This is the first San Francisco Blog Series from my weekend away. So many feelings, emotions, and insights. Of course I must share...... I went to San Francisco State University, therefore spending 4 years in the beautiful city. One of my best memories with my friends is going to a popular sandwich place called Ike's. It would usually be on a Sunday when everyone had off work and no responsibilities for the day. We would head into the Castro district, pick up our sandwiches, and walk down to Dolores Park. This park is literally the face of SF. I swear on a sunny day, eating awesome food, laying in the center of the park, being with my best friends, the vibe is unreal, and life is all good. I literally feel a high. It's that special. So now that you have a feel for what I experience I want to tell you about my experience from this weekend. It was Saturday morning, I woke up into the city I love. I had my tea, looking out the window of my uncles apartment, getting some work done, feeling pure joy. I was excited because I wanted to bring Ale to Ike's and Dolores Park so he could experience something I so very much loved from my college days. It happened to be a beautiful, clear, sunny day just to make it that much sweeter.
We got ready and headed out to the Castro. My buckets were completely full. I was in SF, walking hand in hand with a guy I love, the weather was perfect, and we were headed to a place that would allow me to remember my college days with friends I love so much.
As we walked into Ike's it was complete nostalgia. As I looked at the menu, I tapped into my body and chose what sounded satisfying to me. I ordered the "Pilgrim" on dutch crunch bread. I felt calm, happy, and clear. Our order was ready and we were headed to Dolores Park. I couldn't wait to see the park because my Uncle had said it was completely re-done.
The park was gorgeous. There were people there with their dogs, their families, their friends. There were active people, there were people laying on the grass. The sun was shinning, the people were happy, and the city was alive. We found a nice spot on the grass to eat our sandwiches. We were enjoying each others company, people watching, and eating lunch.
So this is the moment I knew I had to share... as I was eating my sandwich, I was feeling love, feeling joy, feeling so much gratitude. I took my first bite of my sandwich, I was present. I realized how amazing it tasted. I swear I felt like it had never tasted better. It was such a special moment for me because I feel like it was the first time I ever "tasted" a sandwich. This is what I mean.... of course I've eaten sandwiches before. But this time was extremely different. In the past sandwiches were a "fear food," gave me extreme anxiety, and something I just wouldn't eat. If I did eat it I was super guilty and felt like I was wrong and bad. I could never truly enjoy eating a sandwich.
I know that I mentioned getting Ike's and going to Dolores Park with my college friends was one of my best memories which it definitely was but what I didn't mention is that I always struggled with my eating disorder. Although at that time my anorexia wasn't present my mental state with food was horrible. Ordering a sandwich at Ike's was hard for me. I would feel guilty, I would have anxiety, I was in my head. If I ate it I was being "bad." I would judge my body and make myself wrong for not being skin and bones anymore. If my bones weren't protruding out of my body like they had been in the past then I was "fat." I would still eat my sandwich at Dolores with my friends but I wasn't present in the moment. I was all over the place. I wasn't grounded.
And this my friends is why I am dedicating an entire blog post to my Ike's sandwich that I ate at Dolores park. A sandwich that I've eaten many times but actually tasted for the first time. I realized how much I've healed and grown. I felt love walking into Ike's, I ordered what I truly wanted on dutch crunch (not whole wheat like my food ego would tell me to), I was present in the moment. I enjoyed the company. I enjoyed the park. I enjoyed my surroundings. The food was not my only focus. It was just a part of my experience. When I took a bite I actually tasted the sandwich. I was eating with love, not with guilt. I was centered, aligned, and at a high vibration. In that moment I felt what recovery felt like, I felt what living free was like. It was a magical moment.
I am not perfect. I work on accepting my body every single day. I still have my moments but I can get through them now without having a complete relapse. I have learned to love myself, love my body, and love my food. I have learned to be free.
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With so much (body) love, Lauren
2016 Copyright Lauren McAulay