When I was a junior in high school I bought my first car. While this changed a lot of things for me for the better, it also changed something I never even imagined.
Up until my new sweet ride (89 ford escort, can you picture the hatchbacky goodness?) I had a schedule like most teens. I ate breakfast at home, I packed a lunch for school (cause who really trusts the cafeteria) and I squeezed in dinner at some point around softball practice.
Once I had my car, though, I began a love hate relationship with The Drive Thru.
Ugh. Sometimes when I close my eyes I can see myself sitting there, in my car, eating whatever I wanted, because no one could see. I had become one of “those people” you hear about or see on TV. I ate multiple breakfast sandwiches, hashbrowns, and processed orange juice in the secrecy of my car. As the pounds packed on, I eventually stopped, but the damage of about 50-75 pounds had already been done.
I decided then and there I would only eat meals that I didn’t prepare myself in the company of others. I didn’t want to be someone who hid what she ate, and was ashamed of her decisions. I told everyone in my life that eating out for lunch would be where I got my community. Lunches with friends and coworkers helped me pull out of my hidden habit and live life out in the open.
I wish I could say my reality check stopped there and that I put a nice little bow on it. Life is never that simple.
My fiance asked me, a few months in to our relationship, why I set a certain dollar amount out in my budget for personal expenses. He was just curious what I like to spend money on (where your heart is, your money is also, right?) I told him, quite proudly, that I use that money to have lunch with the people in my life who are important to me, so we can catch up and spend time together. He didn’t understand, but didn’t push it. I told him I could never go back to that girl in her car in the parking lot ever again. I’m not her anymore.
What I didn’t realize until this morning was that in my effort to not be that girl, I became someone totally different, but equally as damaging.
I was rereading The Spark and I came to a section where it asks about eating habits, and I got to the part that reads “Are you a solitary eater, apt to binge when you’re alone” I proudly thought to myself NOT ANY MORE!!!
Then, I continued “Are you a social eater, liable to lose control when you’re at a party or out with friends?” Crap.
My mind flashed to last night, where I ate the appetizers, thinking they were dinner, then when it came time to order dinner, I did that too so I wouldn’t stand out.
So, as hard as it is, I’m admitting that I was wrong. Just because I don’t eat alone, doesn’t mean that I can justify eating out at lunch everyday, under the guise of community.
So here is my DONE statement for 2012: I’m DONE being the one everyone relies on when they want to go out to eat.
Happy New Year everyone. If you need me, I’ll be in the lounge, having the lunch I packed. Please, feel free to join me.