Now that I’m the community manager for the American Heart Association’s digital engagement strategy, I seem to notice the AHA’s heart check mark everywhere I look — including at the deli.
On my lunch break today, I went to my favorite grocery store in town to pick up my favorite turkey — Boar’s Head Honey Maple Turkey — which meets the AHA’s guidelines and bears the heart check mark.
I buy this about twice a week, in small increments so it stays fresh, and it’s been one of my go-to lunch staples for about the past 5-6 months.
Anyway, the guy behind the counter recognizes me by now. And though I don’t know his name and he doesn’t know mine, he knows what I always order.
Today, another woman was working in the deli, and while I was wondering where my usual guy was, he popped up behind me.
“Did you ever wake up one day and say, I think I’m going to try something new here today? I wonder what X tastes like?” he said with a smile.
I just laughed and said, “What can I say, I’m a creature of habit!”
Am I ever!
It’s true. I AM a creature of habit.
(Case in point: loooooong before my food issues began, a college boyfriend dumped me because I only ate chicken; he thought that was indicative of the rest of my personality … )
Sometimes I wonder what is my nature (i.e., liking to eat the same things over and over) and what is the disordered voices speaking (*only* ordering XYZ).
Even though I don’t think I exhibit a lot of those behaviors anymore and feel I’ve branched out a lot, I’m still very aware, maybe even hyper-aware … so when someone else calls attention to them, I flinch for a second and check myself. (I think this is actually progress).
You see, I love turkey, and always have. But when I joined WW in 2004, I would eat turkey, spinach and light Swiss on Arnold’s Bakery Light whole wheat bread; baby carrots; Glenny’s BBQ soy crisps (or pretzels) and an apple nearly EVERY SINGLE DAY for about three years … no joke.
Why? Well, aside from loving it, I also knew it was a 7-point lunch (depending on the ingredients, of course) and so it became my “safe” go-to lunch.
But after years and years of eating the same thing at lunch, I more or less overdid it on turkey … and it’s only the past few months that I’ve gone back to it (though in the roll-up format, so it’s a smidge different).
So naturally then, the deli guy’s comment got me thinking … even he noticed it, a person I spend maybe 2 minutes a day with twice a week!
It’s true that I really don’t branch out too much when it comes to food choices. In Korea earlier this month, I absolutely needed to — or I’d have starved! But for the most part, while I am more experimental when dining out (a little freer, a little more willing to try new things), I’m still very much a creature of habit for the most part.
I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to be a creature of habit, but it’s moments like this that remind me of how much perception really is reality.
I might think I’m making strides, but to an outsider (who doesn’t know my history, I might add) … it might not be quite so obvious. I’d like to project that willingness/openness to the outside world; it just might take time.
How about you? Are you a creature of habit when it comes to food choices, and has your recovery journey impacted your ability to make different choices?