In the beginning of this story the reader can tell that Caitlin is obsessed with her image of herself. She says, ” I could see my ribs gorge out past my stomach. I proceeded to the treadmill to continue my daily routine. Thirteen hundred calories later I could leave the gym.” Its shocking to hear that even at age 11 she was self conscious about her body. Throughout the story the narrator becomes more and more obsessed, becoming a vegetarian by age 12, running miles and miles to burn way more calories than she consumed, and up to the point of becoming bulimic. Her first warning was ignored, she says,
“One Tuesday afternoon, a girl I had grown up with confronted me, ‘Cate, is it true that you’re anorexic?’ I stood there dumbfounded! I snapped back, ‘ No…What the hell are you talking about?’ In a very snobby manner she told me, ‘Well people have been noticing that you don’t ever eat lunch…and you are looking really thin, so there are rumors going around that you have an eating disorder.’ I just ran out of the lunchroom into the restroom, and cried. The salty tears poured down my face into my lap, as I sat in a tiny stall.”
Caitlin had been approached by a girl at school but this really just seemed to make Caitlin mad and upset, thinking that the girl was just being mean to her. Caitlin had no idea that something was wrong with her. It wasn’t till a teacher, someone she respected and idolized told her she had something wrong with her, that it clearly hit Caitlin. The reader is aware that Caitlin has fully learned her situation and needs help when Caitlin tells her mother everything. This is the sign that Caitlin is understanding that there is a problem and is willing to get it fixed. The final scene at the slumber party shows that Caitlin is over her weight issues, she is able to hang out with her friends and be normal. She jumps right up in the line to eat some pizza and doesn’t care about calories or how much exercise she needs to do to burn off this pizza.