I feel like going to the grocery store is like walking into a great, big minefield. One wrong move, and I’m going to blowup and undo any progress I’ve made with fat loss lately. 

And I feel like, more often than not, I don’t escape the minefield successfully.

We’ve all heard the “tips and tricks.” Stay to the perimeter of the store, where all the “fresh foods” are. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Make a list and don’t deviate from it.

Blah blah blah blah blah.

So we go to the store, determined that we aren’t going to succumb to the temptation to buy all the junk that we secretly REALLY want to take home with us. We start out in the produce section and valiantly load the shopping cart up with all the carrots and apples and greens we think we can handle.

We feel so righteous that we’re making GOOD choices here.

We push on and–staying to the perimeter–enter the meat section. Then the eggs. And right there, next to the eggs, is the butter. And the cheese.

Raise your hand if butter and cheese has your name written ALL over it. 

Mmm. Sandwiches. On freshly baked bread. With melty butter and salty cheese. Let’s just throw some buns in our cart, shall we? Oh and look, right next to the buns are fresh, bakery cookies. And they have a half an inch of frosting on them. With sprinkles. Let’s throw those in too! Why not? 

Must. Get. Away. 

So we hurry out of the death-trap bakery section and through the ice-cream aisle. Where we are immediately assulted with 50 kinds of Ben & Jerry’s. Somehow they stowaway onto the cart also.

By the time we make it to the checkout aisle we have a cart full of junk food and few carrots and greens.

Is this how your shopping trips look?

If so, you aren’t alone. Grocery shopping is like a double-edged sword for me. I love it because I love food. And I hate it, because I love food.

Sometimes it feels so hard to make the right choices. I’ll confess that sometimes I make it out of the store with a cart full of healthy food only to sneak back into the store later in the week to load up on all the junk I resisted earlier.

See, the thing about food addiction (ok let’s be real–junk food addiction. No one ever over eats on bananas), is that we can’t quit food. You can quit booze. Drugs. Cigarettes. But you can’t quit eating.

The dilemma we face is there is no cold-turkey when it comes to food (mmm…turkey…). We can’t avoid the grocery store like we can avoid the liquor store. We can’t tell friends and family members, “No I don’t eat food” like we can tell them, “No I don’t smoke.”

This makes the landmine we face absolutely gigantic. 

And it’s the single most difficult thing that I struggle with on this fat loss journey of mine: food. 

And like I said, no one ever over eats on bananas. Healthy food isn’t the problem. Over the past two years I’ve learned to like a lot more vegetables, and I’ve always liked fruit and protein. The problem comes with rejecting all of the “junk” and choosing to fill up on the fruits and veggies and protein that I like instead.

How screwed up is it that there are plenty of healthy foods that I honestly don’t mind eating, but I still would pick the unhealthy junk food almost every time if I was honest? That is so BEYOND screwed up.

But that’s how it is for me. I would LOVE to be that person who picks the bananas over the ice cream when my sweet tooth is acting up. 

But honestly, does ANYONE really prefer bananas to ice cream? Really? 

If you think about it, probably very few of us do. I think 99% of people would really prefer the ice cream…but a lot of those people have mastered the art of self-control and settle for the healthy banana instead.

And isn’t it telling that this is how I think of it–settling? Why is making the healthy choice somehow thought of as “second best” in my mind? Especially when the healthy decision is going to be better for my body immediately AND down the road. 

This is about attitude for me, and clearly I need to work on my attitude when it comes to food. I have been kicking and screaming and throwing an internal fit about changing my eating habits since day one. I have been completely dragging my feet, totally focusing on the gym and exercise.

Considering that fat loss is about 20% exercise, 20% attitude, and 60% food, I’ve clearly been fighting an uphill battle. Imagine what I could do for myself if I got the attitude and food onboard.

So this is my goal. I’m going to change my attitude about food. I don’t have to like it right now, but I’m going to start pretending it’s what I want to do. Like the saying goes, I’m going to fake it until I make it, until the day arrives where I’m fully in control and the grocery store is no longer the minefield that it currently is. This is doable. And I’m going to start changing my attitude about doing it. I’m not under any illusions that it’s going to be fun or even remotely easy. But it’s time to play this card if I want to keep moving forward. 

It’s time to get clear of the minefield.

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