Just NOT In Time For Thanksgiving: I Went Through a Gnarly Breakup, And Now I Hate Food, WTF

Like the end of a relationship, losing my love of food has been kind of heartbreaking.
Publish date:
November 27, 2013
relationships, breakups, stress, disordered eating, anxiety

I've never had a problem not eating.

I've had some other issues -- obsessive calorie counting, binging and purging, blah blah blah. I think every single woman in the developed world has had some sort of problem with these things. And that we should ALWAYS talk about it, no matter what. Anyway.

I'm at my dad's house in the Chicagoland area right now where I'd normally be raiding his pantry, and his fridge, and his freezer that's full of SO much most-likely-delicious ice cream and stuffing my face with it all. I don't buy junk food (again, I've struggled sporadically with binging and purging, and have learned that having that stuff around, for me, is like putting drugs in front of a recovering addict). When I'm "home," though, I allow myself to eat treats and not beat myself up about it. Or, you know, puke it up.

But I just came from downstairs, where I paced in between his pantry, and the fridge and the freezer, opening the doors, staring at everything, closing the doors, opening the doors again, and kind of wanting to cry.

"I hate food," I said out loud to an empty house.

Eat, I told myself. I put some bread in the toaster. It'll be easy, I thought. The pieces popped up, perfectly browned and waiting to be buttered. They're still sitting on the counter.

"You're looking skinny," my mom said, and then my friend, and then my kind of pseudo-mom I used to nanny for who I hang out with sometimes in Manhattan Beach this past weekend. Their tones were not complimentary.

"I've been," I paused, feeling that part under your eyeballs get all tight like you want to cry, but you don't have it in you anymore, so you just look down like a reprimanded dog, "Stressed."

I briefly mentioned in my last post that my boyfriend and I broke up, and I've lost my appetite and have been struggling to sleep. I don't want to get into all the details of the breakup right now -- it wasn't and shouldn't have been tumultuous when it first started unraveling, even though I guess maybe our relationship always has been a shitshow 'cause that's what happens when you date someone like me -- but I'll admit that most of the falling out came from my end. And, when it finally imploded, it indeed got gnarly.

My ribs have started sticking out, and so have the bones in my back. I decided to weigh myself last night (there's no scale in MY home, 'cause again, uh, issues). And it's funny, in a sick way, because I've always considered the numbers I saw to be my "goal weight," and I even smiled a little when I saw them. I recently jokingly bragged that all my "skinny clothes" fit me. But losing my love of food has been kind of heartbreaking.

Stress affects people in a bunch of different ways: Some people eat more when they're stressed, in an attempt to supply their brains with feel-good chemicals. Others (like myself) lose their appetites when they're anxious because their stomachs become more acidic, staving off the feeling of hunger. They can also be too preoccupied with whatever's stressing them out that they simply forget to eat (which is also happening to me right now, definitely).

I'm so happy to be in Chicago for Thanksgiving -- I haven't been home for it since college -- and to see my extended family. But I'm dreading the food. It feels like when you used to be in love with something, like Green Day's "Kerplunk" album, and then one day you can't remember what you even liked about it in the first place.

I guess that's kind of like a breakup. A fresh one, at least.

Any suggestions or related stories are a go here, people. But know I'm seeing a doctor and he's aware of everything. I'm just feeling a bit sad panda right now.

Talk to me on Twitter: @caitlinthornton