Saturday, November 7, 2015

Someone has re-wired my brain.

My usual stress/depression reaction has always involved binge eating and serious cravings for all manner of unhealthy things. When my man told me he was leaving, I figured I'd gain another good chunk of weight.

The first week, I was so upset I couldn't eat. I cried until I threw up a few times, and couldn't choke food down. I was never hungry anyway. I started drinking a lot of protein shakes and milk, and sometimes making myself eat ice cream or something, but mostly I just slept a lot, cried a lot, forced myself through work, and repeated the cycle.

Eventually I started to feel hungry occasionally, but food was largely repulsive. I started taking a fistful of vitamins every morning, which meant I had to eat something so the fat soluble ones would absorb, so I'd take those with my protein shake. But then I was having bowel issues, so I added peanut butter bread. My legs were starting to get weak and trembling at work, so I'd choke down a chicken breast or a small steak at night. Sometimes I could only manage half of it, and I always felt like I was having a blood sugar rush afterward. I started having a drink after work with people a lot more often - just one, not in a destructive way, just seemed like I liked the taste more. This worries my mother, because the night HE told me he was leaving I got drunk for the first time in life and repeated that again mid-October (alcoholism runs in the family). I'd actually avoided getting drunk for the first 33 years of my life because I was afraid to turn in to a drunk, but so far so good.

I knew I'd lost weight, and I tried to hide it. I hate the weight loss conversations. How are you doing it, congratulations, you look so good, etc. etc. I especially tried to hide it from my father, who's been on my ass for years about my weight (I'll have to come back to that in a later post). I kept wearing the same clothes for as long as I could, hoping the extra fabric would make me look more fat. I wore minimizing bras so my belly would look bigger in comparison. I just tried to keep anyone from noticing, because I'm not a good liar and I didn't want to deal with the horrified response if I told people why I was actually losing weight. Plus, I figured eventually I'd be hungry again and I'd gain it all back. So I tried to hide it, and when I got invited places I'd eat even if I didn't want anything at all - just so nobody would notice anything different.

Two periods came and went, and after the second one I realized something. I hadn't craved chocolate. I'd always had the stereotypical woman's cravings for chocolate, and this time it hadn't even crossed my mind. In fact, a friend had given me two bags of Lindor truffles and it took me more than a month to eat them. I didn't even touch them the first week they were sitting in plain sight on my desk.

That was when I realized that somewhere in there, I'd stopped drinking soda. It didn't taste good, even the Diet Sunkist I used to love. I hadn't had ice cream in two months. I hadn't had a burger in that long either. French fries were too salty. My default food at work when I couldn't decide what I wanted had always been our boneless hot wings, but I never ordered them any more. Extra food that employees got to eat, I didn't even touch. At first, I just chalked it up to depression, figured I was so brokenhearted that I couldn't even enjoy food. Then the real weirdness started.

I baked a cake for my friend, the most chocolately cake you could ever imagine - it's got two pounds of goddamn chocolate in it. I didn't even have a piece. Oh, I tasted a piece I'd trimmed off while leveling it, to make sure it didn't taste like ass, but that was it. My friends and I have gone to Perkins for pie once a week for the last year or so, and I almost always got the peanut butter silk pie. I got it in August and couldn't even eat half of it, it was way too sweet (I used to buy whole pies and have a piece of that shit for fucking breakfast, when I was aggressively anti-dieting). 

One day I was dehydrated, so nice crunchy fresh lettuce sounded kind of quenching. I took a salad home from work, and didn't like the ranch dressing. That's always been practically the only dressing I like, and I couldn't stand it. I had some vinaigrette from when I was going to make HIM dinner, and that was good. I started eating salads regularly. I have never eaten salads regularly, except when I was trying to low carb, and it was a chore and unpleasant and several times I actually threw them up. Apparently I like them now.

Another day, someone was eating sweet potato fries and for god knows what reason I snagged one. And I liked it. I eat them regularly. The other day, I asked my mom "How do I feel about sweet potatoes?" Right away she said, "You don't like them, you never have." Apparently I do now.

While doing my grocery shopping, I walked by the yogurt case and thought, what the fuck. I've never liked that shit either, but who knows. I have 14 cups of yogurt in my fridge now and have eaten it every day, sometimes more than once, the last two weeks. I've only ever liked coffee with a fuckton of cream and sugar, and would only have it every couple of months .... now I have simple coffee with almond milk every morning. My dad gave me a shrimp and while it didn't thrill me, it didn't make me gag anymore either.

I ordered nachos at work once and forgot to say no pico de gallo. I was even more depressed than usual that day, so much so that I couldn't be bothered to scrape the pico off any of the chips even though I have always, always, fucking always hated onions and jalapenos. I just ate it, because everything tasted like sawdust anyway. But that made me wonder, so I did a test, and ... fuck. I fucking eat onions now. I mean, they're still not my most favorite thing. But four months ago if I bit in to a piece of onion (or pepper or jalapeno) in my food, I would literally twitch and gag from the texture. Now I can eat all of them.

I feel like I'm losing my fucking mind. I've finally started talking to people about this stuff, and they always have almost exactly the same reaction when I say I like x and don't like y anymore: "Well, that's no necessarily a bad thing!"

And you know what? FUCK THAT. Nobody seems to fucking understand how absolutely distressing this is to me. I am so profoundly heartbroken and depressed that my likes and dislikes, patterns of my entire life, have been affected. This shit is not normal. So yeah, from a physical health standpoint, it's great that I'd rather eat this Chobani Greek Yogurt With Oats (my mother is going to have an aneurysm if I start liking oatmeal) than a chocolate cake. But I repeat, this shit is not normal. It's freaking me out, and I feel even more broken every time I look at something gooey and cheesy and think .... nah.


Amy W. said...

So, I'm not gonna lie. I am TRYING to think about if I could/would be upset if suddenly I didnt crave all the sugar and chocolate and soda that I think about 24/7...but it's kinda hard to wrap my brain around. Maybe you can think of it like this...instead of your brain being so fucked up it doesn't even like what it has liked for years, maybe it's your brains way of helping you. I's not like all of a sudden you like to eat lard out of a can and have a craving for soil and like to eat chalk...your body or brain is now craving and liking things that are good for you and fuel you physically...which may lead to an emotional bettering. Too far reaching? Maybe...but just mull it over.

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