Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Routines and Restaurants

It's a bit humbling to realize how much breaking my food routines still challenges me these days. In the past week I've eaten out three times and have another dinner out planned for this Friday, plus a happy hour on Thursday and a birthday party Saturday night. I felt really icky all day yesterday, sort of fat but mostly just gross and I couldn't decide if it was pure ED-ness or just the natural consequence of too much Mexican food and wine over the weekend. Mexican is probably the hardest cuisine for me, in that it's really hard to find "safe" foods at Mexican restaurants, and I ate at TWO different ones within a 24-hour period (Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch). So it was hard on the mind in terms of feeling overindulgent and trying to keep track of calories, but also probably a tad hard on the stomach if ya know what I mean. And all of yesterday I just felt icky and gurgly and off.

Then tonight a friend and I got Thai food; Thai is way easier than Mexican, and this restaurant is an old favorite with probably just about the safest menu around for me. But for some reason the thought of going out again, eating not my own food again, having to pretend to be normal while picking through a plate of rice again....it was all just a teensy bit overwhelming.

I am planning to write a big juicy ED update again pretty soon, but for the time being I'm thinking a lot about what it actually means for me to feel "gross" or "off" like this after eating out; I don't necessarily feel fat, or think I'm fat, or worry about getting fat from eating out. It's something about not having complete control over the dish and not knowing exactly (or close to exactly) how many calories are in it that still makes my skin crawl. Something about not sticking to my safe, boring, pre-planned menu. It's part physical, part mental. Probably mostly mental, duh, but restaurant meals do tend to be heavier and more oily or something, and they stick with you.

I used to love eating out when I was younger, and I definitely enjoy it more now than when I was in the thick of my eating disorder. But it still causes way more angst than I care to admit.


  1. Restaurants can definitely be tough! Good for you for being flexible and eating out! I agree that it feels part mental, part physical, at least for me also. The food is different, prepared differently, portions are different, etc. All of those can have mental and physical side effects for me. I'm proud of you for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to do these things though! I hope it continues to get easier over time! Be kind to yourself!

  2. Yum, I love restaurants. :) I hate when they list the damn calories. Pisses me off. Anyway, good job on the Mexican! Mexican is one of my faves. :)

  3. I think one important thing to keep in mind is that restaurant food is usually a LOT saltier than what you would eat at home, which definitely contributes to an icky or bloated feeling afterward even though it has nothing to do with fat or actual weight. You probably already know that but it's something I still have to consciously remind myself about frequently. :)

    Good for you for going to events that you know will present food challenges, though! I know lots of restaurant sessions in a short period of time can be hard, but it really does get easier to feel comfortable with eating out if you practice, but it won't get easier if you don't. Sounds like you're doing great despite the discomfort, and I'm really glad you're not letting food stuff keep you from socializing.