So, I’m walking through Trader Joe’s and suddenly I feel a strong urge to buy ALL THE THINGS!
Seriously, everything on the shelves and in the freezer cases was looking good to me—even the stuff I don’t like.
And of course, everything I wanted contained dairy, wheat, or sugar—or some combination of the very ingredients I decided not to eat for my 90 day experiment.
What the heck is going on here?
I pulled over next to an end-cap out of the flow of aisle traffic, and I checked in with myself by asking this question:
“What is it that I am really wanting here?”
The answer was so quick and so clear.
Variety. I wanted variety.
My very next question I asked was this:
“How can I have variety and keep my commitment at the same time?”
That answer was also very quick and very clear: Mexican food.
I left Trader Joe’s empty-handed and drove a few blocks down to a local taqueria. I ordered a plate lunch, asking them to hold the cheese and sour cream.
The next day I went to a Mediterranean place and picked up a gyros plate with a side salad for lunch, hold the pita bread.
The day after that, I bought some BBQ and coleslaw for dinner from a food truck, hold the roll.
And yesterday, I enjoyed an authentic Italian meal of fresh seafood, arugula salad, artichokes, olives, and beans. I chose to skip the breadbasket on the table and a cappuccino when it was offered at the end of the meal.
Adding in some different types of foods this week really did the trick! I was able to satisfy my desire for variety while staying true to my commitment to myself.
I think the reason why the desire for variety was so strong is because I had gotten into kind of a food rut. I was making most of my food at home and got used to buying the same items every time I went to the store. This is proof that with enough practice, your brain eventually goes on autopilot.
Before I started this project, my brain was used to buying cheese and bread every week. This new change in food choices has served me health-wise, but I learned from my crazed moment in Trader Joe’s of wanting to buy ALL THE THINGS that this new autopilot setting was a bit too monotonous. This was good information for me to know. It only took a minute to check in with myself right there in the store, and it stopped me from following through with a momentary urge that I would have regretted later.
How can you apply this week’s lesson to your own life?
If you’ve made a commitment to yourself and you notice yourself wanting to break it, stop for a minute and check in with yourself to find out why. Ask yourself those same questions:
What is it that I am really wanting here?
Take your time and wait for the answer. It may surface quickly, or it might take a little longer. Once you have your answer, ask yourself:
How can I have ____ and keep my commitment at the same time?
The solution might be quite easy, and sometimes you may need to get creative, but sometimes the solution is completely unrelated to the initial desire.
Say you are wanting chocolate, but really what you want is a hug, go ask someone for a hug.
If you think you’re craving potato chips, but what you’re really craving is conversation, call up a friend or go meet her for a walk.
I invite you to make it a practice to check in with yourself whenever you are contemplating taking an action that history has proven you’ll regret afterwards. Imagine what your life would be like, or how your body would look and feel if you checked in on a regular basis and shifted your action based on the information you receive from your own inner guidance.
You are more wise and powerful than you know. Your internal wisdom is always available to you; you only need to ask questions and then listen for the answer.
What you then do with the answer is up to you, but choosing the action that serves you best is one of the greatest forms of self-love there is.