In this poignant personal essay, Savala Trepczynski chronicles her lost years of dieting. Starting in first grade feeling shame over her size, her dieting continued until she finally realized the cost.

I couldn’t see what dieting cost me until I stopped for good. No, I was never on a life-threatening diet. But I was on so many, for so long, that my life got hollowed as if by termites, and my grasp on sovereignty became weak as a butterfly. I’ve dieted through every season of my life—which is to say, I’ve been consumed with fear that my natural body offends societal norms, values, and morals—until now. Couldn’t See What Dieting Cost Me Until I Gave It Up