Break-ups are a bummer, but they’re nothing compared with the rollercoaster ride you’re about to put your stomach through
When it comes to break-ups, there are two things you can count upon with absolute certainty: firstly, that you will, at some point, find yourself quietly sobbing “They never deserved me!” into an exasperated friend’s shoulder in some kind of public space (who are we kidding? It will be in a bar). And, secondly, that you’re about to put your stomach through a rollercoaster ride as you weather the emotional storm of being alone. Again.
Neither of these things are really anything to worry too much about – who hasn’t been there at some point in their lives? – but it’s best to enter into these things prepared. With that in mind, dear break-upee, here is the definitive list of the inevitable places your eating habits will go when you’re in the throws of emotional crisis.
Read them and realise that you’re not alone, and you too will come out of this on the other side. Now take off those pyjama bottoms. You look a fool.
1. The ‘hermit crab’ stage
This stage does not involve the actual consumption of hermit crabs – that would be unpalatable – but refers to those initial stages in a break-up when the prospect of ever leaving the house again is, frankly, completely terrifying.
Picture being forced to eat anything you have left in your cupboard (I once survived two days on nothing but stale Doritos dipped into Marmite while binge-watching Bargain Hunt), and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what we’re talking about.
2. The ‘ice-cream’ stage
Closely related to the ‘hermit crab’, the ‘ice-cream’ stage occurs when your blood-sugar level has dropped so much from three days of eating nothing but crackers and tuna straight from the tin, that you have to venture out to your local shop to buy the biggest tub of ice-cream they have to offer. This might be a good time to pop on Bridesmaids. We’ve got you.
3. The ‘girls' night’ gorge
Every girl mate in the world is secretly a little bit happy when their best mate breaks up with someone, because it means they are contractually obliged to come round to their house with snacks and watch everything in the ‘If You Enjoyed The Notebook’ section of Netflix. Don’t fight the girls' night.
4. The ‘I’m fine, I just want to go out dancing!’ stage
Soon after the ‘girls' night’ stage, you might feel just about restored enough to go out and actually be among some strangers in a public place. This bit will mainly involve liquids (and cheese toasties for breakfast, lunch and dinner to soak up the aforementioned liquids), but it is an important indication that you’re nearly out of the woods. Just don’t mix your drinks.
5. The ‘new me’ stage
You’ve got through the crippling misery of the first few weeks, and now it’s time to reinvent yourself to show that fool what she/he is missing. You’re probably going to buy a juicer and a bulk order of kale, will take up some form of exercise and become completely insufferable to most of your friends. Stop telling everyone how many nuts you’ve eaten today. No one cares.
6. The ‘maybe this diet thing isn’t such a good idea’ stage
Thankfully for everyone around you, this health kick thing never really lasts. Soon enough, all those unhealthy snacks you used to enjoy will slowly start sneaking their way back into your diet... you're nearly back to normality.
7. The ‘I never even loved him anyway’ victory dive into a pizza
The final stage of break-up eating – a stage so good it almost makes all the heartache worth it – is when you’re finally feeling happy and confident enough to abandon that paleo diet that’s been making you miserable for the last month and dive head first into the biggest, cheesiest pizza you can lay your hands on. If there’s a more potent indication that you're better off without that chump than a full yard of sourdough bread slathered in tomato and mozzarella, then we’re yet to see one.
Welcome back to the fold, we've all missed you.