Monday, August 23, 2010


I put off my walk to the store until it was a little warmer than I like. My plan was to leave earlier, but I got stuck looking through the mail. I felt somewhat overwhelmed by reading about all of the needs and requests for donations. Oil laden polar bears, public television, and a survey on trees were all requests for donations. After reading the less than happy news in the paper, and putting aside the requests, I left for the store.

When I got to the store, I found an abundance of fruit, pastries, and chocolate. I love chocolate and pastries, but I made the mistake of looking at the labels. The high calories, butter, and saturated fat made me think twice. I was looking forward to buying the chocolate cookies, but there were so many choices. Then I realized they wouldn’t taste as good as I expected. With that many calories, my expectations were very high.

I decided I would need to choose one thing I really wanted, and then get the things on my list. Because of the abundance of food that looked delicious (and wasn’t necessarily healthy,) it would be easy to spend too much time looking. I knew the temperature was supposed to reach the triple digits, so I should make a decision quickly.

It seemed absurd to have so much to choose from that I have to remind myself to say, “no” and keep walking. I didn’t need cookies at all, but I felt a little disappointed to not get any. My difficulty making a decision in the face of so many choices reminded me of Barry Schwartz book called, “Paradox of Choice.” After having difficulty deciding between so many jeans when he went shopping, he decided that too many choices led him to paralysis rather than liberation.

Having freedom of choice is important to me, especially time freedom.  But too much freedom led to a hot walk home. I really like being able to eat what I want to, but I’m quite confident that an over abundance of food choices will lead to health problems if I don’t apply some discipline. Maybe I would be happier if I helped even more people who have nothing here in the U.S. as well as other parts of the world instead of doting over food choices. 

60 minutes walking

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