I’m ninety nine percent sure you don’t remember me.
Actually, I’m pretty certain there isn’t any chance at all. I’m sure you fed me the same lines and the same calorie charts as you fed every other North Londoner that walked incredulously through your door.
I’m not sure your name is Susie though. The memory isn’t as good as it was five years ago. You definitely seem like a Susie though. Sweet. Saccharine.
I was fifteen when I came into your office. Fifteen is an impressionable age Susie. We act like we don’t hear you but we hold onto everything that comes out of your mouth- especially when it’s something we do want to hear.
My mother had made me see you because she thought you could kick some sense into me. She was worried about me you see. She wanted an expert to intervene before things got worse.
Expertise is power Susie. It makes you right. It makes you credible. It makes us believe you. That’s the problem these days Susie. Everyone's an expert.
Protein over Carbs.
Brown Carbs over white Carbs.
Actually no Carbs.
But sweet potato over white potato, right Susie?
I should stop eating after ten pm too?
Does that mean I can’t eat left over cake Susie? Sugar you know.
Oh, I can eat more on long run days?
So I can eat less on other days too, right Susie?
You gave my fifteen year old thoughts a voice Susie. You gave them power. You were the expert.
I wish you had asked me how I was feeling Susie. How scared I was to eat white bread. Did you know I didn’t eat it for two years after seeing you?
I wish you had asked me how dizzy I felt after my last race. You told me how refined sugar was bad instead. There was no post race chocolate milk again.
I wish you had seen my mother’s face when we left your office Susie. She smiled at me when we got to the car but she wiped her eyes when she thought I wasn’t looking. They were wet.
She knew she had lost me to your words.
Art by Natalia Mesa