Day 120: Experiencing Social Eating

Hello everyone,

I apologize for writing today’s post so late, again, this is the only time I have had today to sit and write today.

The fact that I am finding it harder to find time to write because I am actually busy doing other things is maybe not such a bad thing; it means I am living and it means I am being active in my life.

The past two days have been packed with friends, dinners, lunches and overall the experiences of learning how to deal with social eating.

When I was living in my eating disorder, being social was one of the first things that Ed took away from me.

Being social meant going out with friends, it meant being around food, it meant other people seeing me looking sick, and it meant fear.

I was always so afraid of what food my friends or family would want to eat, or what excuse I would have to use to avoid eating, or if I ate, then I would have to think about what method I would use to work it off or rid myself of that food.

I remember telling E in the beginning of my recovery that learning to go out with people again was one of the scariest things for me, because a lot of going out is centered around food.

It took me months to get to this place of  beginning to experience social eating again, and it is still something that I am uncomfortable with and something I am learning to adjust to.

Last night, I went out to dinner with a friend, even though I was physically sore and did not want to-I did anyway because I told myself that I value myself enough that I deserve to go out and have fun with my friend.

We went out, we ate, we had drinks, and we overall had a good time.

The food was definitely a part of our experience. Sharing it, talking about how good it was, and even tasting it together-it was all a social eating experience.

I had the same social experience later that same night when I met up with my best friend, and we again, shared food.

Yes, it seems like a lot of food in one night, and that is because it was. It was because I was around people, and I am starting to see that people like to eat.

They don’t even eat because they are necessarily hungry all the time, they eat just because they enjoy it, and they enjoy sharing it with other people.

Today I went to the beach with a new friend, and later to a beautiful lunch and even ice cream afterwards.

This was a lot to take in.

I was loving every fact of being on the beautiful beach, and I was loving sharing an experience with a new person who I like, and I even liked the aspect of sharing food.

It did bother me that the food was not the normal food that I eat, and it bothered me that I don’t know how many calories was in it all. It is still bothering me right now.

I was thinking of trying to count it all up, but I realized, what is the point?

Knowing the calorie content of the food I ate will not change anything. And more than that, why should I want to change anything?

I actually enjoyed myself and enjoyed the experience of social eating, even though it was uncomfortable.

This concept of social eating is something very new to me in my recovery, and it is scary because it is so new. I don’t know how it will affect my weight or my body and that worries me.

But at the same time, I love love love the fact that I am actually doing it.

Social eating is part of being social;it’s part of life, and it’s part of connecting with others.

To use food as a way to connect with other people instead of using it as a mechanism to distance myself from others is a foreign concept for me and it will take time for me to understand, but it’s something I am excited to bring into my world.

Maybe food won’t always have to be the devil?

I am starting to see how much food can actually bring people together.

This isn’t to say that food is the only thing that happens when I go out with friends, but for the past two days, it’s played a huge part.

My struggle now is to not let Ed start to whisper in my ear and scare me about this new social eating experience. He’s trying very hard, and I am sitting here right now trying to fight it with all I can.

I have a lot of social eating experiences left ahead of me this week, as I am going out again with new friends and family this week, and I know it will be uncomfortable, but its a lesson in recovery that I need to learn.

Food is a part of life. Food gives life. So why shouldn’t it be enjoyed with others?

I will try to remind myself of this tonight as Ed is talking to me-because I can feel him settling into his little bed on my shoulder right now.

I hope I can make it through the night without going back and trying to count today’s calories, and just try to enjoy today for what it was; a new and positive experience.

I am uncomfortable with this new experience, but that is OK.

All the beautiful things that recovery has brought me all at one point started with me feeling angry, uncomfortable or scared.

Lets add social eating to the list of things to change my perception about, shall we?

Ed needs to shut up, and I need to let myself enjoy the fact that not only did I push myself out of my comfort zone today, but that I know it is worth it to feel uncomfortable now, because I am worth feeling free in the future.

I am sure this topic of social eating will be coming up a lot lately, and it is a task and challenge I guess I need to be ready to handle because weather I feel ready or not, life is throwing it my way.

Ed is so loud right now, I don’t know what else to say in this post.

I am going have to find the part deep inside of me that is devoted to my recovery, and I will need her to stand up to Ed tonight.

I will not count today’s calories and I will not let Ed ruin my day. No no no.

Shut the hell up Ed. I’m in control here—and I decide to block you out and instead say, “hello life.”

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3 thoughts on “Day 120: Experiencing Social Eating

  1. I am working toward being able to do this as well. It is the reason I keep increasing the amount of food I eat at one meal. That way, at some point, I can go to a restaurant and be able to eat a whole meal with people. I looked at your tags and one says “inspiration” and yes, you truly are an inspiration!

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