Saturday night, my husband and I went to the Melting Pot to celebrate our second wedding anniversary (which is tomorrow).
We had a blast, and I’m so glad we went. I’d been with girlfriends in college, but he’d never been before. Since his love for cheese pretty much rivals my love for chocolate, I figured it was guaranteed to be a surefire success.
And oh, it was!
I planned (are you surprised?!) somewhat for the day by getting in a great cardio workout in the morning. I felt so good, I literally could have kept going, but knew that would be counter-productive if I ended up ravenous.
So we had a good brunch at home in the morning, then got dressed up, visited a friend and their new baby (totally made me want to have a baby — STAT!) and headed off to an early-ish dinner. (dinner at the Melting Pot is a 2 1/2-3 hr affair if you’ve never been, and it’s an hour away from us).
By the time we arrived at the Melting Pot, the aromas were enticing beyond belief, and I was super-hungry (usually I have an apple or something so I am not a wildebeast). But I wanted to save my appetite, and thought going hungry would be a good thing. And it was!
We were seated in an area called Lovers Lane, cozy little booths for two. Once seated, I felt any of the week’s anxiety fade away — sitting close to my husband, about to have a memorable, shared experience.
When we opened up the wine list, we were so happy to find the same exact wine we’d loved on our wine tour of Traverse City, Mich. for our anniversay weekend last year, and so we ordered a bottle of that (a gewurztraminer from Old Peninsula Winery for anyone in the area who is interested). Funny how just a even single sip can take you back to a moment in time.
For our first course, we ordered their signature cheddar cheese fondue, which is just delicious. I’m not the hugest cheese fan, but still, I dipped my bread, apples and carrots and actually ate some sans cheese, too. My husband, on the other hand, went to TOWN. If he could live off of cheese, orange juice and bread — he would.
Our salads came next, and I just fork-dipped per usual. Dinner was wonderful — we got the entrees-for-two which included shrimp plus bite-sized pieces of salmon, teryiaki sirloin, chicken and sirloin. We took our time, cooking it in veggie broth (which was super-flavorful) and dipped the meat/veggies/potatoes in dipping sauces such as ginger plum and teriyaki. Mmmm…
I just focused on enjoying the experience — being truly aware of the moment, of my surroundings, eating with dignity, taking my time, melding of the the delicious flavors, pausing between bites.
My husband definitely has more room in his tummy than me these days, so when I felt comfortably full, I put my fork down and watched him continue to eat –he was loving it, and I love seeing him enjoy a great meal.
We finished off our bottle of wine and then decided on the cherries jubilee fondue for dessert, which was dark chocolate swirled with cherries. OMG. Sooo good! Even my husband, who isn’t as into chocolate as me, was swooning.
I seriously had no room for dessert — even with the nice pace of the courses — but there’s always room for chocolate. We savored the fruit, brownie bites, cheesecake, marshmallows, Rice Krispie treats, etc. We even asked for extra strawberries and brownie-bites.
It was the perfect meal, with the perfect companion.
I hope this doesn’t sound lame, but I’m really proud of how I handled the night out. I allowed myself to enjoy — and I did it — and effortlessly! I didn’t pre-plan every single thing I was going to eat, but I did have an idea of what I’d like to enjoy, and I did. I felt “in the moment” — which is not easy for me to do (usually my mind is going in fifty directions).
I think it helped that I knew it was going to be a big night out — not a surprise where I’d be caught off guard. (Being an anxious person, surprises of any kind really throw me off, even if not at all related to food).
In my head going into dinner that I had 13 TPs plus 11 WPAs and 6 APs (should I need them) s I pretty much knew I’d be able to splurge and enjoy without counting in my head (though I did add it up all afterwards; can’t turn it off entirely).
Still, it was like magic–even eating and drinking everything I wanted, I did just FINE listening to my desires and my body. Though I always *try* not to eat APs, I usually end up needing some of them by the week’s end. So I had to buy back 4 of the 6 APs I earned on Saturday, but it was soooooooo worth it!
It also reminded me of how far I’ve come since my most disordered times.
We got engaged during an amazing trip to Italy back in 2005, and I’d been maintaining my lowest at back then. I remember the excitement I felt for the trip, which we’d been planning for months and months while my then-boyfriend (now-husband) was in Iraq.
But since I’m being completely honest here, there was also some fear and anxiety about being away for so long, and for all the new tempting tastes and flavors that were literally everywhere.
Though we had a blast traipsing through Rome, Florence and Venice, in truth, the food part of things were hard for me, especially the first few days. Though we walked a ton, we ate pizza most days, pasta dishes, gelato … all things I so rarely ate anymore.
In fact, I remember one night literally crying about eating tartufo at the famous cafe, Tre Scalini, (near Piazza Navona) in Rome. Tartufo that I’d read about in our guide-book, tartufo that I’d been talking up for two days, and tartufo that my husband and I had walked about 2 miles to finally get before we left for Florence the next day (where we actually got engaged).
It was one of those rock-bottom moments. After I had a good cry on his shoulders, explaining to him why it was so hard for me to eat such a decadent dessert without guilt, he tried to help me see that it was just a dessert, that we were in ITALY and had walked all the way here for this treat that I had wanted and should allow myself to have.
I calmed down, took a spoonful and was in heaven. It was so unbelievably rich and chocolate-y. We shared the beloved tartufo and walked back to our hotel holding hands, feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off me.
This was also the first time he’d actually seen the depth of my disordered eating behavior.
From that point on, I was able to put it aside and enjoy the rest of our trip, but I still look back on that moment as a reminder about just how irrational my thoughts can be … and how far I’ve come.
And so this Saturday when we celebrated our second wedding anniversary I couldn’t help but think how much has changed since the tartufo incident.
In fact, Saturday night, I even asked for a little plate of extra brownie nibbles and strawberries for our fondue.
And you know what? We didn’t leave a single crumb.
How about you? How do you handle a decadent night out? Do you go to town and worry about it later, or mentally prepare ahead of time?