Orthorexia: How She Changed My Life

I'm Xanthe Freed and I'm another teenager with a secret. Mine is bigger than most. It's not relevant to boys, it's not relevant to bitches. I'm just a girl with a problem- and that problem is Orthorexia Nervosa.
I'm Xanthe Freed and this is my story.

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16. Will

Lunch was... interesting, to say the least. Being a pescatarian, I ended up having this weird tuna and egg pie (which is a Spanish delicacy, apparently). I was one of the last to show up in the dining hall, so the number of decent seats were limited. Really, I had wanted to sit next to Rowan, but she was with a group of uni boys, so I sat at the end of one of the long tables by myself.

At first, no one joined me, but soon a very toned, not ill looking guy hovered by the table.

"Do you mind if I sit down?" he said. I gestured for him to sit. The least I could do was make an effort to make friends here. "Thanks. You're the new girl, right?"

"Yeah. I'm Xanthe."

"I'm Will..." he trailed off, watching me eat. "What on Earth are you eating?"

"Tuna and egg pie. I'm a pescatarian, so this is what I'm stuck with."

"Oh."

I stared at him for a while. He looked completely normal. It was obvious that he didn't have an eating disorder. It looked more like he had body dysmorphia, the amount of muscle he had. I didn't know that the centre treated more than just eating disorders.

We ate in silence for a while. No one else joined us.

"Who are you rooming with?" Will asked at last.

"A girl called Rowan. Long-ish, auburn hair. I think she's due to finish university..."

"Oh, Rowan. I know her. She can be a moody cow sometimes, but it's mainly because she wants to get out of here. We all do, I guess."

"How long have you been in here?" I asked, finishing my pie.

"A couple of months. It's so weird. I'm at sixth form during the day, but I'm here at night and all through the holidays. No one knows about it."

"You're lucky. Everyone knows that I'm here..."

"How come?"

"I'm the girl who had Orthorexia. That's how they know me. Whenever I'm not at school, people always spread rumours and whatever. But this time, I made a scene, so it's my own fault really."

"I've never heard of Orthorexia before," Will admitted.

"Some people don't believe that's it's a real eating disorder, but it is. I'm anorexic now though. Apparently."

"I'm sorry. That's awful."

"Don't think about it."

We sat in awkward silence again for a while, but then I decided to leave.

"It was nice talking to you, Will," I said, standing up with my tray that held an empty plate and an empty glass.

"Yeah. You too, Xanthe. See you around?"

"Sure," I said, smiling at him before putting my tray away and leaving the dining room.

Will seemed nice enough, but I didn't know he well enough to really pass a decent judgement. I went back to my room to brush my teeth before my appointment with Dr Yates.

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