Note: The following content may be triggering and be considered sensitive content to some readers. This is a trigger warning to let you know that if you are uncomfortable surrounding topics of eating disorders, you may not want to read these poems.



I don’t want to eat


I want my stomach to shrink


That is not a hard concept to understand.


You know how they say,

“Skip dinner, wake up thinner” and

“Hunger hurts, but starving works?”

Oh, you don’t?

Well, now you do.


I wish I had that kind of self-control.


All I want is to be small



Easily able to be picked up.

Why is that too much to ask?


My girlfriend,

Well, at the time,

She would say I was perfect.


I never did,

And still do not,

See it.


The perfect one was obviously not me.


I thought to myself,

“Oh, she probably doesn’t mean it.”


I am so hungry

I love food too much though

If I start eating,

I fear I won’t stop,

So, I must resist.


When Fiona Apple said,
“My hands are too shaky to hold,”

I held up my own hands to the light to see if mine were too,

Damn, do I feel that.


That is not me

That is someone else

That girl

Cannot be me.


On the list of random phrases,

a sad girl wrote of food

in other contexts

and not just consumption.


On a list,

I wrote,

A number and then

A thought.


Here are some examples:


I’m dying of starvation.

Don’t worry, that is just an exaggeration.

I am only hungry for love and comfort.



Now this was written long ago too,

I am not the old me

So, don’t worry about me.


I wrote,

Years ago,

Of how

“I purged yesterday,

I don’t know why exactly.”


I hadn’t purged since the September prior,

Which was before this last September,

And maybe even the one before that.

September is always a bad month for me.


I couldn’t call you,

But I had no one else to call,

So, I gave in.


The you then is different than the you now.


I binged really bad that day,

I binged too hard,

Eating isn’t supposed to hurt,

Oh, but baby it did.


I wrote of how,

“I needed it out of me” and

“I hope you can understand” and

“It was unsuccessful” and

I waited too long

I didn’t even get out half of it

It hurt coming up

I could feel my teeth decaying all at once.


I remember wanting your help,

Why would I ever ask that,

I remember thinking,

“I really need to figure it out again,”

I wrote of this,

But crossed it out.


I finished with

“I hope I don’t spiral into addiction again.”



That’s a funny joke.


I did then,

But I am better now,

So don’t worry now.


I also wrote of my brain turning to liquid.

I also spoke of my body turning to soup.


The end.



Pieces of who I used to be


Anorexia culture

Diet culture

Food culture

It’s all the same.


I say I am recovered

Because I am



What is starving?




Dieting equals starving

Restriction is the same


I love food

It isn’t that I don’t


The problem is

That I want to be small


And skinny girls don’t eat.


Fiona Apple once said,
“Hunger hurts

But starving works,

When It costs too much to love.”

And nothing has ever been truer.


Kate Moss once said,

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”


And I say this,

Someday, This will either kill you

Or forever break you.


Remember: if you aren’t recovering,

You are dying.


That is a fact.



In the adventures of me and my microwave

I set off to create a Green Tea Latte.


It’s a funny story.

The other day,

I tried to make tea,

A green tea latte specifically.


Fast forward to when I removed said latte from the microwave,

It smelled like mac and cheese,

And there was no mac and cheese,

Anywhere in sight,

Only a greenish-whiteish liquid

in a mug

that smelled like the

orange powder characteristic of



I couldn’t drink it,

I tried though,

I always try.


And while I know,

The world is not my oyster,

I must add that

if you bought me a shirt that said,

“cheap thrills”

I would wear it.


To Taste – a poem


Taste something yummy,

Remember to Eat Slowly,

It is not a race until the end.


Hold on to the strong flavors,

Let them linger on your tongue.


Eat something healthy too,

Something that your body needs.


Nostalgic flavors,

Are the ones to be careful of,

There is no need to fear them,

But awareness is key.


And of course,

Warm drinks on cold days,

Are pleasure in a mug.



About the Author: My name is Lauren Szymczak and I am a sophomore at Ball State University. I am currently majoring in Psychological Science and Women and Gender Studies and I am minoring in Interpersonal Relations and Creative Writing. I like eating food and sleeping in my free time and I spend most of my time overthinking about everything. I do consider myself a poet, even though I only have one other published poem.