More Birthday Stuff
Thank you for your props in response to my Mexico/birthday themed Marvelous In My Monday post! I really appreciate it, especially after my less frequent blogging as of late. But I still have more to say about my 25th birthday, which was this past Saturday. When I wrote the MIMM post, I was on the airplane and it was my birthday afternoon. I was feelin’ good! However the evening presented new challenges. I overcame them, but my birthday weekend wasn’t completely the rosy picture that my last post painted.
I had birthday dinner plans at my favorite restaurant, J Gilbert’s, with my very close friend (and blog namer, I can’t not mention that) Rachel. It was my first time seeing her since my move to Boston and also my first time seeing her since she got engaged! We started the evening off right with our barrel-aged Manhattans (or as we like to call him, Mr. Manhattan).
My favorite J. Gilbert’s bartender/waiter Clark took great care of us and the food was delicious as usual! I went with the filet/seafood combo because that meant I didn’t have to choose steak or seafood for my entree, and of course the return of my beloved baby cabbages was very birthday appropriate. I hadn’t had them in what seemed like forever; there are none to be found in Mexico.
After almost cleaning that plate I felt quite full, but was in the “birthday mindset”. The mindset that told me it was my only chance to order my favorite dessert – the chocolate velvet cake (moist chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache, raspberry ice cream). As a compromise I asked Rachel to share it with me. But then she was quite full, and stopped eating. And so was I, but I didn’t stop eating. I just kept thinking, it’s my birthday. This is my chance. I don’t remember the last time I ate this cake. I’m going to finish it.
And finish it I did, and hate myself after I did. For some reason I felt like I couldn’t take any of the cake home because it would’t be as good the next day, and I also didn’t know if I’d be able to allow myself to eat it when it wasn’t my birthday. I just had to do it all that one day. Clare has addressed this on her blog before – not restricting desserts or other “fear foods” to special occasions or “cheat days” because that results in overeating on those days. I’ve told myself this in the past and have gotten a little better about allowing myself to eat a dessert on a random weeknight or have pizza without having to “work for it”. But after I finished that cake and felt so full, and continued to feel full for hours after, I just felt regret. I hadn’t “worked for it”, I hadn’t worked out that morning.
I went home and tried to focus on my special evening with a great friend and a restaurant I can no longer go to as often as I’d like. I unpacked from Mexico and re-packed for Boston, watched a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad (still only halfway through season 3!), and listened to NPR’s Fresh Air while trying to take some deep breaths. I eventually fell asleep but woke again a few hours later and had to have another NPR session to quiet my mind. I just wanted to stop feeling full and I kept feeling this pressure to hate myself so that I wouldn’t get that full ever again. I felt as if I was going to do it again and eventually I’d see weight gain. I know that I won’t gain weight from one night of eating dessert despite being full, but in my mind the evening was snowballing.
When I awoke the next morning the full feeling was finally gone. And not only that, but I felt more ready than ever to hit the gym. I seriously bounced out of bed, laced up my sneakers, and made it there in time for some of a class from of my favorite Glastonbury spin instructors. And I wasn’t excited to be there because of guilt. I was excited to be there because I enjoy working out and knew I’d feel great after. I knew I’d feel strong and accomplished. I still didn’t stay there longer than an hour – thirty minutes of spin and thirty minutes of arms/abs left me feeling satisfied. I went to Daybreak after, finally got to drink the coffee I’d been missing so dearly, and was able to visit with my “Daybreak crew”.
And then I got a spontaneous invite to drive over to Pond House Grille to meet Kat (she has a blog now – go read it!) and her family for brunch. I arrived with the intention of just having a coffee, but when I saw a cocktail with Pinot Grigio, prosecco, and St. Germain on the cocktail menu I just couldn’t pass it up. I stole bites from Kat’s plate and ordered my own bowl of brussels, because I still hadn’t gotten my fix even after eating them the night before. And most importantly, I took selfies with Penelope.
I felt worried about going to Pond House where there would be an abundance of food and cocktail temptation. But I went because I wanted to see my friends. I wanted to take advantage of the few hours I had left in Glastonbury before heading back to Boston. And yes I ordered a cocktail, but I made it last all brunch and didn’t want another. All I wanted for brunch were clean eats and I didn’t feel deprived when I didn’t eat any bacon, French toast, or other heavier options. I felt content with what I had. And later that night once I got back to Boston, I felt content with my huge ginormous salad (with yes more brussels sprouts).
So I rebounded. I let the happy stuff in my life – friends, a great workout, being back in Boston, the fact that my mom made me a ton of food and grocery shopped for me so I didn’t have to do it on Sunday – lift me back up. I still feel guilty when I think about that cake but I also move past those feelings fairly quickly whenever I think about them. I’ve had two “normal” nights since Saturday’s dinner and I will have more normal nights to come. Maybe somewhere in there will be a night with dessert, or a night I get very full. But I don’t know when or if that’s going to happen and future tripping on it isn’t going to help things. I just have to have faith in myself that my relationship with food can continue to improve and that I can get closer to that relaxed attitude and mindset that I’m seeking.
Do you find yourself over-eating/indulging on “cheat days” or special occasions, just because?
What kind of activities do you do to calm yourself when you’re feeling anxious/stressed?
Have you ever ordered brussels sprout at brunch? I wonder if I’m the only one!