Trigger Warning: Emetophobia
You know those crazy diets you see in the headlines of gossip magazines at the supermarket checkout? Or those wrap things all over Instagram?
Well, I didn't believe any fad weight loss plans worked. Not until I tried a brand new one. I lost 35 pounds! This revolutionary new lifestyle is called the Mysterious Undiagnosed Abdominal Disease, or MUAD for short.
The cool thing about MUAD is that you can eat whatever you want, and still drop pounds. I stick to a mostly healthy diet of veggies, fruit and whole grains, with the occasional venti white mocha or huge slice of cheesecake.
Here's how it works: You eat 3 balanced meals a day, plus lots of water and a couple light snacks. And then... you throw up. Violently. Every single day, and sometimes more than once. You get the shakes, you feel hot and clammy, and you think you're going to die. Your abdomen is excruciatingly sore, 24/7. Even the slightest touch makes you flinch and tear up. You can't leave the house without a few thick plastic bags, a ton of Gravol and an intense fear of dying of embarrassment.
But who cares, because you're losing weight! Right?
The truth is, I don't believe in fad diets. I believe they're bullshit. They're expensive, they fuck with your self worth, and the majority of people who lose weight on them gain back all the weight, and then some.
I do have a Mysterious Undiagnosed Abdominal Disease. And I did lose 35 pounds in 6 months. But it wasn't on purpose. And I wouldn't call this a revolution. More like a curse.
I've cut down on caffeine, dairy and spicy foods. I drink tea and clear sodas to calm my nausea. I take Prevacid to keep my stomach acid at bay. I've had a colonoscopy, a gastroscopy, a stomach emptying test and multiple abdominal ultrasounds (all of which show absolutely nothing).
I'm tired of being in pain. I'm tired of the way this illness has affected my career and social life. I'm tired of the impact this illness has on my other illnesses.
But all my doctors see is that I've lost weight. And apparently that's a victory. Even when it's not the goal. Even when it comes at so high a cost.
I'd celebrate, I guess, but... I'd rather stick my head in a garbage can. Again.