Friday, April 16, 2010

St. Louis and Ethical Eating

This past weekend, I was in St. Louis to help celebrate my friend Amanda's wedding, which was a blast, but one of the harder ones of the last year. I knew there wouldn't be a lot of options for me as an ethical flexitarian, but decided in advance to make the best of it. I wanted control over my food choices and my budget, so I made sure to bring along some corn thins, a packet of Justin's honey peanut butter, a couple of Luna protein bars and some oatmeal, figuring I'd at least have breakfasts and lunches covered. I ate one of the protein bars on the way there, and decided to have oatmeal for lunch. When I arrived at the hotel, I quickly discovered that there was no coffee maker or microwave, and the hot water was permanently set to around 80 degrees - hot enough for showers, but not for oatmeal. Strike one.

I ended up heading to a Walgreens with Amanda's mom and aunt to pick up some snacks for her son, and bought some dried fruit, a spicy V8 and a cheese stick. Not the best options, but having landed at 9:30 am and it being almost 3 pm, I was starving!

Then the rehearsal dinner came around - let me preface this by saying that I in no way ask, demand or expect to always have my food choices catered to - and it was really hard. Pizza and Applebee's appetizers were served, and I realized that I had three choices: eat in a manner that would go against my ethics, eat crap that would make me feel bad both mentally and physically, or just not eat. Option 3 just wasn't going to happen. Option 1 meant that I could eat chicken breast and the beef out of some burgers, and make do, but the thought of it literally made me gag. Option 2 meant eating pizza and mozzarella sticks, with a few sticks of celery on the side.  Guess what I went with? Option 2. I decided that eating meat was just as ridiculous a decision for me as not eating at all, and couldn't bring myself to do it. So I ate the celery (which quickly ran out), the pizza and the mozzarella sticks. I'm not proud of it, nor am I proud of how much of it I ate. It was, however, the best choice at the time - I'm glad I followed my gut. Plus, I knew that I'd be doing C25K the next morning, which would at least negate a slice of pizza :)

I got up bright and early the next morning to "run", and guys, it was rough. Between the fried foods and the dehydration issues from the night before, I was lagging, and every interval was painful. 15 minutes and that was it. I called it quits, and headed back to the hotel. I noticed there was a Starbucks in the hotel lobby, so I grabbed an iced coffee and a cup of hot water and headed upstairs for some oatmeal, and it was glorious! The rest of the day went pretty well; went to the salon with the rest of the bridal party to get our hair done, had lunch with the bride, groom and their families (they had egg whites and fruit, thank G-D!), and helped Amanda get ready. The wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch, and then it was party time!

The reception turned out to be even tougher than the rehearsal, and my dinner consisted of cheese, crackers and fruit. Even though I know I did the right thing, it was really hard watching everyone enjoy the delicious meal, and choosing not to partake in it - I'm starting to understand how tough it can be for E as a vegetarian. I made a choice on what I choose to eat and how I choose to spend my dollar, and it's not always going to be easy, and this weekend was a great way to learn that lesson. By the end of the night, I'd devoured two pieces of wedding cake - tasted awesome, felt horrible. I've been hearing about this cake for months, and wanted to try both flavours. I usually split with E, but since he wasn't there, I figured I could half of each slice. It's times like this when I forget about ED, and I was quickly reminded. Emotion and stress overtook, and it was like I had no control over my fork or the hand that guided it, and it sucked. It sucked real hard. It was bad, but it could've been much worse, and I'm thankful that I was able to stop myself before I had a full-out binge.

The next day, everything was good again - headed to the airport, hopped on a couple of planes, ate some tofu and veg at CVG which was very necessary, reconnected with E, and all was well with the world.

Long story short: had a great time and was glad to be there, but I'm glad it's over!

Picture Time:

Room Tour!

The entryway

The bathroom -
modern, clean and see the shower behind me? 
My blogging station/classroom,
thwarted by the $9.95 daily internet fee

4 pairs of shoes for 2 days - 
I obviously like to be prepared for anything!

Rehearsal dinner-ready

The bed

The beautiful view from my room

Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals and the ceremony location


E said...

I'm sorry I couldn't be there, but I'm so glad to see these pictures. It looks like you had a wonderful time and you're look (as always), absolutely beautiful.


love2eatinpa said...

my gosh, what a rollercoaster weekend for you!

you certainly did your best to be as prepared as possible with your foods, but it didn't seem like a lot of things went your way when the food choices were out of your control. i know how totally frustrating that is.

truly though, you did the best that you could with the choices you had. and kudos for getting in some exercise!

it was just one day, which won't make difference in your weight, and in the big picture, you looked great in the dress and had a wonderful time. that is what you are going to remember about it.

so put the eating part behind you, learn from it and move forward onto putting a good day under your belt. :)

Tina said...

I commend you for eating what you wanted to eat and what suits you. Sure, it may not be ideal, but situations in life rarely are the majority of the time. You did the best with what was available and that is better than most can say. Great job!

adrienne said...

I feel the same way. Everything is celebrated with food.

I hate when people try to make me feel better about not eating meat by telling me there's salad.

Ummm..the bagged salad is not going to work. That's suppose to fill me up?

Thanks for the visit