Surviving the Spraytanpocalypse, Part 2

My experiences are not the same as yours. The specific things I’ve dealt with in life are not the same. That said, I’ve learned some things the hard way and some of these things might be useful.

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We all know food is necessary to keep our bodies and minds running, correct?

Some people get hungrier when they’re stressed. Others don’t seem to have any appetite changes. Some tend to forget to eat or feel unable to.

(I’m not here to entertain qualitative judgement or anything that smells remotely like body shaming. Please respect this.)

I fall into the latter category: I’m prone to getting so immersed in a project or driven by the urgency of it that I don’t feel the hunger alarm going off. If an emergency interrupts my sandwich, I won’t remember the sandwich until the cats have dragged half of it all over the kitchen. During periods of extreme stress chewing starts to feel exhausting and anything I do manage to chew does that gluey feels-like-a-rock-in-my-abdomen thing.

This can begin to interfere with thinking clearly, and can start to perpetuate itself. But what can be done?

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If you seriously can’t eat a meal, drink it.

Yogurt, soup broth, Ensure, Slimfast, Orgain, Soylent, those protein shakes body builders always seem to have around. Whatever you can find/afford. It isn’t ideal, it isn’t a sustainable lifestyle, but it is better than nothing.

Also better than nothing: a banana, three bites of an oatmeal bar—which you can totally wrap back up and shove in a pocket for three more bites later, and pretty much anything that isn’t coffee, candy, or booze.

But how do we try to prevent things from getting to that point?

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Make sure to keep whatever semi-non-perishable things you can almost always eat stashed somewhere. Raw carrots and frozen pasta three times a day is better than drinking your meals. Or, you know, whatever your equivalent of that is.

Ask each other “what was the last thing you ate?”

(Fuck, I wish I could remember where I picked that one up from.)

See, “are you hungry?” requires that the person being asked be aware of sensations like hunger, or even have sensations of hunger. “Have you eaten?” is super easy to say yes to without realizing how long it might have been.

“What was the last thing you ate?” on the other hand, tends to get responses like “Oh fuck, one bite of a sandwich before the phone rang at like 10am and now it’s past sundown.” Or “thai food a few hours ago, but the rest is in the fridge and I’ll eat more of it the next time I get up from my desk.”

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And for friends who are too slammed/overwhelmed/low on funds/exhausted to acquire and/or prepare food themselves: if you’ve got the cash to spare, most delivery apps will allow you to send food to other people—even in a different city. All you need are their dietary restrictions, the address they’re at, and their consent.


Also published on Medium.

3 Replies to “Surviving the Spraytanpocalypse, Part 2”

  1. Hunger should be fun, as should satisfying it. If hunger just feels empty, filling it becomes a chore. When this becomes the case for me, it’s usually my tastebuds deciding what I eat; making myself sick on chocolate helps me notice that I’m being too focused or obsessive to eat properly. (Also, flushing the system helps reset it.)

  2. Hey Stoya! I love your words. I’m excessively happy each time a tweet pops up with a blue link signaling a new piece. I’m a writer in my own right and you are a great inspiration of mine. I’ve been keeping up to date with your work for about 3 years now, loving every second of it, but never felt compelled to contact you about some of your words until today.

    I have a sourly personal relationship to this topic, and it’s one I find hard to talk about without sputtering and dissolving. I appreciate that you cover insufficient food intake at all, it’s hard to find pieces on the subject, and harder to find smart pieces on the subject. You tackle advice and warning deftly. I found myself relating and not dismissing, and was prompted to re-checkin and take stock of my own behaviors of late.

    Thank you for sharing you experiences. I’m a great fan of everything you have written, but these words in particular make a difference to me. I aspire to have as much effect with my own work.

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