Myself and 4 of my friends piled into a Toyota Corolla [Read: Super cramped, y'all.] and made our way over to the beautiful, picturesque mountains of Lake Lure, NC. The drive there took about 21 hours, so we knew ahead of time that because we (well, most of us) are 1) broke and 2) severely watching what we eat that we should pack a few things for the road there. I felt pretty good about my food decisions on the way there. My parents are pretty much the most generous, kind hearted people on the planet, and they provided food for all 5 of us and one more of my friends who joined us there (she's from SC, so her drive was much shorter) along with the rest of my family who was there/going to be there. I'm pretty sure they win some kind of award for being so great but they would never tell us because, well, they are that awesome! Anyway... (I love my family!)
We ventured to Asheville for the day and checked out every shop we felt was fun, which was a lot. After walking around, making some purchases, and listening to a hippie drum circle, I allowed myself to have 1.33 beers (Pitcher sharing! What what!) at the Lexington Avenue Brewery (a "gastropub" my roommate termed it) and I was about 2 seconds away from getting everything on the appetizer menu. And the dessert menu. It just seemed like the natural thing to do, right? To celebrate your vacation in the mountains with your friends so far away from home, especially after making some amazing purchases like a vintage Dior hat (You'll die when you see it. Seriously.) and some really amazing fascinators... But no. Beer was celebration enough.
After getting a little sloshy [Read: Cheap date.], we decided upon a restaurant that was delicious, budget-friendly (hah!), and had little waiting, so we went to Boca. I probably had a little too much of our friend Lindie's calamari, but I didn't order my own, so that was a big step. If you know me, you know I love calamari. I used to get it at every restaurant that had it. (I wonder why I weighed 250...) The first thing I saw on the menu (ahem - apart from the calamari) was the scallop and watermelon salad. Those are 2 of my other most favorite things, and since my mom is allergic to scallops (The food allergies in my family will make you weep.), it was a no brainer. No other thing on the menu compared to that, so that's what I ordered.
Boca is pretty great at presentation, but this salad tasted even better than it looked. I try to stay away from salads in restaurants simply because I can usually make them at home a lot better and less expensive than in the restaurant, but this was worth every penny. The bed of arugula tossed in a lemon-olive oil vinaigrette was a perfect foundation for sprinkles of almond slivers above it, resting just beneath watermelon triangles smeared with sweet, soft goat cheese and slightly charred scallops. I could tell that perhaps there was some raw sugar that had been caramelized on the scallops, not too much to make a huge difference, but nonetheless, I could have done without. Some balsamic vinegar topped it off to exquisite perfection and it felt like home in your mouth. *Pause for a nostalgic, culinary tear* Ugh... So, so good.
Some of our group was really digging the idea of dessert, and the salad was so good that I wanted to top it off, but I knew I had to be strong. Sweet treats were being discussed and my cravings were rising, so I excused myself and walked down to the nearest coffee shop to grab something - anything - that I could at least hold onto. They were closing so I got a drip coffee with cream, but it was almost painful to watch them eat their peaches and cream cheesecake and chocolate torte. I survived, though, and it was time to return to the cabin just an hour down the road.
This day felt like a huge victory for me because I am one who loves to celebrate - and in the worst of ways! I like to celebrate when something major happens, when something semi-major happens, and even when I finally clean the kitchen. My life is all about luxury and celebration, but I'm in a place now where luxury has to come later and celebration has its moments, too. I'm learning what it means to truly reward myself instead of giving into my self-indulgences. It's not easy, but these little things will add up and the reward will be the end result itself.
One thing I keep repeating to myself (especially in these instances) and to others whenever the moments arise is that I love myself more than I love _________ [Insert forbidden food/drink here.]
. I love my happiness and my future more than I love __________. Ultimately, whatever _________ is causes an imbalance in my body and usually causes depression in one way or another (read back a few posts if you need more clarification on that), and I love this feeling that I have now - this feeling of empowerment, of strength, of clarity, of focus, of happiness, of self-awareness, of resilience, of Super Woman - more than one bad decision that can take it away. I slip up a little bit, as I am human and I am allowed to err, but in a conscious, healthy-minded decision making process, I want to choose me and my best self over anything else. I'm seeing how this is translating to other areas of my life, so I'm feeling healthier in all aspects of my life these days, and I am really excited for the future and my future successes that are to come.
So, that was my first real day of vacation! I'll share more of the rest of the week soon. <3.