I have to admit to you all that I had a moment of weakness the other day.
When I was back home, going through the aisles of Target, I felt like one of those kids touring Willy Wonka’s factory for the first time. I mean, it had been almost four years since I’d been back in the states, so part of it definitely was the nostalgia for things I missed. Starbursts. Heath bars. White chocolate anything. Ten billion flavours of ice cream.
Okay, okay.. back to reality.
Anyway, over here I don’t encounter as much temptation to impulse buy stuff I really don’t need. IMHO, I really think it’s because:
- I rarely see new kinds of junk food, it always stays the same
- I will frequently impulse buy when it’s something new that “I have to try!”
- Packaging isn’t as flashy
- There’s less money to put into product development of this stuff because people eat more fruits and vegetables. Seriously.
But that all changes… at the “foreigner aisle” (dun dun dun…)
There is one section that is all imports. Stuff from Europe, America, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc. etc.
Anyway, this is the place where “new stuff” will show up.
So during my weekly Friday night grocery shopping trip, I found myself looking at all of these treats and before I knew it, I was back to my old “scarcity mindset.”
It’s not fair. I want to buy everything on this aisle and I CAN’T. I hate buying vegetables all the time. I just want to be normal! BOOOOO.
Changing how we eat is really hard, especially when you go to the store and are bombarded with pretty packages of cookies, chocolate that’s on sale, etc… If you feel yourself going down a rabbit hole of “why me”, here’s what I suggest you do:
First: Realise What’s Happening
I highly suggest a mindfulness practice. I personally do meditation. This way, I was aware that I was having these thoughts. I was also aware that thoughts aren’t necessarily true!
Second: Focus on what you HAVE, not what you don’t.
I have a billion “treats” at home. The fact of the matter is that I can bring home anything I want, anytime I want. It’s also true that delicious food will always exist. I knew that I what I had at home is enough. I try my best to avoid buying things in excess (gone are the days that I owned 10 different body lotions that never got used up), and the same goes for food. I have ice cream AND leftover birthday cake in my fridge. I could always come back next week and get something.
Third: Give Yourself A Break
Be nice to yourself. Just because you are having a food temper tantrum doesn’t mean you will never “get over it” or that you are doing something wrong. I also knew that I was hungry AND stressed from a long day at work. So, once I went home, ate a snack and took a ten minute nap, I felt much better.
In the end, I took a deep breath, looked at my basket full of produce, picked it up, and checked out. It was the right decision for me and my health. It’s not always easy to change our mindset and behaviours around food, but you have to start somewhere, and with practice, it gets easier.
If you find yourself focusing on scarcity and all the things you can’t have, remember it’s your choice, and actually, you CAN have them if you really want to. (More about this later when we talk about moderation.)