Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Check Out Line

Generally, I feel moderately okay to moderately shameful/guilty when I am checking out at the grocery store. Moderately good: canned beans, Lean Cuisine, skim milk, whole wheat tortellini, and maybe something naughty. Moderately shameful/guilty: several naughty items (white cheddar popcorn, chocolate, pizza rolls, ice cream, etc.), and maybe something "healthy" like a Lean Cuisine.

I have read on multiple occasions about how we have an incorrect idea of what eating healthy is in the US- Lean Cuisines and 100-calorie packs and lowfat options for everything. I don't think that we necessarily need to completely cut out those things, and they have their place in a healthy diet, but I agree- eating those alone is not a truly healthy, nutritious diet.

Today, though, today I felt great. This entire weekend is going to be thunderstorms in my part of Texas, so I ran out to Whole Foods to restock before the roads flooded (they like to do that here. Today, I also learned that my "safe" alternate route, the freeway, also floods! Good to know). I didn't really notice until I was checking out, but I had solely awesome goodies in my basket. I felt so proud to lay out my stash- a bunch of bananas, baby spinach, two packs of extra firm tofu, a little bit of garam masala from the bulk bins, adzuki beans from bulk, black rice from bulk, raw cashew pieces from bulk, Greek yogurt (2 plain, 2 vanilla), and gluten-free multi-grain penne. Grains, beans, nuts, tofu, yogurt, and fresh produce. I feel like such a health nut vegetarian! Which is, of course, the goal.

I'm trying to focus in on the really positive and really negative feelings various types of eating provoke lately. Yes, I always feel really happy and good when I am making, and even eating my white cheddar sauce on whole wheat penne. But I always feel ill afterwards. I am testing out some GF pasta this week, to see if that is the culprit. When I was eating nothing but beans, yogurt, and whole grains during the summer, I felt ecstatic working out, practically getting giddy when I surged forward in a resistance exercise. Now, I feel weak and shaky early on in a workout. On the more mental side, I generally feel ashamed and guilty when I am at the grocery store, especially lately, but then today I felt so proud and special!

One of the things I have learned in my quest to kick my eating disorder is that there are two major aspects: changing habits (what you physically do) and changing mindsets (how you feel about what you do and don't do, why you do what you physically do). Changing habits is going to be making food substitutions, writing about why I want to binge instead of bingeing (is it actually binging? That sounds like it should be pronounced Bing-Ing, but it's all my spell-check is offering...), riding my bike instead of snacking while I watch TV. Changing my mindset is going to be about focusing in on these good feelings, until they become the norm and the craving, not the exciting exception.

So, what have I learned about what makes me feel good in the check out line? Whole foods, natural fuel for the body. Ingredients for a recipe, not a list of ingredients in and of themselves. I like that the yogurt was the most packaged, processed thing on the belt. I love that I had fresh produce. I love that I had uncooked beans. And tofu just always sends a good message.

Things to know for the future.

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