Meal Plan

Ellen Bellew

Content Warning: Mental Illness, Eating Disorder


Breakfast: Coffee, with a side of antidepressants 


I remember the first time I had coffee on an empty stomach, 

the sensation of anxiety,

the echo of energy resonated inside my desolated body until every limb found irritability.

The illusion of being alive. 

Alive and uninhabited,

accompanied by the pill that manipulates my mind to think I’m recovering. 

I skim through my catalog of clothing, 

ranging sizes 12 to 20, 

and wonder why my skin is still the piece that doesn’t fit right to my reflection 


Lunch: Three celery sticks + hummus 


Celery is 95% water,

a liquid disguised as a solid, 

a restriction masquerading as a meal.

The number three sounds like bliss to my calorie calculator.

Two steps forward and one step back,

but better still doesn’t mean good.

Hummus is the red paint dragging across the white canvas, 

giving bland a meaning. 

The salt in the seawater. 

what I thought was standing up too quickly, 

is just standing. 


Dinner: 1 Slice of white bread + butter with a side of melatonin


A fussy child’s dream.

It tastes like fairy bread without the pixie dust, 

the kind of meal that would make Tinker Bell weep tears of disappointment, 

as she wonders when the magic in me died. 

How do I tell her that I do it to fit into her dress?

When the melatonin silences me, 

I dream of the day I walk into the streets and be the success story

What they associate with ‘pride’,

people say the journey is better than the destination,

but is that point still intact?

When the point to reach is seeing my ribs cling wrapped to my skin, 

and my hand being able to fit around my wrists. 

When I’m a house with no tenants.

When I’m bones with no being.


Snack: Water 


The act of filling my stomach with the ocean. 

With every movement this vessel makes

the waves crash against the silence.

What is an ocean without anything in it? 

I say a sink — 

that’s how small I need to be.