guilt

Saturday evening, while he was putting Eleanor to sleep, Tim had me run to the grocery store for a few key items:

You see, Tim has been watching what he eats lately in an effort to trim a few pounds (just a few, don’t get worried here) and air popped popcorn has become one of his go-to evening snacks (yes, along with Diet Root Beer {no calories, no caffeine}). The same way he devotes himself to writing his dissertation, to applying for jobs, to being a good father, to being a standout UNC basketball fan, he has thrown himself in learning how to make a mean bowl of popcorn. So I was sent to the store for “high-quality” kernels instead of the coughcrapcough we’ve been using.

Now, many (nay, probably most if not all) of you know that I study the relationship between dietary patterns and weight gain. I have several papers on increased consumption of caloric beverages (namely soda), and on the association between diet beverages and metabolic health. I am also pregnant; obviously pregnant. Tonight, walking down the isle of the grocery store with a 2L bottle of diet A&W Root Beer under my arm I felt the eyes…”what are you doing with that? You’re pregnant. I can’t believe you’re going to drink that.” Of course, no one (NO ONE) was thinking that. But it still felt so uncomfortable.

So, to assuage my guilt, I decided to buy some yogurt (because this is healthy, right?). I reached for the usual, Stonyfield Low Fat Strawberry, 32 oz. But something made me pause and I looked at the nutrition facts panel. Did you know that 1 cup of this yogurt has 32 grams of sugar?! 32. The other yogurts- any other fruit-flavored yogurt- are just as bad. Now, if you’re buying plain yogurt and then not sweetening it with anything you can cut that down to 12 grams. But honestly, who is doing that?

And yet I couldn’t leave the store without something other than kernels and diet soda in my bag. Seeing that these were on sale (essentially two for the price of one)

and because they only had 9 grams of sugar per serving and could be frozen (as an alternative to ice cream which Eleanor has been asking for morning, noon, and night these days), I picked up two boxes.

But at the register, they were ringing up full price.

So, off I went to customer service for a price check. Turns out, the price label I read was for a different product, but had been misplaced. “Sorry about that,” said the (young) woman behind the counter. “This box will be free, and the second will cost $2.00.” I corrected her, “you mean $4.00 (the price of one).” “No”, she replied. “The first one is free because that was our mistake, the second one you get for sale price, $2.00.”

So $5.69 went back on my card, and I was off. What’s the point of all this? Sometimes when your husband send you to the store for a perfectly reasonable snack and you become so fanatical about the fact that people might think you (oh pregnant lady) are going to drink some diet soda that you go in search of something you think might be healthy just to make yourself feel better, it pays to buy what’s on sale. Or just not sweat it, because no one is really paying attention.

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