No Shame in Being Real



Over the last couple of months, I’ve shared my grocery shopping trips a few times. I enjoy doing those posts, even though it always amazes me what a pain it is to actually unload bags onto a table instead of right where they go. You’d think that’d be no big deal, right? But, for whatever reason, it slows me down immensely. Anyway, inconvenience of that aside, the posts are fun to write and share and I always love reading your comments, questions, and responses.


Aldi 4-28 1


Without fail, I receive quite a few remarks on my site, the Facebook page, and via message or email. They cover a wide variety of topics but, undoubtedly, there is a common thread among most of them–


gratitude for authenticity



  • “Thank you for showing us some of the junky things you buy– it’s good to know other people like chips, too.”
  • “Thank you for revealing some of your cheats or conveniences– it makes me feel better.”
  • “Thank you for admitting you like spaghettios.”
  • “Thank you for _____.”


I read these comments and emails again and again and I have such mixed feelings.


Don’t get me wrong– I am SO appreciative of your kind words and I’m thrilled that you weighed in. The only way I know what you want to read and see is if you tell me– so THANK YOU!! Truly.


Also, I am so encouraged that you’re on board with authenticity and that you still embrace the “real me.” Make no mistake– I am, indeed, a real person. I buy kale and apples and oodles of broccoli. I also overindulge every single time I cook ravioli to the point I feel sick. I snack on raspberries and almonds, but also cheese puffs that I enjoy at the time, but often regret later. That fact doesn’t stop me from eating them again. I kicked the Diet Coke habit years ago, but I still like the taste of the stuff. I hear all about the bad stuff in lunch meat, but I still buy it every single month– I do love a good ham and cheese sandwich.


I am, well, real. Mult-faceted. I do some things right and some things wrong and I have long decided that I’m unwilling to swing the pendulum all the way in one direction or the other. Like so many of you, probably, my groceries and diet and what I feed my children are all admirably healthy compared to the vast majority of my “IRL” peers. Meanwhile, the online real food community could poke holes all day long in my attempts to feed my crew. It is what it is.


I am so, so very happy that seeing what I buy allows some of you to breathe a little easier– to perhaps give yourself a little more grace. If that happens because I share a pic of my groceries? It is more than worth the effort.


But, at the same time, I have to admit it makes me kind sad. What kind of crazy world do we live in that there are moms out there who feel bad for spending an extra quarter to get their cheese pre-sliced? Why should anyone feel like a failure for picking up a package of sandwich cookies now and again? And, really, since when is one’s worth, intelligence, or intention all wrapped up in a decision to use Velveeta?


Sure, it’s good to make healthy choices. Whole foods, organic foods, real foods, et al? All wonderful. It still doesn’t mean you need to apologize for your chicken nuggets.


I’m going to keep right on sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly with you because, at the end of the day, it’s who I am. And, happily, I have enough faith in all of you that you’re not gonna go running to the hills if you see a can of Chef Boyardee among my haul. (Thank you for that!)


It just makes me sad to know that we need to even think about that. It breaks my heart that we are forced to self-judge and self-critique to the point that knowing someone else is buying something junky now and again brings such tremendous relief.


What you buy at the grocery store does not reflect your compassion, your brilliance, or how much you love your kids. It really doesn’t.


Your Doritos, your Cool Whip, your lunch meat, your jarred gravy– whatever it is, it’s safe with me.


Because you’re real. And so am I. And, truly, there’s no shame in that.

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5 comments to No Shame in Being Real

  • Jennie

    Amen! How sad is it that I felt guilty for serving tortilla chips with my dinner the other night? We were eating Mexican for goodness sakes!

    Anyway, as usual, your words have touched me and I’m so thankful that I discovered your blog. You’re one of the few bloggers I’d love to meet IRL.

  • Heather

    I totally intended to show you my paltry haul for $58 the other day…the whole putting it all on the table to photograph is what made me forget! Ha! Weird how huge a deal that extra few minutes makes! I had all my basement stuff out away then opened the fridge and realized I’d forgotten. My point was I really got almost nothing for almost $60!! Grr…
    And people need to get over their issues with being judged. I don’t understand that at all. Eat what you want! Just own your choices, people!!
    Because seriously anyone interested in other people’s shopping choices enough to read blogs about it (I feel freakish stalking people’s grocery blog posts) is probably eating relatively healthy meals with a moderate amount of crap thrown in.

  • earleyml

    We joined a CSA this summer and it’s amazing how different our meals have been. Lots of fresh foods!

  • […] quote from “No Shame in Being Real” by JessieLeigh from Parenting […]

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