Trouble Eating After Breakup

I'm coming out of a messy breakup with my bf of 6 years. I ended it because he is making terrible life choices that I don't agree with and I can't deal with it anymore. So even though I was the one to end it, I didn't want to have to make that choice.

I feel awful and I'm just not hungry, but I'm sooo close to reaching my body fat % goals and I don't want to starve myself and lose muscle I've worked so hard for. Losing the fat would be great, but I know starving your body is bad and going to sabotage my goals. But food just makes me sick right now.

Advice?
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Replies

  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    When you get hungry, you'll eat.

    When my parents died, I didn't eat much for a while. I just wasn't hungry. When my dad died, I actually vomited a few times. Some of us get like that when we are stressed.

    Try to eat a little, but don't force food and then vomit, lol. Give it time.

    Sorry about the boyfriend. I know it might not seem like it, but you WILL get over him and be happy again. :)
  • louubelle16
    louubelle16 Posts: 579 Member
    You'll eventually feel hungry, so don't force yourself to eat as you normally would have. Maybe have a trip to the supermarket and see if there is anything that takes your fancy though, and eat it in small portions over the course of a few meals. That might help your taste buds to wake up again. And don't put too much pressure on yourself to keep up with what you have been doing, a couple of weeks off isn't going to do that much damage to your goals. Just focus on yourself and making yourself smile and laugh, everything else will come later :)
  • morkiemama
    morkiemama Posts: 897 Member
    My eating was all over the place after an over 4 year relationship break-up last year. Unfortunately, the source of this issue is mental and the grieving process and time varies for everyone.

    My advice to you would be to eat calorie dense items when you do eat in order to try and bridge the gap until things get back to normal. Maybe you could try drinking your calories via shakes/smoothies to supplement if that is easier for you than eating.

    My thoughts are with you during this hard time. <3
  • CherylNTexas
    CherylNTexas Posts: 1,275 Member
    I agree that short term you aren't going to do much damage. (But will probably find you'll lose some fat! BONUS!!)) I have been there, and it will pass! Try to get lots of protein when you do eat something, and exercise will both help burn off stress and help your appetite. Hang in there!
  • holly55555
    holly55555 Posts: 307 Member
    Hi guys.. okay so it's been a month and I'm still having issues with eating. I started seeing a therapist which helps a lot, but my eating habits are not good. I'm averaging around 1000 cal a day instead of my intended 1500. But the real issue is that I'm eating bad things.

    I'm just not hungry and forget to eat, then I'm suddenly ravenous and the only thing that sounds appetizing is a burger/pop tarts/pizza bagel bites, etc. I know this is literally the worst thing you can do - eat infrequently and bad food - so how can I break this cycle?

    I'm all sugar and carbs and no substance. But I just feel so sick all the time that if anything sounds good to me, I just eat it. If I think, oh maybe I'll have grilled chicken for dinner, but my stomach turns and I go, nope, not eating tonight. Then later when I'm starving, the only thing I want to eat is like Frosted Flakes, so I just do it.

    I don't want to disrupt my goals for that jerk. But I'm pretty depressed.
  • VykkDraygoVPR
    VykkDraygoVPR Posts: 465 Member
    Why are pop tarts and pizza bites bad? There are days where I eat most of my calories in Ben & Jerry's (so half a pint, lol). I get that nutrients are important, but you don't need to act like the food you want is bad, either. I'd try to eat first, then worry about making better choices later.

    When I get depressed, and don't feel like eating, I usually go do cardio, or take a nap. It also helps if I have meals with other people, as then I feel like I have to eat, and I usually wind up feeling better after. I get depressed a couple times a week right now, because I miss my step-daughter. So, I maintain vigilance, and make sure I do these things. It's a struggle, but it's winnable.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    A month is long enough to know that this isn't just the breakup. It's good that you're seeing a therapist.

    Cereal is a great and easy way to get lots calories in and Frosted Flakes are very yummy, but if you subsist on junk food, you're missing out on vitamins and minerals. Be smart and eat some fruits, veggies and lean, white meats before you get to the point of Frosted Binging. It's a good idea, right?

    This is a common tale in the Land of EDs. You have no idea how many anorexics eat mostly junk food. Tons. They starve and starve and eat one little flake of tuna and then WHOMP! When they binge, it's donuts, cookies, candy, pizza and cheeseburgers.

    I'm not saying that you have an ED! I just want you to know that you are SO not the only person who has had this problem.

    Stick with the therapy and keep trying to eat. Remember that you can do it.

    Women who sink into EDs lose their jobs, their friends, their boyfriends, their homes and some lose their lives. It's not romantic and it's not pretty. They're lonely, they're going through hell and almost nobody (or absolutely nobody) cares. It's just horrific.

    You don't want to go there.

  • hekla90
    hekla90 Posts: 595 Member
    Sounds like a therapist is a good place to start. There's no magical solution or advice. You have to work through it.
  • VykkDraygoVPR
    VykkDraygoVPR Posts: 465 Member
    Kalikel wrote: »
    A month is long enough to know that this isn't just the breakup. It's good that you're seeing a therapist.

    Why do you say this? I still sometimes struggle with no longer having my wife with me. I still sometimes wake up expecting her beside me. I kicked her out back in April, well more than a month ago. It's common to have depression for quite a long time after losing a relationship, especially if it was long-term.
  • hekla90
    hekla90 Posts: 595 Member
    Kalikel wrote: »
    A month is long enough to know that this isn't just the breakup. It's good that you're seeing a therapist. ...

    Women who sink into EDs lose their jobs, their friends, their boyfriends, their homes and some lose their lives. It's not romantic and it's not pretty. They're lonely, they're going through hell and almost nobody (or absolutely nobody) cares. It's just horrific. ...

    What? OP please disregard most of this post. A month is hardly time at all to get over a long relationship. I still occasionally think about my ex in ways that influence my mood and it's been years.

    I'm not sure where Kalikel is getting her information, but those are pretty extreme cases. Far more people (and not just women) function day by day suffering and plenty have people that care about them. Having an eating disorder that needs addressing by therapy (whether or not you have an issue is up to a doctor and your therapist) does not mean you are losing everything in your life, so many people who live otherwise regular lives suffer daily. That's a very broad and extreme brush to paint a whole group of people with...
  • I'm 3 and a bit months post breakup and still have off days. Be kind to yourself. Eat whatever your body tells you it needs. It's not the end of the world for now.

    You are grieving. Understandably so for the end of a long relationship. Big hugs and don't be so hard on yourself. It does start to get easier I promise x
  • Venus_Red
    Venus_Red Posts: 209 Member
    Kalikel wrote: »
    A month is long enough to know that this isn't just the breakup. It's good that you're seeing a therapist.

    Cereal is a great and easy way to get lots calories in and Frosted Flakes are very yummy, but if you subsist on junk food, you're missing out on vitamins and minerals. Be smart and eat some fruits, veggies and lean, white meats before you get to the point of Frosted Binging. It's a good idea, right?

    This is a common tale in the Land of EDs. You have no idea how many anorexics eat mostly junk food. Tons. They starve and starve and eat one little flake of tuna and then WHOMP! When they binge, it's donuts, cookies, candy, pizza and cheeseburgers.

    I'm not saying that you have an ED! I just want you to know that you are SO not the only person who has had this problem.

    Stick with the therapy and keep trying to eat. Remember that you can do it.

    Women who sink into EDs lose their jobs, their friends, their boyfriends, their homes and some lose their lives. It's not romantic and it's not pretty. They're lonely, they're going through hell and almost nobody (or absolutely nobody) cares. It's just horrific.

    You don't want to go there.
    You really have no business advising anyone about EDs if you believe this.

  • beets4us
    beets4us Posts: 57 Member
    This is totally normal! Be kind to yourself-it takes a long time to get through these things.

    My advice would to be sure to exercise regularly. It can burn off a lot of the stress and keep the muscle mass up. Also, are you not eating just because you don't feel like it, or because the grief gives you an upset stomach? If you are having stomach problems, try a low FODMAP diet for better digestibility.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,740 Member
    holly55555 wrote: »
    Hi guys.. okay so it's been a month and I'm still having issues with eating. I started seeing a therapist which helps a lot, but my eating habits are not good. I'm averaging around 1000 cal a day instead of my intended 1500. But the real issue is that I'm eating bad things.

    I'm just not hungry and forget to eat, then I'm suddenly ravenous and the only thing that sounds appetizing is a burger/pop tarts/pizza bagel bites, etc. I know this is literally the worst thing you can do - eat infrequently and bad food - so how can I break this cycle?

    I'm all sugar and carbs and no substance. But I just feel so sick all the time that if anything sounds good to me, I just eat it. If I think, oh maybe I'll have grilled chicken for dinner, but my stomach turns and I go, nope, not eating tonight. Then later when I'm starving, the only thing I want to eat is like Frosted Flakes, so I just do it.

    I don't want to disrupt my goals for that jerk. But I'm pretty depressed.

    Ya, if I let myself go too long without food I want carb-heavy foods as well. But before that happens, my body is sending me hunger signals that I've been ignoring.

    Maybe make yourself a smoothie you can sip on or something you can pick at so you don't get too hungry?

    In general, I don't believe in eating when you're not hungry, but in your case, your low mood due to your breakup may be masking your hunger, so maybe try tuning in to your body more. I've just started Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food so I don't know for sure that it will help, but I think that it might. It was available from my library system so maybe yours too.

  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,150 Member
    The only "bad" food, is rotten food....okay and kim chee...gag! Seriously, you need to take care of you right now and breakups are tough. Be mindful to fuel your machine. Doesn't matter what goes in there as long as its sustenance.
  • morkiemama
    morkiemama Posts: 897 Member
    Kalikel wrote: »
    A month is long enough to know that this isn't just the breakup. It's good that you're seeing a therapist.

    Why do you say this? I still sometimes struggle with no longer having my wife with me. I still sometimes wake up expecting her beside me. I kicked her out back in April, well more than a month ago. It's common to have depression for quite a long time after losing a relationship, especially if it was long-term.

    ^This.
    hekla90 wrote: »
    Kalikel wrote: »
    A month is long enough to know that this isn't just the breakup. It's good that you're seeing a therapist. ...

    Women who sink into EDs lose their jobs, their friends, their boyfriends, their homes and some lose their lives. It's not romantic and it's not pretty. They're lonely, they're going through hell and almost nobody (or absolutely nobody) cares. It's just horrific. ...

    What? OP please disregard most of this post. A month is hardly time at all to get over a long relationship. I still occasionally think about my ex in ways that influence my mood and it's been years.

    I'm not sure where Kalikel is getting her information, but those are pretty extreme cases. Far more people (and not just women) function day by day suffering and plenty have people that care about them. Having an eating disorder that needs addressing by therapy (whether or not you have an issue is up to a doctor and your therapist) does not mean you are losing everything in your life, so many people who live otherwise regular lives suffer daily. That's a very broad and extreme brush to paint a whole group of people with...

    ^And This.

    It took me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than a month to get my eating back under some semblance of normalcy after my break-up. Don't be too hard on yourself OP or make mountains out of molehills. No need to be adding problems to an already difficult situation.

    It has been a year, and I still have occasional days where I struggle, but I am mostly on track again :)

    I am glad you are talking to someone and I hope it is helping you heal <3

  • holly55555
    holly55555 Posts: 307 Member
    Thank you guys. I definitely don't have an ED or anything, it's just grief based. My roommate is actually an ED psychologist so if I was showing any red flags, I'm sure she'd recognize them!

    I'm not worried so much about the not eating, it's the resulting eating non-nutritious foods that I'm more worried about. I don't want to derail my progress but it's so hard to care right now :(
  • VykkDraygoVPR
    VykkDraygoVPR Posts: 465 Member
    holly55555 wrote: »
    I'm not worried so much about the not eating, it's the resulting eating non-nutritious foods that I'm more worried about. I don't want to derail my progress but it's so hard to care right now :(

    Seriously, don't worry about how healthy the food is. Just eat what sounds good when you are hungry. I know how hard it is to feed yourself through grief, worrying about it will just make you stress more.

    If you really want a suggestion, then I'd say try ingesting vegetables with more fat added. So greenbeans with bacon, potatoes with butter and cheese, Brussels sprouts roasted with olive oil and topped with walnuts. Easy to make, satisfying, and more vitamins and minerals.
  • tryin2die2self
    tryin2die2self Posts: 207 Member
    Losing someone in a relationship is losing them. The part of them you loved died. Or maybe you still love them but you can't trust them. Or maybe the are physically gone. The list goes on and on. This is not something you just get over. Snap. Carry on. It does not matter if it was a parent or a sibling or a grandparent or a friend or a cherished pet. We find comfort in their presence. We day dream about the good times. We get sad thinking about the bad. We have effectively tied our souls to another... And the ties that bind just don't unfurl when pulled... They pull a part of you out to leave you in anguish.

    First you must understand grief is natural. Not wanting to eat is fine. When you are ready to eat your body will you know. Just don't then use food or alcohol or something else as a comfort to substitute for facing the situation. Not dealing with it does not make it go away... Lord knows i learned that the hard way.

    A therapist told me it takes two to three years to get past deep trauma. The loss of a child. A cheating spouse. A long time friend who stabbed you in the back and left you wounded. I did not eat for two weeks. I then are little for the next month. It all worked out... It just took time. Week comfort in friends. Rest. Drink a lot of water.

    My heartfelt sorrow for your pain. Best wishes.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,478 Member
    Great that you are taking positive steps- therapist and eating.

    Try throwing down a multi- vitamin followed by a protein drink. At least you are keeping your protein and basic vits up.
    A box of chocolate protein bars and/or energy bars would be a good thing to have on hand too.

    If you are not up to the gym, do nerdfitness at home, it will stall muscle depletion, a little, as you will be engaging them.

    Find a temporary distraction, the zoo, theatre, a day with the girls, or family.
    Watch your favourite move from when you were a kid.

    Cheers, h.