When my boyfriend of seven years and I split, I was heartbroken. In pieces. Sobbing most days (sometimes even on public transport). However as I lugged the last of my belongings onto the Piccadilly Line at Kings Cross I began to see a little silver lining sparkle… No it was not another outburst of tears brewing up. I realised I’d begun to get a little worn out lugging my crap about. My arms ached, my back hurt, my thighs were burning. I must have burnt thousands of calories dragging my life across London and I’d not eaten since Monday lunchtime!! Admittedly it was only Tuesday morning but this is pretty impressive for me (I’m a grazer, a picker… I eat a lot of snacks). Suddenly I remembered a friend who had drastically dropped from a curvy 14 to a skinny size 6/8 upon discovering her fiancé had been diddling some blonde from HR. “Yes!” Thought I, “I’m gonna be skinny!”
Two weeks later and I was not prancing about Hyde Park in shorts, frolicking in the sunshine, already revelling in the post split weight loss. No, I was munching on some barbecue and tucking into a selection of dips and crisps, washing it all down nicely with an ungodly amount of gin. I had done the complete opposite and munched my way out of my emotional turmoil.
I’d been for lunch with my girlfriends (and ordered sides), had several evenings of gossiping over cocktails with the lovely ladies from my office (who I’d previously been too busy sitting in with a boyfriend who liked to play FIFA every night to hang out with), and been treated by my mother to afternoon teas and some home cooking. Yes my waist line had expanded, my bra was tighter and my face looked chubbier but I hadn’t cried once! So what if I’d been eating my feelings? I’d been keeping myself busy like were always told to when lovers leave, I’d made new friends and tasted some of the best macaroons on earth! Life was good again (even if I had to unbutton my jeans discreetly and whip my bra off the moment I got in).
Then on week three, it dawned on me… I might want to have sex with someone new in the future. I mean sure, my boobs looked pretty impressive but I’d started to feel sluggish.
My skin wasn’t glowing. My eyes looked tired and my jeans were definitely not doing up. Now I’m not saying I shouldn’t have gorged my way out of the darkness, treating my pallet to every French pastry on the way. I’m not saying that at all, I totally should have! But I couldn’t go on forever as a) I may not be able to take the stairs any more if I continued b) I may get diabetes and most importantly c) I may never get laid ever again!
Yes I know, we all love different shapes and sizes and yes there are plenty of men who love a fuller figure (I know this as my teens would have been pretty lonely if not) but it comes down to how you feel, where you’re most confident at. So, if you need to indulge in those first few days, eat, drink and be merry! Or if you’re one of those women who take to the pavements and pound out the pain by running for miles morning, noon and night do that instead!
Maybe you’re better at keeping your mind off things by learning a new skill? Learn a language, take an evening class or read loads of important books and brag about it at dinner parties! Whatever moves you on from sobbing on the tube do it, and if that involves a few glasses of wine and the odd cupcake (or four) then so be it. You’re single now, it’s all about making you happy and if you need a few pointers check out my tips below to pull you through.
Tips for surviving a break up:
- Listen only to Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Madonna and Azealia Banks. Allow just one day for wallowing to love songs / ”our songs” Sigur Ros / Coldplay / Keane / Bon Iver (or any other artists used for montage moments when England don’t qualify for something).
- Coming from the woman who runs to the swings and spends 15-20 mins smoking on them before strolling home. Trust me, however you choose to work out it clears your head.
- Eat Laduree macaroons – the best thing you will ever put in your mouth… Ever.
- Get angry. Looking back fondly comes later on once you’ve met someone else, benefitted from the break up weight loss (which strangely passed me by… Must have been excessive with the above tip) and convinced yourself their new partner looks a bit like a young Camilla Parker Bowles.
- Learn a new skill. I chose French because I want to be Kristen Scott Thomas, am unoriginal and lack the upper body strength to do pole fitness.
- Pretend you’re a guest on Oprah, discussing how breaking up really was the best thing and if you hadn’t done it you wouldn’t have achieved what you are on the show to promote (new invention/New York Times best seller/world record for a spin class).
- Read many self helps books… Then ignore them.
- Don’t feel pressured into anal bleaching. For those a year before us it was the Vajazzle. If they can resist, so can we.
- Flirt (with everyone).
- Avoid rom coms and final episodes of Sex and The City, Friends and re-runs of Dawson’s Creek. They give false hope. Your ex boyfriend will not do a Big/Ross and you will not end up with Pacey.
- Drink Gin.