Why Going Out For Lunch Was A Game-Changer
I had a "lunch date" set in my agenda for Friday at noon.
No, not a date with a guy - I still haven't found anyone (yet) who "takes my breath away".
Rather, I had a lunch date with a couple of local Montreal bloggers and content creators. We met at a super trendy "cereal bar", where their specialty lattes, smoothie bowls, avocado toast, and cereal & milk have taken over social media by storm.
I had only been to BARLEY once before, but it wasn't to eat (it was for a clothing sale). That Friday, though, the plan was to meet there, bring our laptops, and do some work. I was ready to sit down and brainstorm ideas for both my blog and my entrepreneurial vision.
The only "snag": we were meeting at lunchtime. Now, usually I can "get away with" eating something safe at home and just ordering a coffee when I go out, and that's enough to sustain me for a couple of hours. But to be honest, I wasn't in the mood to be the one "just ordering a coffee". Why should I come to this crazy new hotspot, and while in the company of girls who have a healthy relationship with food (and who are incredibly inspiring to me), miss out on the chance to fully experience the "working lunch"?
So, I made up my mind. I was going to order SOMETHING. It didn't have to be the wildest thing on the menu. It didn't have to be what was the most popular on Instagram. I could order my coffee, but I made a vow to myself to order food as well.
I had scheduled a meeting with my dietitian beforehand, and she gave me the best little pep talk. I shared my plan with her and for accountability, she asked me to text her after to let her know what I ordered (and also to let her know how it went).
And I did just that.
One of the goals I set with my dietitian was to order something I wanted - something I really felt like. I am trying to break away from statements like: "I should have this, because ___" or conversely "I shouldn't have this, because ___". My go-to question (or at least the one I'm working towards answering is): "what do I feel like?".
Although it's Spring here in Montreal, it still felt like Winter that day. I put on a huge sweater and leggings for my walk to Barley. Given the weather, I decided on a bowl of oatmeal. This particular bowl was sweetened with peaches, brown sugar, almonds, and granola, and it even had a hint of fresh rosemary. Truth be told, it wasn't even on the menu yet, which made me feel kind of lucky to be ordering it!
And, I ate it.
That's it, really. I ate it.
Nothing happened. I didn't panic. Sure, it was WAY out of my comfort zone. I was a little bit hesitant throughout the meal but I kept talking to myself and reminding myself that I could do it. I am more than my illness and I deserve to enjoy this comforting bowl of porridge on a snowy, cold day in my city.
And you know what? I had a blast. Not only did I eat out at a cafe, I also bonded with the girls I was with. I was able to talk about my dreams and my visions and what I am working towards, and hear about what their goals are, too. That day, I was not the girl who showed up to lunch and ordered a coffee. (If you are that girl, please know that I am not judging. I was that girl many times, and I know how hard it can be). That day, I was able to eat and blog and enjoy my day away from the office. And that's more than I ever could have asked for.
Never shy away from networking opportunities. Never shy away from spending time with people who motivate you and inspire you. Try and remove food from the equation and think about why you are there in the first place. Are you out for lunch with co-workers? Are you on a job interview? Are you on a first date? A fifth date? Are you there for fun?!
Food, for the every day guy or girl, is often the focus (and is the focus in a positive way!). I know a lot of people who eagerly try new places in the city for one reason: the food. But for those of us in eating disorder recovery, food doesn't HAVE TO BE the focus. Not yet, anyways. Try and remind yourself of why you are out at the cafe or deli or restaurant or fast food chain. Be in the moment and remember that memories are worth more than calories every single time.
Every single time.