ROLY POLY ROARTY: THE HANGRY GAMES (NIKKI)

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rpr_body_w-3If I’m being honest, and Tom and I have promised you that we would be with this series, this week was a rough one.

What I’m about to say is something that echoes what Tom wrote in last week’s installment, and that is I never realized how much I talked about food until I found myself suddenly unable to talk about food anymore.

I’ve long known that I’ve had a really effed-up relationship with food — I constantly think about it, crave it, and, on occasion, binge on it. It’s why I am no longer the thinner person I once was just a few years ago. It’s why I’ve been told earlier this year that I am pre-diabetic. It’s why I’ve been told, and rightly so, that I live to eat, not eat to live.

It’s just that I love food. Like, I fucking love it. My parents owned a restaurant when I was a kid, so food was always ever-present in my world. I was a food writer for many years, and I honestly think about my next meal more than I think about just about everything. From our very first date back in 2010 up until two weeks ago, food was a big part of Tom’s and my life, so this has been quite the adjustment for both of us.

I’m so very proud of him because I know these past two weeks have been extremely hard for him, but I’m also struggling to eat better, and lesser, especially when he’s around. I feel guilty if I eat near him, even if it’s something I know he doesn’t like, which is what I’ve tried to make for Little Tyler Durden and I so it’s not so bad for him. And while it’s definitely been a lesson in sensitivity for she and I, yes, we’ve had some slip-ups making comments about food or getting caught eating on the sly. We both have been walking around on … shit, is there a non-food-related way to say eggshells?!

I thought that after more than a week of his being on this liquid diet, the back half of it would be a breeze for Tom. But part of its difficulty can be chalked up to something he said in this week’s episode, that the first week was a challenge, an obstacle to overcome. Another factor, one that is definitely aiding his exhaustion, is the fact he was told he had to stop taking his daily multivitamin after the first week to ensure that his liver and stomach shrink, which I think is kinda bullshit, but dammit, Jim, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Taking them, especially after what I’ve taken to calling The Throwing of the Broccoli, Tom had a lot of energy, and his mood was not swinging between anger and more anger and falling asleep at 7 p.m. He was upbeat and funny — he was Tom.

Between swings, he’s been talking nonstop about food and even dreaming about it. He’s commenting on the zillion food commercials we see while watching our stories. He mentions what he misses and what he craves. His stomach is constantly rumbling. It breaks my heart, to the point I’m begging him to stop watching commercial-riddled TV and Hulu, which is always how he winds down, and instead go to Netflix or read his Kindle.

And to add to the mix, Tom was told that the insurance company needed yet another doctor’s note that they actually already had but didn’t know they had due to a paper-pusher’s oversight, a paper-pusher who never answers her phone or returns calls until days later, so Tom’s procedure was hanging in the balance — just two days before it was set to take place. But luckily, at the 11th hour, we got a time and by the time you read this story, Tom will be in a gown that ties in the back getting ready to be whisked away to wonderland on the Morphine Express to hopefully emerge with less pain and hanger.

While he will be on a “thin liquid diet” for the first two weeks post surgery, he’ll be on pain meds and recovering so he most likely won’t even want to eat — but when he’s ready, at least he’ll finally have that tomato soup waiting for him. And I bet it will be the best-tasting thing he’s ever had.

Categories: Roly Poly Roarty

When Nikki M. Mascali is not working as a journalist in New…

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