Dining Out….Perhaps Not.

On Saturday my wife and I travelled to Bath to meet with Juniper. We went out for dinner. Perfectly normal. However, it seemed as though ED tagged along.

Juniper had been attending therapy in Bath, and was working on “enjoying her life”. Doing what made her happy. Not being restricted by ED.

We went to a fish restaurant. I thought it would be a safe choice. The menus came. Juniper studied them. Juniper wanted to have a main course and dessert. She was happy that my wife and I had starters. There was prolonged consideration of the menu. Juniper chose a fish dish with new potatoes. When it arrived it came with sauteed potatoes. It threw Juniper into a spin. The waitress was called. New potatoes came. A side plate was delivered so the sautéed potatoes could be removed. Panic over.

They dessert menus arrived. Juniper wanted a chocolate tart or the sticky toffee pudding. However she toyed with the idea of having ice cream as it was a “safe option”. We talked about “doing what makes her happy”. Juniper chose the chocolate tart, didn’t eat all of it (it was quite rich), but I realised she wanted the safe option which was not the happy option but in retrospect would have made her happier (you might have to read this twice….)

I’m in two minds whether going out to dinner is a good idea at all. We all have to eat . Eating is a social pastime. However is eating out with an anorexic really a good idea? Does it cause to much anguish for Juniper ? Would she have been more relaxed if she had eaten at her flat and had the old faithful ED free poached salmon and cous cous.? I will have to ask her to find out.

I don’t know whether Juniper really enjoyed the meal at all if I’m honest. Perhaps we would’ve been better going to a comedy club. There is a great one in Bath. After all, a night out in a room of comedians would’ve probably made Juniper far more happy than a slice of Belgian chocolate tart.

You live and learn.

4 thoughts on “Dining Out….Perhaps Not.

  1. in my humble opinion… it’s great that you went out :) it’s great that your lovely Juniper ordered food she chose herself, and it’s great that she still ate it even when it was brought with the wrong potatoes. She hit an obstacle, and overcame it. She spent time with her family, in a normal social setting, and you had dinner together. That is a HUGE win!
    It might not have been an easy ride but fact is it happened, and the more it happens, the more ‘normal’ it will feel :) Because the more you give in to the ED and stick to safe foods… the more power you give it, and the more it will want. It’s like a spiral.
    Whatever it felt like, this sounds like it was an enormous success to be celebrated :) Well done to you all!

    • Thanks for your wise words. I feel better . It really helps to get a non family members view . Sometimes…..most times…..I can’t see the wood for the trees :-(

  2. As one with an ED myself I tend to loathe eating out, especially in social settings where I feel I MUST eat something to appease those I am with. The hardest part of eating out is picking out something, anything, that I’d be willing to eat. The fact she found something is great; yes, getting something the way you weren’t expecting it can throw one into a panic, but it sounds like you all managed that well.

    Safe foods, while perhaps not the most scrumpish thing on the menu, does make one happy as you can enjoy them without huge feelings of guilt. The safe option might have made her more happy since it feels safe to her, if that makes sense.

    You pose a couple of questions toward the end of your post:
    Eating is a social pastime. However is eating out with an anorexic really a good idea?
    Eating in general is difficult for someone with anorexia, eating in public is even more difficult, and eating out at a social event is perhaps the most stressful of all. That is how it is for me, but the only one who can truly answer those questions for you is her. Have you asked her?

    Does it cause to much anguish for Juniper?
    To some degree I would guess it does, but again the only one who can answer this is Juniper.

    Would she have been more relaxed if she had eaten at her flat and had the old faithful ED free poached salmon and couscous.?
    It depends, if poached salmon and couscous are safe foods for her, then I would venture to say she would have been more comfortable with those options. If she’s in recovery and trying to work on getting better, then eating out in a social setting is good for her recovery since much of life revolves around eating in social settings…

    Personally it sounds like it was a successful outing and she did a wonderful job…

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