WIAW: Food Hoarding and Indecision

I never thought I would say this, but I think eating outside my own kitchen might just be easier than having to prepare and plan all my meals.

Since being home, I feel like a scatter-brained disaster when it comes to making food selections.

I have been meeting my needs, and following my meal plan, but having so many options has been driving me insane.

I have been thinking about this subject for a while, but didn’t really know how to put it in the right context, until I considered it might be an interesting spin on “What I Ate Wednesday.”

So today, my friends, I bring you “WIAW: Food Hoarding and Indecision.”

As always, thank you Jenn, for coming up with this fabulous community-unification project! But back to a topic that I am kind of embarrassed to discuss, but I feel it might be necessary to share in order to relinquish the shame and maybe inspire me to make some changes.

You see, I am OBSESSED with grocery shopping.

I love everything about it. I love the planning and list making. I love the challenge of finding the best deals. I love seeing new products on the shelves even if it means I have to shift around our weekly budget. I LOVE it all!

It is a sick fascination that undoubtedly is enhanced due to my brain being starved, which was proven during the Key’s Study I find to be to be such a useful recovery resource.

A few weeks ago I discovered how annoying my grocery hobby is when I was trying to put something into the freezer and realized how ridiculously packed it was; overflowing with Arctic Zero, frozen vegetables, protein and numerous bread products I am too scared to keep all out in the open.

This prompted me to look at all our food storage spaces and they too are pretty darn full.

Then ensued an immense organization frenzy where I rearranged our entire pantry, ice box, drawers and refrigerator into categories in an effort to make things more accessible and show what was available for my weekly menu plan.

Operation Clean Out was going to be put into effect…

I felt so relieved!

…Until I realized I had 5 open jars of nut butter ,in addition to the plain old Jif my sister and Ryan like, 8 boxes of cereal for our family of three, and enough soup to last me a few weeks!

When did I buy all this?! And does a person really need sunflower seed butter, almond butter, peanut butter and two different flavors of PB&Co?

I like variety but this seems a bit much!

Rationally I KNOW how excessive my shelve are, but that didn’t stop me from oogling the PB Crave flavors for the millionth week because everyone’s breakfasts and snacks featuring the Cookie Nookie look so darn good!

AND THE WORST part of this is…this weekend, after just last week reprimanding myself to cool it when purchasing unnecessary/duplicate food items, I bought TWO new jars of nut butter!

They are quite possibly some of the best tasting nut butters I have ever had EVER. And I had never seen them in any of my local stores, but still! I am worse than those people on the TLC show Hoarders!

Ryan was very understanding as I explained to him my internal frustrations that I have no self-control when it comes to making frivolous buys in the nutrition world, but he said it was ok, probably pretty “normal” during this journey, and there were obviously bigger things we had to worry about.

He does have a point; we really don’t ever go over our weekly food allowance, and after sampling my two new finds, they were a pretty well-worth it expense, but I couldn’t help but question how much my purchases have to do with being malnourished.

Regardless of my personal annoyance, I do have to to go off on a little tangent here and promote the heck out of my new favorite healthy fats. If you love nut butters like me, you need get your hands on some Naturally Nutty White Chocolate Coconut and Wild Squirrel Honey Pretzel Peanut Butter.

Honey Pretzel

Despite my guilt for now having 7 jars, these two flavors are INCREDIBLE!

The first is so unique, a bit thicker and perfect for globbing onto cereal and oatmeal, and the more salty variety has actual chunks of pretzel in the mix, and is so drippy it is absolutely the best for drizzling over, well, anything.

Like I said, after tasting, I am glad I have these kinds because I have never heard of them or seen them anywhere around, but it is the fact that I feel compelled to continue buying items I don’t really NEED, and that are actually quite scary so they only get consumed in the tiniest amounts (I have had one particular container of almond butter for over a year…seriously) that makes it seem a little odd, and a major symptom of my ED that I would like to diminish.

The other component to having WAY too much grocery stock in my home is decision-making for meals and snacks becomes incredibly difficult.

I stink at making up my mind normally, so add my relentless hunger, but fearful attitude toward food, and I am constantly in a tailspin about what to eat.

I want it all, but I am terrified to over indulge…especially since most of the items I “hoard” and am eyeing-up are highest on my list of fears.

This translates into the delicious C-Ville Crunch, and Bagel Lady Bagels, I also got this weekend, to be savored one slice at a time, while the rest is frozen in individual baggies; half chicken breasts on salads because I want chicken and hummus and of course a few side items to satisfy all my hundreds of cravings; and that my multiple boxes of cereal will be in our pantry forever because if I do have a bowl it is 1/8 cup of several different types because I am scared no one particular variety will do the trick.

That is why I said eating at restaurants or in our B&B was SO MUCH easier.

I may not have known the calorie count, but I had limited selection and typically something jumped out at me right away that made my tummy absolutely delighted.

I could replicate what I ordered at home, using my own ingredients, but my brain automatically reverts to; “but if you want more its there waiting for you! There isn’t a waitress to clear your plate, leftovers could be in the fridge and there are more than one of those fantastic Spinach and Garlic bagels calling your name if you are still hungry even though one is more than enough!…”

I believe these thoughts are pretty normal during recovery.

Basically everyone in this process I know or have talked to has similar beliefs, phobias and lack of trust for their bodies, but it really does present a challenge when trying to create a “normal” eating routine.

I guess this is the point where I insert, “practice makes perfect?”

Or at least that I have to wade through this seriously annoying aspect of getting healthy (what part of this isn’t annoying?!) to finally be relieved of the cravings for odd combinations, and that can only happen by continuing to listen to my body.

Ahh body, why are you so smart?

I know this was a relatively non-traditional WIAW, but I have been bothered by my addictive habits and recovery woes for some time, and of course I felt I HAD to share these products with you because they are truly some of the best things I bought in a while.

I hope you all have a fabulous day, and as always, happy eating!!!

*The opinions and reviews in this post are completely my own, but I did get to chit-chat with the ladies who started and operate the Bagel Ladies enterprise when I was shopping at C-Ville’s Saturday Market, so if you want to check out all their flavors (I got the Spinach and Garlic and Country Grain and Seed) they do have a website with an online store and ship them ready to bake in you OWN oven! To be honest, I tried them both raw and toasted, and either way they are fantastic! Especially the Seed smeared with some of my new nut butter 😉

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23 thoughts on “WIAW: Food Hoarding and Indecision

  1. I can definitely relate to this post. I used to spend way to much money on goceries, especially on health products! I used to hoard my stuff because it seemed so special to me. I really had to stop it and now buy whatever I like but make sure I use it up. I had 2 jars of tahini, almond and peanut butter in the fridge and didnt buy a new jar until at least 2 were gone. My fridge only contains the most necessary things and whatever I need I buy on the day. It makes u feel so great, not feeling like you have wasted something. plus food is best freshest anyways and if u have to many jars of nut butters you will get more and more and more and eventually get sick of them all, no? good luck 🙂 i am sure u will be ablet to manage!

  2. Oh my gosh, the white chocolate coconut butter sounds INCREDIBLE! And that C-Ville crunch and I have a history. I think I went through the entire loaf in a week. Too good!

  3. Thanks for this post. This is also something I’ve been struggling with recently. I’ve always enjoyed grocery shopping, but over the past few months I think it’s become somewhat of an obsession and I just can’t seem to quit. I’m not sure WHY I’m hoarding so many unnecessary foods, but I do think that leads to part of my indecision about what to eat – I just have too much to choose from! I can seriously make grocery lists, browse store aisles, and hem and haw about what to eat for hours. I’ve never struggled with an eating disorder, but it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one dealing with these addictive habits. I’ve been really trying to be more frugal and buying only what I need at the moment (because the Biscoff spread and KIND bars and Kombucha, etc., etc., etc. will be there next week too!), but it’s soooo hard!

  4. I can relate to this FOR SURE… and something I have talked about before too. I still hoard food, grocery shop like no one’s business, spend tons on healthy stuff that yes, is good for me, but i don’t need any more! I don’t know exactly why… there is a certain fear plus shopping for food does provide me with a certain comfort. Yet it also controls me to a major extent
    Anyway I am glad you shared this post CJ… again, I can understand and relate so very much

  5. You are not alone!!! I hoard foods like no one’s business. Nut butters was the worst at one point (I had 12 jars!!) I refused to let myself buy anymore until I finished them off. Those two sound delicious though and now I feel compelled to snag some 😉
    But if there is a sale on food items.. I have no problem hoarding. Frozen vegetables are not cheap! haha 🙂

  6. Every word here is so true… and so “normal” in the recovery world!

    For me, it also stems from a fear of binging. Before I was slapped with the anorexia diagnostic code, I was severely bulimic for a while. I often had the “oh-em-gee I will never get to eat this again – must stuff face” mentality. So now I get a certain peace of mind from knowing that I can always satisfy my craving… even if it causes that huge amount of shame and stress you mentioned.

    I think leaving home (again) will help with this… there’s no way I’m going to be able to afford 230948203948 kinds of nut butter (raw AND roasted almond butter?!)… and there’s no way I want my new roommate to think I’m a space cadet!

  7. I can certainly relate to this a lot. I seem to collect food items. I will see a food that looks good and even though I know I won’t use it I just “have to have it”, and then grow a collection of random foods I haven’t touched. It also drives people crazy when I shop with them because I can spend a long amount of time in the store just because it gives me a little comfort and relief. It almost eases my anxiety.

    • omg my husband HATES grocery shopping with me unless we have a difinitive list or he is going to pick his fish and meat. i have to agree it is an anxiety reliever, even though having so much in the house in some ways totally invokes MORE anxiety. As with everything in the ED world, its such a paradox!

  8. I am so glad to hear I am not the only one! On my designated grocery shopping days, my husband always says, “how can we need food when the fridge and free are packed?”. I try to explain it is for ingredients and my daughter’s lunch, but I know he is right and I could buy way less. At the checkout, the cashier always asks how many in my family, I put my head down as I say, three, and that all this is meant to last two weeks! In my other defense, we do not eat out at all, only at home.

    I think growing up in a house with two grandmothers who went through the Depression, it has made me feel like I never want to run out of things. I only live 1/4 mile from the store, I tell myself often that I can always get what I run out of.

    Thanks for the post.

    My name is Maria, and I am a healthy grocery shopaholic.

    • i am sorry you are a grocery shopaholic! but I am too! maybe we should start an official program! we eat at home for the most part too and that is hoe i justify it, but seriously, multiple loaves of bread in the freezer?! my wallet would thank me if i just avoided the store for a few weeks!

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