It has been a crazy week, I have been on 8 fights in the last 8 days and I haven’t had a moment to sit back take a breath and reflect. I’m currently sipping on a coffee and munching on a baguette filled with butter, ham, and cheese waiting on my next flight out of Paris. As I sit here typing, eating, and sipping I finally have a moment to reflect and feel dam proud of myself. Before getting into the juicy stuff here, let’s hit rewind so you can have a better understanding of why I was in France in the first place.
As you already know I am a recovered bulimic, anorexic, and fitness addict turned into a personal trainer and coach. What you probably don’t know is that I was born and raised in New Jersey in a French/American household. I was blessed to be able to spend my summers with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in France. My father was born and raised in New Jersey and my mother born and raised in Paris. They met at a bar in NYC and everything from that moment on was history.
Last week I found out that my grandmother passed away at the age of 96 years old. She was elegant, beautiful, resilient, and the only grandmother I ever knew. Late Thursday night I received a call with the news about my grandmother and had to make a decision to either fly out for the funeral or stay in Colorado. In an instant I made up my mind to travel to France and be with my family. I spent the last week traveling, drinking champagne, and eating things I would never dare to have in the kitchen – all while surrounded by family.
Over the years I have traveled while sick, in recovery, and recovered. I strongly believe that traveling to new cultures and environments will give your eating disorder a bit of a scare. Eating disorders love familiarity, routine, and control and these are all the things you cannot rely on while traveling.
Two days ago I walked by a smoothie place in Biarritz and immediately thought, “Yes! Something healthy, something comforting I can eat!” Then, I took a moment and thought to myself I didn’t come all the way to France to have a smoothie…I made the decision that day to enjoy all the delicious things that Paris and the Basque region has to offer. Occurrences like this happened with almost every meal and intuitive eating became a necessity to survive.
While traveling throughout the US you know what expect you know there will always be a Starbucks, Wholefoods, or a place you can find something of comfort. Once you leave the states you have to learn to “go with the flow” and be okay with bread and croissant for breakfast. Traveling can be stressful but vacation is supposed to be about relaxing and getting away from your routine and work. Traveling will give your eating disorder a slap in the face because travel gives you the taste of life!
Every time I travel to see my family in France I am reminded of how food should be enjoyed, savored, and shared. From time to time, while at home, I catch myself worrying about my next workout or I end up eating the same salad for a week. While traveling I am free of this mindset my routine and boundaries diminish and I am out of my comfort zone which, most of the time I am unaware of it’s existence. This week I got to enjoy ice cream on the beach without fearing the calories I created memories with my family over a glass of champagne and, ate bread with every meal because it’s too delicious to not! For me, enjoying life is about being present at the dinner table with my family. It’s not worrying about getting caught for purging (while I was sick), thinking about purging, or feeling guilty about eating carbs or dessert with every meal. These old feelings and thoughts used to cause immense anxiety and pushed me out of my comfort zone, these moments are what I call my “recovery growth spurts.” Travel will push you into a recovery growth spurt weather you want it or not.
When I travel I know I wont workout every day and I know I will eat things that I normally never eat and that is the point of travel! Maybe its time to get out of your routine and shake things up – book a flight, pack a back, and a journal. I always surprise myself when I get a change of scenery, interact with people who have different views on life, food, and how to enjoy life.
If you are feeling stuck in life or your recovery I highly recommend getting away, go somewhere that makes you feel a little nervous and excited all at the same time. Don’t make excuses about work, money, or feeling guilty for leaving (as I have used these excuses in my past to stay in my comfort zone). Traveling will open up your eyes to a new world of possibilities and show you how capable you really are.
Sharing one day of deliciousness while in Biarritz! Yes bread was with every meal.
Just incase you are curious what Biarritz looks like here ya go! I am fortunate enough to be able to have spent every summer here as a kid and it is the an amazing place. You get the beach and mountains and of course delicious food! Not sure where to travel France is always a good bet 🙂