Thursday, February 23, 2006

Grocery Shopping Mind Games

Okay, I admit, I haven't been posting any entries. It's because every time I get an idea of something to write, it seems like it has to do with food. The name of my blog has GRAVY in it for heaven's sakes! I don't want to be the kind of person that can only talk about food, but alas, despite my best intentions to write about strollers or American Girl dolls or belly button rings today, I am about to write about food.

I have been in denial about my food obsession, even to myself. Thank goodness I'm not the woman at the grocery store that has to justify to other people in line or to the checker why she's buying so much junk food ("a party" yeah right, or "these are all for my husband" sure.) If she's overweight, I don't believe her. No matter what she might say - they're all for her.

No, instead I am the woman at the grocery store that feels lucky she finally has a wedding ring so that at least people might *think* the junk food is for someone else. My friend told me that's ridiculous, and people don't notice what other people buy, but she's wrong. I notice what's on the conveyor belt all the time with surreptitious little glances out of the corner of my eye and I size up the person buying it and speculate about their eating habits.

If it's a big person buying junk food I am not surprised.
If it's a big person buying skinny food I automatically think they are just starting a diet.
Now if it's a skinny person buying lots of healthy food, and salad fixings and tofu milk I generally feel guilty about whatever I'm buying, even if it's just batteries. As if somehow these batteries are going to be used to make me fatter.

So anyway, a couple of weeks ago I started on Weight Watchers, and now instead of obsessing about food, I obsess about how many points the food is worth. My friends went shopping with me for our new healthy food and I didn't feel self-conscious standing in front of a box of crackers with my points-finding-slider in my hand. I felt powerful. Oh Crackers - I know you for what you are: Full of Points! I will not buy you. I will buy light popcorn instead. I didn't even feel uncomfortable being the fat person in the check-out buying the healthy food. Let them think I'm just starting a new diet. I know that I'm starting a new way of life.

Eventually I'll have a friendly relationship with these strangers - these healthy foods I'm putting on the conveyor belt. They might look strange to me now - The bran granola bars instead of the candy. The tenderloin instead of the baby back ribs. The apple chips instead of the tortilla chips. But these low-point little gems are going to get me into smaller clothes and a healthier body. Once the initial awkwardness wears off I'm sure we'll have a long and happy relationship.

And someday I will be the skinny (well, at least skinnier) person in the check-out, buying mostly healthy food, and batteries and some treats and I won't fret about whether the person behind me thinks it's all for me.

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