Monday, January 22, 2018

The "Divorce Diet"

               A few months into my own divorce my mother came up from Los Angeles for a visit. She asked me why I was “so thin.” Her words weren’t condemning but she was concerned. I have always been “thin” but clearly I had gotten even smaller. I shrugged it off and happily told her about all of my recent physical activity, thinking I was simply burning more calories. A few months after my mother’s visit I ran into a former neighbor who exclaimed, “Oh, you’ve been on the ‘Divorce Diet’!”  I’d never heard of such a thing – what was she talking about??
               The fact is, the “Divorce Diet” is a real phenomenon.  According to a recent New York Times article, it is caused by “stress, rage, sadness, and (for some) a need to control any part of their lives…that hasn’t fallen into complete chaos.”  This seems accurate and I was happy to see it in the news. Recently I saw a friend who is divorcing and had lost a lot of weight.  I mentioned the “diet” to her.  She’d never heard of it. It made me think of my surprise at hearing the term during my divorce and I realized that this is one of those “nasty topics” that we don’t talk about, and we probably should. Talking about it  might help divorcing people to pay a little closer attention when they start dropping pounds they’re not intending (or wanting) to lose. 
               Eating properly is one of the most basic – and essential – things we can do to take good care of ourselves. Especially during times of extreme stress…like a divorce….