Restaurants are a tricky things for people in recovery. Going to a restaurant, you are really giving up a lot of control. You can’t really ask your waiter to omit any butter, oil, fat, etc from your meal. It’s just not something that a normal person would do (also it’s insulting to the cooks).
With that in mind, this past weekend Javier and I were planning on going to dinner. On the 1st, it was our 10-month “anniversary” but we couldn’t get to go out until Saturday. Javier let me decide where we were going and we came up with Olive Garden. Along the way, Javier called to see how long the wait was: an hour and a half. No way we were going to wait that long.
I was getting overwhelmed and didn’t want to try to think of where to go while driving, so we pulled over. I got swept away by anxiety. We didn’t have anything narrowed down for helping the decision. Javier wanted to go to a new restaurant, and I wanted to do that so much for him.
As much as I hate talking about what’s going through my mind when it’s negative, I had to explain to Javier that going to a new restaurant causes me so much anxiety. Not knowing what my choices will be, not knowing how things will be cooked, not knowing if I’d be able to get a well-rounded meal. We finally decided on going to Bonefish and all was well.
On Monday night I went to my weekly appointment with my dietitian and I asked Javier to come with me. I want him to be a part of my recovery as much as possible. I opened up about how tough restaurants have been for me. About how it’s been really hard with all my anxiety and worry about what’s going into my food that I don’t make myself.
Earlier that day Javier found a list of the top 10 taco restaurants in the country and there was one on the list about 15 minutes from my doctor’s office and we planned on going there for dinner. Before the appointment we looked it up online to see the hours and the picture showed that it was attached to a gas station. Worry just flooded in at that moment. All that went through my head was that everything would be greasy, unhealthy and would make me fat.
My dietitian helped me to think of it as an adventure. I can challenge myself with foods that typically scare me by thinking of them as something new and fun to try out. To know that I’m not going to go to that taco stand each week. But, even if I wanted to it would be okay because two tacos once a week is not going to make me obese.
At the end of the appointment I was still feeling anxious about everything but I wanted to go anyway. I wanted to prove to Javier and my dietitian that I was stronger than my fears. I wanted to prove it to myself. I needed to prove it to myself. Also, I wanted to just have another wonderful memory with Javier. I mean, it is going to be on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in February!
So long story short, we went to the restaurant and it was amazing. We split 4 tacos, with beef and all, and I really enjoyed them. I was really happy when I was done with the night; I was so proud that I could get through the night unscathed. I did it. Take that, eating disorder.