Melting Pot Fun

hpim1765Saturday night, my husband and I went to the Melting Pot to celebrate our second wedding anniversary (which is tomorrow).

We had a blast, and I’m so glad we went. I’d been with girlfriends in college, but he’d never been before. Since his love for cheese pretty much rivals my love for chocolate, I figured it was guaranteed to be a surefire success.

And oh, it was!

I planned (are you surprised?!) somewhat for the day by getting in a great cardio workout in the morning. I felt so good, I literally could have kept going, but knew that would be counter-productive if I ended up ravenous.

So we had a good brunch at home in the morning, then got dressed up, visited a friend and their new baby (totally made me want to have a baby — STAT!) and headed off to an early-ish dinner. (dinner at the Melting Pot is a 2 1/2-3 hr affair if you’ve never been, and it’s an hour away from us).

By the time we arrived at the Melting Pot, the aromas were enticing beyond belief, and I was super-hungry (usually I have an apple or something so I am not a wildebeast). But I wanted to save my appetite, and thought going hungry would be a good thing. And it was!

We were seated in an area called Lovers Lane, cozy little booths for two. Once seated, I felt any of the week’s anxiety fade away — sitting close to my husband, about to have a memorable, shared experience.

When we opened up the wine list, we were so happy to find the same exact wine we’d loved on our wine tour of Traverse City, Mich. for our anniversay weekend last year, and so we ordered a bottle of that (a gewurztraminer from Old Peninsula Winery for anyone in the area who is interested). Funny how just a even single sip can take you back to a moment in time.

For our first course, we ordered their signature cheddar cheese fondue, which is just delicious. I’m not the hugest cheese fan, but still, I dipped my bread, apples and carrots and actually ate some sans cheese, too. My husband, on the other hand, went to TOWN. If he could live off of cheese, orange juice and bread — he would.

Our salads came next, and I just fork-dipped per usual. Dinner was wonderful — we got the entrees-for-two which included shrimp plus bite-sized pieces of salmon, teryiaki sirloin, chicken and sirloin. We took our time, cooking it in veggie broth (which was super-flavorful) and dipped the meat/veggies/potatoes in dipping sauces such as ginger plum and teriyaki. Mmmm…

I just focused on enjoying the experience — being truly aware of the moment, of my surroundings, eating with dignity, taking my time, melding of the the delicious flavors, pausing between bites.

My husband definitely has more room in his tummy than me these days, so when I felt comfortably full, I put my fork down and watched him continue to eat –he was loving it, and I love seeing him enjoy a great meal.

We finished off our bottle of wine and then decided on the cherries jubilee fondue for dessert, which was dark chocolate swirled with cherries. OMG. Sooo good! Even my husband, who isn’t as into chocolate as me, was swooning.

I seriously had no room for dessert — even with the nice pace of the courses — but there’s always room for chocolate. We savored the fruit, brownie bites, cheesecake, marshmallows, Rice Krispie treats, etc. We even asked for extra strawberries and brownie-bites.

It was the perfect meal, with the perfect companion.

I hope this doesn’t sound lame, but I’m really proud of how I handled the night out. I allowed myself to enjoy — and I did it — and effortlessly! I didn’t pre-plan every single thing I was going to eat, but I did have an idea of what I’d like to enjoy, and I did. I felt “in the moment” — which is not easy for me to do (usually my mind is going in fifty directions).

I think it helped that I knew it was going to be a big night out — not a surprise where I’d be caught off guard. (Being an anxious person, surprises of any kind really throw me off, even if not at all related to food).

In my head going into dinner that I had 13 TPs plus 11 WPAs and 6 APs (should I need them) s I pretty much knew I’d be able to splurge and enjoy without counting in my head (though I did add it up all afterwards; can’t turn it off entirely).

Still, it was like magic–even eating and drinking everything I wanted, I did just FINE listening to my desires and my body. Though I always *try* not to eat APs, I usually end up needing some of them by the week’s end. So I had to buy back 4 of the 6 APs I earned on Saturday, but it was soooooooo worth it!

It also reminded me of how far I’ve come since my most disordered times.

We got engaged during an amazing trip to Italy back in 2005, and I’d been maintaining my lowest at back then. I remember the excitement I felt for the trip, which we’d been planning for months and months while my then-boyfriend (now-husband) was in Iraq.

But since I’m being completely honest here, there was also some fear and anxiety about being away for so long, and for all the new tempting tastes and flavors that were literally everywhere.

Though we had a blast traipsing through Rome, Florence and Venice, in truth, the food part of things were hard for me, especially the first few days. Though we walked a ton, we ate pizza most days, pasta dishes, gelato … all things I so rarely ate anymore.

In fact, I remember one night literally crying about eating tartufo at the famous cafe, Tre Scalini, (near Piazza Navona) in Rome. Tartufo that I’d read about in our guide-book, tartufo that I’d been talking up for two days, and tartufo that my husband and I had walked about 2 miles to finally get before we left for Florence the next day (where we actually got engaged).

It was one of those rock-bottom moments. After I had a good cry on his shoulders, explaining to him why it was so hard for me to eat such a decadent dessert without guilt, he tried to help me see that it was just a dessert, that we were in ITALY and had walked all the way here for this treat that I had wanted and should allow myself to have.

I calmed down, took a spoonful and was in heaven. It was so unbelievably rich and chocolate-y. We shared the beloved tartufo and walked back to our hotel holding hands, feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off me.

This was also the first time he’d actually seen the depth of my disordered eating behavior.

From that point on, I was able to put it aside and enjoy the rest of our trip, but I still look back on that moment as a reminder about just how irrational my thoughts can be … and how far I’ve come.

And so this Saturday when we celebrated our second wedding anniversary I couldn’t help but think how much has changed since the tartufo incident.

In fact, Saturday night, I even asked for a little plate of extra brownie nibbles and strawberries for our fondue.

And you know what? We didn’t leave a single crumb. 🙂

How about you? How do you handle a decadent night out? Do you go to town and worry about it later, or mentally prepare ahead of time?

12 thoughts on “Melting Pot Fun

  1. You should be proud of yourself. It doesn’t sound lame, it sounds like a really big positive step in the right direction. Going out to a dinner and purely enjoying it without adding up the calories along the way is a huge step, so good for you, and congratulations.
    Also, you’re very lucky to have a husband who completely supports you and wants to help, but I’m sure you know that 🙂
    Reading this post made me very happy, and it’s given me a lot to think about for myself as well.

  2. Wow, I am so happy for you. Being proud of yourself does not sound silly one bit. This is such an inspiring post. I believe every “disordered eater” can *potentially* feel this way on Thanksgiving. Savoring all the decadence without guilt because it’s 1)once a year 2)special occasion, holiday 3)our bodies are genetically supposed to crave warm, hearty food come the winter months 4)your building memories and most importantly, 5)YOUR SURROUNDED BY THOSE WHO LOVE YOU MOST: FRIENDS&FAMILY.

    I was really looking forward to reading this post about how the restaurant went, and I couldn’t be more elated. Even if it did not go so well and you had a slip, it’s such a wonderful challenge, if you will. You have come so far, and your husband loves you for who you are, not what you do or what your eat. That being said, why not splurge with some chocolate cherry fondue every once in a while?

    Have a great week-you deserve it.

  3. I’m so proud of you! Melting pot is an easy place to get SOOOO off track, but its also very easy to plan ahead and eat very healthfully. Adam and I tend to go once a year, and realized recently that the broth with exactly the plate you got is very Points friendly! Happy Anniversary!

  4. I am so glad you enjoyed your dinner…and it makes me want to go there so badly!

    I like what Lee said about how this can kind of compare to Thanksgiving…for me, it’s more of the anxiety when I have a “big meal” coming up. This year, like your Anniversary dinner, I’m REALLY aiming to savor my Thanksgiving meal, rather than a. restrict or b. binge. Life’s too short, and when we’re with the ones we love, we should enjoy every moment rather than be concerned with calories. I just need to remind myself of that more often. 🙂

    Happy Anniversary!!

  5. Aw, thanks so much ladies!! Lee, we actually looked at fondue sets this weekend. 🙂 And you’ve beat me to the chase — Turkey Day is on the docket for this week — I definitely think it’s one of those times where restricting or binging just ruins the whole mood. Best to enjoy in moderation.

  6. Congratulations !!

    It’s amazing that sometimes, we can eat like normal people… 🙂

    I think when we forget about the anxiety, the planning and everything, and we just focus on what is important (time with your husband, celebration), we can be “normal”. I don’t know why food take some much place and importance in our mind. After all, it’s not like we’ll be missing food soon, so there is no need to binge on it.

    Anyway, i’m really happy for you. 🙂

  7. Wow, that is really great how you handled and were able to truly enjoy this experience. I try to mentally prepare for big events, such as Melting Pot (which I love), but in the moment the planning fails. i usually end up going to town, stuffing myself thinking I have to eat as much as possible because I won’t get this again for a long time. And I eat quickly, not allowing myself to savor, even when I try to tell myself to slow down. So I am definately still struggling.

  8. Thanks Nikita! I wish I knew why, too … but instead of quesitoning it, I want to work with it from now on.

    Sheena, it’s ok, you’ll get there. It doesn’t happen overnight!

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