For a short period of time in college, I was a stress eater, which was odd to everyone who knew me because I actually lose my appetite when things aren’t going in my favor. One person said my lack of appetite was a way of withdrawing from life. Though I found that a bit dramatic, there’s definitely a connection between not enjoying food and being in a state of discontent — at least with me.
A little more than two months ago, I lost my job. The first few weeks away from the office were pleasant, as I’d been sleep deprived and in need of a summer break of sorts. I saw movies, called friends, met up with people for drinks and coffee at their convenience, exercised daily, and caught up on all my favorite TV shows. I had the freedom to spend my time however I wanted, and though I indulged in Mexican food here and there, I had no real desire to eat. I’d forget to have meals or just choose to skip them entirely, not because I had an eating disorder, but because I wasn’t hungry.
I’m a huge fan of carbs, so when the thought of having those seemed like a burden, I knew something was seriously wrong. I mentioned my loss of appetite to a friend, who thought I had situational depression. At first, that didn’t make sense, as I believed depressed people did the opposite by eating their misery away and gaining weight. Both extremes can mean you’re in trouble, and for almost two months, I was. Obesity is dangerous, but undereating could shut down your organs.
A couple weeks ago, I glanced at my pale, tiny arms after scanning some horrifying Instagram photos of me and my friends. My face was sunken in, my eyes had lost their sparkle, and my hair was thinning out more than usual. I was withering away. I rushed to the fridge to down a couple glasses of 2% milk, remembering my mom’s boyfriend’s comment about milk being a food and not a drink. Still hungry, I ordered a giant bean, cheese, and rice burrito from Blockheads. It filled me up momentarily, but wasn’t enough. All the carbs in the world wouldn’t help me in that moment because I’d been skimping on meals for too long.
My appetite returned after I made the decision to move to LA, so that tells me I’m back on track and myself again. It’s hard for me to get excited about good food when I’m nervous or feeling lost, but that’s not an issue right now. If anything, I’ll have to start watching my carb consumption, as I can’t just have three slices of pizza and a burrito in a day to make up for lost time anymore.
With that, I’m excited to check Serendipity 3 NYC off my New York City bucket list tonight. Sara and I are meeting there for dinner in a little bit and I’m ordering the famous frozen hot chocolate in addition to my hearty dinner, which I haven’t yet decided on. I’ve been to the Serendipity 3 in Georgetown, but I can’t very well leave Manhattan without visiting the original restaurant, so here’s to a night of comfort food, awesome conversation, and embracing my inner fat kid.