When I was in the deepest stage of my eating disorder, I basically lived in solitary confinement.
I ate every meal alone in my room. I walked to class alone. I went to the gym alone.
I realize now that being alone all the time allowed my eating disorder to take over my life.
Something that I’ve tried to improve upon to take back control of my life is socialization around food. It’s been a very slow and uncomfortable process. I still hate eating with other people.
But I’m young. I’m single. I want to have fun and go out with boys. I want to date, but a date usually consists of some variation of dinner/drinks at a restaurant. A date is basically my worst nightmare. A restaurant I didn’t pick to eat with someone who will be watching my every move.
There’s so much to think about:
- If I order the salad, am I “that” girl?
- Will he be annoyed if I try to order vegetarian?
- Will he be freaked out if I tell him I’m vegan?
- If I order water, will he think I’m boring?
These thoughts were all running through my mind last night when I went on a date.
So what happened?
I was terrified. I looked at the menu and everything was meat, meat, meat. I started internally freaking out. Then I remembered that I was on a date and I really didn’t have time to freak out.
I found a garden burger on the menu. There was only one problem… There was cheese in the burger! I took a deep breath and ordered it anyway. It came with french fries (which I haven’t had in literally a year). I ate the whole burger… with the roll (I ate a a white hamburger roll?! Something else I haven’t done in forever).
In the end, I had a blast. We even ordered a beer. I drank the whole thing. I didn’t spend the entire night agonizing over the fact that the garden burger had cheese in it. I didn’t go crazy over the calories in the beer. I think that this was a huge step in the right direction for me.
This morning, however, I am reminded that I have an eating disorder.
I woke up feeling a huge weight in my stomach, feeling like I’ve gained 10 pounds (even though the scale assured me that I hadn’t). I woke up with the desire to exercise (I moved my medium run up to today and am going to lift today). I woke up with the desire to restrict (I have consciously made sure that I have eaten normally today… eating all of the normal snacks, eating normal meals – it’s not easy).
Last night put a lot of things into perspective for me. I learned that I can adapt, but it comes at a cost. I have come a long way considering I would never have even allowed myself to be in that situation in the past, but I obviously still have a long way to go. It’s a slow journey, but right now I’m headed in the right direction.
What do you worry about on a date?