One of the most important things in Life is to be around people who support you in your goals and endeavors. Those who not only allow you to BE who you are…but who love you JUST the way you are. No judgement, no pressure, just comfort. ❤
As spoken to in other posts, it’s fair to say I am incredibly particular about my nutrition – in part, I physically feel better when I eat a certain way. And, in part, it is important to me to stay at a certain level of fitness – I’m not just speaking outwardly here, but also in the sense that I want to have the proper fuel to achieve the endurance and strength I am looking for, as well as the sustenance needed to support my gains. As we get older, hard work is rarely enough – without the necessary nutrients and macros, the challenges are tougher to surmount.
Having been through two severe eating disorders, PTSD and CPTSD, it was a concern of mine that anyone I’d want to be with would think I was “odd” with my eating habits. Oftentimes a person who suffers such illnesses grapples with shame, pain, and a whole lot of (unwarranted…but excruciatingly real, and highly debilitating) embarrassment surrounding discussion of our “eating habits.” And when I say that, I mean to the point of leaving us captive at home, terrified to leave…and petrified of getting to know anyone new.
I’ve had plenty of people make jabs and comments, but over the years I’ve thankfully come to realize that:
- I’m really NOT that odd. At ALL. (Real lightbulb moment!)
- Some of the people who do make jabs often are unhappy with their own dietary habits, and / or aren’t thrilled about where their own health stands.
- Not everyone “gets” or appreciates my personal goals…and that is totally okay!
- There are a LOT more supportive people out there who say “oh WOW, I wish I ate like that!” as opposed to the smaller group saying “do you even eat ‘real’ food?”
- Being in a relationship with someone who supports you makes EVERYTHING better. The anxieties that once plagued my Life melted away. Literally. Just. Like. THAT. Being able to breathe again is an incredible feeling – so much more freeing than I can express.
My hunnie and I will go out to dinner, or brunch, or breakfast…and there’s never stress about what I’m ordering, or if I sound strange or picky… He just smiles because I am so happy with the healthy foods that I ask for. It doesn’t even matter if I ask for the same things all the time, he’s just happy that I AM happy, and that means so much. If you have ever been through eating disorders, or ANY disorder for that matter, you will understand the gravity of these words. It IS a big deal.
This weekend he took me to a beautiful restaurant in a quiet, charming town – we sat outside in the early even sun, surrounded by singing birds and the scent of flowers and green. Divine. The menu reminded me of Yin and Yang, and how fitting it was, as the duality of Life ever amazes me – whether the contrast of having been in the depths of despair and fear with anorexia and exercise bulimia, to rediscovering the feeling freedom and breath years later. Or the idea that it is possible to find a piece that fits so perfectly with one’s own…so much so that Life becomes brighter, and dreams manifest of their own volition, without solicitation. I once had someone sew seeds of disillusionment and self doubt, saying that “no one will ever love” my quirks the same way, or be as supportive of them. How refreshing it is to prove that wrong. How refreshing to find more comfort with one person than I ever knew existed…or thought possible.
As for what I had… I don’t like to drink my calories (no, I don’t count – fortunately I dropped that habit a while back!) – eating is physically more satisfying to me than drinking so I’d rather enjoy a delicious food for than imbibe them. It was therefore my usual water with lemon, which I find super refreshing, great for digestion…and never in competition with the flavors of my meal. There are, of course, a slew of other benefits, including balancing the body’s ph (which can reduce inflammation), providing a nice source of citric acid, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous...and flushing the system.
I had a beet salad with goat cheese, which was incredible – beets are often touted as a great recovery food, not only because they are chock full of vitamins (A, B, C), as well as antioxidants (beta-carotene, beta-cyanine), fiber, iron, folic acid, potassium and magnesium to name a few… But, they are also high in inorganic nitrates, which is converted to nitric oxide in the body, after leaving the mouth. The purported effects of a beet juice supplement include better endurance, better “bang for the buck” as far as the output needed to sustain a certain level of training, increased blood flow to the muscles…and lower blood pressure. I’m not a nutritionist, nor a scientist so I will leave fleshing out of the discussion to them – I wasn’t ingesting a massive amount, but the point IS…I was happy to order a selection of beets knowing that it was leg day (the natural sugars would help, no matter the quantity), and it was also a healthy option. 😀 The dish was rapidly devoured.
I also requested seared salmon (as was the preparation there) with no added oil or butter – salmon of course boasts plenty of “good fats” (fish is one of my primary dietary sources of fat) so it isn’t necessary to douse it in anything else. Beyond that, I find it doesn’t need it – the fish’s flavor is so mild that other added fats would compete – salt is enough! There is much larger conversation to be had about farmed versus wild, which I will not address here – again, better to hash out with pros. With it, I asked for steamed vegetables (I got more beets – yay!), also without any added butter or oil. They were PERFECT! Salt and pepper was all I needed to bring out the natural flavors.
I was a HUGELY happy camper! I always want to eat MORE steamed veggies, which I make at home and eat OFTEN…but this held me over for a while, which was great.
The following day, we went to lunch at a super delicious, local Italian restaurant – naturally, I ordered in my typical specific fashion. That said, my orders are NEVER complicated – grilled chicken, no oil, no butter…plus… steamed vegetables, no oil, no butter. That’s it! 😀 It came out PERFECTLY! ❤
While ordering out is nothing to the average person, it IS a big deal to those of us who either live a fit Life, and / or have been through various “food issues.” It can be the difference between living Life AT ALL…and being cooped up, frightened and alone. Having a supportive other half, friends and family is vastly more important than I’d be able to express – it is always valued and appreciated, and never goes without inner acknowledgment.
To be able to enjoy a dinner out is something that, for a long time, I never dreamed was possible. So for me…salmon and steamed green beans is worth celebrating over – every single time I have it!
Talk about feeling blessed.
Being able to breathe and feel comfortable are luxuries that this girl will NEVER take for granted.