One Large non-fat latte: 120 calories
One Small Pinkberry Plain: 140 calories
Four Xantinis: 500 calories
That’s what I ate every single day for a month after my last breakup. It wasn’t intentional, but I was on the best weight-loss plan ever. I was on the breakup diet.
Some girls might go the other way and gorge themselves on Ben & Jerry’s and Sex and the City reruns, but getting dumped would always give me that horrible pit in my stomach (which my friends and I simply referred to as “the pit”) that filled me up in a way that a large pepperoni pizza never did.
And it wasn’t just the lack of eating that was making me runway-ready. After my ex crushed my heart like he used to crush up his Ritalin, I started taking the stairs to work — not to get in a mini-workout, but just to avoid human contact for as long as possible. Misery may love company but depression just wants to be alone.
I would also unintentionally skip meals at night – when you take a sleeping pill at 8pm so you can conk out and dodge dealing with your feelings, you tend not to eat dinner.
I even started to crave the pangs of hunger that would lap up at me in the middle of my 300 calorie day. I’d rather feel anything other than a broken heart and you can control hunger – you can’t control your cheating boyfriend leaving you for a stripper who works at Cheetah’s.
It got so bad that one time a friend literally tried to force-feed me a Happy Meal. “You are what you eat,” she said as she shoved a fry into my mouth. I simply smiled, swallowed, then went into the bathroom and purged.
But my experience was nothing compared to my good friend M’s. I call her a yo-yo breakup dieter because whenever she was in a relationship, she would get comfortable. Really comfortable, as in elastic waistband comfortable. And imagine exactly how comfortable she got when she met the man of her dreams.
Her boyfriend would take her binge eating as a sign of depression, conclude that he was making her unhappy and unhealthy and breakup with her.
She’d then go on a diet of nothing but cigarettes and red wine and one apple a day and the pounds would just fall off. Within a week, she was not only fitting in to her skinny jeans, they were almost falling off of her.
Then she would invariably run into her ex at some mutual friend’s party, the neighborhood supermarket or the gym. He’d be so impressed with her weight-loss, take it as a sign that she was now happy and healthy (which was the opposite of the truth, but she wasn’t about to correct him), and they’d start dating again.
This went on about three or four different times until they decided they had to end the cycle once and for all. Naturally, they decided to get married.
My friend promptly ballooned up like Kylie’ Jenner’s lower lip. It took all of one year and 70 pounds for them to get a divorce.
She was devastated. I told her not to despair, that she’d find someone else, but she wasn’t ready to think about another guy so soon. Plus, she wanted to reap the one benefit that came with the dissolution of her marriage. “Divorce is the biggest breakup there is,” she told me over a bottle of red wine and a pack of cigarettes one night, “I’m going to be skinnier than Kate Moss!”
So are we destined to be skinny and alone or fat and in a relationship? Not necessarily. I met my current bf about three months and negative ten pounds into my last non-eating plan. I’m now happily ten pounds overweight. He says he loves my curves. But last night, when he caught me downing an entire half-gallon of Carmela’s dark chocolate sorbet, he looked at my fat cupcaking over the side of my pants and said, “Honey, tomorrow we have to talk.” I get the sinking feeling that I may be ready for bikini season a lot sooner than I thought.