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Are you Hungry?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I have long known that my relationship with food is fairly unhealthy. Simply put: I eat.
Yesterday, after a delicious lunch of an overstuffed pita (veggie with humus), my boyfriend and I decided to head to the mall.

Malls are of little appeal to me – probably because I’m no longer a teenager, and am no longer able to spend my parent’s hard-earned money on whatever frivolous item is presently all the rage. Being an adult is kind of rip-off, but I digress.

The only appeal of the mall…is the food court.

Food courts are my mecca. Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, donuts, cakes, ice cream, slushies, subs, pizza…all in one central location. It is all a little overwhelming! My senses overload amidst the smells..the anticipation of flavor (not that mall-food is extremely savory, but I’m not really choosy), sugary delights, spices. Yes, I love food courts.

So naturally, in all my extreme excitement, I ask my boyfriend – “Do you mind if we get a noodle bowl at the Japanese place?”

In response, he sort of gives me a sideways glance, and asks “Are you actually hungry?”

Now, my boyfriend did not know me during my 300+lbs days. He was not there when I went through the upheaval of a major lifestyle change. Nor was he there through the emotional outburst of “HOW DID I LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME?” He did not see me cry over my disgust for my body. He does not know that I can consume enough food in one meal to adequately satisfy a family of four for two days. Nor does he know how much I crave to do so. He does not know that my basic thought pattern revolves around…food. And he still thinks my preoccupation with cake is just a cute character flaw. He doesn’t know that a slice of cake can easily become an entire cake.

So when asked “Are you actually hungry?” I admittedly had to stop and think.

No…I wasn’t.

In fact I was stuffed from my recently devoured lunch.
Wow. Small epiphany.

This little incident made me think…maybe it is time for me to start listening to my body. You see, I have started to believe that I have no off-switch. There has never been a point at which I would say “NO” to food. I have always tried to convince myself that I still want more, need more, would be unfulfilled unless I had MORE.

After an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, it would be nothing for me to go home and raid the fridge, looking for the next item to devour.

I am a food junkie. I crave my fix.

And yet, is it my body or my mind that is screaming “EAT, EAT, EAT. FOOD, FOOD, FOOD?”
And yes – it is my mind. Because in that moment, when I finally stopped to THINK and LISTEN TO MY BODY…I was FULL.

So really, it is mind over matter. And like every junkie looking for their next fix, this is something I evidently need to overcome. Oh ya…and right now, as I write this…I’m still stuffed from dinner, and have no reason to eat. What a realization!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I relate to this, too. For me it is especially bad in the evening while I am watching TV for that final hour after the baby has gone to sleep.

    I try to drink tea, but if I just can't fend off the "junkie" in me (for me it's sweets in particular...I could eat chocolate every hour on the hour with no problem), I substitute oatmeal with protein powder, walnuts, crasins, raisins, and stevia.

    I may not be hungry, but at least what I am eating is nutritious and filling, so the impact is better than eating 8-10 chocolate chip cookies. Once I get too full I physically can't eat more.

    Sadly, I am a food junkie like this one week out of the month where I could eat and eat until I feel sick. Guess which week? LOL

    Thanks for the blog entry. :-)
    2482 days ago

    Go to Amazon.com and check out Marianne Williamson's newest book "A Course in Weight Loss." I'm only on Lesson 5, but there are things in this book that TRULY speak to this issue. It's a real eye opener. The great thing about this book, over others I've read, not only does it identify the issue, it gives you exercises to overcome them.

    Great blog, I think many of us have been there. I can eat pasta any time, any where, in any amount, even if already full.
    2482 days ago
    Thank your for a wonderful posting. Reading it made me stop and think, yup I am guilty of the same thing. I am also guilty of the clean your plate group.
    2485 days ago
    I'm so glad you had that moment! Proud of you!
    2492 days ago
    2492 days ago
  • EILEEN828
    Yes indeed I can relate too. What I'm trying to change for myself is every time I think I'm hungry, I try to focus on that desire and determine if I'm really thirsty instead. I'm not used to defining that desire that way so I have to force myself to be aware. Usually that is what I'm craving, just plain ole good water. If you're not already handling your water habit correctly, then this could be your fix to your craving. Also don't substitute any other beverage at this point, all of them are pale comparisons to what your body is craving, water. Think of it more as a necessary nutrient you're short on. If you have to have a flavor then use fresh lime or lemon. Or tea, green or herbal. emoticon emoticon
    2492 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/20/2011 2:02:03 AM
    Awesome blog, I can relate to this so much. Lately that's what I ask myself when I want to eat something I just go, "am I actually hungry?" ... If yes I eat, if not I don't. Sounds so simple but like you said a junkie's always looking for the next fix!
    2492 days ago
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