A quick break from the homebirth story to share this brief insight.
I don’t go grocery shopping anymore. My husband has taken on that responsibility as part of his “Daddy Adventures” that he does with the two big kids. Once a week, they load up in our Corolla, cross the border, and hit up Costco to buy whatever we need that week. Of course, lunch at one of their favorite places and a stop at 7-11 are usually in store as well (it is, after all, a Daddy Adventure!). I never realized how much that one simple shift has affected my eating habits and choices until this weekend.
We planned an evening out as a family to have dinner and shop at Costco. Due to a longer than usual border crossing and the fact that it was a Saturday night, we pulled into the Costco parking lot just as the store was closing. Big bummer! We quickly changed plans and drove to the nearest Vons to buy just the necessities and planned for another Costco run first thing in the morning. As we speed shopped though Vons to grab the bananas, milk, eggs, fresh greens, and sourdough bread, it hit me.
Not grocery shopping has had a huge influence on my eating habits.
- Since 95% of our shopping is done at Costco, most of the decisions are made for us. At Costco, not only do you buy in bulk and save money, but you also have one option per item. Want to buy milk? Okay, there is one brand of milk. How about carrots or toilet paper or olive oil? At the most you’ll find two, maybe three, choices. It’s clear cut what to put in your cart or not. In contrast, at a traditional grocery store (like I realized this weekend) you’ll stare at 25 options just for ketchup! Thanks, Costco, for making it easy and fast to get what we need and get out of there.
- If something ‘unhealthy’ or ‘special’ is purchased, I don’t feel an obligation to eat it. Sometimes the kids and Scott come home with a bag of chips, or a box of Goldfish crackers. Funny as it sounds, I don’t have any emotional connection to that purchase so I am no beholden to consume it. If I buy the pretzels or chocolates, then I better do my part in consuming them since I’m the one who chose to bring them home.
- I don’t see all the other things that aren’t on my list, so I’m not tempted to but them in my cart. This realization hit me especially hard. We had found all our essentials at Vons and were heading towards the checkout lines. I glanced to my left and saw an entire shelf – probably close to half an aisle – stocked with Oreos. Not just the classic blue box kind, but every shape, size, flavor, and combination imaginable. For a fleeting, split second moment, my mind shouted, “Hey, Oreos! Look at those! All those choices! You should go take a look.” I don’t even like Oreos. The sticky, waxy film it leaves on the roof of my mouth is quite repulsive. Yet I was tempted to walk down that aisle and peruse the merchandise simply because it was there. That temptation is completely removed by the fact that I’m not the one at the store doing the shopping.
Of course there are times when I do the Costco trip or the short drive to Rosarito to pick up dish soap or lemons. They are sparse enough to help me stay disciplined and only purchase what I intended to buy when I arrived at the store. Plus, Costco is familiar enough to me that I can navigate directly to what I want to buy without any aimless wandering that exposes me to the great deals I have to buy now because I’m not sure if they’ll be here next time (aw Costco. I know your game!).
So there you have it. By not grocery shopping, I’m eating healthier. Go figure!
Funny fact – I actually love grocery shopping. So giving over this beloved tradition to my husband was a bit painful. And yes, I married a phenomenal man who chooses to take his kids to Coscto on the weekends and buy groceries with them. I know. Luckiest gal alive.