Day 3 of being mindfull. It hasn’t gotten to the part where it’s easier yet, and I guess that is expected since it’s only day 3.
But this morning was hard. (Another hard day, I know). I had put on a pair of work pants, that even two weeks ago fit fine, and now today, they barely fit.
What happened in two weeks, I honestly don’t know.
And after trying to think back on the past two weeks over and over and over, I realized that I will emotionally drain myself if I go and try to honestly figure out what I ate or what exercise I didn’t do to get those pants to fit that way today.
So for the first time in a while, I didn’t take any photos in the mirror. I may have got a few tears, but I decided to stay present.
What is just is and all I can do now is work on doing things that feel better for me: aka this month of being mindful.
I told myself that I would eat perfectly balanced today on the meal plan and write it all down and follow all the “proper” steps in being a mindful eater today (with extra urgency because of the pants situation).
But then one of my friends from work asked me to go to dinner. We were actually supposed to go walking around the lake, but after a long day at work we both didn’t want to.
So-a dinner date? A dinner date after I told myself I would eat right on”track” today and calculate exactly the proper calories? This did not fit into what I had planned.
I felt like I was back in the first month of recovery where my cousin asked me to meet him at a restaurant and I didn’t even know how I would order so I checked the entire menu ahead of time and picked the least scariest thing.
But-I didn’t do that today. And where I could have not gone to the dinner, I did go to the dinner. And I made the mindful choice to go.
To not go to the dinner in the act of being a “mindful eater” would actually not be mindful at all.
It would be safe, and that would be OK too, but it would be giving up a chance to connect with someone for being alone and comfortable with my food. And connection is something that I really need right now.
So all fears aside, I had dinner with my friend .
And while I don’t know the calorie count of the meal and am nervous about it , I know I did a good job of picking something right for me to eat that was sensible and at the same time and more importantly, I engaged with my friend.
In the past few months here, all the times I’ve had with friends have been around eating junk food or sweets and today I got to have the balance in both.
But beyond that, even if today was about junk food, I feel like I would be just as proud of myself for even going in the first place.
Instead of sitting home and eating a safe meal, I stepped outside the line of my comfort zone so I can nourish my friendships here in this new place.
I thought this whole month of mindfulness would be about my needs with sleep, food, nutrition, and things of that nature, but I forgot about my needs as a loving and connected human being: I forgot about my need for friendship.
Maybe giving up the “perfectly balanced” meal at home to have dinner with a friend is a different kind of mindfulness-it’s being aware that I want connection and am deserving of it and more so realizing that I have already started to have that here.
I have a friend to have dinner with. I actually have two friends to have dinner with. And actually a few more than that.
And a few of us are hanging out on Sunday.
And so instead of having anxiety over the non-rigid food plans around that and how it will interfere with my “mindful” eating, I am going to try to focus on the fact that I have friends here.
I have friends here-period.
I am not as alone as I thought I was here, and maybe that’s something I need to start to be mindful of too.
At the point I am in right now with Ed, it would be easy for me to listen to him tell me that it’s worth it to sit at home alone and be safe than to go out with friends and maybe eat things that I don’t know all the nutrition facts about.
And part of me believes him right now. But somehow, a part of me told me to go to that dinner tonight. And for that, I am proud.
While Ed might say that dinner meant lack of discipline, and while I might even listen to him 75 percent of my night-for right now in this moment, I’m proud of myself.
It was a victory for me. It was deciding to spend the night in the recovery world even if it meant being uncomfortable with Ed.
It’s not an easy world to live in and it’s confusing, not routed and not planned-but it’s the world of friendships and the world of dinners not by yourself on the couch at home and that is worth being uncomfortable for.