Would you be proud of the food in your grocery cart if your doctor peeked inside?

I usually enjoy all types of shopping, it’s fun for me, but lately I have been getting a bit upset when grocery shopping.  What disturbs me doesn’t seem to bother the average shopper at all, causing me to wonder exactly what was bothering me.  Then it hit me, I am seeing more and more shoppers who fill their carts with groceries I used to buy when I was obese.

I know it’s difficult to refuse all the wonderful sales and coupon deals that are put in front of you.  Bags of greasy potato chips that are on sale:  2 bags for $3.  Packages of sugary, chewy and gooey cookies that are marked down to $2.50, a savings of $1.27!  Donuts, sugary cereals, toaster pastries, endless processed food items in containers of all shapes and sizes.  The list goes on and on, and so do the monetary savings.

But what are you ‘really’ saving?  The money you save at the grocery store could cost you significantly more in the long run from higher medical costs.

When I wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle, I dreaded the thought of anyone peering into my grocery cart. Bananas, carrots and wheat bread were probably the only healthy items in my grocery cart.  The rest were items that I wanted hide from view if I saw someone I knew at the store, especially my doctor.

What would he have said if he took a look inside my grocery cart?   Obviously he knew that I had a severe weight issue.  He could see my size and recognize that it wasn’t a wise decision for me to purchase a few frozen pizzas, chips and dip, glazed donuts, and packages of hot dogs (which are always on sale, by the way.)  I was relieved that he never did.   Now I look back and wished he would have because that may have allowed me to face the fact that I was filling my grocery cart with groceries that contributed to my unhealthy weight.

And that is why I become frustrated when I grocery shop.  It’s typical to see obese individuals shopping in the exact same way I did years ago.  There have been times that those are the only types of shoppers that I see, and on many occasions there are obese youngsters shopping right along with them.  The food in their carts is all unhealthy food.  When I see this, I immediately want to cry and then help.  But I know that approaching a stranger to comment about their grocery shoppng habits will not go over very well, so I don’t.

Which makes me wonder, what if their family doctor were to peer into their carts?   I wonder how they would feel.  Would they would feel the same way I did when I was obese, possibly allowing that familiar “denial” to come into play.

How can you be proud of what you put into your grocery cart? Let me suggest adding foods like colorful fruits and vegetables; whole grain bread, cereal and pasta;  low-fat dairy items; lean cuts of meat; skinless poultry and fish; olive and canola oils; 100% juice; and legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts.)  Avoid center isles where junk foods are often located and please do not purchase food items that contain more than five ingredients, artificial ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Photo credit: Bob B. Brown

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