Making Healthy Choices at the Grocery Store

Standing in line at the grocery store, I glanced down at my cart full of food and was surprised. For the first time in a long time, I was happy with what I saw there. As I placed the items onto the belt, I felt good about the choices that I had made. There were even a few things that I had not purchased before and instead of feeling apprehensive about them, I looked forward to eating them. The cart held plenty of fruits and vegetables and, for once, no junk food.

Suddenly, my mind flashed back to how I felt just a few weeks earlier standing in line at the same grocery store. That day I felt sad and disappointed when I looked at my grocery cart. I was embarrassed and disgusted with what was there. I couldn’t believe how far I had swayed from healthy eating. That cart was full of processed food and sweets. It’s no wonder that my body felt sluggish and my mood was low. I was fueling it with low-grade octane.

This day though I felt good because I realized that I had finally changed my thinking. I was taking responsibility for my diet, making healthy choices and not copping out with junk food because it felt easier.

Just like it’s easier to relax on the sofa instead of going for a run, it’s easier to pop a candy in your mouth than peel a banana. Of course, it’s not difficult to peel a banana as it only takes a tiny bit of effort. The point is that everything we do requires a conscious decision and what feels easier is not often best.

I know as well as anyone that life is about making choices and sometimes those choices are hard. It’s easier to not take responsibility for things. It’s easier to blame our busy schedules, finances, or lack of cooking skills. It’s easier to fill our grocery carts with items that provide comfort and convenience.

Once, I used to think of healthy food as a sacrifice, but now I know better. When I choose an apple instead of a processed cookie, for example, it’s not a sacrifice. I’m making a choice. I’m choosing to put my health first and no one can make those healthy choices for me. I must do it and do it consistently. My body is not going to fuel itself.

Will I ever choose to eat the cookie? Of course, I will. I love cookies! However, I need to be honest with myself. Bringing a bunch of sweets into our home will only make healthy choices more challenging. I must take responsibility for what goes into my grocery cart and consequently what goes into my body. If I really want my body to be healthy, I need to provide the food that will help keep it that way and let go of the food that won’t. It may be difficult, but my health is worth it. Is yours?