Hey it’s that time of the week again…time to talk about all things marvelous! I absolutely love hooking up with Katie over at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in my Monday! This is one time each week I always do my best to post…even if life is crazy busy! Too good to pass up 🙂
Soo my life has been ca-RAZY busy lately. But, it’s been all good stuff! Nothing bad or negative at all, which makes the busy-ness a lot more manageable and enjoyable! I’ve been working like a crazy woman this past week to finish things up before my trip to Philadelphia for the whole work week coming up! I was super proud of my ability to work ahead and knock everything out. We had a half day on Friday and I was able to get the majority of the things done on Thursday before I left for the day and left just a few last minute things to finish up Friday morning. It felt really good not having to run around like a crazy person trying to finish things up Friday. 🙂
This week I did a few things that I’m really proud of. I haven’t taken the opportunity to really talk about where I’m at with my eating disorder, but there are some really positive updates that I’d like to talk about a bit and share. In the past, declining dinner offers had become a normal Elise thing to do. Someone would ask me to come over for dinner or go out for dinner and without a second thought I’d decline, finding some way to have an excuse not to go or to have something else going on. The thought of dinner was frightening for me and I would avoid it at all costs. But, that has changed. As a perfect example, Scott’s mom invited us over for dinner and I graciously and happily accepted! I didn’t give it a second thought. I didn’t accept and then try and find a way not to go because I couldn’t stop thinking about the food and not wanting to eat it. I accepted…and didn’t cancel. I went…and enjoyed!
She made an absolutely delicious chicken and shrimp stir fry! Her secret ingredient? Cashews! I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of anyone adding cashews to a stir fry…but apparently it was Scott’s dads suggestion years back since he loved cashews and it just stuck after that. I thought it was delicious! A little bit of a crunch thrown in. We enjoyed our dinner together and enjoyed the company.
Another sign of progress? Eating dinner and NOT thinking about it afterward. In the past, if I would have ever eaten a meal, I would have anxiously thought it over in my head about what I exactly consumed…trying to analyze just how many calories I had or how many sources of fat where present in what I ate. I’d analyze, pick everything apart, analyze again…and end up feeling awful about what I had eaten because of all the ‘unknowns’. But this time I could simply eat, enjoy my dinner, and carry on with the rest of my night. No lingering thoughts, no guilt.
The reason we had a half day on Friday was because the company I work for was having their holiday/end-of-the-year luncheon. It was being held across the street at the Westmoor Country Club, which is the location they pick every year since some of the executives are members there. The email came out weeks prior, notifying us of the time and date. I had never gone in the past for different reasons, but this year I didn’t have a valid reason not to go. So I had a decision to make. Was I going to let fear of the food and eating hold me back from going? Was I going to talk myself out of it because of the ‘unknowns’ and because I was told that there is quite an elaborate meal that is prepared?
No. I wasn’t. I accepted! But, like I mentioned above..sometimes after making the decision to accept, the anxiety and preoccupation with the food and eating, etc. would have caused me to try and find any way that I could talk myself out of going or find a reason why I wouldn’t be able to go. Fear and anxiety would fill me. How could I eat a meal with things I had no knowledge or control over ahead of time? How could I eat a large meal in the middle of the day? All these previous fears and concerns were so real for me and would make me find anyway to end up not going. But instead of having all these fears, I was genuinely looking forward to going. It was going to be a huge opportunity for me to push myself, which is something I’ve been trying to do more often. Plus, I was just excited at the thought of having a delicious meal prepared from a fancy schmancy place like a private country club! 🙂
So the time came and I went. No backing out, no trying to find an excuse that ‘something came up’. I simply went and jumped in! It was also perfectly timed because our company’s year end close just came and we got wonderful news that we did really great for the year! So it was a great way to join in the celebration of the success of our company for the year! 🙂
We definitely got treated really well! Guys I really wish I had taken more pictures of the food I ate. It looked SO pretty! For starters, we had a salad with strawberries, cherries and an orange poppy-seed dressing. I’m usually not a huge fan of having berries/fruit in a salad, but this was really different and tasted really good! The dressing was so different and so tasty! Then for the main entree, we got a piece of tilapia, beef tenderloin, oven roasted potatoes, and broccoli. It was SO good. The tilapia and beef were so moist and tender. I think my favorite was the potatoes though. Mmm…they had the absolute best flavor!
Another sign of progress….eating beef! Beef has always been a ‘forbidden food’ for me throughout my eating disorder. Frankly, I don’t actually remember the last time I had it. Even in my recovery now, I haven’t taken the opportunity to have anything beef. Chicken, fish, turkey and even pork I’ve had. But not beef. So when I saw that slab of meat sitting on my plate, it would have been normal for me to get a bit antsy or anxious. But you know what? I DIDN’T. In fact, I jumped right into it. It was really good and I didn’t over-think it. I just ate what I wanted and enjoyed what I had. That was NOT it though. (Although I was getting pretty full!) We still had DESSERT!
Me? Dessert? In the middle of the day? After having a huge meal? And being full? In the past, anxiety would have started to set in. But it didn’t this time. I was actually looking forward to seeing what dessert was! I also looked around at everyone else that I was eating with at my table, and everyone else at the other tables, and realized they were enjoying this, they were excited for dessert, this is NORMAL. I was being NORMAL. And then…dessert came….
O.M.G. This was not only pretty but SO tasty! It was called their chocolate mousse tower! It consisted of chocolate whipped mousse inside, an EDIBLE outer shell of chocolate (which I did not know until I saw someone else start to eat it! I thought it was just a pretty wrapping to hold the mousse!), in a white chocolate sauce! Garnished with a raspberry on top and some raspberry swirl in the white chocolate! Oh.my.goodness. I enjoyed every.single.bit of this. If I wasn’t with co-workers and in a somewhat refined establishment, that plate could very easily have been licked clean! 😉
Granted, I was STUFFED afterward, but it was such a delicious meal all the way around. I felt so proud of myself for going and enjoying it and not feeling guilty about eating any of it. I simply enjoyed it, just like everyone else. Admittedly, I did feel very full afterwards and it did cause a little bit of anxiety, but it was anxiety that was much different than in the past. It was the realization that I ate a large meal, and felt very full, but that it was OK because I don’t eat like that normally and it was a special treat. It was much easier to move on and not let it impact the rest of my day.
Progress is…accepting ANOTHER dinner invite in the same week! Scott’s mom planned a family dinner for the weekend with Scott and I, her daughter and her husband, and their kids. I accepted without a second thought…fully knowing that I would be exposing myself to many challenges all in a short period. But I figured, the more exposure, the better, especially in such a small window of time. Because then I can make it happen easier in my normal life. It ended up being such a great time! I didn’t take nearly as much pictures of the food as I should have been there was ham, potatoes, corn, noodle casserole, deviled eggs, rolls, salad, cheesecake, cookies and PLENTY of drinks consisting of wine, beer, and egg nog with brandy! 😉
(Guys I absolutely LOVE Russian nesting dolls! Scott’s mom got these AWESOME measuring cups for me! She remembered that I loved them from one conversation we had months ago! I’ve seen measuring cups like this before and I absolutely love them! The best gift I could have received!)
On to other ‘progress’ news…all of next week when I’m out of town, I’ll be eating lunch with the people in my class, which will be catered. I made plans to go out to dinner with some friends who live in Maryland and are willing to make the two hour drive to Philly to see me! (YAY!!!), AND I accepted a dinner invite next Thursday out with the law firm that is sponsoring/hosting our event in Philly next week. My initial response was to decline, but then I decided it would be really good for me. Another way to expose myself to an experience that is a bit outside of my comfort zone. I felt a little intimidated by the idea of going to dinner with people who are lawyers and have MUCH more experience and training than I do. I started to think that I will have nothing to contribute to the conversation, that I’ll just sit there uncomfortably, etc. etc. But then, I stopped that negative thinking and decided to view it as a really good opportunity to network a bit and to put myself out there.
I’ve been feeling much more confident in myself and my abilities and I’m really working on trying to believe in myself instead of being quick to shoot myself down or doubt myself. I’ve made huge HUGE progress! It feels absolutely amazing! I also realize just how much being in a good place for my recovery has helped me to grow as a person. When I was really in the depths of my eating disorder, I would never have had any faith or confidence in myself, nor pushed myself to do anything outside of my comfort zone. I also have learned to see my potential and my ability and have much more confidence in myself. I no longer base my worth and value on being skinny, but realize that I am a strong and smart person who can do wonderful things, regardless of my weight or body. I couldn’t be happier with my new faith and confidence in my potential. I know sometimes I still doubt myself or my abilities, but the main point is that I’m TAKING CHANCES and not letting the doubts hold me back. That, for me, is HUGE! I can’t wait to see what my future holds for me! 😀
Happy Monday to you all! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, full of rest and relaxation and feel totally renewed and rejuvenated for another week! 🙂 Have a good one, guys!