Thursday, 26 September 2013

I guess it had to happen eventually

For the first time in a year and a half, I ate in a restaurant. For the first time in over three years, I ate in a restaurant without restricting the day of, or feeling guilty about what I had done afterward. This is a huge step. I have Thanksgiving coming up, as well as a two day conference with my internship which would involve two days of restaurant eating. I had to get a move on and get some practice in. Needless to say, I was scared as all fuck. I stared off into space for about an hour once the Mama and I decided we would eat out. I then took the nervous energy and put it into something productive – my new rug hooking project. I started going to a hooking group with my Aunt that meets on Wednesday mornings. This is perfect for me as I take Wednesday as one of my three rest days so I will not be tempted to exercise. I am giving the project to my mother for her Birthday.


I hooked until it was time to go. When we finally got to the restaurant and I walked in, an overwhelming sense of joy and calm flowed over me. The atmosphere was fantastic, the smells were so interesting, and the serving staff were so friendly. I was instantly comfortable. Mama asked if I wanted wine. WINE! I FUCKING LOVE WINE! I figured why the hell not! We split a beautiful warm spinach salad topped with chicken, strawberries, raspberries, green and red pepper, mandarin oranges, pear, mozzarella cheese and apricot mandarin dressing. I even had a bit of greek pita with it! My main course was phenomenal. “Chicken Marrakech" was the dish I ordered:  chicken breast in tomato apricot sauce with Moroccan cous cous, fava bean chickpea veggie salad and goat cheese. I have never tasted anything so delicious! I cleaned my plate without one ounce of guilt. My favorite part was the cheese. It melted in my mouth and brought all of the flavors together perfectly. 

Brave lady and a glass of Merlot!

Portion sizes weren't crazy huge, not at all scary!

About to dig in!!


I was scared I had overeaten, but the Mama pointed out that the dinner was pretty “Heather sized”. I eat quite a lot on any given day, but especially on days I work out (and today was a doozy, that’s for sure!). either way, I left the restaurant with a VERY VERY full stomach. I am so full that I would not engage in any activity but sitting, but not so full that I am uncomfortable, sore, or sick. There is a difference between being super satisfied and over eating. I am super satisfied. In the past that would have scared me and triggered restriction or exercising for the wrong reasons. Not today, Eddie!

Now. I was plagued by ED before I went. I should feel guilty, I will get fat (especially true because I weigh-in tomorrow), I will be out of control, I will not know my caloric intake, I will have to restrict tonight and not eat my bed time snack, I will have to go to the gym extra hard tomorrow… All these irrational thoughts crossed my mind. A VERY good friend of mine pointed out that I would never in a million years tell HER to do any of that if SHE were to eat out for dinner, so why in the fuck was I telling that to myself!? I’ll tell you this much, I won’t be partaking in my usual 10 o’clock munch tonight on account of I am so full of cous cous I don't know what to do with myself! I will, however, have my usual bed time snack at midnight (as being hungry after 5 hours is pretty damned normal) which normally consists of a Simply bar, an apple, a handful of trailmix, almond milk and some jello (I need to eat something pretty hefty to keep me through the night as I hate waking up excessively hungry) and I will honor my body tomorrow and I will not exercise unhealthily just because I had some wine and a beautiful dinner. Regular workout. No more.I will also honor my Saturday and Sunday as my other two rest days and not feel as if I need to compensate for my meal.

Another favorite part of my meal was how healthy it was. There was something for everyone at this restaurant, a real hidden gem. I was completely comfortable eating what I had, and there are many items that are very healthy and nourishing. I can’t wait to go back next week (because this is totally becoming a thing)!

I made a huge step today. I can’t get over myself. ED wanted to keep me in my safe place. The longer I was there, the longer he had control over me. I took yet ANOTHER piece of myself back tonight and it was awesome. Yes, there were extreme anxieties. There were tears, there were moments where I wanted to chicken out. In the end, I needed to jump in with two feet. The recovery process is uncomfortable, but if you don’t face these fears and put yourself into these situations, you are never going to get to the point where you are free. A big part of a happy life is being able to indulge and participate in meals out with good company and people you love. I am told food is meant to be enjoyed. We spend too much time attaching moralistic values to food. Calling them “good” and “bad”, feeling guilty, using food to replace emotions. There is nothing wrong with enjoying food, eating for the fun of it, being happy with the tastes and smells, the company and the experience. Think about it… Celebrations almost always involve food and lots of it. Why? Well, eating is pleasurable. It is meant to be enjoyed. Sure, sometimes we might overindulge a little bit, but that happens, and not usually every day. Our bodies recover from that. They regulate, and they guide us. Tonight, I understood that meaning

There was only one bad part about tonight.

I didn’t have room for dessert.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! It's Shannon - not sure why I can't post as "me" lol
    This is such a beautiful post. You are so in control. You are able to recognize when you have ED thoughts and pull out of it with your strong inner voice who longs for freedom and happiness and FOOD! You are right, with recovery, we need to jump in with BOTH testing out the water, putting a foot in and pulling it out. If we want this we need to jump in, take a leap of fath and not look back. It will be hard and uncomfortable sometimes...we will cry, we will yell, we will feel guilty, but....we will also feel pride, freedom, happiness - by not numbing out emotions with unhealthy behaviours we will feel all of life's emotions. And eventually, ED will be put to rest.