As I watched Ryan pick at his food the third week after we met, I asked him about his strange eating habits.
"So, you're a big guy, how come you eat so little?" I inquired.
"I don't know. It's a recent thing, normally I can eat a ton. This not-eating thing happened after I met you," he said, sheepishly.
I didn't know how to respond, but I thought it was completely adorable.
It was funny how it effected him, because it did the opposite to me.
I ate my way through house and home when I was with him, and especially indulged in sweets.
As the years rolled by, our weight gain and loss as a couple, ebbed and flowed. Sometimes we were diligent about going to the gym, going on hikes at the park or walks on the beach, and riding bikes together. Other times we were lazy.
But the last five years of our lives together were different. Ryan got winded very easily. His chemo made his skin sensitive, so he couldn't be out in the sun. His tastes for certain foods waned, and his mouth sores changed every day, which dictated what he could and couldn't eat, the entire time he had Cancer.
Basically, we were forced into a lifestyle lacking exercise and limited culinary experimentation.
As I survey the last part of our time together, I realized that our relationship ended, the way it began. I gained quite a bit of weight, as I watched Ryan unable to eat and lose weight rapidly. It was almost as though I was eating for him or something.
Since his death, however, I've been the one unable to eat.
Eating used to be a source of pleasure and comfort.
It provides neither of those things anymore.
It's a necessary chore.
A painful part of my day.
I don't want to do it anymore and wish I didn't have to.
I've slowly begun to cook for my family and make the old dishes we used to enjoy together.
But I miss cooking for my food critic.
As I lose weight and begin to build in a lifestyle of exercise into our "new normal," I see changes in myself that I haven't seen in years.
I see changes in Talitha too, from her exercise class -- good and healthy changes.
Certainly exercise makes the good, old endorphines kick in and that helps everyone to feel a bit better.
But when I sit down at each meal, and just pick at my food, I can't help but miss the man who shared my current eating habits, so many years ago, unable to eat because he was so in love.