I haven’t really felt this much lately, since we haven’t been out to eat in nearly a year (!). But, I was reminded when we finally did go out to eat the other night (fully vaccinated couple, yay!)… I don’t know whether I’ll ever look at an entire menu. Like, when we get a menu, my eyes immediately go over only the salads and vegan entree options. I don’t even see the pastas, sandwiches, flatbreads. I know that those are off-limits for me, so when my husband mentions that he’s considering the farfalle or French dip, I am confused that they’re even available on the menu. I haven’t even processed the fact that someone (not me) could get that there.

When I was pregnant and restricting less (Hey! We’ll just lose all this weight when baby comes! Order the pasta!), I DID look at the entire menu. I felt wild and dangerous ordering carbonara, which is one of the most delectable dishes in the world. But, I knew it wouldn’t last. I knew that once baby came and I was back on my “normal” (I should stress, MY normal) eating routine, those parts of the menu would once again be off-limits.

I have a friend who is stick-thin. Like, people stare at her because it seems unnatural. They assume she has a problem with food. She actually works out to try to gain some muscle and definition, bemoaning the fact that she is “too thin” when she’s not exercising regularly. I am incredibly jealous of her, wistful to think of her naturally waif-like physique. Anyhow, when we go out to eat, she orders gigantic, fattening meals. I suck in my breath and feel my chest raise with anxiety when she orders–actually orders–a burger with cheese, onion rings, ranch on the side for dipping. Is she really going to put those things in her mouth? I wonder it every time, though we’ve been friends for over a decade. And she does! She eats them all and genuinely seems to enjoy them. And she stops when she’s full. I cannot fathom it.

I don’t necessarily want to look at the whole menu. I know that I don’t feel good when I eat foods too rich or too heavy. And, when I’m at my best, I actually DO want dessert or an extra cocktail. And, in those moments, I’m happy that I have room (emotional, mental, physical) to allow myself those indulgences. I wouldn’t if I also ordered the butter-laden pasta. But, it’s hard. It’s always hard. And, I wonder if it will ever be any different. Day 67.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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