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Shopping Cart Snobbery

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Old 12-22-2010, 03:32 PM   #1
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Default Shopping Cart Snobbery

Not a new concept, I've seen it mentioned several times on 3FC before. But I thought I'd devote a whole thread to my shopping cart snobbery.

I never used to care what was in my shopping cart. I never used to care what was in other peoples' shopping carts. However, now that I'm actually being selective about what I eat, and choosing to eat healthy foods as opposed to junk, I care very much about what is in my shopping cart. I take pride in the fact that there are several bags of produce, packages of lean cuts of meat, eggs, whole grains, various spices, organic products, etc in my cart. I walk around pushing my cart, displaying to the other shoppers its contents. My groceries are a reflection of what I eat, and if "we are what we eat," then my groceries are a reflection of my own self. A healthy person who takes time to prepare nutritious whole food and cares about what is feuling my body......As if anybody cares what the **** is in my shopping cart, haha.

My husband was shopping with me the other day, and as much as I love him, he always throws off my grocery shopping routine. I make a list, stick to the list, and have a specific order in which I go through the aisles. He likes to stroll through the aisles tossing whatever looks good in the cart. Well I was going down my list and he was strolling and he tossed a bag of Goldfish crackers in my cart. My healthy wholesome cart full of groceries was completely tarnished because of that bag of Goldfish. I actually ran into a friend and felt legitimately embarrassed that there was a bag of Goldfish in my cart. I don't think she had even glanced at the contents of my cart, but I mentioned two or three times that those weren't MY Goldfish, they were Sean's. I certainly didn't want them, nor was I going to eat them. Again...as if she had even noticed or cared that there were Goldfish in my cart.

So now, in addition to having a pride complex about what's in my own shopping cart, I scan around to the other shoppers to see what they're buying. And as much as I hate that I do it, I make shameless judgements about them based on what they're buying. Today I saw a very overweight woman who had an overflowing cart filled with every kind of junk food one might find in Walmart, but tucked under all the chips, cookies, candy, etc etc there was a 12-pack of Diet Coke and a few boxes of Lean Cuisine. And yes, I judged.

So I confess that I'm a shopping cart snob. I'm not proud of it, especially making out of context judgements about people based on what groceries they happen to be buying that day. So who else is guilty?
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:40 PM   #2
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I don't judge what others buy, I'm too busy corralling my children to care! That said, I worry about people judging my cart! We buy almost all our food at Costco, and it is all ingredients and very healthy. The few things we buy at the regular store are specialty items that I cannot find in large quantities. So my cart has a special brand of pumpkin, organic yogurt, condensed milk, my husband's ice-cream, green onions, popcorn kernels, peanut sauce, etc etc. Nothing particularly bad, but not a representation of my normal diet, either.

I also tend to run out for specialty ingredients for desserts I make for social gatherings, so my cart will be filled with pie ingredients and custard additives, which also makes me self-conscious.

It makes me so sad that people are more likely to see the fifty pounds I have yetnto lose, rather than the weight I've lost, just because they see me buying coconut shavings and pudding. I hate judgments on others like that
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:46 PM   #3
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When we have guests over, we do what we can do make them comfortable. And as we all know, all too often we love with food. Therefore, I buy more comfort foods, soda, tea, desserts, etc. to entertain.

In addition, I have children in my house. My son eats well... really well. There are times he'll ask for a salad, and he loves green beans, natural peanut butter, apples, lean meats, whole wheat bread, etc and he needs the 2% or whole milk. But because I have a problem with my weight doesn't mean he should be deprived of a treat such as a cookie, cinnamon roll, or even gold fish here and there. We even keep a can of Spaghetti-O's in the pantry for rare emergencies.

The only time I've ever been out right embarrassed was when my mom and stepdad were out of town and his favorite ice cream was on sale and he sent me to the store to buy six, yes SIX half gallons to stock up. I was so mortified as it was the only thing in my cart.

All in all I'd say it's fine to be happy with the selections you've made but don't let it manifest itself into something negative. Try to keep in mind others are at different stages and situations in their lives and may be struggling or shopping for others.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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I have to admit, I get pretty judgmental when I see someone with a cart full of pure junk... and diet soda. Also, I can get a little judgey when I see an overweight person zooming around on those grocery-cart-mobile thingies. There are times I have to stop and remind myself that I don't know these people and so it's unfair to make assumptions. On the other though, if my assumptions are right, then I hurt for them because... I dunno, I just want to see them successful or learn some of the lessons I have, you know?

I also feel a little insecure, and judged, sometimes when I'm checking out my grocery items. As if the cashier is deciding who or what I am based on what I'm buying.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:05 PM   #5
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There's nothing I like better than confounding anyone who's nebby enough to look in my grocery cart, or worse, make assumptions about what they see in it. My cart has Kashi cereal nestled next to chocolate ice cream, broccoli snuggled up to Starbursts, and potato chips holding hands with butternut squash. I couldn't care less what other people buy and certainly hope that the things that I buy totally perplex anyone who bothers to look.

One of the true gifts of weight loss has been learning not to care at all about what other people think of me, especially strangers who know nothing about me or my family or my life situation.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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I have to admit, that I do the same thing! Total shopping cart snob.

I take it one step further though, I look and notice what is in other peoples carts, and then look at the people. Usually if they have a ton of cr@p in their cart, they are obviously out of shape, and have kids out of shape and running around crazy. Then I think "WOW this is why you are fat." then I step back and realize that it was not THAT long ago that my cart looked fairly similar.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:09 PM   #7
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, Meg. Your cart sounds a lot like mine. My cart is very interesting beween my paleo purchases, my distance running DD's carbs, my growing DS who eats everything that is not nailed down, my gourmet-sushi-eating 10 yo, and my little guy who is in a turkey/pepperjack/white bread phase. And that doesn't even account for DH's dietary preferences.

And then when I'm shopping for a class party or for Cub Scout snacks (or cross country team snacks, etc.) I must have a very confusing cart!

ETA: The one thing 5 out of 6 of us enjoy and eat on a regular basis is Fage greek yogurt with honey.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg View Post
There's nothing I like better than confounding anyone who's nebby enough to look in my grocery cart, or worse, make assumptions about what they see in it. My cart has Kashi cereal nestled next to chocolate ice cream, broccoli snuggled up to Starbursts, and potato chips holding hands with butternut squash. I couldn't care less what other people buy and certainly hope that the things that I buy totally perplex anyone who bothers to look.

One of the true gifts of weight loss has been learning not to care at all about what other people think of me, especially strangers who know nothing about me or my family or my life situation.
This is where I wanna be
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:15 PM   #9
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Meg, yes, ditto here. You never know what's going to be in my cart! Fresh produce, almost always but like midwife says there are foodie occasions to shop for too. We entertain often. There are many reasons for buying not-so-healthy fair.

Megan, you make me laugh. That was well written even though I've never experienced quite the same shopping experience.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:40 PM   #10
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I've also cultivated a "Not my business, not their business" attitude.

It's not always easy, so I deliberately don't look in other people's carts, so there's no temptation or opportunity to feel superior or guilty.

My husband and I both have had to use the motorized carts, and because we're fat, people are going to assume negative and untrue things about us. They're all going to be untrue, but of course that never matters. No one is going to know or care that we've both lost 80+ pounds, or that hubby has a degenerative joint disease, or that we've only ever used the cart as a last resort. We almost never use them when pain is the only issue. We use them when our canes or grocery cart don't provide enough stability.

With my fibro, my physical limitations can and do vary tremendously from day to day, so I've even gotten the "I've seen you walking, so I know you can," looks and even (once) actual commentary.

I'd love to explain it all to the busybodies, but it's not possible and would do no good. It has made me a lot more hesitant to judge others, even when their behavior fits the sterotype.

As I said, I avoid looking into carts, so last night I didn't see the (not at all overweight) family in front of us in the grocery store line with a cart full of junk and allowing each of three small children to select a HUGE candybar, all paying with a foodstamp card.

I didn't notice, but hubby did and asked me in the car, if I had noticed. I felt a twinge of disapproval and reminded myself that for all I knew this could have been a once a year Christmas event.

We don't do our shopping at one store, we shop several stores to save the most money. Our diets are very balanced, but are carts usually aren't, because we don't buy everything in one place. In the oriental market I buy produce, condiments, and occasionally snack foods.

At one store, I never buy produce (so you'd think we didn't eat any).

At one store, I only buy their canned goods (so you'd think that's all we eat).


I hate seeing that condescending judgement in people's eyes, because even though I know I shouldn't care, it always makes me feel like I'm supposed to explain.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:47 PM   #11
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"Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give damn" is my attitude. When I'm waiting in line, I'm usually planning the rest of my day and ignoring other people.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:50 PM   #12
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I'm chronically nosy, but not judgmental. I really just like seeing what other folks have in there; it's the same impulse that makes me look into someone's open windows and check out their home decor as I'm waking around the neighborhood. (Christmas is especially awesome because people open their blinds to show off their trees. )

Yeah, I'm pleased at what's in my own cart. I'm all, "BEHOLD my cornucopia of fresh vegetables and fruit!" whereas I used to feel a little ashamed of my cheetos and lucky charms. I like that when I have uncommon stuff in there, people will ask me about it and I can tell them how awesomely delicious persimmons are.

But I can't judge someone else's stuff; I don't know where they are in life or where they've come from. Maybe that guy with the five bags of Doritos has an eating disorder, or maybe he's doing the shopping for a whole Boy Scout troop's Christmas party, or maybe he's shopping for his neighbor the marathon runner who broke both his legs in a freak bouncy-house accident.

I just feel that if I were to judge others' carts, it'd be an admission that I was somehow "better" when I weighed 128 pounds and ate crap versus weighing 232 pounds eating crap--and I'm not at all willing to say that.

As for judging people in carts, to me that's like assuming that someone with burned skin got that way from a meth lab accident. Why would anyone assume that a physical disability was obviously a result of that individual's bad judgement? I've known folks who were athletic and trim at one point who gained a lot of weight after illness or chronic injury or from medications to treat health issues.

I was raised that it is emphatically not okay to stare at or judge people who get around on wheels instead of feet; for me, that doesn't change if the person is large or small.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:59 PM   #13
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Maybe that guy with the five bags of Doritos has an eating disorder, or maybe he's doing the shopping for a whole Boy Scout troop's Christmas party, or maybe he's shopping for his neighbor the marathon runner who broke both his legs in a freak bouncy-house accident.
I fully agree and imagining the bounce-house scenario made me snort diet coke out my nose. Ow.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:09 PM   #14
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I'm very nosy about other people's carts. Just because it's interesting to see what other people buy. I'm rarely judgmental about it, except when people have children. When you have obese children and a cart full of junk food without a single shred of produce, yes, I judge you. I wish I could say that I don't... but I do. As an adult, I don't care what you feed yourself, but I get cranky about people feeding their kids crap. I don't judge the presence of some treats or junk food. I'm talking about the family I saw this week with three obese children under the age of ten, one was so large he had difficulty walking and cellulite on his arms, and mom had a cart full of HiC punch, chips, cookies, frozen chicken wings, corn dogs, icecream, cheezwhiz, etc.

I don't know that I necessarily feel proud of my cart because it defines me- but I get excited when it looks healthy and has lots of colors of produce, just because it makes me excited to cook and eat great ingredients.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:10 PM   #15
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I got a kick out of you explaining your shopping habits and your husband's, welcome to married life!!! However I do sometimes buy junk but feel better about it when my cart has other healthy food too! Sometimes I pull to the checkout with $$60 worth of chicken fish and meat and feel strange then but it just so happens I wait for those items to be on sale before I buy them and might not need anything else.
I did also enjoy the discussion here of people judging other people, it can be hard not to judge but has already been said we have no idea where someone is in their life, or what is going on, I heard it best said 'if a man was in an airport with three young kids and the kids were just running around being noisy and being bratty and the man did nothing about it how would you feel' If you then learned his wife had just died and they just come from the funeral would that change your opinion of the man?
If my family was wiped out in a car accident and I turned to food how is that different from drinking, or overspending and charging up credit cards to the wazoo then declaring bankruptcy because of it or cheating on our spouse or partner? We all make mistakes and bad choices unfortunately for the foodaholic the results can be seen by all and I do know just cause someone is overweight there could be many reasons for it, not just shoving in goodies like me to help deal with stress in general and get over the pain of a horribly abusive marriage.
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