Weighty Matters

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Bombardment at the Check Out Line

on February 11, 2012

I went to the supermarket today with a list of the few things that I need.  Very few since I’m still on a full liquid diet.  I wanted onions to make a French onion soup.  Once the flavors have all simmered together, I’ll remove the onions and be left with a very flavorful broth.  I needed milk for my protein shakes and Crystal Light for variety since I need to drink down 64-100 ounces a day.  I mentally shored up my defenses because I knew how tempting the sights and smells of real food would be to me.  I might not have much physical hunger, but my head hunger is sometimes strong.

Wouldn’t you know that today a local Girl Scout troop had a table set up to sell cookies?  I’m very proud of myself for resisting the urge to  buy a box of Thin Mints or the peanut butter-chocolate ones.  Instead I gave them a donation and kept walking.

With so few items on my list, it didn’t take me long to shop.  On Saturdays in tourist season, the supermarkets are packed with people who rent houses or vacation condos for a week and have to stock their kitchens.  So the lines to check out were long.  While I waited, I looked around and realized how many different, often conflicting, messages and images fill the racks on either side of the shopper.  To my right — Chocolate Magazine, Food Network Magazine and Paula Dean — all displaying photographs of opulent sweet and savory dishes.  Following the magazine rack, were shelves of chocolate bars.  To my left, amid the star mags and tabloids, were magazines that touted the latest fat-burning carbs, a metabolism rev-up, and three different new diets to try.   As if to drive home the point that excess weight is a major concern, one of the rag mags focused on unflattering photos of celebrities with close-ups of cellulite dimpled thighs and less than tight abs.

It’s no new revelation that America is obsessed with food, diets, and body image.

New to me today, however, was my mindset.  Did every food item on the right look scrumptious and make me think that I’d love to try it someday?  Yes, but I didn’t want to turn my cart around right then and load up on the ingredients.  The timing isn’t right for me with the liquid diet.  I scanned the chocolate bars, but decided the temporary taste wasn’t worth veering away from the doctor’s instructions.  When I looked at the diet articles on the left, I didn’t feel the same tension that I used to experience.  I didn’t have to dwell on the guilt that I should be doing more about my weight.  I’ve already done something pretty impressive.

I guess that’s the secret to survival for me.  I shield my mind with positive messages so that the ads, articles and photographs can’t infiltrate.  Employing that strategy, I can proceed unscathed through the bombardment at the check out line.

3 responses to “Bombardment at the Check Out Line

  1. lunarmom says:

    Hi Mary! What a beautiful new place you have here. (Yes I actually DO owe you an e-mail about those books you wrote and I asked after.) I am very excited for your journey. Seems as though many of us are in the process of some sort of overhaul, it’s encouraging to feel as though we are not going it alone.

    The grocery store is not my friend, I have very little impulse control, and as you mentioned in a previous post, I get hungry with my head, not with my stomach. It’s all mental isn’t it?

    I’ve put you up over at my place (under the Important Women category), hope you don’t mind. (If you’d rather I not, please let me know.) And am really looking foward to reading more. (Also yes, I SAID I was going to catch up on your orginal blog…. mmm, I run out of day so often!)
    Happy healthy energy, from me to you.

    • Mary Stella says:

      Julie, I haven’t posted much on my regular blog recently. Need to get back to that soon!

      Thanks for including me on your place, too.

      It does seem like a lot of us are transforming our lives. It’s good to discuss and support each other.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. I’ve often had those thoughts in that same place – chocolate cake here, diet there, sometimes on the cover of the same magazine. Mixed messages ‘r’ us. I also find myself judging my purchases by the person in line with me and rationalizing some less healthy choices or congratulation myself on not buying all that processed stuff. I’m going to try your positive thought shield next time!

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