On that fateful day of the truth that I already knew, the confession that there was another woman, that was the day my divorce diet started. Although this diet may vary, I am pretty sure from talking to other recently divorced people, that it doesn’t differ too much. The first stage of the diet is to stop eating completely. I mean it. Eat nothing. “How on earth could I do that?” you might ask. Believe me it’s easy, it comes naturally. You might even be in this first stage right now. In which case you are probably reading this in a haze of last night’s hangover and possibly a cloud of cigarette smoke. Which leads me to the next stage of the diet. Alcohol and cigarettes. The cigarettes are optional, they apply mostly to those of us who smoked in college and at Lollapalooza and Dead shows. If you start up again you won’t skip a beat, you’ll feel 20 again, smoking American Spirits and picking out the coolest tie dye lighter at the gas station.
Add to that the alcohol portion of the diet. It might be beer, wine, heavy liquor or all three. Once again, you are feeing 20. Get out there! Go club it up! Do shots! Woo hoooooooo!! Oh yes yes yes!! Until you have to drag your 40 something year old body out of bed the next day………………..
This diet works fast! In a matter of weeks, you are slim and trim and feel you can muster through the hangover each morning because you need the wine each night to get you through the lonely darkness.
For me the ironies of this diet were many. I have never been “thin” in the fashion magazine sense of things. I am curvy and always have been and after having children, let’s just say I got a bit curvier. My ex-husband who stands at 6 feet 6 inches and maybe 160 pounds wet pointed out these extra curves to me quite often in our marriage. Of course, because I was an emotional eater, the worse I felt about myself the more I would eat. Which then led to more comments and more eating and on and on. You can see the cycle here. Anyway, 3 months into my separation I was down nearly 40 pounds. I looked great! I’d like to say I felt great, but this diet isn’t there to make you feel great. All those hangovers add up and soon you will need to add coffee to your diet and lots of it! And what goes better with coffee than a cigarette?!? Maybe a donut but remember, you do not eat on this diet.
I yo-yo’d through this diet as I did with any other. As I started to acclimate to my new life, I added food. It was, however, a great thing to find that I no longer needed to emotionally eat. I felt good about myself for the first time in 18 years. I started to embrace this body of mine. I had some harsh realizations as to the destructiveness of this diet if done long term. Blackouts, trouble breathing, coughing, seeing the recycle bin fill up with bottles after a weekend. I was no longer liking this diet. I starting filling my body with the healthy fuel it needed.
A year and a half later I took a yoga and meditation trip to India. After staying in a “dry” town for 14 days, I realized I didn’t need any of it anymore. As I slowly weaned myself off the alcohol and cigarettes, I realized that parts of the diet did stick. The parts where I appreciated my body and realized that it may not have been “good enough” for my ex, but it was just perfect for me. I have continued my yoga practice and incorporated the belly dancing I gave up long ago back into my activities. I no longer spend hours mindlessly eating junk on the couch as I did in my sad little marriage. I embrace each curve and jiggle. I love them. And for the first time in a long time I love me.