I started throwing up so often, and so violently, that the scar on my hand had no time to heal

I have a blister on the knuckle of my right hand’s index finger. This blister is the traitor that threatens to expose me—and I’ve often wished that I’d been more careful about how I’d acquired it. But now that I look at it—I mean, really look at it—I’ve decided that it’s not really a blister, but more like a slight callous—a patch of skin that is a little rougher and less lined than the rest of my hand.

When I first started throwing up after meals, I was probably sixteen or so. That’s when I noticed that my weight was becoming unmanageable, and that I wasn’t as skinny, as popular, or as cool as the rest of the girls I hung out with at school. I wasn’t really pretty, or really witty, or really smart. And I couldn’t control any of that, although I planned to get my nose done as soon as I turned eighteen. But my weight I could control.

I started dieting the summer of my sixteenth birthday. I ran three miles every day on the treadmill at the local gym. One day, as we were going up the stairs to watch a movie in our living room, my dad—who had been trailing me—said something offhand about my calves. He said that he could tell I was working out.

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