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25 May 2007

This is stupid, but please help me eat. [More:]

Please don't chide or laugh at me. I know how totally ridiculous this is.

A combination of nerves and excitement over the past couple have caused my body to totally go off food. I haven't eat a substantial meal since Tuesday night. (I know, I know.) I'm hungry, but my mouth just doesn't want to chew and swallow stuff. It just won't.

Any suggestion on how to get some nutrition in there without making things worse?

Anyone else ever experience this?

I know, I know. No matter how hard my head tells my stomach to get the fuck over it, the situation doesn't change.
You might try starting with something liquid -- a mild soup (like a broth or tomato soup), freshly-squeezed fruit juice, or a V8 (or V8-like concoction). I suspect that once you get something in your stomach, your appetite will start to return (though maybe not all at once).

Also, I'd guess that there's a vicious cycle going on between nerves and lack of food, such that the lack of food makes the nerves worse. At least it can work that way for me. Before you try to eat, try taking a few deep, long, slow breaths using your diaphragm and not your chest muscle to pull in the air.

Good luck!
posted by treepour 25 May | 15:18
The times I've been through this, for some reason (1) lunch was the only time I could deal with food, and (2) I could only deal with food if it came with a glass of wine. Or two.

I don't particularly advocate alcoholism as a coping mechanism, but it worked for me, at least in terms of getting me to eat.

I also tend to try to visualize various foods and see if they turn my stomach; whatever doesn't, gets sought out.
posted by occhiblu 25 May | 15:18
Anxiety has done this to me on occasion. What works well for me is (seconding treepour) just going with the flow and sticking to things that don't need chewing. Depending on whether I feel better able to stomach something savory or something sweet, I go for either soup (non-chunky variety, tomato or something like that) or a milkshake. *Small* sips. Intersperse with sips of water if they seem to clog in the throat. Breathing in between sips.

It will ease in time. Good luck!
posted by kat allison 25 May | 15:19
I'm with occhi - have a drink or two, wait about half an hour, then try noshing.
posted by pieisexactlythree 25 May | 15:21
I live off beef jerky from Trader Joes when that happens. You don't have to eat much of it for your blood sugar to right itself, and I can eat while I'm doing something else, like driving.

I only like the Snackmaster brand you get a Trader Joe's, though. The other brands taste more like food, so they don't work. (and not very good food, at that).
posted by small_ruminant 25 May | 15:22
I've been there, pups. In times like this, I go for stuff like cereal, yogurt, jello, protein bars and shakes, and other stuff that's packed with calories and relatively quick to consume (mostly sucking, no chewing). Take a daily multivitamin and at least you won't get scurvy.

Can you get ahold of a few days supply of naked juice? Should keep you full of calories and nutrients till those butterflies in your stomach settle down a bit. This is about that cute girl, right?

For me, sometimes the hungrier I feel, the harder it is to eat. Just forcing one thing down makes eating other things easier.
posted by muddgirl 25 May | 15:22
When in this situation, I eat many many antacids. Then I drink soymilk and scotch. Not in that order, and not all at the same time. The soymilk has lots of protein which takes the edge off being hungry (regular milk does the same, but the lactic acid can really upset an empty tummy). The scotch, like treepour's wine, makes it possible to snarf a nice handful of crackers.

I would avoid tomato juice and soup and anything else that's acidic or you might end up nauseated.
posted by crush-onastick 25 May | 15:24
Is it too soon to call the most recent object of your excitement to see if she wants to get a meal with you? The pleasure of her company might jumpstart the old metabolism there. :)
posted by Lassie 25 May | 15:25
Wow, what a bunch of enablers! I like it.

Lassie, it's a good theory, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work out like that. Besides, we have plans tonight and I'm trying to get some food in before then.
posted by mudpuppie 25 May | 15:27
crush, the wine suggestion was occhiblu's, but I'll definitely second it as a good idea! (And I never mind being associated with wine).
posted by treepour 25 May | 15:33
I don't mind, we can share. Where's your glass? :-)
posted by occhiblu 25 May | 15:33
Well, I was going to suggest that the pleasure of her company might lead to other enjoyable activities that might then jumpstart the old metabolism, but I decided not to go there in case it's too early in the day for that kind of talk.

In that case, I suggest splurging a little on a small quantity of your very favorite food. Just a little something to remind your stomach and taste buds that, yes, you do like to eat, hot girls notwithstanding. For me, that would be pretty much anything spicy, or really good cheese.
posted by Lassie 25 May | 15:37
What about vanilla ice cream? Small bites every few minutes, then see if you can try something more substantial. Like a small piece of cheese?

Also, I nth the booze.

Second date, woo!
posted by Specklet 25 May | 15:37
Yeah, I was about to suggest ice cream. Or something else that you love? Do you have a sweet or salty tooth? If you were me you would be eating garlic bagel chips. Or guacamole. Or some sort of concoction that involved sour cream and salsa. Something treat-like that you don't usually eat.

awesome - 2nd date!
posted by gaspode 25 May | 15:44
Soymilk with added vitamins.
Vanilla yogurt.
Something you pop in your mouth quickly and easily and dispense with in a few chews like berries or grapes.
Something with peppermint or ginger.
Get started all ready, you don't want weird stomach problems on your date. It will be better after you eat something.
posted by ethylene 25 May | 15:46
Woooooooo! Butterflies! Big honkin' butterflies that show no mercy, but still...

I was in this state for the several days before and after my first date with a long-time crush (now my partner). I knew I was in trouble when I turned down a piece of dark chocolate. I was hungry all the time, just so floaty and giddy and churned up in the belly that food seemed alien. I had it baaaaaaaaad.

As I recall telling a friend, "Butterflies my ass! It feels more like eels thrashing around in there. Angry eels."

I finally forced myself to drink yogurt smoothies and Odwalla juices, which let my belly uncoil and remember that Food Is Good To Eat.

For me, this state is compounded by the hunger itself: I get so hungry that I can't even decide what to eat. This happens to me all too frequently; it's happened twice this week, because I Am Dumb.

If that's part of the problem for you, just getting something in there to whet your appetite may help.
posted by Elsa 25 May | 15:47
Go get thee a smoothie with all the extra supplements, pronto.
posted by ethylene 25 May | 15:47
Got weed? Seriously, it really will give you the munchies. Although it might also increase your anxiety, so caveat emptor.
posted by doctor_negative 25 May | 15:57
I get this when I go back on my meds after not taking them for whatever reason. It sucks. Basically what everyone else says. I specifically second mudgirl's. Just remember to eat (hardest thing for me), and just eat small munchy things for the sake of having energy. It'll slowly come back. I'm still getting used to not having an appetite, and its been a couple weeks.
posted by CitrusFreak12 25 May | 16:22
Oh yeah and also the booze. I guess the fact that it "lowers inhibitions" also makes you more likely to get yourself to eat something. Have a few in the presence of munchy food you normally like.
posted by CitrusFreak12 25 May | 16:24
Honestly, our bodies can be so painfully frustrating. This is how it goes:

Glands: "Code Red, people! Let's get that adrenaline flowing!"
Stomach: "I'm hungry."
Glands: "This is no time to eat! Fight or flight! Fight or flight!"

Instinctual chemical stuff like this always freaks me out a bit. How much control do we really have over ourselves, and how much of it is illusory?
posted by muddgirl 25 May | 16:54
I got some grapes, some jello, and a smoothie.

I'll be very fruity by the end of the day.

Thanks, y'all.
posted by mudpuppie 25 May | 17:22
If, as small_ruminant suggests, it helps that it doesn't taste like food, you could eat original flavor Powerbars. They taste like cardboard. :) They are also somewhat nutritious. I second ethylene on the smoothies.

I also lose my appetite when I have nerves. You can do it, mudpuppie!

posted by halonine 25 May | 17:23
Riddle me this: If I haven't eaten in three days, why are my jeans so fucking tight? (And not in the good way.)
posted by mudpuppie 25 May | 18:06
posted by ethylene 25 May | 18:28
I vote Alien!
posted by gaspode 25 May | 18:30
Okay, that freaks me out. See here.
posted by mudpuppie 25 May | 18:39
A late second for Naked Juice Smoothie products, available at your local grocery. You can even add booze & ice if necessary.
posted by rainbaby 25 May | 18:46
Toast with butter/margarine is what I'll eat in similar situations.

I hope the date goes well, mups!
posted by deborah 25 May | 21:57
Riddle me this: If I haven't eaten in three days, why are my jeans so fucking tight? (And not in the good way.)

So you can tell your date "You know, my jeans wouldn't be so tight if you took them off and neatly folded them up and placed them on a chair in your bedroom for the duration of the night". Obviously.
posted by cmonkey 25 May | 22:11
I'm so weird and I'm coming in late, but when I get like this, which I do, I need to eat something crunchy and cold. Hot and wet or creamy, like soup, is impossible. So I go for the old bag'o'salad - iceberg lettuce is just the ticket. Or a club sandwich. I can pretty much always eat a turkey club because it's crunchy and cold and more or less flavorless. You can pick up bits of iceberg lettuce off the salad (it helps if there are Bak-Os. Bak-Os are vegan and salty and more or less unnoticeable, but the salt gets you hungry) and then dip them in dressing and sort of eat them like you aren't really eating.

Therefore I recommend this to you in case you, like me, are weird as hell. ;-) As far as the fatness thing goes, it takes a week to 10 days for your body to notice that it's lost weight.
posted by mygothlaundry 25 May | 23:35
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