Feeling Pathetic at Panera

Today was my last official day without Ryan home. Thank gosh! Not that I need someone to entertain me non-stop or anything like that, but being alone all night, every night after school, specifically around meal times, has been starting to get difficult.

Maybe it isn’t so much the meals, actually, but the desire to (over) exercise has been killing me. Before I actually cared to recover, being bored meant one thing…go to the gym. Of course there are many other things to do when one is bored. I could have read, cleaned, called a friend, blogged, but to me none of these things worked. I felt lazy sitting and being unproductive, so my mind went straight to the treadmill and the last few nights have been the exact same way.

It will be six o’clock, after dinner (because I’m secretly a 50-year-old woman that eats at 5 pm) and I will be standing in my kitchen, at my computer thinking, what now? My sisters never home, or she has her idiot boyfriend here (who I swear I hate more by the day…sorry I hope that’s not too inappropriate) so she isn’t really an option to hang out with. My mom lives in Jersey and has a fabulous new life that I had to admit I am jealous of, and I told you before I don’t have too many friends my age. So I find myself searching for local Zumba classes that I can take, or thinking it would be ok if I walked slowly on the treadmill and watched a movie, but then I come back to reality and realize tomorrow I have an appointment with my nutritionist and 30 more minutes of walking may not be the best idea.

Because of this ridiculous boredom I decided to have a nice night out, drive to King of Prussia and do my weekly grocery shop (hello Trader Joes and Whole Foods…best stores ever!!), and also treat myself to a casual meal at Panera Bread. Obviously this is nothing fancy, but I really like Panera, I barely ever eat food I don’t prepare, they have free wi-fi and it doesn’t seem totally weird being there by myself at a table.

When I get there I was thrilled to see they had my favorite soup…vegetarian black bean, and for some reason I REALLY wanted a turkey sandwich, so I ordered the “you pick two” with these choices, Baked Lays on the side for the much-needed crunch!

When the meals comes it is NOT a half portion of each, but instead a FULL sandwich and ginormous bowl of soup!!! This is the second time this happened at this particular Panera, and I was literally standing at the counter perplexed at what to do.

“I think you made a mistake, I ordered the half portions.” I said to the totally uninterested girl glaring at me underneath her Panera Bread hat.

“Oh…woops. Well I guess you get more than you paid for. Its you lucky day.”

I love the sarcasm of today’s youth. Was she joking?! LUCKY DAY?! This is my worst nightmare! Why? Because in my head there is an ED war waging that is clouding my ability to think!

The healthy side says, “who cares?! You are hungry, you never go out to dinner, you love this food, YOU NEED THE NOURISHMENT what’s the big deal?”

And then of course the devil replies, “Ugh, you didn’t plan for this. This is double the calories and you definitely don’t need all that extra when you just sat in a car for an hour.”

I’m still standing at the counter with the confused worker looking at me.

I half smile and take my plate to the booth furthest away from the other patrons and start to panic even more. My soup is getting cold and I hate cold things…nuclearly warm is my preference, so I needed to make a decision fast. I dissected the sandwich (totally a food ritual that I am trying to work on, I promise!) taking out all the meat and vegetables and pushed them to the side, intending on eating that portion and half the bread, with the entire bowl of soup. Seemed like a relatively middle ground and I thought I could handle that.

Gosh knows what came over me but I ate the whole damn plate. Baked Chips and all. Cursing myself on the way to the car I was so annoyed that my “nice evening out” had just turned into a stress-fest.

I text Ryan immediately, because he was with me when this happened before, and that time I did NOT eat the whole sandwich, and skipped the chips entirely.

He was thrilled that I consumed a “normal dinner.” “Maybe someone was trying to tell me something,” he said!

Did he not understand the negative self-talk that was occurring in my head right now?! I dreaded the hour-long ride home, thinking it couldn’t get any worse…and I was right!

It kind of got better!

I know I shared some quotes with you yesterday, but today I was walking down the hall and saw this on a poster…

“The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary…” Vince Lombardi

Why my mind flashed back to this quote I have no idea, but as I have told you before, I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and maybe I saw that today because someone knew I might need a little help tonight.

Recovery is work. Let’s be honest. Sometimes, actually most of the time, the process SUCKS. I am bloated and uncomfortable because bean soup isn’t exactly the most easily digested food to begin with, so coupling that with an abnormally large portion, for me, and it’s definitely time for some yoga pants. But I was reading some stories this afternoon, of others who are free from ED’s grasp, and they insist the journey is/was totally worth it. Even in their darkest moments of the present, they would never go back to miserable existence (notice I don’t say life) of being sick.

So tonight I am going to sit with this very-full tummy, NOT take the bike ride I was mentally planning as I walked to my car from the restaurant, and instead have my normal, meal-plan meeting, snack, engage in some fitblog chat, and maybe catch up on the Bachelor Pad Finale…all while remembering Mr. Lomabardi’s very wise words.

What are some of your favorite quotes?

I hope you all enjoy your Tuesday!!


24 thoughts on “Feeling Pathetic at Panera

  1. You went to KOP and you didn’t tell me? I work in KOP! 🙂 Next time let me know and I’ll happily eat half the sandwich. In all seriousness, though, I am glad you overcame yourself and are working hard. Sometimes when I get massive portions I am not prepared for, I’ll just have half boxed up to go and then have awesome leftovers for the next day. 😉

  2. You.Are.Amazing. This is such a beautiful post. I totally understand the panic you felt, but you kicked ED’s butt! This is so inspiring – thank you for all your honesty! I suffer from sandwich-dissection syndrome as well. Mine actually started when I was in the hospital because I was told I ate too fast – I figured that would slow me down, but I think I missed the point that I was supposed to slow down and taste my food, not just shove it in at a different pace. Sorry if that’s TMI… Thanks again for such an inspiring post!

    • thanks hun!! definitely not TMI! its good you know why you do it because sometimes that helps fix it! I used to get yelled at all the time in the hospital and would do things like that. its just such a habit now i do it without even thinking…i know its a problem though when my students are like WHAT R U DOING?! haha they always make fun of my weird lunch habits

  3. I went to KoP back in college when I visited Philly. Kinda interesting to see you went there :). Glad you got groceries too, sounds like you got some neat stuff!

    Sorry about the food at Panera and eating it all and how you felt. I hate the feeling of “fullness”, but since you ate it all, it was most likely your body just trying to tell you something, that I guess it just needed that much food? Glad your ride home was a bit better, though.

    ED takes the spontaneity out of life- you start to hate the unexpected (like all that food) and things like spontaneous trips for ice cream or coffee become out of the question. It’s really no way to live, but I’m glad you listened to your body and ate the food and are feeling okay about it :).

    • thats one of the most annoying parts is the lack of spontaneity!!! sometimes i want a latte darnit and i really dont want to think about it THAT much!!
      did you love the mall at KOP!? its pretty amazing!

      • Yep, I totally loved it! I wish I could go back!

        I want a latte now too! But I gotta go to bed in a few hours so not happenin’ but maybe tomorrow… ;).

  4. Ahhh, this was AWESOME! Okay, not awesome that you stressed so much at Panera, I mean, I can relate and I know how much it sucks… but awesome that you ended up eating it all AND making the conscious decision to just let yourself rest, let the food digest, and realize that this is one hurdle in recovery that you JUST passed. Yes, you passed it! There will be more for sure to pass, but if you realize you’re not gaining 10 pounds overnight, these instances will become a little easier and you might actually start looking forward to eating out or treating yourself 🙂

    And when you said “Gosh knows what came over me but I ate the whole damn plate,” you have to realize that not only does Gosh know, but I think you and I BOTH know what came over you: you’re undernourished! Your body NEEDS this food! (And trust me, every time you eat or feel a “binge” coming up… you need to physically say to yourself that it’s OKAY, because you NEED it and DESERVE it after putting your body through a vicious cycle of restricting and over-exercising.)

    Much love,

    • you are so right! i was probably starving but my ED brain was telling me i wasnt! thanks so always being there girl. youre always a big help when I need to reframe my thoughts,

  5. When I read this post I immediately knew exactly how you felt. But what helped me get through was realizing the little things that was able to accomplish. Yes you ate the meal. You identified the negative self-talk and acknowledged it. These are huge steps that you should take credit for. I know you are better than ED because you can identify him as a beast who did this to you. I am positive you can begin to take control of your reactions and show ED who you are really made of. It’s okay to feel bad, its okay to feel uncomfortable in your body and with food but its not okay for Ed to let you ruin your life with these thoughts. Be Real. Be You. Be strong

    • Thank you so much for the encourgement!! its so nice to know others know exactly how I am feeling…it makes me feel much less lonely! I appreciate the comments 🙂

  6. I could quote you quotes all day long! LOVE THEM! My Fave’s are:

    “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change your life; and the process, if nothing else, will be its own reward.” Amelia Earhart

    “Life has hills. Set your treadmill at an incline.”

    “You know, I’ve been thinking. Everything is… just comes together. It’s me. I chose this. I chose all this. This rock… this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It’s entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I’ve been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface.” Aron Ralston coming to terms with destiny, fate, choice, or whatever you may call it, in “127 Hours.”

    “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right.”
    -Henry Ford

    “Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
    -William Faulkner

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. M.L.K.Jr.,”

    “The most beautiful sunrise cannot stir your heart, if you choose to stay inside. The book of poetry that sits on a shelf cannot change your life or inspire your heart. The beauty still exists in either case, but what does it matter if beauty exists…if it is not experienced or shared? What then are words, if not spoken?” JB

    “You might not have had the magic, but you left a little pixie dust!” Kari Jag

    ~ One of my biggest frustrations occurs when people create drama in their lives and then spend the bulk of their time playing the victim and crying about…the drama in their lives. The character Ruby in “Cold Mountain” sums up this feeling perfectly, “Every piece of this is man’s bullshit. They call this war a cloud over the land, but they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say, “Shit! Its rainin’!”

    “A tall blonde lets out a cry of despair, says ‘would have cut it myself if I knew men could climb hair. Guess I’ll go and find another tower somewhere, and stay away from the window.” Sara Bareilles, Fairytale.

  7. I’ve had similar “lucky days” with larger portions than I asked for, or dressing/cheese/sides/toppings arriving on my plate when I specifically asked for them to be left off. And I HATE those times! Eating in a restaurant is challenging enough for me, since I can’t measure anything or see exactly how it’s prepared (and I don’t trust menus and company-pulished nutrition facts). Add an unexpected portion size or condiment, and…we have a situation.

    To come through that not only without a full-on freak-out and reacting in a more disordered way, but eating MORE than you had planned, is seriously admirable. ❤ Hope you dealt okay with "the morning after", which I know can also be a major stressor!

    • I actually did deal ok with the morning! thank you so much for asking! and I hate restaurants too….i went to subway tonight because i was on the road and gone from 7 am to about 11 pm tonight, and i chose there because i could physically watch them construct my sandwich…at least i got a sandwich though! a few months ago i would have gone with a salad!! progress is progress 🙂

  8. You are amazing!!! (I followed your link from CC after you replied to my post I’m ‘snuffles’). WELL DONE!! I am proud of you, that was amazing to eat it all… and yes, recovery does suck but MAN it is worth it. I bet you enjoyed every bite, the soup sounds absolutely delish. Well done on not listening to that negative/devil voice and rising above it and doing what is ‘right’ and definitely ‘normal’. Awesome steps!! 😀

  9. This has happened to me all too often when its “my lucky day” and I want to scream! I feel like I can’t “control” myself at restaurants and just eat everything. And my fiancee just says, you need to this is good! What gets me through is: this isn’t a problem, you need to gain weight, you aren’t at your goal and until you are THEN we can worry about portion control while eating out. It may even just come naturally once my body is where is needs to be. But for now, sitting with these feelings is all I can do and know that in the grand scheme of things, its allllll good. Life is good.

    • I agree that our body is probably trying to tell us something by eating our dinners! I think its pretty normal actually, and instead of being so judgemental i really need to just focus on enjoying my meal rather than berating myself in my mind!! Life is good, I love it!

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