Fighting Weight

By: Gillian Jones

About the Book




We all have that voice inside our heads.

The one that speaks to us incessantly. That voice we trust to make the right decisions, to keep us on a positive path, even when others try to bring us down.

But what happens when that voice changes?

When it’s no longer a voice of reason, a voice of comfort giving us a pep talk when we need one?

What happens when that inner voice turns into a bully?

You’re fat.

Don’t you dare eat that.

You’ll never be as pretty as her.

You’ll never be as good as them.

You’re lazy. You’re stupid.

You are disgusting.

You. Are. Nothing.

What happens when that inner voice makes your body take its side?

Binge.

Purge.

Binge

Purge.

And what happens when the bully starts to win?

If your name is Alina Cassidy, then you fight like hell.





Dedication




For Donna

Thank you for inspiring this story. Thank you for fighting your “bully”.

Most of all, I’m so glad you’re winning.

And for everyone else who fights a bully of her or his own, this one’s for you.





“It’s calm under the waves in the blue of my oblivion.”



—“Sullen Girl”, Fiona Apple

“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”

—Vincent van Gogh

“You gotta swim for the nights that won’t end. Swim for your family, your lovers, your sisters, your brothers, your friends.”

—“Swim”, Jack’s Mannequin





Dear Reader,



Fighting Weight was inspired by a beautiful woman whose fight is real, and unfortunately one that is shared with many women, men, and teens today. Reading Donna’s Facebook posts and talking to her about her fight as a person suffering with bulimia and learning about the battle she faces everyday—working to stay in recovery to keep her own bully at bay—triggered something inside me. I found myself deeply inspired.

I wanted to write a story for her, one Donna could be proud of, a story that would tell her how proud I am to call her a friend, and remind her how brave and truly awe-inspiring she is, even if sometimes she might not realize it. And I wanted to write a story for everyone who fights a similar battle, to say, “you are not alone”, and “hey, you can beat this.”

Finally, I wanted to shed light on an issue prevalent within our society today. One I feel we need to talk about and address, because mental illness is real and too many suffer in silence. The more we talk about it, educate ourselves, and acknowledge it, the faster we can work to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health issues and I hope people will therefore feel encouraged to seek the support they need.

As with Tainted by Love, I did a lot of research, asked many, many questions. I shed tears, and learned a lot about a mindset that is so devastatingly sad. That being said, please note there are no set rules for how one’s eating disorder might look, and its impact can differ from one person to the next, and may be different than your own. I learned, as well, that music can play a big part in the lives of those who are affected by bulimia and with that, Sicken union   and Happenstance came to be big parts of this story. I hope you’ll listen to the Spotify soundtrack, as I feel it will enhance the book’s journey.

Regarding the mental health aspects and health-related issues, I am not a psychiatrist or physician. I did my best with my research and was as truthful and accurate about what life with an eating disorder is like as I possibly could be, but I ask as you read Fighting Weight to please remember that there is an element of storytelling overlying the facts presented in the novel—as this is a work of fiction—and allow for that.

This book may contain sensitive subject matter for some.

Thank you for reading!

Gillian

Xox





Playlist




(available on Spotify)

Issues – Julia Michaels

Four Leaf Clover – Christian Hudson

Don’t Leave – Snakehips, MØ

Closure – Hayley Warner

Overjoyed – Bastille

Believer – Imagine Dragons

Weight – Crywolf

My Demons – Starset

From The Inside – Linkin Park

Heavy (feat. Kiiara) – Linkin Park, Kiiara

Perfect – Hedley

Love Again – Hedley

Sorry – Nothing But Thieves

Hold Me – R3HAB

Learn To Let Go – Kesha

Miracle Of Love – Jamie Lawson

Send the Pain Below – Chevelle

Praying – Kesha

There for You – Martin Garrix, Troye Sivan

i can’t breathe – Bea Miller

Gasoline – Halsey

Drown – Bring Me The Horizon

Yellow Love – Citizen

I Found – Amber Run

I’ll Be Good – Jaymes Young