The divorce diet
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I tried this diet back in 2004. I lost 40 pounds from the stress of a really nasty divorce and from the stress of a new and unhealthy relationship. Which led to another marriage, which has now turned into another divorce after 7 years. I've learned a few lessons, some about diet.
First, while the stress diet is great for weight loss, you can't do it regularly like counting calories, and everyone seems to gain back the original weight and then some. I discounted that warning when I weighed 145, took note of it when I got up to 160, and came to this website when I hit 215. I got down to 170, back to 185, and in the 2 months since I was informed that I was not in the ecstatically happy marriage I thought I was, but about to divorce, I've got down into the 160s.
With my soon-to-be-ex leaving Saturday and my stress growing exponentially by the day, I expect some serious anorexia to help me keep my weight going down. It is so much easier to skip that second helping or to not eat a bag of chips when you're just too upset to be hungry. It's really easy to stay at the low end of my calorie range, 1500, when I only feel like eating half that. The trick is to keep the weight off when my appetite returns.
I've never been sure why I lost weight in that first divorce. The legal battles were stressful, but while I was separated, so was a new relationship. It was the Ross and Rachel syndrome. A long friendship grew into a relationship and into a pretty intense one by the time I'd been separated a few months, but then when I was in love, she went "on break" and messed around with more than a few men over the course of 2 months. That's when I stopped eating. Then she came off break. I kept losing weight because I was scared of getting hurt again. Instead, I wound up happily married again and at my ideal weight for the first time in decades.
Until 7 weeks and 5 days ago, when I wound up hurt again hearing she was leaving. The divorce papers were signed 5 weeks ago and held from the court til 2 weeks ago to make sure they don't get processed before January 1st, so that we get an income tax break. She moves out on Saturday and I am more likely to have the dry heaves on an average day than to want to stuff my face.
It's a really crappy emotional situation, but a great weight loss opportunity. The trick is just to keep the weight off. It's like going on a fad diet. You can't maintain divorce stress as a lifestyle. But my hope is that having spent a year doing the usual program here, that I can just resume it this time when I weigh 140 or 150. And maybe just stay at a healthy weight while my emotions get healthy again.
I'll keep you posted.