If you live in an area that has a really good health food store it has to be easier but the nearest Whole Foods is 45 minutes away and the little natural stores around here just don't fit the bill. So I spend hours and hours wandering stores full of food I'm not allowed to have in search of the items I am.
Normally I do my grocery shopping on my way home on Friday night. Yes, my life is THAT fun. But I'm in and out in an hour and home to relax. Yesterday I went to Wal Mart, the big super duper mammoth extravaganza Wal Mart with the grocery store in it, thinking surely they would have what I needed. I went in with a list and came out with a hatred of humanity, and a list. I seriously was wondering if there is a snowstorm predicted of which I'm not aware because EVERYONE was freaking shopping. And I found myself to be, more often than not, either the person standing by at a polite distance waiting for someone to finish looking (and looking, and looking) at the EXACT item I need to get, or the person with a cart up my ass, navigated by an impatient a-hole who wanted what I was looking at.
But it was Wal Mart, land of the bunny slippers, pajama pants and bikini tops. Why would I expect manners?
So today I set out to Earth Fare. I had never been there and had high hopes that it would be like Whole Foods but closer. It was not. It's a nice enough store but the shelves were bare. Seriously...is there a meteor headed toward earth or something and everyone is stocking up but me?? Clue me in! I mean they had no cucumbers. NO CUCUMBERS!! A place called Earth Fare being out of cucumbers is like Wal Mart being out of Pop Tarts and Mac & Cheese.
So from there I went to Heinen's. Now I love the Heinen's by my house. I would shop there all the time if I won the lottery (I'm an Aldi's girl, but they don't carry jicama or miso paste). But I went to the Heinen's in Rocky River. Or, as it's known by the locals, just "River"...said in a snotty tone, looking down one's nose. It's a pretty snooty neighborhood. I saw more than one person shopping from a list on their iPad. Seriously? Even if I HAD an iPad I would not bring it to the grocery store with me. Everyone is dressed to the nines (no bunny slippers here). Mostly yuppie families, who come all together, husband, wife and children. In their Lexus SUV or Cadillac Escalade. Who does that? When Alex was little I did ANYTHING to avoid dragging him to the store with me. And I think in 16 years of marriage the Ex went with me maybe twice. But for these families it's an outing. And the couples, with their 2.4 children, block the WHOLE FREAKING ISLE, while mom reads about the gluten content in the bread and dad makes sure the beer he's picking out is made from organic hops and barley.
Turns out I hate rich people too.
All in all I think I've spent about six hours this weekend dealing with groceries...driving to and fro, shopping and putting it away. Next weekend I think I'll just pull up my big girl panties and drive the 90 minutes round trip to Whole Foods. The people are nice there. I don't recall wanting to kill anyone any of the times I've gone. It will be worth the gas money.
But I did realize a few things. First, it is really REALLY, just incredibly super duper hard for me to go ANYWHERE on the weekend without stopping for an iced mocha. Often that's the only reason I brush my teeth and put on clothes on Saturday, and that's pathetic.
Second, it does not seem natural for me to not have a 'treat' of some sort when I'm done shopping. A bottle of iced tea, or Starbuck's iced coffee, or a candy bar or a chocolate covered pretzel. It's just really hard to stick to the list. Like much harder than I thought.
And third, I'm tempted to fill whatever hole I've dumping food into with...stuff. When I was at Wal Mart yesterday I didn't just walk the food isles, I covered the whole store. I didn't know what I was looking for, but I was looking for something. I didn't find it. Turns out they don't sell love or self-respect.
Today between Earth Fare and Heinen's I really wanted to go to Target or Ulta or any of a bunch of other places, even though I don't need anything. I even considered going to the mall and getting one of those $10 ten-minute chair massages. Just something, just for me. Some comfort since I can't have comfort food, I guess.
How do normal people without food addictions deal with this? I want to get control on my eating but I don't want to shift my fixation to shopping or drinking or sleeping or anything else. Can't I just live my life and do what I need to do and be happy with what I have? Is that possible? Is that the sign of a person who is psychologically and emotionally healthy? Or is it just an unrealistic dream?
I don't know.
Anyway I did go off-list with one item. I was really, really hungry and a half hour from home and I bought this:
Some call it sesame kale chips. I call it photographic evidence that I am not right in the head. It's not TECHNICALLY off plan. Everything in it is on the list of foods I'm allowed to have. But it was $7.49!! And it means no after-dinner snack (I was going to have baby carrots and hummus) and also dinner will be VERY late due to the time I have to wait between eating, taking supplements and eating again.
Yes, I ate kale chips in the car on the way home. And I enjoyed them. What is WRONG with me?
I guess that's the big question. But it's only day four. I have 17 days before I'm left to my own food decisions. Hopefully I can figure something out before then.