I love food, always and forever. But up until recently eating out at a restaurant wasn’t an option. Okay, if it was an option it was one that I met with heavy resistance and avoided at all costs. And when events had food? Pass, always. Maybe nibble on a veggie or two, but a polite decline to every passed plate that came my way. Toronto has a lot of restaurants to offer, and here I was always going to the same chain locations over and over to ease my mind.
I always wrote it off as having a sensitive stomach, and never considered that it was just a symptom of something a lot bigger: anxiety.
“It’s all in your head!”
I have heard this a million times and while it makes me beyond furious, it turned out to not be totally wrong.
See here’s what used to happen: I would get invited to a restaurant (dinner, lunch, brunch, basically anywhere with food) and if I couldn’t say no, I would spend hours combing the restaurant’s menu.
And then load up on any meds I could that would prevent an upset stomach. We’re talking a cocktail of Tums, maybe a little Pepto, and anti-acids. I would eat as fast as I could, and leave as fast as I could, while mapping out washrooms the whole route home just in case. Plus, add in the nut allergy, lactose intolerant and not a fan of anything spicy, and I am a horrible person to dine with.
It wasn’t fun, it was stressful. And I hated having plans that evolved INTO food being involved.
It wasn’t IBS, it wasn’t a certain food as I tracked what I was eating, and nothing was helping.
It was mortifying at times, and annoying on top of everything.
And then I started my meds meant for anxiety which then made the light bulb go off in my head, as well as my doctor’s, and we realized that this was just my causing. I would get into a spiral of eating something that would make me sick and then that would actually make it happen.
Every now and then I consider stopping meds because well, I’m sure anyone ON meds considers it. Weighs the pros and cons and such. But honestly what keeps me going is my love of food.
A dinner date? My worst fear.
There was one summer when I first moved to Toronto where the guy I was seeing LOVED going out to restaurants. See, I prefer to eat first then go out, cook at home, or strategically plan dates around the times where one eats. He, on the other hand, hated eating in and hated take-out.
(Spoiler: he wasn’t good for a lot of reasons, but his lack of understanding when it came to my eating issues should have been one of the many red flags.)
I remember one time we went out and I had a watermelon salad…but without whatever cheese it came with. So I paid almost $20 for a plate of cut-up watermelon and it was horrid. I love watermelon, but all the restaurant did was cut it up…in tiny cubes.
But every other time, he would chow down and I would drink…a lot. Purely because what else am I going to do? Sit there and not order anything? A waitress once joked that she supported my ‘liquid diet’ and I hated every minute of that meal…but I kept the frozen, over-priced margaritas coming.
Fox on John gives back.
A year ago if I would have gotten an invite to dine at the Fox on John I would have passed, but now they’re my fave invites to get!
They switch their menu up all the time, the drinks are so yummy and the restaurant’s location is hella convenient for me.
This time around I was invited because of the John St. gives back initiative! John St. Gives Back (their Guest Appreciation Night) features their new menu launch with all proceeds going to SickKids Foundation on October 22nd, 5pm-2am! I for one, highly recommend the cheesecake but I’m that person who looks at the dessert menu first.
OOTD details because who doesn’t love fall fashion?
The most witchy look so far.
A few things I can’t help you find exactly…sorry! The coat, which is cozy af and has the cutest fringe, is from Winners so sadly I knot it would be so hard to find again. And in Midland, because of course. The boots are from Payless (RIP) and the belt is from Primark!
The turtleneck, a fall staple, is from Joe Fresh.
The jeans, a new fave pair, are American Eagle.
The rings are from Pandora and the bracelet was a birthday gift.
And the lipstick? Spanked by Fenty. Which, by the way, is totally restaurant proof.