How many of us enjoy food shopping? I’m thinking not many.
I have always been grateful for blessing of being able to food shop but never enjoyed it, it was just another task I had to complete.
Two days ago was different– I think in part it is due to some Spark conversations I had about showing respect and gratitude for our food.
Tuesday we had errands to run which included food shopping. Armed with my hit list and BYOB (bring your own bags—what else would it be?) I slated the bulk of the day and was up for the task. I had 4 stores to visit: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sam’s Club, Walmart. DH brought his lap top so he had something to do in the car while waiting for me. Remarkably each store took less than 20 minutes (miracles can happen when I remember my hit list).
The whole drive home I was feeling very satisfied. At first I thought the feeling came from the efficiency of the trip but then I realized it was much more than that.
Not too long ago one of my favorite lame excuses for not losing weight was that I did not have the time to shop for the specialized foods. Shopping on a diet meant reading every label and purchasing boring, bland foods that tasted like cardboard. It meant small containers, high prices. My only excitement came from finding skinless, boneless chicken breast on sale. All in all a trip to the grocery store was taxing at best. As my weight soared (273 lbs), enough was enough and a change had to be made.
I put in the time because I was worth it. With each pound lost I became more determined to keep it off and strive to shed more. Food shopping became a three eyed monster that I would rule.
So what was it that left me so satisfied food shopping this time?
First I realized the quick shopping time. Why was it so quick? It was quick because I basically shop the perimeter of the store. Whole Foods brought me to the frozen section to pick up Siete grain free tortillas (thank you Jeanknee for the tip), Sam’s I only shopped the dairy case and produce section.
What else left me so content? I know the foods are all good for me—they will not put weight on me, they are nutrient dense and support what my body needs.
Another reason I was giddy is that I saved money. You heard me, even by shopping at Whole Paycheck (err I mean Whole Foods). How? I only pick up specialized items at WF that I cannot get other places. Perimeter foods cost less than packaged processed foods and leave the stomach content with meals (not hungry for snacks)
But the big bonus--- the nice surprise--this food is tasty and healthful! No scaled back calorie versions , cardboard flavored substitutes for what I really wanted, no fat free rubbery cheese, no giant paragraph of unidentifiable ingredients butter wanna be—just real food--wholesome and delicious . Methinks that is the main reason this food shopping trip was so enjoyable, I knew I could eat everything I bought (just not in the same meal).
Like most new endeavors, in the beginning there is a learning curve and a time curve. For me both of those curves were steep. They were steep mostly because I thought I had to re-invent the wheel to lose weight and they were steep because I was stubborn and I lacked self-confidence.
For any Newbies (and re-newbies) out there my advice...
1. Be patient with yourself as you learn.
2. Shop the perimeter and use the time saved reading ingredient lists with web searches for how to prepare/serve food you just bought. Also, be on the look out for free recipe cards and ideas—the produce and meat department are full of them.
3. Have faith, it may be a lot of extra effort now—but once you learn it—it will become second nature.
I lost 133 lbs and made goal on my birthday nearly 3 years ago. I didn't give up on myself.
No Prob Llama task: Continue to give myself credit for all the good choices I make through the day.
Beck Snippet: Find a diet coach. I already have one in place and lots and lots of support here on The Spark! Having a diet coach does not mean I am weak--it jut means I get someone to to help me along the way. No one could lose weight for me-- it was a gift that only I could give myself.