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1990, collage/crayon, a survival-prompt by Chris Wayan

image of me with a bellyache, warning me not eat foods I'm allergic to

Functional art! A warning sign, to be exact. It hung on my fridge during the years when I was anorexic. There are several flavors of anorexia:

Mine was the last one. I didn't starve myself so much as just forget to eat. Wasn't hungry!

Feeling yucky after eating sure discourages you from wanting to eat again! I wonder how many other anorexics aren't really brainwashed or neurotic but just can't absorb wheat or cheese or whatever, and don't know it? I didn't for years. Turned out I was allergic to lots of foods, AND what I could eat changed seasonally, with the smog/allergen levels outside.

But before I knew what foods made me sick and when, I tended (especially when upset or preoccupied) to poison myself inadvertently. After a thousand days of bellyaches, I got mad, and set this sarcastic Wrong Way sign on the refrigerator door. It worked, too--it slowed me down till I learned I HAVE to eat mindfully. Can't trust emotion, or even my sense of hunger. Have to THINK before I eat!

I've gained 25 pounds--still a bit too thin, but I'm pretty healthy now.

Art won!

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