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Day 2: Hunger Tiger

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm pretty sure it was Steve Jobs who advised Stanford graduates to "Stay hungry." He meant it in terms of chasing your dreams: don't get too complacent/don't settle. I'm using his advice in a slightly different -- and literal -- way.

Hunger is like a tiger. When it sneaks up on me, I panic and eat whatever I can to shoo it away. I can also eat beyond being full just to ensure that the tiger won't return. In fact, I now recall that when I go on full-day outings, I purposely plant snacks in my bag "just in case" and then eat them when there is certainly no case to be had.

Over the last two days, I've had to make some big changes (all healthy ones, mind you!) One of them is to stay hungry. I've been training myself that a bit of hunger is okay. For example, today we ate a very early dinner so that everything is digested before our 6:00 family TKD class. About an hour before dinner, the tiger appeared, sudden and vicious, demanding my attention. Instead of throwing empty calories his way, I stared him down and waited him out. After all, I'd eaten lunch only three hours before; there was no immediate reason to sate the hunger. I could wait until dinner without causing any harm to myself.

Oh, that tiger roared! I braved it. Then he whined. I ignored it with a glass of water. By the time dinner rolled around, the tiger had become a tamed and well-behaved animal. So did I sit down and splurge at dinner, so proud of my first attempt to train the tiger? Nope. I ate a healthy dinner of chicken, rice, and more sauteed zucchini and had a piece of chocolate afterwards. In the background, the tiger mumbled, but did not attack.

I'm going to stay a bit hungry. I want to keep my eye on the tiger for the next few days and get used to having him around. Much like in Ang Lee's upcoming film adaptation of Life of Pi, I want to have my tiger as a companion, not an enemy.
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