An itchy throat, a lingering headache, and general soreness, nudged me to grab that pack of Knorr Thick Tomato soup from the shelf in the Indian store. I read the nutrition facts just to see how unhealthy this powder of creamy goodness is, which is exactly the mind craved knowing really well that any attempts to please the palate is futile. “High sodium content but the calories per serving is not as shocking,” I tell myself as I read the facts. “Probably high on MSG and has all possible artificial flavors and colors. But hey I am sick, if that’s not a legitimate reason to make an exception, what is?” I argue with myself and put the processed food with conviction in my shopping basket.
I quickly browse through the aisles for other items in my check list and finally place the basket at the cash counter. The storekeeper bills the item one by one and declares that I owe him $32. I slip my fingers into my purse to fetch the credit card. In that split second, I sense my mental wheels making a U-turn, “You can buy it but perhaps not use it” I rationalize. A moment later “….but then why buy it and add to the pantry clutter when you are not going to use it? Remember, you love eating dhal, you can make it just the way you like it. That yummy ginger garlic rasam is not hard to make. And what happened to all grand plans to Detox? Can’t let the word of the year down so early in the year, can I ?” The inner voice is getting louder and louder. “Speak up, speak up, speak up… NOW…!!!!” I humbly surrender to the voice of reason and tell the cashier as I handover the card. “Actually, can you remove the Knorr soup from the checked out item.” Then I say it aloud, not for him, but for ME to hear it loud and clear, in no uncertain terms, “I am trying to avoid processed food. So I should stay away from it.” Phew…! All that drama in my head melted away as I smile to myself with the grocery bags dangling in my hands.
It’s true that the less junk you eat, the less you crave. But the craving is there, taunting you, enticing you into going astray. And that’s where the hard work is. In letting your voice of reason overrule your voice of temptation. Every. Single. Time.