If you've ever been through a breakup, you know about the slow, torturous agony that inevitably comes with it.
There's that moment when you're forced to confront the fact that it has actually happened. Then, there's that period of all-consuming darkness, desperation and self-pity that seems never-ending, barraging you with memories of lost love.
And finally, after what feels like eternity, there's that light at the end of the tunnel -- you get over it. Maybe.
These steps, while dramatic, depressing and downright nauseating to any individual who experiences them, are not only unique to the process of getting over a breakup. In fact, something else that plagues humanity on a daily basis follows a very similar trajectory.
That thing is diets.
If you've ever been on a diet, you know about the slow, torturous agony that inevitably comes with it.
There's that moment when you're forced to confront the fact that you're actually going on a diet. Then, there's that period of darkness, desperation and self-pity that seems never-ending, barraging you with memories of chocolate cake.
And, finally, after what feels like eternities, there's that light at the end of the tunnel -- you lose weight. Maybe.
We're lucky to be human beings in that love and food are capable of providing us with lots of genuine joy -- unlike animals, we don't have sex merely to reproduce, and we don't have to settle for eating whatever we find laying around in the forest.
Love and food make all of our worlds go 'round. But they can also make us feel like sh*t.
Getting over a breakup is a hell of a lot like going on a diet. The two require the same kinds of self-discipline and mental anguish without a guarantee for the reward we want.
Most of all, they both keep us fixated on that one f*cking thing we can't have.
It's a complete lifestyle change.
You have to deal with your ex no longer being in your life like you have to deal with no longer being able to eat dairy.
The process is really slow.
Achieving what you set out to do takes FOREVER.
You aren't allowed to have what you want.
Why can't he come back? Why can't you eat this entire cake?
Reminders of what you can't have are everywhere.
WHY DO YOU STILL FOLLOW HIS FRIENDS ON INSTAGRAM? WHY DOES ICE CREAM HAVE TO EXIST?
Actually, knowing you can't have it is worse than not actually having it.
Wait, do I really want him back, or am I just lonely? What about this cheeseburger? Maybe I'm just hungry.
How you feel about it varies every day.
Some days, you're optimistic. You can do it. But some days, you want to die.
You keep staring longingly at the fridge or at your phone.
Neither of those things can help now.
It's a literal process of detoxification.
Exes are toxic. So is mac and cheese.
You promise you'll stick to it, but you always f*ck up.
All it takes is a single spotting of your ex across the bar or a pizza through the store window.
When you f*ck up, you say you'll never do it again -- but you do.
He smelled so good. So did the fried chicken.
When the f*ck-up happens in your bed, you feel that much more pathetic.
Whether it's cookie crumbs or your exes, keep them out.
You have ridiculous justifications for your f*ck-ups.
One cupcake won't make you fat. It's okay to see him for sex once a week because it's just casual.
Alcohol DOES NOT MIX with it.
You will aggressively drunk-eat and aggressively drunk-text.
When you fall off the wagon, you are so much worse than you were before.
All of the energy you spent losing that pesky weight and releasing those stressful tears will be such a waste.
You always give yourself new start dates.
Okay, starting Monday, you won't answer his texts, and you'll start eating salad every day... right?
You have to encourage yourself with milestone rewards.
If you just delete him from Instagram, you can take yourself out to dinner. If you lose a pound, you can buy those new shoes.
You feel the compulsion to talk about it to everyone.
Everyone knows how many kale smoothies you had this week and whether or not you talked to your ex.
It gets worse late at night.
Something about the nighttime makes you weak for love and carbs.
You hate social media because of all the pictures you need to avoid.
Too many foodie Instagram accounts and pictures of your ex to avoid.
You binge on what you don't even like.
You weren't even attracted to that guy at the bar, but you f*cked him anyway. You also just scarfed down two nasty falafel ginger sesame bagels in the heat of a desperate moment of needing carbs.
There's a lot of emptiness in your life.
In your stomach and in your heart, namely.
You can't get excited about anything because it's always in the back of your mind.
Going on a date? Sorry, but your ex will haunt your thoughts. Heading to a birthday party? Sorry, but you can't eat the cake.
Instead of allowing yourself to get instant gratification, you have to focus on your overall progress.
No, it's not JUST an innocent text or a single cookie.
You're forced to find other things to put in your mouth -- and they're always subpar.
Quinoa and that stupid rando from the bar just aren't cutting it right now.
You always want something inside of you.
You're constantly unfulfilled.
Nothing satisfies you quite like your ex and Oreos did.
The days are always so long.
Thoughts of the ex you can't touch and of that cheese platter you can't consume distract you all day.
If you stick to it, it gets easier over time.
You'll get through this.