My hunnie and I went out the other day for lunch, which is something at one time in my Life I could not do. As a result of PTSD I developed two severe eating disorders about a decade ago – anorexia and exercise bulimia. The prospect of eating away from home was not only daunting, it was debilitating – it would trigger panic attacks, tears, and crippling anxiety.
Fast forward ten years, through treatment, learning, growing…and the will to survive…I am able to be “human” again. I am incredibly specific about what I eat – in part it is just the nutrition I choose to have as part of my Lifestyle. And in part it is due to allergies…so I feel less badly about that part! *LOL* But I am not bound to fear in such a way that I can’t go out for coffee, or dinner, or take a road trip. The ability to do those things is a HUGE deal when you know what it’s like to be beholden to disease. At that time, it was seemingly impossible.
When I go out, I will always ask for what I want – I’m not embarrassed to do that anymore either, nor to eat with another person around. And honestly, as I have mentioned in other posts, I am always met with the sincere desire to give me what I want. Not every restaurant will have something simple, but it doesn’t hurt to ask…and no one is offended if you do!
We went to a casual restaurant, known for its shellfish and seafood – yay for me! 🙂 But I was in the mood for some dimple protein and, fortunately, they had exactly what I was hoping for!
What I really loved about what they brought me was the portion – oftentimes I notice places either go way too heavy-handed, or on the skimpy side…the latter situation being the one I’m less fond of (who isn’t!?) But I do prefer that they go easy, so that I am not encouraged to stuff myself beyond what I really need at that time – overeating is really easy to do because you are paying for that food…and there it is, right?!
So I LOVED that they portioned the food so well – it wasn’t too much, and it wasn’t too little. I really enjoyed it, and felt great about the choices. It’s a gift to be free of the anxieties that can plague someone struggling with body dysmorphia or EDs – it isn’t easy to fully understand without having been there, but so many illnesses are similar in the addictive behaviors they are rooted in. Breaking that cycle and finding a way to honor and respect yourself and your experiences is so important. Giving yourself the gift of freedom is like giving yourself a new Life – you can take baby steps if you need to, but don’t be afraid to ask for what makes you comfortable, or stays in tune with your goals – you ARE allowed.