This weekend was an amazing one. First, it was a phenomenal sunset cruise with Luis to celebrate his birthday — followed by a moonlit stroll while enjoying rich, salted caramel ice cream at Kilwin’s and chocolates. The next day was all about awesome shopping and meals in Chicago for a much-needed girls’ weekend with some of my closest work friends. (For any foodies out there — we hit up Atwood Cafe for lunch, RPM for dinner, and Toast for brunch).
When it came to food, I felt like the old me — the pre-disordered me. And it was AWESOME. I felt like I ate intuitively. I didn’t track my Points, I didn’t “keep score,” didn’t worry about anything really — I just focused on the company and the atmosphere and the deliciousness. I ate til I was satisfied and stopped when I felt full. I drank who knows how many glasses of Prosecco and a really big glass of Riesling. I felt pleasantly full but not at all stuffed. And I laughed so hard my stomach hurt, which was exactly what I needed.
I know I ingested WAY more calories than I “should have”, and I know a weekend like this doesn’t get me anywhere near my size-smaller jeans … in fact, it’s this kind of weekend that, coupled with several weeks of overdoing it (as I’ve been doing since, oh, April!), absolutely will tip the scale in the other direction. But I’m not going to look. And I’m not going to fret about it. I’m at the point now where I honest-to-God don’t care what that scale says. I know I have 10-15 pounds to lose. I know I could be thin again, or even thinner.
But here’s the thing: I don’t want to make those kinds of sacrifices to get there. And I wouldn’t trade a smaller size jeans for the happiness I felt this weekend, enjoying real ice cream with my husband or decadent meals with the girls. Food and the art of eating can be so joyful. And it’s nice to be able to eat — in moderation — and to be able to savor it as I felt I did this weekend.
Unlike in the past, this week there will be no punishing workouts, no guilty thoughts (spoken or unspoken), no salads with chicken for the next two weeks to “make up for it”. And this is huge — I mean, huge! Back during my disordered era, you can be sure that’s exactly the route I would have taken. And I would have been positively plagued with guilt the whole time, fearing fat like it was my mortal enemy – imagining all that butter and olive oil and salt and sugar just sitting on my hips.
But weekends like these are the redeeming proof that those days are in my past … and, more specifically, my distant past. And it feels so freeing. SO freeing.
I loved eating so intuitively. I didn’t feel the need to snack on meaningless, calorically-dense but nutritionally-void food. I ate the good stuff, just in small portions.
And even tonight, I had fro-yo and had plans to try out the new Five Guys that just opened with one of my besties (which had THE most amazing soft drink options including like 8 flavors of Coke Zero–seriously; I had raspberry!). I shared a small cheeseburger and fries with Maya — something I never ever ever would have done before — and certainly not after a weekend of foodie delight. Would I do that every day? No, of course not! But 1/2 cheeseburger and a handful of fries isn’t going to ruin me — and it honestly was delicious. I can now cross Five Guys off my food bucket list 😉
I share this because, while this weekend’s adventures might sound silly and mundane to a reader who has a normalized, healthy relationship with food, for me — even now, years into “food sobriety”– moments like this are truly clarifying and proof that I am in a very good place.
Someday I might once again care about getting back into my skinny jeans … but for now, they remain tucked in a dresser drawer. I just don’t have it in me to live that life again … a life of restriction, of sneaky-eating, of chewing and spitting, of fearing food I didn’t prepare or wasn’t familiar with, of obsessing over calories, of over-exercising to “compensate” … it’s just not worth it. I never want to go back there. I’ve simply got too much to live for … and life’s meant for living. And that includes eating for pleasure.
That realization alone is priceless.