Saturday, March 13, 2010

Perspective

I was in line at the grocery store the other day, waiting my turn to check out. The lady in front of me was putting her stuff up to be scanned and (as is my habit) I started checking out her grocery choices so I could do a little mini personality reading on her (I know I am probably never right, but isn't it fun to look at other people's carts and imagine what they are going to do with it all?)

I immediately spotted two cartons of Blue Bunny ice cream on the belt, waiting to be scanned. The picture on the side looked like some kind of caramel swirl... vanilla with a thick ribbon of light brown striping each scoop. I eyeballed it closely, trying to determine the flavor. In the past, seeing that might have caused me to back my cart out of the aisle and go running for the freezer section to get some for myself. Or at least I'd start battling the inner child in my head about how I should or shouldn't have that. This time I was okay. But I looked at the woman and her two cartons of ice cream and I thought, "Not fair." And a split second later I saw the two packs of cigarettes that the checker scanned and handed to the lady to place in her purse.

Oh.

Somehow, the whole "not fair" concept blew right out the window, as I realized that being chained to an addiction is what is truly not fair. And how thankful I am that I am, at least in this moment, free.

22 comments:

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Short and sweet, and an excellent post.

As someone who frequently gets caught in the "no fair" line of thinking, this was a good reminder that appearances can be deceiving...We all have our demons. Some are just more obvious than others.

Anonymous said...

Like you, I too tend to look at what the person in front buys when they unload their trolley at the till.

I too can create a whole persona from then and then feel completely virtuous unloading my vegetables and 'healthy' foods.
I think I have tamed certian cravings. I can't remeber when I last bought puddings for the family. I have trained my boys to eat yogurt and fruit...but they'll eat something sweet if it is there.
The easiet way to avoid certain foods is not to have them in the house.

My (adult) son smokes and he has chronic health problems too...has since he was a small boy. He has tried to give up smoking, many times, but can't.

As you say, we feel better for fighting addictions and winning...having some control over whether we allow 'substances' into our lives or not. It's a good feeling to be able to say no to some foods, and mean it. I am sure if I had started smoking at a young age I'd still be doing it now. I found it hard enough to give up Danish pastries! On a bad day I still think they could win me over...until I give myself a stern talking to. :-)

I think the more we are able to go without things we formerly relied on, the easier it is to see them in a 'bad' light and talk ourselves out of needing them again. I think it might always be a struggle with food though, given that we have to eat. We don't have to smoke, or drink,or take drugs..unless we are addicted. I imagine I'll be giving myself 'a stern talking to' for the rest of my life.

Jennifer said...

Excellent post. You are very motivational. Thanks!

mbm1forever said...

Great post and very insightful. Yep, being overweight sucks. Not fair.

Autumnforest said...

Definitely much better to be addicted to food than cig's. You can still have food, that person would never be able to have cig's again.

Kim Maxwell said...

Quitting smoking is exactly how I went from being skinny to being overweight. All I did was just swap addictions. At first my cravings for cigarettes disguised themselves as a feeling that I was still hungry after a meal, when I would have lit up. It took a long long time to go away.

Here's the thing about quitting smoking though, you have to quit for good no more, but you have to eat so you are "allowed" to have just "some" of that evil thing. Quitting smoking is easier.

emmabovary said...

And aren't our own grocery carts something to be proud of now? As I unload the fruit, veg, lean meats and other whole foods, I'm so pleased at this change!

Anonymous said...

I cannot stand when people look in my cart. Everyone should mind their own business! Whether I have loads of healthy food or unhealthy food is none of anyone's business. It is so infuriating. That is why I don't look at what other people buy. I just look at the magazines or at the cashier or somewhere else because everyone has a right to buy what they want without having to be judged. It is their own business.

PhluffyPrincess said...

nice post. i've had someone comment to me when i bought some WW items and also some cookies...and i felt so judged! plus, i was at my goal weight! lol. but the thing is i do the same exact thing, look at other's items!

Anonymous said...

never got the whole looking at other peoples cart. At any given time i can have a several bunches of kale and a bag of marshmallows all at the same time; i don't mind being more interesting to others then they are to me.

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

I do the same thing all the time, I know I am never right about the personality assessment either! What I do love is the addiction part, it's so true, and I am glad you feel free!

screwdestiny said...

Very true. I hope you also realized that you're awesome for working to break the chains of your addiction. So many are never willing to work to do that.

Barbara said...

Great post! Short and sweet.

Margie M. said...

I've been maintaining a weight loss for over 5 years...and I am still not free of certain food addictions. I wonder how any person could possibly manage to really be totally and completely *free* of it all. Please tell me, I'd love to know!!!

Margie M. writes at:
www.myhealthylivingthruweightcontrol.blogspot.com

Angelia said...

I have been a non-smoker for only a very short period of time. I'll be honest, I smoked for 15 years and it was easier to stop smoking than it is to conquer my eating addiction. It isn't fair.

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to see others struggle as I feel I'm struggling, and feeling compassion. That's leading to compassion for myself too. That's what I heard from your post today.

And, as so often, I thank you for that insight!

Marie

Anonymous said...

i started to lose weight when i stopped equating who-am-i?-how-am-i-defined?-am-i-good-or-bad?-what-will-others-think? with what i was eating.

totally agree with you re: the addiction connection and shutting up your inner tantrum with that thought.

What a Splurge said...

I admit that I sometimes look in other people's carts. I can't help the curiosity. My cart is an open book. Look and learn.

notfernsblog said...

Hey, just came across this article and thought you might find it interesting: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/mar/13/obesity-salt-fat-sugar-kessler

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add that one is never really free from addiction; most people who are "sober" from their addictions are considered in a perpetual state of recovery...just food for thought because if you assume that you are done with an addiction, it is so much easier to fall back into old habits...you really have to be vigilant.

Lyn said...

Margie M & Anonymous~

Oh I know. In no way did I mean to imply that I am free from food addiction. That's why I said "for now." Because, in this moment, I finally *feel* free. I don't crave or want. Although I am well aware that could change tomorrow. I will always have to be vigilant.

josie (35 and Shrinking) said...

Wow, perspective is right. Your post is spot on! We don't know their history, their habits, their struggles...What a great lesson to re-learn.