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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Supernatural · #2294465
Rebecca wants to lose a little weight but it's important to follow the diet instructions.
TW: Body dysmorphia

Rebecca didn’t consider herself necessarily an obese woman, but she always struggled with her weight. With the diet fads out there, she tried all sorts of different routes to losing weight. None of them worked. Sure, some temporarily removed the weight, but as soon as she quit the extreme diets, the weight poured back on. Sometimes, more weight piled on than she started out with.

Her husband thought her beautiful just the way she was. But she recognized only her opinion mattered. So, when she drove home from work and saw an older woman standing on the side of the road with a sign that read ‘special diet plates’, she stopped.

The woman, thin and muscular, looked her up and down appraisingly before she smiled. “I take it you are interested in my plates.”

“Perhaps, how do they work?” Rebecca asked, walking up to the table and looking at the beautiful, bold colored plates.

“I will give you five sets, one for each day you must use them. By the fifth day, you will lose ten pounds, but you mustn’t use them for two weeks straight. You must alternate a week with your regular dishes and a week with these dishes,” the woman explained.

Rebecca raised an eyebrow at her. “Why?”

“They are very. . . motivating. Too much use and they will make you sick.”

Something about the woman made Rebecca feel a little frightened, but the temptation of losing ten pounds in a week was more than she could resist.

“And how much are these miracle diet plates?” She wanted to know.

The woman’s smile stretched larger. “For you, twenty-five dollars and the promise you will heed every word I say.”

Twenty-five dollars? Rebecca spent much more than that on most of her diet attempts. She could spring for that little. If it didn’t work, at least it was only twenty-five dollars down the drain this time.

“I promise.” She started digging through her purse, looking for her wallet so she could pay the lady.

“Each set comes with three plates. A great big green plate, a medium sized yellow plate and a tiny red plate. You start with the green plate in the morning, the yellow one for lunch and the red plate for dinner. And remember, this is the important part, do not use them two weeks in a row.” She handed Rebecca a heavy box and took the two bills she held out.

“I still don’t understand, why?” she asked.

The woman’s eyes narrowed and her voice grew cold. “Because it is dangerous. These plates will change your life, but they can also kill you if you abuse them.”

Rebecca got home and broke her plates out of the box. Each one seemed more beautiful than the last with delicate engraving on the surface; tiny symbols and flowers intertwining and begging her to use them. She carefully washed them and set them in her cupboard for her new diet to begin in the morning.

When she ate with her family in the morning, her husband noted the new set that only she was using. When she explained what it was for, he rolled his eyes. He just didn’t understand. She needed to be beautiful in her eyes.

With the green plate, she helped herself to fruit and pancakes, wondering what the trick was with these strange plates. When the yellow plate came out at lunch, she ate half a sandwich. Nothing more would fit on the plate. At dinner, when she took out the red plate, her husband protested at the size. The base was no bigger than the palm of her hand. As she put a tiny helping of spaghetti on it, she didn’t hunger for more.

For five days, despite the protests of her husband, she followed the woman’s instructions. On the last day, she weighed herself and danced in excitement. She lost ten pounds!

In her mind, she heard the woman’s warning about using the plates consecutively, but they worked and she would only use them for another five days. Halfway through, she felt lethargic and mentally drained. But, when she weighed herself, she’d already lost ten more pounds.

The plates were amazing!

Her clothes started hanging off her and her husband confronted her. “Please, you’re losing too much weight too fast. Stop using those plates.”

“I will when I’ve reached my ideal weight.” She promised, but she didn’t mean it. She wanted to be super skinny. The expression on her husband’s face told her he knew what she was thinking.

When the plates magically melted thirty five pounds off her in just over two weeks, she walked into the kitchen to find her husband throwing the plates into the trashcan.

“What are you doing?” she screamed, desperately pulling the bright plates out of the bin.

“I’m saving you from yourself.” He smashed a plate against another so she couldn’t pull it from the trash.

“Stop, please.” Tears streamed down her face as she tried to retrieve the pieces.

He ignored her, smashing plate after plate until the trashcan overflowed with green, yellow and red chunks of glass. With a grunt, he dragged the bin out of the house and she heard him dump it into the big, black trashcan outside.

The moment the pieces crossed over the door’s threshold, her head cleared up a bit. Some of her strength returned. She didn’t want to admit it, but her husband was right, the plates somehow started to rule her life. Losing the weight felt great, but losing herself in the process wasn’t okay.

While Rebecca continued to work on her weight, she didn’t try more of the extreme diet fads. Something about the dangerous plates convinced her healthier methods to lose weight existed. Her husband insisted that she was always beautiful, but he also insisted that he buy the dishes from then on out.

Extreme diets always hold a potential to cause damage. As Rebecca learned, always follow the instructions.
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