stomach will not dissolve without running a few miles
or twenty
and is your stomach flat enough for your liking? did your arm look too large in that photograph?

the amount of times during which you have cried while looking at yourself in the mirror is only equated by the amount of dinners you have skipped to compensate for the tears

but you should ask yourself
will you ever be “skinny” enough? your standards rise as your body disappears
a million people will say that you are beautiful
that your body is a gift
but the validation is still not enough
because these compliments are not valid if you do not believe them yourself

so you run until you struggle to breathe and you track your calories and you scold yourself for eating a slice of pizza
and you tell your best friends that their bodies are perfect while you tell yourself to work harder

and one day, you step on a scale and you have lost more weight than you could ever imagine
you should feel happy, but you feel afraid
you feel weak
and you question whether you can ever win
but you will not because you are the only person competing in this race
and you can only succeed if you withdraw from it

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