Disordered Eating in the Time of Quarantine

E.E.W. Christman
3 min readApr 17, 2020

Beware the Quarantine 15.

Beware the fat clinging to your body. Beware change. Beware relaxing. Beware satisfaction with, or even mild acceptance of, your appearance.

“Remain vigilant!” says a wave of advertisements on my timeline for weight loss programs and exercise leggings. “Complacency adds 10 pounds.”

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

“Here’s me after quarantine lol,” says a former colleague who always seemed nice enough. Her words hover above a picture of an unfamiliar woman. It’s unflattering. She’s fat and unaware she’s become the butt of someone’s joke.

I wonder if the photographer had permission to take the picture, and know they most likely didn’t. A woman’s body is treated as public property, regardless of whether it’s showered with praise or scorn.

“Wonder Woman after the Quarantine 15 hits,” says a cosplayer I follow. The picture they post isn’t of them. It’s of yet another fat body, dressed as Wonder Woman, as if this is the greatest of jests.

Beware the Quarantine 15, chants a chorus of voices online, their greatest fear not becoming ill, losing their livelihood, or having to bury a loved one, but of growing larger. I listen, because the alternative is being alone in my house, disconnected from the world.

I listen, and an old voice reminds me, “They’re right.” I hate hearing it more than I remember.

But I’m tired of my body being a joke. I’m tired of worrying about the way my body looks as opposed to how my body feels. And my body feels so very, very tired.

I’ve spent my whole life listening to these voices telling me I’m too much. And I’ve spent too much of my life believing the diet culture cabal. Believing I was too much. Believing I was disgusting.

In a time of death and disease, when we are all trying to survive, I do not have the energy to negotiate with my eating disorder. I do not have the willpower to cater to the thin ideal.

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Do you know fat people can see what you say about us? Do you know your fat family members, loved ones, and…

E.E.W. Christman

Writer. Fantasy, Horror, & Nonfiction. Queerdo. Nonbinary. HWA Member. They/Them. https://linktr.ee/eewchristman