A Weekend Away (Finally!)

 

Sometimes, you need to escape.

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After a whole summer, working full time, or full time plus sometimes, my boyfriend and I were burnt out.  I honestly don’t remember the last time I had an actual holiday… I mean days off, typical to a week, yes.  But an actual overnight escape from the town we live in?  Yeah… I can’t remember.  It’s been at least 4 months I’d say, probably longer.

I’d been burnt out for a while.  I hate it when you get into a rut, and everything you do is just routine.  Wake up at the same time, eat breakfast (which thank heavens is always varied), bike to work at the same time, take a break at the same time, work some more until you have lunch at the same time, work more till you go home at the same time, plan dinner, cook dinner, do a bit of activity/try to unwind in the same ways, go to sleep.  Repeat.  Those ruts where the most diversity you have in your day is your meals and snacks.  Those ruts where even your days off start to look the same:

Day 1: Skype with dietitian, breakfast, blogging/cafe time (sometimes with breakfast), home for lunch, chores/errands, dinner, activity/unwind, sleep.

Day 2: breakfast, cafe time/chore time, lunch, therapy, boyfriend time (this can always look different yay!), dinner, activity/unwind, sleep.  Or if it’s a doctor week, it’s a trip out of town… but that’s only once a month, and while it’s a change in pace and super exciting, it just doesn’t happen enough.

And you get burnt out.  You get bored.  You get stagnant.  And when you’re still just making ends meet, you get depressed.  Your constant routine is a breeding ground for behaviours.  The predictability offers too many ways to let the ED sneak in.  The routine, which is so familiar, is engrained in your memory.  You remember when you were actively engaging in your eating disorder, and all the places you fit it in.  Those places are still there.  It’s too easy to go back to old behaviours because everything else is the same as it was when you engaged in them all the time.

The past two weeks were a bit of a landslide.  It wasn’t a relapse, it was just a tough haul.  I had super emotional session with the dietitian that started it, and it sort of threw my mood into the toilet.  It was harder to be happy, it was more work to get up in the morning, it was dreading the start of another work week, it was stress.  It was feeling defeated, feeling that recovery was hopeless, feeling like you were failing yourself and those around you.  It was feeling trapped in your thoughts, feeling once again scared of everything.  Scared of food, of drinks, and especially, of not moving enough.  It was feeling as though as enjoyable as movement was, it was entirely compulsive, and feeling stuck in a juxtapositional paradox- I am loving something as much as my ED is, I feel liberated from my thoughts and my cage by flying down the street on my bike, but I feel trapped as soon as I get back.  Knowing that with every push of the pedal, it would be harder to sit still the next day, and knowing that as much as it was liberating me, it was giving the ED voice more power than it’s seen in a while.

We planned this vacation for a while, booking it off (as required) almost a month in advance.  We had been hoping to visit my uncle at his house in the mountains, and were looking so forward to the time away.  I think the countdown really started the moment we requested the time off… as we work two different jobs, when we both find out that we get the time off together it’s that much more exciting.

But of course, life got in the way.  About a week before, we were asked if we could postpone it.  My family was burnt out, and the thought of having more guests was just too much.  My grandmother has been having a really tough time medically lately, and in the last two weeks has been moved into hospice care.  It’s been really hard on all of us, because she was in every meaning of the word, the head of the family.  And we’re a pretty close family unit, so it’s taken its toll on all of us.  We understood, but we were crushed.  We both needed a vacation.  The boyfriend has been working 13 hour days 6 days a week for almost a month, so he probably needed it even more than I did.

It would have been relatively easy to get back on the schedule at work, I think, for both of us.  At my work we were short staffed, and at his, they can always use him.  I was going to do it, because when we finally DID take time off, I didn’t want to lose the hours.  I mean, I didn’t mind, but the bills did.

But at my last dietitian appointment before the trip, the dietitian saw my tiredness, my defeatedness, my sadness… and she said, “You NEED a holiday.  You need to take that time, find something else to do, to see, go somewhere else.  Please try and get away.”

Long story short, we made it happen.  We decided to head to Vancouver, last minute, and stay with my two aunts, who so graciously offered up a room for a couple of days.  And this is what happened:

The car broke down.

No, I’m not kidding.

We both worked Saturday morning, and got off by 2 pm.  Just when we think we’re FINALLY going to get away, about an hour before we left the car started idling low and just quitting.  I’m blessed however, and I have a boyfriend that is not only talented at just about ANYTHING that involves using your hands, but who is also knowledgeable about cars.  This one kind of stumped him, and the mechanic, though.  However, his impulsiveness is a blessing at times, as well as his unwillingness to give up.  At a time when I would have been like, “Well, looks like we’re not going anywhere,” he fiddled with it and was persistent.

“Well, I don’t know what’s wrong.  But it’s good probably like 60-70% of the time.  So I’m putting my tools in the trunk, and YOLO.  What’s the worst that can happen, right?  Lets go!”

No, I’m not joking.

Are we crazy?

Probably.  But I prefer to look at it as refusing to be the victim of life’s challenges.  There’s always a way out of a problem, even if it takes eight detours.  And oftentimes, if it does take eight detours, it makes for a good story at the end of it.

So we headed off, later than anticipated, but determined to get away.

While sitting in the car, I made a conscious decision.  Considering how difficult the past couple weeks had been, I do give myself credit for it, as it wasn’t the easiest one to make.  I inhaled the fresh air coming through the window, closed my eyes, pictured it flowing to all the parts of my body and giving them renewal.  Spreading out from my center, cleansing my arms and hands, my neck and head, my legs and feet.  And I exhaled, picturing my negativity and stale energy flowing out of my feet and legs, head and neck, and hands and arms, to my center, and out of my body.  I chose to feel refreshed and renewed.  And in that moment I decided to wipe the slate clean.

“This weekend, I am going to live wholly and fully.  I am going to embrace every moment, and treat it as if it were my last.  I am stepping away from my day to day life, and being completely present.  And by doing so, I am consciously choosing to let the eating disorder go.  For this weekend, it is not a part of me.  For this weekend, my choices are going to be based on my cravings.  For this weekend, food will not give me anxiety.  For this weekend, I am going to go with the flow.  If there is something that sounds good, I am going to have it.  I am not paying attention to a perfect meal, or a perfect snack, how many snacks I’ve had, or whether my plate has veggies.  And I’m going to savour.  Savour food, savour moments, savour laughter.  I’m going to look at the world and actually see the world, without being in my head a million miles away.  Because I want to look back on this time, and remember how I lived, not how I controlled or manipulated my food or my body.  I want a moment of laughter to be the first memory that comes to mind, not a moment of anxiety over a bite of cheesecake.  Because in the end, it is the moments that matter, and I know that my body can handle whatever I throw its way.  I trust, I surrender, and I choose to live.”

Was it a scary idea?  Yeah.

I did it anyway.  And this is what it looked like:

Saturday night, we had to take a detour to see my aunts who were visiting my grandma in hospice so we could pick up the key to their appartment.

Knowing that the greater portion of our drive would be in the middle of nowhere, we decided that it was a good idea to grab dinner before we left… and I was craving Quiznos.  It’s been months since I have had it, A) because I remember the calories from my ED days, and B) because since new owners took over the one at home, it has not been the same (they skimp on toppings because they suck).  But we were in the city, so we figured it was safe.

(side note: why is it that the food never ACTUALLY looks like the picture they advertise. I mean, Quiznos is closer, but have you ever seen McDonalds or A&W? The discrepancy between the advertised burger and the actual burger is hilariously comical)

I don’t have a picture of the actual food because I didn’t think about writing a post like this until the morning after.  Whoops.  But I got a beef and swiss, and an ice water because I knew I was super dehydrated and needed some pure fluids.  Super yum, and a craving satisfied.

Boyfriend got a chicken carbonara, his usual.  I totally agree, and I alternate between the chicken carbonara and the beef and swiss depending on my cravings.  Best two, other than the ultimate best sandwich, which is the Baja chicken.  I can’t eat that one anymore though because I’ve developed a pepper allergy, but if YOU can, then I totally recommend it!

After this we headed off.  It was a relatively uneventful 5 hour drive… minus the two times that the car died when the clutch was engaged, and we rolled down hills while boyfriend tried to start it again.  The good thing is it always starts right up again, so we never actually had to break out the tools.  Once we finally got to Vancouver, we used GPS to get to the apartment as it was their new one and I’d never been there.  This was super helpful, minus the fact that it didn’t tell us about turning lanes, so we got a couple of drivers a little irate.  It’s hard to pay attention when you’re trying to listen to GPS, watch the idle so the car doesn’t quit, heed the traffic, and deal with weird turning lanes, merges, and overpasses.  But we made it there in one piece!

We got in super late, so it was pretty much straight to bed, especially since we had both started work super early (I had to get up at 5 am), so we were done in.

Sunday morning, we headed out to buy our transit passes (because you’re crazy if you’d rather drive and pay for parking!) for the day, as it’s so efficient and affordable there.  This ended up being a long ordeal, as they had gotten rid of the FareSaver paper tickets (yes that’s how long it had been since I had been there!) and had switched to electronic cards.  This makes much more sense, but considering we were trying to buy day passes, it became complicated.  I looked it up online, but everywhere we went they said they didn’t sell day passes.  An hour later, we got frustrated, went back to the apartment to look it up again, determined that you could actually buy them right in the skytrain station that was literally a block away.  So we wondered around for an hour for nothing.

But it was a nice day, and the air was full of sea breezes, so I couldn’t complain!  The only thing was by the time we finally got them, I was super hungry!  I had woken up hungry, but since we thought we would be getting breakfast right away I didn’t eat at the apartment.  I decided that I was on a mission to find the best iced latte in Vancouver.  Now, I couldn’t be as avid about this as I could have been with a lot of my other friends, or my dietitian, because boyfriend doesn’t like coffee.

Yeah, I know right?!

So I knew I wouldn’t be drinking them all day and really just had a couple of shots.  One of my favourite things to do is look up places to eat and drink before hand, so I can find something with great reviews and not miss out on great opportunities I don’t even know about… so I looked up some places.

My previous stays in Vancouver had been predominantly dictated by my ED.  I remembered going to this coffee shop that sold amazing homemade donuts and coffee both with friends who lived there, and family.  But every time, I always had ordered water or tea… and I was determined to try their lattes and their donuts that had always looked SO GOOD!

Enter 49th Parallel Coffee, and Lucky’s Doughnuts, a combo shop on West 4th Ave.

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I really should have taken more photos of the buildings and stuff… noted for next time I do a travel diary!

There were WAY too many choices to pick from because they all looked SO GOOD!  We ended up each getting a savoury pastry, and splitting a sweet donut.

Boyfriend got the pistachio and salami scone, and an iced tea.  I got the ham and cheese croissant, and the iced Venezuelan.  This was a spur of the moment thing to try something new… it’s caramelized milk reduction, served with espresso and texturized milk with a bit of cocoa powder.  It was good, but a little too sweet for my liking.  The croissant was delicious though!  Fluffy and flaky on the inside, and crisp on the outside.

We were both full after that, so we took our sweet donut to-go and picked on it through the morning.  It was a BACON apple fritter (yes bacon!), and THAT my friends is the texture a donut should be!  It was just the right amount of sweetness, and that smoky savoury bacon was perfect.  Nom.

It was boyfriend’s first time in Vancouver other than the hospital, so I was the main tour guide.  We decided to head out to Metrotown in Burnaby after breakfast.  For those who don’t know, Metrotown is a GIANT mall, with stores for absolutely everything.  We wondered around there for quite some time while I tried to find a new swimsuit and leggings, a difficult task.  I’m fairly easy to shop with though because I literally go into a store, do a loop, and if nothing catches my eye from a distance, I’m done.  Speed shopping for the win!  I almost had a mirror meltdown, or two in the process, but thankfully I had my man there to keep me happy and together.  He knows exactly what I need to hear and how to keep me calm in my worst moments.  I am forever grateful ❤️.  I never found a swimsuit, but I did get some leggings that I LOVE.

We stopped and did some tea sampling at Teavanna, got some iced teas, and then decided it was time for lunch.  It was easiest to just eat at the food court, which isn’t my favourite because it’s never GREAT food.  But we decided to try Fresh Slice Pizza, as it was quick and easy.

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A slice of meat lovers topped with parmesan cheese for me, and a diet coke.  I used to keep diet coke in the house all the time, but now I prefer to have other drinks around (some of them even have calories 🙌!) and just get my diet cokes when I go out to the movies and at fast food chains.  I enjoy them a lot more that way.

After that we headed… to IKEA!  Yep.  It sounds like nothing exciting, but we’d both never been to one before.  My basic synopsis, is when I need to furnish my house, this is where I’m going!  We compared countertops, and kitchens, talked about my need for my dream kitchen to have tons of counterspace and an island.  Luckily it would appear that we are both very similar in terms of our likes!

Some favourites I noticed:

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After IKEA, we decided to get some late 5 pm froyo.  And shock of shocks, I was actually feeling peckish.  Boyfriend had never been to Menchies, and he had never had froyo… I know right?!  I was shocked!  Not about the Menchies… we don’t have one at home, but who hasn’t eaten froyo?!

He learned the cardinal rule, which he will definitely abide by next time: Limit the froyo so you can put all the toppings on!  He went the other way, and it was too much froyo to actually enjoy all the toppings!  I on the other hand knew this from experience, so I had half as much froyo and ALL THE TOPPINGS!

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A bit of butter pecan and nutella swirled froyo, a bit of cake batter and cookies and cream swirled froyo, topped with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Oreos, cookie dough, strawberries, peanuts, and chocolate sauce.  Yep… I think that was it.

Because we ate the froyo so late, we decided to go for a late dinner and go to a movie first.  Let me be clear… I don’t do horror movies. Or at least I haven’t since I was eleven or so when I watched Darkness Falls and was scared to sleep for months.  I can still see her in my mind… no.  Just, no.  But somehow I was at the movies to see Suicide Squad and saw the preview for Don’t Breathe, and it looked good.  And I have a man, so he can cuddle me when things get too intense… so I thought why not, lets try it.  Being from a small town, we don’t have a movie theatre, nevermind a fancy one, so we were debating on what kind of “fancy” theatre to go to.  We had to decide between D-Box, UltraAVX, and IMAX… but IMAX was out because nothing we wanted to see was playing.  In the end we went for UltraAVX because we’re both money conscious and couldn’t justify a $25 ticket just for moving seats.  The verdict was: Not that exciting really.  I personally don’t think the sound and huge high quality screen is worth the extra cost.  But the movie itself was good, although boyfriend only half did his job of cuddling me when it got intense…

The coolest part of the theatre was the soda machine!  Forget seven or eight choices of soda, this one had over 300!  SO MANY!  I had a hard time picking, especially when there were so many I hadn’t even heard of!  This is something we definitely need everywhere, nevermind the fancy screen 😉…

After the movie we decided to walk to dinner, which was super close to where we were staying.  Joy of joys, I was to my great surprise feeling hungry again.  One of my favourite things to do when I travel is use Zomato (formerly UrbanSpoon) to pick out where to eat.  I LOVE this app, as I can search by food type, area, or “best ….” (my favourite!), really whatever you want/are craving/are feeling in the moment, which totally allows me to honor my cravings 👌👍.  Some people are like, “Oh, whatever, we’ll just find somewhere to eat.” But I’m all like, “Please, if I’m going somewhere I want to enjoy every moment to the fullest, and try something new that’s supposed to be AWESOME!”

Side note:  If anyone has any other good app recommendations for this, I’m all ears!

So it was a little harder because we were eating at like 10:30 at night, and a lot of places are closed by then, but I decided to pick something that had good reviews and hazard a try.  We were both craving the best burgers (we both LOVE burgers… it’s a great thing that I’m glad we share) so I plugged that in and came up with a bar called The Hub.  This actually ended up being our favourite place we ate at the whole weekend and it was a total win.  The picture however, doesn’t serve it justice because the lighting was SO DARK!  Both of us agreed just a bit brighter would have been nice, because it was even dark when reading the really small print on parts of the menu.

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We both ended up ordering drinks which were DELICIOUS!  We kept talking about them all weekend, and you know it’s good if I’m tempted to order a second one because I NEVER do that.  Neither of us drink a lot, so it was nice to just relax and have a drink together.  The funny thing was that we both ordered different cocktails, but ended up switching them as we preferred each other’s order to our own.  Only one drink each though because they were doubles and I really am a lightweight.  I was definitely feeling it after only one, so I knew it would be a bad idea to have another.

What I ended up with:”Blueberry Lemon Mojito- Stoli blueberry vodka, muddled lemon + mint, blueberries, simple syrup, soda”.  This was my first time having a mojito and if they all taste that good, I’m definitely a fan!

Boyfriend: “Tequila Paradise-  El Jimador tequila, peach schnapps, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, fresh citrus, soda”. The only part that turned me off was the abundant pineapple aftertaste, but he loves pineapple so it worked for him.

And for dinner we both ordered the “Crack Burger.”, but I had mine with sweet potato fries instead of regular because I don’t like potatoes. Guys… it was honestly the best burger I’ve EVER had!  The patty is encrusted in cracked black peppercorns, and topped with Monterey jack cheese, lettuce, pickle, tomato, onion rings, and pesto aioli.  Boyfriend doesn’t like onion rings so I got his on the side of my plate as well because me+onions= super happy!  We relaxed, ate, marvelled at how awesome the whole meal was, and planned our activities a bit for the next day.  Then by midnight we decided to head back home and get some well-deserved sleep.

I didn’t expect to be hungry in the morning, as I had eaten my whole burger, half my fries, and we had eaten so late, but I woke up starving!  The next morning started out with a trip downstairs to JJBean.  Yep, downstairs.  My aunts’ apartment is right overtop of a JJBean, and a block up from a skytrain and a few awesome grocery chains.  Safe to say they have everything they need at their fingertips!  I’ve heard nothing but good things about the coffee at JJBean, but I’d never been, so we decided to check it out.

img_2507 Side note:  Look at the difference natural light makes!!!

I went for a peach oatmeal muffin and a half sweet vanilla latte.  Odd choice for me as I’m not big on peaches in muffins or in oatmeal, and I usually get my lattes iced, but both just sounded appealing for some reason that morning!  Boyfriend got a ham and aged cheddar turnover, and a really good iced tea.

This latte was one of the best ones I’ve had in a while, and I understand the Bean love.  It was smooth, nutty, but not overpowering. I love coffee, but I still want my latte to be creamy and subtle in flavour, which is one thing the coffee shop back home is missing.  Their coffee is so strong, I have to order it with regular sweetness instead of half just to cut that bitter strong coffee taste.  It always reminds me of two distinct flavours – coffee… and then some milk, with a bit of the flavour shot you added if you’re lucky enough to taste it (hence the full sweet versus half).  I want my coffee to be one drink, not two distinct flavours mixed.  Hence this latte was right up my alley.  And the muffin was pretty good too!  I did eat the whole thing, even though it was ginormous because I was hungry, and I didn’t feel overfull after which was awesome.

Then we headed up to the entrance of Stanley Park, and we decided to rent a tandem bike from English Bay Bike Rentals for the day.  We did some research beforehand and had decided on this place from its good reviews, reasonable rates, and location.  They also supplied a basket, lock, and helmets with the rental so that was awesome.  It was our first time riding a tandem, and though it took probably 20 minutes to get the hang of it and synchronize our movements, soon we were pros.

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We decided to bike the seawall, did the Stanley Park Loop, through English Bay, went down through False Creek, and then stopped for a bit at Granville Island.  This is an artsy little island, where the Emily Carr Institute is located, as well as cute little shops and an awesome marketplace.

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Boyfriend with the tandem at Stanley Park.  We’d pretty much gotten the hang of it by this point.

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I have the world’s worst luck with sunglasses!  I spend $30 on a pair, and I break it within 2 weeks.  EVERY TIME!  These ones I bought from a street vendor in Paris, for the equivalent of $2, and they’re a piece of crap literally.  They are SO CROOKED, as you can undoubtably tell, but I CAN’T BREAK THEM!  Seriously, they’ve been half way around the world.  Thrown in bags, knocked around, bent backwards and forwards, but they never break.  At this point I’ve given up and just gone with it.

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We wondered around Granville Island for a while, and by the time we’d seen it all it was time for lunch.  Boyfriend was craving Chinese, and I was indecisive, but I knew I was feeling the need for something lighter and fresher with some produce.  He’ll never understand my love/need for vegetables, but it is a real thing!

We saw some iced teas at the Granville Island Tea Company, and decided to get a couple of those, and boyfriend got his Chinese.  The nice thing about the market is that there’s so many choices all close together, so people don’t necessarily have to have the same thing from the same shop.  In this case I did though, but instead of going for the traditional smorg-type food, I went for a seafood noodle soup with veggies.

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It wasn’t anything spectacular, but those fishballs were delicious, whatever fish they were.

I should have really listened to Boyfriend when he said, you’re probably feeling full from liquid.  I drank the broth, ate the seafood and veggies, and had my iced tea, but I didn’t have many noodles.  I started to feel really full and they weren’t THAT good anyways.  So I stopped.  But it definitely wasn’t a food full and ended up being a fluid full, as I was peckish again in under two hours.  Oops.  You live and you learn.

After Granville, we biked to Kits Beach, and then all the way out to UBC, one of the universities I attended in my attempt to find myself.  Anyone who has done that bike ride will get me when I say THAT, is one BIG HILL!  By the time we got to the top and to UBC we definitely needed fluids!  So, because caffeine is totally fluids that hydrate you (yeah right!), Starbucks it was!

IMG_4448My signature grande half sweet cinnamon dolce iced coffee frappuccino.  I asked for an iced water too but they forgot and the line was so long I didn’t bother.  I should have though because I was SO DEHYDRATED by the end of the day!

At UBC we walked around a bit, and then took the trek down a bisquillion stairs to Wreck Beach.  Yes, Wreck Beach.  We’d never been, and boyfriend wanted to see it… and yes, it is an optional nudist beach.  And yes, people were nude.  And no, it’s not a big deal.  It’s the human body.  I’m more inspired than anything, because you definitely have to be comfortable in your own skin to walk around nude.  Just saying.

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The stairs going down… SO GREEN!  I love Vancouver for its ocean and its GREEN!

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We didn’t go nude.  We also only saw the top corner and it was super rocky!  Found out afterwards that the main, sandy beach was farther west towards the bottom of the UBC corner… so we kinda missed out on the beachy part of the beach.

Afterwards we biked down the crazy hill (which was super fun!) and returned the bike at around 5 pm.  Somewhere along the ride, the thought popped into my mind to go and see the old residential treatment center I went to when I was really sick.  They used to be in a different isolated location far away, but they’d recently moved to Vancouver so I was in the same city as the new center.  So we found some water bottles and then took transit to the new building.

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I didn’t go in.  We got there at like 6, and I knew they’d be eating dinner (an always stressful occasion), and that most of the professionals that I’d worked with would have gone home for the day, save a few nurses maybe.  So I just looked from the outside, completely immersed in memories.

“Why do you want to go there?  I don’t get why you’d want to see it again.  It’s memories of one of the biggest struggles of your life.  It’s painful stuff.  Why do you want to put yourself through that?  You don’t want to be back there do you?”

It’s a combo question I got when we were on the bus to the facility, and as we were standing on the street, looking up at the building.  It’s interesting how so many people think that it’s a process I don’t want to relive.  I mean, no, I don’t want to be sick like that again.  No, I don’t want to have to go back to residential treatment.  But the memories… they’re a part of me.  And, I honestly don’t have bad memories of that place.  Truly, I don’t.  That was the best place I could have been at the stage in recovery I was at.  It was a safe, welcoming environment, that allowed me to slowly wean off the medications I had become addicted to (doctor error), and start to reclaim my life.  I met people there who, still this day, are some of my best friends.  I have so many laughs, so many tears, and so many good memories.

The difference is that now I’ve moved beyond that point.  At this point, being in residential treatment would interfere with the good parts of my life that I’ve built, as opposed to start a new life, or save my life.  It’s not a place I need to be at this point in my recovery journey.

We stayed there only for a few minutes before we bussed back into the city center, and headed back to the apartment.  By this point, neither of us had had anything substantial since lunch, other than Starbucks, and we were STARVING.  My aunt had gotten off work, and we decided to all go for dinner together.  She is like me, and she loves to try new places.  You’re only on the ocean for so long, so boyfriend and I knew our last meal in the city had to include fresh seafood!

We ended up heading to Provence, which was right on the harbour, and quite fancy.  My aunt had never been there either, but it had pretty good reviews on zomato, so we decided to give it a shot.  We agreed, it wasn’t as good as the burgers, but it was still super nice and the food was good.  The winning dish was definitely mine, and boyfriend even said it was a high contender for the best meal, although he didn’t enjoy his as much.

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He got a fresh seafood linguine with tomato sauce.  I NEVER combine my seafood with tomato sauce and I can’t understand it… to me it takes away from the incredible flavour that seafood has.  Hence, I didn’t order it, because if it’s seafood it needs a white, or butter/herb sauce every time.  Or just simple grilling.  No tomatoes.  No red sauce.  No way.  Boyfriend said it was good, but definitely not great.

img_4747-2I got their famous (they said they’re known for it) wild mushroom ravioli in a wine butter sauce, and added grilled prawns.  I was actually strongly feeling pasta-y which doesn’t happen too often.  All that biking, I guess I needed to replenish my carb stores!  I even had bread from the bread basket beforehand which I never do, but I couldn’t wait for the main meal.  And I ate it all (the main), and I was comfortably full. Win.  And this… yeah it was DELISH!

We also had drinks, which were good, but nothing terribly exciting.

We sat with my two aunts, had good conversation, good food, and good company for a couple hours.  On the way back to the apartment, boyfriend and I stopped in at Urban Fare to grab some breakfast supplies we could eat in the car in the morning, including Erin Ireland’s “To Die For Chocolate Macadamia Nut Banana Bread””, which I had heard of a few times in the blogosphere.  We had to be back by 10 the next morning, so we were up and greeting the morning by 4 am.

And what did I learn in all this?

  1. If I let things go and stop thinking so much, my hunger and fullness cues are WAY more reliable.  In other words anxiety and stressing out about food actually impact my body to tell me what it needs in more ways than I ever thought possible.
  2. If I tell myself I SHOULD feel a certain way, I often do.  Hence, when I eat a big meal, or a scary/higher calorie meal/snack, I spend a lot of time telling myself either I won’t be hungry later, or I shouldn’t be hungry later.  HOWEVER, if I just let it go, my body does its work, and wham, oftentimes I am still hungry the next time a meal or snack comes around.  As was the case for our dinners this weekend- each morning I woke up starving regardless of whether it was 4 am or 6 am or 8 am, AND regardless of the fact that I had eaten the whole plate at dinner.  I let it go, I was fine, and my inner cues were going strong!
  3. It’s easier to function if you stay present and in the moment.  As was the case with the leggings shopping with the mini-meltdown in front of the mirror.  I stopped, closed my eyes, breathed, focussed on my breath to calm me down.  And then I said, “The goal right now is to buy leggings, not to make myself feel like crap.  So I’m going to get out of my head, into the now, and focus solely on the goal.”  Win.
  4. Vancouver is fantastic.  Enough said.

 

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