Subject to the Lures of Impulse Grocery Shopping

Grocery Store AisleThere are two grocery stores between my office and my apartment and I go by both of them on the way home from work every day. I’ve gotten in the habit of stopping to pick up a few things several times a week instead of relying on a heavy weekend shopping event.

This is proving to be a bad idea. Oh, it starts out with such a lovely virtuous premise: “I’ll just stop and pick up some more yogurt and sweet potatoes or broccoli for supper” or “I just need FiberOne bars and toothpaste” or whatever. But I am showing myself incapable of not picking up other stuff, too. Stuff like reduced fat gingersnaps, Edy’s slow churned yogurt blend ice cream, single-serving Entenmann’s cinnamon rolls or the ubiquitous 100-calorie pack snacks.

I am incapable of buying these and eating them in a reasonable manner. Why I’m even buying them at all is a mystery to me and it’s why they are not on my regular weekly shopping list. They slip in on these mid-week stops, though, magically finding their way into my cart and coming as a surprise when I get to the register.

Tonight’s splurge – a bag of reduced fat gingersnaps – proved to be my undoing. I was into them in the car and instead of dinner, finally deciding to stop and squirt Worcestershire sauce on the remainder to diminish the tasty lure. I’m full now but I’m annoyed at how little control I have over something as little as a gingersnap.

Taken by themselves, these “mid-week treats” are not bad foods, being lower point/fat/calorie versions of the originals. No one is holding a whip over me if I eat one. But it’s become obvious to me that buying them during mid-week drop-in shopping is a guarantee that I will not eat them wisely or in proportion. On a weekend planned shopping event, I’m more in control and less susceptible to snacky impulse shopping.

I’m not happy with having eaten 1/2 a bag of gingersnaps, no matter how tasty or reduced-fat they were. A friend of mine in my first WW meeting used to say, “The last bite tastes the same as the first” and she was right about these. No matter how many I ate, they never tasted BETTER. So I finally stopped. Let’s hope that next time I can stop earlier. It will help if I don’t buy them in the first place.

I think starting tomorrow I’ll plan to turn right instead of left on that road and go to the gym for a water aerobics class instead of doing some drop-in grocery shopping. It’s a much better idea.